Did you know almost 63.4% of SEO roles require expertise with at least one tool?
But then being a SEO manager is not all about tools, is it?
You need to be adept at communication, analytical prowess, know your audience at the back of your hand, and have exceptional team management skills.
We all know Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most critical aspects of digital marketing. And, the person creating and managing the SEO strategy has a crucial role to play in any marketing team.
So, if you are an SEO manager prepping for your next interview then you’ve landed on the right page.
Here’s a list of SEO manager interview questions and answers that you could be asked during the interview process. These questions can help you understand the thought process of the interviewer and polish your answers beforehand.
Let’s see what these questions look like.
SEO Manager Interview Questions and Answers for You
1. What is the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?
On-page SEO is a technique adapted on-page or on-site to improve the search engine ranking of an individual webpage. It includes writing good content, maintaining keyword density, including internal links, URL optimization, and more.
Off-page SEO techniques are the measures taken outside of your website to improve your website ranking on the search engine. It’s basically promoting your website externally by using techniques like writing a guest post, building backlinks, influencer outreach, to name a few.
2. How did you learn the skill of SEO?
I have had the opportunity to work on SEO-focused campaigns in my previous jobs and learnt several practical aspects of SEO on the go. Besides, I have completed ‘X’ SEO course from (name the source), which gave me deeper insights into how search engine algorithms work and exposed me to emerging SEO strategies.
3. What SEO tools do you use?
There are multiple tools in the market, but I prefer using Ahrefs, Semrush SEO tool, Moz SEO tool, Google Keyword planner, and Google Search Console.
4. How do you measure the success rate of SEO campaigns?
I think the simplest way to measure the success of SEO campaigns is by analyzing the traffic generated on the desired web page or measuring the conversion rate after the campaign’s implementation.
5. What do you think are the duties of an SEO manager?
I think the duties of an SEO manager include:
- Lead and execute SEO campaigns/projects to improve the search engine ranking of the website
- Analyze, monitor, and report the performance of campaigns/projects
- Optimize the landing page of the website
- Developing and implementing the content strategy
- Do keyword research
6. How do you proceed with keyword research?
Again, the correct answer to the question will vary as per the individual. Here you might mention a tool or two that they use to get an idea of the keyword. However, you should also talk about considering the target audience persona while researching keywords.
Also, touch upon points like looking into the competitiveness of the keywords and choosing the keywords that are not too competitive and also have a good search volume.
7. What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are made of three to four words. These keywords target a specific audience or audience looking for a solution to a particular query and are more likely to go through with a sale.
8. What number of keywords should you use in a web page and content?
It is adequate to include two to three primary keywords along with a couple of secondary keywords, and it shouldn’t look forced in the content. The number of keywords to be included also depends on the length of the content and webpage.
However, the standard practice is to maintain a keyword density of 2-3 percent, and it can also go to 3-4 percent if the keyword is too competitive.
9. What are some of the common SEO mistakes?
In my experience so far, some of the common SEO mistakes I have noticed are:
- Not creating unique content
- Overstuffing the content with keywords
- Poor quality of backlinks
10. Have you ever received a link penalty? If yes, what have you done to fix it?
Yes, it was a manual link penalty by Google for one of the resource blogs on our website. The blog was one of our best-performing blogs, and upon analysis, we found that several spam websites used our links as backlinks.
It was most possibly a case of a negative SEO campaign against our webpage. We wrote a correction request email to Google for reviewing our page and thankfully, the review cleared through after five weeks.
11. What is meant by Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO techniques include cloaking, duplicating content, link scheme, hidden text, and several other methods. These techniques are unethical and can get a website banned from the search engine.
12. What do you understand by cross-linking, and what function does it serve?
Cross-linking is the process of linking one web page to another page. It also includes linking web pages on the same website. The intention is to link relevant content and generate quality traffic.
An example of cross-linking is linking stats in your article to the original source of research – such cross-linking avoids plagiarism concerns and also increases the credibility of your content.
13. What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
Search Engine Optimization is an organic way to drive traffic to your website. On the other hand, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is generally a paid method of promotion to your website on the search engine, including pay-per-click advertising.
14. What is meant by image Alt text?
Alt text explains the image in words. Google can’t understand the image. It only knows written words. That is why Alt text is used, which helps Google to make sense of the image and optimize it.
15. What is URL optimization?
Just like we optimize a web page, a URL should also be optimized to make the link more recognizable, and the process is called URL optimization. A URL is optimized by using a keyword and by keeping it short and easy to understand.
16. How to see indexed pages?
Google Search Console can be used to see the indexed pages. They can also be seen by doing an advanced search on Google.
17. What is meant by keyword stemming, and what’s its importance?
Keyword stemming is an SEO tactic of adding a prefix or suffix to a keyword. This helps us add more relevant keywords to the content or webpage without overdoing it. For example, if the keyword is “interest”, in that case, writing “interesting”, “interested” would be keyword stemming.
18. What does Google fetch do?
Fetch is a tool offered by Google Search Console that allows us to see if the Googlebot can access the URLs on your website and how it perceives them.
19. Have you ever seen a Google knowledge graph?
Google knowledge graph is Google’s internal database of everything available on the search engine. The graph is used by it to provide the most relevant information for the search queries. While Google knowledge graph is not visible to the public – its result, Google Knowledge Graph Panel, is visible to all. The panel is the box of information provided by Google on the top-right side of search engine results.
20. How to neutralize a toxic link on your website?
Toxic links can be neutralized using a backlink quality checker tool. The tool will assist in identifying the toxic link. After that, there is a need for another tool named “Google Disavow tool” that can ignore those links.
21. What is an SEO audit, and why do we do one?
SEO audit is a process of evaluating the factors affecting the website rank on the search engine. It includes analyzing the on/off-page SEO and technical aspects of SEO. SEO audits help improve the website’s health and improve the user experience.
22. What is a link audit, and how often should we perform it?
Link audit is the process of analyzing all the links that direct towards your websites or backlinks. It ensures that the external links are of good quality and helps with SEO. Many SEO experts audit links before they start building backlinks. As link audits are a tedious process, I think a complete link audit should be done once every year.
23. What is meant by a conical issue?
A conical issue occurs when a website URL is similar to other existing URLs. For example, xyzURL.com and URLxyz.com will cause a conical issue.
24. What are the latest updates by Google that impacted SEO?
The search engine constantly updates its search algorithm; however, the latest update that significantly impacted SEO was the Google Core Web Vitals update that was rolled out in 2021. The update studies the quality of user experience to determine search engine performance and rankings.
25. What are rich snippets?
Rich snippets are informative texts above the organic search results that give an idea of the content. Sometimes it also includes images. Google Search Console can be used to generate rich snippets. It is not part of SEO, but it can drive traffic towards the content.
26. What is ‘crawling’, and can we increase its frequency by search engine?
“Crawler” is a search engine bot that reads the content of your webpage and ranks it in the Google search accordingly. This process is called crawling. The crawling frequency can be increased by regularly updating the website content.
27. Even if you try every conventional SEO method, your website doesn’t rank higher in the search engine, what will you do?
Firstly, I would re-check the keywords and add more relevant keywords to the content. Try different titles and meta descriptions. I would also use Google’s advanced search to understand competitor strategies and check the performance of my current links. One often ignored point while searching for the cause of poor performance is checking the page for penalties.
28. How can you use content marketing for SEO?
Content marketing is essential for getting successful SEO. Quality content optimized with keywords and external/internal links significantly helps in reaching the masses. Content marketing can be executed in various formats like text, videos, emails, and podcasts.
29. Can social media marketing help with SEO?
Yes, social media posts are a great way to generate engagement and drive traffic to the website.
30. How can SEO and PPC together help you get better results?
SEO and PPC are supplementary strategies and can be used simultaneously to generate better results and higher rankings. PPC advertisements are paid promotions that help them appear at the top of the search results page.
When combined with a sound SEO strategy, the business can occupy a large number of SERPs by allowing the web page to rank high up in an organic manner too (besides, the PPC ads).
31. Explain Domain Authority.
Domain Authority is the score to measure the success of your sites in Google search ranking. It ranges between 1-100, and a higher score means good results.
32. What is Hummingbird in Google?
Hummingbird was an update in the Google algorithm that saw a shift in the algorithm’s focus from keyword-based search to the intent behind the search, for ranking web pages.
33. How can you optimize a website that has millions of pages?
A robust backend architecture and an advanced SEO tool with strong analytical capabilities are prerequisites for optimizing such a website. You can use SEO plugins that can help analyze the pages. Once a preliminary analysis report is available, we can proceed to optimize the pages by:
- Removing duplicate content
- Add important keywords in headers and META tags
- Design a strong internal linking structure
34. Which are SEO factors that are out of your control?
The most significant factor affecting SEO which is not in our control, is the search engine, Google. The company has not made it public how its algorithms work. Even SEO experts have determined best practices through trial and error.
Google also doesn’t rank the new website higher. Therefore, things can get tricky when optimizing the webpage. It takes a team of experienced people to develop the best SEO strategy.
35. Why is page speed critical?
Google considers the user experience offered by websites before ranking it in the search results. Faster page upload speed means customers have to wait less to read the pages, resulting in better user experience and consequently better search engine rankings. That is why websites need to have a high page speed.
36. What is the best practice to redirect a page?
Generally, 301 redirects are considered the best way to redirect a page as it benefits the SEO value the page offers.
37. How important are videos for SEO?
Video content is favoured by Google over written content. According to a study, engagement for websites with a video on their landing page was more than a landing page with no video. Hence, using videos in SEO campaigns can fetch good results.
38. How do you create an SEO strategy?
Creating SEO strategies vary from project to project. However, in general, I start by understanding the target audience and defining the SEO strategy’s short and long-term goals. The next step is competitor analysis, keyword research, and content planning. After completing all these steps, it comes down to deciding the implementation timeline.
39. How do you stay updated with the latest updates in the latest SEO-related trends?
SEO strategies evolve regularly and to keep myself updated, I follow blogs, newsletters, and popular websites like neilpatel.com and semrush.com. I make efforts to engage with industry professionals on networking platforms to discuss evolving trends in depth.
40. What is your previous experience in managing an SEO or marketing team?
I have handled teams of size from ‘a-b’ over my ‘x’ years tenure as an SEO manager.
The only way to give a good interview is by practising answers to these questions beforehand. Keep in mind your answer needs to reflect your analytical skills, creativity, industry knowledge and work experience.
In the end, keep some questions ready to ask the interviewee.
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