search engine optimization Wage Survey 2023 [Industry Research]


How a lot do SEOs earn? I needed to know, so I ran a survey at Brighton search engine optimization and requested 111 attendees what they earned.

Editor’s be aware

We understand that this can be a small pattern set and never consultant of all search engine optimization salaries because it’s targeted on UK and EU knowledge. If you wish to be a part of the subsequent Ahrefs wage survey, you possibly can submit your particulars anonymously right here.

Listed below are the highest takeaways:

  • The median annual wage for SEOs we polled was $49,211
  • The very best annual wage we polled was $229,652
  • To earn the upper salaries in search engine optimization you want be a technical search engine optimization professional—Heads of search engine optimization, search engine optimization Administrators and search engine optimization Leads all stated that their predominant specialization was technical search engine optimization 
  • Solely 5.4% of respondents discovered search engine optimization via a course—most discovered on the job (52.3%) or by themselves (42.3%)
  • 36.9% described themselves as content material specialists, 30.6% described themselves as technical specialists, 6.3% described themselves as specializing in link-building
  • 49.5% of respondents labored in search engine optimization businesses, 42.3% in-house and eight.2% have been self-employed
  • Most respondents (28.8%) labored in firms that had 11-50 individuals
  • The common search engine optimization expertise of our respondents was 6.9 years
  • Self-employed SEOs earned probably the most on common ($60,232k)—the median annual wage for in-house roles was barely decrease at $56,789, and company SEOs had the bottom median annual wage at $44,169

There have been additionally just a few surprises:

  • Few SEOs in our survey stated that they specialised in hyperlink constructing in comparison with technical and content material. That is even if hyperlinks are nonetheless probably the most essential Google rating components.
  • The common degree of expertise between search engine optimization Administrators and Head of search engine optimization shouldn’t be that completely different—10.4 years for a search engine optimization Director and 10.6 years for a Head of search engine optimization—however the wage distinction between the roles was ~$11,552—fairly substantial.

Overview

Position Median annual wage ($USD) Common expertise (years) Major specialization Major work location
Head of search engine optimization $92,988 10.6 Technical search engine optimization Company and in-house
search engine optimization Director $81,436 10.4 Technical search engine optimization Company and in-house
search engine optimization Lead $38,289 7.4 Technical search engine optimization Company
search engine optimization Specialist $49,229 5.8 Content material In-house
search engine optimization Account Supervisor $43,850 4.2 Content material Company
search engine optimization Marketing consultant $49,240 6 All-rounder Company
search engine optimization Govt $31,956 3 All-rounder Company
search engine optimization Analyst $56,393 5 All-rounder In-house

Right here’s how annual salaries broke down throughout our respondents:

Chart listing average salaries of SEO professionals.

In accordance with the SEOs we polled, most of them discovered search engine optimization on the job or have been self-taught. 

Chart displaying how individuals learned SEO.

Common degree of expertise by position

Most of our respondents had a few years of expertise beneath their belts. The quantity of expertise Head of SEOs had versus search engine optimization Administrators was not that completely different, at round 10 years.

Average level of experience by role
  • Throughout all respondents, the typical expertise was 6.9 years
  • For Head of search engine optimization, the typical expertise was 10.6 years
  • For search engine optimization Director, the typical expertise was 10.4 years
  • For search engine optimization Lead, the typical expertise was 7.4 years
  • For search engine optimization Account Supervisor, the typical expertise was 4.2 years
  • For search engine optimization Marketing consultant, the typical expertise was 6 years 
  • For search engine optimization Govt, the typical expertise was 3 years 
  • For search engine optimization Analyst, the typical expertise was 5 years

What areas of search engine optimization do they specialise in? 

Technical and Content material have been the 2 high expertise that SEOs we surveyed specialised in.

Areas of SEO specialization

The proportion of SEOs that stated they specialised in hyperlinks was a lot decrease regardless of hyperlinks being a serious rating issue.

Our survey confirmed an virtually 50/50 cut up between the UK and Europe. 48.6% of respondents have been from the UK—maybe not stunning on condition that BrightonSEO is predicated within the UK.

Chart of countries SEOs are from

Many of the respondents we spoke to labored in businesses or in-house. It does imply, nevertheless, that our wage knowledge was primarily targeted on these two employment varieties.

Chart listing where SEOs work

How huge are the businesses they work in?

Throughout all respondents, the commonest firm measurement was 11-50. A big proportion of SEOs additionally labored for considerably bigger firms that had over 1000 staff.

Number of people in the company

How a lot does every search engine optimization position earn?

Right here’s the complete breakdown of every position.

Head of search engine optimization wage

It’s in all probability not an excessive amount of of a shock that the Head of search engine optimization position was our highest-paying search engine optimization position surveyed. What’s extra of a shock was the variation in wage—our survey confirmed {that a} Head of search engine optimization can earn something from ~$25k to ~$229k. 

head-of-seo-salary

Common expertise

In accordance with our survey, a Head of search engine optimization has ~10.6 years of expertise.

Sort of firm

46.7% of respondents labored for an company, and 46.7% labored in-house. 6.7% have been self-employed.

Training

66.7% of respondents stated they have been self-taught, 26.7% stated they’d discovered on the job, and 6.7% stated that that they had discovered search engine optimization from a course.

Specialization

40% stated that they specialised in technical search engine optimization, 33.3% in Content material, and 13.3% stated they have been a generalist. The remaining 13.4% stated they targeted on individuals administration. 

That is stunning, because it implies that 73.3% of individuals in Head of search engine optimization roles are actively offering search engine optimization companies for his or her shoppers slightly than specializing in managing a staff.

Firm measurement

There have been two firm sizes that have been hottest for Head of SEOs to work in. 40% of respondents stated they labored in firms with 11-50 individuals, and 20% stated they labored in firms with over 1001 individuals. 

Location

40% of respondents have been from the UK, 13.3% have been from the Netherlands, and the rest have been from mainland Europe.

search engine optimization Director wage

The wage variation wasn’t fairly as excessive for search engine optimization Administrators, however salaries ranged from ~$42k to ~$121k—nonetheless fairly a distinction.

SEO Director salary

Common expertise

search engine optimization Administrators in our survey had 10.4 years of expertise on common.

Sort of firm

There was a 50/50 cut up between search engine optimization Administrators’ backgrounds, with 50% from company and 50% from in-house

Training

62.5% of search engine optimization Administrators described themselves as self-taught, and 37.5% stated that they discovered search engine optimization on the job.

Specialization

75% of them specialised in technical search engine optimization, while 25% described themselves as generalists or Different.

Firm measurement

In accordance with our survey, search engine optimization Administrators usually work in medium to giant firms. 25% stated that they labored in firms that had over 1000 individuals, and 25% stated they labored in firms that had 51-100 staff.

Location

Most search engine optimization Administrators we surveyed have been from the UK (62.5%). The remaining have been equal splits between India, the U.S., and Germany (12.5%).

search engine optimization Lead wage

search engine optimization Leads usually have a number of expertise, however our survey reveals that they solely earn barely extra on common than search engine optimization Specialists.

SEO Lead salary

Common expertise

search engine optimization Leads in our survey had 7.4 years of expertise on common.

Sort of firm

50% of search engine optimization Leads got here from an company background, 41.7% got here from in-house, and eight.3% have been self-employed.

Training

69.2% discovered on the job, 23.1% have been self-taught, and seven.7% discovered search engine optimization via a course.

Specialization

30.8% of search engine optimization Leads specialised in technical search engine optimization, 23% specialised in content material, and 23.1% specialised in hyperlinks. 15.4% described themselves as generalists. The remaining 7.7% described themselves as specializing in search engine optimization technique.

Firm measurement

46.2% labored in firms that had 1001+ individuals, and the remaining 53.8% labored in smaller firms.

Location

23.1% of search engine optimization Leads got here from the UK, with the rest coming from the Netherlands, Italy, and Sweden (15.4% every) and 30.7% from different European international locations.

search engine optimization Specialist wage

search engine optimization Specialists we surveyed had round 5-6 years of expertise, however they usually obtained paid higher than search engine optimization Leads. Primarily based on my expertise, this can be on account of in-house roles paying higher than company roles within the UK.

SEO Specialist salary

Common expertise

search engine optimization Specialists in our survey had a median of 5.8 years of expertise.

Sort of firm

41.2% of search engine optimization Specialists got here from an company background, whereas 58.8% stated that they have been from an in-house background.

Training

58.8% of search engine optimization Specialists stated that that they had discovered search engine optimization on the job, 35.3% stated that they have been self-taught, and 5.9% stated that that they had discovered search engine optimization via a course.

Specialization

52.9% of search engine optimization Specialists specialised in content material, 29.4% targeted on technical, 11.8% described themselves as all-rounders, and 5.9% described specialised in hyperlinks.

Firm measurement

41.2% of search engine optimization Specialists stated that they labored in firms that had 11-50 individuals. Solely 17.6% of respondents stated that they labored in firms that had 1001+ individuals. 23.6% stated they labored in firms between 51-500 individuals. The remaining 17.6% labored in smaller firms with lower than 10 individuals.

Location

23.5% of search engine optimization Specialists stated that they have been from the UK, with the rest from Europe.

search engine optimization Account Supervisor wage

search engine optimization Account Managers in our survey have been probably the most constant wage bands incomes between ~$40k and ~$55k.

SEO Account Manager salary

Common expertise

search engine optimization Account managers in our survey had 4.2 years of expertise on common.

Sort of firm

85.7% of respondents labored for an company, and 14.3% labored in-house.

Training

71.4% of respondents stated they discovered search engine optimization on the job, and 28.6% stated they have been self-taught.

Specialization

42.9% stated that they specialised in content material, 28.6% described themselves as an all-rounder, 14.3% stated they have been technical search engine optimization, and the remaining 14.2% stated they specialised in hyperlinks.

Firm measurement

42.9% of respondents stated they labored in firms with 11-50 individuals, and 28.6% stated they labored in firms with over 1001 individuals. The remaining 28.6% was cut up equally between individuals who labored in firms with between 2-11 individuals or 51-100 individuals.

Location

85.7% of respondents have been from the UK, and 14.3% of the rest have been from Europe.

search engine optimization Marketing consultant wage

search engine optimization Consultants we surveyed earned as much as ~$87k, which was decrease than I used to be anticipating—as a result of our search engine optimization pricing submit advised that search engine optimization consultants cost between $100-150 per hour. 

However as the information is UK-focused, the probably purpose for that is the £85k VAT tax threshold

SEO Consultant salary

Common expertise

search engine optimization Consultants in our survey had 6 years of expertise on common.

Sort of firm

63.3% of respondents labored for an company, and 36.7% labored in-house.

Training

45.5% of respondents stated they have been self-taught, 36.4% stated they’d discovered on the job, and 9.1% stated that that they had discovered search engine optimization from a course. The remaining 9% stated they’d discovered from different methods.

Specialization

27.3% stated that they specialised in technical search engine optimization, 27.3% in content material, and 27.3% stated they have been a generalist. The remaining 18.1% stated they targeted on administration and technique.

Firm measurement

search engine optimization Consultants usually labored on their very own or in smaller businesses in accordance with our survey — 36.4% of respondents stated they labored on their very own, and 27.3% stated they labored in firms with 51-100 individuals. The remaining 36.3% stated they labored in firms with between 2-50 individuals.

Location

36.4% of respondents have been from the UK, 27.3% have been from the Netherlands, and the remaining 36.3% have been from Europe.

search engine optimization Govt wage

SEO Executive salary

Common expertise

search engine optimization Executives in our survey had 3 years of expertise on common.

Sort of firm

80% of respondents labored for an company, and 20% labored in-house.

Training

80% of respondents stated they have been self-taught, and 20% stated they’d discovered search engine optimization from a course.

Specialization

40% stated that they specialised in technical search engine optimization, 20% in Content material, and 40% stated they have been a generalist. 

Firm measurement

80% of respondents stated they labored in firms with 11-50 individuals, and 20% stated they labored in firms with 1001 or extra individuals.

Location

80% of respondents have been from the UK, and 20% have been from Belgium.

search engine optimization Analyst wage

search engine optimization Analysts usually had just a few extra years of expertise than search engine optimization Executives, nevertheless it seems to be like they earned roughly the identical as them.

SEO Analyst salary

Common expertise

search engine optimization Analysts in our survey had 5 years of expertise on common.

Sort of firm

33.3% of respondents labored for an company, and 66.7% labored In-house.

Training

33.3% of respondents stated they have been self-taught, and 66.7% stated they’d discovered on the job.

Specialization

33.3% stated that they specialised in technical search engine optimization, 33.3% in Content material, and 33.3% stated they specialised in Information search engine optimization.

Firm measurement

33.3% of respondents stated they labored in firms with 101-200 individuals, and 66.7% stated they labored in firms with over 201 individuals.

Location

search engine optimization Analysts got here from a spread of areas 33% of respondents have been from Portugal, 33.3% have been from Brazil, and the rest have been from Serbia.

Sidenote.

We didn’t get many respondents for the search engine optimization Analyst position—so take these outcomes with a pinch of salt.

Closing ideas

search engine optimization salaries aren’t typically mentioned intimately inside the trade, so getting a snapshot of their present state from one of many largest search engine optimization conferences within the UK was insightful.

For our subsequent wage survey, we’ll be opening it as much as all SEOs. For those who’d like to participate—you possibly can enter right here.

Acquired questions? Ping me on X (previously often known as Twitter)





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