Have an upcoming SEO interview and wondering what are all the questions and discussions you will go through? Before attending an SEO interview, it’s better to have an idea about the types of SEO interview questions will be asked so that you can mentally prepare for it.
To help you, we have created the top SEO interview questions and answers guide to understand the depth and real-intend of SEO interview questions.
1. What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
2. What is a Search Engine?
According to Google, a Search engine is “ a program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web”.
Search engines answer the queries entered by users and give them the list of relevant results based on various factors.
3. Name a few search engines other than Google.
One of the most common SEO interview question. Popular search engines other than Google are Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo & Yandex. There are actually so many types of Search engines.
4. What is SERP?
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. When you search anything on search engines, this is the page where you can see all the results. SERP includes PPC listings and organic listings. Listings are available in multiple formats based on the keyword.
5. What is an organic result?
Organic results are unpaid results and also called as ‘free results’, ‘natural results’. Ranking of organic results is based on various factors. Organic results can be seen under the paid results. You can’t manipulate organic results by paying Google but can be improved by having high quality content and improving user experience.
6. What is a paid result?
Paid results are which advertisers pay to get their ads displayed above organic results on SERP. Paid results are quick and advertisers don’t need to optimize their website, content to rank. The position will be based on your Max CPC and your quality score. The more quality score you have, the less money you need to pay.
7. What is Googlebot?
Googlebot is Google’s web crawler to find, crawl and index web pages.
8. What is DA?
DA which stands for Domain Authority is a metric developed by MOZ. It ranges from 0 to 100. The higher the better. The more DA you have the better the possibility of ranking.
9. Difference between DA and PA.
DA is Domain Authority. It explains the authority of your entire website. The higher the DA, the higher the possibility of ranking. But, DA is one of the hundreds of ranking factor.
PA is Page Authority. It explains the authority of a specific page, based on the backlink, social sharing, etc.
10. What does www stand for? What is it?
WWW stands for World Wide Web.
World Wide Web is a collection of websites stored in web servers & connected to local computers. The websites contain various types of content like text, images, audio, video and etc.
World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. If we consider WWW as a book, its pages are located on servers all around the globe. How can we travel from one page to another? With the help of hypertext, we can. Hypertext helps users to locate Uniform Resource Locators aka URLs.
11. What is a domain?
Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website. In simple terms, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address..
People cant remember numbers but they can remember words. Domain names exist as it’s easy to remember a word or phrase instead of remembering long string of numbers.
12. What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. If you consider buying a website is like buying a home, web hosting is the land (space) you buy. Web hosting is access to space web hosting companies provide where you can build your website. The server has to be connected to the internet. When visitors type the domain name, their device connects to the server and the pages will be delivered.
13. What is a TLD?
Top Level Domain (TLD) is the final part of an internet address. There are different types of TLD are available like .com, .net, .org, .co.in, etc.
14. What is ccTLD?
ccTLD is a country code top-level domains. Each country has their own domain extension. All ccTLDs are just two characters. For example, .in for India, .us for USA, .ca for Canada etc.
15. What does URL stand for?
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It is the address of a web page or document on the www. URL has multiple parts. It begins with protocol (https, http, etc).
16. What is White Hat SEO?
White Hat SEO is a process of improving your search engine rank following the guidelines of search engines without compromising on your methods. White Hat SEO doesn’t involve in manipulating search engines with shady methods but instead involves in building search engine friendly website and user experience. White hat involves in creating quality content which provides value to the visitors and helps them to earn links instead of building backlinks.
17. What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is a process of trying to manipulate search engine algorithms to improve the search engine ranking. It violates search engines’ guidelines. Black Hate SEOs practice the methods to get immediate results instead of building a website with users in mind. There are so many Black Hat methods they utilize and search engines identify and offer penalty if get caught. Black Hat methods might be helpful in short term but if you are planning for long term, black hat definitely is not the solution. If your site gets penalized, it takes so much time and effort to remove it.
18. Difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?
The difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO is:
The list of methods which are following Google’s guidelines are called White Hat SEO.
The list of methods which are not following Google’s guidelines are called Black Hat SEO.
19. What are the black hat SEO practices to avoid?
The following are a few from the list of black hat SEO practices:
Cloaking, keyword stuffing, link exchange, buying links, PNB, link hiding, link farming, gateway or doorway pages.
Ideally all should be avoided.
20. What are all the popular SEO tools available in the market?
This SEO Interview Question is to understand your expertise over tools. Most popular and important SEO tools are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Bing Webmaster Tools, Ahref, SEMRush, Alexa, Moz, Buzzsumo, and more.
Google Search Console: If you are an SEO, you need to master Search Console. It helps you to check your website health in the eyes of Google. It helps you to analyze the performance of your website and helps you optimize it better. It helps you to find the list of errors in the website. It is completely free tool from Google.
Google Analytics: Free version of Google Analytics is sufficient if your website is mid-level. It helps you to understand the performance of your website, understand the behavior of the visitors, helps you perform better in terms of conversions and so on.
Apart from these free tools, some notable paid tools are:
Moz: It helps businesses to analyze and get insights about their websites and their competitors.
Ahrefs: Ahrefs is the best tool if you want to check your or your competitor’s backlinks.
SEMRush: SEMRush helps you check the health of your backlink, the position of your keywords, and errors in your website.
Screaming Frog: It crawls your entire website and lists out all key elements like internal links, external links, titles, descriptions, HTTP status code, and more.
20. What is a do-follow link?
Do-follow is the default hyperlink. When search engines finds a dofollow link, it crawls the page and pass authority (also called as link juice) from one website to another. More do-follow links from high authority sites means possibility of better ranking in SERP as backlink is still an important ranking factor.
Any SEO Interview Question and Answers guide won’t complete without this question.
21. What is a No-follow link?
Again, one of the important SEO interview question.
No-follow is another type of backlink where webmasters can tell search engines that not to follow the specific link.
22. What is the difference between do-follow and no-follow links?
A Do-follow link passes the link juice from one domain to another and the no-follow link doesn’t pass the link juice.
A Do-follow link is more valuable in terms of SEO and No-follow links are less valuable.
23. What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO is the list of activities performed in the website to increase the performance of the website in ranking, user experience and conversion.
Primary aspects of on-page SEO:
Page title, Meta descriptions, Meta tags, URL Structure, Body tags, Keyword density, Image, Internal linking.
24. What is a keyword?
Keywords are words or phrases search engine users use to find relevant content. They are also known as queries.
When we figure out the list of keywords your potential users use, after the complete analyzation, we have to implement those keywords on relevant webpages and optimize it to rank higher on search engines.
25. What is keyword frequency?
Keyword frequency is the number of times a specific keyword phrase appears on a web page. While optimizing a web page, we have to make sure we don’t use the keyword so much that becomes keyword stuffing.
26. What is Keyword Difficulty?
Keyword difficulty is a metric to define how difficult it is to rank for a specific keyword-based on its popularity and competition. Higher the keyword difficulty, more time or number of backlinks might be needed.
27. What is Keyword Proximity?
Keyword Proximity tells the distance between to keywords on a web page.
28. What is Keyword Density?
Keyword Density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a specific web page. When the keyword density is far higher than the recommended level, it might trigger search engines to think it’s keyword stuffing. So, we need to make sure the keyword density is not too high for any primary or secondary search phrases.
For example, if a keyword appears 18 times in an article of 600 words, the density would be 3%. There is no ideal keyword density but 3-4% is considered as best practice for SEO.
29. What is Keyword Stuffing?
Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO method which increases the number of keyword density to a far higher range in order to rank for potential keywords. After the panda update, it’s not recommended to keyword stuff to manipulate search engines and should be avoided at all costs.
30. What is NAP?
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number.
NAP is one of the critical aspect of Local SEO. It helps search engines to understand and identify the list of companies to be displayed for specific location-based searches.
31. How do you know if you are using the right number of keywords in a page?
One of the most common question asked in an SEO Interview.
There is no right number or range. You have to make sure the keywords in the content looks natural and doesn’t look forced. It is a best practice to have 3 primary keywords and few secondary keywords and again, it depends on the length, keyword difficulty, competition, flow of the page and more.
32. What is short tail keyword?
Short tail keywords are search terms that are made up of no more than three words. They refer to very broad topics rather than specific ones.
For example, “running shoes” is an example of a short tail keyword while “best running shoes for winter” is an example of a long tail keyword.
33. What is long tail keyword?
A long tail keyword is a phrase that is generally made from three to five words. Since these keywords are more specific than generic terms, they allow you to target niche demographics.
34. What is bounce rate in SEO?
Any SEO Interview Question and Answers guide won’t complete without this question. One of the most common question in any Google Analytics interview question.
Bounce rate is the percentage of website users who leaves the website from the landing page without visiting any other page or without taking any specific action. According to Google, Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.
To lower the bounce rate, increase the engagement on your page (with the help of internal links, CTA, etc), increase page speed, matching user experience and more. Bounce rate benchmarks change from genre to genre. Blogs tend to have high bounce rates and B2B sites should have lesser. Benchmarks also change based on the industry.
35. What are header tags?
Header tags are nothing but header tags in your page.
It ranges from <h1> to <h6> with H1 being the biggest and H6 being the smaller header. H1 and H2 is considered to be the most important for SEO. It is recommended to utilize your secondary keywords in header tags wherever it feels natural and doable.
36. What are meta descriptions?
Meta descriptions are one of the important SEO tags where its recommended to optimize for keywords. Apart from that, it is crucial to design a meta description in a way that users want to read more about your web page and thus improve your CTR.
37. What are Internal Links?
Internal links are hyperlinks that connects one webpage to another webpage of your domain. Internal links structure is very important for both user experience and search engines.
Internal links structure should be well planned keeping users in mind so they can navigate the website without any confusion.
38. What are outbound links?
Outbound links are links that links your website to another website.
Having too many outbound links might hurt your SEO as they pass link juice from your domain to another domains. It is recommended to have no-follow links to outbound links to avoid passing on authority.
39. What are inbound links?
Inbound links are links coming from another domain to your own domain.
40. Difference between an inbound link and an outbound link?
Inbound links are incoming links from other domains to your domain. Outbound links are links that links your website to another website.
41. What is robots.txt?
Robots.txt is a text file. It is through this file. It instructs search engine crawlers about indexing and caching of a webpage, file of a website or directory, domain.
42. What are anchor texts?
Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. Anchor texts help user to understand what the page is about. It also holds SEO value if keywords implemented. But in case of over optimized, might get punished from Google.
Anchor text should be natural and diversity is important like branded, long tail, image links, partial and exact matches.
43. What is Title Tag?
Title tag helps Google and users to understand the purpose of a web page. Optimizing page title is an important on-page task where it’s recommended to use your primary keyword. Also, the title tag should be good enough to make search engine visitors click on it and visit your web page.
44. What is SEO Friendly URLs?
Again, one of the popular SEO interview questions. SEO Friendly URLs are URLs which are easy for both search engines and users to understand. URLs which are static instead of dynamic, without parameters, keyword optimized, reader-friendly & short.
45. What is Robots Meta Tag?
Robots Meta Tag tells the search engines how to treat the page with commands like FOLLOW, NOFOLLOW, INDEX & NOINDEX.
46. What is 301 redirect?
This SEO Interview Question is to understand your technical knowledge. 301 redirect is a permanent redirect method to redirect users and search engines to redirect from old URL to new URL. When a webmaster wants to redirect from one URL to another for various reasons, 301 is considered as the best as it passes most of link juices from the old page to the new page.
47. What is Search Console / Webmaster Tools?
Google Search Console, previously known as Webmaster Tools is a tool Google provides to webmaster to check the health of their website in the eyes of the search giant.
Not only webmaster can analyze the various aspects of the website like checking indexing status, crawl errors, crawl status, keyword performance, backlinks, but also can be able to disavow URLs, apply for page reindex, upload XML sitemap, etc. If you are attending an SEO interview learn & practice more on this.
48. What is ALT Tag?
Alt tag is an HTML attribute that helps us to give a description to every image you publish in your website. If any reason, the image cant be displayed in the browser, users can read the alt tags and understand what the image relate to. It also helps search engines to understand what the image is about, which helps them to understand more about the page. Alt tags can increase the ranking of the website’s images in Image search of search engines.
49. What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO is the list of activities performed away from the website to improve the ranking and visibility of the website. Primary aspects of Off-Page SEO:
Guest Blogging, Reverse Guest Blogging, Social Networking Sites, Press release, etc.
50. What are backlinks in SEO?
When one website links to another website, that is called as backlinks. Backlinks are an important SEO ranking factor. There are two types of backlinks. No follow and Do follow backlinks.
When a web page gets multiple relevant backlinks from authority sites, Google and other search engines consider the page to be more relevant to the search query, thus improving the rank of the web page.
The number of the backlinks are not always important but the quality and relevancy makes big impact.
51. What is Search Engine Submission?
Search engine submission is a processing of submitting your website to popular search engines to make sure it gets crawled and indexed.
But, this process is not necessary anymore as search engines are way smarter and have the capacity to find your website and index easily without you needing to submit it to them manually.
52. What is Forum Posting?
Forum posting is an off-page technique where you create a profile on relevant forum, create a thread, engage with other users, participating in online discussions to get backlinks to your site. This could have been a great way to reach out to potential users and engage but some advertisers spammed the process and thus lost its trustability. But still, if you can engage with users and educate them, clear their doubts, help them find the solution, we can still utilize this method.
53. What is Blog Commenting?
Blog Commenting is a process of adding comments on blog posts with a relevant backlink to your website.
54. What is referral traffic?
Referral traffic is the visits you get from third party domains. You can improve the referral traffic by building or earning links from potential and relevant websites.
55. What is PPC?
Pay Per Click or PPC is a kind of advertisement campaign in which advertisers are charged when users click on the advertisement. The amount charged on the advertiser is called Cost Per Click (CPC).
56. What is CTR?
It is one of the common SEO interview questions. CTR stands for Click Through Rate. We can get the CTR by dividing the number of impressions by the number of clicks. Example, if you got 15 clicks out of 150 impressions your CTR would be 10%. CTR is not a direct ranking factor but in a long run it can improves the ranking on SERP.
57. What is EMD?
EMD or Exact Match Domain is a domain which includes the search phrases.
58. What is an HTML Sitemap?
One of the important SEO interview questions.
HTML sitemap is a web page where users can able to access the list of pages in a proper structure, organized in a way that they can understand and navigate the site smoothly.
59. What is an XML Sitemap?
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. XML sitemap is intended, designed only for search engines, time of the last modifications performed on them. It lists the webpages and how frequently those gets updated. XML sitemap is a way for us to ask search engines to crawl and index all our important pages frequently. Sitemap is one of the first thing search engines search when it finds a website.
60. What is Google Algorithm?
Google algorithm is a set of rules, commands and codes that helps the search engine to find relevant search results to user queries. It is said to be more than 200 ranking factors Google algorithm uses to rank a web page for specific keywords. Hummingbird is the name provided to the Google algorithm and every year thousands of updates are improving the algorithm in multiple ways.
61. List down the tools you use for SEO?
Here, you need to list of tools you have used in the past / present like
Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush, Similar Web, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, Alexa.
62. What are rich snippets?
Rich snippets is a form of structured data which helps websites to give more information to the readers and helps them to get more clicks. Rich snippets don’t directly improve the ranking of a web page but if presented well, it can increase the CTR of the web page which can increase the ranking in a long run.
63. What is Google Analytics?
This is almost always the first Google Analytics interview question you will face. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you track and analyze the performance of your website.
Google Analytics records various activities of users when they visit your site like user engagement, visitor flow, number of conversions, along with attributes such as age, gender, interests with the help of tracking code.
Google Analytics aggregates the data in multiple ways like User level, Session level, Pageview level, Event level.
The main purpose of the tool is to help you make decisions to improve the site performance and revenue.
64. Which is the most important area to include your keywords?
The most important area to include your keywords are,
65. What are the social media platform used for SEO ?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn are some important platform which is used for online promotion.