What does an SEO manager do?

A SEO manager plays an important role within any SEO project. Often an SEO manager works for larger organizations and performs (logical) SEO management here. In this article, I discuss what I do as an SEO manager for organizations and the way I proceed.

What does an SEO manager do?

An SEO manager is responsible for planning, implementing and managing a company’s overall SEO strategy. This includes a wide range of tasks, from technical website audits to content optimization and everything in between. The ultimate goal is to improve the website’s ranking on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), increase organic traffic flow and optimize the user experience.

Daily duties include conducting keyword research to identify which terms and phrases could potentially drive traffic to the site. Also analyzing competitors to identify opportunities for improvement, and working closely with content creators to ensure content is not only SEO-friendly, but also valuable and engaging for the audience.

Another crucial aspect of their role is link building, which involves the process of obtaining hyperlinks from other Web sites to one’s own site. This is a key factor for search engines to judge a website’s authority and relevance.

Responsibilities and duties of an SEO manager

The core responsibilities of an SEO manager include:

  1. Strategy development: establishing a comprehensive SEO strategy that is both short- and long-term focused on improving website visibility and ranking.
  2. Technical SEO: Performing technical audits of the website to identify and resolve issues that may affect site performance, such as slow load times, non-optimized meta tags, and more.
  3. Content optimization: Working with content creators to ensure that all content, from web pages to blog posts, is optimized for relevant keywords. This includes optimizing website structure and improving internal linking strategy.
  4. Link building: Developing and implementing link building strategies to increase domain authority by obtaining quality backlinks.
  5. Analysis and reporting: Regularly monitoring the performance of SEO activities using tools such as Google Analytics and reporting the results to stakeholders. This includes tracking rankings, traffic, conversion rates and other key performance indicators.
  6. Tracking trends and updates: Constantly stay abreast of the latest SEO trends, techniques and algorithmic updates to ensure the SEO strategy remains relevant and effective.

Thus, the role of an SEO manager is multifaceted and requires a wide range of skills, from technical expertise to creative content creation and strategic planning.

Skills and qualities of an SEO manager

A successful SEO manager possesses a unique combination of skills and qualities that allow them to maximize a website’s online visibility. This role requires not only technical expertise and creativity, but also analytical acumen and excellent communication skills. The crucial skills and qualities an SEO manager must possess are explored in more detail below.

Technical SEO knowledge

Technical SEO is the foundation upon which a successful SEO strategy is built. An SEO manager must have thorough knowledge of technical aspects such as website architecture, mobile optimization, site speed, XML sitemaps, robots.txt files, and more. This knowledge enables them to conduct technical audits and work closely with web developers to ensure that the website is technically optimized for search engines and users.

Content strategy and development

Content is king in the world of SEO. An effective SEO manager must be able to develop a content strategy that appeals to the target audience and drives them to action. This requires a deep understanding of the target market and the ability to create relevant, valuable and engaging content optimized for search engines. The manager must also be able to identify content gaps and develop a content calendar that ensures a steady flow of high-quality content.

Link building strategies

Link building is essential for building a website’s authority. An SEO manager must be experienced in developing and implementing link-building strategies aimed at obtaining high-quality backlinks from relevant websites. This not only requires creativity and perseverance, but also a thorough understanding of search engine guidelines to ensure that tactics do not result in penalties.

Analytical skills of an SEO manager

SEO is data-driven. An SEO manager must therefore have strong analytical skills to interpret large amounts of data and turn it into actionable insights. They should be familiar with tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other SEO tools to monitor and optimize the performance of their strategies based on concrete data.

Communication and collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are critical in the role of an SEO manager. They must be able to clearly communicate their strategies and the value of SEO to stakeholders, including team members, customers and other departments within an organization.

This includes not only writing reports and presenting findings, but also working as part of a team to achieve common goals. A successful SEO manager is a team player who is able to work across departmental boundaries and influence and motivate others.

Combined, these skills and qualities enable an SEO manager to develop and execute effective SEO strategies that improve a website’s visibility and performance, ultimately leading to increased traffic, engagement and conversions.

Daily duties of an SEO manager

The daily tasks of an SEO manager are diverse and require a balance between strategic thinking and operational execution. This role is essential to the success of online marketing efforts, as it focuses on improving a website’s visibility and findability in search engines. Here’s an in-depth look at the core tasks that make up the day-to-day work of an SEO manager.

Website audit and analysis

A fundamental task of an SEO manager is to regularly conduct comprehensive website audits. These audits evaluate the website for technical SEO, usability, content quality and external factors such as backlinks.

The goal is to identify problems that may impede the site’s search engine performance, such as slow loading speeds, broken links, duplicate content, or non-optimized meta tags. After the audit, the SEO manager creates an action plan to address these issues, often in collaboration with Web developers and content creators.

Keyword research and strategy

Keyword research is central to any SEO strategy. An SEO manager spends a significant amount of time identifying relevant keywords and phrases that could potentially drive traffic to the website.

This process includes analyzing search volume, competition, and the intent behind searches. With this information, the SEO manager develops a keyword strategy that guides content creation and optimization so that the Web site provides content that matches what users are looking for.

Optimization of on-page elements

On-page SEO is crucial to a website’s success. This includes optimizing titles, headings, meta descriptions, image alt-texts, and the content itself to serve both search engines and users.

An SEO manager ensures that all on-page elements are optimized according to best practices, which helps achieve higher rankings and improve the user experience. This includes ensuring a logical site architecture and URL structure, which helps search engines crawl and index the site effectively.

Monitoring and reporting of SEO performance

Monitoring the performance of SEO efforts is a daily activity for an SEO manager. Some of the tools I use as an SEO manager:

  • Google Search Console (tracking technical issues and performance);
  • Google Analytics (how does SEO relate to conversion and other channel tracking);
  • Ahrefs (link building and content optimizations);
  • Screaming Frog (technical SEO);
  • SE Ranking (positions/general dashboarding for internal use).

This data is used to evaluate the effectiveness of SEO strategies and make adjustments where necessary. Regular reporting to stakeholders is also an important part of the role, communicating progress and demonstrating the value of SEO efforts.

Collaboration with other departments (e.g., marketing, IT)

SEO is not an isolated discipline; it requires close collaboration with various departments within an organization. An SEO manager works with the marketing department to ensure that SEO efforts are integrated into broader marketing campaigns.

Collaboration with the IT team is essential for implementing technical SEO adjustments and improving website performance. The SEO manager can also work with product teams, sales, and customer service to ensure that the Web site provides content that meets user needs and questions.

Challenges of SEO management

SEO management faces a variety of challenges that make their work both challenging and dynamic. The ongoing evolution of Google, finding the right balance between short- and long-term strategies, and the emphasis on content quality over quantity are some of the most prominent challenges. Below I discuss how these challenges can be addressed.

Constantly changing search engine algorithms

Search engines such as Google regularly update their algorithms to improve the user experience. This can be challenging for SEO managers, as strategies that worked yesterday may not be as effective today.

How to address:

  • Stay informed: Follow SEO news sources, blogs and forums to stay on top of the latest updates and best practices.
  • Flexibility: Develop a flexible SEO strategy that can quickly adapt to new algorithm updates.
  • Focus on quality: Focus on delivering an excellent user experience and high-quality content, which will always be a priority for search engines.

Balancing between short-term and long-term SEO strategies

SEO is a long-term investment, but there may be pressure to get short-term results. Finding the right balance between strategies that deliver immediate results and provide long-term value can be tricky.

How to address:

  • Set clear goals: Determine what you want to achieve in the short and long term with your SEO efforts.
  • Combine tactics: Integrate quick wins, such as optimizing existing content for quick wins, with long-term strategies such as building authority through link building and content marketing.
  • Measure and evaluate: Monitor both short-term and long-term goals by measuring regularly and adjusting strategy accordingly.

The importance of content quality vs. quantity

In the world of SEO, the temptation can be to focus on producing large amounts of content in hopes of increasing visibility. However, without quality, this can be counterproductive.

How to address:

  • Focus on value: Make sure that any content you produce provides value to your target audience. This means it must be relevant, informative and engaging.
  • Know your audience: Understand the needs and preferences of your target audience to create content that resonates and promotes engagement.
  • Quality over quantity: High-quality content is more likely to be shared, attract backlinks and increase the overall authority of your website.
  • Use data: Analyze the performance of your content to understand what works. Use these insights to inform future content strategies.

These challenges in SEO require a thoughtful approach and constant adaptation to the changing landscape. By staying on top of the latest developments, adopting a balanced strategy and focusing on delivering value through high-quality content, SEO managers can effectively address these challenges and lead their websites to success.

The key skills of an SEO manager

To take on the management of an organization’s SEO, you need several skills that you must be able to bring together. Below you will find a list of these skills along with the priority for each item (as far as I am concerned).

100Technical SEO knowledge
98Analytical skills
96Content strategy and development
94Link building strategies
92Knowledge of search algorithms
90Use of SEO tools
88Data analysis and interpretation
86Content optimization
84Strategic planning ability
82Communication and collaboration
Top skills SEO manager.


SEO managers play a crucial role in the digital age, facing challenges such as changing algorithms, balancing short- and long-term strategies, and an emphasis on content quality.

By staying flexible and informed, setting clear goals and focusing on creating valuable content, they can effectively navigate these challenges and contribute to the long-term success of their websites.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 75 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 22 April 2024. The last update of this article was on 3 June 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.