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How To Hire a SEO Specialist

Complete with job descriptions, skill profiles, and interview templates. Use this SEO Specialist hiring guide to help you make the right decisions, fast.

SEO Specialist Recruitment Guide

What does a SEO Specialist do?

A search engine optimization (SEO) specialist improves website rankings on major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. They ensure on-page optimization to produce relevant search results for the brand and a positive user experience, growing site traffic, lead volume and brand awareness. Their primary goal is to build the sales funnel and assist in marketing campaign performance. By employing smart on-page tactics (keywords, internal linking, and quality URLs, they will be able to increase the website’s visibility within search engines, which will then lead to high quality traffic, leads and sales.

Day to day tasks of a SEO Specialist

Skills assessment

SEO Specialist definition

A search engine optimization specialist (or SEO specialist) is someone who analyzes a website and implements any necessary changes in order for it to be optimized for search engines. In addition, they will become an integral part of the company’s marketing department as they assist in optimizing web traffic, social media pages and ultimately end to end marketing campaigns.

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SEO Specialist Hiring Process

Step 1: Understand the role
Step 2: Source Applicants
Step 3: Skills Assessment
Step 4: Interview
Step 5: Hire

Build the Ideal Candidate Profile​

To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, its contribution, and the skills needed.

Write A Job Description Based On Skills

Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.

Selecting The Ideal Candidate

See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customize one for your organization.

Interview Top Performers

Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.

Making An Offer

Once you assess your candidates against these skills, you’re ready to offer the top performer(s). You should base your offer on the value that the candidate would bring to your team and your business as a whole. It is also important to ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive in the industry and help you attract and retain the top talent.
Build the ideal candidate profile

Skills needed for a SEO Specialist

A seo specialist must have great attention to detail and sound knowledge of data analytics. They will understand how to build and optimize websites, alongside working with various arms of the business to ensure continuity.

Pro Tip

For senior roles, you’re likely to receive a smaller number of applications than you would for a junior position. Ensure you provide details about what it’s like to work for your company, and what your company values are so applicants know whether your company is the right fit for them.


How to write a SEO Specialist job description

Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position. Here’s what to include in your SEO Specialist job description:

Job Title: What position are you hiring for?

Summary: What makes your company unique? What would it be like to work for you?

Responsibilities: An overview of the role’s day-to-day activities, and how the position contributes to the organization

Requirements: Skills a candidate must have to perform the job successfully

Benefits: Details of compensation, benefits, and any perks on offer

Pro Tip

In building your candidate profile, remember you’ve already identified what skills are needed to succeed in the role. Here’s where to list your “must-have” skills and maybe a couple of “nice-to-have” skills. For example, a SEO Specialist must understand Google analytics, and it would be nice to have graphic design skills.

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Sample skill tests for a SEO Specialist

Create a free account today to access the full assessment and more from our library

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Question 1

Stakeholder Management

Question Type: Video

You are working on a project for the website that includes input from multidisciplinary teams in the company, where everyone works remotely. How would you ensure that everyone’s key milestones are met to meet the project deadlines and maintain updates across all stakeholders when necessary?

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Question 2

Website Strategy

Question Type: Text

Your client’s website has a category page with loads of products for each category. There are too many products to fit on 1 page, so they will need to have a way to show all the products. What is the best practice from an SEO perspective to avoid duplicate content?

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Question 3


Question Type: Text

Your client has a website with 4 main services that they offer. What is the best way, from a SEO perspective, to set up the URL structure and URL Hierarchy? Should they have 1 page with all the services or separate pages for each service?


How to interview a SEO Specialist

Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The interview should focus on any skills that require development that were highlighted from the skills assessment.

Now you know that candidates can do the job, the interview becomes more of a relationship building exercise where you can get to know the candidate on a more personal level, understand their motivations, and how they would fit in with the team.

Making An Offer

How much does it cost to hire a SEO Specialist?

The US average for a SEO Specialist is $70,400 according to while the reported average salary on Indeed amounts to $51,962. 25 percent of SEO specialists earn above $75,900 with 25 percent receiving less than $63,000.

SEO Specialist Salary United States

SEO Specialist salaries in the United States range from $63,000 – $75,900 (USD). SEO Specialist salaries in the U.S vary a lot depending on the industry and the location of the business.


SEO Specialist Salary United Kingdom

SEO Specialist salaries in the United Kingdom range from £18,000 – £36,000 (GBP). SEO Specialist salaries in the UK vary a lot depending on the industry and the location of the business.


SEO Specialist Salary Australia

SEO Specialist salaries in Australia range from $50,000 – $94,000 (AUD). SEO Specialist salaries in Australia vary a lot depending on the industry and the location of the business.

Source: Glassdoor