Hiring a Technical SEO Consultant 101 – All You Need to Know
Ranking a website or a web page on Google SERPs is difficult without the help of an SEO expert.
Freelance SEO specialists and agencies are the experienced professionals you can hire to bring your website to the top of search results and remain competitive in your space.
Google and other search engines constantly change the algorithms they use to ensure that only the most relevant content for a given query is ranked in top positions. SEO consultants understand these algorithms and keep your website updated as search engines evolve.
What Is a Technical SEO Consultant?
A technical SEO consultant is a professional who helps make your website more technically optimized so it provides a better experience. This involves making the website faster, making it easier for Google to crawl and index, and making the website architecture coherent to both search engines and human users.
SEO experts can incorporate high-ranking keywords into your content and drive a ton of traffic to your business. Increased traffic, in turn, can be converted to leads that increase site revenue.
The only question that remains is how to hire the best SEO consultants. In this guide, we will look at all the factors you should consider before welcoming a technical SEO expert to your team.
Why Hire a Technical SEO Consultant?
SEO is a complex process and it requires a specific set of skills, plus technical and networking knowledge. Business owners can’t be skilled in all aspects of marketing and they need someone with this skill set to help address the marketing and optimization needs of a business. Hiring a technical SEO expert enables you to keep your website optimized, even with a packed schedule.
Why It’s Worth Hiring a Technical SEO Expert
One of the primary advantages of hiring SEO specialists is to build real connections.
SEO experts can help you take advantage of inbound marketing. Every business wants to get its products in front of the right audience and gain customer loyalty. With the right inbound marketing tactics, you can connect with these valuable customers and make them feel understood and empowered.
This is particularly true in technical SEO, where the most minute details can have a big cumulative impact. If a website runs a second or two longer than the user has patience for, it can drive away traffic that amounts to thousands of dollars a month.
Every marketing strategy is based on three pillars. Getting yours right will allow you to make the most of your marketing plans. The three pillars of marketing are:
- Attract – With the help of a technical SEO consultant you will not only be able to attract customers; you will attract the right customers.
- Engage – SEO consultants use their training to create personalized copy that will increase user engagement and encourage users to buy from your brand. In the case of a technical SEO expert, this means making sure your website is well-organized and easy to see at first glance what everything on your website is and does.
- Retain – The final step of every marketing strategy is to please customers and gain their loyalty. Websites with a good user experience and are optimized to website management best standards will attract customers that keep coming back.
When to Hire SEO Freelancers
After you’ve identified the specific SEO needs of your website, you’re ready to scout and hire a technical SEO consultant for your organization. Some of the best places to hire experienced SEO consultants include:
Job boards are a widely used and trusted source for hiring top talent. These boards are frequented by top freelancers and allow you to select candidates with provable qualifications. Popular job boards are:
- Indeed – This board has a deep pool of talent. You can use filters to highlight candidates with specific qualities and make the search easier for you.
- Upwork – This is among the most popular platforms for hiring a freelance SEO specialist. Candidates have to go through a strict verification process to join this platform, so you know you can trust individuals from this platform.
- AngelList – This platform is popular among startups because of its massive talent pool. If you are looking for a technical SEO consultant you can find your ideal match here.
- ProBlogger – This platform is among the best for sourcing SEO writers.
- Fiverr – This platform includes a lot of SEO consultants at various price points. However, due to the sheer number of profiles you may have to look harder to find the right candidate for your needs.
Social is another way to find the right candidate.
You can use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Reddit to find a technical SEO consultant.
Many SEO consultants have websites of their own where they list their services. A simple Google search might lead you to a top-ranking website and a consultant for your firm.
If a consultant’s website is ranking higher, it is proof of their competence. You can trust their skills. Finding an SEO consultant using Google will allow you to assess the candidate’s skills using SEO itself.
Reach Out to Your Network
This is among the most trusted methods of recruitment. You can ask people from your network to locate an experienced technical SEO consultant. By sourcing a consultant using people you know and trust, the consultant will likely be a good fit for your organization and possess all skills you need.
Interview Questions to Ask
After you have decided on a channel for your search, the next step is to find the best candidate for the role and filter out the thousands of choices you have on offer. These interview questions will help you compare the skills of your SEO consultant candidates and decide who is best for the job.
Can You Give a Summary of Your Process for Optimizing Websites?
This question allows you to gauge a consultant’s proficiency.
Ask a consultant to share tips and tricks for improving a site’s performance. Will the consultant be able to identify crawl errors, consolidate subdomains or resolve 301-redirect chains? A full-service agency, for example, will be able to offer a range of marketing services and can support your company’s success.
What Tools Do You Use for Conducting Technical SEO Audits?
Several tools are used to diagnose a site’s performance, practices and even competitors’ SEO success. Some of the most popular tools are Moz and SEMrush, however, you can conduct a quick search to familiarize yourself with the popular tools before the interview.
Ask your candidates which technical SEO audit tools the SEO consultant uses. How knowledgeable are they with the latest tools?
How Do You Measure the Progress of Your Technical SEO Efforts?
This is an important question to ask. You need to know how your technical SEO consultant evaluates the success of their efforts.
Ask them to share the factors that will account for the site’s performance, along with the tools they will use. You can also ask to see their internal processes and see for yourself how they generate consistent, repeatable results.
List Your Current And Past Clients
Any technical SEO expert who has experience will be able to show case studies or refer to past clients – how they boosted Google PageSpeed scores or guided web developer teams through CMS migrations. They can share their success stories and some significant names to prove their proficiency in the area.
Can You Guarantee I’ll Rank Number One on Google and Bing?
This is a “trick” question. You’re not looking for a “yes.” If the candidate offers this as a guarantee, it means they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Candidates can only try to improve the website’s performance. If they guarantee a top 3 ranking on Google SERPs for a keyword they are either lying or they will use unethical practices to achieve the goal.
How Do You Stay Informed About Technical SEO Developments and Algorithm Updates?
Since search algorithms are regularly improving, you want a dedicated technical SEO expert who will keep up with changing trends. You should always question potential candidates about changing algorithms and what they will do to strengthen the website’s authority. Ensure they only list white hat (ethical) SEO practices and verify that they know and adhere to strict Google’s guidelines.
How Often Will We Communicate? How Often Do You Send Out Reports?
You want to see regular improvements in your site’s performance. You should ask potential SEO consultants for regular reports at specific intervals, usually weekly, monthly and quarterly. This will allow you to track the progress of your site and review results.
What Are Your Fees And Payment Schedule?
Before hiring a technical SEO expert, you should know about their payment structure.
Several consultants expect project-based payments. These payments can range depending on candidates’ skills and the project’s requirements.
Ask candidates when payment is due. You can clear payments within 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on your relationship with the candidate.
Technical SEO Interview Questions:
If you are hiring a more advanced SEO expert you will need to ask them more technical questions in order to review their understanding of SEO subject matter.
What Is a Robots.Txt File? What Is It For?
A robots.txt file is a text page placed on the root level of the server. The robots.txt file excludes some pages on the site from getting indexed by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
What Is 301 Redirect? What Is It Used For? How Is It Different From 302 Redirects?
This is a permanent redirect of a domain or a URL. The redirect 301 is primarily used to redirect inactive pages to newer and active pages. A redirect 302, on the other hand, is a temporary redirect and it doesn’t pass the link equity. To ensure the link equity is passed, one should always use redirect 301.
What Is a Canonical Tag?
A canonical tag is a meta tag placed on the page to inform search engines of the preferred version of the website. It is used to reduce duplicate content on a website.
Yes. This can be tested using Search Console. With Search Console, you can fetch and render pages to review which elements are displayed correctly.
Can Search Engines Crawl Content in PDF Files?
Yes, Google crawls and indexes these types of files. They also appear in search results. PDF files are often forms, templates and other similar documents.
Should You Hire an Agency Instead?
A technical SEO expert can understand your firm’s requirements and may be able to help you optimize your website.
However, hiring a technical SEO agency will give you access to a team of SEO experts working on website optimization. An agency has relevant experience, a whole team of people to support you, and offers more comprehensive services compared to SEO consultants.
Some benefits of hiring an SEO agency include:
With a technical SEO company, you get more value for your money. An agency will execute your project, with a team of SEO experts working on your website.
Hiring a trusted SEO agency is more cost-effective than hiring a freelance technical SEO expert.
Experience and Professionalism
SEO agencies only hire the best SEO experts. This means you get the most experienced and professional team of SEO experts working on your project. You can leave your website in their hands and they will attend to it with their years of experience.
Access to Other Digital Marketing Services
With an SEO agency you are not just limited to optimization. The agency can offer insights on elements lacking from your site and correct them for you.
Whether redesigning your website or advertising it on social media, they can help you with everything.
An SEO agency has a dedicated and experienced team covering all aspects of marketing.
Your content will be written by professional writers. Experienced SEO consultants will work on link building and optimizing. When experts work on your project your SEO performance will improve.
How Much Do Technical SEO Consultants Cost?
The cost of technical SEO consultants depends on the project and solution you choose.
- An in-house SEO expert will cost around $84,172 USD per year.
- An SEO agency will cost between $75–100 USD per hour or $1,000–3,000 USD per month.
- An average freelance technical SEO expert will cost $218.62 USD per project.
Follow this process and you’ll be close to finding an experienced, competent and qualified technical SEO expert who can make your website run fast, provide a good user experience, and make it easy for Google to find you!
To summarize, here are some of the steps you can take to find the right technical SEO consultant for you:
- Scour job boards like Indeed and Fiverr
- Put lines out on social media
- Do a Google search and browse the websites of technical SEO experts
- Reach out within your own network