What Should You Ask An SEO Candidate?
The basics of search engine optimization (SEO) can be understood and executed by most technically efficient talent, although it’s when looking in house or for a SEO consultant to consider a number of important elements. These elements may mean the difference between not progressing and gaining that true edge over your competitors.
When interviewing an SEO candidate, it’s important to keep the following in mind:
Ask your candidate about two case studies and how they went about resolving the SEO issues as they came up. This will tell you about how they think outside of the box and how creative they can be when looking at seemingly difficult issues.
Also, this question can tell you if your candidate talks about winning a ranking through a keyword or gaining more traffic.
Ask about your candidate’s expertise. This is an open ended question and their answer will tell what they consider important as a SEO candidate. Also, given how often search engines are changing and evolving in their algorithmic structure, it’s important to hire a candidate that is used to the ever changing landscape of search engines.
Experience is important, but so are results.
In addition to asking your candidate about case studies, which most likely will be success stories, ask them about their biggest mistake in the SEO world and how they learned from it. All SEO professionals have made mistakes, so it’s important to learn about the candidate’s attitude towards learning, mistakes, and responsibility.
Also, this question shows how deeply your candidate examines a problem. You should follow up with several questions on this topic including what they may have done differently looking back at it now.
Ask your candidate what their tools and strategies are. Some SEO professionals use specific tools and others don’t. It’ll tell much about their approach and mindset when you’ve heard strategy and enthusiasm.
Give your candidate a hypothetical situation in which they’ve been on the job for four months at your company, and things haven’t improved significantly. Ask them exactly how they would go about resolving the issue from step one. This will tell you not only about their SEO approaches, it will tell you how professional and organized your candidate is. Who are they getting in touch with first? Do they take responsibility for the issue? What steps do they take to notify management or other necessary members in the chain of command?
Let them answer this question how they see fit and simply listen to how they propose to solve the issue.
Another important question to ask your SEO candidate is what they consider to be the effective metrics for tracking returns on SEO investment. It’s a difficult question because it depends on what kind of site you run and what kind of site your candidate has experience with, but it’s a question that tell you about how the SEO professional thinks. Your candidate should use words like organic traffice, organic revenue, and conversion rate.
These are by no means the only questions you should be asking, but if you include these, they should provide you with a solid base from which you can map out your SEO interview.