Google Webmaster: How To Hire a SEO Expert

Updated: Jan 30

Highlights From Google's Webmaster Maile Ohye

If you want long-term success there aren't any quick magical tricks.

A good SEO expert will recommend best practices for a search friendly site from basic things like descriptive page titles for a blog or small business to more complex things like language markup for a multilingual global site.

SEO helps ensure that you're giving your online customers a good experience especially those coming from a search engine and that your site is helpful whether they're using a desktop computer or mobile phone.

In most cases, the SEO expert will need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.

What's good for SEO is also doing what's good for your online customers. Things like having a mobile-friendly website, good navigation, and building a great brand.

A good SEO doesn't focus only on search engine ranking but how they can help your business so they should ask questions like:

  • what makes your business content and/or service unique and therefore valuable to customers?

They want to know this information to make sure it's highlighted on your website for your current and potential new audience.

  • what does your common customer look like and how do they currently find your website?

  • How does your business make money?

  • Who are your competitors? What do they do well online and potentially offline?

Educate you and your staff on how search engines work so that SEO becomes part of your general business operations.

Request a technical and search audit if you trust your SEO candidate. Give them restricted view not full or right access to your Google search console data and even your analytics data before they actually modify anything on your website have them conduct a technical and search audit to give you a prioritized list of what they think should be improved for SEO.

Clean up your site and help your brand be more agile in the future. Plan of how to iterate and improve on the implementation or perhaps how to experiment and fail fast should the results not meet expectations that covers the structure of the technical and search audit.

In the technical audit, your SEO expert should be able to review your site for issues related to internal linking crawl ability, URL parameters, server connectivity, and response codes to name some.

If they mention that your site has duplicate content problems, that need to be corrected. Make sure they show you the specific URLs that are competing for the same query or that they explained it should be cleaned up for long term site health not initial growth.

An SEO expert should make sure that for branded queries, your website is providing a great experience that allows customers who know your brand or website to easily find exactly what they need and potentially convert.

An SEO expert can help you better make sense of the online competitive landscape. They can tell you things like here are the types of queries it would make sense for your business to rank, but here's what your competition is doing and why they rank where they do.

For Instance: perhaps your competition has great reviews really shareable content or they run a highly reputable site an SEO will provide recommendations for how to improve rankings for these queries and the entire searcher experience

They'll introduce ideas like update obsolete content, they might say your site is suffering because some of your well ranking content is obsolete, has poor navigation, a useless page title or isn't mobile-friendly.

SEO experts might say your site is suffering because some of your best articles are too far from the homepage and users would have a hard time finding it. We can better internally

link to your content to feature it more prominently generate buzz.

A good SEO will try to prioritize what ideas can bring your business the most improvement for the least investment and what improvements may take more time, but help growth in the long term once they talk with you and other members of your team.

When I talk with SEO experts one of the biggest holdups to improving a website isn't their recommendation, but it's the business making time to implement their ideas. If you're not ready to commit to making SEO improvements while getting an SEO audit may be helpful, make sure that your entire organization is on board else your SEO improvements.


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