How to Become an SEO Manager

SEO Manager Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $122,370
Avg. Pay / hour $58.83
Education 3-4 Years
Job Outlook 8%

An SEO Manager is a professional who is experienced in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for marketing purposes; SEO is a technique that is used to drive traffic to websites.

SEO Managers are Marketing Managers who are specialized in SEO marketing.

SEO marketing includes “optimizing” a website to allow search engines to direct users to websites.

These individuals may work specifically in SEO marketing or be responsible for implementing it into their marketing programs and plans.

The majority of SEO Managers are hired by larger organizations that have the resources to hire this position fulltime.

But as SEO becomes an integral part of online marketing, many more businesses will begin to focus on hiring experienced individuals in this field.

Individuals who want to become an SEO Manager will need to fulfill educational requirements, have experience in online marketing and strengthen some personal skills in order to succeed in this profession.

Some helpful personal skills include: being analytical that will help determine the best SEO phrases to use in optimization, researching skills to find the most commonly used phrases, and creativity to use imaginative phrases in website content.

Education Requirements to Become an SEO Manager

Individuals who want to become an SEO Manager will need to pursue a postsecondary degree, gain on the job experience, be able to analyze data and have a strong background in computer search engines in order to enter this profession.

In essence, individuals will need to have a strong background in search engine optimization and internet marketing.

The first step an individual needs to make in order to become an SEO Manager is complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

Recommended degrees include: marketing, business, market research, computer science or a closely related field.

Programs focusing on SEO are rare, although learning the larger building blocks of marketing and computer science is a must before learning SEO marketing.

Individuals are also encouraged to gain on the job experience in internet marketing in order to succeed in this profession.

Experience can be gained through an internship while someone is enrolled in school or through an entry level position in marketing.

Because many companies now have a website, individuals can learn this marketing technique on the job.

In addition, individuals can stand out amongst other prospects by completing a certification provided by a marketing organization such as the Marketing Research Association.

SEO Manager Job Description

An SEO Manager is a Marketing Manager that specializes in Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is an internet marketing technique that is used to draw internet users to optimized websites.

SEO Managers will use data reported by search engines regarding commonly used phrases typed by internet users.

A list of commonly used phrases related to an SEO Managers line of business will then be created to create a strategy for website optimization.

SEO Managers will also be responsible for project management, managing the creation of website content that will be uploaded onto a website and creating back links.

The following is a list of commonly used internet marketing techniques that help drive traffic to websites.

  • Content optimization
  • Market analysis
  • Keyword research
  • Search engine analytics

SEO Managers will also analyze reports to determine if a specific internet marketing strategy is effective.

SEO Manager Salary and Career Path

There are no exact salary figures for SEO Managers; however, this profession can be categorized alongside Market Research Analyst professionals.

In 2012, the median salary for Market Research Analysts was approximately $60,300 per year with some individuals earning up to $113,500 per year.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including geographical location, years of experience and company size.

The job outlook for all Market Research Analysts, which can include SEO Managers, is expected to grow at a faster than average rate when compared to other professions.

Job opportunities for individuals are expected to grow at a 32 percent rate through the year 2022.

Some factors contributing to this growth include the demand coming from consumers for services such as ecommerce and the need for websites to stand out amongst the plethora that exist in cyberspace.

SEO Managers use a combination of their marketing skills and computer skills in order to help drive internet traffic to their websites, products and services.

Individuals with a background in data analysis and marketing will have the best job prospects.

Individuals who are also flexible will also succeed in this field as the web is always changing and improving.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$166,530
New Hampshire$145,120
New Jersey$179,320
New Mexico$114,800
New York$190,760
North Carolina$141,600
North Dakota$132,800
Rhode Island$165,870
South Carolina$130,240
South Dakota$143,240
West Virginia$102,920
Puerto Rico$89,970

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $190,760.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $190,760
New Jersey - $179,320
California - $175,150
Delaware - $171,420
Virginia - $169,990
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Marketing Managers, OCC Code 11-2021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an SEO manager do?

The main goals of an SEO manager are to drive sales and awareness.

The role of an SEO manager is more technologically driven than the job of a marketing manager, for example, as the first specialist is responsible for online marketing.

The typical tasks of an SEO manager usually include managing the website content; optimization of the online content; negotiating backlinks; building an online community; planning and organizing different campaigns; coming up with an SEO strategy; website monitoring; market analysis, and so on.

Thanks to an SEO manager the company or business can easily be found on the Internet as the professional is responsible for search engine optimization.

How much do SEO managers make?

On average, an SEO manager can make a little more than $76.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $51.000 and $122.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the client, and so on.

An entry-level SEO manager can earn around $72.000 per year, while a top-level specialist with plenty of experience can make $82.000 and more per year.

How much does it cost to become an SEO manager?

In most cases, you would need a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, communications, information technology or a related field in order to become an SEO manager.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (bear in mind that the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

You can also apply for an SEO training course and acquire a certification; there are various programs available online that can suit any budget (you would have to pay $25-$45 per month if you decide to pick a course from the Online Marketing Institute, for example).

What is the demand for SEO managers?

The rise of mobile platforms and social media will only increase the need for SEO specialists.

Even though you would typically expect an SEO manager to work in the marketing industry, the truth is that nowadays experts can be found in every field.

Practically every business is relying on an SEO manager to enhance their rankings; as there are more and more businesses and companies emerging in the United States nowadays, the demand for SEO managers will continue to grow.

The candidates that possess a degree and plenty of experience will have better chances of getting the highest-paid job.

How long does it take to become an SEO manager?

It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree, in case you decide to go for one.

You can consider seeking an internship during your last year in university to get that on-job experience as the majority of employers prefer the candidates to have at least a few years of experience.

An SEO manager should be ready to update his or her skills on a regular basis, as the industry is changing extremely fast.

Some online schools offer monthly subscriptions that will keep you up-to-date with the latest news.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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