Digital Marketing Agency Pricing Survey from Credo (updated 2019): PPC agency and consultant rates

PPC agency and consultant rates


Every always asks us “how much does a PPC agency cost?”, to which we explain that it depends on many factors such as but not limited to their location, their size, the type of work they’re offering (services, strategy, or both), and how senior they are.

We crunched the numbers that came back from our survey to find the answer for you to begin with though. The way to interpret this data is to remember that these are averages and a starting point for a conversation, but depending on how you pull the levers a firm will be more or less expensive. We have tried to slice and dice the data for you so that you can see how this happens on average.

But once again, it will depend on the factors listed above. An agency based in New York City will usually cost more than an agency in Kalamazoo, Michigan simply because of the average price of talent.

So let’s look at the data.

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Interesting takeaways from this section:

  • PPC agencies on average have higher monthly minimums and retainers than consultants;
  • US PPC firms are more expensive than worldwide averages (which is consistent across our dataset);
  • 32.89% of our worldwide PPC firm respondents report charging under $100 per hour for their PPC work;
  • Only 1.88% of our respondents report charging more than $300 an hour for their PPC work.

A quick caveat that we only noticed after putting together this section is that we did not specify in the survey whether this was client spend or the firm’s take from the project for project minimums and monthly retainers. So, the data for those sections should be viewed directionally.

Average PPC firm rates worldwide

First let’s look at the average rates of PPC firms worldwide.

PPC firm worldwide hourly rates

Here are the PPC firm worldwide hourly rates, for all company sizes:

The raw data:

Hourly Rate Count of Average hourly rate All firms offering PPC
Under $50 14 9.21%
$51-$100 36 23.68%
$101-$150 44 28.95%
$151-$200 37 24.34%
$201-$300 17 11.18%
$301-$500 2 1.32%
$501+ 1 0.66%
N/A 1 0.66%

PPC firm worldwide project minimums

Here are the project minimums that the PPC firms across the world reported that they take:

The raw data:

Project minimum Count of Single project minimum Percentage of total
Under $1,000 39 25.66%
$1,000-$1,999 43 28.29%
$2,000-$2,999 24 15.79%
$3,000-$3,999 8 5.26%
$4,000-$4,999 4 2.63%
$5,000+ 24 15.79%
Do not accept one-time projects 3 1.97%
No minimum 7 4.61%

Here are the single project minimums for PPC firms worldwide, based on company size:

That chart is a bit busy, so here is the raw data:

Project minimum 1 (solo practice) 2-5 5-10 11-20 21-50 51+
Under $1,000 35.00% 43.24% 23.08% 7.14% 11.54% 9.09%
$1,000-$1,999 30.00% 32.43% 46.15% 28.57% 26.92% 9.09%
$2,000-$2,999 15.00% 5.41% 15.38% 28.57% 26.92% 13.64%
$3,000-$3,999 2.50% 0.00% 0.00% 14.29% 7.69% 13.64%
$4,000-$4,999 2.50% 2.70% 0.00% 0.00% 3.85% 4.55%
$5,000+ 7.50% 5.41% 15.38% 14.29% 15.38% 50.00%
Do not accept one-time projects 0.00% 5.41% 0.00% 7.14% 0.00% 0.00%
No minimum 7.50% 5.41% 0.00% 0.00% 7.69% 0.00%

The interesting takeaways in this section are:

  • As the company gets bigger, their single project minimums go up. In fact, once a PPC firm gets above 5 their minimums are much more likely to be over $5,000.
  • A full 53.95% of PPC firms worldwide take single projects under $2,000 in value.
  • Only 1.97% of firms do not take one-time projects (eg audits).
  • No PPC  firms in our dataset with 20+ employees only do retainers. This is different from SEO.

PPC firm worldwide retainer minimums

Here are the PPC firm worldwide monthly retainer rates as reported by our 152 respondents:

The raw data:

PPC firm worldwide monthly retainer minimum
Row Labels Count of Monthly minimum budget PPC firm worldwide monthly retainer minimum
Under $1,000 45 29.61%
$1000-1,999 38 25.00%
$2000-2,999 26 17.11%
$3000-3,999 16 10.53%
$4000-4,999 4 2.63%
$5,000+ 12 7.89%
No minimum 11 7.24%

Interesting takeaways include:

  • 54.61% of PPC firms worldwide take monthly retainers of less than $2,000;
  • Only 10.52% of PPC firms worldwide have a monthly minimum above $4,000.
  • 7.24% of firms say they have no minimum.

Average PPC rates in US and UK

Here are the average rates for US and UK PPC firms.

US PPC firm hourly rates

The raw data:

Hourly Rate Count PPC firm US
Under $50 2 2.25%
$51-$100 12 13.48%
$101-$150 31 34.83%
$151-$200 29 32.58%
$201-$300 12 13.48%
$301-$500 2 2.25%
$501+ 0 0.00%

UK PPC firm hourly rates

Here are the average hourly rates for UK PPC firms:

The raw data:

Hourly Rate Count PPC firm UK
Under $50 2 7.69%
$51-$100 15 57.69%
$101-$150 5 19.23%
$151-$200 3 11.54%
$201-$300 1 3.85%
$301-$500 0 0.00%
$501+ 0 0.00%

UK PPC firms need to charge more!

Average PPC agency rates

Now let’s look at average PPC agency rates.

PPC agency worldwide hourly rates

Here are the worldwide PPC agency average hourly rates:

Raw data:

Hourly Rate Count PPC agency hourly
Under $50 11 9.82%
$51-$100 19 16.96%
$101-$150 38 33.93%
$151-$200 29 25.89%
$201-$300 12 10.71%
$301-$500 1 0.89%
$501+ 1 0.89%

PPC agency worldwide project minimums

Here are the reported project minimums for the PPC agencies in our dataset, of which there are 112:

The raw data:

Row Labels Count of Single project minimum PPC agency worldwide project minimum
Under $1,000 25 22.32%
$1,000-$1,999 31 27.68%
$2,000-$2,999 18 16.07%
$3,000-$3,999 7 6.25%
$4,000-$4,999 3 2.68%
$5,000+ 21 18.75%
Do not accept one-time projects 3 2.68%
No minimum 4 3.57%

PPC agency project minimums (US)

Here are the US PPC agency project minimums from our dataset:

The raw data:

Row Labels Count of Single project minimum PPC agency project minimum
Under $1,000 12 17.39%
$1,000-$1,999 18 26.09%
$2,000-$2,999 14 20.29%
$3,000-$3,999 4 5.80%
$4,000-$4,999 1 1.45%
$5,000+ 15 21.74%
Do not accept one-time projects 3 4.35%
No minimum 2 2.90%

Interesting takeaways from this section are:

  • US PPC agencies are only nominally more picky in the project sizes they take.
  • Still a very large number (43.48%) take projects under $2,000 and 17.38% take them under $1,000.

PPC agency worldwide retainer minimums

Here are the worldwide PPC agency retainer minimums from our 112 respondents:

The raw data:

PPC agency worldwide monthly retainer minimum
Row Labels Count of Monthly minimum budget PPC agency worldwide monthly retainer minimum
Under $1,000 32 28.57%
$1000-1,999 28 25.00%
$2000-2,999 19 16.96%
$3000-3,999 13 11.61%
$4000-4,999 4 3.57%
$5,000+ 11 9.82%
No minimum 5 4.46%

PPC agency monthly retainer minimum (US)

Here are the US PPC agency monthly retainer minimums as reported by our 69 respondents:

The raw data:

Retainer minimum Count of Monthly minimum budget US PPC agency monthly retainer minimum
Under $1,000 15 21.74%
$1000-1,999 18 26.09%
$2000-2,999 13 18.84%
$3000-3,999 9 13.04%
$4000-4,999 3 4.35%
$5,000+ 9 13.04%
No minimum 2 2.90%

Interesting takeaways include:

  • A higher percentage of US PPC agencies (compared to worldwide) have a minimum between $1,000-$2,000 per month;
  • A full 13% of US PPC agencies have a monthly minimum over $5,000. This is higher than the worldwide average.

US PPC agencies are, from our data, more expensive than the worldwide averages.

Average PPC consultant rates

Now let’s look at PPC consultant rates worldwide and US specific.

PPC consultant worldwide hourly rates

Here are the PPC consultant worldwide hourly rates from our dataset containing 40 PPC consultants:

The raw data:

Hourly Rate Count PPC consultant hourly rates
Under $50 3 7.50%
$51-$100 17 42.50%
$101-$150 6 15.00%
$151-$200 8 20.00%
$201-$300 5 12.50%
$301-$500 1 2.50%
$501+ 0 0.00%

PPC consultant worldwide project minimums

Here are the PPC consultant worldwide project minimums, of which there were 40 respondents:

The raw data:

PPC consultant worldwide single project minimum
Row Labels Count of Single project minimum PPC consultant worldwide
Under $1,000 14 35.00%
$1,000-$1,999 12 30.00%
$2,000-$2,999 6 15.00%
$3,000-$3,999 1 2.50%
$4,000-$4,999 1 2.50%
$5,000+ 3 7.50%
No minimum 3 7.50%

US PPC consultant project minimums

Here are the US PPC consultant projects minimums from our dataset, in which there were 20 respondents. Thus, we are showing the raw numbers here instead of percentages:

The raw data:

US PPC consultant project minimums
Single project minimum Count
Under $1,000 4
$1,000-$1,999 7
$2,000-$2,999 4
$3,000-$3,999 1
$4,000-$4,999 1
$5,000+ 1
No minimum 2

PPC consultant worldwide retainer minimums

Here are the PPC consultant worldwide monthly retainer minimums from the 40 respondents in our dataset:

The raw data:

PPC consultant worldwide monthly minimum
Monthly retainer minimum Count of Monthly minimum budget PPC consultant worldwide monthly minimum
Under $1,000 13 32.50%
$1000-1,999 10 25.00%
$2000-2,999 7 17.50%
$3000-3,999 3 7.50%
$5,000+ 1 2.50%
No minimum 6 15.00%

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Tired of not closing enough consulting clients? Download our free guide to closing more of the prospects you pitch.

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