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website positioning Pricing: ~350 Companies, Consultants, and Freelancers Reveal How A lot website positioning Prices in 2018 [New Research]

In Could 2018, we surveyed the website positioning trade to learn the way a lot they cost for website positioning companies, and what pricing fashions they use. Right here’s every little thing we realized from the 357 respondents.

I’ll start with our most vital discovering…

matt cutts seo services

A shocking survey respondent I discovered whereas sifting via the survey outcomes.

… Matt Cutts has left Google and is now within the website positioning sport.

He provides his companies worldwide and costs simply $500-$1,000 per thirty days. A discount actually, as I’ve heard he is aware of his stuff.

I began with this instance as an instance that we didn’t simply throw a survey into the air and blindly pull ends in Google Sheets. We manually reviewed each submission to take away duplicates and spam.

Two different notable factors:

  1. We disallowed nameless submissions to maintain the unique dataset as “clear” as attainable. All respondents needed to give an organization web site or freelancing profile.
  2. We didn’t prohibit the survey to our viewers. We promoted it closely on Fb to achieve a broader vary of SEOs.

Sidenote. Should you’re curious in regards to the survey on which our knowledge is predicated, you may view it right here. Please word that any new responses can be ignored.

We ended up with 348 “clear” submissions, from which I pulled insights referring to:

  1. Hourly charges
  2. Month-to-month retainer charges
  3. Per-project charges

I delve into particular findings for every part beneath. However first, a number of takeaways…

website positioning Pricing: 10 Prime Takeaways

Listed here are my prime 10 private takeaways from the info:

  1. Most SEOs cost a month-to-month retainer for some or all of their companies. 74.71% of respondents cost shoppers a month-to-month retainer payment. Pricing for this varies considerably from country-to-country, but it surely virtually by no means exceeds $5K/month (94.23% of all respondents priced their retainers at $5K/month or beneath).
  2. Many SEOs supply quite a few pricing fashions, though the bulk don’t. 40.eight% said that they provide a number of pricing fashions. However 59.2% of respondents supply just one pricing mannequin, 66.99% of whom cost a month-to-month retainer. Which means 39.66% of all SEOs surveyed solely cost a month-to-month retainer—they don’t supply hourly or per-project pricing to any of their shoppers.
  3. For month-to-month retainers, $501-$1,000 per thirty days is the most well-liked pricing tier. 23.08% of month-to-month retainers fall inside this vary. The second hottest pricing tier is $251-$500, which accounts for 19.23% of all retainers. Nonetheless, 24.23% of month-to-month retainers are $2,001/month or extra. Within the US, $2,501-$5,000/month was the most well-liked pricing tier.
  4. For hourly pricing, $100-$150 per hour is the most well-liked pricing tier. 25% of all hourly charges fall inside this vary. Within the US, that determine jumps to 35.29%. The second hottest hourly pricing tier is $75-$100, which accounts for 19.53% of all hourly charges.
  5. For per-project pricing, $501-$1,000 is the most well-liked pricing tier. 25.17% of all initiatives fall inside this vary. Nonetheless, 52.32% of respondents cost one-off charges of $1,001 or extra, with some charging as a lot as $25,001-$50,000.
  6. Hourly charges virtually by no means exceed $150/hour. 88.28% of respondents cost $150/hour or much less, though over half (50.44%) of these folks cost between $75 and $150 per hour. Solely 11.72% of hourly charges exceed $150/hour, and solely 6.25% exceed $200/hour.
  7. website positioning businesses cost greater than freelancers and consultants. Freelancers cost $68/hour, on common, whereas website positioning businesses cost virtually double that ($134.66). It’s an identical story for month-to-month retainers and per-project charges; website positioning businesses cost 2–4x greater than freelancers and considerably greater than consultants.
  8. Extra skilled SEOs cost considerably greater than much less skilled SEOs (shocking, proper!?). Those that’ve been in enterprise for two+ years cost 39.four% extra per hour, 102.41% extra for month-to-month retainers, and a staggering 275% extra for one-off initiatives than those that’ve been in enterprise for fewer than 2 years, on common.
  9. SEOs who solely serve their native market cost considerably lower than these serving the worldwide market. On common, these serving the worldwide market cost 130.74% greater than these serving the native market in terms of month-to-month retainer pricing. Our findings had been comparable for hourly and per-project pricing, too—albeit not fairly as excessive.
  10. SEOs primarily based in India and Latin America cost considerably lower than these primarily based elsewhere. 100% of SEOs primarily based in Latin America and India cost $60/hour or much less, considerably lower than the $108.33 world common hourly price. It’s an identical story in terms of month-to-month retainers and per-project pricing too.

Now let’s dive deeper.

1. website positioning Pricing (Hourly)

36.78% of respondents worth some or all of their work by the hour.

We discovered that $100-$150 per hour is the most well-liked hourly price for SEOs, with 25% of respondents charging this price.

01 How Much Do SEOs Charge Per Hour

50% of respondents cost between $75 and $200 per hour.

88.28% cost $150/hour or much less, and solely 6.25% command an hourly price of $201+.

50% of SEOs cost $75-$200/hour. 88.28% cost $150/hour or much less, and solely 6.25% cost greater than $200. @ahrefs

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Right here’s a breakdown of hourly charges by area:

02 SEO Hourly Rates by Region

It’s clear that there’s one outlier right here: India.

83.33% of India-based SEOs reported an hourly price of $25 or much less. The remaining 16.67% had been within the $41–50 vary.

Sidenote. I ought to level out that we didn’t have a very excessive quantity of information for a number of the areas on this listing. So please take these outcomes with a pinch of salt. Additionally, the rationale for grouping Germany, France, Italy, and Spain collectively is that they’re the one European nations (moreover the UK) with a GDP of 1 trillion or extra—I assumed it might be attention-grabbing to see if the numbers for these nations had been noticeably completely different from the remainder of Europe.

US knowledge in isolation, 61.76% cost $75–200/hour—that’s virtually two thirds!

Do website positioning Companies Cost Extra Per Hour Than Freelancers?

Sure.

03 SEO Hourly Rates by Business Type

53.45% of website positioning businesses command $100+/hour, in comparison with solely 33.33% of consultants and 15% of freelancers.

The commonest hourly price for website positioning businesses is $100-$150/hour.

For website positioning consultants it’s $75-$100/hour, and for freelancers, it’s $41–50/hour.

If we assume that each one surveyed SEOs cost the higher finish of their respective pricing tier (e.g., $150, from $100-$150), after which take the typical hourly price for every subset (Company, Freelance, Consultancy), right here’s what we get:

  • Companies: $134.66/hour, on common.
  • Consultancies: $122.33/hour, on common.
  • Freelancers: $68/hour, on common.

By these stats, the hourly price charged by website positioning businesses is nearly double that of website positioning freelancers.

Do Extra Skilled SEOs Earn A Lot Extra Per Hour?

Sure, they do.

04 SEO Hourly Rates by Time in Business

$79.37 is the typical hourly price for SEOs who’ve been in enterprise for 2 years or much less.

This jumps to $110.69 for many who’ve been in enterprise for two–four years, $118.85 for five–10 years, and $142.50 for 10+ years.

So, it appears that evidently expertise and monitor document play a significant position in terms of hourly earnings.

Do These Providing Providers Worldwide Cost Extra Per Hour Than These Serving Native Markets?

Sure.

05 SEO Hourly Rates Local Vs. Worldwide Markets

These providing their companies regionally earn $96.44/hour, on common, whereas these serving the worldwide market earn $118.80/hour.

That’s a distinction of 23.17%.

Sidenote. Should you took half in our survey, you may need observed that there have been three choices to select from for this part: Worldwide, Domestically, or Each. As I used to be sifting via the info, I spotted that that “Worldwide” and “Each” had been the identical factor (duh!), so I merged the info.

2. website positioning Pricing (Month-to-month Retainer)

74.71% of respondents cost a month-to-month retainer for some or all of their work.

We discovered that $501-$1,000 per thirty days is the most well-liked month-to-month retainer price for SEOs, with 23.08% of respondents charging this price.

06 How Much Do SEOs Charge Per Month

45% of respondents cost between $501 and $2,000 per thirty days.

75.77% cost $2,000/month or much less, which means that solely 24.23% command retainers of $2,001+.

45% of SEOs cost $501-$2,000/month. 75.77% cost $2k/month or much less, which means that solely 24.23% cost greater than $2k. @ahrefs

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Right here’s a breakdown of month-to-month retainer charges by area:

07 SEO Monthly Retainer Rates by Region

As soon as once more, India is a transparent outlier right here.

91.three% of India-based SEOs cost $1,000 or much less per thirty days. The remaining eight.7% cost between $2,001 and $5,000.

US knowledge in isolation, 66.25% cost at the very least $1,001 per thirty days—some command as a lot as $25,001-$50,000 per thirty days!

Do website positioning Companies Cost Extra Per Month Than Freelancers?

Sure.

08 SEO Monthly Retainer Rates by Business Type

50.98% of website positioning businesses command $1,001+/month, in comparison with solely 44.64% of consultants and 33.33% of freelancers.

The commonest month-to-month retainer vary for website positioning businesses and consultants is $500-$1,000/month.

For freelancers, it’s $251-$500/month.

If we assume that each one surveyed SEOs cost the higher finish of their respective pricing tier (e.g., $1,500, from $1,001-$1,500), after which take the typical month-to-month retainer price for every subset (Company, Freelance, Consultancy), right here’s what we get:

  • Companies: $2,819.87/month, on common.
  • Consultancies: $1,906.48/month, on common.
  • Freelancers: $1,364/month, on common.

By these stats, the month-to-month retainer vary charged by website positioning businesses is greater than double that of website positioning freelancers.

Do Extra Skilled SEOs Cost A Lot Extra Per Month?

Sure, they do.

09 SEO Monthly Retainer Rates by Time in Business

$1,266.31 is the typical retainer price for SEOs who’ve been in enterprise for 2 years or much less.

This jumps to $2,563.20 for many who’ve been in enterprise for two+ years—virtually double that of those that’ve been in enterprise two years or much less.

Whereas there are seems to be a steep climb within the first few years of enterprise, issues appear to stage out after 2–four years. In line with the info, those that’ve been in enterprise 10+ years cost roughly the identical as those that’ve been in enterprise for simply 2–four.

Do These Providing Providers Worldwide Cost Extra Per Month Than These Serving Native Markets?

Sure.

10 SEO Monthly Retainer Rates Local Vs. Worldwide Markets

These providing their companies regionally cost $1,566.09/month, on common, whereas these serving the worldwide market earn $three,613.61/month.

That’s a big distinction of 130.74%.

three. website positioning Pricing (Per Undertaking)

43.39% of respondents cost a per-project payment for some or all of their work.

We discovered that $501-$1,000 is the most well-liked per-project payment, with 25.17% of respondents charging this price.

11 How Much Do SEOs Charge Per Project

52.32% of respondents cost $1,001 or extra.

69.54% cost $2,000 or much less, which means that solely 30.46% command per-project charges of $2,001+.

52.32% of SEOs cost $1k+ for one-off initiatives. 69.54% cost $2k or much less, which means that solely 30.46% command per-project charges of $2k+. @ahrefs

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Right here’s a breakdown of per-project charges by area:

12 SEO Per Project Rates by Region

India and Latin America are the outliers right here.

100% of SEOs primarily based in Latin America cost $1,000 or much less. Identical goes for 92.31% of India-based SEOs—the remaining 7.69% cost between $2,001 and $2,500.

US knowledge in isolation, 64.29% cost at the very least $1,001. And 11.9% cost $10,001-$25,000 per venture!

Do website positioning Companies Cost Extra Per Undertaking Than Freelancers?

Sure.

13 SEO Monthly Retainer Rates by Business Type

64.71% of website positioning businesses command $1,001+ per venture, in comparison with solely 47.22% of consultants and 38.three% of freelancers.

The commonest per-project payment for website positioning businesses, consultants, and freelancers is $500-$1,000.

If we assume that each one surveyed SEOs cost the higher finish of their respective pricing tier (e.g., $1,500, from $1,001-$1,500), after which take the typical per-project price for every subset (Company, Freelance, Consultancy), right here’s what we get:

  • Companies: $5,222.06 per venture, on common.
  • Consultancies: $four,481.94 per venture, on common.
  • Freelancers: $1,530.85 per venture, on common.

By these stats, the per-project payment charged by website positioning businesses is greater than triple that of an website positioning freelancer, on common.

Do Extra Skilled SEOs Cost A Lot Extra Per Undertaking?

Sure, they do.

14 SEO Per Project Rates by Time in Business

$1,234.60 is the typical per venture payment charged by those that’ve been in enterprise for 2 years or much less.

This jumps to $four,629.59 for many who’ve been in enterprise for two+ years—virtually 4X as a lot as those that’ve been in enterprise for 2 years or much less.

As soon as once more, whereas there are seems to be a steep climb within the first few years of enterprise, issues appear to stage out after 2–four years. In line with the info, those that’ve been in enterprise 10+ years cost roughly the identical as those that’ve been in enterprise for simply 2–four.

Do These Providing Providers Worldwide Cost Extra Per Undertaking Than These Serving Native Markets?

Sure—considerably extra!

15 SEO Per Project Rates Local Vs. Worldwide Markets

These providing their companies regionally cost $2,755.88 per venture, on common, whereas these serving the worldwide market cost $four,478.50.

That’s a big distinction of 62.5%.

Ultimate Ideas (+ Knowledge Dump)

Would you like much more insights about website positioning trade pricing? Or maybe simply the flexibility to filter the info all the way down to your individual nation or a particular set of circumstances?

You’re in luck—I created a easy “knowledge explorer” in Google Sheets. Entry it right here.

Right here’s a fast demonstration video to point out the way it works.

No pivot tables or superior excel data wanted. Simply choose your choices from the drop-down and the info will mechanically filter. 😉

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