What Does an SEO Manager Do?
SEO managers are responsible for a company’s overall approach to search engine optimization (SEO). They develop and implement strategies to improve a company’s online visibility and organic search rankings by optimizing content and structure for organic searches, creating high-quality backlinks, and engaging in effective social media campaigns.
SEO managers partner with content creators, developers, designers, and other digital marketing professionals to plan and organize website content, monitor keyword rankings, and analyze traffic data. To remain effective, they must stay up-to-date with industry trends and changes to search engine algorithms.
These managers will be responsible for maximizing return on investment (ROI) for online campaigns and monitoring a wide variety of key performance indicators (KPIs). In addition to having strong analytical skills, they need to communicate effectively with stakeholders, executives, and other team members.
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National Average Salary
SEO manager salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a SEO Manager is:
SEO Manager Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great SEO manager is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
Search engine optimization is vital to the success or failure of a company’s online presence and marketing. As an SEO manager for [Your Company Name], you will be responsible for working alongside our marketing team to plan, implement, and manage our SEO strategy. Current knowledge of SEO best practices is absolutely essential to this role. You will work closely with our team to oversee the optimization of our online content and advertising to increase profitability. If you have excellent communication skills and attention to detail, we’d love to get in touch.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Develop long- and short-term SEO strategies
- Research and report relevant search engine keywords and trends
- Develop off-page optimization initiatives, such as link-building
- Collaborate with creative and marketing teams to produce engaging, relevant content
- Coordinate social media and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns with search engine marketing (SEM) strategists
- Track key performance indicators (KPIs), report rankings, and recommend tactics to optimize further
- Stay on top of SEO best practices and marketing trends
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, digital marketing or advertising, business, or a similar field.
Required skills and qualifications
- Strong experience with HTML/CSS
- Expertise in current SEO best practices
- Knowledge in using content management systems (CMS) to optimize websites
- Familiarity with requisite web analytics tools and reporting tools
- Working knowledge of SEO copywriting and UI design skills
- Solid background in strategy for traditional and digital media channels
- Strong leadership and organizational skills
- Analytical, results-driven mindset
- Solid writing and communication skills
- Expert knowledge of SEO & SEM
- Excellent writing and presentations skills
- Knowledge of website analytics measurement methodology and measurement platforms including, Google Analytics and Search Console and SEO tools
About the role
We’re looking for a SEO Manager to join our growing SEO team. The ideal candidate has a passion for the digital world, a penchant for problem-solving, meticulous attention-to-detail, intellectual curiosity, and thrives in a fast-paced digital environment. We look for managers who are both left-brained (analytical) and right-brained (creative), able to drive actionable content strategies grounded in data. We are especially looking for someone with a proven track record of editorial SEO at a news site, publisher, agency, or similar.
- Lead and develop SEO initiatives for trending topics and soft news, across all ABC Company brands
- Execute on day-to-day search initiatives, including news and trends research, keyword research, content gap analysis, optimization of existing content, and competitor analysis
- Monitor and analyze trends. Provide ABC Company editorial teams with SEO opportunities for timely topics and events, and support trending content strategy that encompasses text, images, long and short-form video
- Capitalize on major events and tentpole topics to maximize search traffic
- Conduct performance analysis and leverage data to continually refine strategy
- Determine impact on evergreen content
- Apply comprehensive SEO fundamentals including writing meta, verifying SEO friendly page elements, creating target keyword lists and maximizing link architecture
- Train and educate stakeholders
- Create best practice documentation for trending content and influence cross-department workflows
- Stay on top of SEO/Publishing industry news and search algorithm changes
- 5+ years of SEO experience, preferably in news, publishing, or agency
- Bachelors in marketing, advertising, communications, business, or a related area (not required, but a plus)
- Proven track record. Applicants must submit websites that demonstrate their SEO ability and be prepared to discuss
- Expert user of web analytics tools and concepts, particularly Google Analytics and Google Search Console
- Experience using search tools and platforms (e.g., Content King, SEMRush, Sistrix, Screaming Frog, Search Console, etc.)
- Compelling written and verbal communication skills, a positive attitude and the ability to thrive in a collaborative environment
- Strong proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite: Word, PowerPoint, and especially Excel
- Strong project management and organization skills, ability to prioritize, and manage multiple projects
As an SEO Manager, you will oversee several internet marketing activities, focused on developing and executing search engine optimization strategies and performance analysis. As an SEO Manager, you will use your analytical, problem-solving, organizational, and time management skills to work on multiple projects while managing a team of Specialists. You will manage campaign strategies and implementation for clients while working with management and team members.
- Work directly with your clients in planning and implementing search engine optimization strategies that drive and results to clients
- Communicate with your clients on status, timeline, deliverables, performance reporting, competitive intelligence analysis, and other follow-up items
- Provide regular reporting and updates on performance to clients
- Manage and execute online marketing strategies including: search engine optimization, social media, and content optimization and development
- Extract insight from varied data sources, identify relevant trends and provide well-developed recommendations to enhance and exceed overall client search marketing goals and objectives
- Exhibit clear understanding of overall client brand messaging and goals, and manage the development of content for search engine optimization purposes, including keyword generation, blog and social media copy creation, and website copywriting
- 4+ years of experience in SEO
- Previous team management experience
- Prior agency experience and/or experience working on enterprise accounts
- Proven success managing a client relationship
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal
- Advanced problem-solving skills for websites and technical SEO implementation experience including: on-page SEO factors and site architecture improvements, along with knowledge of content management systems
- Highly motivated and able to work independently and as part of a team
- Excellent knowledge of MS Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
- Understanding of HTML, FTP, and CMS programs
Leads the implementation of ABC Company’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy, including technical SEO enhancements, by partnering across Marketing and ABC Company Technology & Digital. Leads a combination of on-page and off-page techniques, including link-building, metadata sculpting, site speed optimization and on-site information architecture. Demonstrate the company’s core values of respect, honesty, integrity, diversity, inclusion, and safety.
- Responsible for ensuring SEO is a key lever for traffic growth and business objectives by measuring effectiveness through demand conversion and sales
- Lead planning, execution, and analysis of SEO programs and campaigns
- Manage relationships with agencies, vendors, and publishers
- Collaborate with cross-functional teams to implement SEO best practices, execute day-to-day tactical website updates, and drive growth by following the SEO roadmap
- Develop insights and actions based on qualitative and quantitative analytics
- Stay current on the latest digital marketing trends and influence innovation
- Identify new and emerging SEO opportunities, best practices, and industry updates
- Provide SEO analysis and recommendations in coordination with elements and structure of websites and web pages
- Optimize copy and landing pages for search engine marketing
- Research and implement search engine optimization recommendations
- Work with the development team to ensure SEO best practices are properly implemented on newly developed code
- Recommend changes to website architecture, content, linking and other factors to improve SEO positions for target keywords
- Provide ongoing keyword research for search engine optimization and provide to cross-functional teams including Product Management, Technology, Marketing, Content, Merchandising and Site Experience
- Support the Digital Experience and Digital Content team with ad hoc requests and projects
- Train Product, Engineering, and other relevant teams on SEO best practices; use lessons from individual products and markets to improve ABC Company’s overall SEO knowledge and strategy
- Must be able to perform the essential job functions of this position with or without reasonable accommodation
Minimum position qualifications
- Bachelor’s Degree in marketing, public relations or related communications field
- 4+ years of experience in SEO discipline
- Excellent oral/written communication skills
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with a variety of individual work styles
- Strong project leadership, organizational and time management skills with impeccable attention to detail
- Ability to prioritize projects with minimal supervision; must be impeccably organized
- Expertise in Excel
- Proven knowledge of various disciplines of SEO and ranking factors
- Ability to identify opportunities and act on them (self-starter)
Desired previous experience/education
- Any experience creating or optimizing marketing content
- Any experience with Web analytics software or similar web metrics tools (Omniture)
- Any experience with Google and Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, BrightEdge, and Conductor
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- ClickMinded SEO Certification. ClickMinded is a self-paced online course that promises to teach candidates everything they need to know about SEO as quickly as possible. Their SEO certification compiles a ton of information into 7 courses that are each 3-6 hours long. Once candidates sign up for this program, they will have lifetime access to the courses, which include any updates as SEO practices and rules change.
- BlueArray Academy SEO Manager Certification. Suitable for beginners, in-house SEO managers, and SEO agencies, this certification course is crafted specifically for SEO managers and not just SEO practices. It contains 21 modules, 15 quizzes, and 31 tasks that will take the most consistent candidates anywhere from 2 to 4 months to complete.
- Market Motive Advanced SEO Certification Training. If candidates already have experience in the areas of marketing and SEO, this advanced training course promises to help them master keyword research, on-page and off-page analytics, and SEO analytics. It is presented in a self-paced format with more than 30 hours of videos, 15 hours of instructor-led online classes, and 20 real-life industry-based projects.
How to Hire an SEO Manager
When hiring an SEO manager, first consider the following:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Hire an experienced freelancer
The freelance, or gig, economy continues to grow, with more talent available daily. Freelancers provide high-quality work without a long-term commitment. They can offer you a fresh perspective, more flexibility, and increase efficiency. While the freelance market isn’t ideal for every position, security analysts are often a great fit.
We recommend this option when:
- Your need is project-based
- The work can be performed remotely
- You do not intend to direct the daily work activity
- You are hiring for expertise your internal team does not possess
- You do not require an employee to work onsite or follow a specific schedule
When hiring a security analyst, we recommend using Upwork.
Upwork is a freelance talent network that helps individuals connect with experts in a variety of fields to accomplish project-based needs. When you have a specific, well-defined goal in mind, this can be a great path to hiring an experienced security analyst. If you are satisfied with the outcome you can continue to book the same freelancer through Upwork’s easy-to-use project interface.
3. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for SEO manager openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
4. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- How did you learn SEO?
- What are your favorite SEO tools and why?
- How do you approach keyword research?
- What is your approach to developing an SEO strategy?
- What is your first step to diagnosing SEO issues on a given URL?
- Tell me about 2-3 SEO tactics you have successfully implemented and the results.
- What is one SEO tactic you’ve heard of recently that you’d like to try?
- Tell me about the project you are most proud of.
- Describe a time when you’ve had to deal with an impatient client or stakeholder.
- Describe a time when you experienced a sudden decline in traffic and how you approached the situation.
- Describe a time you had to troubleshoot a problem and the steps you took to resolve it.
- Which tools are you certified to use?
- Describe your experience with Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
- Are you prepared for GA4?
- How do you remain up to date on algorithm changes and search-related trends?
- How do you measure success for a new project or website?
- What are some common SEO mistakes you see businesses using?
- How do you see SEO changing in the future?