On average, you can expect to pay between $75 and $150 per hour for SEO services. If you’re going to pay a monthly retainer you’ll likely pay between $501 and $1,000 per month. For one-off projects expect to pay over $1000.
SEO costs can be confusing and you may not know why you should pay $1000 per month if you can pay under $100. Below I’m going to break down exactly where you’re money is going.
When we are talking about SEO costs your really paying for two things:
SEO professionals need to spend time working on your website to improve your presence in organic search. And ultimately, that’s how they will determine the cost of their services. Depending on the size of the website and level of competition costs can vary dramatically.
The bigger the website the more time that’s required, and high-competition industries are the same. So, as a small local business, you can expect to pay less than a national business or enterprise.
SEO professionals who have many years of experience will generally charge a lot more for their services. SEOs with less than 4 years experience will charge between $50 and $100 per hour, whereas SEOs with over 4 years experience will charge between $100 and $200 per hour.
Most of the time consultants will be cheaper than an agency (unless there is a big experience gap). Factors such as the need to pay for offices and staff are at play here.
I’d say on average, you can expect to pay around $50-$90 per hour for a consultant. On the flip side, expect to pay $120 or more per hour for an agency.
The benefit of a consultant is you get a more personalised experience they are probably managing fewer clients. For an agency, you get the benefit of several minds working together on your account.
I don’t believe you should worry too much about SEO cost but rather consider the return on investment. SEO is a process and you won’t see instant results, however, over time the benefits of SEO should outweigh the costs dramatically.
Following the first 3-6 months of SEO work, you should be measuring the amount of revenue and profit your making vs the cost of your SEO services. Based on that analysis you can begin to judge the true SEO costs you should be paying.