A Lock and Key Guide for SEO Analysts and Hiring Managers
Looking back in time, it’s hard to imagine a life without the internet. Since the internet took over the world of communication and sharing of information, it has been constantly redefining the way we think and conduct business.In fact, things have been changing so quickly in the corporate sector that the job marketing is constantly churning out a list of new specialized career options. However, the industry is struggling to meet up with the demand for specialized individuals, primarily due to the lack of suitable professional skills and experience. Currently, businesses and SEO consultancy agencies worldwide are facing a similar situation, with employers finding it increasingly difficult to come across a reliable SEO analyst during the recruitment process. The core issue is that there happens to be a vast gap between the employer’s expectations and the skill set that most prospective SEO analysts have listed on their CV.Hence, the hiring process can be especially confusing for fresh graduates,who are hoping to make their mark in the field of online marketing and SEO. In that case, the following comprehensive guidelines can help de-mystify the entire process while giving a basic idea of the evaluating system that most corporations use in recruit an SEO analyst.
ASTEM College Degree
While the job description for SEO analyst varies according to the level of position (i.e. entry level, specialist or Sr. level), individuals with 4-year degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields are generally given higher preference by employers. This is mainly because SEO analyst roles gravitate towards data and analytics driven tasks.Those with an analytical mind and the skillset for these types of jobs most commonly have a foundation in the STEM fields, with a particular focus on statistics, logic building, mathematics, technology, languages and creativity. You could be fairly good at coding and have a sound knowledge of the tech-side, but at the end of the day if you don’t have the necessary soft skills and lack the ability to solve problems then it wouldn’t work out.
An Analytical Mind is a Must
A good SEO analyst knows the significance of the data and how to gather it, is able to understand the data, lay it out in a broader strategy, detect patterns, come up with creative solutions for complex problems, and understand the long-term impact of the decisions on overall strategy, etc.Since there are no standard SEO certification/validations,an employer will usually get a feel of what the SEO analysts are capable of and their knowledge base by looking for certain keywords in the CV, or during the interview process. While SEO courses can help analyst/specialists to stay current, vocational skills in SEO can be only acquired from job experience.
Four Key Terms to Look For in a CV
To cut their work short, most employers look for the following keywords or phrases in applicant’s CV for the post of SEO analyst:
This might seem like a priority considering the title of the post, but you’ll be surprised at diversity of the candidate pool that employers typically see. Hence, those hiring managers scan the CVs for the word SEO mentioned in the current and previous job titles, or the stated objectives. Employers might even go online to analyze a potential candidate’s LinkedIn profile andsee if SEO is mentioned in the headline.
- They are also required to handle onpage SEO.Onpage optimization calls for tinkering, meta tags (title, keywords and description), h1, image optimization, internal linking, XML sitemap and robots.txt, etc. This is where any html coding skills could prove indispensable.
- Depending on the job description, offpage SEO (that targets link building) may or may not fall under the responsibilities of an SEO analyst. Off-page services needed may include article submissions, forum submissions, PR writing, social bookmarking and the sharing of blogs, guest postings, etc. These types of tasks require top-notch research and communication skills.
Any knowledgeable SEO analyst knows that content marketing and SEO are interdisciplinary fields.The right candidate will be able to implement the insights gained from competitive and content analysis such as keyword research and mapping, to develop an actionable content strategy to promote it. Hence, the applicants should be also familiar with concepts of evergreen content, blog auditing, creation of content and content publishing techniques.
SEO is integrated in marketing activities. Therefore, someone who lists “online marketing”, “digital marketing” or “web marketing” in their work experience stands a higher chance at having their CV moved on to the next stage of the hiring process.
A capable SEO analyst must have the aptitude to convert data gained from competitive analysis into a working strategy. While you can hire freelance SEO specialists to carry out basic SEO tasks, only an in-house SEO analyst can assimilate the mechanics of SEO into a larger marketing framework. Even if the word ‘strategy’ is not specifically mentioned in the CV, other words may be used that relate to the same principle. SEO is just a piece of the marketing concept, and must be integrated with other methodologies such as PR, branding, paid search, social media and content marketing.
Familiarity with Site Performance Analytics
An SEO professional’s job follows a defined flowchart that starts with comprehensive research,leading to the implementation of actionable SEO techniques, and a follow-up report that reflect s upon the performance of the website/campaign after the updates. Common factors include:
- The user engagement generated by site landing page and conversion rates
- Breakdown of audience into distinct categories
- The on-site experience of customers
- Understanding of the role as well as do’s and don’ts of different channels ( pros and cons of organic, social, paid and direct traffic channels)
Professionals specialized in SEO use website analytics platforms such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner, Google adwords, WebTrends and Omniture etc., to aid in the task.
Developing Competitive Analysis
Skills gained in using SEO analysis tools such as Screaming Frog, Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, BrightEdge and Buzzmo can help an SEO analyst get a firm handle on the following problems:
- For a certain set of target keywords/audience, who are the top competitors with the largest online presence?
- By using tools (such as Screaming Frog) they can crawl and analyze the competitor’s domain to determine the rival’s on-site strategy. (They generally look for page copy, rich media, content themes, site architectures, structured date, etc.)
- What is the competitor’s off-site strategy? (This includes the acquisition of organic backlinks, sharing on social media, outreach and content marketing/publication methods, etc.)
SEO specialists are encouraged to familiarize themselves with various SEO tools (especially Google Analytics and Google Search Console). In that manner, they will be better equipped to assess the data in order to solve day-to-day SEO problems and develop a better strategy.
In-house vs. Agency Experience SEO Analyst
An experienced SEO specialist/analyst is never short on other employment opportunities. However, to make the job experience pleasant and to maximize the productivity, it is very important that the hired individual possesses the right type of SEO experience – according to position applied for. Most employers have a clear mindset on whether they are looking for an in-house SEO analyst or one with a consultancy firm background.
- Agency: These are individuals who’ve been previously employed by SEO consultancy, firm or agency, and have experience serving a multitude of clients. Their stronger suit is the conceptualization and processing of a strategy, and creative thinking to solve SEO problems.
- In-house:This set of professionals has previous job experience from being employees of a specific business and working on their employer’s SEO results. They tend to have a higher aptitude for tasks requiring communication, management and organizational skills. They are often tasked to coordinate between different departments and personnel (such as marketing, content, development and design) to ensure success of the implemented SEO techniques and overall strategy.
Experienced hiring managers and SEO veterans know that you cannot restrict SEO to a certain plane as it keeps on evolving with time. Knowledge of the particular client needs and complete authority over specific SEO skillset can help both – an employer find the right candidate, and an SEO analyst/specialist find the ideal job.