10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a SEO Specialist

SEO activities

Better search engine optimization can increase the visibility of any website in search results, which can boost visits on website, resulting improved brand awareness and higher sales and profits. If you are looking to hire a digital marketer who can serve the best SEO services for your organization, then below interview questions and answers will be helpful for you to find trained professional for SEO for your organization.

  1. Please define SEO in brief? How will you divide SEO task?

Expected Answer:

SEO is an abbreviation of search engine optimization and it is a process that helps to improve ranking of web pages higher in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc for given keywords or search terms.

SEO can be divided into two types: 1. On-Page Optimization and 2. Off-Page Optimization (Back Link Creation or Link Building)

  1. Is there any difference between SEO and SEM?

Expected Answer:

Yes, there is a difference between SEO and SEM. SEO naturally improves the ranking of webpages for specific keywords, whereas SEM is a paid process to fetch traffic on the website.

  1. How will you improve search engine ranking for any website?

Expected Answer:

I will start with an on-site SEO audit to check any areas for quick wins. Then, I will look for the best keywords to fetch traffic to the website. Back links have been a major part of search engine algorithms and will continue to play an important role in the future too. I will build links for the website in order to improve rankings.

  1. If I gave you a new website for optimization, what SEO activities you will perform?

Expected Answer:

I will perform all important SEO activities including;

  • Keyword research to find important search terms/keywords with high traffic and low competition.
  • Complete on-page optimization for all web pages to make them search friendly.
  • Will work on link building to create quality backlinks along off page optimization.
  • Will also work on social media optimization to enhance social signals and getting social media traffic.
  1. What is the best practice to start keyword research and which tool you use for the same?

Expected Answer:

I prefer using Google Webmaster Tools for keyword research. The tool has various features like filters for country, finding negative keywords etc.

  1. Can you please elaborate must to do on-page optimization activities for any website?

Expected Answer:

There are many on-page activities that we can apply to any website, few of them are:

  • Use important keywords in meta title, meta description and page title.
  • Also, add some keywords in H1/H2 tags and highlight those keywords using Bold/Italic.
  1. Which techniques you follow for link building?

Expected Answer:

I believe in quality over quantity and hence use white hat off-page optimization for link building. Before submitting anything to a third party, I will check domain/page authority, do follow or no follow, etc. I will do guest posting, profile link creation, blog commenting and classified ad posting.

  1. Differentiate between no-follow and do-follow links?

Expected Answer:

When a search engine crawls a website, they search for the external links pointing to different websites. If links are ‘do follow’ then crawler will follow the link and link juice gets passed. On the other hand, if the link is ‘no follow’, the crawler will ignore the link and no link juice is passed.

  1. How to prevent the site from penalization?

Expected Answer:

The black hat SEO, over optimization and unnatural methods of creating backlinks are some of the reasons for site penalisation. I will avoid using those techniques.

  1. What content strategy you will follow to add more quality to the website?

Expected Answer:

Content is a piece of information about the website or business. The well-structured information with properly interlinked related pages and images will definitely improve the user engagement.

You can also try asking below questions that don’t have any specific answer, but will definitely help you to judge the consultant much better way:

Ask for their previous clients details.

An SEO specialist should be open to sharing a brief list of current as well as former clients and their contact details. This information can help you judge how effective the candidate is, and verify the actual work done by the person on specific SEO campaigns.

You can ask them about Google Analytics and SEO Campaigns.

A SEO specialist must have an experience using Google Analytics to track improvement in website’s search engine rankings, the number of links and their sources, type of users searching your website or target audience, and much more.

Ask about Webmaster Guidelines:

The consultant must have knowledge about the latest webmaster guidelines posted by different search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. If the candidate doesn’t follow those best practices, a search engine can ban website from search result altogether.

You can ask for a guarantee to achieve a number one ranking on search engines.

If the consultant says YES, I will suggest don’t hire him or her, as it’s impossible to guarantee a number-one ranking on any search engine.


If anyone answer these questions well, you can expect that he/she knows well about SEO services and practices white hat SEO. It is always a great benefit if you hire someone who has some certification course in SEO. However, years of experience is also good to check someone credibility in SEO knowledge.

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