If you dabble in the world of online content, you’ve probably heard the phrase “search engine optimization” tossed around before. But did you know there’s an entire field within the digital marketing niche centred around SEO marketing?
The booming world of online content is opening the doors for job opportunities that wouldn’t have even been a thought ten years ago. Working as an SEO manager is one such opportunity. So if you’re looking to dive deeper into the world of digital marketing and step into SEO management, here’s what you need to know.
What Is SEO and Why Does It Need to Be Managed?
When you type a question or topic into Google, you’re submitting it into a search engine. And you’re hoping to retrieve results that are relevant to your query.
If Google does its job correctly, the first item that pops up in your results will answer your question or address your topic perfectly. If not the first item, the second item and so on.
This summaries the basic function of a search engine. When optimisation is in effect, the search engine will match the best content to your inquiry every time.
Why Does SEO Matter?
SEO rules the digital marketing world right now because it determines whether a marketing team’s content is going to be seen at all. Without the right optimisation, your company’s content can go from page 1 potential to sitting somewhere deep in the catacombs of search result fluff.
If a digital marketer is doing his or her job, their content will be in the top 1-10 items listed when their audience searches for related topics or questions. To achieve this, they need to optimize content for a particular search engine (usually Google).
Why Does It Need to Be Managed?
Let’s say that an article with the right keyword listed 17 times hit the sweet spot for Google’s algorithm last year. This year, developers at Google may have realised that a lot of spam content was coming up in people’s search results. Maybe content mills were churning out articles that simply used the right keyword exactly 17 times.
As a result, Google decides to update their algorithms to flag content with repetitive keyword usage.
This is a simplified example, but updates like these are made often. Serious digital marketing teams will need to adjust their search engine optimisation strategies regularly. They’ll need to keep track of the updates that search engines like Google make to their policies, procedures, and algorithms.
And that’s where the SEO manager comes in.
SEO Manager Job
An SEO manager makes sure the digital marketing team stays on top of current trends. They make sure the team implements effective marketing strategies, too.
They’re responsible for managing everyone on the digital marketing team, too. That could include content writers, SEO specialists, analysts, and digital marketing associates.
SEO managers are responsible for much of the success of the digital marketing team. So let’s dive into what kinds of responsibilities you may see on an SEO manager job description.
SEO managers need to have a near-constant grasp of current digital marketing and SEO trends. Knowing what the latest tricks in integrated marketing and SEO functionality are make up a large part of what an SEO manager does.
But it doesn’t stop at keywords and word counts. Managers also need to be experts in ad marketing, click rates, redirects, buyer personas and maximising user experiences.
Developing SEO Strategies
Once they’ve got a grasp of what direction trends are moving, SEO managers can then develop their strategies. They may work in tandem with SEO analysts to brainstorm the best ways to get their content seen.
Once they have an overall strategy in mind, they may work with writers to develop an in-depth content strategy. The content strategy should reflect the team’s overall SEO targets. It may include adjusting website content and creating ad campaigns.
Additionally, it can also include writing posts, incorporating affiliate links and using PPC ads.
Once things are underway, SEO managers replace their strategic caps with their project management ones. Keeping all the details in mind, managers will make sure their project plans are completed. They’ll ensure that every piece of the web optimisation puzzle gets put together appropriately.
Directing projects requires the ability to keep track of multiple project plans, needs, and requirements all at once. That may require knowing how much time is left before a project is due. Or knowing which team members can work on which tasks.
It also requires an understanding of company standards. An SEO manager has to be able to hold all of these things at the same time and do it masterfully.
Managing Writers, Specialists, and Analysts
A huge part of an SEO manager’s job involves managing their team. In this kind of online, web-centred work, a lot of one’s team may be working remotely.
SEO writers may be hired on a freelance basis and analysts may spend some of their time in office and the rest working from home. The web development components may be outsourced to an entirely different company!
SEO managers need to have the skills required to keep a partially or fully remote team focused, energised and ready to deliver. They need to have expert communication skills and a keen eye for detail.
The best managers will understand their team and act with empathy and a team-first mindset. They will take care of their team members and, as much as they can, ensure that everyone is thriving at work.
A strategy has been researched and developed. A project plan was made. Content was written and launched. Once all of that is complete, managers will need to eventually go back and analyse their results.
Were there increases in website traffic? Did PPC ad revenue increase? Was there a dip in article click-through rates?
Answering questions like these is a key part of any SEO manager’s role because it informs how they can do things better the next time. If their strategy was not effective or did not help them meet the target metrics they had in mind, they need to rethink their process.
How To Become an SEO Manager?
Have you decided to take the next step in your career and try your hand at SEO management? Before you start looking for an SEO manager job, here’s what you need to know.
Digital Marketing Background
The most attractive candidates for SEO management positions will have a background in digital marketing. They will have worked as a content writer, SEO analyst or web developer at some point as part of a digital marketing team. This will communicate to potential employers that you know what you’re doing when it comes to online marketing and optimisation strategies.
Experience in the Field
But if that’s not you, don’t worry! You just need to prove that you’ve got a strong understanding of search engine optimisation best-practices. Even a background in general marketing or communications can lend itself well to moving into SEO management.
However, you will need to demonstrate a thorough proficiency in SEO strategy and follow-through if you want to step into a managerial role.
You’ll also need to show that you have experience managing individuals, teams, and multiple, on-going projects. While SEO knowledge is a must-have for this role, you also need to have the soft skills that come with managing a team of workers.
Take a Class
Still not you? Perhaps you just need to refresh yourself on the field. Try taking an digital marketing course or SEO principles to get yourself up to speed.
Read blogs on SEO, ad revenue, web development and current marketing trends. This will give you a sense of whether this field and position are right for you.
Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t ready to jump right into managing an entire team of digital marketers. The opportunities for work in online marketing are growing, and you have plenty of time to build your skills and get out there.
Talk to Someone in the Industry
Additionally, talking to someone who has experience as an SEO manager can help you understand how to get your foot in the door of a similar role. If you know someone who works at a hiring company, ask about current openings and see whether they’ll put in a good word for you.
Don’t hesitate to pick their brain about how they got to where they are. People are often more willing than you might think to share their story and offer advice. This could result in a potential career shift for you, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and learn.
Get Out There and Get Managing
Digital marketing and SEO job opportunities are growing at an exciting rate. If you feel like you fit the qualifications needed for a role as an SEO manager, why wait? Get your application started and start the job hunt.
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