SEOmoz Study: Search Experts Share Salary, Spend Data

Money-AAA3Some 17% of respondents participating in the SEOmoz 2012 survey spend more than $1,000 per month on tools and software. The largest segment -- at 17.5% -- spends $101 to $300 per month, followed by 10.5% at between $301 and $500.

The SEOmoz 2012 results looks at salaries, spending and budgets, paid and free tools, tactics, and more. The top five tactics that individual respondents said they spend time doing include 24% for SEO; 11, on-page optimization; 10% link building; 8%, social media marketing; and 6%, copywriting and blogging. When it comes to working in teams, the percentage changes. Some 18% spend time optimizing content and sites, 14% build links, 12% write copy and blog, 11% spend time doing on-page optimization, and 10% support social media marketing.

Social media tops the list of services in demand, as it becomes more influential on rankings. The report states that "the fate of newer networks, like Google+ and Pinterest, may be uncertain, but it's clear that there's room at the table for more than just Facebook and Twitter."

When asked which tasks SEO professionals spend time doing overall, 76% said they set up and run Facebook business pages; 74% analyze, track site speed and page-load times; 69% analyze competitors' backlinks; 64% analyze competitors' content; 64% set up and manage Google+ business profiles; 63% analyze data in Google Analytics; and 59% blog. 

SEO is becoming more complicated. Some 58% use rel="canonical" to control duplicate content, with 25% admitting they have used the even more obscure rel="prev"/"next" tags for pagination. Also, 57% manage conversion tracking to improve return on investments; and 55% focus on local SEO. About 41% of respondents have implemented schemas or micro-data, 30% have fought Panda and declared victory, and nearly as many said they continue to fight Panda.

How much do SEO professionals make? SEOmoz broke down the salary chart in four categories: Agency, Consultant, In-house, and Owner. Those running their own business make the most, on average.

When it comes to in-house marketers, only 2% make $250,000, and 6% make between $150,000 and $250,000. Eighteen percent of in-house marketers make a salary of between $45,000 and $60,000; followed by 17% at between $75,000 and $100,000; 16% make between $30,000 and $45,000; 13% make between $60,000 and $75,000; 12% between $100,000 and $150,000; and 9% would rather not say.

Consultants and freelancers had the widest range of salaries, with the highest percentage, 22%, falling into the $30,000 to $45,000 range. Some 1% take home $250,000; and 3% earn between $150,000 and $250,000. The survey data includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

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