Neil Patel

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The Definitive Guide to SEO Management

The definitive guide to seo management.

Want a constant flow of organic traffic to your website? Then, you need an SEO strategy and an SEO management plan to back it up.

You generally won’t see results immediately, but in time, your efforts will start paying off. According to BrightEdge, 53.3 percent of website traffic comes from organic search. 

While other methods like email marketing and social media are effective, 37 percent of respondents to the State of Content Marketing in 2023 say SEO is their number one marketing channel.

The stats don’t lie, right?

That’s why I’m discussing SEO management, what it is, and why it matters if you want to see your SEO strategy succeed.

Ready? Good! Let’s go.

SEO Management Essential Tips

  • SEO management is how you develop and implement an SEO strategy.
  • This includes key elements like keyword research, competitive analysis, and on-page optimization.
  • SEO managers are essential for marketing teams to bring some SEO expertise.
  • When looking for an SEO manager to bring to your team, try to find one that has a history of proven wins.
  • Agency partnerships also make a valuable alternative for getting additional SEO support for your business.

What Is SEO Management?

Just like it sounds, SEO management refers to how you develop and implement your SEO strategy. It requires a combination of technical expertise, content creation, and strategic planning to achieve your goals.

Managing SEO usually involves partnering with an SEO agency or developing an in-house team.

Opting for an SEO agency to manage your SEO ensures you have a team of experts with diverse skills who stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. Agencies often have access to a range of tools, which can strengthen your SEO game.

However, an agency partnership might cost more, and coordinating your SEO marketing management across teams can have its challenges.

What is seo management table.

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On the flip side, leaning on your in-house marketing team offers a personalized touch, with direct communication and a deep understanding of your company’s culture. Adding SEO responsibilities to your marketing team could backfire if they lack the necessary skills. If you go the in-house route, I strongly recommend hiring an SEO manager to ensure someone on your team is wholly dedicated to your strategy.

Managing SEO is an ongoing process because SEO is never done. You’ll want a dedicated team (or agency) to keep up with changing trends, monitor and adjust performance, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Key Elements of SEO Management

Whoever is managing your SEO will need to use multiple tactics to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.

Key elements of seo management.

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They’ll likely be responsible for the following key areas:

  • Keyword research: finding and choosing keywords for improved search visibility to help searchers discover a website.
  • Competitive Analysis: monitoring competitors’ online strategies to find keyword and content gaps.
  • On-Page Optimization: mapping SEO keywords to meta tags, content, headers, HTML code,and images.
  • Off-page Optimization: building quality backlinks, writing blog posts, using social media, and posting on forums with website links (if promotional links are permissible).
  • Technical SEO: monitoring technical issues like site speed, mobile friendliness, duplicate content, site maps, etc.
  • Tracking results: using tools like Ubersuggest, GA4, and Google Search Console to track keyword performance, organic traffic, and user behavior. 
  • Algorithm Updates: keeping up-to-date with algorithm updates and adjusting plans to maintain performance, if necessary.
  • Auditing: conducting regular audits to spot any potential issues and to ensure the online strategy remains effective or determine if there is room for some changes.

Other key areas of SEO management focus on user experience, local SEO, and conversion optimization. 

The Role of an SEO Manager

As you can tell, there’s a lot of moving pieces when it comes to how to manage SEO, and a certain level of expertise is needed. If you want to keep everything in-house, adding an SEO manager to your marketing roster could help set up your team for success.

SEO manager responsibility.

The SEO manager’s main job is devising strategies to increase website visibility. Once they’ve developed a method, they’ll also be responsible for implementing and managing it.

They’ll plan content, create pay-per-click marketing campaigns, devise keyword strategies, decide which KPIs to focus on, and analyze metrics. Additionally, the role involves keeping pace with algorithm changes and trends – you want someone who knows how to think about SEO and can adapt their plans as needed. 

An SEO manager also oversees other SEO staff, such as analysts and specialists. Depending on your organizational structure, they may manage content writers, web developers, or social media managers.

SEO Manager Qualifications

As you’re hunting for your next SEO manager to steer your company toward online success, look for candidates with the right mix of skills. Your ideal SEO manager should have a background in marketing, business, or a related field, and some hands-on experience in the SEO game.

Look for candidates who can show off their wins – actual results from strategies they’ve cooked up and executed. They need to be data-savvy, with strong analytical skills, and a knack for spotting trends. And they’ve got to be a great communicator, able to work seamlessly with different teams.

Need an example of what type of candidate you’re looking for? Take a look at this job description for an SEO manager:

SEO manager job description.

Best Practices for SEO Management

A lot of companies choose to supplement their existing marketing teams with an SEO agency partnership. If you go for this fully-managed SEO approach, you’ll want to get the best from your agency. From the initial RFPs and contracting, to implementing your strategy and reporting, you want an agency that feels like an extension of your team.

Follow these tips for choosing an SEO agency:

  • Interview different agencies: Don’t feel like you must use the first agency you find. Have a clear plan of what you want to achieve and talk to agencies about their managed SEO services and what hiring them would look like.
  • Read case studies and reviews: By researching online and reading about their work,  you can understand an agency’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if you’ve got a lot of backend website issues, you’d be better off working with a technical SEO agency.
  • Set realistic expectations: Ask agencies what’s possible within your budget and when they think you’ll start seeing results. If they’re promising overnight success, it’s probably best to give them a miss.
  • Discuss your concerns: If there are terms you don’t understand or have general queries about success rates, get answers before signing any contract.
  • Have one point of contact: Avoid confusion by having direct contact with an SEO manager.

Once you’ve handed over the reins of SEO management to your agency partners, keep these tips in mind for getting the most out of your partnership:

  • Clearly define goals and expectations: Make sure everyone’s on the same page regarding your business objectives and expectations from the outset.
  • Open communication channels: Schedule regular check-ins, updates, and strategy meetings to maintain a strong working relationship.
  • Help your agency get to know your brand: Offer detailed briefs to convey your brand, target audience, and unique selling propositions.
  • Understand the reporting process: Clearly understand the agency’s reporting structure and the data provided. Discuss the frequency and format of performance reports to ensure they meet your needs.
  • Encourage creative collaboration: Offer constructive feedback to facilitate adjustments during campaign execution. Agree on realistic timelines for project deliverables and campaigns.


What is SEO management?

SEO management is the execution of your SEO strategy to attract organic traffic and improve rankings in search engine results. Generally, businesses hire an SEO manager or partner with an agency. Successfully managing SEO requires technical SEO expertise, keeping pace with algorithm changes, creating and implementing an SEO plan, and monitoring analytics.

What are the ROI and long-term benefits of SEO management?

Successful management of SEO plays a vital role in enhancing your website’s ROI. You can improve your organic search rankings and attract high-quality traffic by implementing strategic optimization techniques like keyword research, on and off-page optimization, and link building. Ultimately, this leads to improved visibility and higher conversion rates.
Additionally, ongoing SEO management ensures your website stays relevant and adaptable, helping to sustain and grow organic traffic, ultimately leading to an improved ROI and competitive edge in the digital landscape. 

What does an SEO manager do?

SEO managers work with businesses to develop a strategy to enhance visibility online. This includes keyword research, auditing, and optimizing content. They can also perform competitive analysis and conduct outreach to build backlinks.

How much do SEO managers make?

The average base salary for an SEO manager in the U.S. is $80,310

How to become an SEO manager?

To develop your SEO skills, you can start by learning SEO basics through courses, videos, and online articles. There are several degrees and certifications available, too.
You’ll also need to learn to use common SEO tools like Ubersuggest and Semrush.
There’s no substitute for practical experience. Find some clients to work with, measure the results, and use these as case studies to attract more clients.


Effective SEO management can make or break the success of any strategies you develop. Whether you choose to grow your in-house marketing team or you’re embracing a fully-managed SEO consulting service, the right resources can set your company up for SEO success. 

By focusing on essential elements like keyword research, on-page optimization, content quality, technical aspects, and user experience, an SEO manager or agency partner can steer a website toward higher rankings.

How do you manage SEO for your organization? Would you invest in an in-house team or an agency partnership?

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