An SEO analyst is an expert who is responsible for gathering various data and metrics on a website and analyzing these metrics to gain insights into the website’s SEO performance, draw conclusions, plan ahead strategies for improvements, and execute these ideas to improve the website’s SEO performance.
At first glance, an SEO analyst’s job might seem relatively simple, but in truth, there are various individual tasks that must be performed by the SEO analyst on a daily basis.
The Role of an SEO Analyst
The role of an SEO analyst is to:
- Analyze, review, and implement changes to a website so they are optimized for search engines, according to the website’s architecture
- Perform keyword research according to the client’s need, and develop a content strategy according to these target keywords
- Help in developing marketing and promotional content to produce more traction
- Monitor and analyze search performance on various search engines (especially Google) and potentially on all social platforms according to the client’s needs
- Plan and execute a link-building strategy according to the client’s business objectives
- Collaborate with team members to succeed in your SEO campaign as well as in your digital marketing initiative as a whole
SEO Analyst Skill Requirement
According to SaaS SEO consultant Mike, SEO comprises of many different small activities, and so an SEO analyst requires various skills especially:
- Data Analysis
- Expertise in using various analytics tool including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and various other solutions
- Content planning, curation, and creation
- Expertise in using reporting software (Excel or other similar solutions)
- Basic programming and technical SEO knowledge
- Knowledge about Google and search engines’ penalties and how to recover from them
This is not an all-inclusive list, and we can think of them as the basic requirements for an SEO analyst role. Below, we will take a closer look at these skills and how they are implemented in an SEO analyst role.
As the title “analyst” suggests, analysis is the most important task of an SEO analyst. So, analytical skills and expertise in using various analytics tools are very important for an SEO analyst.
In practice, the SEO analyst will use various analytics tools from Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, and so on, on a daily basis. These tools are used to further analyze and understand the available data such as:
- Number of unique visitors to your website
- Number of returning visitors
- Time spent by visitors on each page
- Decline and increase in organic traffic
- Bounce rate and exit rate
- Demographics data of site visitors
- Source of traffic acquisitions
- Crawl/indexing errors, broken redirects, and other errors related to SEO performance
- Demographics and behaviors data of website visitors
- Understanding the type of content that would be relevant and valuable for these website visitors
- Suggested strategies to generate more traffic to your website
- Possible improvements on your website to improve user experience and visitor’s satisfaction in general
- Possible suggestions that can lead the website to align better to the business objectives and achieve growth
Content Planning, Creation and Curation
Content is the core of SEO. Content is the first thing the search engine bots would check on your website, and without content, you simply won’t rank for anything.
The quality of your content is one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. No amount of SEO optimization will help low-quality content and on the other hand, really high-quality content can rank on the top of Google’s SERP, in theory.
So, the ability to plan content strategy, knowledge of content curation, and content creation is extremely important for any SEO analyst.
An SEO analyst must be able to analyze the website’s content and also the competitors’ content, and based on the data must suggest what type of content is required to achieve the best possible results for the website. This can include various forms of content from blog posts, images, infographics, videos, product pages, and so on.
The SEO analyst must have the ability to understand the website’s target audience and what kinds of content can appeal to this audience. Relevant and valuable content is the most important factor in getting desirable SEO results.
Based on the knowledge about the target audience, an SEO analyst must be able to perform proper keyword research to find the right target keywords based on these principles:
- The target keywords must be relevant to your audience, signified with high enough monthly search volume.
- The target keywords must be relevant for the business or the client’s business.
- Depending on the client’s timeline and budget, the competition for the target keyword must be manageable
Based on the keyword research, the SEO analyst can provide their suggestions about which keywords the client should target, and also what kind of content should be developed to target these keywords in order to drive more visitors to the website.
A key role of an SEO analyst is the ability to create a comprehensive report, so the client can understand the work being done on the website that is related to SEO, various metrics regarding SEO performance, and so on.
The SEO analyst must prepare periodic reports that include the following:
- Number of unique and returning visitors
- Interactions and page visits
- Site usability and UX metrics
- Traffic sources and referrals
- Milestones and goal completions
The report must also explain how these elements fit together so both the SEO analyst and the client can draw the required conclusions.
Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors in SEO, and so one of the key responsibilities of an SEO analyst is to figure out link-building opportunities by analyzing data.
A common approach here is to analyze key competitors’ link profiles and develop an outreach campaign to websites that link to the competitors’ sites. Different niches and even different content might require different link building approaches, and the SEO analyst has a very prominent role here in determining potential strategies to pursue.
Basic Technical and Programming Knowledge
Most modern websites are built with HTML and CSS as the foundation, and these two are considered the most basic programming elements of today’s website coding. So, at least a basic proficiency for these two programming languages are generally required for an SEO analyst.
Although not a mandatory requirement compared to others we have discussed above, programming knowledge can help an SEO analyst in figuring out certain technical optimizations, and can be useful in situations like when there are coding issues on the website.
Optional Certifications To Get as an SEO Analyst
It’s important to know that as of the moment, there isn’t any official certification for SEO expertise that is considered standard. A part of this is because there isn’t an agreed curriculum for learning SEO, and another aspect is because the search engines are dynamically changing all the time.
As the result of this, the general consensus is that acquiring certifications are not as important as having a proven experience or case studies.
However, SEO analyst candidates can still consider the below certifications to develop their skills and to potentially attract recruiters:
- Various online courses related to SEO and analytics (Google Analytics, social media analytics) on platforms like EdX, Coursera, and so on.
- Various SEO courses on Udemy
- Google Adwords Certification (can also be useful if you want to learn about PPC search ads)
- Google Analytics Certification
- SEO Certification course by Digital Vidya
- Inbound Certification by HubSpot Academy
How Much Does an SEO Analyst Earn?
The role of an SEO analyst is very important for any SEO campaign. As a result, SEO analysts are in fact in very high demand at the moment.
The average SEO Analyst salary in the U.S. is $67,401 in March 2020, according to Salary.Com, and the typical range is between $61,001 and $73,601. The salary range can vary widely in the U.S. depending on several factors from experience, education, possession of relevant certifications (as discussed above), and additional skills.
Search Engine Optimization is now more important than ever in directing the future of a website. Thus, the role of an SEO analyst is also integral in ensuring a website’s SEO performance and also in the conception of future SEO strategies. Above, we have learned about the role of an SEO analyst, the key responsibilities, and the skills required to perform as an SEO analyst.