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The Complete Guide To Hiring An SEO Expert For Your Business

Table of Contents

With the increase in online advertising costs in recent years, it has become incredibly important for businesses to invest their time and energy in SEO for organic growth.

An SEO-optimised website guarantees high-quality traffic and thus, leads and conversions for many years.

However, not every business owner knows enough about SEO or how to hire an SEO expert for their business.

In this article, we take you through all the steps required to hire a high-quality SEO expert for your business so that your website can reap the rewards of SEO for a long time.

How to hire an SEO Expert?

How will SEO help your business?

hiring in house seo expert


If your only reason for hiring an SEO specialist is to get more organic traffic on your website, start ranking for various keywords on Google and get conversions, you’re doing it wrong.

This is a very generic approach that most business owners are guilty of. 

Instead, you should go deeper, understand how SEO will affect your business and be more specific about your goals.

Create a user persona

Following are some questions you must answer regarding your user persona:

  • What is the age, gender and location of your target audience?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their goals? 
  • How can your product/service help them reach their goals?
  • What is the USP of your product/service?

What do you want to achieve with SEO?

For example, do you want to increase the number of leads who sign up for discovery calls and convert them? If so, how many leads do you want every month?

Do you want more subscribers on your email list, nurture them and convert them to your services eventually? How many subscribers do you need every month?

How many free trial signups do you want for your SaaS product every month?

Answering specific questions like these will not only help you in getting clarity with your end goal but also help your SEO hire strategies on how they should approach your website’s SEO efforts.

For example, this will give your SEO hire an idea of what kind of topics need to be written, which keywords need to be targeted and how often a blog post should be written.

Have a basic idea of SEO

How would you feel if, after six months of hiring an SEO expert, you don’t see much improvement in organic visitors to your website? Even worse, you’re not able to debug your website issues as you have blindly trusted your SEO expert.

This is why it’s essential you learn some basic SEO skills before hiring an expert for the same. This will not only help you understand the true importance of SEO for your website but you’ll also be to analyse what your hire is doing every step of the way.

There are plenty of useful resources on the internet that can help you get started with SEO. For starters, you can go through the blog section of Ahrefs and Moz.

Write an effective job description

How much does it cost to hire an SEO expert


Instead of copy-pasting a job description from elsewhere and making it your own, it’s important to have your own job description aligned with your business goals.

Based on your business goals, put down the responsibilities and requirements of your SEO hire.

Some of the responsibilities of your SEO hire may include:

  • Do competitive research to find relevant topics
  • Conduct keyword research with Ahrefs/Semrush
  • Write SEO-optimised in-depth content 
  • Fix technical website issues, if any
  • Find and build relevant links to the website
  • Monitor Google Search Console and Analytics for traffic

Some of the requirements of your SEO hire may include:

  • [X] years of experience in your niche
  • Knowledge of on-page, off-page and technical SEO
  • Knowledge of tools like Ahrefs/Semrush
  • Ability to interpret data using Google Search Console/Analytics
  • Communication skills
  • Team player
  • Ability to adapt

How much does it cost to hire an SEO expert?

seo specialist qualifications

If you’re planning to hire an SEO expert for cheap, you’ll get what you pay for!

Many business owners, especially people with no knowledge of SEO, are guilty of paying less and attracting the wrong talent. 

If you’re serious about SEO, you must adequately compensate the talent you’ll hire. It’ll help you attract the right talent who in turn will be determined to put in the shift for your business.

Having said that, you have three options for hiring an SEO expert:


The benefit of working with freelancers/consultants is that you can hire them from anywhere in the world and work with them remotely.

An SEO freelancer typically charges $71.59 per hour whereas an SEO Consultant charges $171.18 per hour. This rate will be more affordable in lesser-developed countries like India.

Keep in mind that an SEO freelancer provides a done-for-you service where they take care of strategising and implementing SEO for your website whereas a consultant provides a done-with-you service where they’ll help you strategise but you’ll need to implement SEO.

A drawback of hiring freelancers/consultants, especially if you have a long-term SEO project, is that they may not be fully immersed in your work as they’ll be working with other clients as well.


If you want to work with a dedicated group of people who’ll look after your project, an agency may be a better option.

Hiring an agency will set you back by $98.9 per hour on average. Once again, the rate for an India-based SEO agency will be much lesser than in Western countries.

Do note that an agency will be a costlier option than freelancers as you’ll be working with a group of people.

In-house SEO expert

If you see SEO as a long-term option for your business, it’ll be more cost-effective for you to hire an in-house SEO expert. Moreover, you’ll be in complete control of the work progress with an SEO employee who’s working under you.

But hiring a full-time SEO employee takes time and effort as you need to find the perfect culture fit. Moreover, they’ll be more costly as you’ll be taking care of their salary, perks and medical insurance.

Alternatively, you can build a fully remote SEO team at a 40% lesser cost with InCommon, a headhunter agency in India that helps you source, vet and hire talents according to your needs.

Where can you hire an SEO expert?

questions to ask an seo expert


You can hire an SEO expert from various platforms and sources.

Job platforms

You can create a job listing on Linkedin for hiring an SEO expert. The only drawback with Linkedin is that you’ll need to invest time and effort to find the right talent for your business.

Freelance websites

Freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr are great for hiring SEO freelancers at reasonable rates from across the world. However, not all freelancers on these platforms are well-versed in English.


If you’re active on Facebook Groups, Twitter and Instagram, you can ask your existing connections for referrals and also put up a post on these platforms. For this to work, you need to have a strong network of marketing professionals in your connections.


There’s no better way to vet and assess an SEO consultant/agency than searching ‘SEO consultant/agency in [your area]’ and having their results show up in the top 3-5 results. However, do note that hiring these kinds of agencies and consultants will be significantly higher than others.

Hire remote talent from InCommon

Build a fully remote SEO team at a 40% lesser cost with InCommon, a headhunter agency in India that helps you source, vet and hire talents according to your needs.

With InCommon, you get the following benefits:

1. InCommon sources from its existing pool of pre-vetted SEO Experts so you don’t have to.

2. Accelerate your hiring cycle by shortlisting 3 content writers in 3 days as per your needs.

3. Ensure smooth delivery of your work with talents that are well-versed in English.

4. End-to-end compliance (EOR) and payroll management

5. Talent replacement guarantee

3 Ways to Analyse an SEO Expert (Step-by-Step)

how to hire an seo expert

Check their resume, previous work and project website

Do not blindly trust any candidate who calls themselves an ‘SEO Expert’ without doing your due diligence.

You need to get a thorough understanding of their background before you can call them the same.

Check their resume and see if they have relevant work experience in your industry. Instead of looking at the clients they worked with, see how they’ve improved the organic traffic and the number of clicks for their clients. They should be able to quantify the same.

Check out their social media profiles like Linkedin/Twitter to get a fair idea of their SEO expertise. If they’ve published a lot of useful and valuable content on their profiles pertaining to SEO, you know they’ve some knowledge.

Additionally, prioritise candidates who have a personal/project website because it means they’ve done the work. Go through their website to understand the topics they’ve covered, their quality of writing and the depth of their content. This will give you a fair idea of what you can expect from them.

Shortlist a few candidates based on the above.

Interview questions to ask an SEO Expert

In the next stage, interview your candidates to ask them questions about their previous experiences, project website and soft and hard skills.

Some of the questions you may ask can include:

1. Which tools do you prefer for keyword research and why?

2. How do you keep yourself updated with the latest developments in the SEO niche?

3. How do you come up with topics and content for your clients/website?

4. How do you optimise your blog post for on-page SEO?

5. Do you prefer working in a team or alone and why?

Shortlist a few candidates based on the interview.

SEO Audit

In the last step, you can tell your shortlisted candidates to make a three-month plan for your website in terms of the topics and the associated keywords they can cover and how it’ll help them increase organic traffic on your website.

Have another meeting with them and ask them how they went about choosing the topics and keywords and how they plan to increase the organic traffic through them.

Through this method, you will be able to test their keyword research and competitive research skills which are hugely important for an SEO Specialist.

Finalize your hire

Based on the previous step, finalize your hire. If you’re hiring an agency/freelancer/consultant, consider the following things:

  • Mode and frequency of communication 
  • Regular updates about the project
  • Terms of payment and billing
  • Access to the backend, Ahrefs/Semrush and Google Search Console/Analytics
  • Delivery of work

If you’re hiring an in-house employee, you need to dictate their scope of work, compensation and access to your tools.


seo expert description

If you hire the right SEO Expert for your business, they can blow up organic traffic on your website and get you regular qualified leads and sales for your business.

However, it’s important to give your website at least 3-6 months of time before you can see any results as SEO effort take time.

Based on your business requirements, you can hire a freelancer, agency or an in-house SEO expert as you see fit.

Alternatively, you can hire us if you want to save time and money and focus on your business growth instead. As a headhunter agency, we help you build a fully remote SEO team at a 40% lesser cost.