56% of SEO Practitioners See their Budgets Increase in 2023


The SEO industry continued to thrive in 2022 despite the constant changes and economic woes, according to a 54-page report released by online news and media publisher Search Engine Journal.

The data revealed that the industry not only had an influx of new practitioners, but 58 per cent also reported seeing higher ROI and increasing budgets.

The insights are from Search Engine Journal’s Second Annual State Of SEO Survey, which asked 3,623 SEO freelance, agency, and in-house professionals about their careers, budgets, priorities, and the year ahead.

“More than half of agency SEO professionals saw their budgets increase this year. Another 56 per cent of all SEO practitioners surveyed expect to see their budgets increase in 2023, so our data show few signs of it slowing down,” explains Loren Baker, Founder and Owner of Search Engine Journal. “Businesses relied on web searches during COVID. Now, they’re using SEO to build a strong foundation and keep that momentum going, while they prepare for the challenges ahead.”

Some other highlights from the report include:

  • Agency pros relied more on network referrals to find new business than in-house teams.
  • B2C pros are more likely to use the revenue to measure success than B2B professionals.
  • The highest-earning freelancers spend most of their time on technical SEO and strategy.
  • 16 per cent of C-Level/Directors reported scalability as their biggest challenge.
  • SEO practitioners said search intent will be their primary focus in 2023.

“To be successful, SEO professionals must assess their previous efforts carefully, but they also need to be proactive and keep an eye on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. The data from our report backs this up,” said Baker.