As companies continue to pour money into building teams around SEO, and organic search remains the largest driver of inbound web traffic, it is clear that demand for the SEO field is nothing short of booming. The boom surrounding SEO is more than just a fleeting trend. With more and more specialized search marketing firms cropping up, ranging from local Atlanta SEO agencies to usability and content-driven branding companies, there's a lot to be said about the growth in the greater SEO community.
Overall, the number of SEO jobs in evaluated cities grew by 18% in three years, states Conductor. Of the top 20 cities, the leading 5 are mainly concentrated on the west coast, with New York and San Francisco putting up the most prominent numbers. People spend more time online every year, consuming more information, as they become more and more technologically interconnected.
Therefore, as consumers become adept at blocking out ad strategies, successful content tactics are becoming increasingly reliant on marketing, and 60% of companies report that their SEO and content strategy are, predictably, integrated.
Studies done by Conductor show that the average 2012 salary of SEO jobs has doubled when compared to 2015 numbers, with the marketing manager title seeing the largest growth at 26%. This growth is likely due to the fact that the demand for SEO-fluent managers is expanding more quickly than any other position, rising from 9% of total SEO jobs to a staggering 20%.
A 2014 survey results reported that the main obstacle to a company’s SEO success was employees’ lack of skills, and search engine optimization is the most sought-after marketing technique; the observed rise in SEO salaries is a reflection of this need.
Another factor in the observed growth of salaries is the way in which the jobs themselves are becoming more complex: the role has evolved from purely necessary technical skill, to involve larger responsibilities associated with becoming business leaders and strategists, as explained by Conductor.
The way we think about SEO has changed, explains AnumHussain, Sidekick growth marketer. “It's not just about using a phrase, but owning that phrase by building topical authority”, she explains, stating that optimizing for search now goes far beyond a simple specific keyword. Search traffic is highly qualified, allowing businesses to target people at certain points in the consumer buying cycle.
This allows online marketing through the use of SEO to be intensely effective; in fact, 96% of marketers use search engine marketing to provide informational and educational content. For this reason, SEO is not necessarily dead. Rather, it's evolved into a more human-focused and value driven effort to succeed.