7 Steps to Hiring an Insanely Great SEO

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DIY SEO Auditing

7 Steps to Hiring an Insanely Great SEO

Stephan SpencerSEO Expert, founder of Netconcepts, co-author of The Art of SEO, www.stephanspencer.com

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldSTEPHAN SPENCERSEO Expert | Author | SpeakerCo-Author of The Art of SEO,Co-Author of Social eCommerce, Author of Google Power Search

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QUESTION:Are you in the market to hire an SEO employee, contractor, or agency?

1Get the Garden to Weed Itself

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldStep #1

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldDavid Lee Roth from Van Halen had a no brown M&Ms clauseComplicated lighting

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THE JOB POSTING

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldSet up deliberate hurdles for applicants to jump over, like Roth did.For example, leave a vm to apply, not email. If they dont do that, or in the vm they ramble, forget to leave their #, or have unprofessional background noises, theyre out.Attention to detail is incredibly important in SEO. However, instead of a light falling, your company's Google traffic could be decimated.

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DELEGATE THE SCREENING

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldDelegate to an assistant or direct report the job of reviewing the applications. He or she should scour over those applications not for content, but first for typos and grammatical errors. Lack of attention to detail in the application process portends even greater lack of attention to detail in the job itself. Also, big gaps in the resume?

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INCLUDE A RIDDLE OR TEST ASSIGNMENT

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldAn extra handy tip is to include a problem to solve or essay question to answer in the job posting. A riddle is one of my favorites because it demonstrates problem-solving skills and competence. Guarantee an in-person interview if they passed the test assignment.

QUESTION:What are some test assignments you would give?

Do specialized Google queriesCheck the cached date, page authority, IP address, mobile friendliness, page speed, last-modified date, of a particular URLCheck if a PDF has been noindexedCheck the EXACT number of pages indexed of a site

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DID THEY DEFEND THEIR WRONG ANSWER? DEALBREAKER!

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2Review Their Social Media Profiles

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ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldDig deep. Look back at least a year in their history.

Social Media QuestionsAre they connected and active with other SEOs? Do they ask and answer SEO questions? What kind of content do they share? Have they ever publicly criticized or bashed their employers or clients? Is there evidence they participate in SEO conferences, Meetups, discussion groups?

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldSocial Media QuestionsHow are their spelling and grammar in their social media posts? Do they participate in events or donate time to volunteering? Are there "personality flags" such as anti-social behavior or mood swings? Is there racist, sexist, or other prejudiced content in their profiles? Is there evidence of excessive drinking or illegal drug use? Are there other red flags that the candidate is not a good cultural fit with your team?

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BE CAREFUL

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldYou do have to be careful about basing hiring decisions on viewing social media profiles however. Disregard much of the information you see on social media that should not affect the hiring process such as the person's age, disability, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. Having said that, over half of hiring managers do check social media profiles during the recruiting process!

3Use A/B Testing for Your Job Postings

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldA/B split test the job post copy and imagesTry including the salary range then not including itTest the job title/headline especially. The term "geeky" in the title attracted much more qualified candidates than the term "wicked smart." Test different ad outlets too. Does Linkedln produce better candidates than Monster.com? Does Craigslist work for you compared to SEMPO?

4Use Trick Questions in the First Interview

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldTrick questions aren't posed in an effort to trick the good candidate. They are instead designed to trick the person feigning up-to-date knowledge about good SEO.

QUESTION:What are some trick questions you would ask?

Trick QuestionsWhat's your process for optimizing meta keywords?What's a good keyword density to aim for?What's the difference between Panda and Penguin?Whats more important: attention to detail, honesty, dedication, technical acumen, creativity?

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QUESTION:Whats most important of these 5 qualities?

Trick Questions

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Text the word DFWSEM to 33444

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5Ask Specific Questions that Can Prove Expertise

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QUESTION:Whats your wellspring? Whats your quicksand?

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EXPERIENCE / EXAMPLES:GET SPECIFICS, CONTRARY EVIDENCE, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldWhoever talks the most in the interview loses.Ask about their favorite SEO tools. primary metrics of their supposedly favorite tools (e.g., PA, DA, mozRank, mozTrust), Panda vs Penguin

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LINK BUILDING PHILOSPHY

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldHow do they get in in front of the people who might link to them?If they talk about old school link building like wide scale guest blogging, buying links, exchanging links, etc. run, don't walk, the other way.

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TRAINING & TEACHING

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldAsk what SEO training they have given other people.Best way to learn is to teach it to others

6The Second Interview Bring in an Expert

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HIRE AN EXPERTFOR THE DAY

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7Confirm the Fit During the Trial Period

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@TwitterHandle #CMWorldDont train them yet.Give them discreet tasks.Minimum 2 weeks

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WHAT ARE THEIR STRENGTHS, PRIMARY & SECONDARY ADVANTAGES, DISC, VALUES?

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QUESTION:Do you run finalists or new hires through personality assessments?

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DEFINE ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES, HANDOFFS, SUCCESS METRICS

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DETERMINING VALUESDr. John Demartini's Value Determination testhttps://drdemartini.com/value_determination/determine_your_values

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MATCH DUTIES TO VALUES

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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QUESTION:Whats the best indicator of future behavior?

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THANK YOU!

You can reach me directly at stephan@stephanspencer.com

For my free SEO Hiring Practices PDF & SEO B.S. Detector PDF, text the word DFWSEM to 33444

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