Digital Marketing Agency Pricing Survey from Credo (updated 2021): PPC Pricing

PPC Pricing

85% of PPC firms charge between $50-$200 per hour. 50.97% have a retainer minimum between $1,000-$3,000 per month.

PPC pricing is more straightforward than SEO pricing because it is more concrete and less complicated than SEO pricing. Below, I’ll explain how PPC pricing models most often work but first let’s look at the data:

  • 85% of PPC firms charge between $50-$200 per hour
  • 60% of PPC firms charge between $100-$200 per hour
  • 6.49% do not have a minimum single project rate
  • 48.7% have a single project minimum between $1,000-$3,000
  • 50.97% have a retainer minimum between $1,000-$3,000 per month.
  • 26% of PPC providers have a monthly retainer minimum under $1,000
  • 30.52% of PPC providers have a minimum engagement of 6-12 months, while 26.3% have no minimum contract length.

How PPC pricing works

PPC pricing is most often built as a base management fee based on the number of channels and then a percentage of spending above a certain budget level.

The most common pricing we see for digital marketing agencies is this:

  • $1,000-$2,000 per month in management fees for 1 channel
  • Additional per-channel management fee, often $500-$750 extra per month
  • Setup fee in the $1,000-$2,500 range (for research, auditing, initial ad copy, etc)
  • 15% of spend above $10,000 in monthly ad spend

Let’s make this concrete. Say you are running PPC ads on both Google and Bing and spending $15,000 per month.

“The average salary for a PPC Manager is $72,844 per year in the United States” according to Indeed. On average, that is $6,070 per month before taxes, benefits, and more.

To hire an agency, you will likely pay:

  • ~$2,000 per month to manage two channels ($1,500 plus $500)
  • $9,000 over the year at 15% on $5,000 per month over $10,000
  • Maybe a $2,000 onboarding fee.

This totals out to $33,000 for an agency as compared to $72,844 on average for a full-time PPC manager.

One more important piece to keep in mind is that the amount you pay to someone to manage your PPC ads, whether an agency or in-house, will affect your overall ROI on the channel. It is important to understand ROI vs ROAS in this case.

On an annual spend of $180,000 ($15,000 per month), if you make $500,000 your ROAS is 2.7. That is a pretty average ROAS.

Your ROI though will be 2.34 with a $33,000 per year agency and 1.97 with a full-time PPC manager at $72,844 per year.

While ROI and ROAS are just directional numbers, what matters is if the channel can be first break-even and then profitable and then scaled, knowing the difference between them and using them as a proxy for overall channel performance is imperative.

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