You should already have an SEO guy. If you don’t, you’re falling behind fast.

If you do still need to find that perfect SEO guru, you’re going to have to put in a little bit of work. SEO professionals are about as common as social media managers, and the qualifications of the average SEO professional are hard to pin down. You don’t have to have a degree in computer science or marketing to be great at SEO, but you’ve got to be able to do more than talk the talk – you have to perform if you’re going to survive in the world of SEO.

As a business owner, there’s one great question that you can ask to determine if your new SEO guy is worth hiring. That question is simple – you just need to ask your SEO pro where his or her website ranks (check out more here). This is the ultimate question in terms of SEO.Helping clients reach the top of a Google search page is the primary job of any SEO pro, and anyone who can’t prove his or her ability to do so isn’t going to get a job. Don’t be fooled by a would-be guru who will try to talk his or her way around low rankings – if he or she isn’t near the top, he or she doesn’t know how to his or her job well enough.

It doubtlessly seems cruel to dismiss a potential employee or contractor based on a single point of failure, but it’s important to remember what an SEO professional is supposed to do. SEO is all about keeping a site relevant – something that’s just as important for an independent SEO professional as it is for your business. A contractor’s page is his or her calling card in the business world, and a contractor who can’t keep a page with such a high personal priority ahead of the curve certainly won’t have the ability or drive to do so for your business.

Failure to keep a page at the top of the search rankings can indicate a few potential problems with your potential hire. First and foremost, it shows that he or she isn’t up to date on the latest SEO techniques. SEO is always changing, and those who don’t change with the times are doomed to failure. At the same time, it can also show that the contractor doesn’t have the drive to keep the page updated – a major failing in such a fast-paced field.

You wouldn’t trust a mechanic who can’t keep his car running, and you shouldn’t trust a SEO guru who can’t keep his page at the top of a search result. Don’t let yourself be fooled by any excuses or tech double-speak – this is the most important page in an SEO professional’s life, and it showcases his or her skills more than any other page. Do a quick search and find out the truth for yourself – you might be surprised by the skills (or lack thereof) of the person who you are interviewing.

The No. 1 Question You Should Ask Your SEO Guy

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