How Much Does a Digital Marketing Agency Charge?

This is one of the most popular questions we get asked. We have seen prices range from $250 p/m and all the way up to +$10,000/month. Here's a breakdown of how we price our services.

Agencies (that's us) say there are a lot of factors that go into how we price a piece of work. That's true. But I don't think it should be anymore complicated than for other businesses.

Pricing is hard for everyone but want to try and give the straightest answer we can.

At Insight Online, our hourly rate is $175/hour - We recently increased this in June 2022 from $150/hour which we maintained for about 7 years.

Our minimum cost per month for ongoing work would be 5 hours, or $875/month for looking after a Google Ads account. 

And depending on what services people require, how big or complex the website/marketing is, our prices will change.

The average amount that our clients spend with us is $1,750/month plus ad spend. And generally falls under one of 3 service categories:

Paid Media

  • Google Ads Search, Display, Shopping & YouTube advertising (Advertising)
  • Facebook Ads (Advertising)
  • LinkedIn Ads (More advertising!)
  • Landing page optimisation (Helping to work on your pages to make sure people are converting or buying)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • Pre launch website audits (Making sure your websites in the best place BEFORE you launch)
  • SEO technical auditing and implementation (Going through your entire website brick by brick)
  • Website migrations (Moving websites!)
  • Content optimisation (Working on your content to rank higher)
  • Keyword research (What are people searching in your niche?)

Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics 3 setup
  • Google Analytics 4 setup
  • Custom dashboards & monthly reporting setup

How do you know when it’s worthwhile working with an agency? 

Will spending this money be worthwhile for everyone? No, it won’t.

This is how we break it down for our clients from a purely cost point of view. 

If you’re spending $1,000 on anything in your business or marketing, what’s a decent return? Accountant will says $3 to $1 as a minimum. We don’t know how true that is, but we used it in most areas of the business and it seems to work out.

So based on that, if we’re spending $1,000/month on something, we would expect an average of $3,000/month return in terms of sales OR time saved OR increased productivity. You get the idea.

So the question for our potential client is: Can we reasonably expect $9,000 - $10,000 in value back considering the spend? In some cases, yes easily. But in some cases maybe not. It’ll depend on a large number of factors particular to your business including but not limited to:

  • Current sales, current sales from website
  • Costs of production
  • Average sale value
  • Target marketing
  • Lots of other stuff

Of course, we are trying to keep things simple. It could be that each lead you get is worth an enormous amount, tens of thousands of dollars such as our architecture or big business clients. I’m just trying to give some context to deciding if an agency is worth it for you.

For ourselves, our target market is medium size organisations that have a marketing team of between 1 - 3, so they likely know search marketing, but don’t have the time and would like our expertise in management.

Examples from our proposals

Google Ads | Scope: Ad spend $4,000/month

  • Google Ads account setup - Campaign and ad group setup, keyword selection, bid, location, channel selection, ads creation, conversion tracking, ad reviews, landing page reviews (if requested)
  • Google Ads management - Utilising the data we receive to tweak the factors mentioned above to achieve your goals.

Initial Setup: $1,750 + GST

Monthly management & reporting: $875/month + GST

Search Engine Optimisation | Scope: Smaller Site (Approx 100 pages)

  • Keyword Research & Mapping - Understanding what people are searching for in your niche and what content you have that would be suitable for that search.
  • SEO Technical Audit & Recommendations - In-depth audit covering how your site is built, how fast it it is, what content you’ve got on there, how well optimised it is for search and recommendations for each aspect
  • Implementation Plan - Plan for getting all the recommendations implemented!
  • Implementation - Project managing, working with developers to implement recommendations, doing everything we can on the site to implement recommendations.

Initial Setup - $5,100 + GST

Implementation (6 months suggested) - $1,750/month + GST

These are just estimates to work from. We want to be transparent so that you can match these against your current digital marketing agency, or a quote you’ve received, and know whether you’re getting a fair deal. 

We’re always happy to take a look at a quote, or a proposal and give you our honest opinion with no strings attached. 

If you'd like a bit more of a general overview, check out our ‘What is Digital Marketing’ article. You may also want to see if are in a good position to handle digital marketing yourself. Otherwise, if you're looking at agencies, we've put together 8 questions that you should ask or be thinking about!