We charge clients based on where they are in their SEO journey and where they want to go.

But knowing what to charge can be a real problem, especially if you are new to SEO.

If you want to attract and win clients over your competitors, you need to offer competitive prices. 

To help you get started, we will cover 6 SEO pricing models you can use and 6 critical elements to consider when pricing your services.

6 SEO Pricing Structures:

  • Pricing based on an hourly rate 
  • Monthly retainer
  • Pricing based on value to client
  • Pricing on a pay per lead basis
  • Pricing based on CPA
  • Comparing traffic from organic to paid and using that as a basis 

1. SEO Pricing Based On An Hourly Rate 

The most common type of SEO pricing is based on an hourly rate. The rates vary depending on the project and from agency to agency.

An ideal approach for small sized agencies and freelancers because it is simple and easy for clients to understand.

If you are new to SEO and unsure of how long a project could take, this model can help.

There is more flexibility in charging a project for smaller businesses while ensuring lengthy projects can also be charged correctly.

Freelancer SEO pricing – hourly rates start from £35 + vat

Small to medium size agency – The average prices fall between £50 to £250 + vat

2. Monthly Retainer

This pricing model is based on an hourly rate and a set number of hours per month. It gives you the ability to charge clients who want SEO on an ongoing basis at a fixed price. 

Most agencies and freelancers offer this type of contract to clients in competitive markets for a minimum of 6 months.

Whether you have been doing SEO for long or not, you know that results can only really be measured in 3-6 months and upwards.

Freelancer pricing – £299 to £499 + vat

Small to medium size agency – £500 to £2000 + vat

Large SEO agency – £10,000 month and upwards + vat

3. Pricing Based on Value to Client

In a value pricing approach, the prices will differ from client to client depending on the situation.

This model is based on pricing your services on the value a client will receive. 

Many agencies and freelancers who use this pricing structure take into account the size and budget of a business.

This model enables you to provide more in depth and tailored services to your clients. 

And instead of offering fixed rates, they use this method to make sure smaller companies with smaller budgets can also receive a good deal.

4. Pricing on a Pay Per Lead Basis

Pay per lead basis, known as the PPL model, involves charging a monthly fee based on the total number of leads driven.

This model has emerged following a demand to evaluate results that could not be followed or measured through traditions of agency fees.

As the leads and sales can be tracked and quantified, you can price your services based on a pay per lead basis.

Many clients will prefer this method, but it is important to evaluate if it would work for you.

This model would generally only make you profit if your client falls into a high ticket niche with high margins and high volume searches.

We all know that most businesses seeking SEO services want quick results, and SEO can take time.

5. Pricing Based on CPA

CPA is short for cost per acquisition. 

This SEO pricing model is mainly based on what your client’s objectives are. Whether they are looking for sales, click, downloads or form submissions. 

This metrics is basically the ratio between the total cost of the SEO campaign divided by the total number of customers or sales. 

It enables you to place a price on each conversion and provide your clients with a more in-depth insight into your strategy.

6. Comparing Traffic From Organic to Paid And Using That As a Basis

You can use how much a client has to pay for paid ads to make it on top of SERPs as a basis for how much they need to pay to reach the same position through SEO.

So if a client already has ads that bring an X amount of traffic that cost them an X amount, then you can charge them the same x amount for SEO to help them reach position 1.

6 Elements to Consider When Pricing SEO Services

Now that you’re familiar with different methods of payments, it’s time to get to know some of the elements that affect SEO prices. 

So, every client is different and has unique needs. 

If you want to meet their exact needs and get paid for it properly, then you should analyse a few important elements about their business.

To make it as easy as possible, we have highlighted the top 6 elements:

  • The client’s business goals
  • Current website condition
  • Current SEO state
  • The desired timeframe
  • Their location
  • Their competition

1. The Client’s Business goals

The first thing you need to find out is what your client’s objectives are. That is the only way you can help them achieve their goals. A client might want to rank for three keywords, whereas another in a more competitive niche might be looking to rank for more.

Some might just be looking for on-site optimisation and want content. So by focusing on their objectives, you can design tailored SEO services that can help them achieve what they want.

2. Current Website Condition

We recommend starting with a website audit. The closer you manage to get your client to the first SERP, the stronger the competition becomes. A well optimised website that is search engine friendly will always outrank others.

3. Current SEO State

The costs will vary depending on where individual clients are in terms of ranking. Some clients might be looking to maintain their rankings while others might be looking to achieve, and depending on that, the pricing will differ.

4. The Desired Timeframe

The pricing will also vary depending on their objectives and how fast they want the work done. If a client is looking for search engine rankings in a competitive niche, then they’ll need to invest more to get to the top. Other factors such as their current position and the niche they are in will also impact the pricing.

5. Their Location

Where your client is based also affects the costs. Due to intense local market competition, they require more work and time if they want to rank in bigger cities.

For example, getting a client to rank for local electricians in Glasgow would be easier than electricians in London.

They’ll also need to invest more if they have multiple locations to target.

6. Their Competition

You can’t just base the pricing on what a client wants because their competitors play a huge role in how they will rank. In general, the more competitive an industry is, the more services they need.