Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

Just had a meeting with a client who is paying $350 an hour for their SEO consultant for 2000 hours a year. Yep, that is close to 700k per year.

And what an SEO consultant, a truly forward thinking kind of consultant!
Comments16 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from qwerty 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The guy’s clearly a shyster, but FWIW, he’d have to be billing them for about 40 hours a week to charge 700k annually. If all he does is tweak meta tags, it’d be pretty tough to pad out his invoices quite that much.

Avatar
from scottclark 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 2

If they spent 1/3 billable hours (not far-fetched) $350/hour would come out around 200k/year expense.  I can’t imagine a consultant spending more time than that.

Avatar
from Sparkie 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I will gladly do your seo work for half that. ;)

Avatar
from tonynwright 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I would imagine this guy knows someone or has some political clout. But there are shysters of all kinds out there. I’ve worked with many of them.

Avatar
from Fitz 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Obviously this is a high price. But what price range is fair for consulting?

Avatar
from feedthemonkey 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 2

The far more important question is, "how much money is this guy making for his client."<div></div><div>What if this guy is making his client an incrimental $10M per year? Not such a bad deal.</div><div></div><div>Certainly $350/hr is steep for "tweaking meta tags", but I’ve got to assume he’s WAY beyond those basics. Perhaps at this price his real value is having the chops and political savvy to navigate a large organization-- build support from the CMO, get respect from the web dev team, do the business development required to get top quality links, etc.</div><div></div>

Avatar
from khalid 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Jill, standard contarct with this client is for 2000 hours. Something close to full time employment.

Avatar
from iBrian 2394 Days ago #
Votes: -2

The article reads as possibly sour grapes:1. Complaining software developers get paid less2. Complaining meta data has no real valueThe cost isn’t a concern - if someone is worth it, they are worth it.But on-page SEO concerns are important - the suggestion that unique meta description and keywords on each page weren’t a big deal shows that the SEO probably knows more about SEO than the software developer.I’m not saying the consultant was a great SEO consultant - I don’t know the facts. But from reading the articles, some at least basic SEO concerns were being addressed, and cynically frowned upon.If the software developer were doing his/her job, those unique page titles and meta data would already be on the site - we’re talking basic accessibility standards here - which unfortunately many developers miss the ball with.2c. :)

Avatar
from searchcommander 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@ Jill - I disagree, and he may have known alot about SEO... in 2002 ;)@ Feedthemonkey - dead on - "The far more important question is, "how much money is this guy making for his client."Sounds to me like this guy learned his craft in the beginning, found some clients, and hasn’t taken the time to remain (or get) educated. Also, the article says he charges $350 per hour, but then says  - "If you do the math, that is close to 700k per year" -   It doesn’t say for how much time he’s engaged, that I saw...

Avatar
from JeffCampbell 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Good SEO’s are pretty confident we can get a 30% lift in traffic/conversions after 6 months with the majortiy of the websites out there.  I look at pricing from a "value" standpoint from the client’s eyes - what would a 30% lift mean to their bottom line?  It’s typical for our clients to see $1MM+ Rev/month, so an extra lift of $300k/mo x 12 = $3.6MM annually.  It’s not outrageous to pay 20% ($700k) of that new money for the efforts that got you there.  The big assumtions are having the expertise to gain the lift and working on a big enough client to support the $700k. 

Avatar
from scottclark 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@jeffcampbell how do you come up with that 30% number.  To me that is going to vary WILDLY from site to site based on a huge quantity of variables.

Avatar
from JeffCampbell 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Scott - it’s an overall average based on our agency’s expierence over the last two+ years.  I’m not looking to name drop as the backlash in forums is never good, so you can find my company & the website on my profile which lists many clients.  Others can be found in top rankings by searching ’tires’, ’appliances’,  ’home improvement’, ’hd dvd’.And yes, our company website sucks, no comments about the shoemaker’s shoes please. ;)

Avatar
from willneu 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I wouldn’t say this is an extremely overly priced SEO consultancy fee, but my mind does wonder what 2000 hours a year in consultancy fees, would equate to in work actually done to the website. But i can assure you, a client at $50m a year will not be fooled that easily, and if they can be fooled that easily (ie the work is that bad), the internal IT department member should be sacked for being negligent.

Avatar
from LtDraper 2393 Days ago #
Votes: 0

How many people here have worked inside a giant corporation?  Dropping $700K on something that doesn’t do anything would be a substantial improvement in a lot of places.  At least the overpaid SEO consultant isn’t actively hurting the effort.  As Feedthemonkey said, just being able to navigate through the various committees and multiple lines of businesses can be worth quite a bit.  I once (back in the 1980s) worked with a consultant whose only skill was that he intimately understood the AT&T purchasing process and could get a PO through in about two weeks.  They couldn’t even agree on the times for the meetings about when they would have their meetings in that amount of time.  The consultant was worth every penny.

Avatar Moderator
from incrediblehelp 2373 Days ago #
Votes: 0

So no more info on this topic?

Avatar
from monitis 2175 Days ago #
Votes: 0

That’s a lucky guy.  Got a good client :).  Yes, I would wonder if he was able to manage the client expectations and earn customer satisfaction to end up with.  Intersting story also to share while talking to client who argue about price.  Let them know they are getting quite a reasonable deal :)

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: