We are aiming to raise £10k to help 4 small local charities in Brixton. Visit our Just Giving page.

What Is It Like to Work in a Digital Agency? SEO Management Tips


Kyle Ross joined Passion in 2016 and is now one of the agency’s most established SEO Managers. He has experience in all areas of SEO, but in particular loves working on overall SEO and marketing strategies with clients.

What Does an SEO Account Manager Do?

As as SEO account manager, you’re in an intriguing position where you are responsible for the implementation of SEO work, communicating to the business you are working with and managing projects overall.

In smaller agencies it’s especially likely that you won’t have a large team working on a single client, with each team member an expert in a specific field. You simply won’t have the capacity to have an expert in log file analysis, another for internal linking, another for backlink analysis, a project manager, and so on.

Hence the need for account managers who have an in-depth understanding of SEO – these jacks of all trades will most likely have a solid technical understanding as well as an ability to communicate well with clients and manage the project overall. Having someone who can do all these three efficiently can be immensely helpful on smaller accounts when you don’t have the resources for three or more SEO experts.

With this in mind, my three tips for SEO account management are:

  • Be comfortable with technical SEO
  • Communicate effectively with the client
  • Manage projects with care but don’t overly commit your time

Be comfortable with technical SEO

You’ll be tasked with speaking to developers, business owners, PR managers, in-house SEO teams, and others. So one thing is for sure – know the foundations of Search Engine Optimisation and how it works. Understanding the principles and technicalities of SEO and being able to easily explain it to someone who knows very little – or very much – about the subject is a skill that will benefit you immensely in this trade.

Communicate effectively with the client

It’s important to be clear with the person you’re speaking to from the business. They may not have a firm understanding of the principles of SEO, so it’s up to you to show them how this helps and fits into their overall marketing strategy. SEO should, after all, integrate with all marketing aspects; it’s not a channel in itself, and so should pervade into their PR, content marketing and paid work. Communicating well about what’s working and what isn’t is an honest and helpful conversation to have with clients.

Having regular catch-up calls and sending summary emails of the work that’s been done can be helpful for them to understand where progress is being made. If it’s a little daunting doing this at first, just understand that, as the expert in the field, you probably know far more about SEO than they do. It’s just about making it work for their business as well as possible.

If you provide monthly reports for your clients, it’s always a good idea to talk them through the results on a call or in a face-to-face meeting. This scrutiny will make sure that you always have a grasp of the overall direction of the campaign, and also allows them to ask you specific questions about the results.

Manage projects with care but don’t overly commit your time

Your time is likely precious in an agency environment, and even if you love the business you’re working with, you can’t dedicate a tonne of time to them. It’s simply not fair on your other clients.

You will likely have a project plan, detailing the time you should spend on each aspect of work. Make sure that you stick to this time, and try not to overcommit yourself to the project overall. Although this may initially build up goodwill with a client, it could lead to inflated expectations as to how much work you can achieve for their budget.

Be honest and realistic about timescales; remember, you are the SEO expert. When a client pushes for a task to be done faster, they may not understand all of the work that goes into it. As an account manager, it’s your responsibility to communicate this effectively.

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be an SEO Account Manager?

At Passion Digital we’re always excited to hear from new talent. Take a look at our careers page for any current job vacancies, or get in touch with our HR Manager, Channing, to find out whether you have the makings of a Passionista!