Of all the roles available in the world of digital marketing, SEO analyst is one of the most demanding.
When you are an SEO analyst, you are the person your company or client is looking for to collect and organize data around the performance of their website, interpret what it all means for them in their niche, and recommend strategies that will help them achieve their business goals.
This is a huge task, and SEO analysts need to have fully developed skills in multiple areas to succeed.
Fortunately, due to the technical nature of the job and the skills required to do it, the role of SEO analyst is generally well compensated in the US, and the need for them in 2022 is quite strong.
- 1 What Is An SEO Analyst?
- 2 Essential Skills Of An SEO Analyst
- 3 What Experience Or Certifications Are Required/Helpful?
- 4 What Does An SEO Analyst’s Salary Look Like?
- 5 SEO Analyst Job Outlook In 2022
- 6 The Final Word
What Is An SEO Analyst?
When you research the different roles in SEO, you find that people are often confused with the positions of SEO specialist and SEO analyst.
While the two are related and actually quite close to each other, think of the role of the SEO analyst as one that goes beyond the specialist by taking things to a higher level.
While SEO specialists are in the weeds – so to speak, doing the work, implementing title and H1 tags, adding structured data to product pages, and uploading new content – SEO analysts are looking at the bigger picture.
Analysts study the numbers – hard data – and interpret what they mean for a website’s current performance and where improvement is needed.
It’s fair to say that, as an analyst, your job is to do exactly what your title says: analyze websites for their SEO quality.
Analysts first look at the website as a whole and see if there is anything visible from a UX point of view that they think could use improvement.
These could be ineffective or missing CTAs, missed internal linking opportunities, convoluted main navigation, or unoptimized title tags.
The SEO analyst also wants to see if there are any new pages or sections the website could benefit from, including services, locations, products, blogs, FAQs, or testimonial pages.
Perhaps most importantly, SEO analysts crawl the entire site looking for any technical issues that cannot be seen efficiently with the naked eye.
They use many SEO tools – including Screaming Frog, Semrush, and Google Search Console – to look for issues related to broken pages, redirects, meta data, load time, and structured data, etc.
Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix were then used to review page speed issues, and then Ahrefs to study broken backlink opportunities.
While SEO analysts do all of this, they are also heavily involved in conducting keyword and competitor research to see what keywords a website can hone on or start targeting to increase its chances of showing up for relevant queries above its competitors.
However, as important as the job analysis section is, the recommendations section is the place to follow up.
SEO analysts need to be able to take all that data – all the keyword volume, and intent, all the SEO elements they have researched for days or weeks – and translate it into real-life recommendations and strategies for their boss or their client portfolio.
However, once done, the client will implement the strategies from the SEO analyst and ideally start reaping the rewards over the following months.
Essential Skills Of An SEO Analyst
I’m really not trying to be funny here, but, to be an SEO analyst, you have to have a mind that leans towards … analytical.
It is not enough to just learn and understand what makes a great website and use various SEO tools to do some research.
An effective SEO analyst should be able to approach a website with a logical and careful investigative mindset.
Soft skills can always be taught, but learning soft skills is more of a personal growth activity with no definite milestones.
As a result, it can be difficult for a non-analytical person to turn around and be analytical at the level that an SEO analyst requires.
With all that said, here are the essential skills of an SEO analyst, broken down into hard and soft skills:
What Experience Or Certifications Are Required/Helpful?
Glassdoor has provided a basic template for an SEO analyst job description.
According to job review websites and employers, SEO analyst jobs typically require candidates to have a degree in a related field, such as computer science or information technology.
Other SEO analyst jobs require a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business.
According to the same Glassdoor positioning review, most SEO analysts – 60% – have two to four years of experience doing what they do.
It can be difficult to get in and become an SEO analyst right away. The skills needed to do a good job need to be honed over time, through hard experience lessons.
However, after two to four years in that chair, seeing all kinds of websites come looking for an SEO audit, I would say that SEO analysts are almost an expert.
As far as the certification I recommend for anyone looking to become an SEO analyst, you really can’t go wrong with the following courses:
1. Courses From Google Analytics Academy
2. Hubspot SEO Certification Course
3. SEO courses from the Semrush Academy
4. Courses From Ahrefs Academy
What Does An SEO Analyst’s Salary Look Like?
For those looking to become SEO analysts, you’re in luck, as the median US salary is a pretty healthy $63,058, according to ZipRecruiter.
Glassdoor put the figure slightly lower, at $62,987.
Meanwhile, Salary.com reports the median national salary for an SEO analyst to be $71,101, with most people earning between $64,301 and $77,601.
As with any job, you can expect the salary range to increase or decrease depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the employer, geographic location, and your experience.
SEO Analyst Job Outlook In 2022
In another win for today’s SEO analysts, the prospects for this role seem pretty strong.
A search on Indeed for “SEO analyst” in the United States found 975 jobs.
Of these, 592 worked full-time, 566 were paid over $50,000, and 291 were in remote positions.
It should be noted that most of these posts, 553, are for mid-level roles whereas most of the individual posts I saw when I filtered for “mid-level” noted that candidates should have between two and four years of experience in SEO or research and data analysis.
These Indeed jobs come from companies such as Pearson, Deloitte, Angi, LendingTree, and Merkle.
An identical search on LinkedIn found 966 SEO analyst jobs. Of those, 866 are full-time, 509 are paid over $40,000, and 535 are in place, followed by 364 long-distance positions.
Most of LinkedIn’s 966 SEO analyst jobs, 522, are at the associate level.
From what I see when I look at job openings, that means the level of experience required is just between zero and two years of experience.
LinkedIn job postings come from a variety of companies, but some include The Home Depot, Thriveworks, Havas Media Group, and Vox Media.
The Final Word
There’s no doubt about that: SEO analysts have a tough job.
It takes a lot of critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and SEO knowledge to pour through websites to find out what’s wrong with them, examine the data for answers in them, and report their findings in a way that’s easy to understand for both companies and clients.
Candidates for SEO analyst roles usually require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but it’s not always required.
And, depending on the employer and location, these professionals can earn more than $50,000 in a bustling market for their skills.
If data analysis and SEO are where your professional interests meet, you could find the perfect role for yourself as an SEO analyst.
Featured Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock