Appearing for an SEO Analyst interview as a beginner? Here’s a comprehensive question & answers set to help you quickly prepare with confidence! SEO Analyst earns $69K per annum salary on avg. in the US.
Few of many reasons that make SEO an enticing career opportunity worldwide are:
- Remote working possibility
- great pay
- vast career scope
- digital marketing industry
With over 5 billion internet users, around 3.5 billion searches are made every day. This number boils down to around 40,000 searches per second.
This is an unmatchable opportunity for every business to rank on 1st page of SERP and generate highly profitable business without spending on ads. And with your SEO skills, you can help these businesses thrive on the internet organically.
Before you sit in an SEO Analyst interview you must be familiar with these aspects first:
Marketing, Digital Marketing, latest Google algorithm changes, latest trends such as user intent, company’s SEO audit, problems on the site, how you’d resolve them and what is your plan to make the company rank no. 1 on SERP.
Basic SEO Questions and Answers for Interview:
- “Can you explain to me what SEO is, as you understand it?”
“The Internet has 1000s of relevant web pages to show every time a search is made. Since it is impossible to show all results at once, the search engine ranks each web page based on how qualified it is to cater to the search query. This is where SEO comes in. SEO is an opportunity for us to tell the search engine that our website is most qualified to answer the search query.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of making it easier for search engines like Google, Bing and Yandex to find our site and recommend it to internet users over our competitors when a relevant search is made.
If done right, it helps in bringing high quality and quantity visitors to the website, and boosts brand’s visibility by ranking on the first page of search or SERP. Instead of paying for visibility, SEO provides an opportunity to reach out to our target audience organically.”
- “How did you learn SEO?”
Note: The key to a winning answer here lies in focusing less on where you learned the theory from and more on emphasizing how you practiced SEO.
SEO is a process that takes time to show results and it requires constant improvisation to get higher and higher on SERP. Any candidate with relative first-hand experience at SEO is sensibly preferred.
Check out our upcoming SEO workshop that skills you for your first SEO job and helps you build your portfolio even as a fresher.
“I learnt SEO from the LinkedIn learning. The course is named “____________”. Parallely through the course, I launched a blog and tested all the practices that I learned in the course. For the tools presented in the course, such as SEMRush and Moz, I tried my hands on the freemium services offered by these tools.”
- “Have you worked on SEO before?”
Even though the interview is for a beginner in SEO, this question comes up 100% of the time. If you have any experience or background in SEO, share it with the Interviewer in this format:
- Define the project
- Define the goals you set
- Explain the plan you came up with to reach the goal
- Tools you used
- Result of your efforts
“Even though I do not have an industry experience, I have worked on SEO strategies and tried the tools hands-on. For learning purposes, I had published a blogging website.
I connected Google Analytics and Google Search Console to the website. Since it was a WordPress blog, I got hands-on experience of plugging Yoast to WordPress and optimizing the articles for SEO.
Initially, when set up, the website’s SEO score was 43. I did an SEO audit and with the help of the report I identified the root causes and fixed the errors, which boosted my Website’s score to 85.
I used Google trends, Ubersuggest and SEMRush to build a list of target keywords with low difficulty and high ranking potential. Here are my reports that I prepared.”
Note: If you’ve never worked on SEO before, be honest, and let the interviewer know that you’re well versed with the concepts and you’re confident in starting your SEO journey. We suggest you implement SEO first hand and record your achievements to not only showcase that to your employer but also be confident of your SEO skill while you sit in the interview. When you experience first hand, you understand it way better than any theory course could teach you.
- “What is CTR?”
“CTR, or Click Through Rate, is a percentage that says if our site appeared on SERP a 100 times, how many people clicked on our site link and visited our website. A CTR of 10% would mean that for every 100 times our site appeared on SERP, 10 times people clicked on our site link.”
- “What is a keyword?”
“Internet users use specific words in search queries when they are looking for products, services or information. As a business, we identify which words our target audience use when searching online for our products. These are keywords and they are used by search engines to identify user intent and qualified results to rank on SERP. That is why keywords are the central component of SEO.”
- “How do we select the keywords for our site?”
“We can select keywords based on 4 factors:
- It must have high search volume
- Possibility of creating content with that keyword
- It has lower Keyword Difficulty, hence less competition
- It must have an earning potential meaning people for those keywords should be willing to buy your product/service in the short or long term.”
- “What is organic traffic?”
“The traffic that discovers you naturally or visits your site without you paying for every visitor you get, is called organic traffic. It is also called “natural” and “free” traffic.”
- “Can you name 5 search engines we should optimize for?”
“I can name 5 search engines which are most widely used: Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and Yandex. However, we don’t need to optimize for each search engine respectively. When you are optimizing your site for search engines, you’re naturally optimizing for all the search engines. While the ranking may differ with a number or too, the SERP results are majorly similar.
However, the Search Engine we’d want to focus on, depends on the geographical location of where our target market is. Globally, Google has the largest market share of around 92% “
- How can SEO help us in achieving our marketing goals?
“SEO ticks many marketing goals such as:
- Brand awareness
SEO requires us to identify the key topics our target customer is looking for. When we tap those the right way, then we get more people coming to our website through the content we posted. This way many new people get to know about our brand and the marketing goal of brand awareness is fulfilled. The best part is that we get a clear number of new visitors, and their journey on our page. This is something that was missing traditional form of marketing.
- Lead generation
The higher the volume of our target audience we attract, the higher is the opportunity of lead generation. Also, SEO helps us pin-point the value assets we can create for lead generation. Most of the time our target audience is happy to exchange their details for getting access to highly valuable content that we provide them.
One of the pillars of SEO is building trust and establishing our brand as an authority. When our potential target customers have trust on us, they are highly likely to pay for our services.
- Community building
By identifying a common purpose of your target audience you can build a community of people having similar goals and issues in life. Generating quality content around those topics with high potential keywords can help more such people reach our search, identify with the cause and never leave. Thereby, building trust and loyalty for long term relationships.
- Boosts brand credibility
A larger audience is an opportunity to showcase authentic testimonials, and real user experiences. When your message reaches the right people & higher traffic because of SEO, you ensure that these people trust you and your brand voice becomes more credible.”
Technical SEO Questions & Answers For Interview
- Which SEO tools have you used?
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Google Autocomplete
- Google Trends
- Google Keywords Planner.
- (Name the ones that you’ve used)
“While working on my blogging project I could use Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Ubersuggest, Google trends, and SEMRush, for keyword research and content planning. I have hands-on experience with Yoast on content structuring for optimization. Apart from these I have a learning of Hootsuite, and Sendinblue.”
- “Can you share with us what you use Google Analytics for?”
“I did not get a chance to use Google Analytics to its complete advantage. Provided I had more time with Google Analytics, I would use it to track where the users are coming from and how they move through our site. It also helps in generating ideas for content and business because it tells which keywords our users had searched that brought them to our site.
Google Analytics is a great tool for understanding user behavior on our site and opportunities to position conversion baits, and improve customer journey on our site. It’s a great tool to use for free.”
- “How do you go about setting up Google Analytics for a site?
“It’s a simple process. We go to Google Analytics, get our Google Analytics Property ID and embed that ID in one of the pages of the sites. If it’s a Google site, we can go to the back end, click on settings, go to Analytics and paste the ID there.
Upon publishing, we check in Google Analytics if the account linking is verified. It takes a few days for Google Analytics to gather data and interpret it.”
- What are SERP components?
“I would like to begin with briefly sharing what SERP is. When we run a search, say on Google, the search is called query in Digital marketing, then the most qualified answers are presented to us on the first page that appears before us, the next most qualified or relevant answers show up on second page, third page and so on. The first page is of extreme value as 92% of the users don’t go past the first SERP. That is why this is where we see all the paid marketing happening and Google, too tries to place together the best bits of information often in PAA section. The 4 major components of SERP are
- Paid results that show on top
- Organic results shown second
- On the right hand of the screen there is a knowledge section, if one is making a query on a computer.
- Under organic results there can be a PAA “People Also Ask” section with snippets of answers.”
- “Can you explain crawl bots to us?”
“Of course. A web crawler, also called a robot or spider, is a program that is responsible for discovering and indexing web pages through links. The crawler browses to learn what’s available on the internet and then list it in the internet directory, so that the particular web page can be accessed when a relevant search query is made.”
- “How would you define Sitemap?
“Sitemap, as the name suggests, is the map of our site provided by us to the search engine. Site map helps crawl bots navigate the site for pages, components, and links and facilitates the process of indexing. Sitemap also tells crawling bots which pages on your site are most important. It is like a guest comes to your house, so instead of offering a house tour you offer a house map to the guest. Now the guest can easily navigate through your house without getting lost or missing out on your show-off-worthy rooms.”
- “What are different types of sitemaps?”
“There are primarily 4 different types of Sitemaps:
- XML Sitemap – this helps the crawl bot navigate through the site and understand which URLs are most important
- Video Sitemap – This helps videos get featured in SERPs
- Image Sitemap – Having an image sitemap helps in showing up Google images results
- News Sitemap – This is a must for news websites to have. When users are looking for news results then it tells google crawl bots that this website is a news website.”
- “What is 301 redirection?”
“301 redirects are used when a page is permanently shifted to a new page. When crawl bot comes across 301 redirect it drops the old link, takes it out of the index, and places the new link in the index.”
- “What is 302 redirects?”
“302 redirect is used when the users need to be sent to another page temporarily. In this case crawl bots keep the original page indexed. If left like that for a long time, crawlers will start treating 302 redirect as 301 (permanent redirect).”
- “How can we optimize a URL?”
“We can optimize url by following the structure which goes like this:
- Https (protocol)
The slug must have the keyword that this web page is supposed to rank for.
Even so, there are many components one needs to avoid in an url to optimize it, such as special characters, number, unnecessary words and information, url parameters, etc.”
- “What is local SEO? Is it important for our business?”
“Local SEO means optimizing specifically for a local area like a particular city or country. If a bakery in Mumbai wants to be listed on Google when somebody is looking for it online, their website needs to be optimized to rank for it. Keywords, page language, brick and mortar location are all factors of local SEO. In our case, if we have a local selling or we wish to develop the same, then yes, we must optimize for local SEO.”
- “What does Bounce Rate imply?”
“Bounce rate means how many people are visiting only one page on our site and they go back without exploring other pages further. If the bounce rate is high it can imply either the page speed was poor or the user faced some trouble of landing page, or the user didn’t get the answer s/he was looking for.”
- “What is Page Speed and why is it important?”
“The time taken for a page to load is Page speed. For Google, it means the time taken for a page to become ready for a user to interact with it.
It’s important because it provides better user experience and helps boost SEO score. Hence, it also helps with the ranking.”
- “Let’s say we start an SEO campaign. How will you measure SEO success?”
“SEO success is directly linked to marketing goals. But in generic terms SEO success is measured with two factors:
Quality of traffic: attracting traffic who are our direct Target audience
Quantity of traffic: increasing the volume of traffic on our website”
We can accomplish this by hitting the EO goals which are:
- Organic Traffic
- Keyword Ranking
- SERP Ranking
- Domain Authority
- Page Speed
- Session TIme
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate”
- “How are crawling, indexing, rendering and ranking different?“
“When the crawl bots of search engines discover the link to our website, it crawls and reaches our web pages.
Rendering is often considered as a substitute for crawling. When a search engine crawls a page, it takes technical coding and interprets how it would appear on screen of the device of the user. It identifies all the objects and design elements, puts together all the components for representation, and uploads it for the same. That’s called rendering.
Indexing comes third. Upon discovery, based on the content and topical relevance of the web page, the crawl bots add each page to the index of the search engine. It is more like adding your page to the list of web pages that exist on the internet.
When an internet user makes a search query, the search engine identifies the search intent, then checks its index for all relevant answers, then displays the results based on relevance and importance. Based on the mentioned factors, determining the results as most qualified, second most qualified, and so on to answer the query is called ranking.”
- “We have a new website with no SEO efforts taken so far. How will you go about determining an SEO strategy for our site?“
“I will start with an SEO Audit and then work on immediate technical fix needed. Next step is to conduct Competitor Research to understand what is working out for our competitors and include that in our strategy. We simultaneously conduct Keyword Research & build Keyword List. When thoroughly done with these steps we can proceed to:
- Generate a content plan
- Execution of content plan
- Monitoring performance
- Making improvisation based on our newfound learning.”
- “How many title tags should be there on one page?”
“There must be one title tag on every page, no more no less.”
- “What is a meta description? Is it important?”
“Meta description is a piece of text that is shown on SERP under the title. It informs what to expect inside the article and attracts the readers to open the article. So, yes, it is extremely important.”
- “How many characters would you suggest we should keep in a meta description?”
“Preferably 150-160. Anything longer than that will be chopped off from the end abruptly on SERP, and anything shorter might not be enough information to attract visitors.”
- “What is anchor text?”
“Anchor texts are text pieces with hyperlink that carries visitors to another page. It helps SEO by s=distributing link juice, keeping visitors engaged with the site, reducing bounce rate, and more.”
- “What does image alt text mean?”
“Image alt text is a piece of text that says what that image is all about. It answers the “what” and “why” of the image. Search engines cannot read and comprehend an image for its significance and relevance. Hence, image alt text helps search engines understand all about the image. Also, when at times an image fails to load, it is helpful as a site visitor can read the image alt text and understand what the image was about.”
(Here’s a quick CV checklist for a SEO Analyst beginner. Cross off all pointers so that you don’t leave any gap in approaching this job.)
Culture Fit Questions
Apart from the technical questions, a company will most certainly ask questions to check if you’re a cultural fit for the organization. Before sitting for the interview, go through the website of the company and try to get a hold of the values that the company promotes on the page. That becomes your anchor point for answering these questions.
You should ensure that your answers revolve around what the company seeks in an individual and the team. Here are some questions on culture fit that you may be asked:
- What are you passionate about?
- Are you a team player or an individual player?
- What are 3 of your weaknesses that can hamper your performance?
- What is your work schedule preference?
- Describe what your ideal boss is like.
- How do you go about leadership roles?
- How do you maintain a work-life balance?
- How do you evaluate success?
- Why do you want to work at this company?
- Why should we hire you and not someone else?
Quick interview tips for a fresher:
- Be honest in your answers
- Seek examples of your past assignments when trying to make a point
- Always have a clear structure of answering questions ready in your head
- Optimal time to answer a question is anywhere between 15 secs to 4 mins.
- Practice your answers before a mirror
- If you can’t answer a question, you can always say “I’m not aware of that. But I will learn and get back to you with the answer.”
You can answer almost every interview question thrown at you with this SEO Interview Question and answer set for an SEO Analyst job!
Are you lacking a portfolio of SEO projects that can prove your SEO skills at the interview? We got you covered! We identified the core projects vital to land you your first SEO job and build your confidence so that no HR can turn you down. Check out this SEO Hands on workshop that will help you get valuable experience to boost your CV as a fresher.
SkillCamper team wishes you all the best!