How A lot Does search engine optimization Price in 2023? [Industry Research]

In November 2022, we surveyed members of the search engine optimization trade to learn how a lot they cost for search engine optimization providers.

Listed here are the highest 10 takeaways:

  1. 78.2% of SEOs cost month-to-month retainers for some or all of their providers.
  2. 54.5% of SEOs solely provide one pricing mannequin (i.e., hourly, retainer, or per-project).
  3. $501–$1,000 is the most well-liked month-to-month retainer.
  4. $75–$100 is the most well-liked hourly fee. 
  5. $2,501–$5,000 is the most well-liked per-project fee. 
  6. Fewer than 1 in 10 SEOs (9.9%) cost greater than $150/hour.
  7. Companies and consultants cost considerably greater than freelancers.
  8. There’s a transparent optimistic correlation between expertise and charges. (Shocking, proper?)
  9. Native SEOs cost lower than these with world purchasers.
  10. SEOs primarily based in India, Central America, and South America cost the least.

Let’s check out every pricing mannequin in additional element.

Sidenote.

We had 439 submissions in whole. Nevertheless, after reviewing them, we eliminated 89, as they have been both duplicates or spam. For instance, many respondents equipped a web site they clearly didn’t personal (e.g., google.com) or had nothing to do with search engine optimization. If a respondent’s web site didn’t clearly provide search engine optimization providers, we eliminated them from our pattern.

34.8% of respondents worth some or all of their work by the hour.

We discovered that $75–$100 per hour is the most well-liked hourly fee for SEOs, with 24% of respondents charging this fee.

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing

47% of respondents cost between $75 and $200 per hour.

90% cost $150/hour or much less, and solely 4.1% command an hourly fee of $201+.

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

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (by region)

There’s one clear outlier right here: India.

We discovered 85.7% of India-based SEOs cost an hourly fee of $30 or much less. The remaining 14.3% are within the $51–$60 vary.

Sidenote.

We didn’t have a lot information for some areas, so take the outcomes with a pinch of salt. Additionally, the explanation for grouping Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain collectively is that they’re the one European international locations (moreover the U.Ok.) with a GDP of 1 trillion or more. I assumed it will be attention-grabbing to see if the numbers for these international locations have been completely different from the remainder of Europe.

U.S. and Canada information in isolation, 66.7% cost $75–200/hour—over two-thirds!

Do search engine optimization businesses cost extra per hour than freelancers?

Sure. 

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (by business type)

58.7% and 58.8% of search engine optimization businesses and consultants respectively command $75+/hour, in comparison with solely 36.6% of freelancers.

Nevertheless, the most typical hourly fee for search engine optimization businesses and freelancers is similar: $75–100/hour. 

For search engine optimization consultants, it’s $100–150/hour.

If we assume all surveyed SEOs cost the higher finish of their pricing tier (e.g., $150, from $100–$150), then take the typical hourly fee for every subset (Company, Freelance, Consultancy), right here’s what we get:

  • Consultancies: $171.18/hour, on common.
  • Companies: $98.90/hour, on common.
  • Freelancers: $71.59/hour, on common.

By these stats, the hourly fee charged by search engine optimization consultants is greater than double that of search engine optimization freelancers.

Do extra skilled SEOs earn much more per hour?

Sure, they do.

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (by time in business)

$73.05 is the typical hourly fee for SEOs who’ve been in enterprise for 2 years or much less.

This jumps to $97.11 for individuals who’ve been in enterprise for two–4 years, $102.03 for five–10 years, and $118.35 for 10+ years.

So it appears that evidently expertise and observe report play a significant function relating to hourly earnings.

Do these providing providers worldwide cost extra per hour than these serving native markets?

Sure, barely.

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (local vs. worldwide)

On common, these providing their providers domestically earn $93.89/hour, whereas these serving the worldwide market earn $106.69/hour. 

That’s a distinction of 13.6%. 

78.2% of respondents cost a month-to-month retainer for some or all of their work.

We discovered that $501–$1,000 monthly is the most well-liked month-to-month retainer fee for SEOs, with 20.4% of respondents charging this fee.

Survey results: SEO monthly retainer pricing

42.8% of respondents cost between $501 and $2,000 per month.

68.8% cost $2,000/month or much less, that means solely 31.2% command retainers of $2,001+.

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

Survey results: SEO monthly retainer pricing (by region)

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

76% of India-based SEOs cost $1,000 or much less monthly. The remaining 24% cost between $2,001 and $10,000.

U.S. and Canada information in isolation, 79.1% cost not less than $1,001 monthly—some command as a lot as $25,001–$50,000 per month!

Do search engine optimization businesses cost extra monthly than freelancers?

Sure. 

Survey results: SEO monthly retainer pricing (by business type)

57.4% of search engine optimization businesses command $1,001+/month, in comparison with solely 32.2% of freelancers.

Nevertheless, consultants earn essentially the most, with 70.6% commanding $1,001+/month.

The most typical month-to-month retainer vary for search engine optimization businesses is $500–$1,000/month. For consultants, it’s $2,501–$5,000.

For freelancers, it’s $251–$500/month and $101–$500/month.

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

  • Companies: $3,209/month, on common.
  • Consultancies: $3,250/month, on common.
  • Freelancers: $1,348.63/month, on common.

By these stats, the month-to-month retainer vary charged by search engine optimization businesses and consultants is nearly double that of search engine optimization freelancers.

Do extra skilled SEOs cost much more per month?

Sure, they do.

Survey results: SEO monthly retainer pricing (by time in business)

$1,540.52 is the typical retainer fee for SEOs who’ve been in enterprise for 2 years or much less.

This jumps to $2,023.13 for individuals who’ve been in enterprise for two+ years. That’s round 33% greater than those that’ve been in enterprise for 2 years or much less.

However the large leap comes after 5 years in enterprise. The common retainer for these in enterprise for five–10 years is $3,648.28—greater than double the speed of these in enterprise for 2 years or much less. 

After this, issues stage off considerably. Actually, we noticed a decline in earnings for individuals who’ve been in enterprise for 10+ years. Nevertheless, that is in all probability as a consequence of us not having loads of information for this subset.

Do these providing providers worldwide cost extra monthly than these serving native markets?

Sure.

Survey results: SEO monthly retainer pricing (local vs. worldwide)

These providing their providers domestically cost $1,557.08/month, on common. Whereas these serving the worldwide market earn $3,473.74/month. 

That’s a major distinction of 123.1%. 

48.9% of respondents cost a per-project charge for some or all of their work.

We discovered that $2,501–$5,000 is the most well-liked per-project charge, with 21.2% of respondents charging this fee.

Survey results: SEO per-project rates

60.6% of respondents cost $1,001 or extra.

50.6% cost $2,000 or much less, that means that fewer than half of respondents command per-project charges of $2,001+.

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

Survey results: SEO per-project rates (by region)

Yep, you guessed it—India is the outlier.

93.75% of India-based SEOs cost $1,500 or much less. The remaining 6.25% cost between $2,001 and $2,500.

Trying on the U.S. and Canada in isolation, 83.3% cost not less than $1,001. Some even cost as a lot as $50,001–$75,000 per venture.

Do search engine optimization businesses cost extra per venture than freelancers?

Sure. 

Survey results: SEO per-project rates (by business type)

73.3% of search engine optimization businesses command $1,001+ per venture, in comparison with solely 64% of consultants and 40.68% of freelancers.

The most typical per-project charge for freelancers is $101–$250. For search engine optimization businesses, it’s $2,501–$5,000. And for consultants, it’s $5,001–$10,000.

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

  • Companies: $9,507.84/month, on common.
  • Consultancies: $8,685.53/month, on common.
  • Freelancers: $2,348.63/month, on common.

By these stats, the per-project charge charged by search engine optimization businesses is greater than 4X that of search engine optimization freelancers, on common.

Do extra skilled SEOs cost much more per venture?

Sure, they do.

Survey results: SEO per-project rates (by time in business)

$1,881.73 is the typical per-project charge charged by those that’ve been in enterprise for 2 years or much less.

This jumps to $2,242.71 for individuals who’ve been in enterprise for two+ years after which to $9,087.31 for individuals who’ve been in enterprise 5–10 years.

Do these providing providers worldwide cost extra per venture than these serving native markets?

Sure—considerably extra!

Survey results: SEO per-project rates (local vs. worldwide)

On common, these providing their providers domestically cost $5,723.53 per venture, whereas these serving the worldwide market cost $8,056.56.

That’s a major distinction of 40.80%. 

Remaining ideas

My hope is that this information will assist SEOs to cease undercharging for his or her providers. Sure, the financial outlook could look bleak proper now, however know that search engine optimization is a helpful talent. Don’t be afraid to cost what you’re price.

Bought questions? Ping me on Twitter.