Exploring the SEO Salary Guide with Tim Dineen
Onward Search Career Cast, Episode #27
In this episode of the Onward Search Career Cast, we take a closer look at the SEO Salary Guide for the Top 20 U.S. Markets to learn more about what the data means for SEOs who want to advance their careers.
Career Cast guest, Tim Dineen, Vice President of Internet Marketing at Onward Search, has been working in SEO and Internet marketing for almost 15 years and was instrumental in the creation of the SEO Salary Guide. Tim provides insight on how the SEO job market is doing right now and offers his expert opinion on what each section of the SEO Salary Guide infographic reveals for SEO professionals. From the top 20 U.S. cities with the highest volume of SEO job openings to the most in-demand SEO job titles and SEO salary ranges, the SEO Salary Guide is an incredibly valuable resource for SEOs and Tim's commentary adds to its value.
This is a must listen episode for anyone who wants to find out where the best SEO jobs and salaries are, as well as take their SEO career to the next level!
PUBLISHED ON DECEMBER 8, 2011
Welcome to Onward Search Career Cast, the podcast that brings you the latest insight and career advice from experts within the Internet marketing and creative space. Onward Search is a leading nationwide provider of web-based talent and offers a full range of recruitment and staffing solutions. If you’re looking for a career in search engine optimization, interactive design, or emerging technologies, you should apply online at onwardsearch.com or call 1-800-829-0072 and speak with an experienced recruiter today.
Hillary O'Keefe: Hi everyone. Thank you for joining me again here on the Onward Search Career Cast. Today is a very exciting day here in the Wilton, CT headquarters of Onward Search because we just released a brand new resource for all the SEOs out there. With this single infographic, SEOs can see where the jobs are, what salary they can or should be earning and what job titles are in the greatest demand. All of this vital information for SEOs in one place, especially for those who want to advance their career and find out where the best job opportunities are.
My guest today, Tim, was instrumental in the creation of this resource. How are you doing today, Tim? Are you excited about the new guide?
Tim Dineen: I’m great. I’m really excited to be releasing this. We’ve just had it out there for a little while and it’s received a tremendous amount of support and feedback already, and we’re glad to be sharing this information with the market.
Hillary O'Keefe: Excellent. Tim Dineen, my guest, is the vice president of Internet marketing and SEO here at Onward Search, so naturally we turn to him for insight when we decided to create this new infographic. It is called the SEO Salary Guide for the Top 20 U.S. Markets.
Tim has been in the SEO game for quite a long time. How long have you been in SEO?
Tim Dineen: I’ve been doing Internet marketing in one form or another since 1997, but that obviously doesn’t include entirely SEO, but also web programming, web design, in the early forms of online advertising email marketing, directory, placements, and so forth. It goes back a ways.
Hillary O'Keefe: I also understand that you have quite a bit of expertise in job search strategy and recruitment technologies. Real quick, before we dive into the infographic, tell me what’s your take on the SEO job market right now?
Tim Dineen: I’ve been lucky enough to focus on doing SEO for the jobs and recruitment space for the last 5 years now, and I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot of data, both in the last 2½ years here at Onward Search and prior at a job search engine.
I’ve been privileged to see a lot of trends. I think the space is really maturing at this point and it’s also poised for growth, and I think we’re headed in a good direction.
Hillary O'Keefe: So this is a perfect time then for Onward Search to be releasing a resource like this for SEOs out there who have job opportunities coming at them and maybe they want to switch up their career or find a new place to work anywhere across the country.
Tim Dineen: I would say so. As I said, the industry is maturing. Every time that occurs – every couple of years, it’s good to take note of where the industry is growing, what the job titles are that people are taking, what the most in demand job markets are across the country, and we’re happy to present that information all in one place here.
Hillary O'Keefe: Very good. Let’s take a look at the guide then and explore what each section has to offer these SEOs. Up top, we have this really cool heat map that shows the US cities with the highest volume of SEO jobs. Tell me a little bit more about each of these areas and also did you find anything in this data as you were pulling it together that was unexpected in terms of the national SEO job market? For example, were there any unexpected little pockets of opportunity that revealed themselves?
Tim Dineen: I think for the large part, there were some areas that were fairly obvious. The tech centers like California, the northeast and the Chicago area we expected to see a large number of job openings. We see that at Onward Search in addition to the extra data that we pulled here.
Sure, there were some that stood out. For example, #20, Austin, Texas – I actually expected that to be a little bit higher. I think there are some cities in here that are around the 10-11-12 range that I was surprised to make the top 20, let alone to see how high they were. But it’s good to see a good high demand across the country, so it’s not all focused in three areas in the country; there’s 20 cities, amongst other cities, that are good pockets for SEO demand.
Hillary O'Keefe: Like Texas, for example, coming up with three spots right there.
Tim Dineen: There’s three cities in Texas, there’s a good spread. Denver, Colorado is represented. We have Minnesota, we have Indianapolis, Indiana. I think a couple of cities might be missing. It might be surprising that Portland, Oregon is not on the list. There are a few others as well.
Hillary O'Keefe: After that, moving down the chart presents a breakdown for SEO job titles by percentage according to all the SEO jobs that were posted to Onward Search during 2011 through our Recruitics platform. This is a pretty fair representation of demand for each of these job titles, right?
Tim Dineen: I think it does give a pretty representation of the range of jobs that an SEO might encounter and might be offered. At Onward Search we have the proprietary technology that we use called Recruitics that we’ve been using for the last couple of years to track all of this. Looking at the last year’s worth of data, not a huge surprise if you talk to recruiters, if you talk to companies that are hiring, these are pretty representative of the types of jobs that are out there these days.
Hillary O'Keefe: Speaking of which, the 27% of the job title pie came in for SEO manager, meaning that it’s the most demanded job title in SEO this year. That reminded me, quite quickly, of a lot of the information that I’ve seen reported this year, most notably by our own Chris Taylor here on the Executive Search team and by Josh Gampel, our senior vice president here at Onward Search. They’ve each reported this year, first at a SEMPO webinar and then again at PubCon Vegas, that the greatest investment in SEO right now, especially in hiring budgets, is taking place in this mid to upper level section of roles, which is also where some of the nicest salaries are being found. Do you think this is following just along with this trend that both Josh and Chris have been reporting on?
Tim Dineen: I think it’s pretty representative. SEO managers and even SEO search marketing directors represented a pretty large portion of the pie because companies are wising up to the need that they have for internet marketing expertise in house and they’re looking to hire an SEO manager who’s got a good number of years experience, who can also be a sounding board for an agency that they might happen to use or contractors they might happen to use.
I think most companies are realizing that they need to have an SEO manager or director in house these days.
Hillary O'Keefe: Very important, definitely. Finally, the SEO Salary Guide wraps up with this awesome grid at the bottom that shows each of the previously defined popular or most in-demand job titles, plus a salary range for what each of those professionals would earn in each of the top 20 cities. Honestly, what’s better than seeing where you stand on a nationwide basis like this with a comparison that shows you, “yup, here’s what I could make on average in this city if I wanted to.”
Tim Dineen: I think this works out really well. We’ve actually shown instead of just showing an average nationwide or an average by a city, we’re showing a lower 25thpercentile of a typical salary for each of these six positions, and we show the higher 75th percentile so that people can see a good range of what you might earn if you’ve got, say, 0-2 years experience compared to someone who has got a longer background of 3-5 years in that particular role.
Hillary O'Keefe: This is great. Thank you so much for joining me today, Tim, and sharing all of this insight on what went into creating the SEO Salary Guide. This has been really informative.
Tim Dineen: Thank you. I hope it helps a lot of people.
Hillary O'Keefe: Of course. And if you haven’t seen it yet, everybody, check out the SEO Salary Guide in the Onward Search Career Center, and if you like it don’t forget to share it with anyone you know who’s interested in SEO. And for those of you who are looking for SEO jobs, we have an entire SEO jobs page that’s filled with opportunities for SEO managers, search specialists, analytics managers and tons more.
Thank you all for tuning in today and good luck with making the most out of your SEO career. I’ll see you right back here next time for another episode of the Onward Search Career Cast.
Thank you for tuning in to Onward Search Career Cast. For more information on the career opportunities available through Onward Search, you should visit us online at onwardsearch.com or call 1-800-829-0072 and speak with an experienced recruiter. And you should also follow Onward Search on Twitter at twitter.com/onwardsearch.