I have a confession about some of the secrets SEO consultation firms are pulling on innocent site owners. The problem these days is that business owners simply don’t have the tools to compare fees. One company wants $5k; a second $3300. Another quotes you $555 a month. Huh? Why the disparity in quotes?

Honestly, SEO consultation is a nasty industry that has few standards to compare services. Having been doing SEO consultation since 2007, I can assure you there’s an underlying trend in prices. Get as much as you can from the client early because they’ll be long gone in 2-4 months.


Why is it search engine optimization fees are all over the map? Greed is a big reason.

Well, plus something called client churn. Most SEO consultation firms invest about 65% in new business development. Client churn is a  measurement of new clients versus those they lose.

At the end of the month their goal is to bring on more newbie accounts than lost. The frustrating challenge for people ready to hire SEO consultation is whom do you trust with your marketing? Even better is which ones do you avoid?

SEO Consultation Fee Structures

I know some shops that charge a $3000 set-up fee. Then $2000 a month. These are their off-the-shelf prices. You can be a local SEO client trying to rank or even a start up. You’ll pay their standard fee because they can get it.

On the other side of the business are bottom feeders from offshore lands that will work for a few measly bucks an hour pretending to do SEO consultation. I don’t recommend you pursue an hourly fee arrangement. It puts too much emphasis on the meter is running mentality. Instead, go with a set monthly fee. Doing so will focus your project on growth than merely expenses.

Case Studies and SEO Consultation

I know you’re smart enough to know hiring people is a risk. But it gets exponentially more dangerous when it’s for SEO. There’s too many unknowns that go into ranking clients. Honestly, not every site will rank ever. So working with people that have a history of tearing apart sites and then retooling them to rank well is a must.

push-button-green-256That’s why I urge you to find companies doing SEO consultation with proven case studies. Preferably videos that outline the challenges involved in the SEO consultation they did for a client and what resulted. There’s no easy buttons involved when you do SEO consultation no matter the size of the client. Every single one requires oodles of research and analysis.

I have a rule: do no harm. There’s too much that can actually go wrong in SEO consultation. Deceptive trickery never works! Believe me, if it did, I would be spamming millions of links to my client sites.

So what does it take? SEO consultation (at least these days) is successful when you use Google standards of relevancy to award client rankings.

SEO Consultation and Good Prices

seo consultation

$499-$899 a month; $0 set-up fee: plan to be boxed into a ‘package’ at these rates. The problem with this low investment range is you’re probably going to get very few eye balls working on your project. Instead, you’ll receive plenty of automation, low-level text additions to your site and little growth. Some SEO consultation at these prices can work. Expect at least a year or more. Although, if you can find someone new to SEO consultation but passionate about your project, these rates may work. Everyone needs to start somewhere. When I was first working in the SEO consultation business I charged these kinds of rates.

$900-$1500 a month; $2500 set-up fee: this set of fees almost always comes with an account manager and staff assigned to your project. It better! Although I think $1500 a month along with a $2500 set-up fee is a bit much, I know a few firms doing SEO consultation at these prices with hundreds of clients. The plus side of this fee structure is it usually comes with video production included.

Warning: if you end up going with a big SEO consultation outfit, make damn sure you have telephone access to whomever is driving the bus on your project. Don’t settle on email contact. Sometimes it’s good to have a chat about the work going on.

$2000 a month; $5000 set-up fee: this kind of SEO consultation is pretty damn expensive to me. Although I have worked with a few monster clients in this territory. Why? They were competing for global keywords searched 20,000 times a month. Most companies looking to hire SEO consultation don’t need, nor can probably afford such a beefy price tag. These kinds of fees also include top-tier pros that get $200 an hour just talk about your project.

Whomever you go with for your SEO consultation, be certain they subscribe to Google standards. You may also want to consider hiring someone to review your current SEO. This can be a good move before diving in the deep end. Here’s what I do for these kind of SEO consultation clients.

In closing, take your time. Any SEO consultation guru that wants your gig NOW is probably too desperate for the business.