SEO analyst: job description

SEO analysts help an organisation to increase the number of people viewing its website(s) by analysing data on website performance and staying on top of ever-changing SEO trends.

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SEO analysts can work either as part of an organisation’s marketing team or for an independent SEO agency on behalf of clients.

What does an SEO analyst do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

The fundamental role of an SEO analyst is to increase the number of people who visit a website or a number of websites. SEO stands for 'search engine optimisation' , which is the identification and use of strategies to help an organisation’s websites rank highly on search engine results pages and thereby increase organic (not paid for) traffic to the sites. SEO helps to drive profit either from customers buying products on the website or through encouraging advertisers on the site. It can be either for the websites of the SEO analyst’s own employer or, if they work for an agency, a client.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • carrying out keyword research using software such as Moz to optimise web content
  • tracking metrics such as organic traffic, conversion rates and time spent on page using platforms such as Google Analytics
  • monitoring and reporting on search trends and SEO performance
  • analysing websites and social media pages to make recommendations for improvement
  • performing competitor analysis to identify content gaps and areas for improvement in website design
  • staying up to date with new SEO, social media and digital marketing industry trends, tools and practices, which are constantly changing
  • using Excel spreadsheets to compile reports
  • implementing link-building strategies
  • making suggestions for SEO-friendly content creation
  • providing keyword insights and SEO advice for other teams within the organisation
  • optimising webpages for mobile devices.

Similar job titles include SEO executive, SEO strategist, SEO manager, SEO specialist (typically at an agency) and SEO consultant (typically self-employed).

Typical employers of SEO analysts

SEO analysts can work either as part of an organisation’s marketing team or for an independent SEO agency on behalf of clients. A wide variety of organisations employ SEO analysts (either directly or through an agency), including:

  • commercial companies
  • educational institutions
  • non-profit organisations
  • government organisations.

Vacancies are advertised online, including on the websites of organisations that are recruiting.

Qualifications and training required

SEO analysts typically need one to two years’ hands-on experience in an SEO-related role, such as SEO assistant, to develop their knowledge of SEO and provide evidence of strategies they have implemented in the past with positive results. The best SEO analysts continuously improve their knowledge and build networks with others in the field throughout their career.

A degree, particularly in a related subject such as marketing or computing, is sometimes preferred. There is not one standard certification in SEO, but online courses in the analytics and keyword research tools SEO analysts use can be helpful.

Graduates hoping to pursue a career in SEO should have an understanding of how the internet operates, the impact of search engines’ algorithms on rankings, the techniques and tools that can be used to optimise websites and the type of content users are searching for. It is not essential to be a coder or web designer but some knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and content management systems is considered desirable by many recruiters.

Key skills for SEO analysts

  • Verbal and written communication
  • Analytical skills and the ability to work with large data sets
  • Organisation, time management and the ability to prioritise tasks
  • Research skills and attention to detail when pulling data from multiple platforms
  • Interpersonal skills to manage relationships with clients
  • Project management skills
  • An inquisitive nature and an ability to think creatively
  • Problem solving and decision making.

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