How A lot Does web optimization Value in 2023? [Industry Research]

In November 2022, we surveyed members of the web optimization business to learn the way a lot they cost for web optimization companies.

Listed here are the highest 10 takeaways:

  1. 78.2% of SEOs cost month-to-month retainers for some or all of their companies.
  2. 54.5% of SEOs solely supply 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 charge. 
  5. $2,501–$5,000 is the most well-liked per-project charge. 
  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 constructive correlation between expertise and charges. (Shocking, proper?)
  9. Native SEOs cost lower than these with international 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 complete. Nonetheless, after reviewing them, we eliminated 89, as they had 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 web optimization. If a respondent’s website didn’t clearly supply web optimization companies, 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 charge for SEOs, with 24% of respondents charging this charge.

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 charge 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 charge of $30 or much less. The remaining 14.3% are within the $51–$60 vary.

Sidenote.

We didn’t have a lot knowledge 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 (in addition to the U.Ok.) with a GDP of 1 trillion or more. I believed it might be fascinating to see if the numbers for these international locations had been completely different from the remainder of Europe.

Taking a look at U.S. and Canada knowledge in isolation, 66.7% cost $75–200/hour—over two-thirds!

Do web optimization businesses cost extra per hour than freelancers?

Sure. 

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (by business type)

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

Nonetheless, the most typical hourly charge for web optimization businesses and freelancers is identical: $75–100/hour. 

For web 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 common hourly charge 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 charge charged by web optimization consultants is greater than double that of web 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 common hourly charge 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 evidently expertise and monitor document play a significant function relating to hourly earnings.

Do these providing companies 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 companies regionally 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 charge for SEOs, with 20.4% of respondents charging this charge.

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, which 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.

Taking a look at U.S. and Canada knowledge in isolation, 79.1% cost no less than $1,001 monthly—some command as a lot as $25,001–$50,000 per month!

Do web optimization businesses cost extra monthly than freelancers?

Sure. 

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

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

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

The commonest month-to-month retainer vary for web 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 common month-to-month retainer charge 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 web optimization businesses and consultants is nearly double that of web 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 common retainer charge 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 typical 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. In truth, we noticed a decline in earnings for individuals who’ve been in enterprise for 10+ years. Nonetheless, that is in all probability attributable to us not having lots of knowledge for this subset.

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

Sure.

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

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

That’s a big distinction of 123.1%. 

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

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

Survey results: SEO per-project rates

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

50.6% cost $2,000 or much less, which 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.

Wanting on the U.S. and Canada in isolation, 83.3% cost no less than $1,001. Some even cost as a lot as $50,001–$75,000 per venture.

Do web optimization businesses cost extra per venture than freelancers?

Sure. 

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

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

The commonest per-project payment for freelancers is $101–$250. For web 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 common per-project charge 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 payment charged by web optimization businesses is greater than 4X that of web 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 common per-project payment 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 companies 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 companies regionally cost $5,723.53 per venture, whereas these serving the worldwide market cost $8,056.56.

That’s a big distinction of 40.80%. 

Ultimate ideas

My hope is that this knowledge will assist SEOs to cease undercharging for his or her companies. Sure, the financial outlook might look bleak proper now, however know that web optimization is a helpful ability. Don’t be afraid to cost what you’re price.

Acquired questions? Ping me on Twitter.