What Rates do you Expect from a SEO Consultant in India ?

Well, this is kind of a rant post and am not sure how much value you will derive from it but I presume if you are reading this, next time when you are looking for a SEO consultant whether from India or anywhere else in the world you will probably have a different perspective.

On an average, I get around 3-4 request for SEO consulting job from this blog every month, and though I said “consulting”, some of them do not really require a SEO consultant and are primarily looking for someone who can just follow instructions blindly and carry out stuff like link exchange, directory submission etc and I politely decline those.

Now there are some other clients who actually require a senior level consultant who can create a proper holistic internet marketing strategy for their business and implement / help in implementation of the same. These are the projects that I really look forward to.

Typically with this type of clients and projects , we would have a few discussion/ email exchange to understand their business model and marketing requirements and when they are all happy and ready to start the fun begins as it comes down to pricing.

Because I am based out of India, some people would have an impression that I will work for peanuts and the most common phrase that I get to hear from them is, “there are so many other SEO experts in India who work at a much lower price” – Agreed ! but I offer much more than just that! What you get typically from those so called “SEO Experts” is what I call 90’s SEO – Keyword stuffing +link building( read: link exchange) for a few months without any effective strategy and noticeable result.
Some clients definitely understand the difference in the level of service, knowledge and experience but then there are others who fail to understand that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

Being in India, shouldn’t be a reason why someone would devalue my services. Of course, it does give me the opportunity to offer my services at a lower rate compared to my US or European counterparts and I do leverage that advantage by offering a much lower price compared to SEO consultants from those countries. My location doesn’t really affect the quality of service I provide and when you are looking for a premium service isn’t it natural to pay a few dollars more than usual? Though most SEO projects are priced based on a monthly fee in India, a little calculation would reveal the hourly rate to be at around $10-$12/hour. My rates are typically a dollar or two higher than this and I offer a lot more for that minimal premium.

Just to put in perspective, here are the SEO consultant rates for some of them who have been nice enough to put up some ball park figures on their website:

  • Scott Hendison ( UK) : $2500 Set Up fee+ First Month, Monthly Price: $1000 or higher
  • Simon Shandler ( US) : price varies by project complexity, $4000 retainer fee
  • Shane Hunter (US): $1000-$2000/month
  • Dream Ware Enterprise(US) : $350/hour for Telephonic consultation
  • SozoFirm (US) : $150/hour Email, chat, & phone consultation
  • Sheffield Marketing (Chicago, US): $150/month for telephonic SEO consultation
  • iOptimal.co.uk –Cost: £6300. Delivery time: 7 months ( for moderately competitive keywords)

(The rates are taken from their respective website as on 12th January, 2011)

Now when you look at these prices, I am sure you can understand that if an equally experienced guy in India is asking you $250-300/month, he isn’t really asking the world from you.

I really don’t mean to offend anyone or come across as a snobbish high priced SEO consultant, most of my clients are small businesses and I do understand that each penny counts when it comes to small businesses. I am more than open to talk about prices, discuss and find mutually beneficial options, however, it really pains, when some potential client tells me “why can’t you work for $5/hour, after all you are in India” .

I hope this blog gives a fair idea to my readers and potential clients about the level of expertise and experience I have in this domain and while we are all looking for bargain prices, as a professional, I expect the rates to be respectable.
I would rather end this rant on a positive note. I have found some of my best clients through this blog and I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks for all the business they have offered. Hopefully the New Year will bring in a lot more business for all of us.

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Check out the About SRC Page for more details about Saptarshi Roy Chaudhury.

2 Comments to “What Rates do you Expect from a SEO Consultant in India ?”

  1. Geek Blogger says:

    Well Written man, i am completely agree with you. If anyone wants to higher a super hero then why they don’t want to pay according to that??. And yeah you are doing great by not considering those article submitting and link building request, Rather i should say the one who is asking you to doing that is a fool.

  2. Seo Expert says:

    You are absolutely right but son’t forget a part of the problem comes from your own country. Didn’t you have large call centers for big companies at very low rates. So now some people expect that all work from India is cheap.

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