Hi all!

Google has released a handy video guide on “How to Hire an SEO”. We are promoting this video because we believe that business owners should hear this right from the Search Engine they are optimizing for (primarily). Maile Ohye, a Googler, part of the Google Search team for 10 or so years, is the face behind that video. The video itself goes into detail on how to hire an SEO, including what to watch out for.

Here’s a screenshot of their suggested hiring process, but watch the whole thing for a ton of great insight into the hiring process (e.g. questions to ask, things to consider, and things you can do on your own to get started!)

How to Hire An SEO – Transcript

I like to share advice to help you hire
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a useful SEO and prevent hiring a bad
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SEO one who you might pay a lot of money
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without positive results or even worse
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one who implements shady practices on
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your website that result in a reduction
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in search rankings
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SEO stands for search engine
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optimization to some SEO seems like
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black magic
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having worked with google search for
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over a decade what I’ve learned is that
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first it’s not black magic and second if
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you want long-term success there aren’t
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any quick magical tricks that SEO will
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provide so that your site ranked number
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one it’s important to note that an SEOs
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potential is only as high as the quality
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of your business or website so
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successful SEO help your website put
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your best foot forward so that it ranks
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appropriately in the spot where an
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unbiased potential customer would expect
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your sight to be seen a successful SEO
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also looks to improve the entire search
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experience from search results to
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clicking on your website and potentially
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converting a good SEO will recommend
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best practices for a search friendly
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site from basic things like descriptive
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page titles for a blog or small business
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to more complex things like language
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market for a multilingual global site
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SEO ensure that you’re serving your
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online customers a good experience
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especially those coming from a search
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engine and that your site is helpful
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whether they’re using a desktop computer
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or mobile phone in most cases the SEO
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will need for months to a year to help
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your business first implement
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improvements and then see potential
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benefits my strong advice when working
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with an SEO it to request that they
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corroborate their recommendation with a
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documented statement from google either
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and a Help Center article video or
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Google responsive flora that supports
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both won the SEOs description of the
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issue that needs to be improved to help
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with ranking and to the approach they
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prescribed to accomplishing
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task requesting these two bits of
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information will help prevent hiring a
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poor SEO who might otherwise convince
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you to do useless things like add more
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words to the keywords meta tag or by
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links because if you search for google
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advice on the topic you see blog posts
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and videos from us that clearly
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explained that adding keywords the meta
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tag would help
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furthermore while Google uses links for
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page ranks our documentation highlights
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that we strongly advise against the
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approach of buying links for the purpose
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of increasing pagerank one basic rule is
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that in a majority of cases doing what’s
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good for SEO is also doing what’s good
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for your online customers things like
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having a mobile-friendly website good
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navigation and building a great brand
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additionally if you’re a more
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established brand with complicated
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legacy systems then good search friendly
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best practices likely involves paying
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off some of your site’s technical debt
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such as updating our infrastructure that
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your website is agile and able to
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implement features faster in the long
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term if you own a small local business
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you can probably do the initial work
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yourself check out our 30-minute video
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series on how to build an online
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presence for your local business now if
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you still believe you want to hire an
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SEO here’s a general process one conduct
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a two-way interview with your potential
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SEO check that they seem generally
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interested in you and your business to
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check their references three-act for and
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you’ll probably have to pay for a
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technical and search audit for decide if
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you want to hire let’s break this down
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and start with step 1 conduct a two-way
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interview in the interview here are some
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things to look for a good SEO doesn’t
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focus only on search engine ranking but
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how they can help your business so they
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asked questions like what makes your
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business content and or service unique
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and therefore valuable customers they
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want to know this information to make
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sure it’s highlighted on your website
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for your current and put
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until new audience to what does your
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common customer look like and how do
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they currently find your website three
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how does your business make money and
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how can search help for what other
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channels are you using offline
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advertising social networks five who are
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your competitors
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what do they do well online and
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potentially offline if the SEO doesn’t
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seem interested and learning about your
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business from a holistic standpoint look
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elsewhere
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it’s difficult to do good SEO without
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knowing about it businesses goals their
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customers and other existing marketing
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efforts SEO should complement your
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existing work the second step and hiring
5:11
an SEO is to check references if your
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potential SEO provides prior clients be
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sure to check their references you want
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to hear from past clients that the SEO
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was able to provide useful guidance and
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work effectively with their developers
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designers us researchers and are
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marketers a good SEO should feel like
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someone you can work with learn from
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experiment with and who generally cares
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about you and your business not just
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getting your site the highest rank and
5:41
ultimately those techniques rarely last
5:44
long if they work at all they’ll want to
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educate you and your staff on how search
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engines work that SEO becomes part of
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your general business operations step
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three is to request a technical and
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search audit if you trust your SEO
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candidate give them restricted view not
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full or write access to your google
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search console data and even your
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analytics data before they actually
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modify anything on your website problem
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conduct a technical in search on it to
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give you a prioritized list of what they
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think should be improved for SEO if
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you’re a larger business you can hire
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multiple SEO to run audit and prioritize
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improvements see what each have to say
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and then determine who you could work
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with the best in the audit the SEO
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should prioritize improvements with a
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structure like one the issue to the
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suggested improvement three
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an estimate on the overall investment in
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other words the time energy or money it
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would take for your developers to
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implement the improvement and for google
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search as well as searchers and
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customers to recognize the improvement
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the SEO will need to talk with your
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developers to better understand what
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technical constraints may exist for the
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estimated positive business impact the
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impact might be a ranking improvement
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that will lead to more visitors and
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conversions or perhaps a positive impact
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comes from a back and change that cleans
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up your site and help their brand be
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more agile in the future
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five a plan of how to iterate and
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improve on the implementation or perhaps
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had experiment fail fast
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should the results not meet expectations
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that covers the structure of the
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technical and search audit now let’s
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talk about each of these audits
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individually in the technical audit your
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SEO should be able to review your site
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for issues related to internal linking
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call ability URL parameters server
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connectivity and response codes to name
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some if they mention that your site has
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duplicate content problems that need to
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be corrected make sure they show you the
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specific URLs that are competing for the
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same query or that they explained it
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should be clean that for long-term site
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health not initial growth
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I mention this because lots of duplicate
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content exists on websites and often
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it’s not a pressing problem in this
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search audit your potential SEO will
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likely break down your search queries
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into categories like branded and
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unbranded terms
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branda terms are those with your
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business or websites name like a search
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for gmail is a branded term while the
8:25
search for email is an unbranded or
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general keyword an SEO should make sure
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that for branded queries such as Gmail
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your website is provided a great
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experience that allows customers who
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know your brand new website to easily
8:39
find exactly what they need and
8:41
potentially convert they might recommend
8:43
improvements that help the entire search
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experience from what the searcher season
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search results to when they click on a
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result and use your website for
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unbranded queries
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an SEO can help you better make sense of
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the online competitive landscape they
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can tell you things like here are the
9:00
types of queries it would make sense for
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your business to rank but here’s what
9:04
your competition is done and why I think
9:06
they rank where they do for instance
9:08
perhaps your competition has great
9:11
reviews really shareable content or they
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run a highly reputable site and SEO will
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provide recommendations for how to
9:19
improve ranking for these queries and
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the entire search experience will
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introduce ideas like update obsolete
9:27
content they might say your site is
9:30
suffering because some of your well
9:31
ranking content is obsolete has poor
9:34
navigation a useless page title or is a
9:37
mobile-friendly let’s improve these
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pages and see if more website visitors
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converted purchase or they can micro
9:44
converts meaning that perhaps they
9:46
subscribe or share content improve
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internal linking your SEO might say your
9:52
site is suffering because some of your
9:54
best articles are too far from the home
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page and users would have a hard time
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finding it we can better internally link
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to your content to future it more
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prominently generate buzz vseo might say
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you have great content but not enough
10:11
people know we can try to get more user
10:14
interaction and generate buzz perhaps
10:16
through social media or business
10:18
relationships
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this will help us attract more potential
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customers and perhaps garner natural
10:23
links to your site learn from the
10:26
competition your SEO might explain
10:30
here’s what your competitors do well can
10:32
you reach parity with this and
10:34
potentially surpassed them utilities or
10:36
can be better show customers your
10:38
business’s unique value again a good SEO
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will try to prioritize what ideas can
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bring your business the most improvement
10:46
for the least investment and what
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improvements they take more time but
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help growth in the long term once i talk
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with you and other members of your team
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such as developers are marketers will
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help your business forge a path ahead
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the last thing i want to mention is that
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when i talked with SEOs one of the
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bigger
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hold up to improving a website isn’t
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their recommendations but it’s the
11:11
business making time to implement their
11:13
ideas if you’re not ready to commit to
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making SEO improvements while getting an
11:19
SEO audit may be helpful make sure that
11:22
your entire organization is on board
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else your SEO improvements may be
11:27
non-existent regardless of who you hire
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so that wraps it up thanks for watching
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and best of luck to you and your
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business