How Much Do SEO Consultants Make?

Studying is not everyone’s favorite thing to do. Some absolutely love it while others need a little push to get things in order. But everyone could use a little help in organizing the tasks, schedules and manage time along the way.

SEO or search engine optimization continues to be a valuable marketing trend that if you want to succeed in the digital marketing industry, you’ll be required to acquire SEO knowledge and skills. You can learn more about SEO by reading informative articles about it on websites and blogs owned by digital marketing websites like webmarketing123.

When talking about careers, one important concern is income. If you’re seriously considering an independent SEO consultancy career instead of working for an agency, how much earnings can you make?

SEO Agency vs. Consultancy

Companies are willing to invest in a talented SEO professional to help them gain an edge in the competitive sphere of online search engines and digital marketing. Some of these companies even hire their own SEO specialist or create their own SEO team from an existing team of marketing talents. Others choose to become clients to an external SEO service provider such as a digital marketing agency or an individual SEO consultant. If working directly for one company isn’t much to your liking, but you prefer to work with a team that caters to different clients, there are many digital marketing agencies that will welcome someone who has SEO prowess like you. If you’re more comfortable working solo, you can always choose to go for an independent approach and become an SEO consultant.

Income Differences

An in-house SEO professional who is working for an agency earns an average of $60,000 to

$200,000 per year, depending on the function or hierarchy. On the other hand, an SEO consultant or freelancer earns an annual income of $30,000 to $50,000 on average. You may notice that there is a substantial disparity between these rates. An SEO consultant’s pay rate isn’t that bad, but a job post in an agency is obviously higher. It boils down to your preferences and working style whether you want to work with a team or be your own boss.

Factors that Affect SEO Pay Rates

SEO job pay scales for in-house, agency, and freelance differ in range due to these factors:

  • SEO Credentials – Similar to a job application, clients will consider your track record as an SEO expert by looking at your credentials. They’d pay more for someone with an excellent educational background and previous work experience in reputable companies, especially the well-established SEO firms and digital marketing service providers. They’ll ask how much your previous rate was and will offer a higher rate if they know you’re worth the investment.
  • Feedback from Previous Clients – Any service provider needs to gather as many positive reviews to back up any claims of excellence. This applies to any SEO professional as well. When your clients are happy about your work, they will recommend you to other potential leads, and this will help expand your network and raise your income. Some generous clients also pay extra for a service provider that is true to its promise.
  • Local Pay Rate Standards – Like any business enterprise and employment, local laws and policies are in place to determine standard pay rates in an area or state. These standards regulate the competition and prevent abuse from both the client and the SEO service provider. So, whether you’re under an SEO agency or an SEO consultant, your income will stay within the local range of pay set by these laws.
  • Demand and Competition – SEO services may be a trend nowadays, but the rate of demand may vary across different locations and industries, as well as the number of competitors. For instance, when there is more demand for SEO services but you’ll be competing with numerous other SEO agencies and consultants, you won’t be able to raise your service fee as high as you want or you’ll end up not having a single client. This means you’ll have a lower rate compared to a scenario where there is less competition.
  • Job Title or Position – Entry-level positions always have the lowest pay standard for any position. After all, you’re still starting and have yet to prove yourself worthy of a promotion or pay raise. This is also true with an SEO job, especially when you’re working in-house or in an agency. Managerial and consultant-level positions come with higher pay rates.

Venturing into an SEO consultancy career is as risky as starting any business. However, it can also be very rewarding when you’re able to give your best service, and you’ve satisfied your clients. If you’re not that confident yet, working at an agency can also serve as your training. You can use the experience and network to attract more clients of your own in the future.


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