What Are the Average Salaries for SEO Jobs?

Navigating the world of search engine optimization (SEO) salaries can be like exploring uncharted territory. With opinions flying left and right, it’s hard to know what to expect when stepping into this dynamic field. But fear not, we’re here to shed some light on the matter and guide you through the fog.

Whether you’re an SEO analyst, specialist, or manager, or eyeing that coveted Director position, understanding the salary landscape is crucial. It’s not just about knowing your worth but also about setting realistic expectations for your career journey in SEO. Let’s dive into the numbers and insights that will help you confidently navigate your path.

Average Salary for Entry-Level SEO Positions

Entry-level positions such as junior SEO specialist and SEO executive are the stepping stones to a prosperous career in digital marketing.

The former is responsible for the overall SEO strategy, from keyword selection to advising on content marketing. 

It’s a role with moderate growth potential and an average annual salary of £21,500. Whether you’re on the agency side or in-house, your salary might vary depending on the company size and location.

For those with more education, such as an SEO certification, moving into an SEO Specialist position is a career growth opportunity. Under this job title, you support the SEO team by maintaining a content calendar, performing keyword research, and assisting with content generation. 

Becoming experienced SEO specialists is often seen as the gateway into the SEO world, with an average annual salary of £26,171. The simplicity of the job search for these roles highlights the demand for fresh talent in digital marketing agencies and in-house teams across various UK locations.

Average SEO Salary for Mid-Level Positions

SEO director and SEO manager are mid-level SEO roles that serve as a crucial bridge between entry-level tasks and the higher echelons of SEO strategy and team leadership.

As a specialist, your day-to-day would immerse you in the mechanics of search engines, from Google Analytics to deciphering the nuances of search engine algorithms. With experience, SEO specialists find themselves adept at crafting strategies that resonate with a target audience, enhancing website visibility and engagement. 

The average annual salary for this role is £35,231.16, reflecting the value and expertise brought to digital marketing campaigns.

Advancing to a managerial role, you’ll refine these strategies and take on a leadership position within the SEO team. Your responsibilities extend to overseeing projects, guiding a team towards cohesive SEO solutions, and liaising with other departments to ensure the marketing strategy is succinct and powerful. 

An SEO Manager in the UK can expect an average annual salary of £39,440.

SEO Jobs Pay for Senior-Level Positions

When exploring senior-level SEO positions, you’re looking at roles fundamental in shaping digital marketing success. In particular, being an SEO Director becomes pivotal as the role involves leadership and a strategic vision. 

The role’s responsibilities include providing leadership to the SEO team, from motivating to training everyone to reach their full potential. This person also manages the budget to ensure that resources are fairly allocated across all SEO projects. Finally, the director bridges the gap between stakeholders and the team concerning the impact SEO brings to the organisation.

An SEO director earns an annual salary ranging between £45,000-64,000.

Freelance and Contract SEO Work

Unlike traditional agency roles where salary bands are fairly structured, freelance SEO specialists have the unique advantage of setting their own rates. 

A freelance SEO consultant often tailor their services to meet the specific needs of their clients, which can range from conducting thorough SEO audits to crafting bespoke SEO strategies. This personalised approach adds value to your clients and allows you to command a higher pay rate.

Many companies now recognise the benefits of hiring experienced SEO consultants on a contract basis. This flexibility allows businesses to leverage specialised skills on specific projects without the commitment of a full-time position, providing a win-win situation for both the freelance SEO specialist and the hiring company.

This flexibility also means that their income as a freelancer could significantly surpass the average SEO salary, especially if they have a robust portfolio and a stellar reputation in the industry. To give you an idea, freelance SEO jobs pay a salary range of £26,000 to £40,000.

Factors Affecting SEO Salary

When you’re exploring the landscape of SEO salaries, several factors will play a significant role in determining how much you can expect to earn in your next role. Understanding these variables can help you navigate your job search more effectively, whether seeking your first position or looking to climb to a higher rung on the career ladder.


Due to the cost of living and the concentration of businesses, major cities like Bristol and London often offer higher salaries than other regions. However, with the rise of remote work, there’s a growing flexibility in salary norms based on different locations.

Experience Level

Naturally, a seasoned SEO manager or director earns considerably more than someone in a junior role due to the depth of knowledge and skills they bring to a company. The table below illustrates a simplified view of how average salaries can vary across different roles within the SEO domain.

Size and Type of Company

Large companies and in-house teams often have bigger budgets for SEO roles than smaller agencies. Additionally, specialized roles, such as technical SEO specialists, might command higher salaries due to the specific skills and expertise required.

Demand for SEO Skills

Professionals with a good understanding of search engine algorithms, Google Analytics, and the latest digital marketing tools are in high demand. This increased demand can lead to more competitive salaries, especially for specialists and consultants who can demonstrate successful SEO strategies and a robust track record of improving a website’s visibility and traffic.

Find SEO Jobs and Get Your Desired Salary at SEO.Careers

Depending on which level you are in your SEO journey, what’s important is to start now and keep going until you’ve reached the role you’re clamouring for. The industry continues to evolve, which means more challenges and innovations. And if you keep blazing your trail as an SEO professional, you’ll one day be at the forefront of it all.

And to help you get there, let SEO.Careers clear the path for you. We connect the most skilled and passionate SEO talent who want to carve a career in the industry with the best organisations looking for people who can help improve their site rankings and manage their SEO team.

If you feel up to the challenge, send your application here to jumpstart your career and gain experience from other relevant jobs.

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