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If you are angling for a raise, go grab an expired domain, and slap a site on it that purports to BE like salary.com, and lists SEOs as earning your target amount + 10% (which gives you wiggle room when the boss goes white, and makes him feel like an ace negociator when you "cave").
ALWAYS throw the boss a bone.
However, it'll depend not just on "us or eastern europe" but also where in the US.
When you look at the cost of living in various US cities, you have to take into account the fact that you will earn differently in those cities, as well. If every company, irregardless of where they were in the US, offered the same stock 'seo salary' it wouldn't make sense to work in LA, or New York for example.
I am an in-house Internet marketer for a mid-size publishing company. Internet marketing consists of pretty much whatever comes your way...SEO, Subscription Campaigns, eMail marketing, tactical and strategic planning, etc.
I get paid same as the traditional marketing position with +2 years of experience and BS degree in business/marketing. I am located in mid-west, so my salary range is a lot lower than those of east/west coast. I have about 3 years of experience in Internet marketing and work with multiple dimension metrics.
It appears that you dudez and dudettez make more money doing independent consulting. I am considering on getting started on consulting myself. It's quite inspiring to see so many of you dudez and dudettez doing well on your own:)
When I go back to graduate school next year, I think consulting is the optimal choice for me also.
Staying current takes alot of time... and when your head is in the middle of 2 or 3 web sites, you tend not to take a look around to see changes... and then BAM!!!
WHEN DID THAT CHANGE!
Food for thought anyway!
First SEO job (live on the east coast) 35k
After that got offers for 42k, 44k, and 40k with bonus potential up to an additional 50k.
Those are all with agencies, not being an internal SEO for a company.
Only drawback with agencies is they usually have some kind of rediculous non-compete that pertains to SEO. One attempted to cover the entire US for 18 months and prevent working for any direct or in-direct competitor. At least if its with an e-tailer you might it might say you cant work for another competing etailer, but with an agency they try to get you to surrender your SEO skill set to them.
I have always made my proposals and demands based upon lowest predictions of the sales I'll bring in. That way it makes for a realistic and no-brainer decision - hire me for £Nk and you'll make back 5 x £Nk in the first six months alone.
I'm not the cheapest of people to hire though. I tell my clients that they either want cheap, or they want me. :D
To convert that generic rule to my specifics, I'd ask for at least £50k per year plus very good bonuses, or £36k plus generous profit-share and bonuses. If that seemed unreasonable the company probably wouldn't need me anywhere near full-time anyway.
Great idea Elite Web! I think we will poll our members in the SEO Consultants Directory and find an answer to this question. Care to give me some feedback on how the questions should be structured for the poll?
but seriously, there are some real players in SEO that make a killing... I remember talking to a guy a few years back that had 17 of the top 20 listings for the term 'sex' when Excite froze up... those listings stuck for months making thousands and thousands a *day*.... these guys are still out there today... and make most of us look like SE enthusiasts and recreationalists, rather than professionals.