How Much Does SEO Cost? Your Guide to Affordable SEO Strategies

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In today’s competitive market, where the vast majority of commerce is influenced (at least in part) by a search engine query or website visit, SEO reigns supreme.

We all know it, we all need it, but figuring out how much SEO services cost can be a bit of a challenge for those not in the industry.

In this guide we explore the costs of SEO, as well as the different pricing structures, and what goes into how much you’ll end up paying.

The Cost Of SEO: A Quick Intro On How Much SEO Companies Charge

The cost of SEO services can vary widely depending on the scope of the work that needs to be done, the experience of the agency, and other factors. Some agencies charge a flat rate for their services, while others charge on an hourly basis or use a performance-based model.

A flat rate for a full-service SEO package from a reputable agency could range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more per month. This package may include services such as keyword research, on-page optimization, technical optimization, link building, and content creation. Smaller agencies may charge lower rates, while larger, more established agencies may charge higher rates.

The cost for a one-time SEO audit and recommendations could be in the range of $500 to $3000. This is ideal for those clients that already have a website but want to know what needs to be fixed.

It’s also worth noting that some SEO services can be done by the client or company in-house, and don’t need to outsource this service, which could save a lot of money. But it’s also important to understand that SEO is an ongoing process, that requires continuous monitoring and optimization.

It’s important to remember that a low price doesn’t always indicate the best value and that the cheapest option may not always be the best option for your business. It’s important to consider the value and experience that an agency can provide, as well as its proposed approach to SEO, before making a decision.

What Factors Affect How Much SEO Services Cost?

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Several factors can affect how much SEO companies charge clients 

The Scope of The Work

The more comprehensive the scope of the work, the higher the cost will be. A full-service SEO package that includes keyword research, on-page optimization, technical optimization, link building, and content creation will cost more than a package that only includes on-page optimization.

The Experience and Size of The Agency

SEO agencies with more experience and a larger team will typically charge more than smaller, less experienced agencies. Established agencies may have more advanced tools, better processes, and more seasoned staff that can provide more value than newbies.


Agencies located in major metropolitan areas or high-cost-of-living regions may charge more due to higher overhead costs.


If the industry or niche is highly competitive the cost will be higher. This is because the agency will have to put in more effort and resources to push the site up in rankings.

Ongoing or One-Time Services

Ongoing services such as ongoing optimization, monitoring, and link building will be more expensive than a one-time audit or recommendations.

Industry and Business type

Certain industries or business types may require more specialized knowledge or resources, which can affect the cost of the services.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of SEO should not be the only factor considered when choosing an agency. The agency’s reputation, experience, and proposed approach to SEO are all important factors to take into account, and a higher cost does not always indicate a better service.

Local SEO Pricing Vs National SEO Pricing

Local SEO and national SEO pricing can vary depending on the agency, location, and the type of services offered.

Local SEO is usually more targeted and specific, and it is focused on improving the visibility of a business in local search results. This typically involves optimizing the business’s Google My Business listing, building local citations, and creating and optimizing local landing pages. The cost of local SEO services can range from $500 to $3000 per month.

National SEO, on the other hand, is focused on improving a business’s visibility in search results across the entire country. This typically involves building and optimizing multiple landing pages, building high-quality backlinks, and conducting keyword research. National SEO is generally more complex and requires a more substantial investment than local SEO. The cost of national SEO services can range from $3000 to $5000 per month or more.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost for these services can vary depending on the agency and competition level within the niche. It’s always good to ask for a case study or an example of similar work that has been done. Additionally, it’s also important to consider the value and experience that an agency can provide, as well as its proposed approach to SEO, before making a decision.

Different SEO Pricing Models

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There are several different SEO pricing models that agencies and consultants may use. These include…

  • Hourly rate: This is the most common pricing model and involves paying an hourly rate for the work completed. The rate can vary depending on the experience and expertise of the agency or consultant.

  • Retainer: Under this model, a client pays a set monthly fee for a certain number of hours of work. This can be a good option for clients who need ongoing SEO support.

  • Project-based: Under this model, the client pays a set fee for a specific project or set of tasks. This can be a good option for clients who have a clear idea of what they need and a defined budget.

  • Performance-based: Under this model, the agency or consultant is only paid if specific performance targets are met. This can include an increase in traffic or rankings. This is a more risky model for the client as the results may not meet the expectations, but it can also be rewarding if the performance targets are met.

It is important to note that some firms use different models than those listed here, it is a good idea to talk with the firms you are interested in and understand the details of their pricing models so that you can choose the one that best fits your budget and needs.

It is also important to keep in mind that the cost of SEO is an investment, rather than an expense. When done correctly, SEO can provide long-term benefits such as increased visibility, traffic, and revenue.

Which SEO Pricing Model Is Best When Hiring An Agency To Do SEO For A Business

are several pricing models that SEO agencies may use, and which one is best for a business will depend on the specific needs and circumstances of that business. 

  • Hourly rate: This model can be a good option for businesses that only need a few hours of work per month, or for businesses that want a lot of flexibility in terms of the work that is done.

  • Retainer: This can be a good option for businesses that need ongoing support, or for businesses that want to develop a long-term relationship with an agency.

  • Project-based: This is ideal for businesses that have a specific project in mind and want to pay for the specific service.

  • Performance-based: This model is riskier for the agency, but can be more beneficial for the client since the client only pays when the agency delivers results.

  • It’s worth mentioning, that no model is better than the other, it depends on the scope of work, the business goals, and the budget the client can have for the service. As a business owner, it is important to understand which model fits your needs and discuss with the agency to agree.

How Much Does SEO Cost Per Hour?

The cost of SEO per hour can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the location of the agency, the size and experience of the agency, and the scope of the work that needs to be done. In general, hourly rates for SEO can range from as low as $50 per hour to as high as $200 or more per hour.

Small or local agencies may charge lower hourly rates, while larger, more established agencies may charge higher rates. Agencies with more experience and expertise may also charge higher rates. Additionally, agencies in certain areas, such as major metropolitan cities, may charge higher rates due to the cost of living and doing business in those areas.

It’s also important to note that the pricing could change based on the work that needs to be done. For example, if the client wants to do a complete website redesign with ongoing optimization, the hourly rate would be different than if they only want to focus on the technical optimization of the website.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of SEO should not be the only factor that you consider when choosing an agency. It is important to also consider the agency’s experience, reputation, and case studies, as well as its proposed approach to SEO.

How Can You Tell if SEO Costs Are Worth It?

One way to determine if the costs of SEO are worth it is to track the return on investment (ROI). This can be done by comparing the costs of the SEO efforts to the revenue generated as a result of those efforts. If the revenue generated exceeds the costs, then the SEO costs are likely worth it. 

It’s also good to measure and track keyword rankings, organic traffic, and user behavior on the website and conversions. Additionally, it’s good to set clear goals and KPI (key performance indicators) that you want to achieve with SEO and track the progress in reaching them. And compare it to the investment and industry standards.

Lastly, it is important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy, and the benefits may not be fully realized for several months, compounding over time.

In this way, SEO is a long-term investment strategy in your business that continues to pay significant dividends in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions – How Much Does SEO Cost?

What determines the cost of SEO services?

SEO service prices fluctuate dependent on a number of criteria, including the work’s complexity, the agency’s level of expertise, the market’s level of competitiveness, and the specific services that are being sought. When it comes to pricing, agencies can be as varied as hourly fees, retainers, and performance-based structures.

What’s the typical cost range for a full-service SEO package?

Reputable SEO services may charge $1,000 per month or more for a full service SEO =package. Keyword analysis, optimisation of the page’s layout and code, optimisation of external links, and original content development are all common components of these bundles.

What’s the typical cost range for a full-service SEO package?

Reputable SEO services may charge $1,000 per month or more for a full service SEO package. Keyword analysis, optimisation of the page’s layout and code, optimisation of external links, and original content development are all common components of these bundles.

How much does a one-time SEO audit cost?

An SEO assessment and subsequent recommendations often range in price from $600 to $3,000. If your company already has a website but could use some advice on how to make it better, this is the plan for you.

Can I save money by doing some SEO tasks in-house?

Some SEO work can be done in-house, which can be a cost-effective option. However, search engine optimisation is a continual process that needs constant attention. It’s important to let those who specialise in a given area handle certain jobs.

What factors impact SEO pricing?

Scope of work, agency size and expertise, geography, industry competition, repeat vs. one-time service needs, and the unique expertise needed in a certain field all play a role.

How does local SEO pricing compare to national SEO pricing?

Costs for local search engine optimisation services typically range from $ 500 to $3 000 monthly. The cost of a national SEO campaign designed to increase visibility across all major search engines may be $3,000-$5,000 per month. The prices will change based on the level of competition and the services provided by the agency.

How do I determine if the cost of SEO is worth it?

Calculate the SEO ROI by comparing the total costs incurred with the total revenue gained. The success of your investment may be tracked through metrics such as keyword position, organic traffic, user action, goal conversion, and specific objectives.

Is the lowest cost always the best option?

No, the cheapest option does not always produce the best outcomes. Search engine optimisation (SEO) agencies vary greatly in terms of their reputation, experience, and strategies. Think about the agency’s whole worth, not just the price.

Is SEO a long-term investment strategy?

Yes, search engine optimisation is something that must be worked on over time. The payoff in terms of increased exposure, traffic, and money may not be immediately apparent, but it can grow substantially over time.

What should I consider when choosing an agency based on pricing?

Think about the price and the value you’ll get from a particular agency before making a final decision. Think about the agency’s background, track record, examples of past work, and strategy for search engine optimisation. If the increased investment produces preferable outcomes and a more thorough plan of action, then it may have been worthwhile.

Can I negotiate SEO pricing with agencies?

If you’re looking to form a lasting connection, certain organisations may be willing to negotiate. Prioritise the quality of the goods and services you will obtain over the price. Despite minor price changes, a great SEO campaign should still give a strong ROI.

Are there any hidden costs associated with SEO services?

To minimise any unanticipated expenses, make sure you understand exactly what is covered by the offered fee. Some firms may have hidden fees for using particular software or providing other resources beyond what was discussed during the original consultation. Requesting a detailed explanation of what is and isn’t included is a must.

How can I measure the success of my SEO investment?

Keep an eye on metrics that matter, such where your keywords fall in the SERPs, how much organic traffic you’re getting, how engaged your users are, and how many of them convert. Keep an eye on these figures over time to determine how well your SEO tactics are faring.

What are the risks of choosing solely based on low-cost options?

If you’re in need of SEO services but only care about price, ignoring value and experience could have disastrous repercussions. You risk having your website’s rankings and reputation plummet if you hire a firm without sufficient competence in SEO. It’s crucial to find a happy medium between price and quality.
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