By Jen Doyle, Senior AnalystSEO Budget Allocation by Organization SizeClick here to see a larger, printable version of this chart
Since many organizations execute SEO in-house, the greatest related investment is staff salaries. Between keyword research, content development, code optimization, link building and social media integration, SEO requires a great deal of man-hours. Depending on the size of an organizations' website, executing efficient SEO can easily require a number of full-time employees.
Large organizations tend to have greater financial resources than small- and medium-sized organizations, and as such, this group is more likely to invest in an SEO agency as well as a paid analytics solution.
Small organizations with less than 100 employees may have a greater need to execute SEO on a reduced budget and are thus more likely to take this practice in-house. Many marketers in small organizations wear multiple hats and take on many marketing roles, which can make it difficult to determine their true cost of SEO.
The in-house SEO Specialist may very well also be the Email Marketing Specialist, PPC Specialist, Direct Mail Specialist, Public Relations Specialist, Trade Show Specialist, etc. Taking SEO in-house with one employee responsible for multiple marketing roles is very common. The in-house cost of SEO to an organization like this would be 1/6 that of a full-time employee.
For additional research data and insights about search marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary from MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Search Marketing Benchmark Report -- SEO Edition