SEO Pricing: How Much Agencies and Freelancers Charge

Most search engine optimization (SEO) agencies and specialists charge a monthly retainer for some or all of their services, according to recent research from Ahrefs.

The report was based on data from a survey of 357 SEO agencies, consultants, and freelancers.

Three-quarters of respondents say they charge clients a monthly retainer fee.

Some 59% SEO specialists offer only one pricing model, and 67% of that group charge a monthly retainer. In other words, 40% of all respondents only charge a monthly retainer and do not offer hourly or per-project pricing to clients.

The researchers found that $ 501-$ 1,000 per month is the most popular monthly retainer rate for SEO specialists, with 23% of respondents charging that rate.


Some 51% of SEO agencies charge more than $ 1,000 per month, compared with only 45% of consultants and 33% of freelancers.

Experienced SEO specialists tend to charge more for their services, the analysis found.

The average monthly retainer rate for specialists who have been in business for two years or more is nearly double that of specialists who have been in business for two years or less.

The researchers found that $ 100-$ 150 per hour is the most popular hourly rate for SEO specialists, with 25% of respondents charging that rate.

The researchers found that $ 501-$ 1,000 is the most popular per-project fee, with 25% of respondents charging that rate.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 357 SEO agencies, consultants, and freelancers.

Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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