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The SEO Hiring Guide: Decoding the Jargon for Everyday Success

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When it comes to enhancing your website’s visibility, the concept of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) often surfaces as a beacon of hope. But diving into the SEO world can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the terrain. If you’re at the brink of hiring an SEO expert or agency, or simply curious about how it can transform your website, this guide is tailored just for you, breaking down everything from the perfect timing to potential pitfalls.

Why Hire an SEO Specialist?

SEO isn’t just about fixing what’s broken; it’s about crafting from the ground up. Think of SEO specialists as architects and your website as the building. The ideal time to bring an SEO into the picture is during the initial design phase of your site or during a major redesign. This allows your SEO to lay down a solid foundation focused on search engine friendliness. However, if your site is already up and running, it’s not too late. A skilled SEO can step in to enhance what’s already there, ensuring your site communicates more effectively with search engines.

Early Integration

From the outset, integrating SEO can make a significant difference. Imagine you’re planning a new site or overhauling an existing one. By involving an SEO early, you can ensure that your site structure, navigation, and content are optimized for both search engines and users. This proactive approach not only helps in building a better user experience but also aligns your site’s architecture with search engine algorithms, which can dramatically improve your site’s visibility right from the start.

Improving Existing Sites

Even if your site has been around for a while, it’s never too late for improvements. An experienced SEO can analyze your current website and identify strategies to enhance its performance and search engine rankings. This might include revising content, improving site speed, or fixing navigation issues that could be hindering your site’s search engine performance.

Choosing the Right SEO for Your Needs

Not all SEOs are created equal. Finding the right one can be the difference between skyrocketing success and a frustrating money sink. Below are key steps and considerations when selecting an SEO expert, aimed at forging a partnership that not only enhances your site’s SEO but also aligns with your business values and goals.

Interviewing Candidates

When meeting potential SEOs, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Inquire about their previous projects, adherence to Google Search Essentials, and additional services that complement organic search efforts. Discuss expected outcomes, timelines, and how they measure their success. Understanding their experience in your specific industry or locale can provide insights into their capability to handle your unique needs.

Understanding Their SEO Strategy

It’s important to understand what techniques the SEO will use to improve your site. Effective SEO isn’t just about keywords and backlinks; it’s about building a comprehensive strategy that enhances your site’s relevance and authority. Ask for a clear explanation of their strategies, including any changes they plan to implement on your site. This transparency will help you gauge their expertise and ensure their methods align with your expectations and Google’s guidelines.

Red Flags in SEO

The SEO industry, while beneficial, has its share of pitfalls. Recognizing these early can save you from future headaches and potential penalties from search engines.

Questionable Practices

Beware of SEOs who promise guaranteed rankings or use dubious tactics like creating ‘shadow’ domains or ‘doorway’ pages. These techniques are designed to manipulate search engine results and are often penalized by Google. Always ensure that any recommended changes to your site can be backed by a trusted source, such as Google’s own documentation.

Avoiding Scams

Be vigilant against common scams such as unnecessary redirects or link schemes intended to artificially boost page rankings. These practices not only violate search engine policies but can also lead to severe repercussions, including removal from search engine indexes.


Choosing the right SEO is a critical decision that can significantly influence the online success of your business. By understanding the role of an SEO and asking the right questions, you can ensure a fruitful collaboration that not only enhances your website’s visibility but also supports your broader business goals. Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint; choosing a partner who is committed to ethical practices and aligns with your vision is essential for long-term success.

Some Insightful Questions To Ask Before Hiring An SEO Specialist

To get the most out of your investment in SEO services, it’s essential to be actively involved and committed to implementing the strategies recommended by your SEO expert. This process requires a notable amount of time and effort, and if you’re not ready to commit to these changes, you might not see the desired results. This commitment is crucial because SEO is a collaborative process where both parties—the business owner and the SEO specialist—need to work closely to achieve success.

When considering hiring an SEO, interviewing potential candidates thoroughly will help you gauge their expertise and compatibility with your business goals. Here are some insightful questions to ask:

  1. Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
  2. Do you follow the Google Search Essentials?
  3. Do you offer any online marketing services to complement your organic search business?
  4. What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
  5. What’s your experience in my industry?
  6. What’s your experience in my country or city?
  7. What’s your experience with developing international sites?
  8. What are your most important SEO techniques?
  9. How long have you been in business?
  10. How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

Additionally, an interested and committed SEO should inquire about your business to tailor their strategies effectively. They might ask:

  • What makes your business or service unique and valuable to customers?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How does your business make money, and how can search results help?
  • What other advertising channels are you using?
  • Who are your competitors?


Q1: Why is it important to be committed to implementing SEO changes?

  • Implementing SEO recommendations is vital as it involves both minor adjustments and major overhauls, which are necessary for improving your site’s performance and rankings.

Q2: What should I look for in an SEO’s previous work?

  • Look for clear, measurable improvements in search engine rankings, increased traffic, and case studies that demonstrate a deep understanding of different industries.

Q3: Why is it important for an SEO to follow Google Search Essentials?

  • Following Google Search Essentials ensures that the SEO practices align with the latest search engine guidelines, helping avoid penalties and improve search engine rankings.

Q4: What results should I expect from hiring an SEO expert?

  • Expect improvements in rankings, increased organic traffic, and better engagement metrics. However, be wary of guarantees for a specific rank, as SEO results can vary based on numerous factors.

Q5: How does knowing my business help an SEO expert?

  • Understanding your business helps the SEO tailor strategies that align with your unique selling points, target audience, and overall business goals, which can lead to more effective outcomes.

Q6: What communication should I expect from my SEO expert?

  • Regular updates, detailed reports, and transparency regarding changes made to your site are crucial. This ensures you remain informed about the strategies being implemented and the rationale behind them.

Q7: How long does it take to see results from SEO?

  • Results can vary, but typically it takes several months to see significant changes. SEO is an ongoing process that builds over time.

Q8: Is it necessary for an SEO to have experience in my specific industry?

  • While it’s not mandatory, industry experience can be beneficial as it brings insights into specific challenges and benchmarks, enabling more tailored and effective SEO strategies.

By asking these questions and ensuring a proactive approach to SEO, you can establish a strong working relationship with your SEO expert, leading to a more successful and impactful outcome.

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