How to Hire SEO Managers by Dagmar Urb on Jul 11, 2017

Based on interviews with SEO managers, we put together this short guide explaining how to hire top-notch managers. In this guide you’ll learn about:

  • What do SEO Managers do
  • What personality do they tend to have
  • What do they value at work
  • How to write a SEO Manager job description
  • How to find strong SEO Manager candidates
  • Which test questions to ask in interviews

What do SEO Managers do?

An SEO specialist understands the soul of the most powerful knowledge source in the world – Google, and grows your website’s visibility in organic search engine results.

What personality do they tend to have?

An SEO expert is patient and thorough, numbers and results driven. They are proactive and creative in experimenting with various strategies. And since SEO is a moving target, it’s the most adaptable professionals that survive.

What do they value?

We discovered that just like other marketing professionals, SEO specialists are mainly motivated by:

  • Good wages
  • Flexibility and autonomy in their work
  • Growth opportunities within the company
  • Challenging work

What to look for in an SEO Manager?

Ideally, you should hire a versatile marketer, who is excellent at coming up with strong strategies as well as actual implementation. And besides SEO knowledge, look for creativity in content creation and compatibility with the company culture.

How to write an SEO Manager job description

Key to attracting good candidates for the SEO Manager post is writing an informative and attractive job description. Include a comprehensive list of job tasks and skills required, along with other important info (salary range, company structure, etc.)

SEO Manager job tasks

  • Developing and implementing successful SEO strategies
  • Managing a team of skilled SEO staff
  • Optimizing company web content and paid search copy
  • Compiling reports and presentations on website traffic, SEO rankings and internet marketing trends
  • Carrying out keyword research, competitive research, content creation and optimization for use in search engine marketing campaigns
  • Implementing and administering search engine programs

SEO Manager job skills

IT skills – being an SEO Manager means having a varied arsenal of computer skills at your disposal, ranging from proficiency in MS Word and PowerPoint to working familiarity with SEO tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush and BuzzSumo.

Communication skills – an SEO Manager needs strong written and verbal communication skills. They need to be able to effectively communicate across business departments, produce reports and presentations on SEO trends and strategies, as well as conveying technical content to non-technical audiences in a way that is understood.

Analytical skills – an SEO Manager will need to not just understand how SEO tools such as Google Analytics work, they will need to conduct deep analysis of these tools to produce insightful reports and drive strategy forward. Strong strategic, quantitative and reporting abilities are a must.

Leadership skills – for SEO Managers working in larger organisations, this may include the ability to manage and motivate a team. For SEO Managers within smaller businesses, leadership will more likely involve leading on specific projects, taking ownership of certain aspects of campaigns, and always working with confidence and strong initiative.

Attention to detail – with the responsibility of turning out regular quantitative reports analysing web data and pinpointing ways that the company can inch ahead of competitors in rankings, SEO Managers need to stay highly focused on producing accurate data.

Creative thinking skills – SEO is still a relatively new field, therefore creativity and innovative thinking – that ability to see things from a different perspective and formulate outside-the-box solutions – are skills that are keenly sought after in SEO Managers.

Interpersonal skills – as much of this role involves working collaboratively with other departments, an ability to get along, foster strong working relationships and work as part of a team is important.

SEO Manager salary

The SEO Manager position is a skilled role commanding above average pay. In the US, the salary range is from around $45,000 to $85,000, with average salaries being between $65,000 and $70,000. In Western Europe, the scale is approximately EUR 25,000 to EUR 50,000, with an average of between EUR 35,000 and EUR 40,000.

How to hire SEO managers? 

It’s interesting to see that a regular job ad is not even among the top 7 ways to attract potential employees. And this trend stands out for all the professions we talked with. So SEO Managers can rather be engaged with:

  • A simple application method
  • A cool company’s career page
  • A quick challenge
  • A chance to demonstrate skills as a first step
  • A surprising hiring process

And a competent SEO Manager should be first and foremost sourced with a help of:

  • Friends
  • LinkedIn
  • Job listings

The best hiring process

For years, we’ve been using quick challenges to screen prospective employees, and it has dramatically increased diversity, quality and cost-efficiency. Candidates take a short test to evaluate key job-related skills, followed by a test drive for the best performers.

This approach meets perfectly SEO Managers’ expectations for an engaging way of hiring. It challenges the applicants and allows to demonstrate skills immediately. So build a test with Hundred5 and share it on social media, or even submit to some job boards.

Recruiting without a CV is an evolving trend, because a worker’s skills and competence can be emphasized over traditional hiring filters like college degrees, work history and personal references.

Recommended test questions

Here are some suggested test questions from professional SEO Managers that help to evaluate applicants’ job-related skills.

Question 1In what cases are long tail keywords more beneficial than competitive keywords?

  • If you specialize in something, long tail keywords can be great for conversions
  • Long tail keywords have considerably higher volume and drive a lot of traffic to your website
  • Long tail keywords are time-efficient since building up your keyword list doesn’t need much research

Question 2 – What is the no.1 technique you would use to find topics that would convert well for a specific target audience?

  • Keyword research
  • Competitor reverse engineering
  • Social media
  • Forums

Question 3 – How can you leverage social media to boost rankings?

  • Social shares have a direct effect on rankings
  • Social media gives your content extra exposure, which is good for building relationships and links
  • Specific social channels (like Google+) have a direct effect on rankings

Question 4 – What is the one single factor that will negatively affect your rankings at this moment?

  • Your website is not mobile friendly
  • Your website doesn’t have
  • About page Your website has no meta keywords

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