When you look at SEO practices for the first time, it can look somewhat intimidating and challenging. But, if you have the right SEO management company helping you out, then it’s a walk in the park.
The U.S. Department of Labor performed a study, which revealed that if you’ve made a bad hire, then the cost of the same would almost be 30% of the individual’s annual salary! So, before you set out to hire an SEO management company that could possibly be a bad hire, have a look at some really important pointers that can help you choose the right one.
#1. Be sure of what you want
Do you have a to-do list? Or is it about a one-off assignment? Are you looking at ongoing SEO, link removal, an SEO audit, reputation management, link building, retargeting, PPC management, or any of the other services offered by SEO services company? In case you’re still wondering what is required, give it a think over and come up with a list that needs to be taken care of. Is it sales growth that you aim to undertake in the next 1 year, or do you wish to increase leads in the coming 6 months? Do you want to see your ranking increase or do you just want to feel satisfied that someone out there is doing SEO for you? Make sure you know what you want from your SEO management company. This will only help you figure out your success once you associate with them. Have a goal in mind, and let the SEO company know about it. If you don’t know whether your SEO efforts will be successful or not, how will you manage to have a successful relationship with the SEO management company?
#2. Don’t make the job posting easy
You can figure out a lot about an SEO management company through your job posting itself, by setting up hurdles for the companies that apply. If they do not think about it too much and simply jump over them, then you know it is the best choice to pick the company up. This will also help you distinguish good applicants from the bad ones without even poring over their resumes. Attention to detail is immensely important in SEO, and if this is compromised, then the results would be disastrous. Your Google traffic can be impacted by SEO which does not pay attention to detail.
Coming to the applications, a careful review would go a long way in making the right choice. Typos, grammatical errors or content goof-ups in the application would mean lack of attention to detail in the very first step itself. This spells trouble, and taking the engagement further will not lead to acceptable results. You could also set up a problem-solution situation for the applicants that would demonstrate competence as well as the ability to solve problems.
Do not consider applicants who do not adhere to your instructions. Not complying with your requests portrays a dreary picture of the SEO company, which shows a disregard for rules and regulations.
#3. Test your job postings
A/B split testing can be used fantastically to attract the applicants. If you’ve been in marketing for long, you know what we’re talking about. If you look at it with a new perspective, you’ll realize that job postings are pretty much comparable to PPC ads. You can use your imagination and creativity to optimize the postings with image and copy changes as and when required.
Your workload will be lessened by a considerable amount if you actually manage to attract the right kind of SEO companies. If you wish to include the salary levels in the first round of tests itself, then you can try removing it in the later ones. Use words that resonate with the people who are applying, and make sure that the content and imagery are not ambiguous.
#4. Figure out if the SEO company can tell stories
An out-of-the-box SEO management company is capable of immaculate execution tactically as well as creatively. And as one already knows, creative people are great storytellers. This approach will also let you figure out what the SEO services company is all about, and what it stands for. Whitepapers, case studies, and references are all good, but you need to know if the applicant can take her/his imagination further and weave an engaging story. Their experiences, background, successes, and failures can tell you a lot about them. Get to know the SEO firm’s history; how they came about, what their best client experience has been till date, whether they have faced hurdles they couldn’t cross at all, and how they intend to enhance their services in the coming years.
#5. Use tricky questions
Tricky questions will never bother a candidate who is good at his/her work. These questions are designed to trap those who pretend to know it all. These bookish people may come up with best theoretical practices, but SEO is more than that – it is about taking care of metrics like testing, measuring, agility, reacting and dealing with an ever-evolving industry. To know more about your candidates, you could go for queries like:
How do you optimize meta keywords? The smart candidate would know that it makes no difference even if one does not optimize the meta keywords because it has no significance for Google. The meta descriptions have no bearing even on the rankings.
The candidate should know the basic difference between Penguin and Panda. While Penguin is all about links of low-quality, Panda is about content that is low-quality.
If you went in to ask what a good keyword density was and the answer was anything but that then it’s a worthless metric to go for; you know you’re barking up the wrong tree.
#6. Get an expert for Round 2
It would be of immense help to pull in someone who is a subject matter expert (SME) for the second round of interviews. The SME would be able to use his/her expertise and judge the candidate for skills as well as ability. An expert would know much more about algorithm updates, best practices and the latest goings-on in the industry. So, if a candidate flounders in answering questions that only an expert would know well, at least the SME will make sure that he/she is not considered for the job. Likewise, if someone manipulates systems or operates outside prescribed guidelines, it would make little sense to hire her/him.
#7. Go for a trial period
So, you have finally found the right candidate. One who is capable of adding value to your company with her/his skills and the one who inspires confidence in you. You are thinking of building a long-term relationship with her/him, but before that, it would do you good to give a trial run. This will let you know how they fare in the real world.
The trial should be about handing over responsibilities to the candidate that are well-defined and clear. With projects and assignments to complete in a stipulated time frame, you will also get to know of their pressure-handling attitudes. Their duties should also be connected to their personal values.
Once you have invested time and efforts in aligning personal values to the job duties, you will notice enhanced performance as well as loyalty from the candidates you have chosen.
It might take more than a few months to hire the right SEO company, but you will realize that it’s well worth the efforts and see what it can manage to do to your brand and your business. With the ever-evolving digital landscape moving at light speed, getting the right SEO management company on board would probably be one of the wisest business decisions you will ever make. Take note of the tips mentioned above, and you’ll figure that you’ve done yourself a great favour that will transform the landscape of your business.
If search engine optimization (SEO) is something that you are interested in but don’t know how to get started, contact us today to schedule your marketing analysis.