Fifty-three percent of shoppers say they conduct online research before purchasing something. With the stakes so high, SEO is a critical element of any company’s marketing strategy.
When it comes to specialized roles such as SEO developers, the challenge is finding individuals with the right mix of technical expertise, data-driven analytical skills, and creativity. They should be capable of evolving with rapid search technology and algorithm changes. In this guide, we will walk you through the nuanced steps of how to hire SEO developers, offering insights from the evolving landscape.
Today’s SEO industry involves understanding Google’s algorithms and emerging technologies like voice search, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. SEO developers should be agile, able to pivot between different programming languages and thoroughly comprehend data analytics. These skills can help companies address marketing challenges and improve their competitive edge.
Vimeo, a video production company with more than 260 million users, needed help implementing and managing SEO best practices for their videos. They addressed these challenges by hiring SEO developers to implement Google’s VideoObject and Key Moments features to improve data. Review other SEO case studies where companies benefited from implementing SEO best practices.
|Ahrefs SEO case study||Backlink and keyword research||126 to 121,883 unique visitors to their websites in under six months|
|Dean SEO case study||Skyscraper Technique 2.0||Increased organic traffic to his website by 652% in seven days|
|Gotch SEO case study||Squeeze pages||Boosted one page by converting 74.5% and another by 69%|
In a digital-first environment, finding the right talent to manage your SEO needs is a strategic necessity. We created this guide to equip you with the tools and insights needed to make an informed decision to hire SEO developers with the right skills.
Hiring a Freelance SEO Developer
Choosing to hire a freelance SEO developer has many benefits. It allows you to scale your SEO efforts up or down depending on project needs and budgetary ability. You can avoid the long-term commitment of a full-time hire if you are uncertain about future work availability.
Hiring remote talent also gives you access to a much larger pool of experts. You can hire people with specialized skills and unique perspectives that you may not find in the local area. This can lead to innovative solutions to your SEO problems.
What Does an SEO Developer Do?
An SEO developer is a specialized position that combines coding skills with an understanding of search engine algorithms to optimize websites for better visibility, ranking, and organic traffic. They delve into a website’s architecture, content structuring, and page speed optimization to ensure your site ranks higher when your target demographic searches for your products or services. An experienced SEO developer’s responsibilities may include:
- Technical SEO, such as optimizing a website for search engine crawlability and indexing
- On-page SEO, such as creating meta tags and optimizing images
- Off-page SEO, including building high-quality backlinks and improved domain authority
- Performance tuning, a practice of reducing website load time through optimizing code, leveraging browser caching, and compressing images
- Analytics, including monitoring organic traffic, analyzing website performance, and tracking user behavior
Why hire SEO developers? The New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert Neil Patel says,
Developers are proficient in many coding languages and know the latest SEO trends and relevant technologies.
A strong SEO strategy can significantly improve your online visibility, leading to increased sales, recognition, and credibility. SEO developers play a vital role in making that happen. Given SEO's complexity and ever-changing nature, having a dedicated expert can make the difference between ranking on the first page of search results and getting lost deep in the search results.
You will often find SEO developers for hire for projects like e-commerce site optimization, website relaunches, content marketing strategies, SEO audits, and ongoing website maintenance and updating. Consider the benefits of having an SEO expert on your team:
- A properly optimized website attracts more organic traffic.
- SEO developers can optimize for user experience, leading to higher conversion rates.
- SEO is a long-term investment that can keep your site ranking well for years.
- Your website stands a better chance against competitors.
When you hire dedicated SEO developers, you invest in specialized skills to improve your online presence. Their work continues beyond keywords and meta descriptions. They wear many hats, from strategist to coder, and can help businesses of any size become dominant online players.
How To Hire SEO Developers
Before you hire an SEO developer, you need an in-depth understanding of the role’s responsibilities and skills. Having that blueprint for what represents a good candidate will help you find a developer that aligns with your needs. Important attributes to look for include:
- Updated knowledge regarding algorithm changes, SEO best practices, and the latest trends in marketing
- Exceptional analytical skills, including the use of Google Analytics for interpreting data and implementing it into your marketing strategy
- Strong communication skills for explaining complex technical topics to other members of the team without specialized training
Before you hire SEO developers, you should know what level of experience your project requires:
- Junior-level SEO developers typically have two years or less experience. They are proficient in basic SEO tasks and can handle projects in a team setting or with supervision.
- Mid-level SEO developers have over five years of experience and can work on more complex projects. They may have more specialized skills.
- Highly skilled, or senior-level, SEO developers with over five years of experience can develop end-to-end SEO strategies and mentor junior team members.
Team dynamics, budget, and project complexity will impact why you choose one over another. For example, junior developers cost less but may have limited ability. A senior developer is more appropriate for projects with higher stakes and complexity, making them worth the additional costs. However, when building an SEO team, you may need developers of every level, creating a more diverse pool of capabilities.
What Skills To Look for When Hiring an SEO Developer
The job requirements of an SEO developer include a combination of technical skills, cultural fit, and collaborative abilities. Anyone working in SEO should have the ability to adapt to the changing industry. For example, the leading emergent SEO factors for global search rankings are machine learning and artificial intelligence, with 11.3% of respondents identifying them as top considerations. Both are constantly evolving.
These technical skills are important for the role:
- HTML and CSS coding to create SEO-friendly pages
- Mastery of keyword research for identifying and implementing advantageous keywords, tags, and meta-descriptions to enhance search engine visibility
- Familiarity with tools like Google Analytics to monitor performance and optimize search rankings
- Understanding industry guidelines, the right and wrong ways to use SEO elements
Soft skills are equally important in SEO work, as they determine how effectively a candidate performs with your team. Critical soft skills to consider include:
- Problem-solving skills for addressing issues like competitor moves, algorithm changes, and shifts in consumer behavior
- Ability to collaborate with content creators, web designers, digital marketers, and customer service representatives
- Effective communication skills
- Ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape
- Attention to detail for optimizing meta-descriptions, avoiding errors, and meticulously analyzing data
Cultural fit is also a critical addition to SEO developer skills. These professionals often work in fast-paced environments that require initiative and commitment. Ensure your candidate is comfortable in your company’s culture and can work well with established teams in various departments.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire SEO Developers?
The cost to hire SEO developers varies based on several factors, including the level of experience and scope of your project. When hiring remotely, the developer’s geographical location also affects their rates. For example, SEO experts on Upwork cost an average of $15-$35 per hour, and Backlinko reports an average monthly cost of $497.
Tips for Writing an SEO Developer Job Description
Clarity and specificity are key elements of an SEO developer job description. Start by outlining the technical skills needed and the role's responsibilities as it applies to your company. Humanize the brand by giving them a glimpse into your team culture. This can eliminate anyone who would not fit in from the start.
Your interview process can include multiple approaches. The freelancer marketplaces that we listed use a blend of technical and personality assessments for a well-rounded evaluation of each candidate. The freelance marketplaces in our guide thoroughly vet talent for technical skills. Conducting interviews with the same questions about soft skills ensures you avoid bias in your decision-making process.
Common Interview Questions To Ask When You Are Looking To Hire an SEO Developer
Before you proceed to hire SEO developers, your interview questions should address technical and soft skills and behavioral characteristics. Check out some sample questions along with the types of answers that would indicate a solid SEO expert:
- What strategies would you employ for backlinking? Candidates should mention quality over quantity, the relevance of the site linked, and strategies like broken link building, guest posting, and creating shareable content.
- Can you explain the importance of title tags and meta descriptions in SEO? They should discuss the relevance in search engine rankings and user experience and how keywords relate to click-through rates.
- How do you handle disagreements with team members or superiors on SEO strategies? Look for answers that show communication skills, an openness to feedback, and the ability to back up their points with research or data.
- Tell me about an SEO problem you faced and the outcome. Assess their problem-solving skills in the answer. Focus on the problem, their actions, and the result.
- Can you give an example of a project where you had to collaborate with non-technical team members? A good response will showcase their communication and collaborative skills.
Keep your questions uniform to offer all candidates equal opportunity to provide thoughtful answers you can compare fairly.
How To Find Freelance SEO Developers for Hire
Freelance marketplaces offer a cost-effective solution with a broader reach than job boards or outsourcing agencies. You can use professional networks or attend industry-specific events to find SEO developers. Consider factors like method of talent matching, speed of hiring, and ease of use as you browse the sites to hire SEO developers on our list.
Hiring skilled SEO developers is vital for building effective digital marketing teams. You can attract talent that elevates project and company success through targeted strategies and well-curated interviews.
FAQs About How To Hire SEO Developers
- Where Can I Hire SEO Developers?
- Our top choices for hiring SEO developers are Toptal, Upwork, Fiverr, Arc, and OpenXcell. However, explore our complete list of the best sites.
- Are SEO Developers in Demand?
Online visibility is critical for businesses. Therefore, SEO experts are in increasing demand. Upwork listed SEO as the topmost in-demand skill sought after in marketing. The need for SEO developers results directly from its impact on customer engagement and increasing revenue.
- How Much Does It Cost To Hire an SEO Developer?
SEO developers should fit into an overall SEO project budget. Companies can expect to pay between $2,500 and $7,500 monthly or $50-$100 per hour on SEO projects, depending on the scope. Create a budget for your SEO plans and look for appropriate developers to fit that plan.
- How To Hire SEO Developers
- Define your job requirements, including technical and soft skills, and choose the correct channels for assessing candidates. This may include job boards, outsourcing agencies, or freelance marketplaces. Use your interview process to evaluate behavioral characteristics, technical proficiency, and cultural fit. Finally, consider a short-term trial project to gauge the candidate’s abilities.
- Why Should You Hire an SEO Developer?
- An SEO developer improves your online presence to boost visibility in search engine rankings by driving more organic traffic to the website. They work on everything from coding for site speed and mobile responsiveness to strategizing for content and backlinks. SEO is essential for competing in today’s digital marketplace, where search engine rankings can dramatically affect your bottom line.