SEO Candidates: How to Hire the Best Candidates for Your SEO Team

Finding the right search engine optimization (SEO) candidate can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. It’s not just about understanding algorithms and analytics; it’s about finding someone who can deliver award-winning campaigns to drive significant website traffic and lead growth.

Thankfully, this post is here to help you spot and acquire high-quality SEO candidates who can transform your business’s online presence. Whether you’re after a technical SEO wizard whose audits are worth their weight in gold or an SEO expert capable of crafting campaigns that resonate with audiences, you will get all the insights and strategies you need below.

Technical SEO Knowledge

As the backbone of SEO, understanding how search engines like Google crawl, index, and serve pages is pivotal. 

This includes proficiency in understanding and optimising website code, structure, and architecture–key elements ensuring that search spiders can easily find, understand, and index a website. Technical SEO also helps ensure a website is easy to navigate, contributing to higher rankings on search engines and a better user experience. 

Candidates with a solid technical SEO foundation are invaluable because they can help improve your site’s crawlability and indexability on search engines. This leads to more of your site pages ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), increasing organic traffic and boosting online visibility.

On-Page and Off-Page SEO Expertise

Whereas technical SEO ensures that your website ranks its pages on search engines, on- and off-page SEO helps increase the keyword rankings of your pages on SERPs.

For starters, on-page SEO involves optimising elements directly on your website, including site structure, meta tags, URL structure, and meta description. Mastery in these areas allows for seamless navigation for search engines and users and enhanced user intent satisfaction, contributing to improved keyword rankings. 

Additionally, content creation with the right target keyword and understanding search volume is critical in pulling targeted traffic from Google and other search engines.

On the flip side, off-page SEO focuses on activities outside the boundaries of the webpage. Link building, securing high-quality backlinks from other websites, and enhancing your brand’s online presence on various platforms are critical. These efforts aim to improve your site’s authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines, resulting in higher keyword rankings on search engines. 

Understanding of User Experience (UX)

SEO specialists with a deep understanding of UX know that it’s never about generating tons of website traffic. It’s about attracting users to a page on your website to complete a desired action.

To observe UX on a website effectively, candidates must demonstrate a thorough understanding of a well-thought-out site structure as it guides visitors effortlessly to the information they seek, enhancing their overall experience.

Moreover, mobile-friendliness knowledge stands out as a key indicator of a well-rounded SEO technique. With Google Search prioritising mobile-first indexing, it’s crucial that SEO candidates can articulate strategies for creating (or at least knowing about) responsive designs. This caters to a vast majority of users accessing the web via mobile devices and aligns with search engines’ emphasis on mobile UX to rank higher in search results.

Incorporating user intent and keyword research into content creation also plays a significant role in UX. An SEO specialist who can align a website’s content with what users are searching for, using the right keywords and providing answers to their queries, significantly improves the site’s usability and, by extension, its search engine rankings. Such strategic alignment ensures that the website doesn’t just attract traffic but engages and retains users by providing value.

Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills

SEO isn’t always about implementing the best practices all the time. It’s about knowing which best practices to apply on a site and why to generate the best results.

Much of this skill concerns the candidates’ ability to look at a site’s analytics and uncover what’s not working and why. From here, they dissect relevant ranking factors, like site structure, content, link profile, and others, to ensure they are optimised for Google search.

They use different tools like rank trackers (to see if a page’s search position for a keyword increased or decreased), SEO audit apps (to check for issues preventing search engines from crawling and indexing the site properly), and backlink analysers (to understand the quality of a site’s link profile and see if there are toxic links that prevent the site from ranking higher) to uncover these problems.

Once done, they analyse the issues manually and implement changes on the site using the provided data in the hopes of improving the site’s SEO performance. 

They also use these tools to uncover competitor strategies and what works for them. Their findings here add another layer to their problem-solving tasks because competitors may be using tactics that their websites aren’t using yet. Taking inspiration from similar sites can help round out their SEO campaign and give your site the best chance of ranking on top of SERPs.

Communication and Collaboration Skills

These soft skills often distinguish between a quality SEO candidate and one who struggles to integrate effectively into a team or with clients.

A top-notch SEO specialist must be able to clearly explain complex concepts, such as search engine algorithms, link building strategies, and the nuances of on-page and off-page SEO, to non-experts. This ability is key in internal team discussions and client meetings where demystifying SEO practices can build trust and pave the way for successful projects.

Moreover, collaboration comes into play heavily in the SEO field. SEO is not a one-man job—it requires a concerted effort across different departments. 

From content creation aligned with user intent to technical adjustments in site structure and meta tags, every aspect demands a seamless synergy. Working alongside content creators, web developers, and marketing specialists, understanding their roles and contributing to a unified SEO strategy makes a candidate valuable.

What’s often overlooked in the hiring process is that SEO requires constant learning and adaptation to Google’s evolving algorithms. A candidate with keen problem-solving skills and a readiness to collaborate on creative solutions can significantly impact a business’s ability to rank higher in Google search results.

Cultural Fit

While elements like keyword research, link building, and on-page SEO are critical for driving traffic, the synergy between a candidate’s values and the company’s ethos can’t be overlooked. Recognising the potential of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds is about adhering to equality standards and enriching your SEO team with diverse perspectives and problem-solving approaches that could propel your SEO strategy to new heights.

Finding a candidate who aligns with our company’s values means looking beyond their ability to optimise for Google search or their knowledge of meta tags and site structure. It involves understanding their approach to collaboration, their openness to continuous learning, and how they tackle SEO challenges. 

For instance, a quality SEO candidate should exhibit a knack for not just meeting the current search engine optimisation benchmarks but also anticipating future trends and Google algorithm adjustments.

Cultural fit also means an eagerness to share knowledge and uplift the team. In the rapidly evolving SEO industry, this thirst for knowledge and collaboration means as much as technical expertise. 

A candidate who’s a culture fit will likely help foster an environment where everyone feels valued and motivated to contribute to our collective SEO goals. They would be adept at executing sophisticated SEO techniques and articulating these strategies to clients and team members in a clear and impactful manner.

Hire These Types of SEO Talent with SEO.Careers!

Finding the right SEO talent is more than just ticking boxes for technical skills. It’s about understanding the broader picture of where culture fits, and the ability to adapt to future changes plays a pivotal role. 

This is where SEO.Careers come in, an SEO recruitment service with the talent to help you find the right people for your SEO team. We consider all the factors above when filtering candidates for your SEO vacancies to ensure that you get a person who will positively contribute not only to your search engine campaigns but also to your organisation as a while.

Schedule a call with us so we can discuss finding and hiring SEO talent that can take your website to the next level.


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