Hiring the right Search Engine Optimization (SEO) manager is a weighty decision for your company. Your company's SEO practices are a vital part of your marketing and one of the biggest elements of establishing a high visibility web presence. Bad SEO will at best be ineffective, but at worst could get your site blacklisted by major search engines such as Google.
A prospective SEO manager may seem confident on paper and come across well in person, but still engage in practices that will damage the reputation of your company.
However, there are some signs you can look out for that will help you to avoid hiring the wrong SEO manager for your company.
1. Claims that cannot be verified
If a potential SEO manager makes a lot of outlandish claims about their past achievements, this could be a red flag. It is worth checking out their claims to make sure they are talking about solid results, not just trying to win you over with grandstanding. It is vital that you ask for a portfolio of their past SEO achievements. A good SEO manager will be able to talk to you about several successful SEO campaigns they have been involved in, including the strategy they used and the results they were able to achieve – with verifiable evidence.
2. Unrealistic promises
Stay clear of any SEO manager who tells you they can have you in the top ten rankings on Google within days, or even weeks. Good SEO takes time to design, apply and build upon. Anyone who claims they can bypass the hard work and hours logged in favor of fast results is unlikely to be a legitimate candidate. Either they will simply not deliver – because good SEO cannot be done that fast – or they will use unethical techniques or paid ads to boost your rankings. These techniques may cost you money or even your reputation with Google.
Read related articles in Business Review USA
3. Mention of black hat SEO techniques
Search engines index sites using sophisticated algorithms that provide information about the site being indexed. These algorithms are being constantly improved upon. If your SEO manager uses any of the so called “black hat” or illegal SEO techniques, they are risking your site being blacklisted or blocked by major search engines. Black hat techniques include hiding keywords in the text or meta tags, stuffing pages with keywords, fake “gateway” pages that are intended for search engines rather than the end user, and participation in link farms – lists of unrelated links that exist solely for SEO purposes.
4. Lack of current knowledge of the industry
A good SEO manager will ensure that they are up to date with the current developments in the SEO industry. Search engines regularly update the ways in which they search and index pages, and how they handle bad SEO when they find it. Part of the job of an SEO manager is to keep abreast of those developments and know how best to handle them. To ascertain whether your prospective manger is up to date, ask them about a recent development or even an outdated one, and see how accurate their response is.
5. Over focused on search engine rankings
Search engine rankings are an important part of successful SEO, but they are only a part. Good search engine rankings help to keep your site visible, and may also be used as an indicator of how well your marketing is performing. However, a good SEO manager will understand that good SEO is not only about getting near the top in Google. Good SEO is about managing your overall web presence, and using good quality SEO to drive traffic to your business – traffic which then leads to a good conversion rate and sales.
Done properly, SEO is very valuable to your company. Good SEO management is a skill, a skill that can help better your company’s online reputation.
About the author
Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, positive thinking, and small business.