How much does good SEO cost? What the numbers say

seo cost
SEO cost is a primary area to understand in any digital marketing plan.
The reason is most people find a website on a search page from their keyword query. Here’s what the numbers says.

  • 51% of website traffic on average comes from organic search (Bright Edge)
  • 33% of organic search traffic goes to the website in the 1st position on a search page (Search Engine Journal)
  • 92% of organic search traffic goes to websites listed on the 1st page of a search page (Chitika)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
How much does good SEO cost? Growth Ramp surveyed 242 agencies, freelancers, consultants, and contractors who provide SEO services on SEO cost. Here’s what their numbers say.

  • More SEO services charge on a monthly rate than hourly rate.
  • 62% of SEO contractors surveyed charge $76-$150/hour. But you should not be surprised when an SEO professional quotes you for $150/hour or more.
  • 25% of SEO contractors surveyed charge monthly rates between $1,000-$2,000/month. 23% offer premium, full-service pricing packages starting at $4,000/month or more.
  • 81% of respondents change their rates based on the service they offer.
  • The top three most popular services offered are on-page SEO (82%), keyword research (81.2%), and content creation (76.8%), yet only 2% identify themselves as part of a content agency.

1. 57% of  agencies and consultants offer a monthly retainer. Aside from the monthly retainers, 22% of SEO service agencies use project/fixed-based pricing and 11% offer hourly rates.
seo cost - payment model
2. 62% of respondents price their services between  $76 and $150, with 76% charging less than $150 per hour. This is similar to other SEO pricing surveys:

Average Hourly Rate % Below $150 Per Hour
Growth Ramp $76-150 75.6%
Credo (2015) $171 70%
Moz (2012) $75-150 80.8%

3. 25% of respondents charge between $1,000-2,000. This is highest single segment but 30% charge $1,000/month. 22% charge between $2,000-$4,000 and almost a quarter (23%) charge more than $4,000 per month. This is consistent with other pricing surveys

seo cost - monthly rates

Average Monthly Rates
Growth Ramp $1,000-2,000
Credo $1,885.80
Moz $1,500-2,500

4. Differences in SEO cost is based most often on the type of work that is requested.
seo cost - rate change
5. Most popular services offered include on-page SEO (82%), keyword research (81%), and content creation (77%). seo cost - services offered
6. 31% consider their business as an SEO agency/consultancy, 17% inbound/organic agency/consultancy, and 11% are specialty/boutique agencies. Furthermore, 6% are traditional marketing agencies and 11% are web design or development firms. It’s fascinating to consider how many offer content services, while only 2% identify themselves as part of a content agency.

seo cost - business type
Henry Foster of Growth Ramp wrote about SEO cost findings from this survey. We thank him and Growth Ramp for their work.
Does SEO cost match your expectations. Are you looking to an agency to put SEO to work for your business?

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