November 23, 2009, 12:00 AM

Average salaries for search engine marketers increase 1.5%

Entry-level search marketers this year typically earn $40,000 to $80,000, while senior managers earn $70,000 to $120,000 and vice presidents with responsibilities for large campaigns or teams earn $160,000 to $250,000, new research shows.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Search engine marketing is a new discipline, and professionals with search marketing experience have been in demand in recent years. But the economic downturn clearly impacted even this hot area, as the average salary for search engine marketers has increased only 1.5% in 2009, according to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization’s second annual salary survey.

Search marketers with one to three years relevant experience typically earn $40,000 to $80,000; senior managers from $70,000 to $120,000; and vice presidents with responsibilities for large search engine management campaigns or a team of specialists from $160,000 to $250,000, the survey shows.

Search engine marketing professionals today are responsible for a broadening spectrum of online marketing activities, including paid search and search engine optimization for natural search; social media campaigns; e-mail marketing; display ad campaigns; vertical search engine targeting; affiliate marketing programs; and comparison shopping engines, SEMPO says.

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

SEMPO surveyed more than 600 of its members for the report.

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