Upwork ($UPWK) is the world’s work marketplace. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

Last year, more than $3.8 billion of work was done through Upwork by skilled professionals who are gaining more control by finding work they are passionate about and innovating their careers.


We are looking for a Principal SEO to guide the strategy for the company’s organic growth. This role involves working closely with and influencing the people, processes, and technology that deliver on this strategic vision. It is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned SEO leader to drive the organic growth of a highly trafficked marketplace for freelancers and clients.

Your Responsibilities:

  • Influence the SEO strategy for the business at large and generate buy-in from executive leadership. Review strategy & corresponding tactics quarterly and update as needed. Work with cross-functional stakeholders across product, BI, engineering, design, editorial, business, and marketing teams to pursue SEO improvements with a keen eye on the user experience
  • Strategically grow and defend channel performance and trajectory
  • SEO Support for Stakeholders: Providing SEO guidance for content creators, web developers, and marketing teams across the org. 
  • Partner with the SEM team to devise a comprehensive keyword strategy in important categories where we want to grow, and translate that into how we need to plan SEO & SEM efforts to complement each other 
  • Assist in defining/socializing 12 month - 3 year plan specific to the evolution of SEO in light of AI and the evolving search landscape 
  • Hands-on in executing SEO testing roadmap and plan
  • Closely monitor competitors and the changing SERP landscape to help inform our roadmap, in the interest of leveraging the latest search features for improved visibility
  • Manage the SEO team from both a tech SEO & Content SEO delivery perspective and drive results for our growth metric of clients who start on Upwork. 

What it takes to catch our eye:

  • 8+ years of experience working in SEO, preferably with large-scale consumer sites & marketplaces sites 
  • A track record of leveraging insights to define strategies that improve search visibility and user experience
  • Experience working closely alongside product, engineering and content teams
  • Cross-functional leadership skills with the ability to organize disparate stakeholders around clear objectives and key results
  • Familiarity with SEO A/B testing
  • Experience working with marketing teams, representing organic as a channel alongside other acquisition channels, and collaborating with paid search teams
  • Experience with opportunity sizing and growth forecasting
  • Expert at Google Search Console as well as SEO tools like SEO Clarity,  SEMrush, Ahrefs, or analogous keyword research tools, as well as social listening tools (Buzzsumo, etc.) and crawling tools (Screaming Frog, etc.)

Come change how the world works.

At Upwork, you’ll shape talent solutions for how the world works today. We are a remote-first organization working together to create exciting remote work opportunities for a global community of professionals.  While we have physical offices in San Francisco and Chicago, currently we also support hiring of corporate full-time employees in 19 states in the United States. Please speak with a member of our recruitment team to determine whether you are located in a state in which we are hiring corporate full-time employees. 

Our vibrant culture is built on shared values and our mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. We foster amazing teams, put our community first, and have a bias toward action. We encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow together through development opportunities, mentorship, and employee resource groups. And oh yeah, we've also got amazing benefits - including medical insurance for you and your family, unlimited PTO, 401(k) with matching, 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and a generous Employee Stock Purchase Plan. Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about our benefits and the employee experience.

Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about the employee experience.   

Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

The annual base salary range for this position in California and Washington is displayed below. The range displayed reflects the minimum and maximum salary for this position in California and Washington, and individual base pay will depend on your skills, qualifications, experience, and location. Additionally, this position is eligible for the annual bonus plan or sales incentive plan and eligibility to participate in our long term equity incentive program.

Annual Base Compensation
$136,000$184,000 USD

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