SEO isn't the big money maker many people believe, with many SEOs serving a small number of clients most earning smaller revenue. Bright Local has done a refresh of their 2011 Local SEO Industry Survey and there are some surprising results.
The last few years, we have seen the rise (and collapse) of some very large SEO companies, yet the vast majority of SEO companies are working either solo or with five or fewer other SEOs. A startling 82 percent of respondents have 1-5 SEOs in the company, with 36 percent being single SEOs.
Bright Local also discovered that 70 percent of customers were paying under $1,000 per month for SEO services, while the most SEOs handle between 6-10 customers. Even if those SEOs were at the max end of 10 customers, which means most SEOs are only bringing in a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000 per month from customers, with another 25 percent bringing in between $2,500 to $5,000. That is not a lot of revenue from clients, particularly if those SEOs have overhead such as office space or employees.
You can view the entire BrightLocal Local SEO Industry Survey 2013 here.