Pricing SEO

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Small Business SEO: Costs, Expectations & Realities. Janet Meiners wrote a good article Monday on Small Biz Trends: Practices of Top SEO Companies for Small Businesses.

Small Business SEO: Costs, Expectations & Realities

It’s designed to help small business owners understand the basic/minimum services that an SEO company/consultant should be providing. But what about the cost of small business SEO? What should a small business expect to pay when hiring an SEO consultant? In the comments on that Small Biz Trends article, a man named Jeff says this about the cost of SEO services: “…many companies that offer SEO services charge an arm and a leg, usually monthly (anywhere from $300-$1000/monthly) and many don’t provide any kind of guarantee on results.”

There are a couple things in there that probably represent a fairly common view of SEO services for small businesses. Here are five points that I hope will help small business owners understand more about SEO, pricing, and services. 1.) There are other SEO companies/consultants who charge differently. 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) Final Thoughts. SBSM Mailbag: How Best to Charge Small Businesses for SEO Services? Kris recently sent in a good question about providing SEO services for small businesses; more specifically, about the business model and billing: I usually work on a monthly retainer-syle basis with no contract.

SBSM Mailbag: How Best to Charge Small Businesses for SEO Services?

I sometimes feel apprehensive about this because I feel that huge value is delivered in the plan and strategy that is done at the beginning in the analysis/research phase. Execution of the plan often does not require as much knowlege or skill but is where I make back the investment in my skills (education, reading SEO blogs at 2am on Saturday night, etc.). Do I make prospective clients sign a contract? Many SMBs are apprehensive about contracts for SEO and long-term commitments. Thanks for the email, Kris. My experience is the same as yours when you say that the most value is provided at the beginning of an SEO engagement. The tasks involved will depend on what type of service you offer.

Once all that’s done, my work becomes much easier. Infographic: How Much Does SEO Cost? How much does SEO cost?

Infographic: How Much Does SEO Cost?

How much time do you have to discuss the various models and prices out there! However, a new survey sheds some light on the subject. Over 500 people and companies who offer search engine optimization services were asked about how their models. Turns out, it’s most common to charge $100 to $150 per hour, in the US. But by-the-hour consulting is only one of four nearly co-equal ways of charging.

Also popular is project-based pricing, where the average price is between $2,500 to $5,000, in the US. The survey was conducted by SEOmoz and compiled into the infographic below by AYTM: Want the infographic for yourself? SEO Pricing (Problems) Explained! “Why can’t you just give me a straight answer?”

SEO Pricing (Problems) Explained!

Johanna’s voice showed a trace of irritation. “All I’m asking is how much you charge for SEO services!” I smiled. This was familiar terrain. As an SEO consultant, almost every client asks me a similar question. “It depends. “Wait. That’s when I explain why and when SEO matters, and the dynamic process of fixing my price for SEO consulting. Broadly speaking, here’s what I share – and 3 analogies I use to make it easier to understand – buying a car, an iceberg or a dam! Why SEO Matters Every client likes to save money while getting great results from search engine optimization. SEO isn’t simple or easy. So if an ‘expert’ takes one look at your site and quotes you a “complete price” for SEO, run for the hills (or at least exercise extreme caution).

Simple ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Bronze’ packages don’t work for SEO. SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models. Near the end of December 2011, we ran a survey on this blog asking consultants and agencies of all sizes and geographies to contribute their pricing models and cost structures.

SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models

I'm pleased to share the results of that survey in the hopes that it will give everyone in the search industry a better idea of the range of fees and the services provided. Obviously, this data is imperfect - SEOmoz is not a professional data surveying firm and our only tool was a basic list of questions on SurveyMonkey. That said, I'd be surprised if a professional surveyor found dramatically different data - there was enough participation to receive a trustworthy sample size and firms provided their personal/contact information (many of which I recognized while digging through the responses, but obviously will not be sharing identities publicly), which means we likely did not receive intentionally manipulative/misleading information.

(via AYTM's infographic) Top 9 Takeaways Infographic from AYTM Data Dump Files.