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SEMPO Second Annual In-House Salary Survey Finds SEO Employment and Compensation Hold Steady during Recession 

More than 600 in-house SEO professionals completed the survey, ranging from individual contributors to vice presidents

Wakefield, MA, November 23, 2009 – The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) today announced the results of its second in-house salary survey. Conducted in Q2 2009 and summarized and analyzed in Q3, the survey found:

  • Salaries have increased since last year’s SEMPO in-house salary survey.
  • 2009 yearly salaries for an individual contributor with 1-3 years relevant experience range from $40,000 to $80,000; senior manager salaries range $70,000 to $120,000; and vice presidents with responsibilities for large SEM campaigns or a team of specialists earn from $160,000 to $250,000.
  • The majority of respondents are working to maintain or increase the ROI from search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns with flat or restrained budgets for the remainder of 2009.
  • Practitioners also are responsible for a broadening spectrum of online marketing activities including: organic SEO and SEM programs; social media campaigns; email marketing; graphical ad campaigns; paid inclusion programs; vertical search engine targeting; affiliate marketing programs; and shopping engines.

SEMPO President Sara Holoubek remarked, "With the economy in the longest recession of decades, it’s heartening for our annual in-house salary survey to substantiate that search engine marketing is the employment bright spot in sales and marketing.”

"Now that the economy has begun to turn around, we’re optimistic that next year’s in-house salary survey will show marked improvement, including job growth and increased recognition for the bottom-line contribution of SEO professionals,” added Duane Forrester, SEMPO board member and chair of the in-house survey project. "Careers in search engine marketing are still among the best ones to have for the foreseeable future.”

For a summary of the in-house salary survey, please click here.

Survey Respondent Background 
The majority of respondents to the SEMPO 2009 in-house salary survey were in-house managers. From across the U.S. and Canada with a high concentration from California, most work for companies with less than 1,000 employees.

Respondents are paid, on average, between $40,000 and $80,000 annually. Salaries have increased since SEMPO’s previous survey, regardless of how much experience respondents have with in-house search marketing. The majority of respondents receives full benefits, has 401k plans, and is interested in telecommuting options if offered by their employer.

A plurality of respondents only had between 0 and 3 years of experience in search marketing – these responses coming mostly from individual contributors. 
SEM budgets are mostly below $50K or above $250K with few in the in-betweenarea.  The travel industry was the largest B2C category represented, and the Internet was the largest B2B category represented in this survey.

The highest number of respondents says the primary focus of their role is organic and PPC only; however, this varies depending on the individual’s role in the company. Aside from SEO and PPC, respondents deal mostly with social networking and email marketing campaigns.

About the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) 
SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry and marketing professionals engaged in it.  Its purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the industry, generating research and creating a better understanding of search and its role in marketing.

Representing thousands in 40 countries, SEMPO has more than 800 members. It represents the common interests of companies and consultants worldwide and provides them with a voice in the marketplace. SEMPO's education and outreach initiatives are funded in part by Yahoo!, Google, SMX, Search Engine Strategies, DoubleClick, Baidu, and MediaPost.


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