An SEO Manager is vital for optimising your online presence to drive organic traffic and improve search engine rankings. They craft and execute strategies, staying updated on industry trends and search algorithms. Their expertise ensures your brand’s visibility, user engagement, and conversion rates. Finding the right candidate for this role is crucial, as their impact on digital performance directly influences your brand’s success and market competitiveness. Your ideal SEO Manager will combine technical proficiency, strategic thinking, and adaptability to enhance online visibility and maintain a seamless user experience.
Technical Skills to Look For on an SEO Manager’s CV
Below is a list of essential skills for this role to look for on CVs. Applicants will only likely possess expertise in a few skills on this list, as the field of SEO is diverse and encompasses a wide range of technical, strategic, and creative aspects. The skills you seek in your ideal candidate will vary based on the specific needs of your company and the scope of the role. However, these skills are generally considered foundational for an SEO manager.
Look for candidates who can showcase their knack for enhancing website content, meta tags, headings, and internal linking. This expertise not only boosts search engine rankings but also elevates user experience. Whether hiring for an entry-level or senior role, a solid grasp of on-page optimisation ensures your website aligns with user intent and search engine algorithms.
Seek out individuals who demonstrate a skilful approach to comprehensive keyword research. This skill ensures they can unearth pertinent and high-traffic keywords. Such proficiency in research guarantees that their content is well-optimised and effectively targets the right audience. Remember, keyword research remains essential across all levels of expertise.
Candidates at all levels should know technical elements like website speed, mobile compatibility, implementing structured data markup (Schema), managing XML sitemaps, and canonicalisation. These skills aid in enhancing how search engines crawl and index your site.
It’s vital to select candidates with hands-on experience using these Google tools. They empower individuals to analyse website performance, track traffic sources, monitor user behaviour, and identify optimisation opportunities. Proficiency with Google Analytics and Search Console is essential regardless of whether the candidate is entry-level or a seasoned pro.
Look for candidates who comprehend the art of white-hat link-building strategies. Their knowledge of outreach techniques and constructing authoritative backlinks contributes significantly to domain authority and search rankings. From fresh faces to seasoned experts, the skill of link-building maintains its importance in any SEO role.
Candidates should be adept at crafting and executing content strategies that align seamlessly with SEO objectives. This skill ensures the creation of high-quality, pertinent, and well-optimised content. Content strategy is a must-have skill for candidates across all levels, as it keeps your website’s material aligned with user expectations and search algorithms.
Companies that rely on physical foot traffic should prioritise applicants familiar with local search optimisation. Their knowledge should cover optimising Google My Business, leveraging local citations, and devising geo-targeted content strategies. Local SEO expertise is valuable regardless of the candidate’s seniority, enabling your business to flourish in local markets. However, companies that operate entirely online and serve a global or widespread audience might find the emphasis on local SEO to be less critical to their success.
Prioritise candidates with proficiency across a spectrum of SEO tools like SEMrush, Moz, Ahrefs, and Screaming Frog. These tools enable competitive analysis, keyword tracking, site audits, and performance monitoring. Irrespective of experience level, adeptness with SEO tools enhances efficiency and accuracy in SEO strategies.
Look for candidates who understand the nuances of mobile-focused SEO techniques. Aspects like responsive design, mobile usability, and mobile-first indexing are indispensable across all levels, given the growing significance of mobile-friendly experiences in search rankings.
Even for roles where deep coding isn’t central, basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and structured data markup is beneficial. This skill enables effective communication with web developers to implement technical SEO recommendations. Having coding know-how, even at an introductory level, enriches candidates’ ability to execute holistic SEO strategies.
Prioritise candidates who remain aware of significant search engine algorithm updates and their implications. Adapting to evolving trends is essential for staying relevant and effective in the dynamic field of SEO. This awareness is crucial for candidates at all levels, ensuring their strategies align with current search engine priorities.
Consider candidates who understand the principles of CRO. This knowledge helps align SEO efforts with enhancing user experience and driving conversions on the website. CRO acumen is beneficial across all levels, as it bolsters the overall impact of SEO campaigns on business outcomes.
Candidates should be familiar with at least one popular CMS platform like WordPress or Drupal. This familiarity ensures they can implement SEO optimisations directly within these systems. From junior to senior roles, this skill streamlines the integration of SEO strategies into the website’s structure.
Soft Skills To Look For In SEO Managers
When evaluating candidates for the role of SEO managers, a balance of technical expertise and soft skills contributes to their overall effectiveness. While the depth of these skills might vary with experience, each one holds significance at every level of an SEO manager’s journey.
When seeking an outstanding SEO manager, prioritise those with an analytical approach. These individuals can dissect data, interpret trends, and extract insights that guide strategic decisions. An analytical mindset is crucial for examining the complexities of search engine algorithms and making informed optimisations that yield tangible results. This skill, applicable at all levels, ensures strategies are grounded in data-driven understanding.
Look for candidates who exhibit adaptability in the ever-evolving landscape of SEO. The ability to swiftly adjust strategies based on algorithm changes and emerging trends is essential. From entry-level to seasoned professionals, adaptability ensures that your SEO efforts stay current and relevant, maintaining your competitive edge.
Exceptional communication skills are paramount for SEO managers. They must collaborate effectively with developers, designers, content creators, and clients. Whether guiding teams, reporting results, or conveying technical recommendations, strong communication skills foster smooth operations. This skill is pertinent across all experience levels, as it ensures clarity in communicating strategies and insights.
Prioritise candidates who possess a natural inclination for problem-solving. SEO managers encounter diverse challenges, from technical glitches to algorithmic fluctuations. Individuals who excel in troubleshooting, critical thinking, and finding creative solutions contribute to the success of SEO campaigns at every stage of their careers.
For more senior roles, look for leadership potential. Effective SEO managers not only excel in their own tasks but also inspire and guide their teams. They establish a vision, set goals, and nurture growth in their colleagues. Leadership skills are particularly crucial as candidates progress to higher levels, driving the success of the team and the organisation.
In larger organisations, SEO professionals may report to a Digital Marketing Manager. Even in this instance, leadership skills will help them manage their own workload and understand the impact of their actions on the wider business.
A strong sense of time management is vital for SEO managers. Juggling tasks such as keyword research, content optimisation, technical audits, and performance analysis requires effective prioritisation. Candidates who can manage their time efficiently contribute to consistent campaign execution and results, regardless of their level of expertise.
Seek out candidates who display curiosity and a hunger for continuous learning. The SEO landscape is dynamic, with new strategies and tools emerging regularly. Those actively seeking new information and embracing learning opportunities adapt to changes seamlessly. From beginners to experts, a curious mindset ensures growth and innovation.
Especially relevant for roles with client interactions, a client-centric attitude is crucial. SEO managers need to understand clients’ goals, address their concerns, and explain complex concepts in a user-friendly manner. Regardless of experience, a client-focused approach strengthens relationships and ensures the success of collaborative SEO efforts.
Detail-oriented individuals excel in the meticulous work of SEO. The devil often resides in the details, from auditing websites to optimising content. This skill is valuable for candidates at all levels, as it ensures that nothing slips through the cracks, leading to comprehensive and effective SEO strategies.
As candidates progress in their careers, a strategic vision becomes increasingly important. Senior SEO managers must envision long-term goals, align SEO efforts with broader business objectives, and make decisions impacting the organisation’s growth. This skill ensures that SEO isn’t just a tactic but a strategic driver for success.
Should You Focus on Degree-Qualified SEO Managers?
In SEO management, a specific degree is not typically mandatory. The industry values practical experience, skills, and adaptability over formal education. Many successful SEO managers come from various educational backgrounds and have acquired expertise through hands-on experience, self-study, and continuous learning.
While some SEO managers hold degrees, it’s not a widespread standard. Insisting on a degree might unnecessarily limit your potential talent pool. Instead of focusing on degrees, consider emphasising the skills, experience, and qualities relevant to the role. This approach allows for a diverse range of qualified candidates who can offer unique perspectives and contribute effectively to your SEO strategies.
Challenges Employers Face When Hiring SEO Managers
Employers that snap up top talent for this role are the ones that focus on clearly defining job requirements, offering competitive compensation and benefits, showcasing the company’s commitment to learning and growth, and providing a supportive work environment. Building a strong employer brand and tapping into professional networks and industry events can help attract and retain top SEO talent. Conversely, smaller companies or those new to the market often need help to compete with larger organisations.
SEO is highly competitive, with many businesses vying for skilled professionals. This makes it challenging to stand out and attract top talent when candidates have multiple options.
Some industries, such as e-commerce, healthcare, or local businesses, have specific SEO requirements. Finding candidates with expertise in a particular niche can be difficult, especially for smaller markets.
Identifying candidates who can prove their past success through tangible results can be challenging. SEO outcomes can take time to come to fruition, and gauging a candidate’s true impact is not always easy.
Employers might need SEO managers with local or global expertise depending on the business. Finding candidates who align with the business’s target audience can be challenging.
Larger organisations might have more established remote work policies and resources to facilitate remote collaboration. Smaller employers might struggle to compete in this aspect, especially if they lack the tools and practices for effective remote SEO management.
How We Can Help
As hybrid work dynamics reshape the hiring landscape, the pursuit of exceptional SEO professionals gains new dimensions. With two decades of experience in digital marketing recruitment, our services provide strategic advantages in tackling these hurdles and securing the perfect SEO leaders for your team.
Gaining access to our extensive network of candidates can help your company stand out. Leverage our industry insights to create compelling job descriptions and employer branding that resonate with candidates, making your opportunity more appealing in a competitive market.
We tailor our approach to suit your needs. With a deep understanding of the compensation landscape, we guide you on competitive salary ranges, benefits, and incentives that will attract top talent even within resource constraints.
Our focus is on IT, Digital and Marketing and always has been. Being experts in our field, we identify candidates with the exact niche expertise you’re looking for, targeting candidates who match your business needs and objectives.
We understand how to evaluate candidates based on their track records and can assess their ability to deliver tangible results. Having a third-party perspective on candidates’ achievements makes it easier to identify those who can positively impact your business.
We tailor our candidate search to suit your specific needs. Targeted searching enables us to identify candidates with the right local or global expertise, ensuring a strong alignment with your business goals and target audience.
We assess candidates’ success in various hybrid and remote work settings. By gauging their experience with remote collaboration, we ensure individuals possess the necessary tools and practices for effective remote SEO management in your environment.
The information on this page is correct at the time of publication. However, as technology evolves so rapidly, the requirements of this role may change. For tailored hiring advice unique to your circumstances, please speak to our expert team of IT, Digital and Marketing recruiters.