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SEO/Online Marketing Salaries
Just wondering on what sort of salary we should be getting....
marketingmagic




msg:781148
 9:54 pm on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I know I've seen some posts on here in the past about salaries and SEO, but since I can't search to find em, thought I'd post and get something current on the topic.

My current "title" is online marketing manager. I have been working at search engine optimization and general online marketing for the last 5yrs.

I am about to re-negotiate my contract with the firm I have been with since May 1st. (6mth contract)

Just wondering if you all have any feedback on salary levels for this field. I've looked on Monster and the like, but you know how those go. I'd rather hear from real people in the field, so to speak.

Since starting with this company I've managed to get them in the top 1-5 for almost every search term they were after. Zero black hat, only white hat here.

My current salary is 50K/yr CAD, plus 4wks vac. and 1700 in bonuses. I know I want more, but how much more? Don't want to be greedy, but want to be paid fair market value.

Any feedback here fellow members?

 

Leosghost




msg:781149
 1:08 am on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

dont know squat about this subject ..work for myself and clients when they ask nice and I can find the time and inclination ..however you deserve a "bump" ..so :)

inbound




msg:781150
 1:35 am on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

A fair wage seems to be based on your value to the company.

If you are at an agency:

Do you know what rate you are charged out at?

Do you know how many days a month you are charged out for?

Once you know your dollar value to the agency then you can start calculating what salary you are worth. It's probably around 30%-40% of your dollar value. If that comes out too low then the agency isn't charging enough or using you efficiently. Expect 80% of your hours to be charged if the company uses you well. Remember that there are many costs that you have to deduct from your worth to the company, overheads, taxes, selling time etc.

80% chargeout @$1000/day = $48K to $64K

If you work directly for a company then turn it on it's head:

How much would it cost to hire someone else with your skills?

Would the company have to pay major recruitment costs in doing so?

Will the company have any fees to pay a recruitment agency if they take you on again?

The hassle involved in finding someone good is huge, use that to your advantage.

In the UK it's common for SEO rates to range from £400 to £600 a day. Putting yourself in the middle of that range means that (if it's similar in Canada) you would cost $1000 a day to replace through an SEO agency if they could not fill the position.

Without knowing the specifics for Canada (and cost of living where you are) I would guess that $60K to $72K is probably a good range to consider. This is the UK equivalent that I would expect for a good SEO outside of London.

Bennie




msg:781151
 9:18 am on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's really hard to say without knowing your industry, skillset and what value you bring to your company. Even then it's all relative.

I think you may be best contacting some other companies in your field and doing some digging on rates, or prehaps try and gain employment elseware. This way you'll be more aware of both what others are doing around you and what your worth really is.

marketingmagic




msg:781152
 1:48 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah I know it's really hard to quantify and no one really seems to know. Unlike other fields...

My skillset is one of experience and proven results.
While I don't have an MBA or the like, my experience (and proof is in the puddin so to speak), is one of taking sites with little to no positioning and turning them around in a relatively short period of time using proven SEO methods. (content, partnerships, PPC, etc, etc, etc...)

I don't work for a SEO or marketing firm, I work for an actual manufacturer.

Appreciate your feedback thus far guys.

Any one else have comments? :-)

decaff




msg:781153
 11:45 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I don't work for a SEO or marketing firm, I work for an actual manufacturer."...

You may or may have access to their sales numbers over the course of your 6 month tenure...but if you can absolutely prove that your work has resulted in an increase in their sales and bottom line..you may be able to leverage this fact .. (of course..all this based on the engines not pulling a 180 on your organic listings)...

Work up some cool reports from your log files and support this with evidence on the bottom line side (their increased sales/profits..)

Essex_boy




msg:781154
 4:29 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Relating to myself I can earn twice as much as a non contractor solely because of experience and being able to prove a track record in resolving difficult cases.

In case clearing up a 5 year old ongoing dispute in 4 months.

I have no qualifications in my line of work, often Ill work along side people with masters degrees.

If an employer can your going to make/save them a bundle then thars gold in them thar hills.

marketingmagic




msg:781155
 2:41 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about the dollar amount per year?

50K a year for this field, from the little I've heard about salaries, is on the low side no? Especially in Toronto Canada.

Again I don't want to be greedy, but I know I could break out on my own and make double what I'm making being with one company. (yeah I know, why don't I just do that? Because I have kids and I need the security of knowing when I am getting paid and I hate having to chase customers for money. And all the rest of the #*$! that goes along with being self employed.)

Shane




msg:781156
 4:46 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was wondering were you lived. Cost of living is a factor as well an TO is in the top couple in Canada.

I've struggled with this in the past and it boils down to:
1. What will someone else who you are willing to work for pay you.
2. What difference can you make for the company you are working for (you must have documentation of this difference).
3. Can the company step up to the difference you are making (e.g. are they profittable)
4. How much are you willing to "push" in a mature way.

Good Luck,
Shane

pageoneresults




msg:781157
 5:17 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

A good competent SEO (self-employed) should be able to bill anywhere from $100.00 to $250.00 per hour easily. It is all relative to experience and results. That hourly rate will vary depending on the type of work being performed. Telephone consultations should be billed on the high side.

Then you have the per project billing method. You basically estimate the number of hours required for the project, add a respectable buffer as you'll always need it, and then bill per project based on the above hourly rates.

Working for another firm? What are the others making? Is their experience equal to or greater than yours? In the end, it is all going to come down to what the company is willing to pay you and what you think you are worth. Personally, I wouldn't settle for anything less than $150k per year (with additional perks), but that is based on my locale and the type of clients I target.

And then, you can go the other route, build your own sites and dictate the type of income you want. ;)

marketingmagic




msg:781158
 6:15 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well 150K per year would be nice. :-)

I also do other online marketing related tasks, such as managing our PPC accounts, seeking out new online opportunities, tracking, etc... Not just SEO.

As for being competent, definetely no worries there. As I said the proof is in the pudding as is evident in my case.

RE billing, I can't really do as your suggesting, as I am an employee and am paid an anual salary. As such I was looking more for feedback on what fellow members are getting paid where they are.

Are most people on this site independant SEO's or are you working for actual companies?

pageoneresults




msg:781159
 6:21 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Are most people on this site independant SEO's or are you working for actual companies?

I work for actual companies, but in a different capacity than most. Let's say I have 5 big clients. Each client has 20% of my time to work on their site(s). This saves them the cost of hiring me as an employee and, I don't fall under the normal "rules and regulations" of the company. It's a great setup.

In your case, it looks like you've already done all the hard work and they are reaping the benefits of that hard work. Now you have something to take to the table with you when negotiating your new 100k+ salary. Don't settle for anything less than what you are worth. As mentioned above, for a company to now try and find someone to replace you is going to be difficult and probably cost them 5-10 times your current salary.

As always, go in high and and negotiate. If you were wanting $100k per year salary, I'd go in at $125-150k to leave some bargaining room. But, do your homework first. If you can chart out the progress made over the past five years and attach some sales numbers to those reports, you've got that much more ammunition to work with.

You should also ask for a promotion in the process. Maybe CWO, CTO, etc. ;)

marketingmagic




msg:781160
 11:18 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

So if I were to go to a 20% work schedule with this company what should I ask for salary wise?

I'd be happy to do that as then i could grab another couple clients and work out the same deal.

I should clarify I haven't been with this company for 5yrs. I've been doing seo for 5 yrs and have been with this company for 8mths. My contact was for 6 so right now i'm contractless so to speak. After the holidaze we'll be renegotiating things.

pageoneresults




msg:781161
 11:31 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

So if I were to go to a 20% work schedule with this company what should I ask for salary wise?

Hard to say. You'd have to sit there and calculate the hours you've spent on the site over the past 8 months. Then you would come up with an average per day, per week, per month. Then you add a buffer to the averages to allow for growth.

For example, lets say I spent 500 hours on the site over the past 8 months. 500 hours x $250.00 per hour is $125,000.00 (I'm taking the high side right now). Do you plan on spending 500 hours over the next 6 months? If so, take a very close look at the hours, what your time is worth, and what you are left with for other projects. If you feel that 500 hours over the next 6 months is adequate, then I'd ask for a salary in the range of $75,000.00 to $125,000.00. I'd of course start with my high number and leave room for negotiation.

The bottom line is "what are you worth?" You first have to possess the skills, knowledge, education, and confidence to walk in there and say okay, here is what I want for the next six months, what say ye?

I'd be happy to do that as then i could grab another couple clients and work out the same deal.

Its a slow process but once you have them on board, there is no looking back. You'll soon be referring work to others that you know. ;)

I should clarify I haven't been with this company for 5yrs. I've been doing seo for 5 yrs and have been with this company for 8mths. My contact was for 6 so right now i'm contractless so to speak. After the holidaze we'll be renegotiating things.

So, you've been on a retainer of sorts? I work on retainer and bill in three month increments in advance with a one year commitment to start. After the year is over, the client has the option to continue with my services in three month increments which most opt to do.

Jane_Doe




msg:781162
 12:35 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Since starting with this company I've managed to get them in the top 1-5 for almost every search term they were after.

You may want to consider developing your own sites on the side and eventually setting your own salary by what you can earn from your sites.

Plus with your own sites you are investing time and money in your own assets and increasing your net worth.

percentages




msg:781163
 10:22 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

marketingmagic.

It is time for you to "go it alone".

I believe you have the skill, I believe you have the ability, so why are you looking to be employed?

In your situation you have the opportunity to be employed and get an alternative income, while you also have the opportunity to "do you own thing".

I "do my own thing", 100%, I don't have a fallback income, but, I also make almost 20 times as much as you for doing the same job!

Like you I was employed by some other company for 13+ years. I also found it hard to break that link, but, when I did, it was the best thing ever :)

pageoneresults




msg:781164
 2:30 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I like percentages mode of thinking. ;)

I was reading an article a little while ago and came across these quotes which I thought were rather appropriate for this topic...

Besides, what you've earned in past positions is not the relevant measure of what you're worth in a new job. The relevant measure is the fair market value of the open position.

What is relevant here is finding an appropriate job against which to benchmark the open position. Find a market price for the job you're applying for, then determine how close to that median you think you should be paid given your experience and accomplishments. What you made yesterday doesn't matter - what your colleagues and peers are making today does.

ogletree




msg:781165
 2:33 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Man just start your own affilate marketing business. If you are as good as you say you acn make 6 figures no problem and work less hours. There is no way in the world these guys are going to pay you what you are worth. You should be getting $100K min. Companies like this pay $10K a month to SEO companies to do the same thing.

rfontaine




msg:781166
 2:57 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I always laugh at these wage projections. Where do they come from? In my experience real wages are somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of what they tell you on Salary sites.

I am thinking what causes these skewed results is this typical stituation:

1-CEO at $20-million per year and the rest of us worker peons at just-barely-making-it wages = averages out to excellent salaries in the industry.

Jane_Doe




msg:781167
 6:10 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

What you made yesterday doesn't matter - what your colleagues and peers are making today does.

Logically that may be true, but the reality is that unless you are negotiating for a very high level senior management position, many mid to large size companies with HR departments weigh past salaries heavily in factoring your current salary. Larger companies also often do salary surveys for given positions and it is often very difficult to get paid outside their top ranges.

marketingmagic




msg:781168
 6:12 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have financial obligations and right now just isn't good timing to break out on my own.

I've heard of people doing the same thing, but getting paid much more than I am, so I was hoping to get a better idea of going rates for when we sit down and renegotiate after the holidaze.

All I know is 50K/yr isn't going to come close to cutting it, certainly not in this city. :-(

pageoneresults




msg:781169
 6:14 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Another quote that came from a similar article I've been reviewing...

Think of divulging your salary history as akin to underbidding in a salary negotiation. Just as you wouldn't want to tell a prospective employer how much you want to make, you wouldn't want to undersell yourself if your salary history was not indicative of your worth. (This goes both ways, incidentally. You similarly wouldn't want to scare off a prospective employer if your previous income was significantly higher than what you suspect they'll offer you.)

Jane_Doe




msg:781170
 6:23 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Think of divulging your salary history as akin to underbidding in a salary negotiation[.

If you salary seems out of line, interviewers can always ask for pay stubs from your previous positions. Then if it turns out you lied they won't hire you at all.

At the places I've worked at anyone who refused to divulge their salary history was simply not hired. It is usually a big red flag.

Shane




msg:781171
 5:39 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

A couple of points:

1. What I have not read is your impact on the companys profitability. How much more are they making because of you.

2. How bad was the person before you? This will impact how management perceives getting "another one of you". If they weren't good then you have more leverage.

3. How far are you willing to push it? Are you willing to look for another job now so if you don't get what you want you can walk? This will make a huge difference in your approach to negotiating. If youre best alternative to negotiating is to lose the only job you have, you have lost before you start and you are begging. If you can walk, then you have some power at the table.

Lastly, it seems like you are resolved to stay, so what is your strategy to get to the salary you want. It might be to stay and to setup your own sites. This appears to be the risk adverse approach youre looking for.

Just my five seconds worth of thoughts.

..... Shane

<owner edit, "You should never write anything in five seconds.".>

Animated




msg:781172
 1:22 am on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

If a SEO is good and worth keeping, then the company would go far to keep them so negotiate your way up.They wouldn't wanna lose the chance of losing being on top of SE's for business.

marketingmagic




msg:781173
 3:46 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah I am thinking the same thing Shane. IE staying and starting to build my own sites again.

But as I have no contract right now I still need to negotiate something. I think I'll leave it up to them as to what they want to offer and focus my energy on my own stuff, then when I've got another stream of revenue I can walk, or go to "part time".

At least thats what I'm thinking thus far....

percentages




msg:781174
 12:19 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

>I have financial obligations and right now just isn't good timing to break out on my own.

There is never going to be a good time!

We all have "financial obligations"! At some point you have to make a leap!

I did it when I had I had 2 years of "cashflow" in the bank......probably too late! I should have done it with a 6 month security level!

All I can say now, is whatever timeframe you pick, it is probably too late!

As the old saying goes........if you snooze. you lose.....So IMHO do it yesterday!

marketingmagic




msg:781175
 3:39 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah I'm going to start right away and build things up slowly. Clearly working for someone else just doesn't make sense.

Just curious, are there any SEO's on here working for someone, or are you all on your own?

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