SEO Manager

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What Is an SEO Manager? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

SEO managers develop and execute strategies to drive organic website traffic from search engines. They do so by following sound technical SEO practices and ensuring website content is helpful and relevant to readers who search for particular key words and phrases on search engines. Here’s what to know about an SEO manager’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is an SEO Manager?

An SEO manager helps to ensure websites and their content are optimized for search engines, which ultimately helps to attract more website visitors through that channel.


What Do SEO Managers Do?

An SEO manager’s duties include creating, auditing and optimizing content, implementing technical website improvements and analyzing website traffic. 

SEO Manager Responsibilities

  • Conduct research on a variety of factors including audience identification, content creation, keyword targeting, traffic analysis and conversion rate.
  • Plan and carry out an SEO strategy.
  • Write and strategize new content.
  • Optimize already published content.
  • Identify and report on key performance metrics.
  • Collaborate with writers, editors, web developers, marketing professionals and anyone else involved in content production and website maintenance.
  • Recommend and implement website improvements and fixes.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of SEO Managers

  • Meet with marketing leaders, editors and others who are involved in managing content production.
  • Conduct research.
  • Prepare notes and feedback for writers and others who produce content.
  • Write content.
  • Analyze SEO data and put together reports.
  • Communicate content wins and areas for improvement.
  • Set SEO team priorities and check in on progress.
  • Train team members to carry out SEO strategy.
  • Identify website improvements.
  • Inspect existing content for potential revisions to boost traffic.
  • Read up on SEO trends and algorithm changes.

SEO Managers Within a Company

Where an SEO manager fits within a company depends on the type of organization for which they work. In an agency setting, an SEO manager may work directly with clients. SEO managers working for media organizations, however, may collaborate closely with editors. SEO managers often work within marketing, product or growth departments.

Importance of SEO Managers

Successful SEO managers help a company improve the organic (non-paid) traffic to its website, resulting in more visitors and potential leads, thus improving the company’s revenue and online brand presence.

What does an SEO do in their day to day work? | Video: Moz


What Skills Are Needed to Be an SEO Manager?

Qualifications to Be an SEO Manager

  • Knowledge of SEO keyword research tools and practices.
  • Experience producing compelling, SEO-friendly content.
  • Strategic at planning and executing content.
  • Understanding of fundamental SEO principles like expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
  • Knowledge of how search engines rank web pages and how to implement technical changes to improve rankings.

SEO Manager Prerequisites

  • A bachelor's degree is not always required for breaking into the SEO field, but is typically needed for reaching the managerial level.
  • Courses and certifications from platforms like Udemy and Udacity can boost your resume.

SEO Manager Hard Skills

  • Using tools for research and data analysis.
  • Understanding of key SEO metrics and how to incorporate them into overall strategy.
  • Knowledge of how to cater content and website presentation to search engine algorithms.
  • Building reports and communicating technical aspects of SEO strategy.
  • Conforming to applicable style guides such as AP Style.

SEO Manager Soft Skills

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strategic and analytical thinking.
  • Managing time to meet deadlines.
  • Prioritizing tasks for successful SEO strategy.
  • Curious and eager to learn.
  • Open to new strategies and practices.
  • Collaboration among team members and across departments.

Tools and Programs SEO Managers Use

  • Semrush
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Trends
  • Google Search Console
  • Moz
  • Screaming Frog
  • Ahrefs
  • KWFinder
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How to Become an SEO Manager

SEO Manager Education and Experience

A bachelor’s degree in a field like English, marketing, communications or business can lay the groundwork for a career in the SEO field, and professional certifications and courses can sharpen the skills needed to land a role as an SEO manager.

SEO Manager Certificates and Courses

SEO Manager Career Path

Working in internships and entry-level roles, such as an SEO writer or SEO specialist, can immerse newcomers in SEO best practices in preparation for moving up the ladder to become an SEO analyst or strategist and then eventually an SEO manager. Entry-level jobs in a closely related field like marketing can also help to jump start an SEO career. SEO managers looking to continue climbing the ranks can level up to senior SEO manager or director of SEO.


SEO Manager Salary and Job Outlook

Search Engine Journal says its 2022 State of SEO survey shows an influx of SEO professionals in 2022. That data indicated a little over 60 percent of survey respondents were relatively new to the field.

The full compensation package for an SEO manager depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average SEO manager salary.


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