SEO pricing in 2020? The average SEO project costs around $750 – $2,000 per month, depending on the specific things that are included. A “one-time” SEO project will run between $5,000 and $30,000 and SEO consultants that come to your business and set up SEO services charge between $60 and $200 and hour. The reasons for the various prices falls on a number of factors, primarily being based on the rate that the agency or consultant charges per hour. All SEO programs are estimates of the monthly amount of hours that will be worked by the agency, and then charged based on a certain amount per hour. The size of the agency and the amount of clients that they service will usually impact the per-hour charge, as larger SEO companies will generally have more overhead that needs to be covered. If you are assigned an administrative contact, you can assume that is not the person doing the actual SEO work every month. Instead, their job is to have conversations with you and present the work that has been done. There are usually writers and programmers who are the ones doing the SEO work in the background. All of these people need to be paid, and the office needs to have the lights on every day. All these costs are going to factor into the hourly charge that gets passed off to you. There will also be specific types of work promised for every account, which will impact the charges. If you have an SEO company that is only doing link building, then you are paying an hourly charge for that service. If they are also doing content creation and writing, you are paying for that charge. If they are doing social media management, Google ad management, web design or any other service, you are paying for it. All of these things are pieces of a well-rounded SEO program, and if you are only getting one or two of them it will be more difficult to gain good rankings. SEO isn’t as simple as just rewriting titles and descriptions any more, or reducing the file sizes of pictures to increase page speeds. There are a wide range of activities that are all part of good SEO, and the lower the budget the fewer of them you are going to get.
Only a few SEO companies offer transparent reporting on exactly what they are doing for you. One of the biggest frustrations that customers have is that they do not know exactly what the SEO company does in exchange for the monthly payments. If you are told “we will do SEO for X amount of money every month,” ask what specifically that means. Get them to commit to a specific type and amount of work before you sign anything. This does not mean you will be assured rankings success, but it will at least assure you that they aren’t just cashing your checks and sitting on a beach. SEO is not able to be effectively automated any more, and it primarily involves the creation of written content. This means that someone is going to have to write articles and content pieces for you every month, on a specific topic and being completely unique. Our business charges our monthly fees based on the specific amount of content we expect to create and distribute every month. Because our basic ate per hour is $100 and 1 article written and distributed (500 word minimum) will take about an hour to do, we generally provide 1 piece of content per hour worked each month. We prioritize tasks each month as important and provide that information in a report that gets sent to every client. If we are spending 1 hour resizing pictures this month and you pay for 10 hours, you will get 9 articles and 1 hour of resizing. This is how we remain completely transparent to our clients about what we are doing for them every month.
Each SEO company is going to provide different services and charge a different rate for those services. Few professional companies will provide rates less than $50 per hour, because almost any professional writer will charge more than 10 cents per word to write for you. While it is possible to find writers that charge less than this amount, they almost never have the experience to do work that is high enough quality to be used for SEO purposes. If the company is paying the writer $50 for the article and still have to use the content for distribution within a strategy, rates under $100 per hour being charged to the client are difficult to accomplish while still keeping the lights on. Some agencies will outsource their writing to India, where they can pay English-speaking writers pennies on the dollar because the exchange rate is favorable. Unfortunately, Google has the ability to identify content written by people who do not speak English as their first language, and usually doesn’t treat this content as valuable. Google always attempts to identify the motivations of the writer, and if that motivation is “to get rankings” you will probably not have much success. Google prefers content that provides information by experts for people to learn from, not rankings development schemes. Most high quality SEO companies will only utilize American writers for US-based projects.
With search engine optimization, you get what you pay for.