Here’s a little story about SEO companies in Odisha.
When I first entered the Odisha SEO industry back in 2006, things were different. There were just a handful of SEO companies who would only build links most of which were in form of directory submissions.
Things started to change a little bit towards the mid-2007 when SEO companies started adopting article submissions and comment postings as a part of their ‘marketing mix’.
It was an era when social media marketing wasn’t even a keyword but Orkut was mainstream, just for personal networking and forums.
As it was incredibly easy to manipulate Google Search algorithm, many companies started building their SEO departments and hiring folks who had absolutely no idea about online marketing.
The SEO companies in Odisha that hired them wasn’t very keen on actually teaching them stuff about SEO, but rather deploy them to build their list of prospective clients. As a result, SEOs would depend more on learning from their seniors and mentors who were only good at stuff like directory submission.
As you can imagine, this wasn’t actually an ideal approach to learning SEO which, as a result, gave rise to a great number of SEO professionals in Odisha, particularly in Bhubaneswar, who were equipped with more than building a hundred back links that Google would now penalize your site for.
Fast forward to 2016, many SEO professionals in Odisha are completely disillusioned in the face of Google’s renewed search algo which has been evolving faster than the landscape of Bhubaneswar since 2007.
In short, the SEO industry in Odisha doesn’t boast of a pool of skilled SEO professionals.
Keeping the ground realities in mind, here are some tips worth bearing in mind while hiring SEOs for your agency.
Ask Them about Their Favorite SEO Blogs
Being around for nearly a decade in the Odisha SEO industry, and having managed a dozen SEO professionals in Bhubaneswar, I strongly believe reading comprehension skills is an extremely relevant skill for being a successful SEO.
SEO is an evolving industry and one must keep pace with the developments happening in the industry worldwide and learn from the inbound marketing heavyweights in order to stay at the top of one’s game.
I can’t imagine any SEO doing great work without following the popular SEO publications such as Moz Blog and SEJ. There are several platforms that super curious SEOs can benefits from provided they can actually fully grasp the content written by an US audience.
I have seen many of my co-worker shying away from watching Whiteboard Friday on Moz just because they don’t get what Rand is saying. I mean this is a serious issue. Fortunately, Moz has started publishing the transcribed version of their WBFs so people can read it at their own pace, but I find it kind of awkward to read a transcribed version of a talk. That’s beside the point though.
The point is you can’t expect a non-curious SEO professional to do the best job on your project. That’s not to say all SEO that read reputable SEO publications do a pretty good job on their projects. However, being able to learn from SEO professionals of global repute does help one get better at one’s job. There’s little doubt about that.
So the next time you interview a candidate for SEO position, ask them to recount any five of their favorite posts they have read recently and what they learn from them. If they fumble or keep mum, it’s a sign of things to come.
What? They Can’t Write a Meta Description?
You might be wondering if I’m expecting too much from an SEO professional in Odisha, but hey, I’m not saying you should expect an SEO professional to write for your company blog every day.
However, the least you would expect an SEO professional to do is write an email without confusing you to death, or reply to a client’s email without leaving you embarrassed.
Likewise, you would expect an SEO professional to write SEO titles and descriptions, at least?
Let’s face it – we live in a world where content marketing rules the roost and, you can’t expect an SEO professional to manage a brief chat session with your prospective client?
If you’re still okay with it just because their expected salary is not too much, you’re probably focused on mediocrity.
Are They Updated?
Depending on the position you’re interviewing them, there are a couple of things you can ask them about.
If I were to interview someone for the project manager position, I’d ask them the following questions:
- How does SEO work and who is really it for?
- Can you tell me the process of keyword research?
- What is user experience and how do you improve it?
- How do you improve CTR of a website?
- What is Skyscraper Technique?
The list of questions could be more, but if they could answer the above questions with confidence, they should be pretty good for your project.
Still Submitting to Article Directories, Seriously?
With the rapid changes happening the digital marketing space, there are no set of rules you can play by and still win it in the SEO game.
What works for one niche may not work for another. The link building strategies keep changing and you must be to be adept at content marketing (not article submission) to draw the crowd and build your brand.
In short, one must be creative and knows what it takes to drive your brand and organic links that actually matter.
If your prospective SEO manage isn’t equipped with anything beyond link building tactics of pre-Penguin era, he’s not worth your consideration.
Finding the right fit for your SEO Company in Odisha is not a cakewalk, given the paucity of skilled professionals. But with carefully crafted interview process, you should be able to save yourself much regret down the road.