Search Engine Optimization can boost or break your career. With the right keyword placement, you can generate hefty organic traffic to your site. But if the same keywords are unnaturally shoved in meaningless sentences, your site will not only lose credibility but you may also risk being suspended by Google for spam. Thus, here’s a brief overview of what you should know before hiring an SEO expert and through which parameters you must judge one:

Research Experienced and Knowledgeable Companies

Have your human resource team look for experienced professionals instead of newbies who are only in the business for money-making. Ask for annual projects done by the candidates and compare the stats and progress of the companies they’ve worked with – primitive methods of SEO do not amount to substantial yearly progress.  A quick quiz can instantly differentiate an amateur from a professional. Thus, conventional interviews may not be enough for proper analysis.

Use the quiz to decipher the deep knowledge of the professional offering SEO services. This quiz should comprise of the special Google algorithm rules that are constantly updated each year. Having immense knowledge of the rules will enable the candidate to apply them properly and prevent the risk of blacklisting your web pages through spam. Only seasoned professionals shall be able to remember and apply the technical, two hundred and more rules that Google uses for a fool-proof algorithm.

Look for the Three-Tiered Structure in the Potential Candidate’s work

Search engine optimization is more complex than it sounds – one cannot simply add random keywords to bring up the website’s ratings. There are three main parameters that must be seamlessly incorporated for strengthening the credibility and streamlining the traffic into other pages of the site.

Google Indexing – a purely technical skill that enables Google to crawl into your website and bring it up on the search pages. An expert should be able to index the site on the top three searches, while a skilled worker should at least aim for the first page. This requires a secure and authentic site URL as well as original, useful content.

Proper use of on-page HTML meta tags: this is extremely useful when people post a long and unique query. Having uncomplicated text with meta tags increases the probability of users landing on your website and finding your article useful. But Google’s policies include cross-checking the use of these meta-tags to ensure that the top pages contain meaningful information instead of a plethora of incoherent keywords. If the person you hire ends up repeatedly doing the latter, there are chances that your site may be permanently blocked! Some SEO writers are so focused on building keywords through Google trends that may certainly jeopardize your online presence.

Finally, interlinking is the third parameter that helps the potential customer to stay on your site longer. This also helps generate ad-revenue through click-through ads. Furthermore, it also helps streamline the traffic and converts browsers into buys. An SEO expert should work with your marketing team to interlink your site with bloggers, content creators, page promoters as well as information providers. Thus, creating a web of interconnected channels based on a similar query or interest.

Robust Marketing Skills

As highlighted in the third parameter of SEO website structure, a degree in marketing is a plus. SEO can be a technical skill, whereas marketing requires more comprehensive knowledge and insight about the target users’ psychology. Hiring an SEO expert with a marketing degree is a plus, since building a successful website requires an amalgamation of the two. Also, it will decrease the financial burden of handling two separate SEO and marketing teams. Simultaneously, building a strong website that will load faster, does not contain too many pop-up ads, and is simplistic yet visually appealing and organized to the audience is a plus – since it will allow them to stay on your site longer.

Setting an Elaborate Plan, Knowing Monthly Goals, and Using the Right SEO Tools

Finally, once you have shortlisted your SEO candidates have them build a plan with tangible monthly goals. Ask all of them to be transparent and highlight the tools and techniques they shall use to achieve these goals. One with the most impressive and crystal-clear plan bags the job!