Hiring an SEO Expert: Tips for Hiring an SEO Specialist in Canada

Updated: September 20, 2023

Hiring an SEO expert

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, the demand for a skilled SEO expert is skyrocketing, especially for startups eager to carve out their own niche in the market. Every day, more and more businesses are realizing that having a robust digital presence is not just a luxury, but a necessity to increase brand awareness, traffic, leads, and sales.

But here’s where it gets tricky for new businesses and startups. The market is inundated with large corporations with deep pockets, all competing for the top SEO talents to enhance their visibility on Google. This competition presents a steep mountain to climb for startups and growing businesses, who often find themselves asking the pivotal question – when is the right time to bring an SEO expert on board?

And it’s not just about ‘when’; the ‘how’ is equally crucial. The road to finding that perfect fit – an individual who not only brings expertise but also resonates with your brand ethos – can be a complex one, laden with numerous challenges.

If you are standing at this crossroads, contemplating the step of hiring an SEO expert to elevate your online presence, this guide is for you. This guide will unravel the nuances of how and when to hire an SEO expert for your business.

Understanding the role of an SEO expert

What is SEO?

Simply put, SEO (search engine optimization) is a series of strategies implemented to increase the visibility of a website on search engine result pages (SERPs). The goal is to drive organic traffic to your site, enhancing its credibility and boosting business opportunities.

Read our guide to SEO in Canada

Why is SEO crucial for your business?

SEO isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental aspect of online success. A well-optimized website can attract more visitors, translate to higher conversion rates, and ultimately, more profits. By targeting the right audience through optimized content and user-friendly experiences, you can set your business apart in the crowded digital space.

What does an SEO expert help with?

What exactly does an SEO expert help with? What are the typical roles and responsibilities of an SEO expert? Here’s the types of tasks an SEO specialist could help your business with:

1. Strategic SEO planning and implementation

An SEO expert is your go-to person for crafting a strategy that is tailored to your business needs. They analyze market trends, understand your audience’s preferences, and develop a roadmap that aligns with your business goals. The result? A well-oiled machine ready to conquer the digital space.

2. Keyword research and on-page optimization

The backbone of SEO lies in keyword research. SEO experts dedicate time to understand the keywords your potential customers are using and then weave these keywords strategically into your content, helping you rank higher on search engines and attract the right audience.

3. Technical SEO audits and implementation

From website speed to mobile optimization, an SEO expert proficient in technical SEO in Calgary takes care of all the nitty-gritty details that make your website user-friendly and easy to navigate, ensuring a smooth and engaging user experience.

4. Content briefing, writing and editing

Content is king in SEO. An SEO expert assists in curating content and building briefs that are not only SEO-optimized but also resonate with your audience, crafting narratives that engage and convert potential customers into loyal ones.

5. Link building

Building quality backlinks is a meticulous process, and it’s one of the SEO expert’s vital roles. By establishing connections with reputable websites and creating quality content, they help improve your website’s authority and visibility.

6. Analytics and reporting on organic traffic

Understanding your website’s performance is crucial in the ever-competitive digital landscape. An SEO expert leverages top SEO tools to gauge the performance of your SEO strategies, offering insights and data-driven recommendations for continuous improvement.

7. Local SEO

If your business caters to a local audience, an SEO expert specializing in local SEO in Calgary can optimize your website to appear in local searches, enhancing your visibility and attracting more customers from your geographical area.

Top things to look for in an SEO expert

SEO experience and expertise

Just like in any other field, experience is a reliable barometer of an expert’s competence. A seasoned SEO specialist will bring a wealth of knowledge and tested strategies to the table. Look for an SEO expert who has years of experience.

Case studies and portfolios

During the hiring process, ask potential candidates for SEO case studies and portfolios to gauge their experience. These materials demonstrate their expertise and the kind of results they’ve achieved in the past.

Familiar with the latest SEO trends and changes

SEO is a constantly evolving field. An ideal SEO expert should not only be well-versed with the current trends but should also be inquisitive enough to keep updating their knowledge. Working with an SEO specialist who keeps on top of Google’s algorithm updates and the latest ranking factors can give your business an edge – for example, knowing how to leverage an AI-assisted content approach, structured data markup, the importance of site speed and mobile-friendly sites and so on.

Familiarity with Core Web Vitals

A recent Google update your SEO expert should be familiar with is Google’s Core Web Vitals (CWV), a set of metrics Google considers important for user experience. Knowledge in this area shows that the expert is keen on providing a good user experience, which is a massive plus in SEO – even better if they’ve had experience optimizing for Core Web Vitals and Site Speed using tools like GTmetrix, Lighthouse and Page Speed Insights and can collaborate well with your developers to properly implement recommendations.

What questions should you ask an SEO expert before hiring them?

Finding the right SEO expert is like trying to find the right puzzle piece; it should fit seamlessly, enhancing the bigger picture of your business. Here are the top essential questions to ask an SEO expert:

1. Time frame for results

SEO isn’t a one-off task; it’s a continuous process. While it is natural to expect results, it is equally important to understand that SEO results take time. A prospective SEO expert should be able to give you a realistic timeframe for achieving your goals.

2. ROI expectations

Similarly, setting a realistic expectation for the return on investment (ROI) is essential. Discuss your business goals and how the expert plans to achieve a satisfactory ROI through their strategies.

3. Reporting and communication

Ask how they plan to keep you updated on the SEO process and results. Understanding the frequency and detail of the reports can give you an insight into how transparent and communicative they will be.

4. Past successes and references

Don’t hesitate to ask for references or case studies of their previous work. Knowing they have a successful track record can give you peace of mind and assurance that you are making the right choice

How to hire an SEO expert in Canada

Where to find SEO experts

There are several platforms where you can find SEO experts in Calgary and more broadly across Canada, including LinkedIn, Upwork, and SEO agencies.

A widely recommended approach is to lean on referrals from business acquaintances or networks who have firsthand experience with an SEO expert or agency; they can guide you to individuals or teams who have proven their worth in real scenarios.

Freelance platforms vs. agencies

You might find yourself torn between hiring through freelance platforms or agencies. While freelance platforms might offer more competitive rates, agencies often provide a team of experts with a diverse skill set. Here is where you need to prioritize quality over anything else.

While freelance platforms might offer more competitive rates, the trade-off can often be a dip in the quality of work delivered. There, you might stumble upon individuals who are still experimenting in the field, lacking the expansive knowledge and experience required to tailor a successful SEO strategy.

On the other hand, agencies, especially those renowned for their expertise, like Glenbow Ranch SEO, come with a promise of quality and reliability. Agencies bring to the table a team of experts, each harbouring a diverse skill set, ready to be deployed for your benefit. They navigate the intricate pathways of SEO with adeptness, guiding your business to reach unprecedented heights.

Selecting an agency that comes through referrals ensures that you are not venturing into unknown territory; instead, you are treading a path that has already been tested and approved by others in your network.

To secure the best for your business, focusing on agencies with a proven track record and a reputation for delivering top-notch SEO solutions should be your priority. Make an informed choice, and watch your business flourish under the meticulous guidance of seasoned SEO experts.

Interview questions to ask an SEO consultant

It is critical to ask the right questions during the interview process to assess the expert’s competency and compatibility with your business goals. Ask about their experience in your industry and their approach to SEO. This will help you determine if they are a good fit for your business. Use the questions we shared above as starting points for narrowing down your list of SEO hires, and then once you’ve found 2-3 top candidates expand based on your business priorities to include top SEO interview questions like:

  1. What kind of SEO tools do you use, and why?
  2. How do you approach keyword research and selection?
  3. What strategies do you employ for content development and optimization?
  4. How do you measure SEO success and what KPIs do you focus on?
  5. What is your approach to building high-quality backlinks?
  6. How do you handle technical SEO elements such as site speed, mobile optimization, and secure connections?
  7. What strategies do you use to improve local SEO?
  8. How do you approach on-page and off-page SEO differently?
  9. What is your experience with recovering from a Google penalty, and how would you go about it?
  10. Can you outline your reporting process? How often will we receive reports and what will they include?
  11. How do you conduct competitor analysis and how does it inform your strategy?
  12. What is your experience in our industry, and how have you achieved success for other companies in our niche?
  13. How do you align SEO strategies with a company’s overall business objectives and goals?

Working with an SEO expert

Communication and reporting

Once you hire an SEO expert, establishing a clear communication channel is essential. Regular updates and reports will help in keeping track of the progress.

Feedback and adjustments

SEO is a trial and error process. Being open to feedback and ready to make necessary adjustments is key to forging a successful collaboration.

Ready to find the right SEO expert for your business?

Hiring the right SEO expert can propel your business to new heights, charting pathways to success that are both substantial and sustainable. By following this detailed guide, you align yourself for a successful collaboration, one grounded in expertise and driven towards realizing your envisioned business goals.

As you venture into finding that perfect collaborator, consider reaching out to Glenbow Ranch SEO, a top Alberta SEO consulting company revered for its knack in delivering tailor-made SEO strategies that resonate with your business narrative. Leverage their adept team to steer your business in the direction of uncharted growth and unprecedented successes. Make the choice for excellence; choose Glenbow Ranch SEO.

Frequently asked questions about hiring an SEO expert

What is the average cost of hiring an SEO expert?

  • The cost can vary widely depending on the expert’s experience level, the complexity of your website, and the scope of the project. Generally, it ranges from $50 to $200 per hour.

Can I hire an SEO expert for a short-term project?

  • Yes, many SEO experts offer services for short-term projects such as website audits or on-page optimization.

How to measure the success of an SEO expert?

  • Success can be measured through various metrics including improvements in search rankings, increase in organic traffic, and higher conversion rates.

What are some common red flags when hiring an SEO expert?

  • Beware of experts promising quick results, those using black-hat SEO techniques, and those who are not willing to adapt to the latest SEO trends.

Do SEO experts provide a guarantee for their services?

  • While no one can guarantee specific results due to the ever-changing nature of SEO, a reputable expert will be confident in their ability to improve your site’s performance.

Can an SEO expert help with content creation?

  • Yes, many SEO experts are proficient in content creation, helping to craft content that is both user-friendly and optimized for search engines.

How often should I communicate with my SEO expert?

  • Regular communication, such as bi-weekly or monthly updates, is essential to keep track of the progress and make necessary adjustments.

Can I learn SEO myself instead of hiring an expert?

  • While you can learn the basics of SEO, it is a complex field that requires a deep understanding and constant learning. Hiring an expert can save time and ensure a more strategic approach to SEO. If you’re looking to get started on your own, read our starter guide to SEO for small businesses.