20 March 2022

How to become an SEO manager


If you’re already a digital marketer or are looking for a change of career, SEO is an interesting topic to learn and a profitable area to get into.
The difficulty is knowing where to start. There is a lot to get your head around when it comes to SEO and experts need to be prepared to dedicate themselves to continuous learning.
This is the only way of keeping up with an ever-changing online world. Truthfully, however, that’s why many SEO experts love their job. There’s always something new to try or learn.
Here’s some more information about what an SEO Manager does, the skills you need, and how you can become one.

What Is SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation.

When you create content that you’re posting online, you need to be familiar with the principles of SEO and how to apply them to your work.
If you are looking for information on a particular topic, you will usually ask Google a question using a few relevant search terms.
Google will then provide you with a list of search results that it thinks are the most closely related to what you’re looking for.
This doesn’t happen by accident. Those websites that pop up in the search results contain content that Google thinks will answer your question.

More often than not the creator of that content will have written and formatted it in a certain way so that it attracts people with questions like yours. SEO experts, therefore, know how to write content in a way Google likes and believes to be valuable to a reader. This is the only way to move up through the search results to the top spots. The concept itself is relatively simple but some technical aspects require a certain level of expertise.

Enter, the SEO Manager.

What is an SEO Manager & What Do They Do?

An SEO Manager is a person who is an expert in the principles of SEO and knows how to apply them to real-life scenarios.
They are someone who knows how to optimise websites in a way that will rank them higher in the search engine results pages (“SERPs”) and generate organic traffic. The higher a website sits in the search results, the more organic traffic it is likely to get.

Some of the responsibilities of an SEO Manager are:

  • Preparing new content and re-working old content to make sure it is optimised for search engines
  • Monitoring how well a company’s website content is currently ranking, looking for any potential improvements that can be made
  • Industry research of competitors to identify any gaps in content that can be filled through new content
  • Make sure the website is designed to be mobile-friendly and loads quickly
  • Carry out keyword research to identify common search terms and use that information as part of a content strategy
  • Analyse how well the content on the website is performing by tracking bounce rates and page views
  • Design an SEO strategy for the business to use in improving its search engine rankings
  • Look for link-building opportunities

Why Become An SEO Manager?

Billions of people use the internet every day, and the number is still increasing. People turn to search engines like Google to answer their questions and provide them with links to relevant content.
We consume a huge amount of online content. You know how frustrating it is to look through webpage after webpage to try and find what you’re looking for.

Google is always trying to reduce the amount of time this takes to create the best experience possible for a user.
This is why SEO is so important. It helps Google to work towards achieving this goal.

At the same time, however, there are not enough expert SEO Managers out there.
Good ones with proven results are always in demand. If you have the right skills and experience, there is plenty of opportunity for work.

Skills You Need To Be An SEO Manager

There is more to SEO than writing web content that contains a few keywords you would like to rank for in Google. In fact, there are aspects of it that are quite technical.
You only need to look into the difference between on and off-page SEO and Local SEO to see that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
You also need to understand how SEO works alongside a wider digital marketing strategy.
As a result, many SEO experts started out as digital marketers and chose to niche down.

Some of the skills an SEO expert needs to have are:

  • Understanding how to carry out keyword research and look for high-volume, low-competition keywords that you can rank for
  • Deep knowledge of how SEO impacts the ranking of a web page
  • Know how to structure a website and a piece of web content in the correct way
  • Copywriting experience
  • Basic graphic design proficiency
  • The ability to look for link-building opportunities through outreach with other websites
  • Keep up to date with emerging trends in the field and with any changes to Google’s algorithm
  • The ability to analyse large chunks of data, looking for trends and opportunities for improvement
  • A basic understanding of HTML
  • An understanding of digital marketing strategies and how to run a campaign
  • Knowledge of content marketing

How To Become An SEO Specialist

Learn what SEO is & how search engines work

It may sound obvious but the first step to becoming an SEO Manager is to be clear about what is SEO is and how a search engine works.

There are many technical aspects to how Google works, but in short they regularly do something called “crawling”.

Bots crawl each and every website on the internet every so often and then Google adds all the pages to its index (a bit like a huge book).

There are trillions.

Whenever you ask Google for some information, it searches through this index to find you the most relevant pages it has in its library. It ranks these in importance and that’s what you as the user see on your screen numbered from 1 onwards.

SEO experts know how to structure their content so that when it is crawled by Google, it sends all the right signals to say it’s good information. That way, Google will pull it from its library and display it to a user.

There are plenty of resources online that you can use to learn about how SEO and search engines work. There is an array of books, websites, and commentary from digital marketing experts like Neil Patel.

Take A Course

If once you’ve done your research, you decide SEO is something you would like to specialise in, there are courses available to help you learn and receive a certification.

When you’re looking for jobs this will come in useful as evidence that you are an SEO expert.

We have a number of short courses, such as this one on Search Engine Optimisation or this one in digital marketing.

You can also take a course which gives you a certification such as one of these. They are recognised worldwide which helps you to demonstrate you have the technical knowledge you need to succeed.

Courses are a really valuable part of learning as you can reinforce your study through testing. This gives you the confidence that you know the topic area well and can market yourself as an expert.

Start Your Own Website
If you’re interested in SEO, why not start your own website?
You can find lots of resources online that will give you a step-by-step guide and it doesn’t need to be expensive to do.
This gives you the opportunity to start from the beginning in designing your website, researching keywords, and creating content. You can then monitor your own progress and analyse how well your website is performing.
The great thing about this is that you remove any pressure that comes with doing this for a job. You can take it at your own speed and fit it around your own schedule. What better evidence can you produce to a prospective employer of your SEO skills than a website of your own that you’ve built from scratch? It’s the perfect online portfolio.

Get some hands-on experience
If you already work as a digital marketer, this may be relatively easy for you to do.
If you are with an agency or are working for a brand, see if you can take on some additional responsibility in the area to get some experience. You may already have some knowledge of how SEO works but getting some hands-on experience is the key to truly understanding how it all works.

If SEO and digital marketing are completely new to you, there are often internship or voluntary positions available that you can do part-time while you learn.
That way you can build some real-life experience and continue working at the same time.

Apply for jobs!
Once you feel ready, you can start applying for SEO Manager roles. Make sure you have a resume, or a portfolio prepared and start looking for opportunities.

If you’re unsuccessful in obtaining an SEO Manager job in the first instance, it may just be because you don’t yet have the right experience.

Some businesses offer SEO apprenticeships or lower-level SEO positions. From there you can work your way up to a more senior position.
You can also consider freelancing. If you think this may be for you, use your portfolio to approach businesses yourself and see if they’re looking for someone to manage their SEO for them.

Career Progression & Salary Of An SEO Expert

Professional SEO experts are in high demand and almost every business with a website can benefit from having one.
There is so much competition between businesses to get customers over to their website and so ranking as highly as possible in the search results is essential.
Businesses with a digital marketing team will often look for an SEO Manager to be part of this.
The salary of an SEO expert will often depend on how much experience you have, the size of the business you work for, and what your responsibilities are. According to Indeed, the average base salary of an SEO Manager in Australia is $87,667 a year.

Some other careers that SEO Managers may choose to move into as the next step in their career are:

  • SEO Specialist / SEO Senior Specialist
  • SEO Director
  • Digital Marketing Consultant
  • Search Engine Marketer
  • Content Marketer
  • Entrepreneurship and running your own online business

The role of an SEO Manager involves the use of lots of skills such as data and analysis, strategic planning, and teamwork that are also transferrable into roles in other professions if you are looking for a change.


The role of an SEO manager is an interesting and varied one.

It’s also one that requires a lot of dedication and innovation in coming up with new strategies and ideas in getting a website’s content to the top few spots in Google.

Businesses with a digital marketing team are often scouting for experienced SEO professionals to join them as they are in demand.

For businesses, having a strong online presence is incredibly important and it’s only going to become more so. Now is the perfect time to get experience in SEO and move into an SEO Manager role.

If you’re looking to learn more about SEO or digital marketing as a whole, we can help. Our comprehensive courses will help you to improve your skills and will help you when you’re applying for jobs.

If you’d like to speak to someone about what we have to offer, please get in touch and one of our helpful team will tell you everything you need to know.

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