Where Did This SEO Fail On Her SEM Interview?

Feb 1, 2011 - 8:08 am 26 by
Filed Under SEM Companies

IMG_2004A HighRankings Forum thread has an SEO asking where did she go wrong on her SEO interview.

Libby, the SEO interviewee, applied for an SEO/SEM job and received a list of questions. She replied to those questions and then received a response from the hiring company that her replies were "not a good fit." She is asking where did she go wrong?

The SEM Email Interview Questions:

  1. Tell me about two of your proudest achievements. Specifically detail how they impacted the organization/situation/condition you were in. Did they change something?
  2. Let's say (company name) is bidding on a keyword in Google that everyone thinks should provide a lot of orders, but after two weeks, it isn't providing any. Talk about what you'd look into to find out if the problem is with the setup of the campaign or our assumptions of the keyword's potential success.
  3. What are some ways to increase search share on a search result page for a particular keyword? (by search share, we mean the number of results for your company on a page)
  4. If you were given a bigger budget for PPC purposes, how would you figure out where to spend the extra budget?

Her Responses to the SEM Questions:

  1. My two proudest achievements in SEM would be when I got one of my clients conversions off of Yahoo! by turning off her contextual advertising (she provides info about nursing homes and senior housing and contextual is not a good fit for her). She was thinking of ending her Yahoo advertising. The second achievement would have to be when I was able to direct my boss to my former boss at companyname.com so she wouldn't have to refund a client's money. This was an online casino, which Google doesn't accept. My former boss specializes in online casinos (company name makes their money in part from going after accounts that Google does not).
  2. I would first look to see what the traffic for the keyword is. Then I would see what comes up for the keyword. What is doing well organically and who is bidding on the keyword. If the keyword gets a lot of traffic and the sites that are doing well for the keyword (and bidding on the keyword) are in the same category as Company Name then I would look at the campaign. I would look at the CTR to see how successful the ad is and at the bounce rate. That would give me an good idea of how relevant the ad copy and landing page are.
  3. Getting a Google Places account would help in increasing the share on a keyword. Also making sure that the site has good SEO to increase the organic clicks.
  4. I would do several things if I had a bigger budget. I would set up accounts on other search engines (which I know Company Name is doing as you are on Bing) and also increase my Google spend. I would then use analytics to see what converting better. I might also try new things such as Google image ads.

So where did she go wrong?

Do you believe in interviewing via email as a first step?

Who was at fault here? The interviewer or interviewee?

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.


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