The price / cost range for an SEO consultant is $60-$250 per hour, although most charge a project fee. If you’re reading this, you’re obviously interested in knowing exactly how much an SEO consultant’s rates, price and cost are but here comes to the dreaded “it depends on the scope and the client” answer.
Consultants and contractors are doing a much better job of giving value based quotes and not hourly quotes. (There’s an awesome book on this called “Breaking the Time Barrier.”) This means that if a company thinks they can add $100k in revenue for the year with better SEO, why wouldn’t I charge them $20k over 4-6 months? Why not more?
Of course, the answer is the free market. While that quote makes sense mathematically, I could easily be undercut on price by a competitor or even a small agency.
SEO Consultant Rates, Cost and Pricing Models
The above was an example of a value based quote. Another style is CPA or cost per acquisition. This is not a style that many experienced consultants use, nor is it one that businesses are a fan of. If the consultant over performs, they’ll be paid way more than their market value. If the consultant under performs, he or she has just wasted their own time. It’s very high risk high reward.
SEO Consultant Project Based Pricing and Rates
Project fees make the most sense for SEO and marketing consultants. They’re sort of a combination of value and hourly. With enough experience a consultant will know how long a project will take and the type of value it will add.
If they offer fixed project based pricing on their website, then you’re probably getting a good deal.
The most controversial SEO project in terms of cost and price is the SEO audit. Granted, it can be anywhere from 4-30 pages in recommendations, and for enterprise companies they literally can’t pay enough for the right SEO plan, but for smaller businesses and websites, the pricing can get out of hand.
Pricing literally ranges from $600 to $10,000 on SEO audits. To get a fair SEO audit price, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will let you know if the agency or contractor you’re working with is quoting you a fair range. I’ve done SEO audits as a private consultant and for large agencies working with companies that have millions in revenue, so I’ve seen it all.
The following was taken from a study by SEOMoz detailing pricing for SEO agencies.
Good luck and feel free to shoot me any questions. You can reach me on Twitter @CortTafoya.
To schedule a free SEO consultation, email email@example.com.