25+ SEO Manager Interview Questions to Ask

If your company is ready to dive deeper into your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, you will benefit from working with an expert. As you continue developing your digital marketing team, a savvy SEO manager will be a crucial member of your team.

These professionals provide skills and knowledge that enhance your website’s visibility, increase traffic and conversions, and enhance the overall user experience.

SEO professionals understand the multiple elements involved with SEO strategy and all that it can do to improve your business. An SEO manager had a hand in the creation of this blog post—and other Insight Global web page content!

But do you know what you need in an SEO expert for your business? Keep reading to learn more about this professional and the top SEO interview questions you should ask each SEO management candidate.

What Is SEO?

SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and all online content to ensure and improve its visibility in your search engine results pages (SERPs). The main goal of SEO is to increase non-paid or organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic ranks higher in search engine results for users searching for relevant keywords and phrases.

Strong SEO strategies include the following:

  • Keyword research that identifies common words and phrases used by a target audience to find more information about a business. Content is then created using those keywords to help users find your website more easily.
  • On-page optimization includes meta and title tags, headings, and titles makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and rank it higher.
  • Off-page optimization, or digital PR, builds a website’s authority and trustworthiness through social media engagement, link building, and online reputation management.

Technical SEO is different from content SEO because it focuses on the structure of a website, ensuring that it runs smoothly for users and search engines. That might include things like optimizing page load speed and addressing loading errors or broken links plus things like secure connections (HTTPS) and mobile-friendliness.

SEO strategies include content creation and potentially copywriting for your website as well as local SEO, monitoring analytics and performance data, and keeping up with algorithm updates.

Related: Revamp Your Job Descriptions for SEO Success: 7 Key Tips

What Does an SEO Manager Do for a Business?

SEO managers understand all aspects of a search engine optimization strategy. They help businesses adapt proven strategies and develop their own SEO plan for finding visitors who need a specific service or product.

The SEO management professional you hire will help you target the right content to attract visitors who likely become lifelong customers to your website.

What Do You Need to Know When Hiring an SEO Manager?

Your SEO expert candidates should have practical experience implementing SEO strategies for previous employers or on a freelance basis.

SEO professionals should know how to do the following with ease and confidence:

  • Create content strategies from idea development to keyword research to writing
  • Optimize content for search engine visibility
  • Use up-to-date link-building tactics
  • Keep track of the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates

RELATED: 10 Recruitment Strategies to Win the Competition for Talent

 30 SEO Manager Interview Questions

Now that you have a better idea of what SEO is, what an SEO manager is, and why you need one, it should make it easier to come up with interview questions.

Our team has come up with the following 30 interview questions for SEO manager candidates to help you get to know your candidates and their skills quickly and effectively.

Section 1: Basic Content Strategy

  • What are your first impressions of our website? What would you change or add to it? (Note: if they haven’t looked at your website and done a basic content or technical assessment, that’s a flag on this SEO play.)
  • Have you ever developed or helped develop a content strategy from the ground up? What did the process look like?
  • What goals do you set when developing a content strategy? Do you focus on things like generating leads, increasing web traffic, or establishing authority?
  • How do you create buyer personas to help reach and connect with the target audience?
  • How would you manage a content calendar to ensure that you meet the needs of our customers and search engines? How do you meet deadlines with high-quality content?
  • What types of content do you feel are important for a company? Do you primarily work with blog posts, articles, case studies, podcasts, infographics, videos, social media posts, or landing pages? Basically, what does a comprehensive content strategy look like to you?
  • BONUS: Have you worked with external content creation agencies or in-house content creators in the past? How did that work for you, and what did you learn from it?

Section 2: Technical SEO

  • What does a basic SEO strategy look like? Can you discuss a comprehensive strategy that includes things like backlinks, keyword density, meta descriptions, and title tags? Help me understand SEO better from a manager’s perspective.
  • What are your favorite key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure SEO success? Do you benchmark SEO achievements by examining organic traffic, keyword ranking, or backlinks?
  • Are there some SEO factors SEO specialists can’t necessarily control, such as search engine algorithm changes? If so, how do you manage them to mitigate any potential problems they could cause an otherwise well-oiled website?
  • What is your ideal SEO strategy for our company? Where would you start based on what we have right now?

Section 3: Keyword Research

  • How do you approach keyword research?
  • What are your favorite tools? We know about keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Microsoft Advertising, Ahrefs, and Moz. Is there one or more that you prefer?
  • What steps do you and your team take to optimize a website with relevant keywords?
  • Do you brainstorm seed keywords with your SEO team to spark ideas to come up with the best keywords?
  • Do you believe in using a mix of short-and-long-tail keywords?

Section 4: Content Optimization

  • Do you feel that user intent is a prime driver when approaching content optimization? If not, what is your approach?
  • Do you think keyword stuffing is ever a reasonable strategy? If so, why?
  • Could you lay out your strategy for optimizing content? Please discuss factors like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, image optimization, links to internal and external resources, proper citation, and mobile optimization.

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Section 5: Link Building and Backlinking

  • How important are link-building and backlinking practices to your strategy and for our company?
  • Can you discuss link-building and backlinking best practices? For instance, do you think it’s better to have fewer high-quality or multiple questionable backlinks?
  • Do you think guest blogging would be a meaningful strategy for our company? Can you give us some examples of platforms for guest blogging?

Section 6: Analytics and Reporting

  • Can you describe KPIs that you regularly track to evaluate the success of an SEO campaign?
  • Do you use Google Analytics or other SEO tools to gather and analyze SEO-related data? If so, which ones have you used and how?
  • Can you provide an example of a successful campaign you were involved with that used data-driven insights?
  • How do you report performance to digital marketing team members, marketing leaders, and company stakeholders to share how SEO has helped to achieve desirable results?
  • BONUS: How do you share that data you’ve collected with someone who isn’t an SEO expert so they understand the metrics and the impact?

Section 7: The Marketing & Sales Funnel

  • Can you share some insights about how you’ve worked with other parts of a digital marketing teams and sales? What part of the funnel does most of your work or content fall into?
  • How would you optimize a landing page to generate leads for an event (or any other key moment you want to promote and generate leads from) we have coming up?
  • Which tools do you commonly use to track data and conversions?

Section 8: The Difference Between SEO Copy and Content

  • What is the main difference between SEO copy and content? How do you make sure your content is serving both purposes?
  • How do you define the intent of copywriting for SEO? How does that differ from content writing’s intent?

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Hire SEO and Marketing Managers

We hope these interview questions will help you become better acquainted with your expert SEO manager candidates. It’s important to focus on a mix between their technical skills, creative abilities, and understanding of your customers’ needs and desires. Ideally, these questions will be useful on their own and as a platform for sparking more questions from your marketing team.

Contact us if you need help finding your ideal SEO manager and marketing team staff members.

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