How Much Money Should an SEO be Paid?

I know how much I should be paid, but how much should an agency seo, or an in-house seo be paid?

As a freelance my fee is dictated by the market, I set it too high and I get no takers, too low and I am swamped.

But what about those who work in organisations? It’s a difficult question for some to answer and I so rarely see it discussed in the seo blog world. Maybe because not everyone wants this information public.

Various factors are obviously involved like, experience, expertise, job availablity etc.

But what’s the starting pay for an seo and how much can you earn?

I’m interested in your thoughts.

31 thoughts on “How Much Money Should an SEO be Paid?”

  1. I’ve seen so many low paid permanent positions for SEO, lower than some UI developer roles. It really depends on the quality of the SEO because if they have development, design and business skills, they are much more valuable.

    If you have someone that’s principally a marketer without knowing any development then the resource is limited slightly.

    I think it’s great for an SEO to have good all-round skills and should be paid as appropriate for this.

  2. I’m interested to know if there is a disparity between what our US cousins are paid as opposed to the UK. And of course London tends to be higher than the rest of the UK.

  3. About 18k to 30k depending on experience seems to be the going rate up in the NorthWest from the job adverts i see.

  4. How much an SEO gets paid should truly depend on there experience along with the city/area the job is located in. Having web design (html, php, asp, flash, etc) experience is a bonus in my opinion and should be more attractive to someone looking to hire you. I have seen SEO positions starting out at $45k/yr. here in Florida, yet look in larger cities like Orlando or Miami and that goes up to $60k+


  5. I didn’t get particularly specific but I guess an SEO consultant/developer should be paid between £250-£350 a day on contract maybe? They would have to be experienced and with a developer skillset as well, not just have the ability to define an SEO strategy.

    £35k for a permanent position?

    In London.

  6. It depends on the market and the difficulty of obtaining rankings, what other functions the job entails, size and complexity of the site(s), coding skills, and other marketing skills. My in-house position pays me 170k (central US) and I know what my ROI is so I’m pretty secure that it can continue to climb.

  7. It really depends on the market. From what I read, those salaries are quite impressive, but hard to get.

    I’m suddenly considering relocating to the US or UK for some SEO work.

  8. I wouldn’t bother coming to the UK, actually f**k it, lets open the floodgates. Its not like we are a small massively over populated island anyway

  9. Interesting, I’d say starting is £20k in london (no experience or training) then it goes up by maybe 3-4k a year – 3-4 years you should be on mid 30k if your good!

    Oh and I dont think tech skills are needed – theyre a bonus but most people are looking for in house SEO managers etc at that level who will tell developers what to do (thats what i do – i dont program)

  10. Coming from a Marketing Background I think SEO salaries are low.

    In London I’d expect to pay an entry level marketer £22k-£24k; an Exec around £28k-£30k; a Manager £35k-£50k; and a Director as much as you like!

    I really think SEO salaries should be in line with this – am I being just plain silly?

  11. It really depends what you define as an SEO.

    If it is someone who has little experience and is just there to do link building following specific instructions then £15,000 is probably what they should be paid in the UK, although you could outsource abroad for cheaper.

    For someone who actually knows what they are doing and can lead and direct the online marketing for a company then it should be a lot higher. Depending on the business this person will be very important in the business’s success and should be paid to reflect that.

    Understanding the value of an SEO with previous experience and a well rounded set of skills I would be prepared to pay them a share of the the company on top of a salary – for the right person, and if I was not an SEO myself.

  12. I just took on a Uni leaver to train up. Based in NW UK and paying him 14k at the moment. It is a 3 month review though, so if he learns quick I will increase the wage.

    My company is only quite small (4 people) but I going to try and scale salaries based on how much money the employee earns the company on average. I figure that way there will be incentive for people to work hard, and a smaller turnover of staff if they know the potential wage is not capped.

  13. SEO has to have some supplemental skills: copywriting, html,php, web analytics etc…

    In my opinion the most valuable ones should be the ones with web analytics experience, some copywriting, and business acumen

  14. A more interesting question would be how much a very experienced inhouse SEO should be paid if he’s working on a new site that doesn’t bring in profit?

  15. Yeh I agree that you don’t need to have development, business skills, copywriting skills, web analytics skills. But if you are experienced with all then you are more than likely going to be paid much more, particularly in a contract role.

  16. The SEO jobs in Ireland, at least those advertised on the jobs boards are ususally starting at about €50k.

    The thing is that if you are good Link Ninja, or a seriuus SEO Guru, you brnig the vallue to them that potentailly could be 100 times more than what your salary is…

    Adthis is where the problem is… 🙂

  17. I didn’t get particularly specific but I guess an SEO consultant/developer should be paid between £250-£350 a day on contract maybe? They would have to be experienced and with a developer skillset as well, not just have the ability to define an SEO strategy.

  18. In the US there is difference in salaries as well as demand between cities. It appears that most companies are looking for people with 2-3 years experience. In the Miami area I have seen salaries with 2-4 years in the $60k to $80k range. For the same experience, salaries go up to between $75k to $90 in the Washington DC area, up to $100k in NY and Boston. In the West Coast, In LA and San Francisco the range is about $70-$90k and in Seattle where Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia and all sorts of companies are, the range can go up to over $100k.

    For people with more than 5 years experience in most cities the salaries are over $110-$120k. I’ve seen as much as $150k,

  19. My guess is that there aren’t that many in-house SEO positions out there so the salary range is a lot more flexible and depends on the person being hired. Many small-medium companies would prefer to hire a consultant, do some SEO and adopt some practices and then say thanks and bye.

  20. We talking employee or self employed?

    Employed – good/excellent – £28K

    My main problem with taking someone on is spoonfeeding them into your competition, albeit a lesser version of yourself. Don’t really need the hassle.

  21. There is a huge range of fees depending on what exactly the position entails. If SEO means establishing good results across the entire world on various search engines in all languages, then this will cost a lot more than just getting good results on Google for example. In some countries, your rankings will often depend on the geographic location of your servers. Doing SEO out of your home country will cost quite a bit more in terms of hardware as well. Just my two cents.

  22. Just looking at this from a differecnt angle..
    Usually the way the spend on SEO has to be justified is from a central marketing pot so if you can pitch to guarantee a number of leads from the SEO activities and could prove it then I think SEO’s could ask for a rate based on what that is worth to the particular business. However as results are uncertain (i.e. the search algorithm changes) and their are some poor seo companies this is what I think makes many companies not willing to risk too much of the marketing spend..
    If you can make proposals based on reputation and sign up to some level of results then I think this makes propositions more accessible to businesses

  23. over here a total noob with no experience or barely desire to learn can get a job along side an experiened web designer for 35 gs a year, nyc

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