Tips for your technical SEO job interview: Which tools do you need to know?

If you’re looking to secure a technical SEO job, you’ll need to showcase skills and demonstrate your knowledge of common SEO tools to ace the interview. Whether you’re conducting a technical audit or reporting SEO campaign results, you’ll likely use a range of technical SEO tools every day during your role. This includes everything from Google Analytics to Screaming Frog.

We looked at 40 UK technical SEO job listings to find out which tools they expect candidates to know and use. Read the results below and become a technical SEO wizard using the most prominent tools in the industry.  

How we collected the data

We analysed 40 job listings posted across LinkedIn, Indeed.com, TotalJobs and Reed. Each job listing had the term ‘Technical SEO’ in the job title and 85% of the jobs looked at were for managerial and senior-level roles. We read through each job description and noted each tool referenced to create a detailed overview of the most relevant tools and skills needed for a technical SEO role. 

Some job ads didn’t specify which tools you’d need to know for the role, but all of the job ads mentioned that experience using SEO tools was necessary. Therefore, we would recommend familiarizing yourself with the tools and software that most employers listed in their posts. Below, we give a brief overview of the most popular tools and how you could use them to help with your technical SEO.

A list ranking the tools technical SEO job adverts are looking for

The results: An overview

Here’s a quick overview of the tools that were mentioned in technical SEO job adverts the most:

Google Analytics

Knowledge of Google Analytics is a must, as it appeared in 62.5% of job listings we looked at. Google Analytics provides data on website traffic, bounce rate, session duration and more. All of this data can highlight any issues that may need resolving with technical SEO fixes

Another feature of Google Analytics is the site speed tool which can show you the average page load times for each URL, which you can filter by browser and device. It will show you the pages with the slowest loading times, which you can then fix.   

PageSpeed Insights is another useful tool that can be used alongside Google Analytics to conduct site speed audits. This gives the page an overall desktop and mobile speed score and points out opportunities to improve page loading times. 

Spotting issues and suggesting improvements is a key part of being a technical SEO, so make sure your Google Analytics knowledge is up-to-scratch to boost your chances of success!

Google Search Console 

Google Search Console came in as the second most popular tool and it was mentioned in 50% of the job listings we looked at. Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster, also appeared in 12.5% of job listings. 

Google Search Console can help your technical SEO efforts by showing you any crawling issues Google bots would encounter crawling your website. It’ll also show you the index status of your web pages.

To help Google index your pages, you should upload an XML sitemap to Google Search Console. A sitemap allows Google crawlers to navigate your site easily by telling them which pages are important and where content is located. The more pages Google can crawl and index, the more can subsequently be shown in the SERPs. 

Sitemap tools weren’t mentioned in the job listings but they’re often used alongside Search Console and will likely be a useful asset to your technical SEO work. 

Some tools you can use include XML Sitemaps, the third most popular tool on the list, Screaming Frog or, if you are working with a WordPress website, you can use the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin. Uploading sitemaps to Search Console should be a regular part of your technical SEO duties.

Website crawling tools: Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl and Botify

The third most popular tool was the crawling analysis tool, Screaming Frog, which 47.5% of employers looked for. This makes it more popular than other crawling tools like DeepCrawl and Botify. These tools are dedicated to crawling every inch of a website and they provide more data than Search Console and other general SEO tools like Ahrefs. Being able to glean insights from all of the data these tools produce will help you when conducting technical SEO audits. 

The tools crawl the chosen website and provide a lot of useful information. This includes highlighting: 

One feature these tools have over other general SEO tools is their ability to show orphaned pages. Screaming Frog can also be used to crawl staging sites which makes it helpful when testing a new website. 

Understanding these tools is vital for any technical SEO role as they provide all the data you need to accomplish the most in-depth site audits you can. We would recommend getting used to Screaming Frog as this was the most popular amongst the job listings and is also free to use (you can crawl a website with up to 500 URLs for free). DeepCrawl and Botify are both paid tools and Botify in particular is designed to crawl vast and complex websites. 

SEO Tools: Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, SearchMetrics

We have grouped these SEO tools together as they can all be used to do a similar job when it comes to technical SEO. These tools are mainly used to track rankings and analyse backlinks and keywords. They do also have site audit and crawl tools that will give you an overview of on-page SEO issues, highlighting any status errors, broken internal links, content issues, pages that Google has or has not indexed and page loading speed. 

Technical SEOs can also use the rank tracking feature, as any decrease in rankings may be an indication that something needs to be looked at. 

As they are not dedicated to technical SEO, these tools do not provide as much information as the crawl analysis tools. But, as they appeared in a number of technical SEO job listings, it’s best to familiarise yourself with one of them and how you could use it for technical SEO. As seen in the results, SEMrush was the most quoted in the job listings, followed by Ahrefs and then Moz

Stay up to date with the latest news

Keeping up to date with the latest trends in the SEO industry and within the technical SEO field was quite a popular request from job listings and there are tools that can help you do this. 

Feedly is an online news aggregator that collects news from various online sources based on topics you are interested in, in this case, technical SEO. Additionally, Tweetdecks allows you to make a custom list based around a key phrase or topic and compiles all tweets about that topic in real-time. Whereas, Google Alerts lets you follow a specific topic and any recent news stories about that topic will be sent to your inbox whenever a relevant story is found. 

Excel and Google Sheets

The ability to use Excel or Google Sheets was highlighted in a lot of technical SEO job listings. It’s a valuable skill to have in general as spreadsheets are widely used in all areas of marketing. Their flexibility makes them useful in a wide variety of situations from managing SEO campaigns and tracking huge amounts of data to making simple to-do lists. 

We recommend learning the fundamentals of formatting cells, manipulating data using formulas and creating graphs that can be useful presentation tools. The two programmes are very similar, so the skills you learn on one are easily transferable to the other. When discussing them, job listings had no preference for proficiency in one over the other. However, some things that make Google Sheets stand out as particularly beneficial in marketing, is the ability to pull data straight from Google Search Console and Google Analytics using the ‘Add-Ons’ feature. 

We would also recommend being a confident user of all applications in the Microsoft Office or Google Suite packages, especially the Word and Presentation tools.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to add and edit tags on a website so you can see how users interact with the site. Tags can record a range of user behaviours including scroll tracking, mouse movements and monitoring specific events such as file downloads and link clicks. There are various other user interactions Tag Manager can monitor so it is worth familiarising yourself with its capabilities so you know which behaviours will be useful for you to track. 

All the data from Tag Manager is pulled into Google Analytics, so it is vital to know how Google Analytics works before starting to delve into Tag Manager.

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a data visualisation tool you can use to build custom dashboards to report your data. It is a very useful way to present data to others and makes it easier to read the data for you to glean insights. Google Data Studio gives you the ability to pull in live data from 490 sources (full list here) and put it in one place; a large collection of charts and visualisations and a lot of custom control over your data visualisations. Although not explicitly linked to technical SEO, Data Studio makes reading your data easier so you can make effective decisions.  

The rest of the tools and conclusion

The rest of the tools in the list were only mentioned once or twice in the job listings looked at and many of their features are covered by the tools already mentioned. If you are applying for jobs in technical SEO, we recommend becoming confident in the tools listed above. These are the most popular mentioned in job listings.

Of course, whichever tools the job listing mentions, look into and if you are already a confident user of the most popular tools already, this list may provide some suggestions of other tools you can learn as well.  

For the most part, becoming a confident user of the most popular tools and knowing how to use them to improve your technical SEO skills will increase your chances of success when applying for a technical SEO role.

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