seo cost

How To Hire An SEO

This is a great video to watch prior to hiring any SEO that was made by Google to help clients get the right match and set realistic expectations.

How To Hire An SEO

This isn’t a video made by Ultimate SEO but its from Google.  Google is often the primary target of client search engine strategies so we thought this video goes a long way in setting expectations for clients and helps visitors make an informed decision.

Its only a few minutes and even if you are an SEO its worth your time to better understand Google’s perception of the process.

SEO Costs And Benefits


SEO Average Costs

Average Cost Of An SEO: There are multiple pricing schemes available each with its benefits and drawbacks.

Project Based: $1,000 – $5,000

Monthly Retainers: $1,000 – $3,000

Hourly: $75 – $150


Ultimate SEO generally charges on an hourly rate of $75.  Depending on the work to be completed we may charge less if some of the work can be handled by our full team while we may charge more if the work requires longer hours on our top analyst and our general work load.

Our online SEO Store may help provide insight into various costs.

Much of this article below comes from external content and we’ve reprinted it in its entirety.  Thanks to the site which we’ve already linked too above. 

Why is it hard to estimate SEO costs?

When you ask the question “how much does search engine optimization cost”, the last answer you want to hear is “it depends.” We know it’s a frustrating response.

But the truth is, SEO prices can vary quite a bit, depending upon a number of factors.

You’ve probably already realized there are way too many choices. Too many pricing models, too many agencies, too many price points…

In fact, according to some thorough research done by the wonderful folks at, you could end up paying less than $25 an hour… or over $20,000 a month!

But a price range that wide doesn’t help anyone. So let’s take a closer look at some numbers, and then the pros and cons of each SEO pricing model.

Let’s See Some Numbers!

Moz polled over 600 SEO companies and aggregated all of the data. A quick glance shows us the following… an average SEO expert charges between $80 and $130 per hour. Further, the average monthly retainer lies somewhere between $750 and $1500 per month. Performance-based SEO is free to start, and has dynamic pricing.

Even equipped with that baseline knowledge, you may still be left wondering which type of SEO will be best for your particular business?

I think the best and only answer is to break down the different types of search engine optimization services various firms offer, and to establish a standard price point for each.

How Much Do Monthly SEO Retainers Cost?

Monthly SEO services favor long-term partnerships over one-off projects. Most companies choose this option when they need to outsource SEO completely. For many businesses, this is one of the most promising ways to build meaningful results through search engine optimization.

We offer custom solutions that leverage the benefits of this pricing model, while reducing our client’s exposure to the drawbacks.

Ultimate SEO And Monthly Retainers

Most of our work still comes from the Upwork environment.  Retainers are not built into their models so we have adopted a policy that we feel is fair.
If no billable work is requested in over a month a contract is no longer active.  We ask the client to either end the contract and open a new one when they would like to work together again or allow us to bill 2 hours a month that a project is open but no assignments are made.
For non-Upwork projects we ask that the client review our subscription plans in the SEO Store.
An excessive amount of open contracts with no billable work can give other clients and potential clients the impression that we’re too busy to provide them the attention they require on their project.
Upwork has the option for a client to pause or hold a project as well.  Reactivating a project that has not had billable work in over a month, without a subscription plan will need to be reviewed and agreed too by Ultimate SEO. 

How Much Do SEO Projects Cost?

According to the Moz study we referenced above, project-based SEO services are the most popular pricing model you’ll find amongst SEO companies.

Despite it’s relative popularity, there’s a huge range of potential prices, primarily because the cost will be dependent upon the scope of your needs.

Still, for the sake of clarity, nearly half of respondents fell into one of the following price ranges:

  • $1,001 – $1,500
  • $1,501 – $2,500
  • $2,501 – $5,000
  • $5,001 – $7,500

How Much Does Hourly SEO Cost?

At face value hourly SEO services may seem like a worthwhile investment.

After all, you know exactly what you’re going to pay for.

Whatever hourly rate you negotiated or accepted before work commenced, is what you’ll pay. Depending on how many hours were worked, you can accurately estimate what your bill will look like.

The peace of mind associated with this system isn’t without merit. But like all things that sound too good to be true, there’s a bit of a catch.

The catch is that often SEO projects can take longer than expected. Further, if you’re buying the services of a respectable SEO expert, the rates can get pretty high.

Expect to pay somewhere between $75 and $150 per hour if you’re planning to get quality work done. Pro tip: Avoid anyone super cheap on the assumption that they might employ black-hat techniques (this can land you a Google penalty).