SEO can be a tricky subject to master. While you can take the time to learn all about SEO yourself, as a business owner you might not have enough time to take yourself from a beginner to an expert. After all, your business can’t wait for you to become an SEO expert. You need to increase your Google ranking and increase traffic to your website ASAP. That’s why hiring an SEO freelancer is a great option.

Finding the perfect SEO freelancer that will take your business to the top of Google can be difficult. You’ve got to wade through a ton of online profiles; some are out of your budget, some are inexperienced, and some are just plain fakes.

So how do you find an awesome SEO freelancer to help your website achieve success on Google? Here are four tips when hiring an SEO freelancer.

1. Steer clear of cheap content mills.

On cheap content mills Fiverr, you get what you pay for. While it might be tempting to only pay the bare minimum for an SEO freelancer, the quality of the work you get for that price won’t be anywhere near what your business needs to boost your rankings and keep up with the competition. So, steer clear of cheap content mills and instead, post your job ad on a niche job board. Some great job boards for finding top SEO freelancers include:

You should also take advantage of LinkedIn’s ProFinder. With LinkedIn ProFinder, you answer a couple questions about what you’re looking for and they’ll connect you with the top freelance talent in your area. You’ll get up to 5 free proposals including quotes and access to the freelancer’s profile. Their concierge team will even help you along the way if you need assistance in choosing the right SEO pro.

2. Pay attention to SEO-specific skills.

Anyone on the internet can claim they’re an SEO expert. That’s why it’s extremely important to pay attention to the experience and skills of each SEO freelancer you consider. Keep an eye out for SEO-specific skills on a candidate’s profile or resume such as:

  • Writing for SEO
  • In-depth keyword research
  • Studying traffic and analytics
  • Split-testing
  • Link building
  • Increasing local search exposure
  • Programming in HTML, PHP, etc.

SEO experts should also be familiar with a number of different software and SEO tools like WordPress, AdWords, Google Analytics, Google Trends, Ahrefs, SEMRush, Ubersuggest, and Answer The Public, just to name a few. An SEO freelancer who can speak in specific detail about their skills is one that knows what they’re talking about and choosing them will help you avoid hiring a freelancer who only knows the basics.

3. Look for proven results.

Before taking the plunge and hiring an SEO freelancer, you need to know that they can get you the results you want, so you need to look for past proven results. First, a good way to check if someone has proven SEO skills is to do a Google search for “SEO freelancer/consultant your city”. The websites that come up in the top spots of search engine results are a good indicator of someone who knows what they’re doing. But an SEO freelancer doesn’t have to live in your city, they can work remotely so you can also check out the LinkedIn profiles of SEO freelancers anywhere in the world to see if their skills have been endorsed by previous clients or employees. You also need to check out their website to see if they have an online portfolio that backs up their claims with data.

If you find an SEO freelancer who can show you proven results of how they increased organic traffic and boosted the search engine results ranking for their other clients, you can ensure they’ll do the same for your business.

4. Set up an SEO project to test them out.

The next tip is a big one. Sure, you can check out a candidate’s resume and see results from previous clients, but to really make sure you’re picking the right freelancer for your business, you’ve got to see that SEO freelancer’s skills in action. A great way to evaluate their performance and get a glimpse of the quality of their work is to set up a small SEO project to test them out. Remember that any project you request a freelancer to complete needs to be paid; a great SEO freelancer will not do any work for you for free.

A couple of ideas for an SEO project you can request candidates to complete are:

  • Ask them to review your website ranking in SEMRush and recommend ways to improve organic traffic.
  • Ask them to review your blog and identify the best keywords and keyword phrases to attract your target audience.

Make sure that they explain their process and why they came to the conclusions that they did. Not only will a test SEO project show you that they know what they’re doing but you’ll also be able to see how they follow direction, how thorough and organized they are, what their communication is like, and more.

Over to you.

Now that you know these four tips when hiring an SEO freelancer, you’ll be able to find an SEO rockstar that will be able to help you grow your website to new heights. Soon your SEO ranking will rise to the top and the traffic to your website will explode, all because you took the time to find the best SEO freelancer for your business.