Use this guide to create an SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION skills test and hire the most competent SEO Manager for your team!
I was a new team direct. I knew the ins and outs to be a good SEO and a good content material creator, but within my very first month as a manager I confronted a challenge I had never had to deal with before…
Someone still left and I had to find a backfill.
I started desperately Googling things like “ interview questions” plus “ what to look for in a new employee” but quickly realized that was as well generic for what I needed. There is really no guidance available on why is a good SEO manager. I had in order to wing it.
The things i wish I would have thought of in those days was creating an SEO evaluation. My organization had test tasks for content developers based on creating prompts, but there was really absolutely nothing comparable to gauge a prospective SEO’ s skillset.
A good assessment like this might be good for another stage interview after your applicant has passed a basic round 1 interview. If you already know you like this particular person, the next step is to make sure they can stroll the talk.
Things to cover in an SEO skills check
There are so many things you can cover in an SEO quiz for the prospective new hire.
Generally though, there are three major pillars that I think represent SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION well on the whole: technical (the foundation), content (the house), and hyperlinks (authority — yeah, yeah… We couldn’ t keep up with the house analogy).
A good test of your prospective SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION manager’ s skills should strike somewhere in the middle.
Simply keep in mind that, while I think this is a good portrayal of SEO on the whole, it’ ersus not comprehensive. For example , local SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION isn’ t addressed here, if you run a local SEO agency then you may choose to focus on GMB optimization, QUICK SLEEP, etc . Cater your assessment for your unique needs.
The best way to structure your SEO skills check
There are three major types of SEO assessments that I’ ve seen:
- The multiple choice check: These are the varieties of tests that ask things like “ what’ s a robots. txt file”? These tests gauge someone’ s head knowledge (or their particular Googling prowess), but don’ capital t gauge their practical, rubber-meets-the-road abilities.
- The insights: These types of tests provide someone a list of tasks to see exactly how well they’ re able to carry out them. For example , “ change this particular title tag. ” These assessments stop short of gauging someone’ s i9000 problem-solving abilities.
- T he uncertain audit: This might include handing someone a website and stating “ see what you can find. ” These can be highly subjective: your own candidate might focus on the “ wrong” things (things you don’ t care about your new hire knowing), and the candidate could just find yourself relying on tools to do a lot of the work with them.
Whilst all have their merits, none of them experienced 100% appropriate for gauging a potential brand new hire’ s SEO chops. That’ s why I landed on the hybrid.
You’ lso are not just handing your prospect an internet site and saying “ see that which you find, ” but you’ lso are not just having them color-by-number either. Exactly what you’ re doing is requesting them guiding questions about a particular website, such as “what’ s incorrect with this? ” “ Why? ” and “ How would you repair it? ”
Setting all of them up for the test
There are some considerations you need to make before giving them the test and wishing all of them good luck. For example:
- How much time do they have got? Decide whether you would like to bring your candidate in for the 3-hour window (good if you’ re viewing out for the Costanzas of the bunch) or whether they may take the assessment home and e-mail it back by a certain date.
- What website will certainly they be evaluating? You’ ll have to decide regardless of whether you’ ll be giving them a web site you control or picking an accidental website. If it’ s an internet site you control, try not to choose a good immaculate website — give them some thing to find.
- Exactly what tools can they use? You might want to let them use their favored auditing tools or you can suggest each uses your team’ s preferred equipment (if you have any).
- Will you pay them for time? There are different opinions on this, but if you’ lso are giving them a project that you know will take many hours (especially if you might turn out using their findings to improve the website) I would consider paying them for time.
Articles: Can your candidate discern top quality?
This section will concentrate on gauging how well your applicant understands what type of content it takes to do well in the search engines for specific queries.
Here’ t what I might suggest asking:
- Find the low-quality content material on example. com and listing some examples here. Why are they low quality?
- How would you recommend repairing the low-quality content? Why would certainly that method work?
This will show you if they have an excellent grasp of what search engines like Google think about low quality content, and what viable classes of action exist for remedying it.
For example , you may expect to get back something like this:
Example. com/page-two/ is low quality because it is a near-duplicate of example. com/page-one/. It’ h also getting little-to-no organic visitors. If it’ s necessary to maintain /page-two/ on the website, you could add a rel=canonical to indicate which version of the web pages is the primary/original. If /page-two/ has to remain in the index, consider adjusting the content so it’ s exclusive. If it’ s not necessary to help keep /page-two/ on the website, consider 301 manipulating it to /page-one/.
Again, you’ re simply looking for whether they understand what low-quality articles is, how to find it, and how to deal with it.
Other content-related questions you might want to consider asking:
- What topical spaces (if any) exist in this website’ s content?
- Exactly what are some reasons their competitor’ t content might be performing better?
Links: Does your applicant know how to build authority & prevent penalties?
This section might focus on gauging how well your own prospective SEO Manager understands backlinks (backlinks) and their effect on the domain/page’ s performance in search outcomes. Again, without giving too much aside, I would instruct them to:
- Find any inbound links that could be harming example. com’ s overall performance. Why are they harmful?
- Exactly what action would you recommend taking to deal with the harmful inbound links? Why?
For these types of queries, you might expect to get something back such as this:
Instance. com has a number of inbound links making use of exact-match anchor text that are not from it and appear to match Google’ s associated with a link scheme, specifically “ lower-quality directory or bookmark site hyperlinks. ” They do not appear to be harming the particular site’ s performance in search outcomes, but you could add these hyperlinks to their disavow file preemptively.
Other link-related queries you could consider asking:
- What’ s one technique you would recommend using to help this web site get more links? Why?
- Benchmark this site’ s hyperlinks against its competitors and checklist out any key insights you discover.
Technical: Did your candidate know what makes a strong web site foundation?
“ Technical” is broad and not everyone wants where the lines are drawn in between technical and non-technical activities, yet here, I’ m using “ technical” to refer to uncovering your own prospective SEO Manager’ s proficiency at diagnosing and fixing any kind of barriers to crawling, issues with the particular indexing of a site’ s articles, areas for improving how an internet search engine understands the website, and areas meant for improving the user experience.
- Are there any crawl inefficiencies/problems with this particular website? If so, please describe what exactly they are and how you would fix them.
- Are there any issues with how the web pages appear in the index? If so, make sure you describe what they are and how you would repair them.
In answer, you might expect to get an answer for example:
As common with many e-commerce websites, that one uses a faceted navigation. However , because filters are open to crawlers, get budget is being wasted on non-unique, thin pages. Disallow crawlers through crawling non-valuable facets in automated programs. txt to save crawl budget.
Other questions you may consider asking to gauge their particular technical chops:
- How does this site utilize (or are not able to utilize) structured data? Why is that will significant?
- What (if anything) is harming visitor encounter on this website? How would you repair?
The work doesn’ t stop there…
I hope these tips on developing a good SEO assessment help not only associated with hiring process easier, but help you to get the best SEO talent you can — your team deserves it!
But we also understand that adding a new member to your SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION team involves so much more than this particular. You’ ll need to work with your own organization’ s hiring manager to put together the work posting and you’ ll should also invest in training this new worker so they can hit the ground running rapidly to start making an impact for your group.
We hear en este momento — that’ s why we all also put together “ The Agency’ s Guide to Finding & Onboarding New SEO Managers” white document.
If you’ ve ever been tasked with finding, assessing, hiring, plus training a new SEO manager, we’ d love to hear from you! Exactly what methods have been successful for you previously? What mistakes can you help other people avoid? Share them in the responses.
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