As hard as it is to assess ANY job candidate’s knowledge, it’s even harder with SEO candidates because there’s so much gray area in the industry. This blog series presents questions you can pose to help you determine a candidate’s level of knowledge.
What are some common SEO mistakes?
We’ve addressed other SEO misconceptions in previous questions, but this one focuses specifically on bad SEO practices. Many SEOs don’t know how to determine good from bad advice. This is where you want to find out the quality of the knowledge they have. As with other questions, don’t let them get away with the obvious. Look for something deeper and give them the opportunity to explain why they believe what they do.
Here’s how I would answer:
I think one of the biggest mistakes SEOs make is to follow procedure over value. I’m a big fan of checklists, but those can only be used as a guide. We can’t always adhere to them in a specific order. We have to go where the biggest value gains are to be had first.
For example, on-page optimization is hugely important, but it’s pointless if there are large architectural problems on the site. No amount of optimization will get ranked until the bigger problems are fixed.
But there are also times when you want to do what is quick before you do what is more effective. A great example of this is diving into deep page-by-page optimization too soon. This can take a great deal of time. There might be some other issues that you can pound out more quickly. I frequently will do a broad sweep optimizing title and description tags across the site for the quick and immediate benefit, even though it has less impact than a deeper optimization. But for the time it takes, the value is amazing.
Bottom line, you have to see where the best gains are to be had at any given time and focus on those.