How Much Is SEO?

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A common question for an SEO company – how much does SEO cost?
SEOmoz ran a survey in December 2011 asking their SEO consultant and SEO agency readers for pricing-model and cost-structure information. With over 600 responses, the data is quite interesting.

seo pricingHere are Rand Fishkin’s Top 9 Takeaways from the results:

  1. Hourly SEO Costs Vary Across Countries, but $76-$200/hour is Most Common
  2. By-the-Project SEO Pricing is Popular and Most Commonly $1,000-$7,500
  3. Monthly Retainer Pricing Has the Widest Distribution
  4. The Death of Hands-On SEO Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
  5. Inbound/Organic > Pure SEO (i.e. broader “inbound marketing” services firms offer SEO, social, content, conversion, analytics, etc)
  6. Web Design/Development Agencies do a Lot of SEO
  7. Employees:Clients/Month Ratio is Between 1-2
  8. Vast Majority of Consultants Service Small-Medium Businesses
  9. Though Project-Based Pricing is Most Popular, the Majority of Consultancies Also Offer Monthly Retainers and Hourly Rates

It’s great to get a look at the issue of SEO pricing which is usually kept quite close to the chest. There’s some good data in there, but it still doesn’t address things like “total spend per campaign” (which is difficult to figure for ongoing services), nor does it look at return on investment for the client. The stats for “percent-of-growth-based pricing” are interesting.

If you’re currently paying for SEO please leave a comment with some information on how much you’re paying and what service you are receiving (you can leave an anonymous comment on the blog post). Equally, if you’re an SEO provider, we’d love to hear what you charge and what you provide for that cost.

Infographic by SEOmoz & AYTM Market Research. Click here for the full report.


About the Author

I specialize in helping consultants, speakers and published authors to increase their sales. Unlike other marketers, I focus on customer lifetime value before focusing on conversion optimization. I’ve been building websites and software since 1996 and co-founded several software, web and information based startup companies and provided solutions for businesses and organisations of all sizes. I am the author of Running a Website with WordPress: A Quick Guide for Business Owners, available from Amazon in print and Kindle editions. I blog, and make media of all kinds at WebsiteDoctor.