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21 Common Marketing Interview Questions & Answers



21 Common Marketing Interview Questions & Answers

Marketing interviews are unpredictable, and there’s no wonder. There are many different marketing roles and candidates with many backgrounds, skills, needs, and wants. Yet some questions get asked and answered repeatedly in interview rooms everywhere.

I’ve been to many marketing interviews. To some as an interviewee, to most of them as an interviewer. There are likely hundreds of different interview questions I asked or that employers asked me. But what are the most common ones, and what should you look for in an answer?

I skimmed through many other similar articles and wrote down questions that appeared multiple times to answer this question. No matter what marketing position you’re applying for, some of the following 21 questions will be a topic of conversation during the interview:

  1. Why are you pursuing a career in marketing?
  2. What makes you interested in this role?
  3. What are your responsibilities in your current role?
  4. Why are you looking to make a change?
  5. What’s your most significant career achievement?
  6. How do you work best?
  7. What are your strongest skills?
  8. What are your weaknesses?
  9. What resources do you use to develop your marketing skills?
  10. What marketing book have you read recently?
  11. What marketing campaign did you recently like and why?
  12. What marketing tools can you use well?
  13. Tell me about a difficult problem that you had to solve recently. What did you do?
  14. Tell me about a failed campaign that you worked on. What did you learn from it?
  15. Tell me about a successful campaign that you worked on. What was your contribution?
  16. How do you measure a campaign’s success?
  17. Who do you think is our target market?
  18. How do you manage the launch of a new product?
  19. What new marketing tactic have you tried recently? Why did you choose it, and what did you learn?
  20. What are your salary expectations?
  21. Do you have any questions?

Let’s look into each of those questions and how to answer them.

1. Why are you pursuing a career in marketing?

Often seen as an icebreaker, this question can reveal quite a bit about the candidate. Every employer wants to hire people with motivation other than “it pays a pretty penny.”

There are many reasons people are interested in working in the marketing field. It’s up to you to come up with an honest answer, but some of the reasons I’ve heard are:

  • Always learning new things
  • Interesting, non-monotonous work
  • A way to express creativity
  • Many career advancement opportunities and room for growth
  • The psychological aspect of better understanding human behavior
  • Great community
  • Suitable for remote work
  • Being the “good guy” in a field that’s often frowned upon by the general public

However, there’s nothing wrong with also mentioning the money. Some marketing roles can be very lucrative.

2. What makes you interested in this role?

If the candidate is not enthusiastic about the role, it’s a red flag for many hiring managers.

Let’s be honest. Many jobs aren’t that exciting. But there must be some reason you chose to apply. Maybe it looked like a suitable starting position for your career goals, or the company seemed a great place to work, or you like using the company’s products and want to be a part of spreading the word?

Being a massive fan of the company and its products was one of my biggest motivations to join Ahrefs back in 2019.

3. What are your responsibilities in your current role?

Unless you’re applying for your first job, be prepared to answer a few questions about your current and previous roles.

The only wrong way to answer this is to exaggerate or lie. It could backfire during follow-up questions or even when verifying the information by talking to your (former) colleagues.

4. Why are you looking to make a change?

You’ll likely get asked this if you’re looking for a new job while still working for someone else. This question is beneficial to both sides—the interviewer will learn more about your motivations, and you’ll learn whether the company seems like a good fit for you.

For example, you might not be content with your current work-life balance. If the new role requires you to often travel for business and work overtime, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

However, these reasons often revolve around stagnation and limited career or compensation growth. If this is the case for you, be honest. I often saw candidates being too shy to talk about wanting to earn more.

5. What’s your most significant career achievement?

If you’ve already got a few years of experience on your career record, be prepared to share your proudest achievements.

However, while it’s natural to think about all the marketing campaigns you were part of, the great ideas that led to massive wins, etc., don’t limit yourself to purely performance achievements.

For example, even before joining Ahrefs as an SEO & marketing educator, I’d say that my biggest achievement was contributing to other peoples’ growth as marketers. Nothing motivates me more than people reaching out to tell me how my lecture, workshop, presentation, or article helped them.

6. How do you work best?

Would you fit the team, the company’s culture, and their management style? This question isn’t explicitly related to marketing, but it’s crucial information for both parties.

Here are a few contrasts. Some people like having a list of tasks assigned to them; others prefer to create their own tasks. Some candidates perform best when they have flexible hours working from home; others like the “9 to 5” office life.

You should know what works best for you in terms of organizing your time, work-life balance, workspace, and collaboration.

7. What are your strongest skills?

You might also encounter this question masked as “what sets you apart from other candidates?”—which has a more competitive angle. This question is your chance to shamelessly pitch what you’re great at.

I recommend mentioning a mix of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are role-specific, so they could be anything from conducting great market research to writing great content that ranks in search engines. Soft skills are desirable regardless of the role, like critical thinking, communication, or leadership. They make you a better human and team player.

A 2016 survey by Smart Insights revealed the following soft skills as top requirements:

Bar graphs showing top three requirements are problem-solving, elegant thought articulation, and analytical thinking

8. What are your weaknesses?

I hope this question is losing its popularity and will eventually fade away. Why?

From the interviewer’s point of view, the candidate probably won’t give a completely honest answer. No one will open up about snapping at colleagues or their tendency to procrastinate half of their working hours on YouTube. I’m exaggerating, but you get the gist.

You want to be prepared for this one. I recommend choosing a middle ground kind of answer. Don’t try to make some weakness look like a strength (I work too much). On the other hand, don’t disclose something that can jeopardize being hired.

For example, my answer here could be that I can’t stand being micromanaged and need my own space for autonomy. I can imagine that this would be a problem in larger organizations with many management levels.

9. What resources do you use to develop your marketing skills?

How and where you learn about marketing could be used as a proxy to assess your knowledge and skills.

The thing is that many of the most popular industry blogs, YouTube channels, or influencers don’t create great marketing content. It’s often their own marketing and sales skills that made them popular, not the depth of information and value they provide.

I know this from my own experience. When I started in marketing, it was natural to follow the biggest accounts in our industry. But unfortunately, it takes a few years of consuming marketing information before you can easily separate the wheat from the chaff.

To some degree, this is also a subjective topic. If you want some inspiration, I wrote a short Twitter thread about stellar marketing resources:

10. What marketing book have you read recently?

This question may initially seem like a more specific version of the previous one, but it’s the opposite because marketing books don’t need to be explicitly about marketing.

For example, among the best “marketing” books I’ve read were pieces from Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely, who are both key figures in behavioral psychology and economy. Dale Carnegie and Robert Cialdini are other examples of popular non-marketer authors who can teach you a lot about marketing.

But what if you don’t read marketing books? What if you don’t like reading books at all? In today’s world of online long-form content across all mediums, you can be a great marketer and a generally knowledgeable person without reading books. Just steer the conversation towards the other mediums.

11. What marketing campaign did you recently like and why?

You don’t even have to be a marketer to answer this question. We’re all bombarded by marketing communications every day. But as marketers, we can likely appreciate the campaigns more, analyze them, and use them as inspiration.

There’s no right or wrong campaign to choose. You can only get bonus points by expanding on why you like it. The most recent campaign that stood out to me was Coinbase’s ad during the 2022 Super Bowl:

I’m sure many other marketers would pick this one too right now, but here are some reasons why I like it:

  • It instantly makes viewers wonder what’s going on. There’s no branding, so the only way to find out more is to scan the QR code.
  • It’s a stellar example of how creativity can beat all marketing and branding best practices.
  • The creative is as low cost as possible. Other companies spend millions on creating Super Bowl ads, whereas Coinbase used that money to buy twice the standard 30s airtime.
  • The outage of their website after scanning the QR code might as well have been an additional PR stunt. This only amplified their coverage in the media, which could be more valuable than making the website load for everyone.

12. What marketing tools can you use well?

No matter what marketing position you’re applying for, you need to know the basics of some marketing tools. And since a lot of marketing revolves around data, I would even consider spreadsheets as marketing tools.

The knowledge of specific tools often gets mentioned in the job description. For example, we require a good understanding of our SEO platform for all marketing positions.

Are you going to do something on a laptop during the interview? Probably not. But it’s pretty easy to test this knowledge even without having the candidate use the tools. I often tested candidates who supposedly had a good grasp of Google Analytics by asking about specific metrics or how they read and interpreted sample reports.

13. Tell me about a difficult problem that you had to solve recently. What did you do?

This question is one of those “how do you work under pressure?” questions. No one can assess your ability in these situations until they see you in one. But the interviewer can undoubtedly learn a thing or two about your problem-solving skills.

Many of us encounter difficult problems regularly. You have a chance to describe a challenging situation, but you managed to resolve it very well. Of course, the more impactful the decisions were, the better. Just make sure they were based on something better than a “gut feeling” that we marketers sometimes like to trust.

14. Tell me about a failed campaign that you worked on. What did you learn from it?

Things can’t always go as planned, so it’s only natural that some of our marketing campaigns fail. It can feel unpleasant at the time, but these happenings provide the best learning opportunities. You just have to leverage it—and that’s where this question is pointing.

For example, I failed at creating a Wikipedia page for Ahrefs. It’s a lot of work that involves many tasks, so we might as well call it a campaign. However, I used that experience to write one of the most in-depth and actionable articles on how to create a Wiki page. Those ~4,000 words already went through thorough revisions and editing, so I’m sure you can talk about your experience for a minute or two.

15. Tell me about a successful campaign that you worked on. What was your contribution?

This question is obviously similar to the previous ones, but it’s focused more on planning, running, and evaluating a marketing campaign and your role in it.

If you’re thinking about many campaigns, choose one where you played a significant role. It wouldn’t sound good to dive into an impactful campaign before telling the interviewer you were more of a bystander.

16. How do you measure a campaign’s success?

According to this research by AMA, nearly 50% of marketing leaders reported a lack of people who can link marketing analytics to practice. If the position requires analyzing and interpreting data (most marketing jobs do), be prepared to be asked about marketing data, analytics, or even some basic statistics.

The best short answer here is “it depends,” but it’s evident that the interviewer wants to hear you describe a few marketing KPIs and possibly even some proxy metrics related to those KPIs.

For example, suppose you’re asked or want to talk about an SEO campaign. In that case, you could say that a universal SEO KPI is search visibility (also known as organic share of voice) and that contributing indicators are relevant organic traffic and keyword rankings.

17. Who do you think is our target market?

There’s likely no better question to test whether a candidate did their homework and checked the company’s website and products. In the case of some companies, they provide the answers right on the homepage:

Ahrefs' homepage

I’m undoubtedly biased, but it’s pretty clear that we offer products for anyone who wants to do SEO—from beginners (usually SMBs and individual business owners) through SEO pros to enterprise clients (hinted at the top navigation bar).

No one expects you to be spot on in identifying all target segments that make up their target market. But you should be able to deduce a fair bit from the company’s communication and their products.

18. How do you manage the launch of a new product?

Let’s face it; an experienced marketer could probably start an hour-long monologue in response to this question. A junior one would be pretty lost. I’m not a massive fan of this question, but it appears in many other articles about marketing interview questions, so we’d better cover it.

You will always get asked this question in a specific context. If you’re applying for a social media marketing role, you don’t need to develop a complete go-to-market strategy. Put yourself in the role and think about all the tasks you might have to do when launching a new product. In social media marketing, it could be:

  • Come up with teasers as social media posts before the launch
  • Prepare product launch announcement posts
  • Reveal the product to selected influencers and media beforehand, get them to try it, use them for amplification
  • Create visuals for all posts and ads
  • Plan promotion campaigns
  • Come up with a series of posts that help with onboarding and making the best of use of the product

19. What new marketing tactic have you tried recently? Why did you choose it, and what did you learn?

We marketers always have new technologies, platforms, and tactics to try. In fact, many marketers these days spend most of their time on advertising and promotion. As a result, they don’t engage much in the vast array of other marketing activities:

Pie chart of 4 Ps of marketing; chart shows advertising only makes up tiny fraction of marketing

I’m pointing towards the ideal answers here in the reverse order. You should only choose new shiny tactics, techniques, tips, hacks (or whatever you call them) if they fit into your marketing strategy. TikTok might be the hottest platform for a while, but that isn’t a reason to use it for business.

Think about something new or unorthodox that you used recently because it had the potential to get you closer to your marketing objectives. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it makes sense from the strategic perspective.

16 Marketing Tactics That Work

20. What are your salary expectations?

For many, money talk could be one of the most uncomfortable parts of the interview—so you’d better come prepared.

First of all, do diligent research about salaries, compensation packages, and companies’ budgets for your roles in your area. Look at HR portals, government statistics and open job positions with disclosed salaries. Ask your friends and acquaintances who could know this information.

Check multiple sources of information. For example, Glassdoor states that the median compensation for marketing managers in the US is around $95k, while the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates $141k.

For 100% remote jobs, there are now many companies that offer globally competitive salaries, so you might as well look at US data even if you’re elsewhere.

After you have a good grasp of the compensation landscape, I’d urge you to at least get an idea about the salary range before you invest too much time and energy into the hiring process. The worst-case scenario for both parties is when you find out too late that there isn’t a possible compromise between the candidate’s expectations and the budget for the role.

So, do your research, get an idea of the salary range for the position you’re applying for, and this uncomfortable question can easily lead to a win-win situation.

21. Do you have any questions?

I always asked this at the end of my interviews. Not only is it the right thing to do to let the candidate ask about anything left unanswered, but it also signals that the candidate is interested in the position.

As the candidate, you should list what you want to cover during the interview. Feel free to bring it with you. It can contain any questions about the position, company, team, culture, or experiences of the interviewers. Also, feel free to ask if you’re unsure what’s coming up next in your hiring process, when you should ideally start if you’re hired, etc.

If the interviewer doesn’t ask this question and you’re interested in working there, initiate the conversation yourself at the end of the interview. You might even make an impression this way.

Final thoughts

You should now be prepared to answer the most common marketing interview questions. That’s only half of the victory, though. Most marketing roles require skills in specific areas like SEO, PPC, or branding. Those are the hard skills that take a lot of time to master.

Good luck with your next interview!

Do you have any questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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The 6 Biggest SEO Challenges You’ll Face in 2024



The 6 Biggest SEO Challenges You'll Face in 2024

Seen any stressed-out SEOs recently? If so, that’s because they’ve got their work cut out this year.

Between navigating Google’s never-ending algorithm updates, fighting off competitors, and getting buy-in for projects, there are many significant SEO challenges to consider.

So, which ones should you focus on? Here are the six biggest ones I think you should pay close attention to.

Make no mistake—Google’s algorithm updates can make or break your site.

Core updates, spam updates, helpful content updates—you name it, they can all impact your site’s performance.

As we can see below, the frequency of Google updates has increased in recent years, meaning that the likelihood of being impacted by a Google update has also increased.

How to deal with it:

Recovering from a Google update isn’t easy—and sometimes, websites that get hit by updates may never fully recover.

For the reasons outlined above, most businesses try to stay on the right side of Google and avoid incurring Google’s wrath.

SEOs do this by following Google’s Search Essentials, SEO best practices and avoiding risky black hat SEO tactics. But sadly, even if you think you’ve done this, there is no guarantee that you won’t get hit.

If you suspect a website has been impacted by a Google update, the fastest way to check is to plug the domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

Ahrefs Site Explorer screenshotAhrefs Site Explorer screenshot

Here’s an example of a website likely affected by Google’s August 2023 Core Update. The traffic drop started on the update’s start date.

Website impacted by Google's August 2023 Core UpdateWebsite impacted by Google's August 2023 Core Update
Hover over the G circles on the X axis to get information about each update.

From this screen, you can see if a drop in traffic correlates with a Google update. If there is a strong correlation, then that update may have hit the site. To remedy it, you will need to understand the update and take action accordingly.

Follow SEO best practices

It’s important your website follows SEO best practices so you can understand why it has been affected and determine what you need to do to fix things.

For example, you might have missed significant technical SEO issues impacting your website’s traffic. To rule this out, it’s worth using Site Audit to run a technical crawl of your website.

Site Audit screenshot, via Ahrefs Site AuditSite Audit screenshot, via Ahrefs Site Audit

Monitor the latest SEO news

In addition to following best practices, it’s a good idea to monitor the latest SEO news. You can do this through various social media channels like X or LinkedIn, but I find the two websites below to be some of the most reliable sources of SEO news.

Even if you escape Google’s updates unscathed, you’ve still got to deal with your competitors vying to steal your top-ranking keywords from right under your nose.

This may sound grim, but it’s a mistake to underestimate them. Most of the time, they’ll be trying to improve their website’s SEO just as much as you are.

And these days, your competitors will:

How to deal with it:

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to do these two things:

Spy on your competitors and monitor their strategy

Ok, so you don’t have to be James Bond, but by using a tool like Ahrefs Site Explorer and our Google Looker Studio Integration (GLS), you can extract valuable information and keep tabs on your competitors, giving you a competitive advantage in the SERPs.

Using a tool like Site Explorer, you can use the Organic Competitors report to understand the competitor landscape:

Organic competitors screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerOrganic competitors screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can check out their Organic traffic performance across the years:

Year on Year comparison of organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerYear on Year comparison of organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can use Calendar to see which days changes in Positions, Pages, Referring domains Backlinks occurred:

Screenshot of Ahrefs' Calendar, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerScreenshot of Ahrefs' Calendar, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can see their Top pages’ organic traffic and Organic keywords:

Top pages report, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerTop pages report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

And much, much more.

If you want to monitor your most important competitors more closely, you can even create a dashboard using Ahrefs’ GLS integration.

Google Looker Studio integration screenshot,Google Looker Studio integration screenshot,

Acquire links and create content that your competitors can’t recreate easily

Once you’ve done enough spying, it’s time to take action.

Links and content are the bread and butter for many SEOs. But a lot of the time the links that are acquired and the content that is created just aren’t that great.

So, to stand the best chance of maintaining your rankings, you need to work on getting high-quality backlinks and producing high-quality content that your competitors can’t easily recreate.

It’s easy to say this, but what does it mean in practice?

The best way to create this type of content is to create deep content.

At Ahrefs, we do this by running surveys, getting quotes from industry experts, running data studies, creating unique illustrations or diagrams, and generally fine-tuning our content until it is the best it can be.

As if competing against your competitors wasn’t enough, you must also compete against Google for clicks.

As Google not-so-subtly transitions from a search engine to an answer engine, it’s becoming more common for it to supply the answer to search queries—rather than the search results themselves.

The result is that even the once top-performing organic search websites have a lower click-through rate (CTR) because they’re further down the page—or not on the first page.

Whether you like it or not, Google is reducing traffic to your website through two mechanisms:

  • AI overviews – Where Google generates an answer based on sources on the internet
  • Zero-click searches – Where Google shows the answer in the search results

With AI overviews, we can see that the traditional organic search results are not visible.

And with zero-click searches, Google supplies the answer directly in the SERP, so the user doesn’t have to click anything unless they want to know more.

Zero Click searches example, via Google.comZero Click searches example, via

These features have one thing in common: They are pushing the organic results further down the page.

With AI Overviews, even when links are included, Kevin Indig’s AI overviews traffic impact study suggests that AI overviews will reduce organic clicks.

In this example below, shared by Aleyda, we can see that even when you rank organically in the number one position, it doesn’t mean much if there are Ads and an AI overview with the UX with no links in the AI overview answer; it just perpetuates the zero-clicks model through the AI overview format.

How to deal with it:

You can’t control how Google changes the SERPs, but you can do two things:

Make your website the best it can be

If you focus on the latter, your website will naturally become more authoritative over time. This isn’t a guarantee that your website will be included in the AI overview, but it’s better than doing nothing.

Prevent Google from showing your website in an AI Overview

If you want to be excluded from Google’s AI Overviews, Google says you can add no snippet to prevent your content from appearing in AI Overviews.

nosnippet code explanation screemshot, via Google's documentationnosnippet code explanation screemshot, via Google's documentation

One of the reasons marketers gravitated towards Google in the early days was that it was relatively easy to set up a website and get traffic.

Recently, there have been a few high-profile examples of smaller websites that have been impacted by Google:

Apart from the algorithmic changes, I think there are two reasons for this:

  • Large authoritative websites with bigger budgets and SEO teams are more likely to rank well in today’s Google
  • User-generated content sites like Reddit and Quora have been given huge traffic boosts from Google, which has displaced smaller sites from the SERPs that used to rank for these types of keyword queries

Here’s Reddit’s traffic increase over the last year:

Reddit's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site ExplorerReddit's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site Explorer

And here’s Quora’s traffic increase:

Quora's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site ExplorerQuora's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site Explorer

How to deal with it:

There are three key ways I would deal with this issue in 2024:

Focus on targeting the right keywords using keyword research

Knowing which keywords to target is really important for smaller websites. Sadly, you can’t just write about a big term like “SEO” and expect to rank for it in Google.

Use a tool like Keywords Explorer to do a SERP analysis for each keyword you want to target. Use the effort-to-reward ratio to ensure you are picking the right keyword battles:

Effort to reward ratio illustrationEffort to reward ratio illustration

If you’re concerned about Reddit, Quora, or other UGC sites stealing your clicks, you can also use Keywords Explorer to target SERPs where these websites aren’t present.

To do this:

  • Enter your keyword in the search bar and head to the matching terms report
  • Click on the SERP features drop-down box
  • Select Not on SERP and select Discussions and forums
Example of removing big UGC sites from keyword searches using filters in Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerExample of removing big UGC sites from keyword searches using filters in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

This method can help you find SERPs where these types of sites are not present.

Build more links to become more authoritative

Another approach you could take is to double down on the SEO basics and start building more high-quality backlinks.

Write deep content

Most SEOs are not churning out 500-word blog posts and hoping for the best; equally, the content they’re creating is often not deep or the best it can possibly be.

This is often due to time restraints, budget and inclination. But to be competitive in the AI era, deep content is exactly what you should be creating.

As your website grows, the challenge of maintaining the performance of your content portfolio gets increasingly more difficult.

And what may have been an “absolute banger” of an article in 2020 might not be such a great article now—so you’ll need to update it to keep the clicks rolling in.

So how can you ensure that your content is the best it can be?

How to deal with it:

Here’s the process I use:

Steal this content updating framework

And here’s a practical example of this in action:

Use Page Inspect with Overview to identify pages that need updating

Here’s an example of an older article Michal Pecánek wrote that I recently updated. Using Page Inspect, we can pinpoint the exact date of the update was on May 10, 2024, with no other major in the last year.

Ahrefs Page Inspect screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerAhrefs Page Inspect screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

According to Ahrefs, this update almost doubled the page’s organic traffic, underlining the value of updating old content. Before the update, the content had reached its lowest performance ever.

Example of a content update and the impact on organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerExample of a content update and the impact on organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

So, what changed to casually double the traffic? Clicking on Page Inspect gives us our answer.

Page Inspect detail screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerPage Inspect detail screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

I was focused on achieving three aims with this update:

  • Keeping Michal’s original framework for the post intact
  • Making the content as concise and readable as it can be
  • Refreshing the template (the main draw of the post) and explaining how to use the updated version in a beginner-friendly way to match the search intent

Getting buy-in for SEO projects has never been easy compared to other channels. Unfortunately, this meme perfectly describes my early days of agency life.

SEO meme, SEO vs PPC budgetsSEO meme, SEO vs PPC budgets

SEO is not an easy sell—either internally or externally to clients.

With companies hiring fewer SEO roles this year, the appetite for risk seems lower than in previous years.

SEO can also be slow to take impact, meaning getting buy-in for projects is harder than other channels.

How long does SEO take illustrationHow long does SEO take illustration

How to deal with it:

My colleague Despina Gavoyannis has written a fantastic article about how to get SEO buy-in, here is a summary of her top tips:

  • Find key influencers and decision-makers within the organization, starting with cross-functional teams before approaching executives. (And don’t forget the people who’ll actually implement your changes—developers.)
  • Adapt your language and communicate the benefits of SEO initiatives in terms that resonate with different stakeholders’ priorities.
  • Highlight the opportunity costs of not investing in SEO by showing the potential traffic and revenue being missed out on using metrics like Ahrefs’ traffic value.
  • Collaborate cross-functionally by showing how SEO can support other teams’ goals, e.g. helping the editorial team create content that ranks for commercial queries.

And perhaps most important of all: build better business cases and SEO opportunity forecasts.

If you just want to show the short-term trend for a keyword, you can use Keywords Explorer:

Forecasting feature for keywords, via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerForecasting feature for keywords, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer
The forecasted trend is shown in orange as a dotted line.

If you want to show the Traffic potential of a particular keyword, you can use our Traffic potential metric in SERP overview to gauge this:

Traffic potential example, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerTraffic potential example, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

And if you want to go the whole hog, you can create an SEO forecast. You can use a third-party tool to create a forecast, but I recommend you use Patrick Stox’s SEO forecasting guide.

Final thoughts

Of all the SEO challenges mentioned above, the one keeping SEOs awake at night is AI.

It’s swept through our industry like a hurricane, presenting SEOs with many new challenges. The SERPs are changing, competitors are using AI tools, and the bar for creating basic content has been lowered, all thanks to AI.

If you want to stay competitive, you need to arm yourself with the best SEO tools and search data on the market—and for me, that always starts with Ahrefs.

Got questions? Ping me on X.

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Why Now’s The Time To Adopt Schema Markup




Why Now's The Time To Adopt Schema Markup

There is no better time for organizations to prioritize Schema Markup.

Why is that so, you might ask?

First of all, Schema Markup (aka structured data) is not new.

Google has been awarding sites that implement structured data with rich results. If you haven’t taken advantage of rich results in search, it’s time to gain a higher click-through rate from these visual features in search.

Secondly, now that search is primarily driven by AI, helping search engines understand your content is more important than ever.

Schema Markup allows your organization to clearly articulate what your content means and how it relates to other things on your website.

The final reason to adopt Schema Markup is that, when done correctly, you can build a content knowledge graph, which is a critical enabler in the age of generative AI. Let’s dig in.

Schema Markup For Rich Results has been around since 2011. Back then, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex worked together to create the standardized vocabulary to enable website owners to translate their content to be understood by search engines.

Since then, Google has incentivized websites to implement Schema Markup by awarding rich results to websites with certain types of markup and eligible content.

Websites that achieve these rich results tend to see higher click-through rates from the search engine results page.

In fact, Schema Markup is one of the most well-documented SEO tactics that Google tells you to do. With so many things in SEO that are backward-engineered, this one is straightforward and highly recommended.

You might have delayed implementing Schema Markup due to the lack of applicable rich results for your website. That might have been true at one point, but I’ve been doing Schema Markup since 2013, and the number of rich results available is growing.

Even though Google deprecated how-to rich results and changed the eligibility of FAQ rich results in August 2023, it introduced six new rich results in the months following – the most new rich results introduced in a year!

These rich results include vehicle listing, course info, profile page, discussion forum, organization, vacation rental, and product variants.

There are now 35 rich results that you can use to stand out in search, and they apply to a wide range of industries such as healthcare, finance, and tech.

Here are some widely applicable rich results you should consider utilizing:

  • Breadcrumb.
  • Product.
  • Reviews.
  • JobPosting.
  • Video.
  • Profile Page.
  • Organization.

With so many opportunities to take control of how you appear in search, it’s surprising that more websites haven’t adopted it.

A statistic from Web Data Commons’ October 2023 Extractions Report showed that only 50% of pages had structured data.

Of the pages with JSON-LD markup, these were the top types of entities found.

  • (2,341,592,788 Entities)
  • (1,429,942,067 Entities)
  • (907,701,098 Entities)
  • (817,464,472 Entities)
  • (712,198,821 Entities)
  • (691,208,528 Entities)
  • (623,956,111 Entities)
  • (614,892,152 Entities)
  • (582,460,344 Entities)
  • (502,883,892 Entities)

(Source: October 2023 Web Data Commons Report)

Most of the types on the list are related to the rich results mentioned above.

For example, ListItem and BreadcrumbList are required for the Breadcrumb Rich Result, SearchAction is required for Sitelink Search Box, and Offer is required for the Product Rich Result.

This tells us that most websites are using Schema Markup for rich results.

Even though these types can help your site achieve rich results and stand out in search, they don’t necessarily tell search engines what each page is about in detail and help your site be more semantic.

Help AI Search Engines Understand Your Content

Have you ever seen your competitor’s sites using specific Types that are not found in Google’s structured data documentation (i.e. MedicalClinic, IndividualPhysician, Service, etc)?

The vocabulary has over 800 types and properties to help websites explain what the page is about. However, Google’s structured data features only require a small subset of these properties for websites to be eligible for a rich result.

Many websites that solely implement Schema Markup to get rich results tend to be less descriptive with their Schema Markup.

AI search engines now look at the meaning and intent behind your content to provide users with more relevant search results.

Therefore, organizations that want to stay ahead should use more specific types and leverage appropriate properties to help search engines better understand and contextualize their content. You can be descriptive with your content while still achieving rich results.

For example, each type (e.g. Article, Person, etc.) in the vocabulary has 40 or more properties to describe the entity.

The properties are there to help you fully describe what the page is about and how it relates to other things on your website and the web. In essence, it’s asking you to describe the entity or topic of the page semantically.

The word ‘semantic’ is about understanding the meaning of language.

Note that the word “understanding” is part of the definition. Funny enough, in October 2023, John Mueller at Google released a Search Update video. In this six-minute video, he leads with an update on Schema Markup.

For the first time, Mueller described Schema Markup as “a code you can add to your web pages, which search engines can use to better understand the content. ”

While Mueller has historically spoken a lot about Schema Markup, he typically talked about it in the context of rich result eligibility. So, why the change?

This shift in thinking about Schema Markup for enhanced search engine understanding makes sense. With AI’s growing role and influence in search, we need to make it easy for search engines to consume and understand the content.

Take Control Of AI By Shaping Your Data With Schema Markup

Now, if being understood and standing out in search is not a good enough reason to get started, then doing it to help your enterprise take control of your content and prepare it for artificial intelligence is.

In February 2024, Gartner published a report on “30 Emerging Technologies That Will Guide Your Business Decisions,”  highlighting generative AI and knowledge graphs as critical emerging technologies companies should invest in within the next 0-1 years.

Knowledge graphs are collections of relationships between entities defined using a standardized vocabulary that enables new knowledge to be gained by way of inferencing.

Good news! When you implement Schema Markup to define and connect the entities on your site, you are creating a content knowledge graph for your organization.

Thus, your organization gains a critical enabler for generative AI adoption while reaping its SEO benefits.

Learn more about building content knowledge graphs in my article, Extending Your Schema Markup From Rich Results to Knowledge Graphs.

We can also look at other experts in the knowledge graph field to understand the urgency of implementing Schema Markup.

In his LinkedIn post, Tony Seale, Knowledge Graph Architect at UBS in the UK, said,

“AI does not need to happen to you; organizations can shape AI by shaping their data.

It is a choice: We can allow all data to be absorbed into huge ‘data gravity wells’ or we can create a network of networks, each of us connecting and consolidating our data.”

The “networks of networks” Seale refers to is the concept of knowledge graphs – the same knowledge graph that can be built from your web data using semantic Schema Markup.”

The AI revolution has only just begun, and there is no better time than now to shape your data, starting with your web content through the implementation of Schema Markup.

Use Schema Markup As The Catalyst For AI

In today’s digital landscape, organizations must invest in new technology to keep pace with the evolution of AI and search.

Whether your goal is to stand out on the SERP or ensure your content is understood as intended by Google and other search engines, the time to implement Schema Markup is now.

With Schema Markup, SEO pros can become heroes, enabling generative AI adoption through content knowledge graphs while delivering tangible benefits, such as increased click-through rates and improved search visibility.

More resources: 

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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results




Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

Google removed the Covid-era structured data associated with the Home Activities rich results that allowed online events to be surfaced in search since August 2020, publishing a mention of the removal in the search documentation changelog.

Home Activities Rich Results

The structured data for the Home Activities rich results allowed providers of online livestreams, pre-recorded events and online events to be findable in Google Search.

The original documentation has been completely removed from the Google Search Central webpages and now redirects to a changelog notation that explains that the Home Activity rich results is no longer available for display.

The original purpose was to allow people to discover things to do from home while in quarantine, particularly online classes and events. Google’s rich results surfaced details of how to watch, description of the activities and registration information.

Providers of online events were required to use Event or Video structured data. Publishers and businesses who have this kind of structured data should be aware that this kind of rich result is no longer surfaced but it’s not necessary to remove the structured data if it’s a burden, it’s not going to hurt anything to publish structured data that isn’t used for rich results.

The changelog for Google’s official documentation explains:

“Removing home activity documentation
What: Removed documentation on home activity structured data.

Why: The home activity feature no longer appears in Google Search results.”

Read more about Google’s Home Activities rich results:

Google Announces Home Activities Rich Results

Read the Wayback Machine’s archive of Google’s original announcement from 2020:

Home activities

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