Best Cities to Get an SEO Job

This research has been updated. View the most recent results here.

Does where you live affect your odds of getting a job in SEO? Do large metropolises only seemingly have more SEO career opportunity until you adjust for population size?

Supply and demand – that’s ultimately what I’m after with this exploration. And while there has been research posted on the subject, it didn’t take into account the number of individuals vying for those jobs.

And why settle on “SEO” jobs, anyway? After all, there’s been legitimate acknowledgement of SEO becoming less of a job title and more of a key skill to have in a Swiss Army type of role. 1 Well, I’m glad you asked.

This research is about the present, not where we’re headed. Take a look at the number of United States job title postings from Indeed.com pulled in June 2016.

  • title:”inbound marketing” OR title:”inbound marketer”- 61
  • title:”content marketing” OR title:”content marketer” – 481
  • title:seo – 899

In closely related fields, “SEO” is still the heavy favorite when it comes to job titles.

OK. Let’s skip to the good stuff. I’ve added anchor links below so you can jump around as you wish, but I do have one last thing to help set the stage.

I’m not a statistician or an economist. I don’t work for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. I claim no expertise in this area. This is nothing more than an attempt to answer those questions at the top of this page. Did I answer them fully? Probably not. Did I get closer to an answer? I think so. If you have knowledge in this area and want to offer any alternative methods or formulas, I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below.

Menu
Methods (warning: math)
Skip to the list (75 to 1)
Skip to the top 10 cities
Assumptions & caveats
Conclusion

Methods

Data

Data point: Combined Statistical Area (CSA) July 1, 2015 population estimate
Definition: A CSA is essentially a labor market. Some metros are adjacent and closely overlap when it comes to potential employees. In those instances 2, a CSA may combine some or all of those metro regions for a more complete labor and economic metropolitan area. Nine metros included in this study are not within a CSA 3. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) population estimates were used in those cases. The top 75 CSAs/MSAs were used in this research.
What it represents: The total labor market population
Source: Census.gov 4

Data point: SEO title job postings – May 4th, June 3rd and July 4th of 2016
Definition: A 50-mile radius around a zip code from the most populous city in the CSA was used for these searches. “SEO” was searched “With these words in the title”. Only full-time jobs were counted.
What it represents: The total number of open SEO positions in a CSA
Source: Indeed

Data point: SEO title or description job postings – May 4th, June 3rd and July 4th of 2016
Definition: A 50-mile radius around a zip code from the most populous city in the CSA was used for these searches. “SEO” was searched “With all of these words”, which could include the job title or description. Only full-time jobs were counted.
What it represents: The total number of open positions related to SEO in a CSA
Source: Indeed

Data point: SEO title employee population – May 4th, June 3rd and July 4th of 2016
Definition: A 50-mile radius around a zip code from the most populous city in the CSA was used for these searches. “SEO” was searched in the “Title” field. Only current positions were counted.
What it represents: The total number of employed people in a CSA with “SEO” in their job title
Source: LinkedIn

Formula

Before I get into the actual formula, I’ll walk through how I normalized the data. Have you ever tried to weight and compare criteria using datasets with wildly different scales? As you may have guessed, my first stab at this was trying to do just that. The results were ugly and I had no idea why, until I read more about normalization.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about normalization:

“In another usage in statistics, normalization refers to the creation of shifted and scaled versions of statistics, where the intention is that these normalized values allow the comparison of corresponding normalized values for different datasets in a way that eliminates the effects of certain gross influences…” Wikipedia

I specifically used a method called feature scaling to convert all datasets to a 0-100 scale. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to evaluate if 8 SEO job openings for a population of 9.5 million is high, low or normal.

To normalize the data through feature scaling, I used the formula below where Xmin is the lowest number of all 75 metros and Xmax is the highest.

X*100=(X-Xmin)/(Xmax-Xmin)

Here are normalized metrics I used:

  • Population Index – CSA population estimates
  • Indeed Title Index – SEO title job postings
  • LinkedIn Job Index – SEO title employee population
  • SEO Job Pool Index – If LinkedIn jobs are ‘A’, Indeed SEO title job postings are ‘B’ and SEO title or description job postings are ‘C’, this normalization was completed from the results of this formula: A/((B+0.1)/(C+0.1))

I should probably explain the SEO Job Pool Index metric before going on any further. 5. The SEO Job Pool Index was created because while I thought the total CSA population was relevant (if all else is equal, a smaller population means less competition to get an SEO job), it didn’t give me a good idea of who these people were. Some places are going to have a greater share of people qualified for and/or interested in the SEO field.

That’s where this formula comes in. I first divided the two Indeed metrics to get the relationship between the demand for SEO as a job and SEO as a skill. I then applied that relationship to the number of people currently employed with an SEO title as a proxy to estimate the total number of people in the SEO job applicant pool. Are you confused yet?

In simpler terms, think of the SEO Job Pool Index as a major indicator of the number of people looking for an SEO job and the Population Index as a minor indicator.

If Population Index is ‘A’, Indeed Title Index is ‘B’, LinkedIn Job Index is ‘C’ SEO Job Pool Index as ‘D’, and with X being the calculation by CSA, here’s the formula I used. Everything in red represents the SEO job Supply and green the SEO job Demand.

X=((B+(C*0.1))/(D+(A*0.25)))*100

A couple more notes on how the calculation works: Everything above represents data pulled from a single day. Obviously these metrics are not static and change frequently. Because calculations for lower population areas fluctuated mightily from month-to-month 6, I made two adjustments so the rank was more representative of a typical day.

  • I averaged the scores on May 4th, June 3rd and July 4th.
  • I applied a volatility penalization to those cities where the minimum score of those three months was less than 25% of that city’s highest score. The final score was multiplied by 0.75 in those instances.

If you’re still tracking with me, you may have some questions on the formula itself. I’ll try to address them here. And just to reiterate, please leave a comment on this post if you have any other questions or critiques.

Why was everything multiplied by 100?
Aesthetics. 185.58 is a more appealing score than 1.8558.

LinkedIn Job Index is counting people who currently fill SEO positions. Why am I using that to help measure unfilled/open SEO positions
These positions are filled today but we all know turnover exists. And while most will leave one SEO job for another, resulting in an overall wash, some will either change fields or stay in SEO but move out of the CSA. Thus, if all else is equal, a region with more filled SEO positions will have a larger supply of SEO job openings, making it comparably easier to find SEO employment.

How were the 0.1 and 0.25 weights developed?
This wasn’t much more scientific than a blindfold and a dartboard, to be honest. Based on my previous explanations, I already assumed the Population Index should be less influential than the SEO Job Pool Index and the LinkedIn Job Index should be less influential than the Indeed Title Index, but how much so? Honestly, I fiddled with the numbers until the list ‘looked right’, which means unfortunately my own biases played a factor.

Great job. We made it through that section together. Now it’s time for the big reveal. Here are the top 75 metros to get an SEO job in descending order.

Best Cities to Get an SEO Job

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75. McAllen, TX

CSA: McAllen-Edinburg, TX
CSA Population: 906,099
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 1, June – 1, July – 1
SEO title employees: May – 7, June – 7, July – 7

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74. Greenville, SC

CSA: Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC
CSA Population: 1,426,625
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 25, June – 23, July – 21
SEO title employees: May – 33, June – 34, July – 34

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73. Honolulu, HI

MSA: Urban Honolulu, HI
CSA Population: 976,372
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 12, June – 14, July – 13
SEO title employees: May – 29, June – 31, July – 31

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72. Tucson, AZ

CSA: Tucson-Nogales, AZ
CSA Population: 1,056,486
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 7, June – 12, July – 17
SEO title employees: May – 39, June – 37, July – 37

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71. Buffalo, NY

CSA: Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY
CSA Population: 1,213,152
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 17, June – 16, July – 21
SEO title employees: May – 121, June – 118, July – 115

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70. Tulsa, OK

CSA: Tulsa-Muskogee-Bartlesville, OK
CSA Population: 1,151,172
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 13, June – 7, July – 10
SEO title employees: May – 34, June – 35, July – 33

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69. Chattanooga, TN

CSA: Chattanooga-Cleveland-Dalton, TN-GA-AL
CSA Population: 950,005
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 9, June – 7, July – 6
SEO title employees: May – 32, June – 33, July – 33

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68. Columbia, SC

CSA: Columbia-Orangeburg-Newberry, SC
CSA Population: 937,288
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 3, June – 3, July – 4
SEO title employees: May – 15, June – 15, July – 18

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67. South Bend, IN

CSA: South Bend-Elkhart-Mishawaka, IN-MI
CSA Population: 725,065
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 6, June – 5, July – 4
SEO title employees: May – 32, June – 30, July – 34

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66. Fresno, CA

CSA: Fresno-Madera, CA
CSA Population: 1,129,859
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 2, June – 3, July – 3
SEO title employees: May – 24, June – 24, July – 25

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65. Huntsville, AL

CSA: Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL
CSA Population: 692,157
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 2, June – 2, July – 2
SEO title employees: May – 24, June – 24, July – 25

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64. Madison, WI

CSA: Madison-Janesville-Beloit, WI
CSA Population: 866,475
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 36, June – 24, July – 20
SEO title employees: May – 39, June – 38, July – 41

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63. Ft. Myers, FL

CSA: Cape Coral-Fort Myers-Naples, FL
CSA Population: 1,059,287
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 13, June – 15, July – 15
SEO title employees: May – 64, June – 63, July – 64

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62. Sacramento, CA

CSA: Sacramento-Roseville, CA
CSA Population: 2,544,026
SEO title jobs: May – 2, June – 1, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 32, June – 26, July – 33
SEO title employees: May – 179, June – 183, July – 184

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61. Knoxville, TN

CSA: Knoxville-Morristown-Sevierville, TN
CSA Population: 1,109,174
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 17, June – 9, July – 6
SEO title employees: May – 39, June – 41, July – 41

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60. Rochester, NY

CSA: Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, NY
CSA Population: 1,175,724
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 1, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 16, June – 23, July – 25
SEO title employees: May – 43, June – 45, July – 45

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59. Raleigh, NC

CSA: Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
CSA Population: 2,117,103
SEO title jobs: May – 3, June – 0, July – 5
SEO title or description jobs: May – 114, June – 82, July – 108
SEO title employees: May – 151, June – 149, July – 152

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58. Indianapolis, IN

CSA: Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN
CSA Population: 2,372,530
SEO title jobs: May – 2, June – 2, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 71, June – 61, July – 53
SEO title employees: May – 73, June – 76, July – 75

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57. San Antonio, TX

MSA: San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
CSA Population: 2,234,003
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 2, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 30, June – 34, July – 38
SEO title employees: May – 73, June – 72, July – 75

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56. Grand Rapids, MI

CSA: Grand Rapids-Wyoming-Muskegon, MI
CSA Population: 1,433,288
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 1, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 31, June – 36, July – 34
SEO title employees: May – 66, June – 67, July – 70

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55. Cincinnati, OH

CSA: Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN
CSA Population: 2,216,735
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 1, July – 4
SEO title or description jobs: May – 63, June – 66, July – 57
SEO title employees: May – 89, June – 89, July – 92

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54. Birmingham, AL

CSA: Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL
CSA Population: 1,319,238
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 1, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 26, June – 17, July – 14
SEO title employees: May – 54, June – 54, July – 51

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53. Louisville, KY

CSA: Louisville/Jefferson County–Elizabethtown–Madison, KY-IN
CSA Population: 1,504,559
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 1, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 25, June – 18, July – 15
SEO title employees: May – 37, June – 39, July – 40

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52. Pittsburgh, PA

CSA: Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV
CSA Population: 2,648,605
SEO title jobs: May – 4, June – 1, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 64, June – 46, July – 38
SEO title employees: May – 137, June – 139, July – 142

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51. Memphis, TN

CSA: Memphis-Forrest City, TN-MS-AR
CSA Population: 1,370,716
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 0, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 9, June – 9, July – 12
SEO title employees: May – 61, June – 62, July – 62

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50. Harrisburg, PA

CSA: Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA
CSA Population: 1,247,235
SEO title jobs: May – 2, June – 2, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 39, June – 41, July – 50
SEO title employees: May – 96, June – 98, July – 99

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49. Denver, CO

CSA: Denver-Aurora, CO
CSA Population: 3,418,876
SEO title jobs: May – 5, June – 6, July – 7
SEO title or description jobs: May – 149, June – 140, July – 141
SEO title employees: May – 362, June – 364, July – 372

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48. Seattle, WA

CSA: Seattle-Tacoma, WA
CSA Population: 4,602,591
SEO title jobs: May – 9, June – 9, July – 11
SEO title or description jobs: May – 257, June – 268, July – 254
SEO title employees: May – 396, June – 402, July – 405

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47. St. Louis, MO

CSA: St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL
CSA Population: 2,916,447
SEO title jobs: May – 3, June – 3, July – 3
SEO title or description jobs: May – 59, June – 61, July – 63
SEO title employees: May – 115, June – 117, July – 120

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46. Detroit, MI

CSA: Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI
CSA Population: 5,319,913
SEO title jobs: May – 4, June – 6, July – 7
SEO title or description jobs: May – 91, June – 90, July – 98
SEO title employees: May – 231, June – 237, July – 238

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45. Kansas City, MO

CSA: Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS
CSA Population: 2,428,362
SEO title jobs: May – 5, June – 4, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 65, June – 65, July – 65
SEO title employees: May – 116, June – 118, July – 114

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44. Las Vegas, NV

CSA: Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ
CSA Population: 2,362,015
SEO title jobs: May – 6, June – 3, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 43, June – 40, July – 41
SEO title employees: May – 199, June – 200, July – 202

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43. Houston, TX

CSA: Houston-The Woodlands, TX
CSA Population: 6,855,069
SEO title jobs: May – 8, June – 8, July – 8
SEO title or description jobs: May – 112, June – 86, July – 103
SEO title employees: May – 330, June – 331, July – 339

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42. El Paso, TX

CSA: El Paso-Las Cruces, TX-NM
CSA Population: 1,053,267
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 3, June – 1, July – 2
SEO title employees: May – 18, June – 20, July – 21

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41. Oklahoma City, OK

CSA: Oklahoma City-Shawnee, OK
CSA Population: 1,430,327
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 1, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 13, June – 17, July – 15
SEO title employees: May – 49, June – 49, July – 48

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40. Albany, NY

CSA: Albany-Schenectady, NY
CSA Population: 1,173,891
SEO title jobs: May – 3, June – 1, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 29, June – 17, July – 21
SEO title employees: May – 168, June – 167, July – 171

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39. Hartford, CT

CSA: Hartford-West Hartford, CT
CSA Population: 1,483,187
SEO title jobs: May – 6, June – 4, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 84, June – 63, July – 70
SEO title employees: May – 166, June – 171, July – 174

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38. Greensboro, NC

CSA: Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, NC
CSA Population: 1,642,506
SEO title jobs: May – 2, June – 3, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 34, June – 52, July – 53
SEO title employees: May – 85, June – 85, July – 86

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37. Milwaukee, WI

CSA: Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI
CSA Population: 2,046,092
SEO title jobs: May – 5, June – 2, July – 3
SEO title or description jobs: May – 50, June – 65, July – 74
SEO title employees: May – 118, June – 119, July – 122

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36. Syracuse, NY

CSA: Syracuse-Auburn, NY
CSA Population: 738,746
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 0, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 10, June – 12, July – 11
SEO title employees: May – 49, June – 48, July – 48

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35. Norfolk, VA

CSA: Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC
CSA Population: 1,828,187
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 3, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 26, June – 27, July – 22
SEO title employees: May – 55, June – 57, July – 56

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34. Charlotte, NC

CSA: Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC
CSA Population: 2,583,956
SEO title jobs: May – 6, June – 4, July – 5
SEO title or description jobs: May – 81, June – 75, July – 75
SEO title employees: May – 164, June – 162, July – 158

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33. Cleveland, OH

CSA: Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH
CSA Population: 3,493,596
SEO title jobs: May – 5, June – 6, July – 8
SEO title or description jobs: May – 57, June – 60, July – 62
SEO title employees: May – 144, June – 150, July – 152

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32. Washington DC

CSA: Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA
CSA Population: 9,625,360
SEO title jobs: May – 23, June – 23, July – 20
SEO title or description jobs: May – 422, June – 416, July – 399
SEO title employees: May – 418, June – 436, July – 449

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31. Minneapolis, MN

CSA: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI
CSA Population: 3,866,768
SEO title jobs: May – 7, June – 12, July – 7
SEO title or description jobs: May – 144, June – 143, July – 142
SEO title employees: May – 224, June – 231, July – 239

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30. Albuquerque, NM

CSA: Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM
CSA Population: 1,168,533
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 1, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 11, June – 13, July – 7
SEO title employees: May – 32, June – 33, July – 35

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29. Orlando, FL

CSA: Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, FL
CSA Population: 3,129,308
SEO title jobs: May – 7, June – 6, July – 13
SEO title or description jobs: May – 92, June – 98, July – 109
SEO title employees: May – 279, June – 279, July – 279

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28. Tampa, FL

MSA: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
CSA Population: 2,842,878
SEO title jobs: May – 10, June – 8, July – 6
SEO title or description jobs: May – 100, June – 81, July – 80
SEO title employees: May – 328, June – 323, July – 330

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27. New York, NY

CSA: New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA
CSA Population: 23,723,696
SEO title jobs: May – 95, June – 102, July – 92
SEO title or description jobs: May – 1,294, June – 1,225, July – 1,205
SEO title employees: May – 2,936, June – 2,942, July – 2,935

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26. New Orleans, LA

CSA: New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond, LA-MS
CSA Population: 1,493,205
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 1, July – 3
SEO title or description jobs: May – 10, June – 11, July – 18
SEO title employees: May – 35, June – 36, July – 37

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25. Nashville, TN

CSA: Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro, TN
CSA Population: 1,951,644
SEO title jobs: May – 4, June – 4, July – 4
SEO title or description jobs: May – 50, June – 61, July – 62
SEO title employees: May – 82, June – 87, July – 83

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24. Miami, FL

CSA: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL
CSA Population: 6,654,565
SEO title jobs: May – 17, June – 23, July – 21
SEO title or description jobs: May – 191, June – 212, July – 188
SEO title employees: May – 551, June – 560, July – 555

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23. Charleston, WV

CSA: Charleston-Huntington-Ashland, WV-OH-KY
CSA Population: 693,726
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 2, June – 1, July – 0
SEO title employees: May – 9, June – 10, July – 10

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22. Philadelphia, PA

CSA: Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD
CSA Population: 7,183,479
SEO title jobs: May – 32, June – 33, July – 27
SEO title or description jobs: May – 1559, June – 343, July – 353
SEO title employees: May – 515, June – 527, July – 527

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21. Los Angeles, CA

CSA: Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
CSA Population: 18,679,763
SEO title jobs: May – 85, June – 90, July – 79
SEO title or description jobs: May – 687, June – 749, July – 717
SEO title employees: May – 1,779, June – 1,795, July – 1,811

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20. Jacksonville, FL

CSA: Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka, FL-GA
CSA Population: 1,573,606
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 4, July – 6
SEO title or description jobs: May – 35, June – 31, July – 33
SEO title employees: May – 139, June – 137, July – 139

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19. Columbus, OH

CSA: Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH
CSA Population: 2,424,831
SEO title jobs: May – 6, June – 6, July – 7
SEO title or description jobs: May – 60, June – 56, July – 49
SEO title employees: May – 116, June – 118, July – 119

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18. San Francisco, CA

CSA: San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
CSA Population: 8,713,914
SEO title jobs: May – 70, June – 60, July – 53
SEO title or description jobs: May – 914, June – 878, July – 818
SEO title employees: May – 1,161, June – 1,152, July – 1,167

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17. Phoenix, AZ

MSA: Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (core based statistical area)
CSA Population: 4,329,534
SEO title jobs: May – 18, June – 17, July – 16
SEO title or description jobs: May – 117, June – 153, July – 130
SEO title employees: May – 387, June – 387, July – 390

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16. Atlanta, GA

CSA: Atlanta-Athens-Clarke-Sandy Springs
CSA Population: 6,365,108
SEO title jobs: May – 22, June – 25, July – 33
SEO title or description jobs: May – 249, June – 259, July – 244
SEO title employees: May – 447, June – 451, July – 452

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15. Little Rock, AR

CSA: Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR
CSA Population: 904,469
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 0, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 3, June – 3, July – 7
SEO title employees: May – 19, June – 20, July – 20

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14. Dallas, TX

CSA: Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK
CSA Population: 7,504,362
SEO title jobs: May – 35, June – 30, July – 27
SEO title or description jobs: May – 296, June – 274, July – 241
SEO title employees: May – 537, June – 547, July – 537

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13. Boston, MA

CSA: Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT
CSA Population: 8,152,573
SEO title jobs: May – 37, June – 43, July – 40
SEO title or description jobs: May – 501, June – 494, July – 508
SEO title employees: May – 512, June – 514, July – 521

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12. Portland, OR

CSA: Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA
CSA Population: 3,110,906
SEO title jobs: May – 10, June – 14, July – 10
SEO title or description jobs: May – 82, June – 93, July – 79
SEO title employees: May – 224, June – 228, July – 223

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11. Omaha, NE

CSA: Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA
CSA Population: 952,018
SEO title jobs: May – 4, June – 1, July – 3
SEO title or description jobs: May – 30, June – 26, July – 19
SEO title employees: May – 59, June – 59, July – 59

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10. Salt Lake City, UT

CSA: Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, UT
CSA Population: 2,467,709
SEO title jobs: May – 22, June – 18, July – 17
SEO title or description jobs: May – 149, June – 149, July – 135
SEO title employees: May – 516, June – 518, July – 516

source
9. San Diego, CA

MSA: San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
CSA Population: 3,177,063
SEO title jobs: May – 27, June – 30, July – 29
SEO title or description jobs: May – 200, June – 209, July – 206
SEO title employees: May – 806, June – 789, July – 804

source
8. Chicago, IL

CSA: Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
CSA Population: 9,923,358
SEO title jobs: May – 57, June – 64, July – 59
SEO title or description jobs: May – 516, June – 512, July – 499
SEO title employees: May – 678, June – 689, July – 682

source
7. Baton Rouge, LA

MSA: Baton Rouge, LA
CSA Population: 815,298
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 1, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 5, June – 5, July – 5
SEO title employees: May – 15, June – 16, July – 19

source
6. Austin, TX

MSA: Austin-Round Rock, TX
CSA Population: 1,834,303
SEO title jobs: May – 17, June – 19, July – 17
SEO title or description jobs: May – 168, June – 156, July – 147
SEO title employees: May – 285, June – 278, July – 284

source
5. Charleston, SC

MSA: Charleston-North Charleston, SC
CSA Population: 697,439
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 2, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 24, June – 24, July – 19
SEO title employees: May – 27, June – 28, July – 28

source
4. Richmond, VA

MSA: Richmond, VA
CSA Population: 1,231,980
SEO title jobs: May – 4, June – 6, July – 3
SEO title or description jobs: May – 23, June – 23, July – 19
SEO title employees: May – 57, June – 60, July – 60

source
3. Boise City, ID

CSA: Boise City-Mountain Home-Ontario, ID-OR
CSA Population: 756,061
SEO title jobs: May – 1, June – 4, July – 2
SEO title or description jobs: May – 12, June – 15, July – 18
SEO title employees: May – 73, June – 71, July – 74

source
2. Lexington, KY

CSA: Lexington-Fayette–Richmond–Frankfort, KY
CSA Population: 723,849
SEO title jobs: May – 2, June – 0, July – 0
SEO title or description jobs: May – 6, June – 3, July – 3
SEO title employees: May – 26, June – 25, July – 26


source
1. Spokane, WA

CSA: Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d’Alene, WA-ID
CSA Population: 698,170
SEO title jobs: May – 0, June – 2, July – 1
SEO title or description jobs: May – 7, June – 7, July – 7
SEO title employees: May – 43, June – 44, July – 47

Assumptions & caveats

Here are some critical assumptions and caveats to consider when reviewing this list in order to have the right context:

  • With ‘Best Cities to Get an SEO Job’, the key word is “Get”. This in no way measures which cities have the best SEO jobs or in which cities are the best to work. It just attempts to compare the likelihood of obtaining an SEO job across the major metros of America.
  • This assumes you must work locally. Cities that generally have a higher share of telecommuters 7 would be negatively impacted by this list.
  • How far the average employee is willing to commute may change from city-to-city based on population density and public transportation quality. With a standard 50-mile radius, that was not taken into account in this list.
  • Job titles can be regionally influenced. This list does not consider other terms besides “SEO”. If certain cities are more likely to call an SEO job something else (search marketer, search engine optimization specialist, inbound marketing professional, etc.) their scores will be deflated as a result.
  • Since Indeed and LinkedIn do not have 100% of the data needed, it is assumed the full data 8 trending correlates well with the Indeed and LinkedIn data trends.
  • This list looks at each region in a vacuum. At a CSA level, that is usually fine, but there are a few instances where two CSAs are still sharing some of the same job pool, like Raleigh and Greensboro.

Conclusion

Ready to move to Washington? I for one did not guess Spokane would make the top spot, or even the top 20, but the competition to get an SEO job is just so small compared to the few openings it has available.

I hope you found some of this information interesting or at least entertaining. I plan to update this every few months or so to see how the results trend over time. Until then, I want to hear your thoughts. Post your questions, suggestions and critiques in the comments below.


  1. Heck, even my own position doesn’t have “SEO” in the title.

  2. Think Baltimore and Washington, DC

  3. Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, San Antonio, Austin, Richmond, Honolulu, Charleston and Baton Rouge

  4. You have to modify the table to select CSAs instead of states.

  5. Are you getting tired yet? Want to take a break for a few minutes before finishing this? Go ahead. I’ll wait here.

  6. Just a few more job postings in New York hardly affects its score but if the same happens in Huntsville, Alabama, it suddenly looks like the SEO career hotbed of America.

  7. Honolulu?

  8. the true number of “SEO” job openings and number of people employed with “SEO” in their job title

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