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We hire an SEO specialist to work: 10 questions that can determine his competence


It works on the principle of a wiki, which means that many of our articles are written by several authors. When creating this article, volunteer authors worked on its editing and improvement.

The number of sources used in this article: 6. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a website updating strategy designed to make it easier for users to find it. A good SEO specialist has a lot of practical knowledge and skills in this industry, a diverse strategy and a few positive reviews. By hiring the right specialist, you can improve the position of the site on the Internet and increase sales exponentially.

1. What thematic resources (related to search and SEO) do you read?

With this question I start all my polls! Based on the data from the answer to this question, it becomes clear how much time the respondent spends on thematic resources and on which specifically.

If the respondent finds it difficult to answer this question, then this may indicate that the person is not in the subject of recent events, because real experts always follow what is happening in their area of ​​specialization.

It is important to find out if your potential employee is a theorist or practitioner. If a theoretician, then it doesn’t fit right away, because there will be no sense from him. You only need a practitioner.

2. Can you do an express analysis of the site chosen at random?

Great test question. Its essence is to give the respondent a random site and ask what is wrong with it, what can be optimized to improve its visibility in search engines.

This is where professionalism will manifest itself. Please note what will be undertaken and for what purpose. Will the code of the pages of the site be viewed, will attention be paid to URL’s, etc. If instead of intelligible actions there will be confusion, vanity or excuse, then ...

3. How are you going to get back links to a promoted website?

Using linkbating techniques, SMO, by analyzing links to competitors' sites, from blogs, from press release sites, directories, SPAM or link washing machines?

Not everyone is an expert in obtaining a decent link mass for a promoted resource, however everyone should know how to get links!

4. By what criteria do you consider your work successfully completed?

There may be several possible answers:

  • Upon reaching the TOP for agreed search queries in the specified search engines
  • By the amount of daily traffic to a promoted site
  • To increase the conversion and the overall level of financial return on the project being promoted

9. Do you have your own personal website or blog?

Many people are afraid of this question, because consider that their sites will be an indicator of professionalism or incompetence in this matter.

Many employers believe that if a person claims to be an SEO specialist, his site should be a leader in its niche or professionalism does not smell here.

I want to note that this is the wrong point of view. I think that you yourself understand why.

10. What are the most important elements of web pages that affect the ranking of a site in search engines?

Is the page title the most important element of a web page? What is the meta description of site pages for? What about the headlines? The text?

All this is trifles at first glance, but in fact it can say a lot about a person as a specialist.

If you had to hire an SEO specialist, what questions did you ask him? Share in the comments!

How to Become an SEO Specialist from the Ground Up

You need to read a lot, study the innovations of search networks and constantly practice

If the first sentence didn’t scare you, and the excitement to get a popular and well-paid profession has not faded, then I suggest starting with a very small introduction in three paragraphs. We recommend reading in order to understand the structure of the article.

I would like to introduce myself and show that we have every right to write this educational article. In writing this manual, two SEO-specialists of the Up agency took part. Our experience in promoting websites for more than 7 years, and we have also trained more than 20 competent specialists, the successors of our profession, for our organization.

In programming, there is a very good separation of human skills into levels: junior (beginner), middle (middle level), senior (expert). We will use the same separation as applied to SEO.

The structure of the article will be as follows: first we describe what knowledge is needed for each of the levels and where they can be obtained or acquired. After we talk about additional skills that a person needs to become a highly paid specialist, and also during the article we will not forget to talk about additional literature.

SEO Junior

What does a beginner need to know? As in any profession, this one has a base. This is the basis of the IT industry. Working in the field of SEO promotion, we work with sites and search engines, so the principles of all of the above should be put in your head.

Also, in order to understand the internal “kitchen” of different projects, and to be a good technically savvy specialist, you need to know about different CMS and what problems they generate during their work.

CMS - site management system or admin panel. Most often, access is at http: //site.rf/admin

HTML is a markup language for a web document. All sites on the Internet are written in HTML. When the site is created, the layout designer turns the picture (drawn by the designer) into code.

HTML is not yet a programming language, so learning it is not difficult. For this, we recommend the Solo Learn application (available on iOS and Android) and the online reference.

This is the language of the appearance of the document. That is, with the help of it, the creator of the site gives the form color HTML tags. We also teach using Solo Learn and There is enough basic knowledge.

When will you create your first unpretentious site ... And how do you like? After all, practice is needed to understand web development, so use CSS directly to your code - this is how you kill two birds with one stone. Learning a web development base will take you no more than a month in the most leisurely mode.

CMS - site management system or admin panel. Most often, access is at http: //site.rf/admin

In addition to determining what it is, you need to know at least a couple of species. An SEO specialist cannot, as a programmer, limit himself to working with one or two control systems. Our clients do their business on different CMS, and sometimes so terrible that I don’t want to work with them.

The most popular CMS in Runet are WordPress, Bitrix, ModX, OpenCart, Joomla and self-records. When working with a proprietary site engine, you will also need knowledge of basic PHP programming, but for Junior SEO we will let it go, so let's analyze a couple of popular CMS separately.

WordPress and ModX

Working with these control systems is a pleasure. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, it allows you to find ready-made solutions with plugins, which are hundreds of thousands (and ⅔ free) in their store, and ModX allows you to display your meta-fields with such ease that you do not even need a programmer.

But there are also drawbacks. A WordPress site will be wildly buggy with a large number of plugins, and ModX amateur will block himself in the admin panel.

These examples are for reference only, you should look for answers to these questions (problems) on thematic forums, here we show that each CMS is unique and has its pros and cons, and you only need to prepare for this.

Bitrix is ​​a Russian management system. Some shout that this is a complete ###, others say that this is the simplest and easiest CMS.

Just say - they all lie. The only thing you need to know is that this is a Russian CMS and you need to prepare for everything.

Many basic things do not work here, so a large number of programmers with whom you will work will refuse or stupid for a long time, performing a specific task. Here you can make yourself even less than on ModX or WordPress. But this is only at first. If you sit on the official 1C-Bitrix forum and read a couple of hundred pages of manuals, you will begin to understand how and what works here.

And this example shows that there are control systems that have a low entry threshold, and you will have to read a lot of additional literature only about it.

Search engine principles and checklists

This is the most important point in the formation of a seoshnik. This item will haunt you all your life, because search engine algorithms change every quarter (3-4 months) and take on a new look.

No, you don’t have to re-learn everything every 3-4 months, you have to restructure your knowledge. Because some of the things that the search engine read the first week ago, moved to the last page in the checklist. That's all, now this paragraph does not give any results and we need to look for a new “philosopher's stone”. Spoiler: and it never will be, just there are things that painfully resemble him.

A checklist is a list of criteria that a search engine considers. This must be set up, repaired or added to the site in order to get the best position in the SERP.

A normal SEO specialist can create a checklist on his own, so we see no reason to advise you to download it from anywhere. It’s better to immediately start composing your own in the learning process. But you can rely on this. Basic things are present in it.

To fulfill the item, you should consult the literature. SEMBOOK is a 500-page encyclopedia. You will contact her almost every day while you study and learn new things. And also - SEO in detail, this book will help you understand how to promote sites depending on the subject of the project. There are less than 70 pages.

Why haven't we shown these books before? Yes, everything is simple, without the basic knowledge that we talked about above (not counting the CMS), you won’t understand the whole book (encyclopedia). And we want you to become a technically competent specialist. The labor market is already saturated with uneducated mediocrity, which spoil the image of our profession.

Semantics and clustering

Every self-respecting SEO specialist must be able to assemble a semantic core. For some reason, everyone thinks that it’s difficult, but no. Collecting a semantic core is elementary, clustering is a little more difficult. If you have at least some logic, there will be no problems.

Having a page with laptops, you’ll be asked: “buy a laptop, buy a laptop in Moscow” (let's say the site is located in the MSC), and possibly “the cost of a laptop”. See, everything is elementary.

Circle of friends

To become an SEO specialist, you need to make friends and acquaintances working in these areas. Start communicating with other members of this profession.

If you have questions, you can ask in our VKontakte group by writing to us in the group’s personal message or go to the popular forum. If you use telegram, then welcome to the youngest community. The channels “English SEO” and “NaZapad” are recommended.

SEO Middle

Here we need everything that we talked about in the SEO Junior section and much more. Experts distinguish a specialist from a novice, therefore this stage is available only to those who have their own formed checklist and a couple of successful projects behind them.

Finding the first projects is the most difficult. There are two options - easy and difficult. Easy is finding a job at an SEO agency. There you will beat your hand and kill a couple of projects, but getting a job as an “SEO assistant” is very easy. Salary is a penny, but it’s experience.

The difficult one is to search for projects on Freelansim or Finding your first customer is very difficult; you have to pack yourself as a product. The customer takes your services (goods), therefore, the wrapper should be very tasty.

PHP, MySQL and JavaScript programming

A couple of dozen goals will burn from this point, but to us it makes no difference. A normal SEO specialist should know basic programming.

PHP will allow you to understand the principle of operation of applications at the server level. And also the nature of the cycles and conditions in different CMS (almost all CMS are written in php), so you yourself will understand why the site is so slow and how to fix it. Especially if you are going for freelance: here it is better to know as much as possible in order to save money on delegation at first.

JavaScript is enough to know at a fundamental level. This will allow you to understand how information can be processed on the client side (browser), how and why sites on JS are indexed by a search engine. In addition, a good quality would be a banal understanding of the principles of the JS scripts themselves. This can always come in handy if you plunge into the code yourself. You will never have problems with goals in Yandex Metric, you can easily remove malicious code from the site.

MySQL is a database management system. It sounds scary, yes, but in reality, not everything is so difficult. If you are going to do a lot with your own hands, then do not pass by, and so - at will.

I’ll add, enough basic understanding, all this can be learned using the same Solo Learn or in a couple of months. If you’re not going to become a webmaster, then you don’t need to be upset, if you can’t download something, you are not a programmer. By the way, all this knowledge allows you to correctly formulate technical tasks for programmers and speak the same language with them.

Basic Marketing Basics

Since behavioral ranking factors are now in the first place, it is important to make sites as user-friendly as possible.

At the first stage in this art, the SEO and the UX designer will help the SEO specialist. But sooner or later, if you strive for a pedestal of professionalism, you personally should learn more about this. Here is a book - the most delicious without a word. And if you want to completely immerse yourself in marketing, then check out the work of Igor Mann. True, for professional qualities this is not much needed, but rather for general development.

Metrics and Web Analytics

You need to be able to use the analytical systems Yandex Metric or Google Analytics.

We recommend that you first use one service, comprehend it from A to Z. Start with Yandex Metrics, it is 2 times easier than its counterpart in Google.

You can comprehend everything with the help of articles on the Internet or with the help of books: Yandex Metric and Google Analytics from Ingate. The main thing is that at the time of study these two books are relevant. This is very important: once a year Yandex and Google modify their metrics. The main thing is that this does not affect the information in the books.

Web analytics is a combined analysis of data on the operation of a site and the effectiveness of marketing (advertising, links, articles) channels. Understanding web analytics is one thing, but being able to work with it is another level. So start with the basics - here is a book. We do not recommend using the articles here; nevertheless, you need to study analytics long and hard.

New product monitoring

It is important to keep abreast and follow the search services. This is a simple truth in one sentence. Why is this so important? Let's look at the most delicious example.

About a year ago, Yandex and Google released turbo and amp pages. After integrating them into projects, webmasters noticed that sites began to rank better in search (occupy higher positions). There you go. Search engines will always promote their services, in any case.

SEO Senior

Great experience, walking encyclopedia. It contains all the knowledge that is in the levels of SEO Junior and SEO Middle. In general, this is an already held specialist with a good salary of 70,000 thousand rubles in the region.

This result can be reached in 3-4 years of hard work. Maybe sooner, maybe later, it all depends on the personal qualities of the person.

Strategic Internet Marketing

To build successful work plans, you need to be able to understand web analytics and marketing. Not just to analyze something, but also to realize how to change it for the better or use it for your own purposes.

Successful work plans are a strategy; strategy is the art of leadership. But how can you manage an SEO ship without knowledge and experience? Very bad.

There are many courses on marketing and business strategies on the Internet. You can sign up for a couple, suddenly highlight for yourself something interesting or new. But in general, it will come with experience, when hundreds of cones will fill up and a couple of clients will leave you.

The main thing to remember here is that you will bring new customers to your customers via the Internet. The manager brings customers through calls, you, as a marketer, use your brains to carefully lure the client into the “trap” of the basket and generate new traffic to the site along the way.

Ability to manage and delegate

Distributing tasks correctly is vital. An SEO specialist of this level is the head of a department or his team. The leader must behave appropriately, call authority. Working with the team, you need to correctly distribute the tasks according to the capabilities of their guys.

Delegation - the transfer of authority to perform tasks to another person who has certain skills for its implementation.

Delegation is simply necessary, otherwise you will drown in a routine and a heap of tasks. Leave time for yourself, for family. If you need to register a site in directories, pay a freelancer or transfer to another team member, this is not your level.

Appreciate your time.

Extra skills

We will not load you after such a voluminous text, therefore - it is concise and on business. Learn English first. It is necessary, at least at the level of reading and understanding.

Check out the list of the best programs for SEO website promotion. Highlight the most comfortable, best and affordable. An SEO specialist must be able to work with different programs, because they save time very well.

Working with Yandex (the Russian search network), there will be no problems when searching for additional literature or the latest news. But working with the American Google, information will have to be digged in English-speaking forums and consulted with English-speaking SEOs, because the main layer of information is stored there.

Do not live in a vacuum. Russia is only one country and here 50% uses Yandex and 50% Google, but in other countries it’s Google’s monopolist, and there SEO promotion is, first of all, working with it.

In addition, do not forget: the ability to constantly learn every day and learn new things, do not stagnate at the same level, this will make you a highly qualified specialist.