Research SEO

[Data] SEO Jobs are Up 18%, and the Average SEO Salary Is Soaring

We’ve updated our data for SEO jobs and salaries in 2016. See the 2016 Inbound Marketing Jobs Salary Guide.

Back in 2012, we conducted research around the average SEO salary and the number of available SEO jobs throughout the US. That data showed the demand for SEOs was soaring.

It’s 2015 now, so we investigated this year’s SEO salary and SEO jobs data. We wanted to know: Is the demand for SEO professionals still rising, or is the SEO job boom over? Has the SEO salary capped? Are companies still putting big dollars behind and building their teams around SEO?

You can download the 2015 SEO salaries and SEO jobs data (by title and city) in our learning center. There, you’ll get the breakdown of salary by title and city in our 2015 SEO Jobs Salary infographic. In this blog post, I’m going to look specifically at the trends we noticed when we compared the 2012 and 2015 SEO jobs data.

So, let’s get to it. What’s changed?

18% growth in the Number of SEO jobs in Top 20 Cities

The overall number of SEO jobs in the top 20 cities grew by 18%. twitter-icon

seo-jobs-salary-growth

Double Digit Growth for SEO Salaries Across the Board

Across the board, we saw double-digit growth in the average salary of all SEO job titles evaluated. The average growth for the SEO salary on average was 17%, with the Marketing Manager/SEO Manager seeing the largest growth at 26%. twitter-icon

seo-jobs-salary-growth-all-jobs

Top Cities for SEO Jobs Shifts

New York and San Francisco were once again the top two cities for SEO jobs (quantity of SEO jobs). Chicago moved from position 4 to position 3, and San Jose and Seattle moved to the top 5 for the first time.

That means that the Top 5 cities are now mostly west coast hubs; though NYC has by far the greatest volume.

Top 5 Cities for SEO Jobs Shift

Higher Demand for SEO-fluent Account Managers

Compared to the original study, the largest change we saw was an 11% growth in demand for SEO-fluent account managers, growing from 9% of total SEO jobs to 20%. twitter-icon

We also can see there’s a nearly corresponding dip – SEO analyst and strategist positions have decreased by 10%.

seo-account-manager-growth

4 Reasons SEO Jobs and SEO Salaries Are Rising

SEO jobs are up nearly 20% from three years ago, and the average SEO salary has doubled. Obviously, that’s great news for the SEO industry. But why is it growing at such a steep rate? Here’s four of the main contributing factors:

  1. Content marketing is booming; SEO, naturally, grows alongside it. After all, SEO is the craft of getting that content found on organic channels. You need both for a successful content strategy.
  2. Businesses are scrambling to fill in-house SEO talent gaps. We conducted a survey of enterprise SEOs in 2014, and those respondents reported that the #1 obstacle in the way of their SEO success was a lack of in-house SEO skills. The rise we see in SEO salaries reflects that pain point.
  3. SEO jobs themselves have become more complex. You’re not just paying your SEO for his or her technical skills anymore, the SEO role has evolved. They are business leaders, strategists, and an internal evangelists. They must master more robust SEO technology and manage bigger budgets. They’re also responsible for bringing in more revenue.
  4. Relying primarily on paid media strategies is a dying art. Take, for example, the recent research around growing ad blindness on Facebook — that’s just one of many indicators that consumers are getting better at blocking out ad strategies faster. More than ever, there’s no substitute for a strong presence on organic channels.

SEO jobs SEO salary 2015 guideThere’s more to say – share your insights in the comments. And don’t forget to download the infographic to get salary data for SEO jobs by title and city!

This study was created in partnership with Blue Nile Research.

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