Feb 15, 2017
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So … how do you hire an SEO?

This week Google updated the ‘Do you need an SEO?’ page of their webmaster support center with a video that outlined four key steps all businesses should take once they have decided to hire an SEO expert to help increase their organic search rankings and performance.

Maile Ohye, an 11 year Google veteran and Developer Programs Tech Lead, said that any SEO hiring process should follow these steps:

  1. Conduct a 2-way interview with your potential SEO. Check that they seem genuinely interested in you and your business
  2. Check their references.
  3. Ask for (and you’ll probably have to pay for) a technical and search audit.
  4. Decide if you want to hire.

It’s unique for Google Search or Webmasters team to make sure a definitive “Here is how you do XYZ in Google Search” statement. Looking at our own process for discovery and onboarding new SEO customers, these four recommended steps *already exist* in our flow!

  1. We vote on every client that walks through our doors. The vote (amongst FTE’s of MKG) requires a 100% “yes I would like to work with this customer” response or we refer the client to another SEO consultancy. It’s even noted on our website!
  2. After the initial discovery call, we ask the prospective client to speak to at least one of our customers before going any further in our discussion.
  3. Our first order of business when hired is to perform our home grown 6-Point SEO Audit. We audit technical and HTML aspects of your website, social signals, geographic ranking factors and more. A dummy template of this 6-Point Audit is shared with all prospective clients before they sign an agreement to work with us so they can tangibly see the output.

Additionally, Maile actually confirmed that it can take between 4 and 12 months upon hiring the SEO to see results.  A February 2017 hrefs study found that 95%+ of *new* pages won’t crack a top 10 SERP ranking in the first 12 months they are live, but for those that do it can take 2 to 6 months. This includes giving that resource time to perform an audit, put a plan in place, deploy changes to production and have search engines crawl and re-index those changes.

Check out Maile’s tips in this video and let us know about YOUR experience hiring SEO’s in the comments section of this post.


About the Author

CEO of MKG Marketing Inc

Mike Krass | CEO

Aside from being the CEO at MKG Marketing Inc, Mike is a dark beer aficionado with a healthy appetite for travel and pushing personal boundaries. A proud graduate of Washington State University, Mike currently calls New Orleans home.

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