SEO is absolutely one of the game changers when it comes to online marketing. As such, hiring an SEO expert is absolutely important but this requires some in-depth knowledge of what the industry is all about in order to pick the best out of the crowd. Every time people are across the world are looking for answers to a myriad of questions, the easiest and fastest route to find them is always from search engines such as Google, Duckduckgo, Bing and Yahoo among others.
No matter their trusted source of information, the expectation of all searchers is always the same and that’s to find relevant information, genuine products and reliable services.
That said, an entry level SEO expert should have a good understanding of how these search engines work in order to provide your company with the relevant skills that will not only translate into success but also deter any violation of terms and conditions set out by the different search engines. With this in mind, it will be important to have a comprehensive list of questions which the interviewees should answer to determine their suitability for the job at hand.
1. What do you understand by the term SEO and why is it important?
The term SEO is short form of Search Engine Optimization and it denotes activities performed as a way of improving the ranking of websites, web content, products and services by Search Engines. Basically, it shows results that are unpaid for otherwise known as natural, organic, free or earned results.
Companies use SEO with the aim of gaining more in terms of traffic for their sites, blogs or vlogs. The desire is fuelled by the need to appear on the first page of the Search Engines as users are likely to pay more attention to the pages that appear there. In addition, the websites that appear in the first page tend to be trusted more by users as they consider them to be offer authentic results and specific information related to their needs.
2. How is SEO success measured?
Different people might have different views as far as this question is concerned. However, it is important for the interviewee to at least have ideas that are closely related to those you have. SEO success should not be measured by ranking and search impressions alone but any entry level SEO job seeker should take a little bit further and deal with issues such as revenue, sales, traffic and ROI. This marketing channel should at least have metrics that match with plans and activities.
3. Where does SEO campaign start?
A good SEO expert should not begin with writing of page titles and build linking as the foundational stages of a successful campaign. These two have little returns yet require a lot of time. There are other perspectives that one should consider when beginning the campaign including setting of specific, assessable and clear objectives, audience research, setting of expectations product & service research, keyword research and competitor analysis.
These are very key points which should form the foundation of any successful campaign and should be put ahead of writing and linking. A clear understanding on these areas will help come up with the right content and links.
4. What is crawling?
Web crawling or crawling is an automated process used by search engines to filter web pages in order to index properly. All Search Engines including Google go through websites looking for relevant keywords, content, and hyperlinks to bring the information contained therein for indexing by web servers. Companies normally build sitemaps for enhanced navigation and accessibility and this happens as crawlers such as Google Bots go through pages that are linked to the web pages in the website.
5. What’s the ideal keyword usage for better ranking?
This question can be answered in different ways but a skilled entry-level SEO expert won’t just give a numerical answer. There should be an explanation on how hundreds or thousands of keywords can be used as part of the campaign and this should include things such as long tail keywords. A good candidate for the job should talk about the mapping of buying cycles, research stage searches to keywords and key phrases.
6. What do you know about the actual website optimization?
The optimization of the website has some technical and on page SEO factors and these should be clearly understood by any entry level candidate. Under this, factors such as site structure, headings, titles, navigation, content, descriptions and load speed should feature in the answer. The candidate should also talk about the elimination of duplicate internal content among other things.
7. What’s the best link building process?
This will reveal whether the candidates are current with the changing world of link acquisition. Since 2012, links have been largely acquired through digital PR and the use of older methods has seen penalized. As such, the SEO candidate should be aware that link building tactics such as paid links, article spinning and directories no longer work with Google algorithm in the present day SEO tactics. The best candidate should be able to outline multiple tactics that are useful and not only dwell on content marketing.
8. What should be included in SEO report?
An SEO report is important and should be easy to understand by anyone within your company. The report should feature the progress made against the set objectives and at the same time highlight secondary and more technical Key Performance Indicators in some cases. As an employer, this should be something to look for and the candidates should be able to demonstrate how they’ll be reporting on important metrics that are essentials beyond the SEO team (revenue, sales, conversion rate, and core rankings).
9. What are the different types of links when it comes to SEO?
Basically, we have 3 types of links namely internal linking, outgoing linking and incoming linking. Internal linking provides hyperlinks to different web pages within the same domain. These are important as they direct the audience to different pages within the same website while at the same time helping the search engine spiders with indexing and crawling through the inner pages of a blog or website. The internal links are ideal as they build information hierarchy within the website and also allow your visitors to navigate your website with ease.
On the other hand, incoming links otherwise known as inbound links are basically links from third-party websites directing users to your website. There are rules that govern such links and as the SEO expert one should understand them to avoid blacklisting or penalties. Thirdly, we have outbound links which originate from your website to an external or targeted domain. Knowing how to use each of these links in a professional way is very important and will determine your SEO success.