The 5 Steps for Hiring an SEO Strategist 

1. Understanding the Impact of SEO

Take time to learn how SEO can transform your company before you begin your search for an SEO Strategist. Review case studies of companies in your industry that have invested in SEO with great success.

A person’s first and easiest step when faced with a problem is to Google the issue. In addition to finding the best restaurants near us, learning how to DIY a minor home repair, and even finding SEO experts, we do a web search whenever possible.

SEO StrategistYour ideal customers – those who are experiencing the same problem your business solves – are also searching the web for answers. SEO allows you to reach people when they need you. SEO helps get your business in front of their eyes, so they can evaluate if your product is a good fit for their needs, and eventually purchase your product. All of these happen while your company is busy expanding its product line, meeting with potential partners, or finding opportunities to grow.

Upon realizing the importance of SEO, you need to look for a strategist with the experience and expertise to harness its full potential and boost your marketing efforts.

2. Find Someone With Proven Results

You must be critical during this part of your search. There are many people who call themselves “SEO experts” so you have to be careful.

Write a clear job description that specifies your desired outcomes. You don’t want to hire an SEO expert who only increases traffic to your website – you want one who improves the quality of your online visibility. Find a firm that offers SEO and digital marketing services holistically.

Screen SEO applicants based on their results. You should ask for case studies and a description of how their strategies have affected the business. To find out how your applicant’s SEO strategies have benefited other businesses’ online marketing efforts, ask for references and talk to some of their previous clients.

You should hire someone who is a good fit for your company. Do they have experience in the same industry as yours? Your ideal candidate would have experience with both industry-specific and non-industry-specific SEO. As a result, they have a unique perspective and a diverse skillset that allows them to tackle SEO challenges creatively and tactically.

3. Get Connected With a Free Discovery Call

The best SEO strategist will request a discovery call to learn about your needs and identify your goals. 

Discovery is a two-way street. Calls should feel collaborative and not like a sales pitch or a list of SEO tactics. Every business is unique, and SEO is not a one size fits all service. A good SEO consultant develops a personalized strategy for every company.

On discovery calls with potential clients, try to get a good grasp of their business and marketing objectives. It is the job of a SEO strategist to offer the most effective strategy for companies they work with. There are SEO systems and best practices that can be employed when developing and executing a strategy, but creativity and adaptability are crucial when identifying growth opportunities.

In the end, SEO’s goal should not be just to boost traffic; it should be to increase a business’s impact and income.

Whenever an SEO strategist is willing to listen to your goals and pains right now, it means they want to learn more about your company and your existing marketing strategies. You can learn more about the SEOs you shortlisted by taking advantage of the free discovery calls. Can they help you scale your marketing efforts?

4. Align your budget with their deliverables 

Following your discovery calls, you will have a shortlist of SEO experts with the potential to boost and scale your marketing efforts. Your next step is to find a person who matches your objectives and your budget.

There are different SEO needs for businesses at different stages. Make sure your SEO strategist can scale their deliverables to your needs and resources. However, do not expect too much for too little. Plan realistically about what you can expect from your budget. With good initial results, you can then scale and allot more resources to your SEO project.

Obtain information on fees and payment terms – will the consultant be paid hourly, on a retainer, or by project? These terms should of course be established before moving forward.

5. Outline your expectations

The final step before you sign the contract is to confirm your SEO expert and you are on the same page. Are you working towards the same objectives?

It is best to stay away from SEO strategists who guarantee your business will rank at the top of search engines. Because SEO depends on so many factors outside our control, no one can guarantee specific results. 

Most experienced SEO experts under-promise and over-deliver. You should know what to expect from SEO and have a clear timeline of when you should expect results. To this end, always start at strategy development with clients. SEO works best in conjunction with other digital marketing techniques, so optimizing online marketing strategies alongside SEO will best increase visibility and reach.