Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is no longer a choice for any business in the online space today. It is something that has to be conquered before even thinking about entering the competition, let alone being in it. That’s where the role of advanced technical SEO comes into play. It goes deeper than the basics and levels up the SEO game for the businesses. Hence, you need to hire SEO expert who can handle advanced technical SEO for you at that level.
But when you’re hiring an expert for such a crucial role, you must pick a truly capable professional. So how exactly can you ensure that the candidate you’re onboarding is right for the role? The answer is – via a comprehensive and meticulous screening.
When you’re looking to hire SEO expert, it is necessary to screen their advanced technical SEO skills. They must be able to navigate the dynamics of all algorithms and deliver results.
Understanding Advanced Technical SEO
Technical SEO is all about optimizing the functionality of a website. It ensures that search engines can crawl, index, and render its content with ease. Basic technical SEO involves page speed, mobile optimization, and XML sitemaps. But advanced technical SEO goes much deeper than that.
Differentiating between a basic and an advanced technical SEO expert is very important. An advanced expert will be able to identify and resolve issues that a basics guy wouldn’t notice. Hence, hiring the right professional can have a great impact on search engine ranks.
In the following sections, we’ll take a look at specific areas of advanced technical SEO. We shall also be gaining some insights on how to access an SEO candidate’s skills in each one of them.
Areas to Assess in Advanced Technical SEO (and How to Assess Them)
Site Architecture and Crawlability
The skill to design a website’s structure such that search engines can crawl through it with ease.
Ask them to review a website and make suggestions for enhancements. Ask for insights into XML sitemaps, robots.txt files, and usage of internal linking.
Ability to make the website mobile-friendly and let it adhere to mobile-first indexing.
Give them a case where a website is doing poorly on mobile devices. Analyze their approach towards diagnosing the issue and finding a solution to it. It could be something like implementing a responsive design or AMP.
Page Speed and Performance
The ability to provide great webpage speed on mobiles as well as desktops is crucial.
Give them a website’s speed test results and ask for their views on it. They should ideally talk about image optimization, server response times, etc.
Structured Data and Schema Markup
Ability to implement structured data to improve search results with rich snippets.
Let them draft a basic schema makeup for a webpage. They should present a practical understanding of various schema types and properties.
International and Multilingual SEO
Ability to optimize websites for multiple languages or regions.
Discuss a case of business expansion in non-English speaking regions. Analyze the strategies for hreflang tags, URL structure, and content localization in them.
Core Web Vitals and User Experience
Knowledge of Google’s Core Web Vitals and how they affect user experience and ranking.
Ask them about their work in the optimization of Core Web Vitals so far. They should ideally talk about the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Security and HTTPS
Ability to ensure that a website is secure and uses HTTPS.
Talk about the consequences of not having an SSL certificate. Also, ask them about the SEO benefits coming from the HTTPS. They should emphasize security concerns and trust factors.
Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Expert
When you want to hire SEO expert, it is important to screen them for technical skills. The following questions can help you with that:
How would you handle website migrations to ensure minimal traffic loss?
Why it matters:
When not executed right, website migrations can cause a heavy loss of traffic and ranking.
A good SEO specialist would talk about having a detailed migration plan. They should mention ensuring proper 301 redirects, monitoring of crawl errors, and pre/post migration SEO audits.
Can you explain the significance of Core Web Vitals and how you optimize for them?
Why it matters:
Rankings are affected by a lot of factors and Core Web Vitals are one of them now. Hence, it is clear that they are emphasizing user experience.
They could talk about LCP, FID & CLS. They can also mention techniques like lazy loading, optimization of images, or reduction of third-party scripts.
How do you approach mobile-first indexing and its implications for a website?
Why it matters:
Google primarily uses the mobile version of content for indexing and ranking. This happens due to mobile-first indexing becoming a priority these days.
They must talk about ensuring the complete optimization of mobile sites. They may also mention content parity between mobile and desktop.
Describe a situation where you had to diagnose a sudden drop in organic traffic. What was the cause, and how did you address it?
Why it matters:
The cause can be a number of reasons. Hence, it takes a skilled professional to diagnose.
There can be various answers to this question. But it might be close to discussing algorithm updates, certain technical issues, or some external factors. You need to look for a systematic approach to their problem-solving mindset.
How do you ensure that a website is accessible to both users and search engine crawlers?
Why it matters:
Accessibility of a website is paramount for getting it ranked higher. No matter how good the content is, a non-accessible site will never rank well.
They could touch upon having a definite structure, using semantic HTML, creating an XML sitemap, and regularly fixing crawl errors.
The Role of Continuous Learning in SEO
SEO is an ever-evolving landscape. Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms. That is why one can never stop learning in this field. A great SEO professional shall never rely on just the best practices and basics. They would always stay updated and anticipate the momentum of the future. And those skills are not the icing on the cake, they ARE the cake. If you truly want your business to leverage advanced technical SEO to succeed, these things are crucial.
Businesses across the world are realizing the importance of advanced technical SEO skills. That has led to a rise in the demand to hire skilled SEO consultants. By asking the right questions and focusing on the right areas, you ensure that you’re hiring the right talent. Save this guide for your future reference. Happy hiring!