SEO Marketing – SEO Rates, Costs & Prices
Once again, what you pay depends on what you’re buying. I’ve listed a few common projects and the prices I’ve seen SEO firms charging for them.
SEO Marketing – Hourly Rates
Moz’s aforementioned survey shows most SEO firms charge between £75 and £200 per hour. My personal experience is that firms generally charge between £125 and £200 per hour. I have heard of some high-end firms charging as much as £500 per hour.
Basic SEO Audit, £600 to £2,000.
This might take an SEO firm 5-10 hours to produce, depending on the number of pages on the website and amount of content on the pages. It involves looking at URL structure, HTML code, content, layout, and a number of other factors and then writing general SEO guidelines with some specific examples of changes to be made.
The deliverable is a document that is valuable for a company that already has a technical employee on staff who can implement the changes and merely needs a little direction. For a company without a technical employee on board, the deliverable would do little more than prove that the SEO firm seems to know what they’re talking about.
It can be a good way to test out an SEO firm to see how responsive they are and how you might like working with them.
Detailed SEO Audit, £3,000 to £20,000.
A detailed SEO audit can take quite a bit more time than a basic audit. More than just general guidelines and examples, a detailed audit is a step-by-step manual on what needs to be done on every page of a client’s website to optimize it.
It removes all guesswork, and the final deliverable is effectively a how-to book on SEO, custom tailored for the client. This document can number hundreds of pages. I would not recommend a detailed SEO audit for a client unless they absolutely could not grant my firm direct access to their website.
It easily takes twice as long to explain all the changes needed on a website and how to make those changes than it would for an SEO firm to just make the changes.
SEO Marketing Costs – Monthly Retainers
£250-£500 per month.
If you’ve got a small business that is limited geographically (e.g. estate agents, landscaping company, dental surgery, self storage facility, restaurant, car repair garage) then you may be able to get by with a budget in this range.
However, it’s at this level the most SEO snake oil is sold, so buyer beware.
£700-£1,500 per month.
If your market is limited geographically by the nature of your business, but it’s a larger population you’re targeting, then this budget should work fine for local marketing. £500 per month might work for a self storage company in a town with a population of 5,000, but will not get the same job done in a town of 50,000. You may be able to pay £1,500 per month and get a decent national campaign if your business is extremely focused without too much competition. One of our clients sells a certain type of solar power component to the companies that put complete solar power systems together. We run a global campaign for them, but it’s a pretty niche audience we’re targeting which keeps the price down.
£2,000-£6,000 per month.
If your target market is regional (e.g. intermountain west, west coast, east coast, midwest), national, or international you’re looking at a minimum of £2,000/month, and that’s if you’re selling a niche product or service without much competition. The more mainstream the product, the more you’ll have to pay to rise above your competitors
£10,000+ per month.
For a national or international campaign that isn’t focused on a niche audience, expect to pay more than £10,000 per month. There is virtually no end to what you can do, despite some hype over the past year about over-optimization penalties. You can never create too much high quality content, and for some companies a constant stream of new content is the SEO strategy for success, even if the cost of producing that content is quite high.