Fees – Payment



Hourly, Flat, Contingent
A common question asked by individuals interested in hiring a SEO relates to what one should expect to pay. The answer to this question is difficult because fees vary dramatically by SEO area and among different SEOs within a service area. This page presents information on local and types of fees, hourly, flat and contingent, and by location, experience, reputation, and demand.

Fees Charged in San Francisco
SEOs in San Francisco usually charge between $30 and $150 per hour, though some SEOs charge more than $150 an hour and generally work for very large companies with corporate clients. SEO Slammer provides low-cost pricing.

Types of Fees
There are essentially three types of fees charged by SEOs; hourly, flat, and contingent.

• Hourly: Hourly fees are the most common in the SEO profession. When agreeing to hire a SEO to work on a certain matter the SEO will quote an hourly rate. Often more experienced SEOs charge a higher rate while newer SEOs will charge less. The rate the client will be paying should be clearly disclosed on the agreement the client signs when hiring the SEO. Hourly billing is attractive due to its simplicity, but on the other hand, clients are often dissatisfied by the unpredictability of the total cost of accomplishing a project.

• Flat: Flat fees are common on many routine and predictable SEO matters. They are commonly found in monthly strategic maintenance agreements. Under a flat fee system a client is quoted a dollar amount to handle a SEO project, often start to finish. Flat fees were once seldom seen outside a few select areas of SEO, but they are now spreading to other areas because clients can easily ascertain the cost of the service and budget accordingly.

• Contingent: Contingent fees are generally limited to fields where performance results are measured including search ranking, clickthroughs and conversions. If a client hires a SEO on a contingent fee basis, the SEO does not charge the client any fees unless they achieve promised results. If the SEO does fulfill on their promise they will take a pre-defined fee based on performance milestones.

Factors Affecting Fees
In addition to practice area and fee structure, the fee charged by a SEO also varies by geographic location, experience, reputation, and demand.

• Geographic location: The cost of a SEOs services not only vary by fee structure and area, they also vary based on geographic location. As a general rule SEOs charge less in rural areas than they do in large metropolitan areas. This makes sense because large cities tend to have a higher cost of living so the SEO must make more to support the same lifestyle. San Francisco is the fourth largest city in California and SEOs here charge rates substantially higher than those in surrounding metropolitan areas.

• Experience: The experience of the SEO a client chooses will often have a large impact on the rate the SEO charges. A new SEO will usually charge a lower rate than an individual with 15 or more years of experience under his belt. While new SEOs can often offer lower rates, the more experienced one may cost the same in the end because someone just starting out typically bills for much less than the time it takes to accomplish the same result.

• Reputation and demand: Reputation and demand: A SEOs reputation and the demand for his services are closely linked to the fee he will charge a client. If a SEO is highly regarded, chances are many people wish to hire him. A SEO will naturally raise the fee he charges if he has more potential clients than he can serve.

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