How to hire SEO experts
Want to improve your ranking on major search engines such as Google? An SEO expert can help you perform the keyword research, SEO content generation, and on-site optimization that goes into an SEO campaign.
So how do you find an SEO expert? What follows are some tips on how you can find top SEO experts on Upwork.
How to shortlist SEO professionals
As you’re browsing available SEO consultants, it can be helpful to develop a shortlist of the contractors you may want to interview. You can screen profiles on criteria such as:
- Industry fit. You want an SEO expert who understands your industry so they can help you figure out how best to reach your target market.
- Project experience. Screen candidate profiles for specific skills and experience (e.g., monitoring a website’s SEO performance with Google Search Console).
- Feedback. Check reviews from past clients for glowing testimonials or red flags that can tell you what it’s like to work with a particular SEO expert.
How to write an SEO specialist job description that attracts the right person
With a clear picture of your ideal SEO expert in mind, it’s time to write that job post. Although you don’t need a full job description as you would when hiring an employee, aim to provide enough detail for a contractor to know if they’re the right fit for the project.
An effective SEO job post should include:
- Scope of work: From SEO audits to link building, list all the deliverables you’ll need.
- Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a smaller or larger project.
- Background: Translate your SEO needs into a freelancer profile. If you prefer experience working with certain industries, software, or marketing channels, mention this here.
- Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
Sample SEO specialist job description
Title: Technical SEO specialist needed for tech startups
We’re a busy digital agency that works with fast-growing tech startups. You will be working diretly with two of our top clients, helping them develop SEO and content strategies. If the client and our agency are pleased with the project’s initial results, there’s potential this may turn into a monthly retainer for six months.
- Provide insightful and strategic SEO and content strategy for two clients
- Create a social campaign strategy for two clients
- Create a weekly progress report for the first 5 weeks. Provide strategic changes to help the client reach their goals.
- 4+ years of experience working with mid-sized companies
- 2 examples of SEO strategies and their results
- Available starting from month, date, year
- Working knowledge of Trello, Google Drive, and Slack
- Include the words “red chair” in the first line of your cover letter
Please submit your proposal by month, day, year.
Did you notice the unusual item under requirements? Yes, asking to include the words “red chair” in the cover letter. Adding things like this is optional, but when you need someone detailed, it’s a good way to see if they’re observant and follow instructions well. It’s also a quick way to filter through a pile of proposals.
Ready to create an SEO campaign that will help drive organic traffic to your business? Log in and post your SEO job on Upwork today.
SEO EXPERTS FAQ
What is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization and refers to all activities that help search engines better recognize and correlate websites with certain search terms. The more relevant a search engine deems your website or content is with a keyword, the higher you will rank for that keyword.
Here’s a quick overview of the skills you should look for in SEO professionals:
- Keyword research (e.g., Keyword Planner, SEMrush)
- On-site optimization (e.g., HTML headers, alt text, images)
- Off-site optimization (e.g., guest posting, link building)
- SEO content generation and planning
- Competitor analysis and SEO audits
SEO consultants help businesses better position themselves on search engines to receive traffic from their target market. Search Engine Marketing is a similar service but is more focused on the advertising side of search engine visibility.
Why do you want to hire SEO experts?
The trick to finding top SEO experts is to identify your needs. Do you just need help ranking on major search engines such as Google, or are you also trying to optimize for something specific such as queries on the Apple App Store? Do you need someone with a strong guest-posting network for link building? The cost of your SEO project will depend largely on your scope of work and the specific skills needed to bring your project to life.
How much does it cost to hire an SEO expert?
If you’ve ever tried to ask an SEO (search engine optimization) specialist how much it’ll cost to improve your search engine rankings, you probably got the frustrating, but honest answer: “it depends.” And the pricing they give can be all over the board, from $25 per hour to $10,000+ per month. No one can budget for an SEO project based on that kind of range. But drilling down to a reliable number isn’t difficult. Learn about the cost to hire an SEO expert.
Risky SEO practices to watch out for
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of specialists or agencies who:
Are vague about their strategy. The person should give details on how they plan to achieve your goals within a given timetable. Note that if something worked for another company or industry, it might not work for yours. Be skeptical of cookie-cutter solutions.
Quote significantly lower prices. You can work with SEO talent located anywhere in the world, so prices will vary accordingly. However, if you get a low-ball quote, ask for additional details.
Quote high prices. On the other hand, if someone quotes a high price without having a proven track record to back it up, then be wary and ask for additional details.
Use suspicious link building strategies. A red flag should go up if someone suggests buying a huge quantity of backlinks, email lists, or followers. These short-term hacks (a.k.a. black hat SEO techniques) can give your SEO a quick boost, but at the expense of damaging your website reputation. And your site can get penalized or blacklisted by search engines.
Make aggressive promises like guaranteed or fast results. Good SEO is a marathon, not a race. It can take months before you see results.
Knowing what to look for in pricing is just part of the process. You have to do your due diligence to ensure you’re contracting with a quality SEO consultant.