Skills, Salaries and Job Outlook

Of all the roles available in the world of digital marketing, the SEO analyst is one of the most demanding.

When you’re an SEO analyst, your company or clients look to you to collect and organize data around the performance of their websites, interpret what it means for them in their niche markets, and recommend strategies that will help them. achieve business goals.

It’s a huge company, so SEO analysts need to possess a fully developed skill set in multiple areas to be successful.

Fortunately, due to the technical nature of the job and the skills required to perform it, SEO analyst roles are generally well paid in the US, and the need for them in 2022 is quite strong.

What is an SEO analyst?

When you research the different roles in SEO, you find that people often seem to confuse the positions of SEO Specialist and SEO Analyst.

While the two are related and actually quite close, think of the SEO analyst role as one that goes beyond specialist by taking things up a notch.

While the SEO specialist is in the weeds, so to speak, doing the work, implementing title and H1 tags, adding structured data to product pages, and uploading new content, the SEO analyst is looking at the big picture.

Analysts look at the numbers, the hard data, and interpret what they mean for current website performance and where improvement is needed.

It’s fair to say that as an analyst, your job is to do exactly what its title says: analyze websites to determine their SEO quality.

Analysts first look at the website as a whole and see if there is anything visible from a UX standpoint that they think could be improved.

It could be an ineffective or missing CTA, missed internal link opportunities, convoluted main navigation, or unoptimized title tags.

SEO analysts also want to see if there are any new pages or sections that the website could benefit from, including service, location, product, blog, FAQ, or testimonial pages.

Perhaps most importantly, SEO analysts crawl the entire site to look for any technical issues that cannot be seen efficiently with the naked eye.

They use numerous SEO tools including Screaming Frog, Semrush, and Google Search Console to look for issues related to broken pages, redirects, metadata, load time, and structured data, etc.

Google PageSpeed ​​Insights and GTmetrix are then used to review page speed issues, and then Ahrefs to study broken backlink opportunities.

While the SEO analyst is doing all of this, they are also heavily involved in conducting keyword and competitor research to see which keywords you could perfect the website for or start targeting to increase your chance of showing up for relevant queries. above its competitors.

However, just as important as the analysis part of the job, the recommendation part is where things move on.

SEO analysts need to be able to take all of that data, all of that keyword volume and intent, all of that SEO stuff they’ve pored over for days or weeks, and translate it into real-life recommendations and strategies for your employer or your portfolio. Of customers.

However, once this was done, the client would implement the SEO analyst’s strategies and ideally start reaping the rewards in the following months.

Essential Skills of an SEO Analyst

I’m not really trying to be funny here, but, to be an SEO analyst, you have to have a mindset that leans towards… analytical.

It is not enough to learn and understand what makes a good website and use various SEO tools to conduct research.

An effective SEO analyst must be able to approach a website with a logical and meticulously investigative mindset.

Soft skills can always be taught, but learning a soft skill is more of a personal growth activity that lacks definable milestones.

As a result, it can be difficult for a non-analytical person to turn around and become analytical to the level required of an SEO analyst.

All that said, here are the essential skills of an SEO analyst, broken down into hard and soft skills:

hard skills

  • Advanced knowledge of SEO best practices.
  • Extensive knowledge of the operation of technical SEO.
  • The ability to conduct keyword research and competitive analysis.
  • Knowledge of a variety of SEO tools, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Semrush, Ahrefs, SpyFu, GTmetrix, PageSpeed ​​Insights, and Screaming Frog.
  • Knowledge of the most common CMS including WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, Drupal, Wix, HubSpot, and Magento.
  • Knowledge of content marketing, topic research and content auditing.
  • Understanding of link building, backlinks and issues related to those areas.
  • The ability to stay up to date on SEO best practices.

Soft skills

  • The ability to use logic.
  • Curiosity and reflection.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Creative problem solving.
  • Organization.
  • Time management.
  • Effective oral and written communication.
  • Interpersonal skills.

What experience or certifications are required/helpful?

Glassdoor has provided a basic SEO Analyst job description template.

According to the Jobs and Employers review website, 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 job overview, the majority of SEO Analysts (60%) have two to four years of experience in what they do.

It can be difficult to jump in and learn how to be an SEO analyst right away. The skills necessary to do the job well must be honed over time, through the hard lessons of experience.

However, after two to four years in that role, seeing all kinds of websites seeking SEO audits, I’d say the SEO Analyst is close to being an expert.

As for the certifications I would recommend for anyone looking to become an SEO Analyst, you absolutely cannot go wrong with the following courses:

1. Google Analytics Academy Courses

  • Google Analytics for beginners.
  • Advanced Google Analytics.
  • Google Analytics for advanced users.
  • Introduction to DataStudio.
  • Google Tag Manager Basics.

2. Hubspot SEO Certification Course

3. Semrush Academy SEO Courses

  • Semrush SEO Toolkit.
  • Audit your online visibility with Semrush.
  • Competitive analysis and keyword research.
  • Technical and on-page SEO.
  • Link building.
  • Rank tracking.
  • Semrush site audit with Ross Tavendale.
  • Technical SEO with Bastian Grimm.
  • SEO Basics, Keyword Research, Backlink Management, Mobile SEO, and Local SEO, all with Greg Gifford.
  • Content Based SEO with Brian Dean.

4. Ahrefs Academy Courses

  • Ahrefs Certification Course.
  • SEO training course.

How is the salary of an SEO analyst?

For those who want to become an SEO analyst, you’re in luck, because the average salary in the US is a pretty healthy $63,058, according to ZipRecruiter.

Glassdoor puts that number slightly lower, at $62,987.

Meanwhile, Salary.com reports that the national average salary for an SEO analyst is $71,101, with most people earning between $64,301 and $77,601.

However, as with any job, you can expect the salary range to rise or fall based on a variety of factors, including employer size, geographic location, and your experience.

SEO Analyst Job Outlook in 2022

In another win for today’s SEO analyst, the outlook for this role appears to be quite strong.

An Indeed search for “SEO Analyst” in the United States returned 975 jobs.

Of those, 592 were full-time, 566 paid more than $50,000, and 291 were in remote positions.

It’s worth noting that the majority of these posts, 553, were for mid-level roles, while the majority of individual posts I looked at when filtering for “mid-level” indicated that the candidate should have two to four years of experience. in SEO. or research and data analysis.

These Indeed jobs came from companies like Pearson, Deloitte, Angi, LendingTree, and Merkle.

An identical search on LinkedIn returned 966 SEO analyst jobs. Of those, 866 were full-time, 509 paid more than $40,000, and 535 were on-site, closely followed by 364 remote positions.

The majority of LinkedIn’s 966 SEO analyst jobs, 522, were at the associate level.

From what I saw when I checked the job postings, that means the level of experience required was only between zero and two years of experience.

LinkedIn jobs came from a wide range of employers, but some of them included The Home Depot, Thriveworks, Havas Media Group, and Vox Media.

The last word

There’s no doubt about it: SEO analysts have a tough job.

It takes a lot of critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and SEO knowledge to go through websites and figure out what’s wrong with them, sift through data to find the answers, and report your findings in ways that are easy for businesses to understand. and clients

Candidates for SEO analyst roles typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but that’s not always required.

And, depending on employer and location, these professionals can earn upwards of $50,000 in the crowded market for their skills.

If data analysis and SEO are the meeting point of your professional interests, you could find the perfect position for you as an SEO analyst.

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