Hiring SEO Experts: 6 Mistakes Digital Agencies Make
By: Shreoshe Ghosh
Updated On: January 31, 2023
The search engine optimization market is growing, fuelled by the digitalization of businesses. Small and medium-sized enterprises are increasingly adapting to SEO services to expand their customer base and remain competitive.
Annual spending on search engine optimization (SEO) services is predicted to rise from $41.97 billion in 2021 to $51.25 billion in 2022, growing at an annualized rate of 22.1%. The market will reach $108.89 billion in 2026 with a compound annual growth rate of 20.7%.
If you are planning to launch an SEO agency, the first thing you need to do is hire dedicated SEO experts. It’s not easy to find the right candidate, but if you carefully follow a few steps when interviewing candidates and consider certain factors, you can avoid mistakes that most agencies make when they hire dedicated SEO experts.
Let’s look at the common mistakes SEO agencies make when hiring an SEO expert and help you learn how to avoid them.
1. Not Testing the Candidate’s Industry Knowledge
If hiring people for your SEO agency, ensure you take time screening applicants. Since you’ll be paying them to work for you, you should expect them to be experienced and qualified enough to do the job right.
It’s easy to be conned by fake applicants if you don’t have a stringent screening process in place. When hiring an SEO professional, review the candidate’s experience carefully unless you’re hiring a fresh graduate.
An SEO expert should not be thought of as a one-time hire but as someone to continually add value to your business. As search engine algorithms continue to evolve, hiring an SEO professional who is aware of how the industry has progressed will mean that they can better understand your business’s needs for SEO.
You should ask your SEO candidate about the types of SEO projects they have handled in the past to tell if they have experience working with businesses like yours. If they have worked with other companies in your industry, try to understand what SEO tools they use and what strategies they’ve implemented to bring results for clients.
You should also find any reference contacts they’ve provided and ask them to describe the applicant’s SEO skills and overall professional demeanor.
2. Not Considering a Contract to Hire SEO Role
In the previous section, we discussed recognizing experienced SEO candidates for your agency. Now, let’s talk about hiring freshers or candidates with little experience in an SEO role.
If you’re starting an SEO company, hire employees with various experience levels. Many people are waiting to get a job and improve their skills simultaneously; if you hire such people, they might not only surprise you with their potential but will be much easier to hire in terms of remuneration.
Rather than hiring full-time employees right away, contract to hire people first. These new hires will have a chance to prove themselves before being hired permanently. Fresh graduates and people who have just started their SEO journey can assist your senior SEO experts in the agency and expand their knowledge on the job.
3. Not Analyzing the Technical SEO Knowledge of the Candidate
SEO can be divided into three categories: on-page optimization, off-page optimization and technical SEO. Many SEO agencies hire SEO experts based on their on and off-page skills and give little importance to their technical skills. This is a big mistake, which can cost you your reputation in the future.
Technical SEO ensures that Google and other search engines can see that your website is helpful to users. A critical factor in ensuring this is to improve the page experience. Typically, an SEO expert will conduct a thorough website audit to see what can be improved.
When an SEO professional is technically sound, they can give valuable insights to developers working on a website. They can offer important recommendations on page speed, rendering, lazy loading, HTML tags and other technical aspects of a website.
4. Hiring Dedicated Link Building Experts
Please stop if you plan to hire link-building experts for your SEO agency! Link-building experts may not have extensive SEO knowledge and the correct understanding of how poor content or backlink quality can affect the ranking of a website. They can be instead focused on the number of links they can build.
Furthermore, the cost of hiring link-building experts in the US is high, which can be difficult to bear for a small SEO agency just starting out. Additionally, it will take a single link-building expert a long period to build links with manual blogger outreach.
5. Hiring People Without Writing & Data Skills
It is not uncommon for SEO agencies to only look for employees with SEO skills. However, if you are looking for an SEO expert, the person should have other necessary skills, such as expertise in content creation and data analytics. Any small SEO agency will be blessed to have employees onboard who have these additional skills.
An SEO specialist who understands the value of good content and knows how to create it can benefit your agency greatly. When the person understands the value of good content in ranking a page, they can make the right content recommendations to improve page quality.
In addition, they can write blog posts and articles for clients, prepare case studies, make presentations and break down complex content ideas into simpler concepts that other team members can easily understand.
To grow your client’s business, it’s important to learn about what other companies in their industry are doing. Understanding the current situation and the rivals’ strengths and weaknesses is essential to SEO strategic planning. When your SEO expert knows how to do data analytics, they can look at your competitors’ backlink profiles, target keywords and weigh the pros and cons to develop a better ranking strategy for your client.
6. Hiring SEOs That Lack Social Skills
You are mistaken if you think interacting with clients is the sales team’s job. The best SEO professionals are also good at interacting with clients. It is important to look at the social skills of a potential SEO employee before hiring them, as they need to speak to clients from time to time to discuss requirements and progress.
Moreover, SEOs also need to attend conferences and events where they can build connections with people in their industry. In addition, networking with other SEO experts can be helpful in learning and improving SEO skills.
As the field is constantly changing, there is a lot of sharing of tools and tactics between professionals. This networking can also lead to connections with potential clients. Therefore, an SEO person needs good social skills to make industry connections.
So, there you have it: some of the biggest mistakes SEO agencies make when hiring SEO experts. If you’re an SEO agency owner, you probably have firsthand experience with this. Finding good SEO professionals with the same dedication and work ethic as your agency can be difficult. Moreover, there are always issues with finding the right candidate and negotiating the right salary.
So, what can you do to solve this problem?
Well, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a white-label SEO service provider like Stan Ventures. A white-label service provider will do all the heavy lifting on your behalf while you can rebrand their efforts as yours and share the same with your clients.
Stan Ventures have more than a decade of experience in offering digital marketing services, including fully managed SEO, powerful backlink building, and SEO reseller services to clients across various niches.
When agencies sign up for Stan Ventures’ services, they are asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect all confidential information. Stan Ventures never encourages leaking confidential information to others and doesn’t indulge in such unprofessional practices. The NDA is an integral part of their client’s onboarding process.
Once onboarding is complete, you’ll work with a dedicated account manager until the final handover. In addition, a team of SEO professionals, content specialists and link-building experts will collaborate on your project’s requirements and share timely reports and updates.
Stan Ventures is one of the most trusted Indo-American white-label SEO service providers. Its affordable and high quality SEO services make it easy for small agencies to outsource their SEO responsibilities. Stan provides templates for SEO proposals, audit reports, & white papers so that your agency has everything it needs to win the client’s confidence. You can use their unbranded reports or ask them to create reports that match your agency’s branding requirements.
Stan’s SEO reseller service is specially crafted to help smaller SEO agencies with client orders. Outsourcing your SEO requirements to a reputed SEO agency like Stan can help you in several ways. First, Stan provides special packages and prices for agencies. If you are a new agency with a limited budget and no prior experience working on different projects, this could be your best bet to get the work done with minimum investment and zero hassle.
In addition, Stan also has a reputation for quick turnaround time, something that many other SEO agencies fail to deliver. Stan understands how agencies struggle to handle different client deliverables every minute, which is why they have a talented team to help you fulfill these requirements within the promised deadlines.
Stan Ventures only uses white-hat SEO tactics and manual link-building processes to ensure your clients’ websites enjoy long-term success. They use premium tools for auditing clients’ websites, conducting keyword research, analyzing backlink profiles, and tracking their competitors. So, you can rest assured that the data reports they share are 100% accurate.
When you partner with Stan, your clients get end-to-end website optimization services. Stan’s SEO experts can take care of your clients’ on-page, off-page and technical SEO needs, driving organic traffic to their sites. Stan doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why strategy customization is at the core of their SEO and link-building services. They put your client’s needs first by creating customized strategies that fit their goals and objectives and are 100% transparent about those strategies.
Hiring writers for individual projects or your in-house team can be expensive. However, with Stan, there is no need to compromise on quality because their large, talented pool of writers can fulfill content requirements in bulk without increasing prices. They have a team of qualified native writers and editors who can research and write impeccable, search-engine-friendly content and ensure on-time delivery.
Stan Ventures offer professional backlink-building services that are done 100% manually and use only high-quality backlinks from relevant sites. With more than a decade of experience and an enviable database of top-quality websites across various niches, Stan Ventures can build relevant, high-quality backlinks that can increase client website authority.
Stan only builds relevant backlinks that guarantee excellent results. They select domains for backlinks based on 20+ parameters, including the age of the website and history of linking, which ensures that these backlinks add positive value to clients’ websites over time.
Stan has built relationships with niche bloggers, developing a network that enables guest posting services for clients. Stan does not pay for links but builds relationships with native writers who provide quality backlinks in exchange for guest posts. The team ensures that the backlink is placed naturally within the content and in a positive context. In addition, the price you pay to get this premium backlink-building service is highly affordable.
Since SEO is time-consuming, it requires a lot of time and dedication. But if you are a small agency owner, you might have to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, leaving you with no time to invest in SEO. In such a scenario, hiring an SEO agency to do it on your behalf can be a great decision.
You save time and money by hiring an experienced SEO agency to help you with your client deliverables. When hiring an SEO company, you get access to the resources and talent of a team of experts without investing in tools, software, and employee training.
At Stan Ventures, we developed an effective process that streamlined the way we orchestrate and manage complex projects. I will describe the process, its objectives and outcomes, along with how it can be adapted and used by other agencies.
Step 1: Be the Boss of Your Business
I would suggest any new digital marketing entrepreneur to ensure that they know out and out about the services offered to the clients.
This will give a huge shot in the arm as the person will feel more confident in what they are upto and also when there comes a critical conversation with the clients, the founder can pitch in and add additional value.
Also, knowing marketing skills will greatly help in strategizing the team and also channelizing their efforts into activities that really move the needle for the business as well as for the clients.
This doesn’t mean the founder should be a jack of all trades, but specializing in one core marketing aspect, for example, SEO, and having the knowledge of PPC, Email marketing web designing etc., will greatly help in scaling up the business in the long run.
Step 2: Your Forte Should Be Your Service
As mentioned above, you need to identify an area of expertise and once you are confident about it, consider adding it as the first service of your business.
If you take the other route by hiring a few top executives who are good in fields that aren’t your forte, you are entering murky waters because you’re at the mercy of these executives and you really don’t know how long they are going to stay with you.
So, make sure you have complete control of the strings of at least the first two services offered by the agency and as you scale up, you can find experts in each area and grow from there.
Step 3: Establish a Brand Presence
One of the most annoying things that most agency owners end up hearing from their prospects is “we haven’t heard about you.” In fact, most businesses that focus on an online client base fail to rank on Google organically in the initial months.
But that shouldn’t be your priority, at least for the first year of your business. You must explore ways other than Google organic search, which includes PPC, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing etc., to get the word out about your business.
In the meantime, you can continue doing everything from creating content to building quality backlinks to increase the organic search presence of your website. However, keep in mind that SEO is a long-term strategy, and it requires frequent turning and tweaking. So, never abandon it, even if your agency prospers through other means of marketing.
Step 4: Build Case Studies
This is possibly the most important asset that you need to create starting from the completion of your first project.
The best way to convince your audience about the worthiness of the agency is by showcasing some inspiring stories of businesses that achieved great feats using your marketing service.
However, make sure you mention the name of the client as the industry is so rampant with fake case studies and testimonials. In fact, the moment a client realizes the presence of fake reviews, the trust is lost forever.
Step 5: Grow your Team
Some agencies decide to go on a hiring spree as soon as they launch. In fact, this can be the most ludicrous mistake because the new hires will mostly wait on the bench for work during the initial months after the launch of the business.
Over time, these new hires will turn into a liability rather than an asset for most of the agencies. With the world now used to working from home and freelance projects, we suggest new agency owners find a workforce that’s ready to prove themselves as freelancers and then walk in as full-time employees.
Step 6: Find Leaders and a Team for Them
Now you have a team, and you need to identify people within the team who have the potential to grow as leaders. Nurture their skills and provide them the opportunity to take on challenging projects.
Once you have confidence in such team members, promote them to managers. Make sure you have a core team that knows your agency’s process well. Make sure you don’t hire too many top-level managers and executives from outside as they may take a while before they understand the company’s process and this can cause unnecessary friction among the team.
Step 6: Never Become Complacent
There is one thing that marketing agencies can never achieve – success. The marketing arena is ever-expanding, and there are new possibilities thrown against us every day, which means the potential to scale your business is unpredictable.
So, if you want to meet the growing demands of an audience that wants to reach their target using all the marketing channels and tools available, you must keep your marketing business live with frequent features and service additions.
If you remain stagnant, there are competitors who are waiting for the right opportunity to steal your clients.
Stan Ventures has worked with different agencies for years in different industries. We’ve tested many different strategies and learned what works best. So we’re ahead of the curve on what will drive results. Contact us today to get the best offer on SEO service packages that are tailored to your needs.