How to Become a SEO Analyst: Skills, Requirements, and Career Guide
Help users find your site by optimizing content for various search engines.
In today's digital age, search engine optimization (SEO) has become an increasingly important part of any business's marketing strategy. As a result, the demand for skilled SEO analysts has never been higher. If you're interested in a career in digital marketing and have a passion for understanding search algorithms, analyzing data, and optimizing websites for search engines, then a career as an SEO analyst may be perfect for you. This guide will walk you through the essential skills and requirements needed to become a successful SEO analyst, and provide insights into the career path, opportunities, and earning potential available in this exciting and dynamic field.
Key Takeaway: becoming an SEO Analyst is a great way to break into marketing and technical roles. SEO Analysts usually have very little technical experience requirements, but are highly paid and very sought-after talent.
What is a SEO Analyst?
SEO analysts are entry-level marketing roles that help companies create and improve their online presence by developing strategies to improve website performance in search engines like Google or Bing.
SEO analysts keep track of keywords and website performance to help users find their sites organically-- meaning via google or bing. This is different than a paid search analyst, in that SEO analysts are primarily responsible for ORGANIC traffic. Organic search are Google search results that are not sponsored by companies.
This role requires keeping up to date with keyword research, tracking website traffic and page speed performance, and keeping tabs on search algorithm changes.
Responsibilities of a SEO Analyst
SEO analysts spend a bulk of their time conducting keyword research using specialized software. They will also generate new keyword ideas to aid with business marketing efforts and look into potential opportunities with search analytics platforms like Moz or Google Search Console.
Additional SEO research includes analyzing competitors’ websites and social media pages and comparing them with your own. The research also includes keeping track of your industry's top players and their organic (google, bing, etc) search rankings. With this knowledge, SEO analysts are expected to make and implement recommendations for improvements.
SEO analysts are also in charge of optimizing websites to make sure search engines can crawl their content effectively, this is typically called "technical SEO".
Other smaller tasks of SEO analysts may include generating content ideas for landing pages for specific keywords and overseeing content creation to match their strategies. They may also be responsible for keeping business content up to date (typically in partnership with editorial or content strategists) to rank higher with "newer" or updated content.
SEO Analyst Team Members
If you're unsure that seo analytics is right for you, check out the roles of a Product Analyst, Paid Media Analyst, Paid Search Analyst, and maybe even get a little freaky and look at a Project Manager.
Do I need a degree to be a SEO Analyst?
Job descriptions will often mention a requirement of something STEM related, but often psychology majors do well here because they’re able to understand the “why” behind user interactions and enjoy the keyword research.
- Data entry and receptionist professionals
- Accounting and budgeting roles
- Ex-advertising folks
- Liberal arts degrees with a writing twist (for reporting and data storytelling)
If you're new here to bridged, we're glad to meet you! We are huge fans of alternate forms of education, and recommend specific certifications to target skills. While this job works great with degrees, you have other options.
Do SEO Analysts need to know how to code?
Analytics is often associated with coding, including SQL or Python to access huge swaths of data stored in warehouses. However, this is incredibly company dependent, and normally SEO analysts are not required to code.
Most popular web analytics tools -- Google & Adobe Analytics, Amplitude, Heap and others do not require programming to access data and have an intuitive user interfaces. If a company is requiring "coding" or "programming," it may be worthwhile to ask about the reason in an interview. If they have lots of data only accessible by warehouse, this may be more of a data scientist role!
Our Favorite SEO Analyst Certifications
SEO & Social Media Marketing Strategy
This class is a top seller on udemy, and covers popular growth hacking tactics including both SEO and social.
SEO Full Certification
This is one of the only self-paced university SEO certifications, and we loved every second of it. The program has a great mix of technical and theoretical concepts to get you familiar with the role, fast.
Become an SEO Expert
This course is great if you're new to marketing and interested in learning about more options than just search engine optimization. Linkedin also certifies in SEO, so this is something you could pin to your profile and show off, if wanted.
Salary and Career Potential
What is a SEO Analyst's salary?
We've aggregated thousands of salaries across glassdoor and linkedin, and SEO analysts can make anywhere between 75k - 98k, depending on their location and skillsets.
Career Path of a SEO Analyst
- SEO Analyst, or SEO Specialist: Spend about 2-4 years at each level here.
- Senior SEO Analyst: Spend about 3-5 years here. This is also a popular role to freelance.
- Analytics Manager (or Product Manager): Spend about 5-10 years here.
- Director of Analytics: This one is tricky, but most folks spend roughly 4-6 years here.
Job Requirements and Skills
Popular Job Description of a SEO Analyst
We've used AI to aggregate the top job descriptions used by hiring managers looking for SEO analysts. When putting your resume together, try to mimic these listings. To learn more about this process, check out our partner Jobscan for a comprehensive resume review.
- Conduct keyword research and competitive analysis to identify target search terms and opportunities
- Optimize website content, meta tags, and other on-page factors to improve search engine visibility
- Manage and analyze website analytics data to track performance, identify issues, and recommend improvements
- Collaborate with content writers and developers to ensure that website content is optimized for search engines and user experience
- Stay up-to-date with industry trends and changes to search engine algorithms, and adjust strategies accordingly
- Develop and execute link building strategies to increase domain authority and improve search engine rankings
- Provide regular reporting and analysis of SEO performance to stakeholders and management
Top Technical Skills of a SEO Analyst
We've compiled thousands of job descriptions for SEO analysts to record the most common requirements to save you time. While preparing for interviews, keep in mind specific times you've demonstrated these skills.
- Refine, track, and optimize content marketing strategies.
- Perform keyword research and on-page recommendations to support editorial production.
- Assist editorial teams on content updates
- Monitor overall site performance and report to stakeholders
- Analyze website crawlability and make recommendations for better site structure
- Identify new areas of opportunity and content gaps to increase organic footprint
- Collaborate with editorial and production teams to create content that attracts incoming traffic & links
- Perform research and analyses of SEO data and interpret results; draw insights and contribute ideas for actionable feedback for editorial stakeholders
- Maintain and monitor regular automated SEO reports in support of overall and brand-specific editorial goals
- Experience monitoring and responding to Google algorithm changes
- Knowledge of marketing analytics platforms like Google Analytics, Search Console & Google Trends
Top Functional Skills of a SEO Analyst
We recommend getting familiar with different types of customer questions if you plan to pursue a career in SEO analytics. If finding these answers seems interesting to you, read on!
- Excellent communication skills, with the ability to collaborate with editorial teams and marketing managers.
- Craft and tell compelling data stories
- Gathering and utilizing data to create strategic marketing and editorial decisions
- Strong analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills
Top Tools of a SEO Analyst
We've also compiled the most common tools listed in job description. If you're serious about becoming a SEO analyst, get familiar with these and be ready to talk about them.
For Gathering Quantitative Data
- Google Analytics
- Adobe Analytics
For Monitoring Content Strategy
- Google Search Console
- SEM Rush
Other Helpful Tools
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Tracker
- Google Merchant Center
For Task Management
Key Traits of a Successful SEO Analyst
Trend Spotting - In order to be successful, SEO analysts need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in keywords and search engine schemas. This requires constant monitoring of industry news and updates to ensure that they are always ahead of the latest algorithm changes. By identifying and incorporating the most relevant and popular keywords into their strategies, SEO analysts can help their clients rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and increase their online visibility.
Organization - SEO analysts need to be highly organized and efficient in order to manage multiple keywords, landing pages, and strategies. This involves creating and maintaining spreadsheets, tracking metrics, and staying on top of various tasks and deadlines. Without strong organizational skills, an SEO analyst may struggle to keep track of all the moving parts of their campaigns and may fail to achieve their desired outcomes.
Basic Mathematics & Statistics - While a background in math and statistics may not be necessary for all SEO analysts, a basic understanding of these concepts can be very helpful in this field. For example, a good understanding of percentages and statistical analysis can help accurately report on important metrics such as click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates. This knowledge can also be helpful in making data-driven decisions and optimizing campaigns for better results.
Detail Oriented - SEO analysts must be extremely detail-oriented and diligent when it comes to tracking changes in algorithms and making adjustments to their strategies. Even small tweaks to keywords or landing pages can have a significant impact on a website's search engine ranking, so it is important to be vigilant and responsive to changes in the market.
Advertising - A solid understanding of advertising concepts is crucial for SEO analysts, as this is the primary function of their role. SEO analysts must be able to create and execute effective advertising strategies that help their clients to achieve their marketing goals. This may involve managing advertising budgets, designing ad campaigns, and tracking metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts.
Research - SEO analysts must be able to conduct thorough research to stay up-to-date on the latest changes to search engine algorithms and to develop effective optimization strategies. This may involve reading industry blogs and news sources, analyzing competitor strategies, and conducting experiments to test the effectiveness of various tactics. By staying on top of the latest developments in the field, SEO analysts can help their clients to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Get SEO Analytics Experience
Get SEO Analytics Experience
Learning on the job is one of the fastest ways to get familiar with new topics, and showing is much better than telling.
Use a website creator to write about something you're passionate about, and use Youtube to learn how to implement free Google Analytics. Then get a free Google Performance account and monitor your organic search rankings. Rank for at least one keyword, and work on improving it. Try learning adjustments, making tweaks, and learning headlines to have a mini "portfolio" to talk about on interviews.
Some popular SEO questions:
- How can I spin this content in a way that users haven't seen before?
- Where can I flex my experience to show an angle from a first-person view?
- What are the common keywords related to my content that users are searching?
My Experience with SEO Analytics
Odds are, if you're reading this you found us via a Google search (I suppose maybe ~70/30 odds). My goal with starting Bridged was to learn SEO strategies, analytics and best practices. I used Webflow to create a new site, and dove into pouring my job experiences into helpful content-- but content is nothing if it has no readers! I monitor Bridged's performance on Google Search Console & Google Analytics every day to see if I can make any content or headline tweaks to have it rank higher. In my day job, I've already been asked about my "content marketing" strategy several times. I'd highly recommend doing something similar yourself!
PS. Hopefully it won't be for nothing with how fast the AI movement is barreling this way!
Difference between Data Analyst, Marketing Analyst & SEO Analyst
"Data analyst" is a very broad category of jobs, which includes product, marketing, business and operations. Marketing is a specialization within data analytics. So while all marketing analysts are data analysts, NOT all data analysts are marketing analysts.
The same situation follows with SEO analysts. SEO analysts are a specialization within marketing analytics. So while all SEO analysts are marketing analysts, NOT all marketing analysts are paid search analysts. And all SEO analysts are also data analysts!
To recap: SEO Analyst is a specialization within marketing analytics, and marketing analytics is a specialization within data analytics.
Get Started with a Bridged Recommendation
Review: Search Engine Optimization Specialization with UC Davis
SEO analytics is a great career choice for people who want flexibility-- perhaps even in a freelance capacity. It's also fairly easy to break into, with lots of free resources and paid certifications to prove efficiency.
We love recommending SEO analytics to aspiring techies. Good luck!
Here at Bridged we are huge fans of stacking micro-certifications to achieve desired career results. We're building a product to make your career planning fun and affordable, and we'd love to talk to YOU! Was this article helpful? Did you land an interview for a SEO analytics role?
Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our sources!
Glassdoor Team. “Salary: SEO Analyst (February, 2023) | Glassdoor.” Glassdoor, Glassdoor, 1 Feb. 2023, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,15.htm