SEO professionals are in high demand in 2015. Even better news – salaries also continue to grow. Both those findings come courtesy of Conductor, which crunched some data from 4,300 active SEO industry U.S. job postings on Indeed.com and Payscale.com.
So whether you’re due for a raise, or perhaps considering a change of scenery, here’s what the latest data tells us about today’s SEO job and salary landscape in the U.S.
More SEO Jobs
The state of the SEO industry is strong. There’s great demand for SEO skills, as demonstrated by LinkedIn listing SEO as the fifth hottest skill that got people hired in 2014.
A strong organic search presence is vital to companies. More evidence: in the past three years, demand for people with SEO skills has jumped by 18 percent.
Why have we seen an increase in jobs? Conductor says there are three contributing factors:
- Growth of content marketing: You can create all the amazing content you want, but for people to discover it, it must be optimized.
- Need for more in-house resources: Conductor pointed to this study, which found that a lack of in-house talent and resources was the biggest obstacle to SEO success.
- Ads losing effectiveness: A study on growing ad blindness on Facebook is one of many indicators that paid media isn’t as effective with consumers, according to Conductor. Recent SERP eye-tracking research from Mediative, presented at SMX West this week, also found that less than 10 percent of users looked at the paid search ads to the right of organic results, for all types of queries.
Salaries Are Rising
All the positions within the SEO industry have seen salaries rise over the past few years, with 17 percent growth overall.
The Director of Marketing job title commands the highest salary, with an average salary of $104,235, up from $94,407 in 2012, the last time Conductor compiled similar data. Average salary growth was lowest for this role, however, increasing 10 percent since 2012.
What is the average salary range for other SEO jobs in 2015?
- SEO/Marketing Managers: $77,618 (a 26 percent increase from $63,978 in 2012).
- Account Manager: $71,760 (a 12 percent increase from $51,541).
- SEO Analyst/Strategist: $69,936 (an 18 percent increase from $59,407).
- SEO Specialist: $52,613 (a 16 percent increase from $45,327).
- SEO Coordinator/Associate: $52,613 (a 19 percent increase from $44,210).
SEO is a sustainable channel that provides businesses and brands an exceptional return on investment, but only when put in the hands of skilled practitioners who are able to properly implement a strategy. Smart companies now seem willing to pay for that knowledge and experience.
Successful SEO means when people search for you, they can find you. There is no wiser investment.
“On top of that, you’re not just paying your SEO to be a technical person anymore; the SEO role is expanding to business leader and internal evangelist,” said Charity Stebbins, Conductor’s senior content strategist. “They have to be proficient at more robust technologies and manage bigger budgets. The evolution of that role translates to higher salaries.”
Indeed, SEO now is part of everything. Though the core purpose of SEO hasn’t changed, but the job duties have evolved to match changing technologies and consumer habits and companies have integrated SEO into the greater digital marketing plan.
Best Cities To Find Work
New York City and San Francisco remain the top two cities in the U.S., in terms of quantity of jobs. Of course, New York City and San Francisco also just happen to be two of the most expensive U.S. cities to live.
So if you’re looking in terms of “quality” – to make your salary go further – you’ll be happy to know that there are ample opportunities to find an SEO job in 20 major U.S. cities such as Chicago, Illinois (ranked third), Seattle, Washington (fifth), and Austin, Texas (sixth). The top 10 also includes San Jose, California (fourth); Los Angeles, California (seventh); Boston, Massachusetts (eighth); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (ninth); and Atlanta, Georgia (10th).
You can see the salary ranges for 20 cities by job title in the infographic, below.
What do you think of these salary ranges? Any surprises, or about what you expected?
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