Digital Marketing, SEO

SEO Interview Questions for 2020 (General + Advanced)

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Many of us have lost our jobs due to the global crisis, and are eagerly looking for a new opportunity. If you are one among those who are searching for a reliable job profile then you are at the right place. Digital marketing is certainly one such industry that will bring new opportunities to the job seekers once this pandemic is over. So, when you start your new job in the area of digital marketing, you might begin as an SEO Executive. So, here’s a list of common SEO interview questions with answers that will help you to easily nail your SEO interview and secure a job.

SEO Interview Questions with Answers for SEO Executives

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a brilliant area that will continue to grow in the upcoming years. As per Statista, the search engine optimizations spending in the US is projected to reach over 79 billion US dollars.

No matter if you are applying as a fresher or as an experienced professional, you should be well acquainted with some general and advanced SEO related topics. Certainly, another important thing is your resume. Subsequently, you will need to make a captivating resume to get shortlisted. However, if you do not know how to make an SEO executive resume, click here.

Now, let’s go through the popular SEO interview questions and answers to successfully crack the interview.

Common SEO Interview Questions- General and Advanced

General SEO Questions with Answers

There are some basic things about SEO, that you must know to get hired- on the spot. Now let’s start with the list of general SEO interview questions.  

#1: What is SEO?

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”.

According to Moz, SEO is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”

After describing the SEO term to the interviewer, you may further elaborate on the meaning of the basic terms mentioned herein. 

  • Quality of traffic: To have the right people click the website who have displayed an interest in the website’s product or services. 
  • Quantity of website: Once your site starts to attract potential visitors, the more, the better.
  • Organic result: People usually trust links displayed as unpaid advertisement, rather than the paid ads. The organic search gains more clicks that further leads to better conversion ratio and increased ROIs.

#2: Why is SEO important?

Everyone goes to Google for searching for products and services. Undoubtedly, people trust the result list that Google displays on the first page and do not bother to visit the subsequent pages, not even the second page (in most cases).

The website URL that appears on the first-page listing in search engines is more accessible. So, ultimately, it will get more views and leads. Thus, the SEOs are responsible for gaining a good rank for their website on Google organic search. A good rank allows people to check the relevant webpage and show interest in your product or services. 

Moreover, if the website achieves a higher ranking on Google, the business will ultimately experience more sales without even spending more on planning and executing alternate marketing strategies. 

#3: What is a Search Engine? Name other search engines than Google.

The search engine is a program that identifies and searches for items in the database based on the keywords specified by the user in a particular search event. Other than Google, some renowned search engines include Bing, AOL.com, Yahoo, Baidu, Ask.com, and Info.com.

#4: Why are search engines important?

Search engines allow searchers to search and find relevant information on a particular topic. However, the searchers do not need to be technically sound to perform a search.

#5: What is www?

WWW stands for World Wide Web and usually placed at the beginning of the URL (website address).

#6: What is the domain?

Every website that is available on the web has an IP address, which is considered the location of the site. Since it is difficult to remember the string of numbers, which is an address of the site, a name is assigned to the website so that users can quickly memorize it. 

#7: What is meant by top-level domain?

The domain name is divided into segments, and the last segment of the domain denotes the top-level domain (TLD). The most commonly used domains are ‘.com.’ and ‘.net.’ which are generic domains.

In addition to these, domains are also location-specific such as ‘.co.uk’ (UK), ‘.es’ (Spain), ‘.in’ (India), ‘.au’ (Australia), ‘.co.nz’ (New Zealand), etc.

#8: Name the types of SEO.

The three main types of SEO include:

On-page SEO

On-page SEO or on-site SEO is the process to optimize web page content for search engines as well as users. Common on-page SEO practices include optimizing content, title tags, image attributes, URLs, internal links, meta-description, etc.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO or off-site SEO are the actions taken outside the website to influence the site’s ranking within the SERP (Search Engine Result Pages).

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the actions that are taken to optimize the website for improving the crawling and indexing. It also includes executing SEO practices that improve search visibility.

Your interviewer may also ask you some technical SEO questions. You can find answers to advanced SEO questions in the later section of this article.

#9: What is a keyword?

A keyword is a collection of words used to perform a search event on the search engine, which is related to the website or webpage content. The search engine then searches for metadata, image as well as content on the page. When the search engine determines the keywords added in the page and figures out what the page is about, it displays the page in the search engine result list.

#10: Why are keywords important?

Keywords act as the connecting element between the search performed by the user and the website. Moreover, if the user does not write an exact keyword, the search result might not return as expected. Subsequently, the web pages must include relevant keywords as it helps the page to rank in the search engine listings.

#11: Describe On-page SEO and Off-page SEO?

On-page Optimization refers to the updates, changes, and modifications that take place within the website to optimize it with the intent to gain better ranking in the search engine listing. Specifically, these changes can be a slight or complete alteration in the website structure, meta description, page upload speed, and content optimization.

Off-page SEO is the improvements or activities that we implement away from the website with the intent to improve its rankings. Therefore, SEOs can improve the website’s ranking by building backlinks from trusted sites.

Please note that this is one of the frequently asked digital marketing interview questions.

#12: What gets ranked in Google?

Well, it is not the website that ranks, but a webpage that displays as a result in Google.

#13: What are web hosting and web crawling?

Web hosting is the activity of providing access and storage space for websites. It is a business that provides services and technologies needed to access the webpage or website on the Internet.   

Crawling refers to the process through which the search engines crawl the World Wide Web. It finds the web pages and subsequently, search for the relevant keywords content and hyperlinks and brings the appropriate information back to the server.

These SEO interview questions and answers will certainly help the aspiring candidates to successfully face the interview. However, having some advanced SEO knowledge is good to take your career to the next level.

#14: What is an organic search result?

Organic search result listing is the list of webpages that the search engine returns for each user query. This list includes the most relevant information in reference to the keywords that the user enters. 

Advanced SEO Questions with Answers

The list of common SEO interview questions includes some advanced questions as well. These questions are more SEO centric and needs an extensive knowledge of the ever-emerging field.

#15: What is SERP?

SERP or Search Engine Result Page refers to the list of contents that the search engine displays in return of the specific keyword or search query. The result list includes both paid and unpaid results in the form of advertisements, blogs, articles, websites, and sometimes images as well. 

#16: What is ‘Google Suggest’ or ‘Autocomplete’?

Google Suggest was introduced in the United States in the year 2008. Google Suggest or Autocomplete is a function incorporated in the Google search engine to provide suggestions to the user while they are entering the search query in the Google search box. The recommendations are based on the frequently used terms in amalgamation with other phrases entered by the user.

#17: What is a long-tail keyword?

A long-tail keyword is an important topic and one of the most popular SEO interview questions.

Longer keywords or more specific keyword phrases that are used for searching appropriate content are known as long-tail keywords. These keywords are very specific and generate comparatively lesser traffic; however, they gain better ranking and produce more conversion ratio.

#18: What are header tags and ALT tags?

Header tags are the snippets of code that informs Google that a particular section is the header section of the content. These tags are crucial from an SEO point of view as they influence the website’s ranking to a great extent.  

ALT tags or Alt text, also refer to as alternative text, alt attributes, and alt descriptions is a type of HTML coding that describes the function and appearance of an image on the web page. It helps to give a text description to the page.

#19: What are meta descriptions?

A meta description is a type of HTML tag through which the search engine understands your website. Meta description is a short brief that explains the context of the webpage, blog, article, etc. It describes what the page is about.

Though it is not a ranking factor, how well it represents the page on the search engine result page decides how many clicks the page will get.

Thorough research on meta description will help you understand its importance. It tops the list of frequently asked SEO interview questions so you must be able to answer it correctly.

#20: What are backlinks?

Backlinks, also known as incoming links or inbound links, are the links that the SEOs create to link one website to another website.

#21: Why are backlinks important?

Backlinks are usually crucial for SEO purpose; it acts as the ‘vote of confidence’ given from one website to another. Earning backlinks are valuable as they can have a positive impact on the site’s search visibility or ranking position on the web.

#22: What is a Do-Follow link?

Links that are not modified as no-follow links are do-follow links. It means that all the links are do-follow links by default. DO follow links automatically pass along the ‘link juice’. Since links represent the quality of websites, they can help the sites in achieving a higher rank on SERP.

#23: What is a No-Follow link?

No-follow links include a type of code that asks Google or other search engines not to count them or crawl them towards the votes of quality.

#24: What is internal linking?

Internal Links are hyperlinks that exist within the same domain. Here, the target and the source website is the same. Simply put, the internal link points to the different pages on the same site. 

#25: What is inbound and outbound linking?

Inbound links are the links that come to your website from another website.

Outbound links are the hyperlinks that links your website to another one.

#26: What is the Google penalty?

Google penalty is the adverse impact on the website’s ranking based on updates to negative manual reviews or Google’s search algorithms. It can be a side-effect of an algorithm update or penalization for using black-hat SEO techniques.

#27: How Google penalties impact the websites?

There are different ways in which Google Penalties can affect a website.

  • Hidden text
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Hacked site
  • User-generated spam
  • Cloaking/ Sneaky Redirects
  • Content with no added value
  • Spammy free hosts
  • Pure spam
  • Clocked images
  • Spammy structured markup
  • Unnatural links from/to your site

#28: What is an SEO audit?

SEO audit is a process to evaluate a website’s optimization standards for search engines. It covers a different area including technical, on-site as well as off-site activities of SEO.

#29: What activities are included in an SEO Audit?

It truly depends on one’s choice and preferences, but as a golden rule of thumb, an SEO Audit must include the following activities.

  • Technical Analysis
  • Page/ site structure analysis
  • Metadata
  • Indexing
  • Content issues
  • Accessibility
  • What the site ranks for
  • On-page analysis and Off-page analysis
  • Competitive analysis and keyword research
  • Anchor text diversity
  • What competitors are ranking for
  • Link profile
  • Targeted keywords
  • Referring domains

#30: What are the most important Google ranking factors?

Different factors decide the ranking of a website, but most crucial ranking factors are:

  • Content optimization
  • Page speed
  • User experience
  • Mobile-first
  • HTTPS
  • Backlinks
  • Schema code
  • Domain power
  • Social signals

#31: What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics (GA) is a free Web-based analytics tool that generates informative figures about website activity and its traffic. In general, it tells about the visitors and their behavior, who they are, what age group they belong to, how they found the website, how long they visited the page, what they did, etc.

This is undoubtedly one of the most commonly asked SEO interview questions and you have to answer it like a pro.

#32: What are the steps you take to optimize a website?

Website optimization is a critical process that includes several technical procedures and sub-procedures.

To begin with, an SEO needs to perform Target Market Analysis that includes website analysis, competitive analysis, and initial keyword nomination. 

The next step i.e., Keyword Research and Development involves keyword analysis, baseline ranking assessment, as well as determining goals and objectives to measure ROIs.

The next step, i.e., step 3, includes Content Optimization and Submission. In this step, the SEOs are usually accountable for creating page titles, creating metadata, and placing strategic search phrases on pages, developing new sitemaps for search engines, submitting the website to directories.

At last, the SEOs need to test and measure the site continuously. This step notably includes testing and measuring the programs to check their effectiveness. Certainly, website maintenance is a regular and ongoing process.

#33: What is mobile-first indexing?

Mobile-first indexing indicates that the search engine will use the mobile version of the website content for ranking and indexing.

#34: What is SEO optimized content?

Content is undoubtedly a crucial component of any website. It very much decides the success of a website as a unique and relevant content helps convert visitors into potential buyers. Nevertheless, the content needs to be captivating, original, and engaging. Moreover, it should maintain a perfect balance of keywords.  

#35: What is the structured data?

The content or data that is placed accurately into fields such as tables is known as structured data.

Useful Information to Prepare for SEO Interview Questions

Some of the popular blogs to read the latest SEO news are:

  1. Search Engine Journal
  2. Search Engine Land
  3. Search Engine Watch
  4. Search Engine Roundtable

Stay Updated with Latest SEO Techniques!

SEO is a vast area that includes a massive array of questions about SEO best practices, strategies, website optimization, analysis, and much more.

Above mentioned list of common SEO or SMO interview questions and answers will help a candidate in securing a job with a decent salary package.

However, the candidates need to update themselves with the latest SEO trends and practices to have a successful career and outshine in the industry.

One can either select to work full time as an SEO executive or choose to be an independent SEO professional and handle freelance projects.   

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