Connect with us

SEO

How Much Does SEO Cost in 2023? [Industry Research]

Published

on

How Much Does SEO Cost in 2023? [Industry Research]

In November 2022, we surveyed members of the SEO industry to find out how much they charge for SEO services.

Here are the top 10 takeaways:

  1. 78.2% of SEOs charge monthly retainers for some or all of their services.
  2. 54.5% of SEOs only offer one pricing model (i.e., hourly, retainer, or per-project).
  3. $501–$1,000 is the most popular monthly retainer.
  4. $75–$100 is the most popular hourly rate. 
  5. $2,501–$5,000 is the most popular per-project rate. 
  6. Fewer than 1 in 10 SEOs (9.9%) charge more than $150/hour.
  7. Agencies and consultants charge significantly more than freelancers.
  8. There’s a clear positive correlation between experience and rates. (Surprising, right?)
  9. Local SEOs charge less than those with global clients.
  10. SEOs based in India, Central America, and South America charge the least.

Let’s take a look at each pricing model in more detail.

Sidenote.

We had 439 submissions in total. However, after reviewing them, we removed 89, as they were either duplicates or spam. For example, many respondents supplied a website they clearly didn’t own (e.g., google.com) or had nothing to do with SEO. If a respondent’s site didn’t clearly offer SEO services, we removed them from our sample.

34.8% of respondents price some or all of their work by the hour.

We found that $75–$100 per hour is the most popular hourly rate for SEOs, with 24% of respondents charging this rate.

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing

47% of respondents charge between $75 and $200 per hour.

90% charge $150/hour or less, and only 4.1% command an hourly rate of $201+.

Here’s a breakdown of hourly rates by region:

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (by region)

There is one clear outlier here: India.

We found 85.7% of India-based SEOs charge an hourly rate of $30 or less. The remaining 14.3% are in the $51–$60 range.

Sidenote.

We didn’t have much data for some regions, so take the results with a pinch of salt. Also, the reason for grouping Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain together is that they’re the only European countries (besides the U.K.) with a GDP of 1 trillion or more. I thought it would be interesting to see if the numbers for those countries were different from the rest of Europe.

Looking at U.S. and Canada data in isolation, 66.7% charge $75–200/hour—over two-thirds!

Do SEO agencies charge more per hour than freelancers?

Yes. 

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (by business type)

58.7% and 58.8% of SEO agencies and consultants respectively command $75+/hour, compared to only 36.6% of freelancers.

However, the most common hourly rate for SEO agencies and freelancers is the same: $75–100/hour. 

For SEO consultants, it’s $100–150/hour.

If we assume all surveyed SEOs charge the upper end of their pricing tier (e.g., $150, from $100–$150), then take the average hourly rate for each subset (Agency, Freelance, Consultancy), here’s what we get:

  • Consultancies: $171.18/hour, on average.
  • Agencies: $98.90/hour, on average.
  • Freelancers: $71.59/hour, on average.

By these stats, the hourly rate charged by SEO consultants is more than double that of SEO freelancers.

Do more experienced SEOs earn a lot more per hour?

Yes, they do.

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (by time in business)

$73.05 is the average hourly rate for SEOs who have been in business for two years or less.

This jumps to $97.11 for those who’ve been in business for 2–4 years, $102.03 for 5–10 years, and $118.35 for 10+ years.

So it seems that experience and track record play a vital role when it comes to hourly earnings.

Do those offering services worldwide charge more per hour than those serving local markets?

Yes, slightly.

Survey results: SEO hourly pricing (local vs. worldwide)

On average, those offering their services locally earn $93.89/hour, whereas those serving the worldwide market earn $106.69/hour. 

That’s a difference of 13.6%. 

78.2% of respondents charge a monthly retainer for some or all of their work.

We found that $501–$1,000 per month is the most popular monthly retainer rate for SEOs, with 20.4% of respondents charging this rate.

Survey results: SEO monthly retainer pricing

42.8% of respondents charge between $501 and $2,000 per month.

68.8% charge $2,000/month or less, meaning only 31.2% command retainers of $2,001+.

Here’s a breakdown of monthly retainer rates by region:

Survey results: SEO monthly retainer pricing (by region)

Once again, India is a clear outlier here.

76% of India-based SEOs charge $1,000 or less per month. The remaining 24% charge between $2,001 and $10,000.

Looking at U.S. and Canada data in isolation, 79.1% charge at least $1,001 per month—some command as much as $25,001–$50,000 per month!

Do SEO agencies charge more per month than freelancers?

Yes. 

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

57.4% of SEO agencies command $1,001+/month, compared to only 32.2% of freelancers.

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

The most common monthly retainer range for SEO agencies 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 charge the upper end of their pricing tier (e.g., $1,500, from $1,001–$1,500), and then take the average monthly retainer rate for each subset (Agency, Freelance, Consultancy), here’s what we get:

  • Agencies: $3,209/month, on average.
  • Consultancies: $3,250/month, on average.
  • Freelancers: $1,348.63/month, on average.

By these stats, the monthly retainer range charged by SEO agencies and consultants is almost double that of SEO freelancers.

Do more experienced SEOs charge a lot more per month?

Yes, they do.

Survey results: SEO monthly retainer pricing (by time in business)

$1,540.52 is the average retainer rate for SEOs who have been in business for two years or less.

This jumps to $2,023.13 for those who’ve been in business for 2+ years. That’s around 33% more than those who’ve been in business for two years or less.

But the big jump comes after five years in business. The average retainer for those in business for 5–10 years is $3,648.28—more than double the rate of those in business for two years or less. 

After this, things level off somewhat. In fact, we saw a decline in earnings for those who’ve been in business for 10+ years. However, this is probably due to us not having a lot of data for this subset.

Do those offering services worldwide charge more per month than those serving local markets?

Yes.

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

Those offering their services locally charge $1,557.08/month, on average. Whereas those serving the worldwide market earn $3,473.74/month. 

That’s a significant difference of 123.1%. 

48.9% of respondents charge a per-project fee for some or all of their work.

We found that $2,501–$5,000 is the most popular per-project fee, with 21.2% of respondents charging this rate.

Survey results: SEO per-project rates

60.6% of respondents charge $1,001 or more.

50.6% charge $2,000 or less, meaning that fewer than half of respondents command per-project fees of $2,001+.

Here’s a breakdown of per-project rates by region:

Survey results: SEO per-project rates (by region)

Yep, you guessed it—India is the outlier.

93.75% of India-based SEOs charge $1,500 or less. The remaining 6.25% charge between $2,001 and $2,500.

Looking at the U.S. and Canada in isolation, 83.3% charge at least $1,001. Some even charge as much as $50,001–$75,000 per project.

Do SEO agencies charge more per project than freelancers?

Yes. 

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

73.3% of SEO agencies command $1,001+ per project, compared to only 64% of consultants and 40.68% of freelancers.

The most common per-project fee for freelancers is $101–$250. For SEO agencies, it’s $2,501–$5,000. And for consultants, it’s $5,001–$10,000.

If we assume all surveyed SEOs charge the upper end of their pricing tier (e.g., $1,500, from $1,001–1,500), and then take the average per-project rate for each subset (Agency, Freelance, Consultancy), here’s what we get:

  • Agencies: $9,507.84/month, on average.
  • Consultancies: $8,685.53/month, on average.
  • Freelancers: $2,348.63/month, on average.

By these stats, the per-project fee charged by SEO agencies is more than 4X that of SEO freelancers, on average.

Do more experienced SEOs charge a lot more per project?

Yes, they do.

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

$1,881.73 is the average per-project fee charged by those who’ve been in business for two years or less.

This jumps to $2,242.71 for those who’ve been in business for 2+ years and then to $9,087.31 for those who’ve been in business 5–10 years.

Do those offering services worldwide charge more per project than those serving local markets?

Yes—significantly more!

Survey results: SEO per-project rates (local vs. worldwide)

On average, those offering their services locally charge $5,723.53 per project, whereas those serving the worldwide market charge $8,056.56.

That’s a significant difference of 40.80%. 

Final thoughts

My hope is that this data will help SEOs to stop undercharging for their services. Yes, the economic outlook may look bleak right now, but know that SEO is a valuable skill. Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.



Source link

SEO

New Google Ads Feature: Account-Level Negative Keywords

Published

on

New Google Ads Feature: Account-Level Negative Keywords

Google Ads Liaison Ginny Marvin has announced that account-level negative keywords are now available to Google Ads advertisers worldwide.

The feature, which was first announced last year and has been in testing for several months, allows advertisers to add keywords to exclude traffic from all search and shopping campaigns, as well as the search and shopping portion of Performance Max, for greater brand safety and suitability.

Advertisers can access this feature from the account settings page to ensure their campaigns align with their brand values and target audience.

This is especially important for brands that want to avoid appearing in contexts that may be inappropriate or damaging to their reputation.

In addition to the brand safety benefits, the addition of account-level negative keywords makes the campaign management process more efficient for advertisers.

Instead of adding negative keywords to individual campaigns, advertisers can manage them at the account level, saving time and reducing the chances of human error.

You no longer have to worry about duplicating negative keywords in multiple campaigns or missing any vital to your brand safety.

Additionally, account-level negative keywords can improve the accuracy of ad targeting by excluding irrelevant or low-performing keywords that may adversely impact campaign performance. This can result in higher-quality traffic and a better return on investment.

Google Ads offers a range of existing brand suitability controls, including inventory types, digital content labels, placement exclusions, and negative keywords at the campaign level.

Marvin added that Google Ads is expanding account-level negative keywords to address various use cases and will have more to share soon.

This rollout is essential in giving brands more control over their advertising and ensuring their campaigns target the appropriate audience.


Featured Image: Primakov/Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedIn

Published

on

Google's Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedIn

Google Analyst Gary Illyes offers guidance on large robots.txt files, the SEO impact of website redesigns, and the correct use of rel-canonical tags.

Illyes is taking questions sent to him via LinkedIn direct message and answering them publicly, offering valuable insights for those in the SEO community.

It’s already newsworthy for a Google employee to share SEO advice. This is especially so given it’s Illyes, who isn’t as active on social media as colleagues like Search Advocate John Mueller and Developer Advocate Martin Splitt.

Throughout the past week, Illyes has shared advice and offered guidance on the following subjects:

  • Large robots.txt files
  • The SEO impact of website redesigns
  • The correct use of rel-canonical tags

Considering the engagement his posts are getting, there’s likely more to come. Here’s a summary of what you missed if you’re not following him on LinkedIn.

Keep Robots.Txt Files Under 500KB

Regarding a previously published poll on the size of robots.txt files, Illyes shares a PSA for those with a file size larger than 500kb.

Screenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Illyes advises paying attention to the size of your website’s robots.txt file, especially if it’s larger than 500kb.

Google’s crawlers only process the first 500kb of the file, so it’s crucial to ensure that the most important information appears first.

Doing this can help ensure that your website is properly crawled and indexed by Google.

Website Redesigns May Cause Rankings To Go “Nuts”

When you redesign a website, it’s important to remember that its rankings in search engines may be affected.

As Illyes explains, this is because search engines use the HTML of your pages to understand and categorize the content on your site.

If you make changes to the HTML structure, such as breaking up paragraphs, using CSS styling instead of H tags, or adding unnecessary breaking tags, it can cause the HTML parsers to produce different results.

This can significantly impact your site’s rankings in search engines. Or, as Illyes phrases it, it can cause rankings to go “nuts”:

Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedInScreenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Illyes advises using semantically similar HTML when redesigning the site and avoiding adding tags that aren’t necessary to minimize the SEO impact.

This will allow HTML parsers to better understand the content on your site, which can help maintain search rankings.

Don’t Use Relative Paths In Your Rel-Canonical

Don’t take shortcuts when implementing rel-canonical tags. Illyes strongly advises spelling out the entire URL path:

Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedInScreenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Saving a few bytes using a relative path in the rel-canonical tag isn’t worth the potential issues it could cause.

Using relative paths may result in search engines treating it as a different URL, which can confuse search engines.

Spelling out the full URL path eliminates potential ambiguity and ensures that search engines identify the correct URL as the preferred version.

In Summary

By answering questions sent to him via direct message and offering his expertise, Illyes is giving back to the community and providing valuable insights on various SEO-related topics.

This is a testament to Illyes’ dedication to helping people understand how Google works. Send him a DM, and your question may be answered in a future LinkedIn post.


Source: LinkedIn

Featured Image: SNEHIT PHOTO/Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Everything You Need To Know

Published

on

Of all the many, many functions available in Google Ads, I have a few that are my favorites. And sitelink assets – previously known as sitelink extensions – are at the top of my list.

Why? Because they’re so versatile. You can do almost anything with them if you think through your strategy carefully.

For example, you can use the mighty sitelink in your advertising to:

  • Promote low search volume themes.
  • Push lagging products out the door.
  • Maximize hot sellers.
  • Highlight certain product categories.
  • Answer common questions.
  • Handle PR problems.

And that’s just a start! Sitelink assets can almost do it all.

Best Practices For Using Sitelink Assets Extensions

If you truly want to get the most out of your sitelinks, you need to think about your intention.

To help you with that, I’m going to lay out a few sitelink guidelines.

1. Get clear on your objectives. Before you start, you need to think about your goals. What are you trying to achieve with these assets? Are you advertising products or services? Will the asset work well with both branded and non-branded keywords? Your answers to these questions will help determine if your sitelinks are versatile and useful to the searcher.

2. Use sitelinks as part of your larger strategy. Don’t think of your sitelinks in isolation. You should also consider the accompanying ad, landing page, and other assets. Make sure they all work together in service to your overarching strategy.

3. Use a mix of sitelinks. Sitelinks can serve multiple purposes, so make sure you’re using a variety. For example, you don’t want to use every sitelink on an ad to promote on-sale products. Instead, use a mix. One could promote an on-sale product, one could generate leads, one could highlight a new product category, and one could direct prospective clients to useful information.

4. Create landing pages for your sitelinks. Ideally, you want to send users to landing pages that tightly correlate with your sitelink instead of just a regular page on your website.

5. Track sitelink performance and adjust. It’s not enough to set up sitelinks. You should also track them to see which links are getting traction and which ones are not. This doesn’t mean that all sitelinks should perform equally (more on this below), but it does mean they should perform well given their type and objectives.

Why it’s Better To Use A Mix Of Sitelink Assets

Let’s dive deeper into this idea of using a mix of sitelinks by looking at an example.

In a new client account, we created four different types of sitelinks:

  • Two sitelinks are product-focused (as requested by the client).
  • One sitelink connects users with an engineer to learn more about the product (“Speak to an Engineer”). It has more of a sales focus.
  • One sitelink allows users to learn more about the products without speaking to an engineer (“What is?”).

The “What is?” sitelink is outperforming the “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink when we measure by CTR. While we need more data before making any changes, I predict we’ll eventually swap out the sales-y “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink for something else.

The fact that the educational link (“What is?”) is performing better than the sales-y link (“Speak to an Engineer”) isn’t too surprising in this case. The product is a new, cutting-edge robot that not many people are aware of, yet. They want more info before talking to someone.

sitelink extensions - performance exampleScreenshot by author, January 2023

By using a mix of sitelinks, and assessing the performance of each, we gained a lot of valuable information that is helping to guide our strategy for this account. So going with a mix of sitelinks is always a good idea. You never know what you’ll discover!

Sitelink Assets Examples

Now, let’s look at some specific examples of sitelink assets in Google Ads.

Example 1: Chromatography

Sitelinks extension - Chromatography exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

Application Search: This ad is for a highly technical product that can be used in a wide variety of applications. (Chromatography is a laboratory technique for separating mixtures.) So putting “application search” in a sitelink here might make sense. It helps prospective clients find what they’re looking for.

Sign up and Save Big: A good sitelink for lead generation and potential revenue.

Technical Support: I’m not a big fan of putting technical support in sitelinks. Tech support seems more targeted to current users rather than prospective users. But who knows, maybe they really do want to help current users get tech support via their advertising.

Guides and Posters: Again, this sitelink is a bit unusual, but it might be appropriate for this product. Perhaps people are downloading branded posters and posting them in their workplaces. If so, it’s a great way to build brand awareness.

Example 2: Neuroscience Courses

Sitelink Extensions - Nueroscience courses exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

I love everything about these sitelinks! The advertising is using them to reach people in all phases of the buyer journey.

For people not ready to commit:

  • Study Neuroscience: This sitelink is broad and informational. It’s helpful to people who have just started to explore their options for studying neuroscience.
  • Get Course Brochure: This sitelink is also great for people in the research phase. And while we mostly live in an online world, some people still prefer to consume hard-copy books, brochures, etc. With this sitelink, the school is covering its bases.

For people getting close to committing:

  • Online Short Course: This is the course the school offers. It’s a great sitelink for those almost ready to sign up.

For people ready to sign up:

  • Register Online Now: This is the strongest call to action for those ready to commit. It takes people directly to the signup page.

Example 3: Neuroscience Degrees

Let’s look at another example from the world of neuroscience education: this time for a neuroscience degree program.

Sitelink extensions - neuroscience degree exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

In contrast to the previous two examples, the sitelinks in this ad aren’t as strong.

Academics Overview: This sitelink seems more appropriate for a broad term search, such as a search on the school’s name. If the searcher is looking for a specific degree program (which seems like the intention based on the term and the ad), the sitelinks should be something specific to that particular degree program.

Scholarships: Just as with the above sitelink, “Scholarships” doesn’t seem very helpful either. The topic of scholarships is important—but probably doesn’t need to be addressed until the person determines that this school is a good fit.

Example 4: Code Security

Next, let’s look at two Google search ads for code security products.

Sitelink extensions - code security exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

 

The sitelinks in these two ads look like typical assets you’d find for SaaS, cloud-based, or tech companies. They click through to a lot of helpful information, such as product plans and success stories.

I particularly like the Most Common Risks sitelink in the second ad. It leads to a helpful article that would be great for engaging top-of-funnel leads.

On the flip side, I’m not a big fan of the Blog sitelink in the first ad. “Blog” simply isn’t very descriptive or helpful.

Still, there are no right or wrong sitelinks here. And it would be interesting to test my theory that blog content is not a top-performing asset!

Sitelink Assets Are More Than An Afterthought

I hope I’ve convinced you of the usefulness and versatility of sitelinks when created with specific objectives that align with your broader strategy.

So don’t create your sitelink assets as an afterthought.

Because if you give them the careful consideration they deserve, they’ll serve you well.

Note: Google sitelink assets were previously known as sitelink extensions and renamed in September 2022.

More resources:


Featured Image: Thaspol Sangsee/Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish