Best SEO Interview Questions
Are you preparing for a new job? Are you looking for an opportunity in the field of digital marketing? If yes, you would need a complete resource and list of SEO interview questions that prepare you for the interview like no other. So, here you go! This list of 30 SEO questions and answers covers the very fundamental aspects of SEO to advanced and current aspects. Read on and get ready for the big day!
List of Some Fundamental SEO Interview Questions and Answers:
What is SEO? How important is SEO in digital marketing?
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation, and it is the process to push organic, editorial and natural yet quality traffic on the website and gradually get ranking in SERPs. You have a product, a website but if nobody knows about you, you are missing out on customers, and in the due process, revenue as well. The higher a company’s rank, the more the number of clicks and hence, more customers and chances of conversion. SEO is an integral part of digital marketing. It is a vital tool and an essential part of digital transformation that can make or break your online marketing efforts.
What are the SEO tools do you use?
There are plenty of free and paid SEO tools available to analysis the website performance, links, SEO efforts, domain and local listing. Some of them are Google AdWords, Google Keyword Planner, Google Location Changer, Link Explorer, Free Location Audit, Exploding Topics, ClearScope, Answer the Public, Yoast SEO Plugin, Google Trends and so on.
What are backlinks?
Its very complicated theory added to this SEO question because the exact outcome entirely depends upon the experience. When a website, web page or a blog link to your page, blog or website, it is called backlinks. The quality of backlinks is a crucial metric to determine the page authority of a website. When a website attains a quality link, sumptuous and succulent link juice is passed on, which helps in the visibility and ranking of the latter.
What do you mean by outbound links and cross-linking?
Unlike inbound links, outbound links direct a user to an external web page. Typically, an article of 500 words should not have more than five outbound links. Cross-linking, on the other hand, is a part of Search Engine Marketing and refers to two sites linking to each other, which may or may not be owned by the same person. These reciprocal links can be an integral part of SEO strategy.
What is the importance of content in SEO? (Its an Important SEO Interview Question)
In SEO, content is king. Its quality is non-negotiable. The search engine giant, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day, and there are ten results on a search page, which are determined by the quality, originality, and wholesomeness of content. Optimized content results in customer-centric practices and more CTR, leading to more clicks and better rankings. The renowned digital marketing expert, Neil Patel, is of opinion that SEO is nothing but content marketing.
What is the process you should follow for content? Where do most people fail when it comes to content strategy?
There is often a gap between digital marketing strategies and content departments. Often, companies see content as a filler and fail to recognise its value in digital marketing. However, it is important to ensure that the communication, objective and end goal of a particular SEO task is conveyed within the team. The content should be in on the plans and tasks from the word ‘go.’
Explain long-tail keywords and are they relevant?
Long-tail keywords are key phrases that are more specific and less common in search. These keywords usually have fewer search results, more conversion rates leading to more traffic. The term came from ‘The Long Tail’ book by Chris Anderson –implying that the internet is vast and there is scope to market every product virtually. Besides, in PPC, long-tail keywords cost you less and offer more qualified search.
Are you aware of the latest Google updates in search engine algorithms? What do you think of them?
Google has recently rolled out BERT that is expected to impact one in ten search queries by shuffling the results that appear for them. It stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and is directed towards understanding the context and nuances of the language better. For instance, in its blog, the search engine explains with the example of “2019 Brazil traveller to the USA needs a visa”. Earlier, the search engine wouldn’t understand the term ‘to,’ which is important to bring forth more relevant results. It also applies for the snippets and doesn’t overthrow RankBrain (Google’s first artificial intelligence method), which was launched a few years ago. However, Google has also clarified that it is not possible to optimise for BERT but it is big news as the search engine is putting in more efforts to understand natural language and bring relevant results. On the SEO front, we should continue developing relevant and original content for users.
What is a rich answer box? (A trendy SEO Interview Question)
Rich answer box is a new feature by Google that provides rich information to the users for their search query, at the top of the page. It is in the form of the snippet and comes before the first organic result on a search page in a light grey box. According to a Moz study, one doesn’t require a greater domain authority to feature in SERP snippets but wholesome content. Mostly it is the Wikipedia page that features up there but one should keep trying to dethrone it and get to the most coveted position.
Can you say something about the Panda update?
Panda is the official name of a Google update that curbed the prevalence of low-quality, spam content in the search results. Thanks to this update, the webmasters and content managers have started to ensure the quality and originality of content.
How does Google AdWords work?
It is an advertising system run by Google where advertisers can bid on keywords for ads that appear before organic results. Google Adwords is free, but certain tools available on the website where the webmasters and owners need to pay for total spend on the platform such as bidding and the average cost per click.
What are Google Trends?
Google Trends is a website run by Google that brings forth the top-most search queries across the world. It analyses the trends in a graph form to compare the search volume in different languages and countries.
Explain the Google Knowledge Graph.
Google released the knowledge graph in the year 2012 with this video.
It started as the repository of static content involving images, social media profiles and basic information about search query but with each passing day, it has become more relevant and interactive. The content needs to be an authority and the website should come across as a subject matter expert to appear in the Google Knowledge Graph. It is a beautiful evolution in the aspect that the search engine is analysing, collecting and connecting broader sets of data to find you the best of results in an extensive form.
Students can read more about it here.
What is your opinion about blog commenting?
Once a prized possession considering its place in exchanging the ideas, blog commenting isn’t much of value nowadays. The search engine giant, Google likes to see diversity in links and variation in the anchor text, which come from different sources. However, one can’t just rule out the importance of blog commenting and must tread safely. The process of selecting good quality websites and gaining a ‘no-follow’ contextual link help a lot. Similarly, blog commenting can be used to diversify over-optimised anchor texts.
Watch this video of Matt Cutts talking about building links through blog commenting.
What is keyword stemming?
SEO experts Rand Fishkin and Bill Slawski explained keyword stemming more than ten years ago, and this was when we realised that the abilities of Google in understanding a word form are evolved to a significant level. The ‘stemming’ is derived from the word, ‘stem’ and refers to Google’s understanding of different word forms coming from the same word. For instance, the word, ‘bought’, ‘buys’ and ‘buy’ are simply the same words.
Explain spiders and crawling?
Spiders are software robots that “crawl” through the information on the web to find the relevant result for your search.
Do you follow any bloggers to enhance your knowledge and upgrade digital strategy?
Yes, there are a couple of them that are ‘the word’ on the SEO trends, search engine updates and digital marketing strategy. (You can list your favourite blogs.)
What is cloaking?
Cloaking is an SEO technique that presents a different form of content to the user and search engine. For instance, a user may see a page with images or using Flash whereas a search engine would crawl a page of HTML text. It is achieved by delivering content based on IP addresses.
What is a Meta tag, and what is the word limit?
Meta tags are a part of a web page’s head section and are a snippet of the content that double up as content descriptors for the search engine spiders and let them know what the web page is about. The tags can be of any length, but Google trims it to 155-160 characters. So, it is recommended to keep them within the limit. For mobile web pages, it is up to 120 characters or 680 pixels.
What do you think about Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is an unethical approach to rank highly in the SERPs and can result in being blacklisted and penalty by search engines. Some of the Black Hat SEO techniques are cloaking, keyword stuffing and private links.
What is the difference between ‘Do follow’ and ‘No follow’? (Must Known SEO interview question)
Follow links are the links that work in favour of a web page, boost the page rank and push the SEO link juice. However, a ‘no-follow’ link is just that. It doesn’t have any credibility or impact in SERPs and is just gibberish. However, the latter has done the SEO universe the greater good. WordPress and Wikipedia assign an automatic ‘No Follow’ attribute to the links posted by the users, minimising the ‘Sir, SpamALots.’
What is the most valuable aspect of the SEO process? Creating content or getting the backlinks? Outbound links or inbound? Off-page optimisation or on-page optimisation?
Each aspect of SEO has its value and is integral to the process. Good content is of no value if it is not visible across channels. Everything needs to be followed through and in a thorough manner to ensure digital transformation.
What do you mean by competitive analysis?
Competitive analysis and keyword research are the stepping stone of SEO. It is a vis-à-vis between the competitor and the website you are optimising.
What is keyword density?
Keyword density is the number of keywords in an article, blog or web content. It is usually two to three percent of the total number of words. The formula for keyword density is
Total number of keywords X 100 / Total number of words
What is a NAP?
NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone Number, a crucial aspect of local SEO and geo-targeted search.
Are you aware of Google Penalty? How can you avoid it?
Google penalty occurs when the search engine finds your website in the violation of any of the guideline and algorithm updates issued by it. According to Matt Cutts, Google takes more than 400,000 manual actions against websites that don’t follow Penguin and Panda updates. However, only five percent of the websites (that are 20,000 webmasters) follow up with a reconsideration request. The penalty results in a loss in organic traffic, ranking and credibility.
Google penalty can be avoided by staying up-to-date with an algorithm, keeping the website simple, clean and mobile-friendly. The content should be original and creative. Avoid keyword stuffing and broken links like plague. Smart keywords and tags should be used. Supervising website for performance, links and quality standards is important to ensure it stays in the good books of Google. Link audit such as avowing bad links and checking the website for bad link redirection is critical.
How can you fix a bad link?
Bad links derail your SEO efforts and make for poor user experience. This is why link audit at regular interval is a must. Google Analytics can be used to analyse the performance of a website and generate a 404 report for a broken or bad link. Several other free tools are also available to check the performance of a website. The CMS redirect is also another way to fix a broken link.
What is link equity?
Link equity is often referred to as link juice. It is the credibility and the push of an inward link that is transferred to the site it connects with. Before the advent of a ‘no follow’ link, all links posted in the blog comments and directed towards a website had link equity, be it spam or low-quality.
Does the redirect affect SEO?
301 redirects are believed to pass along up to 90 percent of link equity to the redirect page. So, when a page is redirected on a server level, the loading speed and ranking authority are compromised in the process. 302 is a temporary redirect and Meta refreshes happens on the page level are a better option in terms of link equity (however, some expert disagree). The latter is also not a recommended tactic as well.
What’s your take on SEO for this year?
Voice Search! According to ComScore, the voice search is expected to rise by a whopping fifty percent! The surge in the sales of Amazon Echo and voice assistants like Siri and Google Home only confirms the pattern. Besides, there is also an upward trend of optimising content for the snippet. And it is time to change SEO’s attention to voice search for the year 2020.
Besides, mobile SEO is going to be huge this year too. More than 48 per cent of users start their search on mobile. Half of the users read reviews on their mobile before proceeding with transactions on their mobiles. Unsurprisingly, Google has declared mobile page speed to be a crucial factor in ranking. So, letting go of the mobile SEO will be akin to professional hara-kiri.
SEO is a volatile domain and proper preparation as well as staying updated with the current trends while having a thorough grasp of its basic tenets is the only way to assure success in the SEO interview. While our experts have ensured to cover most of the questions asked by the interviewers, it is just the beginning! The best way to go forward is to sign up for a digital marketing course or an advanced SEO program to elevate your chances.
Good luck with your interview!