Career outlook for SEO specialist

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

We use search engines every day. You type what you’re looking for into a search engine, like Google or Yahoo, and it returns a list of web pages to answer your question. But have you ever thought about what's behind those lists of links? How did they get there?

SEO or search engine optimisation is the name given to activity that helps to improve search engine rankings.

An SEO specialist uses various techniques and tactics to get a website as close to the top of the list as possible. They decide on the best techniques and monitor the results.

What you might do:

  • Carry out keyword research to find out what words people search for

  • Check rankings and analytics to monitor performance of websites and present ideas for improvement

  • Write content for websites, using keywords tailored for the target audience

  • Build backlinks (links from other websites to yours) to improve search engine rankings

  • Run pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns

  • Program with HTML, CSS and languages such as JavaScript to ensure the website is accessible, user friendly and SEO optimised

  • use social media to push users to the website

  • keep up to date with search engine algorithm changes and SEO techniques

Working conditions


You’d generally work office hours from Monday to Friday, but depending on your role and deadlines you might have to work longer hours or weekends.


You’re likely to be officed based and working as part of a marketing team.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Working with technology
  • Creative
  • Evaluating
  • Problem solving
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

There are a number of ways to get qualified for this job, via college / university study or through work-based qualifications, such as Apprenticeships.

SEO Specialists will often have a Higher National Diploma, a degree or a postgraduate qualification in the following subjects:

  • IT

  • Business

  • Digital Marketing/Marketing

Employers may consider Graduates from non-computing subjects if they are able to demonstrate essential technical knowledge.  There are also postgraduate IT conversion courses available to Graduates who need to strengthen their technical skills.

As technology is ever changing, it is necessary to keep up with these advances throughout your career.

Useful subjects

Many Colleges and Universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry.  In addition, they may also highlight additional subjects that they would value. See individual institutions websites for specific entry information. 

Useful subjects would be:

  • Maths related subjects

  • Computer Science

  • Statistics

Helpful to have

While not all employers list specific qualification requirements they do ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that demonstrates a range of transferable skills.

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