1. What are the steps you take to optimize a website?
A great SEO specialist should be methodical and detail-oriented. They should be able to walk you through their process step-by-step, from assessing the quality of the site’s current rank to testing different copy or strategies and evaluating the success of a campaign.
2. How does data inform your strategy?
SEO shouldn’t be a matter of guesswork. Good candidates are analytically minded and should work closely with you or your data team to make sure they have the right insights to guide their strategies.
3. What tools do you use to track and manage your campaigns?
What matters here is that the SEO specialist has a preferred set of tools and feels comfortable using them. BrightEdge and Searchmetrics are popular enterprise SEO tools. BuzzStream, Ahrefs, and Majestic are popular link building tools. Screaming Frog SEO Spider analyses sites from an SEO perspective, and Advanced Web Ranking can help track your site’s page ranking.
4. Tell me about a time an SEO strategy went wrong. What did you learn from it?
A big part of an SEO specialist’s job is trying new things, measuring the results, and developing new hypotheses. It’s normal for something to go awry in a campaign, and good candidates should be able to talk about how they changed strategies accordingly.
5. How do you work with developers to implement SEO recommendations?
Some SEO specialists know HTML and CSS, but even if they don’t, they should understand the principles of web development and feel comfortable working directly with developers to ensure that their changes are implemented.
6. How do you do keyword research?
SEO experts keep a record of keywords based on important topics related to their business, whether via a specific tool or even just a spreadsheet. They should also constantly research related terms to ensure that they’re covering everything that potential visitors are searching for. Some popular keywords tools for this including Google Keyword Tool, SEMrush, GrepWords, and Übersuggest.
7. What’s the most important factor in an SEO campaign?
This question is designed to give you a sense of how the professional thinks about their work. The simple truth is that there isn’t just one important factor, but lots of them. An SEO specialist should be able to identify which factors are most important based on the specific goals of the campaign.
8. How do you go about link-building for a client?
Depending on the client’s needs, there are a few ways to go about building links, from producing natural editorial links with high-quality content, to contracting an agency to perform outreach. A great candidate should be able to look at your business’s specific needs to determine the right strategy to accomplish your objectives.
9. What are some of the more recent Google algorithm changes and what were the implications?
Every year, Google makes around 500-600 changes to its search algorithm, so it’s important for SEO specialists to be up-to-date about the latest major changes.
10. What is your process for developing an SEO growth strategy?
The best SEO specialists are methodical and organized. A good strategy might look something like:
- Know your target audience
- Define your objectives
- Categorize keywords
- Track data and results.
11. How does social media play into an SEO strategy?
It’s important for your business to be where your customers are. A good SEO specialist should understand the importance of social reputation and social shares and how leveraging the appropriate social channels can boost your page ranking.
12. What tools do you use to perform data analysis?
In addition to using insights gleaned from whatever tools you may already be using, a great SEO specialist should be well versed in using functions in Excel or Google Sheets to perform their own analyses.