Home  › Search › SEO

What Makes a Good SEO Hire?

  |  July 25, 2011   |  Comments   |  

A good SEO talent should be equipped with skills in these four areas.

We are hiring! In fact, a lot of agencies, advertisers, and technology providers are hiring right now, within the region. With every turning year, the region expands, develops and becomes more of a force to be reckoned with. Internet World Stats reports that Asia currently accounts for around 42 percent of worldwide Internet users.

However, with this development, comes growing pains. And one of the most visible growing pains we see, hands down, is hiring. It is relatively easy to win new business, but always more difficult to hire against that business. And within the varied and always evolving world of digital, SEO consistently seems to be one of the most difficult positions to fill. Particularly within Japan, due to the heavy language requirements needed.

These past two months we have been actively seeking for new SEO talent and this has forced me (in a good way) to sit down and really define what we would classify as an "ideal candidate" for someone to bring into the group. This is a work in progress, but I thought I would share these initial key ingredients of an SEO hire in this article with the hope of getting some feedback and insights from the readers on what you think.

SEO is such a specialised skill and therefore requires a unique blend of skills. Below, I have grouped these skills into four main buckets: technical, insights, media, and business.


It is critical for someone to have a solid foundation of HTML. They don't need to be a rock star coder, but they do need to know what goes into building a web page, a deep understanding of all the SEO relevant tags that affect rankings, and will need to be aware of how the search engines work, and more importantly, how to make them work for you. In addition, a familiarity with the principles of web design, site structures, taxonomy, and usability basics will be preferred.


There is absolutely a strong correlation between SEO and both behavioral analysis and psychological theory. Someone with a loose background and/or interest in these areas along with general consumer insights and who has the ability to leverage disparate data sources to pull out meaningful and actionable insights will be a strong candidate. This would involve working with various technologies like Google Analytics, AdGooroo, etc. to turn data into stories.


SEO does not work in a silo. And to a large extent the success of your SEO program is becoming more and more impacted by what other activities you have in market – Paid Search, Social Media, TV, and Display. Having someone with knowledge of these channels, particularly Paid Search and Social Media will be important. With Paid Search we can work to build a more holistic search strategy and with Social Media we can look to obtain links while also ranking for social content we create.


Our SEO'ers do not sit in a dark basement glued to their monitors 24/7. They are very much a part of our business, whether managing vendors or dealing with clients, and because of this, a level of business acumen and professionalism is expected. They need to be trained in new business pitch situations, negotiations, and client presentations. Because SEO can sometimes be this "black box" for clients, we need to be able to sell our services in a very simple and understandable way. Therefore, salesmanship will be critical.

Beyond these four main buckets, awareness in understanding what makes good content, e-commerce basics, mobile principles, and culture in terms of local market nuances, among other areas will be a bonus for any new hire.

Being in Asia, the additional challenge we have is to find people who met these requirements, but who are also bilingual. This bilingual piece tends to filter down our pool of candidates and forces us to compromise on the quality and experience of our candidate.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes a good SEO hire and if there are any factors I've left out from my list.

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!


Andy Radovic

Andy Radovic is a strategic digital marketer with 12+ years experience working in the digital media space across a variety of agencies, spanning stints in the U.S., Japan, Korea, and now Singapore. Currently working for Maxus Asia Pacific, part of the GroupM network, the world’s largest media investment management organization, and media communications and planning arm of parent company WPP. At Maxus, Andy leads regional digital duties for Asia Pacific with a focus on building out the Maxus digital product offering across Asia Pacific focusing on search, social, mobile, digital analytics and e-commerce. Prior to Maxus, Andy headed up digital for GroupM in Japan and Korea. Before GroupM, he has worked for a variety of startups in Asia and the U.S. across the technology and digital media categories and is a frequent contributor to ClickZ.asia, iMediaConnection, and RevenueToday.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Search newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?


    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...