Hiring is hard in the best of times, but hiring someone for an SEO manager role can be very challenging if you do not know what to look for.

First let’s discuss what an SEO Manager is and who should be considered at this level, then let’s look at some SEO Manager job descriptions we’ve mined from around the internet.

seo manager job description

What is an SEO Manager?

An SEO Manager is a mid-level position either in-house or at an agency. I’ve been both personally, so let me explain the differences.


As an SEO Manager at an agency (I personally worked for Distilled in New York City), I was expected to have my own clients, help them grow their business through great technical SEO, content, and link building, and also to consult with them to help them get things done.

Of course we always have more to learn, but I was expected to have a seasoned knowledge of how SEO worked, what worked to drive results for different types of clients, and also the strategic chops to help clients get it done working with their internal design, development, and content teams.

An SEO manager, most importantly, is autonomous. An SEO manager is expected to own the channel.


Similarly, I was the Online Marketing Manger (promoted to Senior Marketing Manager a few months later) at HotPads.com, part of the Zillow Group family of real estate brands.

As the in-house SEO manager/lead, I was expected to:

  • Diagnose and work with teams to fix SEO issues;
  • Conduct keyword research to identify new areas of keyword opportunity, both for editorial as well as conversion-oriented pages;
  • Create the link building strategy and hire the team to execute on it;
  • Hire a team to take the digital marketing, and specifically SEO, to the next level;

Basically, an in-house SEO manager also owns the SEO strategy (unless they report to a Director of SEO, who then oversees strategy) and be able to think broadly across technical, keyword research, content, and link acquisition to drive results.

SEO managers typically have 2-4 years of experience.

SEO Manager Duties

From looking at hundreds of SEO manager job postings, SEO Managers have the following duties:

  • Oversee SEO strategy for the website or clients
  • Manage SEO a team of SEO specialists or agencies
  • Conduct keyword research and drive new page creation initiatives
  • Technical SEO auditing and prioritizing of features
  • Work with developers and content teams to execute on SEO projects
  • Strategize and manage link building projects with outside partners
  • SEO reporting for executive team
  • Manage SEO budget
  • Keep up to date with trends in SEO to be future looking

SEO Manager Requirements and Qualifications

An SEO Manager should have the following requirements and qualifications:

  • Proven SEO experience driving traffic in a similar role
  • Knowledge of current SEO best practices
  • Understanding of how SEO works alongside PPC and other digital channels
  • Experience working with outside partners to drive SEO results
  • Experience with SEO reporting
  • Experience with common SEO tools such as Semrush, Moz, Frase, DeepCrawl, SearchMetrics, and more
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Experience hiring and performance managing a high performing team
  • Strong project management skills

SEO Manager job descriptions

Job descriptions for any role vary across companies because different companies level roles in different ways, but in general they all keep with the above descriptions.

Here are some SEO manager job descriptions we’ve found from across the internet from companies we know and trust.


Here is Zillow’s most recent SEO manager job description:


Zillow is looking for a smart, self-motivated, creative SEO Manager to join the team that owns one of our most important marketing channels. The perfect candidate will have at least 2 years of hands on experience solving tough SEO problems and proven experience utilizing various reporting and analytical platforms.

You’ll solve many problems and initiate massive change on a daily basis by working across all product teams. If you re interested in making a huge difference to Zillow’s traffic, read on.

What you’re good at…

  • Developing a long-term SEO strategy with a strong focus on mobile web
  • Coming up with new ideas, leading brainstorms, and staying organized
  • Taking hands on and creative approaches with content generation
  • Staying current on new SEO research and emerging trends
  • Performing site specific keyword research and competitive analysis
  • Performing technical SEO Audits and driving the implementation of on-page website SEO optimization
  • Performing backlink analysis, opportunity identification, solicitation and optimization
  • Preparing and communicating regular & ad hoc reporting on SEO performance
  • Working independently with business stakeholders to identify KPI s, develop dashboards, and interpret metrics to deliver sound, data driven recommendations
  • Highly proficient in Excel/Word/PowerPoint with the ability to analyze data and prepare reports presentation

What we’re looking for…

  • Motivation, dedication, and curiosity
  • Someone who loves learning new things, and admits when they don t go as planned
  • Experience with SEO applications, tools, and web analytics packages (Google Analytics, SEOClarity, SEOMoz, etc.)
  • 2+ years of SEO experience
  • A demonstrated track record of increasing rankings, traffic, and or revenue while managing and executing search engine optimization strategies and tactics
  • Working knowledge of web development a plus

Things you’ll love…

  • Excellent compensation, stock options, and all sorts of benefits you d expect (and many you almost certainly don t!)
  • An influential position on a quickly-moving team at a rapidly-growing company
  • Opportunities to work with brilliant people who also like to have fun
  • Excellent career growth opportunities
  • An awesome open office with great views, adjustable standing desks, rooms with treadmill desks in them, frequent lunch deliveries, a bunch of video game consoles / games, ping pong, foosball, and shuffleboard tables, and other surprise perks just waiting for you to stumble upon them.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to succeed in this position, we d love to talk to you.


Realtor is one of Zillow’s main competitors, and they are always vying for better rankings as well. Here is a recent SEO Product Manager role from Realtor:

realtor.com is seeking to hire a Sr. Product Manager, SEO that will perform search engine optimization. In this role, the Senior Product Manager, SEO will be passionate about building products and will demonstrate a track record of achieving business goals through SEO. This individual should be able to make decisions that reflect a solid understanding of current SEO strategies and will work cross-functionally with editorial, marketing, product, and technology teams.


  • Successfully manages new SEO product launches
  • Consistently makes significant contributions to SEO team vision & strategy
  • Investigates and proposes unique competitive product strategies to support traffic growth
  • Communicates effectively to all levels of internal audiences; drives communication cross-functionally
  • Makes significant decisions and executes in a way consistent with Move culture and values
  • Partners with leaders across the organization
  • Provides specialized technical guidance to others across the organization
  • Collaborates with other search leads to share best practices


  • Bachelor’s Degree; 5+ years of experience with SEO
  • 5+ years of in-house organic SEO experience
  • Strong knowledge of current SEO strategies and trends
  • Strong problem solving and leadership capabilities
  • Ability to influence others and work with cross-functional teams
  • Strong understanding of online marketing and how to build online products
  • Proficiency in HTML markup and web development
  • Solid knowledge of server technologies (caching, environments, logging)
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; verbal and written
  • Organizational and project management skills, including the ability to prioritize and manage multiple deliverables on tight timelines
  • Ability to analyze, synthesize, and communicate critical data and adjust strategies as needed
  • Diplomacy and confidence to work across groups effectively
  • Effectively provides specialized technical guidance to others across the organization
  • High level of emotional intelligence, ownership, and accountability
  • Team player, strong work ethic and comfort with working fast paced demanding environment


Distilled is an online marketing agency across London, New York, and Seattle. I worked for them from June 2011-September 2013. Here is an SEO consultant (same as manager) job description from their site:

SEO Consultant

From SEO and technical consulting to creative content and digital PR, Distilled helps businesses make the most of the online world. We’re looking for smart, motivated and passionate SEO consultants to join our fast-growing team in London.

Our London team takes an agile, hands-on approach to creating real business value for clients. We’ve worked with a range of clients — from Fortune 500 brands to VC-backed startups. We’re a close-knit group who support each other in leveling up and providing the best value to our clients. If you are boldly curious and enthusiastic, like data sets and numbers, and want to be part of a company where you’ll be more than just a cog in the wheel, we want to hear from you!

About the role:

Our SEO Consultants develop and deliver custom digital marketing plans for each of our clients. We unpack a client’s marketing problems, build an effective strategy, and execute on it. It’s work that takes cutting-edge technical skills and insightful analysis

As a part of the consulting team, you will:

  • Develop organic search strategies and understand how those will interact with other digital channels
  • Recommend and prioritize fixes for technical issues that could impact SEO performance
  • Recommend content marketing, digital PR, and creative projects in support of organic search strategies
  • Create justifications for your recommendations taking into account your client’s budgets and brand strategy
  • Analyze campaign performance and improve through iteration
  • Manage timelines, expectations, and deliverables to ensure clients’ campaigns are completed on-time and within budget
  • Nurture and develop client relationships

Working one on one with 3-4 clients, you will be their main point of contact at Distilled. You must be comfortable with taking ownership of problems as well as solutions. Your clients should be happy with the work you do and feel confident that it aligns with their business objectives.


  • 3+ years of experience in digital marketing with experience in organic search optimization projects
  • Strong knowledge of all elements of search optimization: on-page, off-site, and technical
  • Familiarity with SEO tools such as Deep Crawl, Screaming Frog, Searchmetrics, Google Webmaster Tools, and SEMrush
  • Understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Experience with Google Analytics, Omniture/SiteCatalyst, and other analytics platforms
  • Have worked collaboratively with developers and digital marketers
  • Enjoy finding creative solutions and thinking outside the box
  • Are resourceful and can adapt to situations where technical resources are limited
  • Are curious about the world around you, new technology, and why stuff works the way it does
  • Comfortable challenging yourself to do better every day, asking for feedback and acting on it
  • Willing to hold yourself accountable for delivery on client commitments
  • Ready to empathize with your team and earn your clients’ trust


  • Competitive salary
  • 25 days annual leave plus 8 bank holidays
  • Subsidised private healthcare and life insurance
  • 5% pension matching
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • A laptop and second monitor
  • A Kindle with a few books pre-loaded
  • A £750 happiness budget so you can buy stuff to make you happier at work such as a new flashy monitor, a new office chair, laptop upgrade or training
  • Company-funded drinks and snacks on Friday afternoons


TripAdvisor is a well-known brand in the online travel space, and they prioritize SEO heavily. Here is a recent Senior SEO Manager description:

TripAdvisor provides a unique, global work environment that captures the speed, innovation and excitement of a startup, at a thriving, growing and well-established industry brand.  At TripAdvisor, you will be part of a dynamic, fun, and energetic team where you can immediately make meaningful contributions.

We take pride in our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and are looking for a superstar to add to our high-performing VR team. As the newest addition, you will help take our SEO efforts for the Experiences & Vacation Rentals segments to the next level. These represent one of the fastest growing travel segments, and they are a focal point of TripAdvisor’s future growth.

What Will You Learn?

• SEO:  You will learn how to optimize a portfolio of sites to improve our reach on all search engines.  You will track traffic patterns; lead research projects; manage SEO projects; prioritize projects; report on results and share these findings with the whole SEO team, as well as Senior Management.

• Experiences & Vacation Rentals Industry:  While your goal will be to increase SEO traffic to TripAdvisor, you will get the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the business (e.g. Competitor Analysis, Top Vacation Rental Destinations by Market, etc.)  You will then leverage your findings to optimize our sites to reflect market demand.

• Other Skills: At TripAdvisor, we emphasize quantitative analysis and thorough experimentation. You will learn how to gather the preliminary data to build an experiment and how to subsequently analyze these results.  We move quickly!  Within weeks you will be writing specs, running tests, analyzing results, and making decisions that have real effects on revenue and profit for the company.

Why Work Here?

• Start-up Atmosphere with a Big Name Brand:  At TripAdvisor you get all the pros of being at a start-up, while enjoying the resources of a global powerhouser.  TripAdvisor features a casual work atmosphere, free lunch in the Needham office, a pub and a game room that includes Foosball, shuffle board etc.

• We don’t Bite:  We pride ourselves on being a collaborative, flat organization.  Questions are always welcome and everyone is very approachable.  It is our goal for you to always feel like part of the team.

• We Love our Work:  Don’t you want to work at a company where everyone is passionate about what they do? We love what we do and we want you to love it as well.

What Are We Looking For?

• Academics:  Degree in Economics, Finance, Business, Statistics, Engineering, or Math.  Other majors are welcome to apply, but please emphasize your quantitative skills in your cover letter.

• Professional Experience: 5+ years of in-house SEO work experience with an industry leading website. .

• Management Experience: You will have worked and collaborated with engineers and SEO professionals at all levels.

• Tech / web-savvy: You have a natural curiosity about web companies, new start-ups, and the travel world.  Existing knowledge of SEO, SQL, BigQuery, and HTML is preferred.  If you’ve built your own website and tried to make it rank on Google – that’s even better! Demonstrable track record of business results through SEO also desired.

• Strong Analytical & Communication Skills: You enjoy working with data and are comfortable with math.  You must be very comfortable with Excel and interested in getting better. Vlookups, Pivot Tables, If Statements, etc. are part of your daily life so learn to love them!

• Striving to Get Better:  We expect you to be smart, hard-working, detail-oriented, organized, and motivated.  You should constantly be looking for ways to improve on your skills and look for ways to add value to the team.


Conductor, a WeWork brand, is an SEO platform that also consults with enterprise-level companies. Here is a recent “SEO Strategist” role from Conductor, which is comparable to an SEO Manager.

At Conductor, a WeWork company, we’re passionate about helping companies help their customers. Some of the world’s top brands use our software and services to create and optimize content so that it gets found online. We’re headquartered in NYC, and we’ve been named Crain’s “Best Place to Work” 7 years running.

Visit Conductor at www.conductor.com ( http://www.conductor.com ) or on Twitter @conductor

As an SEO Strategist, you will be a part of the fastest growing organization within Conductor, assisting a key strategic customer with their organic visibility and strategic initiatives. In this role, you will be a trusted advisor, responsible for driving global growth for an exciting enterprise brand and strengthening its position within existing core markets. As an SEO Strategist, you are tasked with performing SEO analyses, offering content recommendations, providing gap analysis, and educating a globally known brand on how to drive organic campaigns forward at an international scale. An entrepreneurial spirit is welcome, as the Professional Services division is growing, providing unlimited potential for professional growth.

A day in the life…

  • Own responsibility for the strategy and execution of large-scale organic search projects for a global, world-class brand
  • Dive into SEO-relevant data to transform data sets into actionable insights and develop tactical next steps to drive organic acquisition
  • Provide strategic guidance and critical thinking for organic initiatives, serving as a key consultant for multiple groups with different goals and processes
  • Work closely and partner with internal and external teams, including digital product, marketing, project management, UX/UI, and content groups
  • Build relationships with and educate individuals and organizations on the value of organic and content marketing to turn strategies into actions
  • Proactively investigate potential opportunities for better visitor experiences on site
  • Analyze and report on SEO channel performance to inform SEO key performance indicators

We’re excited about you if you have…

  • 3+ years SEO experience, either at an agency or in-house
  • Past-proven experience at successfully managing and implementing SEO initiatives for multinational, multilingual websites
  • A comprehensive knowledge of organic search and how SEO activities influence search engine ranking algorithms, particularly in international markets
  • Managed SEO deliverables, such as keyword research and mapping, best practice guidelines, content strategies, and technical SEO
  • Demonstrated ability to gather information, prioritize initiatives, and achieve results on time management and prioritization skills
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • A balance between being a team player and an ability to lead initiatives from start to finish
  • A drive to learn, improve, and contribute to the team
  • Experience with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, DeepCrawl, Screaming Frog, and other technologies that inform organic search strategies