Top 25 SEO interview questions & answers

SEO is one of the promising careers right now. You can find job roles like SEO analyst, SEO strategist, SEO specialist etc… However, most of the interviews for the SEO job role will test your knowledge on the current trends, the tools you use and how you strategize the SEO process. Make sure you have a good working knowledge and attend the interview with confidence. Here is a list of some of the most asked SEO interview questions & answers:

1. What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of improving a website to rank in search engines.

Process: Search engines like Google or Bing use bots (automated software) to collect information about web pages on the internet. This collected information is put into an index where it is analyzed by algorithms. So, when someone searches for a particular term(which is known as keywords), the algorithms prioritize these pages accordingly considering different factors(known as ranking factors) to show them on SERP or Search Engine Result Pages.

These ranking factors include content quality, keyword quantity, the authority of the webpage, loading speed of the page etc. Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving these ranking factors.

2. What is the importance of SEO?

SEO is considered an integral part of digital marketing. People tend to search for things online now more than ever. If a website ranks on top of search result there’s a high probability that the customers visit the website more often. SEO improves the visibility of your website in search engines and thereby the business get more reach online.

SEO builds trust and credibility. Also, a good SEO means the user experience on that website is good. Moreover, SEO is cheap when compared to other marketing techniques.

3. Different types of SEO techniques?

  • White Hat SEO– Improving website performance using approved SEO techniques like creating quality content, acquiring backlinks naturally etc…
  • Black Hat SEO– Following unethical techniques like keyword stuffing, buying backlinks, content automation to rank web pages.
  • Grey Hat SEO– A mix of white hat and black hat techniques to optimize a website.
  • On-page SEO– Optimizing content on your website by optimizing title tags, content, internal links etc…
  • Off-page SEO– This technique is used to improve the SEO of the website by certain activities that happen outside of the website like link building.
  • Technical SEO– Optimizing the website for better crawling and indexing by search engines.

4. Differentiate on-page SEO & off-page SEO?

On-page SEO is the technique of optimizing the content on your website. Whereas off-page SEO includes a set of techniques that happen outside of your website.

On-page SEO includes creating good content, keyword research, keyword placement, working on proper titles & description etc while off-page SEO includes link building through activities like guest posting, directory listing, social media shares etc…

5. What are on-page SEO checklists?

  • Create high-quality content.
  • Optimize page titles and meta descriptions.
  • Optimize keywords within the website.
  • Properly structure the content.
  • Optimize images and other media.
  • Make URLs SEO-friendly.
  • Utilize internal links & external links.

6. What are off-page SEO checklists?

  • Evaluate backlinks
  • Check for broken links or 404 errors
  • Analyze competitors website and garner link-building prospects
  • Promote your content using different outreach methods
  • Update local listings
  • Share through social media

7. What is a backlink? Explain your backlink strategy?

A backlink is a link from one website to another website. Backlinks are one of the important ranking factors for search engines. Backlinks provide trust and credibility for the content.

Some of the best backlink strategies are:

  • Listing in reliable directories
  • Creating and maintaining a blog
  • Writing guest posts
  • Finding link building prospects from competitor’s website
  • Recovering broken links
  • Launching social media campaigns

8. What is link juice? & How will you determine if a link is a bad link?

Link juice is the amount of authority that is passed within two websites when they link. Acquiring a link from a high authority page can improve SEO score.

A link is considered bad if it violates Google’s terms and conditions.

Avoid this kind of links:

  • A link not related to your niche
  • If it is coming from a link farm
  • A paid link

9. What is a do-follow & no-follow link?

Do-follow links are HTML codes to specify the search engines if they should follow a particular link. A link is do-follow by default.

A no-follow link is an HTML tag that restricts following a link to a web page.

Syntax: rel=”nofollow”

10. What are the different types of keywords?

  • Short-tail keywords– Keywords that are broad and short. Mostly, a single word like “shoes”.
  • Mid-tail keywords– Keywords that are not short nor long. For example: “Nike shoes”
  • Long-tail keywords– Keywords that are specific and long, For example: “Black Nike shoes for running”

11. What are the different ways to use keywords in a website?

We can use keywords in these places:

  • Headline and description
  • Image ALT tags
  • Inside main content/body
  • URL of the page
  • Anchor texts

Use keywords naturally and avoid keyword stuffing.

12. What is the difference between Domain Authority and Page Authority?

Domain authority & page authority are a set of metrics that represents the ranking of a website. It is calculated in a range of 1-100. Domain authority is the metric that defines the total rank of the whole domain including its web pages or subdomains. Whereas, page authority is the metric that represents only a single web page.

13. What is a sitemap and what is its use?

A sitemap is the hierarchical representation of web pages inside a website under a particular domain. There are XML & HTML sitemaps. Sitemaps help search engines & users to easily access all the pages & understand the structure of a website.

14. How to decrease the loading time of a website?

  • Optimize images
  • Minimize HTTP requests
  • Minify CSS/Javascript
  • Avoid inline JS and CSS files
  • Use better caching
  • Avoid render-blocking scripts
  • Use a CDN
  • Choose a better hosting provider

15. What are error codes?

Error codes are messages that corresponds to the nature of the error.

  • 1xx is informational
  • 2xx is success
  • 3xx is redirection
  • 4xx is a client error
  • 5xx is a server error

16. What are some of the reports in Google Analytics?

Reports in Google Analytics are divided into 5 segments Real-Time, Audience, Acquisition, Behavior and Conversions.

Real-time reports give data based on real-time activities on the website that includes user location, traffic resources, events, conversions etc. Audience report gives data regarding the audience demographics, the device they use, location etc. The acquisition report gives insights into the data where the traffic came from like campaigns, social, direct or referral. The behaviour report gives the report of the activities done by users within the website like user navigation, events triggered or the search done by the user in the website. And finally, the conversion report gives the data about the goals and funnels.

17. What is SSL? How it impacts SEO?

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a protocol used for establishing the authenticated and encrypted transfer of data. An SSL enabled website helps users to trust the website. If the website is having transactions or login sessions, then SSL is a must. A website with SSL has a higher chance of getting ranked in SERP.

18. What is schema markup?

Schema markup is a structured data set up for helping search engines to easily understand and categorise content on a website. Some of the most used schema markups are:

We can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to create schema markups. They are available in two formats JSON-LD or Microdata.

19. What is the SEO strategy you adopt if you get a website?

  • Audit the current website
  • Do proper keyword research
  • Find competitors
  • Create a link-building plan
  • Implement on-page & off-page optimization
  • Analyze SEO and improve where needed
  • Stay updated on the changes in SEO

20. Mention some SEO tools?

  • SEMrush– for a site audit, position tracking, keyword research, backlink research etc…
  • Ahrefs– used for backlink audit, competitor analysis, SEO report generation etc…
  • UberSuggest– used for a site audit, backlink checking, keyword tracking etc…
  • Moz– measure keyword ranking, link analysis, local SEO etc…
  • Google Analytics– Google’s tool for analysing traffic, user behaviour in a website.
  • Google Search Console– Used to analyze, track and solve issues related to search appearance.
  • Keyword Planner/Google Trends– Used for keyword planning and research.

21. How to write website content for SEO?

To improve website content for SEO:

  • Do proper keyword research
  • Write in a simple language
  • Use H1-H6 header tags
  • Structure the content properly
  • Avoid large paragraphs
  • Optimize title & meta description (60 characters & between 150 and 160 characters respectively)
  • Use images and infographics

22. What is the use of a Disavow tool?

A disavow tool is a feature that is available in the Google Search Console. By using the disavow tool you can block a “toxic” inbound link. This helps to avoid link-based penalties.

23. What is a canonical tag? How it affects ranking?

A canonical tag is used to define web pages that use contents from another main page. These are basically used to tell search engines that one page is a master copy of the other. This helps search engines to prioritize web pages when indexing. Canonical tags also help avoid content duplication penalties. They are helpful in e-commerce websites.

24. How to avoid a Google penalty?

Simply said, to avoid Google penalty you have to follow white hat SEO techniques. ie follow the guidelines set by Google for a website to rank.

The top 3 things you should do is:

  1. Use original and quality content
  2. Do not buy backlinks
  3. Avoid keyword stuffing

25. What is Core Web Vitals? How to improve Core Web Vital score?

Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics Google use to calculate user experience on a website. Core Web Vitals are made up of three specific page speed and user interaction measurements: Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift.

To improve Core Web Vital score we need to improve the page speed & user experience on a website. Some of the things you need to do are:

  • Optimize images & other media
  • Use a CDN
  • Optimize CSS & JavaScript
  • Optimize fonts and icons
  • Reduce server response time

Read more: 5 Ways to improve Core Web Vitals for your WordPress website

So, these are some of the most asked SEO interview questions. Hope it helps and all the best.

Read more blogs related to SEO, Content Writing and Social Media Marketing.

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Top 25 SEO interview questions & answers

by Vishnu Peethambaran time to read: 7 min