Three Scrabble tiles spelling out S-E-O

How to Become an SEO Analyst and Use SEO Audits to Boost Performance

In this guide to learn SEO, we will explore how you can master the skill and pursue a career as an SEO analyst. 

When you Google something and see the search results, do you ever wonder why certain articles rise to the top? Why do certain websites always seem to get better rankings? All these questions have a simple answer: search engine optimization, or SEO. 

What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a web page so it performs better in search results. The motive behind optimization is to drive more visitors to a website. 

In other words, SEO helps you draw traffic from search engines and make your website more visible than those of your competitors. To save time, many marketing managers use sophisticated SEO project management software to optimize web content. 

Types Of SEO

SEO strategies can be divided into two broad categories.

On-Page SEO

Everything you can do to the website itself to optimize search results counts as on-page SEO. This includes improving page loading times, optimizing your own content, structuring the website properly, and adding internal links to other pages on your website.

Off-Page SEO 

Off-page SEO covers everything you can do to improve your rankings without changing anything on your website. A great example of off-page SEO is the practice of white hat link building techniques by creating guest posts on other websites and asking them to link back to your website. 

In other words, if a large number of reputable websites link to your content, the search engine is more likely to identify your site and your articles as relevant sources of information for the types of things people are searching for. 

What Is an SEO Analyst?

SEO analysts help businesses build and grow their online presence. They conduct keyword research, monitor website traffic, and craft strategies for improved user experience. 

The main goal of an SEO analyst is to plan and implement strategies that increase the traffic a website earns from organic search results. While some companies pay entities like Google and Facebook to feature their content, organic search results are unpaid. This makes the work of SEO analysts quite valuable for a company’s bottom line. 

The tasks that SEO analysts perform require many skills. These include HTML and CSS coding skills, web design, content creation and curation, statistics, data analysis, business administration, management, and information technology.

Roles and Responsibilities of an SEO Analyst

To optimize a website according to the search engine optimization best practices, an SEO analyst assumes many roles and responsibilities. 

  • Researching. SEO analysts have to do a lot of research about the latest updates to search engine algorithms, new keyword trends, advertising links, and search volume statistics. By staying updated on recent developments, they can better interpret a company’s rank tracking intel. 

  • Strategizing. An SEO analyst has to come up with strategies, constantly figuring out new ways to beat competitors in search engine results. 

  • Working with different teams. An SEO analyst has to work with marketing and content development teams to make sure that the SEO strategy is being properly followed.

SEO Job Opportunities

The demand for SEO experts is at its peak, with the world continuing to adapt to the new opportunities technology is creating. There are more and more businesses trying to make a name for themselves on the web. 

Companies understand the need to expand their brand’s online presence, and they are willing to hire experts to help make it happen. The future of this industry is clearly very bright, so if you have the right skills, you’ll be able to find your place here in no time.

SEO Analyst Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary of an SEO analyst in the United States is around $49,924. Although a beginner with less than one year of experience earns around $40,000 per year, someone with between 10 and 19 years of experience can expect a salary in the neighborhood of $62,000.

With good pay, an ocean of opportunities, flexibility, and a promising future, SEO is on the shortlist of the most valuable skills you can learn for free.

Learning SEO

A person looking at graphs on tablet and laptop.
An SEO analyst researches trends to grow a website.

Anyone can learn SEO with a little research and practice. To develop a fundamental knowledge of SEO, you need to have basic technical skills in web design and a fluid understanding of how search engines work. Let’s walk through the process.

How Long Does It Take to Learn SEO?

The time it takes to learn SEO depends on the person. On average, however, understanding the basics of SEO won’t take longer than a few weeks.

Even after you have the basic skills, keep in mind that you’ll spend a lifetime learning about the latest trends and techniques. And your knowledge is only as good as the amount of time you practice. SEO is a practical skill that requires time and patience to master. 

How to Become an SEO Analyst: Step-by-Step

Let’s break down your journey to becoming an SEO analyst in four easy steps.

  1. Learn the basics. To become an SEO analyst, you first need to learn the fundamentals of how search engines work. 

  2. Level-up your knowledge about SEO. Gaining insight into SEO basics, keyword research, SEO management software, and content creation is necessary to make websites user-friendly and attractive to search engine algorithms.

  3. Get certified. There are a number of certification courses that will certify you as an SEO expert, giving you a way to prove your proficiency to employers.

  4. Practice. Online internships and training are a good way to practice and keep your skills sharp. 

Best Online SEO Courses

The two SEO courses on this list will give you the knowledge and practice required to be an SEO analyst. Once you’re done, we encourage you to take your newfound expertise and turn it into a certification.

Content Marketing and SEO Fundamentals with Eric Enge

  • Provided by: SEMrush Academy
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Cost: Free

Enge covers a wide array of topics, ranging from planning a content marketing strategy to collaborating with other websites to earn a guest post and content-based link building. Additionally, the course provides insights into the Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT) technique for making quality content.

This course is a great first step toward the SEO Fundamentals and Technical SEO exam, SEMrush Academy’s own certification. 

SEO 2021: Complete SEO Training + SEO for WordPress Websites

  • Provider: Udemy
  • Time: 10 hours
  • Cost: $242.22

To help you master the best SEO practices, this course gives visual demonstrations for each of the 58 SEO factors that go into reaching the top of Google search results. 

You also get lifetime access to 14 downloadable resources, including a list of more than 25 white hat backlink generation sources. At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Online SEO Resources

Below are some resources which will help you better understand what SEO is all about and help you troubleshoot any problems that arise.

1. Google’s SEO Starter Guide. Up to a point, it’s fair to say that Google defines a good chunk of SEO. With Google’s own SEO Starter Guide, you will better understand how search engines work and how to improve your search rankings.

2. Moz. Moz is an industry-leading SEO backlink checker and a competitor research tool. Their free guide is a strong reference tool, and their blog covers every aspect of SEO. Upgrade to Moz Pro for $149 per month after a free trial.

3. Yoast. This SEO software has been in the SEO business for over a decade. Yoast is a WordPress plugin specifically designed to provide real-time SEO suggestions while you compose a post. Yoast has a very detailed yet compact guide that you can use to learn SEO best practices.

Should You Learn SEO?

A man using a stylus pen for touching a digital tablet screen.
Learning SEO is not an expense but an investment. 

SEO is a rewarding skill. You can learn SEO for your personal blog, use it to start an online business, or study it to pursue a career as an SEO analyst or SEO manager. 

As an SEO analyst, you get to work on your own terms. You can work remotely from anywhere you want and make your own hours.

If you don’t want to be a blogger or set up your own business, then you can always freelance your services. Since being an SEO specialist is a productivity-based job, you can incentivize yourself to work faster, and then work as much or as little as you want.

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