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How to Hire an Enterprise SEO Expert for Your Marketing Team

An in-house enterprise SEO expert is fast becoming an essential member of brand teams. Here's what you need to know about hiring for this position.

How to Hire an Enterprise SEO Expert for Your Marketing Team

Today, many enterprise companies are continuing to grow their internal marketing teams by investing in hiring specialized experts.

Digital marketers who specialize in search and have the unique skills to succeed as an enterprise SEO expert are increasingly in demand.

In fact, there was a 10% increase in search demand for keywords related to SEO jobs in November 2020, as compared to a year earlier, according to Conductor platform data (disclosure:  I work for the company).

In this post, you’ll learn why you should hire an in-house enterprise SEO, what type of specialist you may need, where to find the best candidates, what to look for as far as candidates go, and more.

Why Should You Hire an Enterprise SEO Expert?

Search specialists are trusted advisors responsible for driving growth for your brand and strengthening its position within core markets.

An SEO specialist is an evangelist for all things organic marketing. SEO, unlike many other marketing disciplines, is a team sport requiring close collaboration between all stakeholders.

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There is also a need for exceptional communication and project management skills at the enterprise level.

An in-house enterprise SEO expert will manage cross-functional partnerships with other content, web, marketing, and UX/UI groups to ensure you’re visible when customers are searching.

Additionally, an in-house SEO specialist will round out your core marketing team, having oversight of your brand’s owned media.

What Type of SEO Specialist Do You Need to Hire?

Identifying the right SEO professional should be your top priority, with alignment from the greater team.

SEO pros with a deeper content background will be experts in keyword research, editing, and writing. SEO pros with stronger technical expertise will focus on on-page optimizations, off-page linking, page error troubleshooting, and web development.

In some cases, you may want to hire a hybrid content and technical SEO professional with strong project management experience.

Will this person be an individual contributor, or will they eventually manage a team of other content resources such as copywriters and editors?

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Keep in mind that your candidates will need to have experience managing and developing a team under them.

Once you’ve determined the type of SEO professional to hire, create a compelling job description to attract potential candidates. Be sure to include information on what your future SEO specialist will oversee, what tools they’ll utilize, and what previous experience or background they should possess.

Your description should entice candidates to learn more about making a potential move in-house and to focus on a sole brand or industry.

How Will Your SEO Specialist Make an Impact & Drive Success?

Some of the immediate benefits of hiring an in-house SEO include:

  • Increasing content visibility leading.
  • Higher ranking search results.
  • Driving conversion click-through rates.

Long-term, your brand’s content will have the opportunity to continuously rank on SERPs.

When considering cross-functional relationships, your SEO specialist will reduce on-page content optimization timeframes by building effective partnerships with content and web development teams.

Your SEO specialist will help increase the agility of all web-related initiatives.

Where Do These Types of SEO Professionals Currently Operate?

SEO pros can be found spread out in different industries and disciplines.

Digital agencies are a good place to look.

SEO professionals typically oversee technical initiatives for clients in multiple industries.

Some SEO pros may already be in-house and focused on content-related optimizations and project management.

When interviewing these SEO professionals, make sure that they are fully committed to managing one brand versus the handful they may oversee in an agency setting.

There are also pockets of great SEO talent outside of major cities.

If your team is remote-friendly, consider looking in other emerging cities such as those in the Midwest, or in other rural areas.

While these SEO professionals may lean more heavily on freelance experience, they may very well have the technical skill set and expertise needed to drive success for your brand.

If you do bring on a remote hire, ensure that all schedules are aligned with relevant time zones.

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Who Should Interview Your In-House Enterprise SEO Candidate

Having multiple people participate in the interview process with your SEO specialist candidates ensures alignment across cross-functional teams.

This also gives your candidate the opportunity to have a holistic understanding of who they’ll closely work with.

These are some of the standard interview panelists:

Core Marketing Team

Will this person work well within the greater marketing organization?

Will they be able to contribute to hitting the metrics that marketing has in place?

Consider including your head of marketing or CMO, to provide your candidate with a long-term perspective of where the business is looking to evolve in the future.

Content/Copy Teams

How will this person effectively partner with content stakeholders?

How will they bring SEO best practices into our content creation process?

Bonus points if your candidate has experience or interest in content creation, for additional content support down the road.

Technical Teams

Understanding the partnership between web development and UI/UX functions in relation to web optimization.

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By meeting with technical teams, your candidate has the opportunity to determine the most effective way to build a successful relationship.

Depending on the level of SEO you’re looking to hire, consider some of these SEO interview questions during your candidate’s interview process.

These helpful tips and suggestions will ensure to properly vet candidates from a technical, content, and team fit perspective.

When Can Your Enterprise SEO Expert Start?

Once you’ve identified your SEO specialist (congrats!), you’ll want to ensure they’re set for success with a robust onboarding experience.

What necessary resources and tech stacks will they need?

Who should your SEO specialist be introduced to?

By creating an effective onboarding schedule, you’ll have a quick ramp period and be able to provide an impact to your marketing organization that much faster.

After the onboarding period, define how success will be measured for your SEO specialist.

What will they accomplish in their first 90, 180, and 360 days?

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What will this person’s growth trajectory look like in 2+ years?

How will your marketing team’s organic strategy evolve with the work your SEO Specialist will produce during their time?

Are You Ready to Hire?

What are some of your organic search goals and objectives for the coming year?

Now that you’ve solidified your action plan to hire an SEO specialist, it’s time to get started!

More Resources:


Image Credits

Featured image by Conductor

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Shane Vierra

Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition at Conductor

Shane is a senior recruiting partner at Conductor based in New York City. He currently manages all Sales, Customer Success, ... [Read full bio]

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