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Job profile: Search manager

Today we’re turning to our creative and marketing recruitment division, for a closer look at one of the jobs we recruit for most frequently.

Just what is a search manager?

What does a search manager do?

Search marketing is part of organisations’ wider digital marketing operations. It focuses on making the organisation searchable – that is, easily found online.

There are numerous different strands to a search marketing strategy. Organic search is all about making a company appear in search results – well – organically. When a user searches for a relevant term, the company appears high up in the search results.

Paid search, by contrast, focuses on paid-for or sponsored means of inserting an organisation into search results – for example, through Google ads.

Exactly what does and doesn’t come under the search marketing team’s remit varies from company to company, and the precise digital marketing strategy they’re employing. Some search managers, for example, will have a strong focus on Facebook advertising and other paid media. Others will be primarily concerned with optimising the company’s website content so that it appears high in the organic listings.

However, as marketing agencies and internal marketing departments alike move to more cross-channel, mixed media approaches, it is increasingly important for search marketing professionals to be adaptable, flexible and able to demonstrate a range of experiences and skills.

What are the essnetial skills?

A broad skillset is involved in search marketing, and the precise abilities you will need to demonstrate will depend on the precise area you are focusing on.

Organic search roles will tend to be more concerned with literacy and writing ability, whereas paid search roles emphasise numeracy and analytical skills. You will need to demonstrate an ability to analyse the search budget, how it has been spent and where it has added the most value.

As you progress further into your search marketing career, experience with specific technologies and platforms becomes more important. Experienced PPC professionals will be expected to be familiar with Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Search is part of the wider marketing function, which means that to be successful you need good commercial awareness, and an understanding of how search strategies can ultimate contribute to the business bottom line.

Above all, remember that search marketing is a dynamic, fast-changing environment. The best search professionals demonstrate a real enthusiasm for digital – they keep pace with the exciting changes in their sector, and even help drive them.

How much do they get paid?

When starting off as SEO or PPC executives, search marketing professionals can expect to earn in the late teens, perhaps up to about £21k or £22k in central London. More money comes with more management and therefore greater strategic responsibilities.

A search manager, whether in paid search, organic or a combination of the few, can expect to earn from £35k to £45k, rising above £50k in London. Experienced search professionals may head up the entire function and enjoy a salary of £60k or more, or command contract day rates of £300 to £400.

Interested in furthering your own career in search marketing? Give our creative and marketing recruitment division a call on 0161 714 0600, or email