A Complete SEO Pricing Guide – How Much Does SEO Cost?

Consumer behavior has dramatically changed over the years. The new buying patterns and the different customer approaches towards products and services are the primary game players to this twist. Digital marketing is an approach that many companies are investing in, SEO being the primary goal.

In this millennial era, customers search for any form of query or help from the internet. There are no specific brand names involved. Just a concern, and probably a location. Here’s an example – ‘coffee shop near me. Well, with a good SEO ranking, your business will pop up as their first answer. And that will land you a new customer.

Even though it’s not as simple as it sounds, you’re required to integrate proper SEO elements into your company’s website for good SEO ranking. The best way to do so is by working with a pro. However, the main question is – how much will SEO cost you?

How Much Does SEO Cost?

Many businesses expect an actual figure to integrate it into the company accounts easily. A figure, probably, that will make it easier for you to fit it into your annual or monthly budget neatly. However, that’s not the case.

The fact is, SEO can differ in several ways depending on the SEO services that you want or need. The pricing of SEO packages is affected by several factors, such as;

  • Amount of content needed
  • Business expectations
  • The projections for your business’s growth
  • The chain of services required.

It’s easier to get a good idea of the expected prices with such stats. You can then get quotes for SEO pricing from marketing agencies. It’ll save you from being overcharged.

This article will address all matters related to SEO pricing for any business. Take notes. Avoid being taken advantage of.

How to Determine SEO Pricing

To receive an accurate approximation of your SEO pricing, you will be required to present some information about your business to an agency or a marketer. This information will help the SEO marketer to determine several issues. That includes the amount of work needed, the estimated duration for the project completion, and the type of content required.

SEO pricing points differ since businesses present different information altogether. It further clarifies how pricing isn’t a simple touch-and-go affair. Some of the critical information to be provided include;

  • Your search presence’s current state
  • The leads to a close sales rate
  • Your deadlines for visible results
  • The average revenue per sale
  • Campaign goals
  • The current allocation of your marketing budget.

Should You Directly Receive an SEO Pricing Quote?

Drawing from the information to be presented by a business, marketers shouldn’t provide an instant quote without detailed information from the business owners. This essential information from their clients can only give an estimated cost. Providing an accurate cost for an SEO package requires an in-depth understanding of the task ahead and a client’s goals.

How are Most Businesses Charged for SEO Services?

Different payment structures are used for SEO pricing. In a survey done by Sparktoro, some of the findings discovered are;

  • 64.89% of the SEO marketers charged an hourly rate
  • 87.23% were billing a monthly retainer fee
  • 64.89% opted for a fixed project-based package
  • 58.51% opted for a variable project-based package
  • 14.89% considered giving clients performance-based packages.

The survey further disclosed that the median monthly cost of SEO was USD 2500 – USD 5000. 31% of the clients paid more than the range to a limit of USD 50,000. 18% were lucky enough to spend below USD 1000. According to the stats of the survey, you can pay as low as USD 25 per hour – USD 20,000 per month, depending on your SEO needs.

What Would Be a Reasonable Price for SEO Packages?

The majority of SEO experts in the US charge a monthly retainer fee of USD 2500 – USD 5000. Typically, a lower cost means that you’ll get poor-quality SEO services.

For example, you should look out for companies that offer cheap monthly rates. Pro SEO specialists get an annual average salary of USD 50 000. If the calculations from your pay don’t seem to be sustaining that salary, then there’s a big problem. Either the company relies on shady methods, or you’ll see little to zero results.

The SEO pricing might also be affected by the provider you go for. SEO specialists with more than two years of experience are likely to charge double per month or 40% more for the hourly rate. Ideally, SEO companies charge double what consultants and freelancers charge.

Should You Go for Monthly SEO Services?

SEO services are meant to be a long-term inclusion if you want to continue excelling in digital marketing. That should be your primary consideration as you’re looking into getting the best SEO pricing. Regardless of your current business goals and expectations, SEO services are not meant to be a one-off solution then you move on.

Your business needs will change with time, and so will your wants. You might be looking into expanding your territories or introducing something different altogether. In that case, going for a monthly SEO package is a better approach.

With one, you can clarify your expectations and timeline to make the costs flexible enough. Moreover, you’d be in a better position to bill the costs in your expenses, unlike how instant charges for fast results might dig deeper in your accounts.

SEO is not a one-time project. There’ll be a need for constant analysis, updates, upgrades, improvements, and adjustments to deliver your desired results. A monthly package offers content marketing and link building, leading to an excellent overall command in SEO rankings.

These factors are what push most business owners to pay monthly retainer fees to enjoy quality SEO services.

What’s the Cost of Local SEO?

You might wonder what it might cost you if you want local SEO. Local SEO means that you are marketing your products or services to the local customer base. Thus, you’re dealing with a smaller and concentrated audience which also reduces the competition.

The average local SEO cost will be relatively lower compared to the global packages. You’d probably get a figure about 20% less of what you would be charged for global SEO.

What are the Different Types of Local SEO?

The amount you’ll pay for local SEO will depend on your selection of pricing models and your SEO needs. The three local SEO categories are;

Automated Local SEOThis is the cheapest available option for local SEO. It ensures you submit your business information to directories. It involves ensuring that all your contact information (phone numbers, email links, and addresses) are correct on all sites such as Yellow Pages and Yelp.

It doesn’t boost your search ranking since the steps taken are necessary for Google’s geographical verification. However, it helps gain visibility if you are centrally placed and looking for local customers.

The package will cover your business accounts update on location-based sites and incorporate any necessary information and link that customers usually search for.

1. Small Scale Local SEO

The package introduces campaigns that create highly targeted advertisements running for a particular timeframe in a given area. They are mostly social media campaigns and pay-per-click ads that are localized to get to a specific audience.

These services are ideal for small businesses with a limited area, serving targeted customers within a specific mileage range. It’s suitable for companies that want to keep their costs low but enjoy reaching out to a relevant audience.

Small-scale local SEO involves understanding content optimization to match the local search intent and looking for clever ways to target audiences that meet the description.

2. Comprehensive Local SEO

This is the most expensive but effective local SEO service. It involves campaigns that offer in-depth options that cover all SEO aspects. Some of the tasks include;

  • Paid search management
  • Reporting
  • Social Media
  • Citation optimization
  • Content management
  • Google my business management
  • Link building
  • Management of online reviews.

Such services give you a clear picture of what you are spending your marketing money on. Comprehensive SEO also focuses on analysis reporting to the track metrics, e.g., online traffic growth, visibility, and conversion rates. Comprehensive SEO also offers other critical performance metrics such as rankings, analytics, competition, backlinks, paid search, website health, and reviews.

Are There Other SEO Pricing Factors?

Other than the differences in company rates, other factors that impact SEO pricing packages. These factors include;

1. Industry

The type of industry affects the level of competition. Lawyers, finance companies, car mechanics, medical offices, and locksmiths have the most expensive keyword on Google. On the other hand, real estate, software companies, marketing services, and home maintenance and improvement businesses have competitive keywords. This affects the cost per click (CPC).

The SEO pricing might also be affected by the number of searches for a specific industry. For instance, an industry with many searches should see a business spend more on SEO services to beat the competition and outrank fellow companies.

2. Geographic Location

The location of the targeted audience will affect the cost of SEO packages. For example, a search on nightclubs and restaurants in New York will rank different from a search of snow tire services in the same region. The latter, however, will receive more competition if the search is from Alaska.

3. Type of Services Needed

The SEO pricing often covers the kind of optimization that you’re looking forward to. Whether it’s organic search optimization, producing lots of content, or building up your review profile. A simple illustration is if you want to update your business accounts and optimize site tags, then you will get a one-off package.

Nonetheless, you will have to pay a monthly retainer if you look for something more consistent. The more the SEO services, the more the costs will be.

4. Current Visibility and Brand Awareness

Your current visibility will affect SEO pricing. If your brand is recognized locally or globally, there isn’t much to trigger more sales through expert campaigns. However, if you are a startup or a small business without much awareness, you will pay more since more work will be needed to get you on your feet.

How Do You Determine Your Budget for SEO Services?

Another common concern by many business owners is how much they should set aside for SEO services. The proper way to determine how much you should budget for SEO services is by comparing your business and your competitors.

What should you be doing differently? Is it the addition of content? Do you require more brand awareness? Do you have enough visibility? Get detailed information from SEO marketers to know where you stand against your competitors. It’ll give you a better view of what you need to add to improve.

Those stats will give you a clear list of the SEO needs, and it’ll be easier to know how much it will cost you. With a set timeframe for expected results and precise needs & wants, budgeting will be simple moving forward.

How Can You Find Out Your Competitor’s SEO Performance?

You can find out how your competitors are performing in a few steps. This information is vital to you since it’ll be your reference spot if you want to outrank them. All you have to do is do keyword research and go through the results to see where you are compared to other businesses.

Exploring your competitors’ data and stats like their domain authority is also an option. The general information will also lead you to decide how much to spend on SEO services.

Do Costs for SEO Services Differ for Small Businesses?

Although it will cost relatively lower to get SEO services for a smaller business, there’s no actual price for everyone. It will mainly depend on the needs of the company. If a small business is working on a local audience base, the cost will be lower than one that wants to go global.

Moreover, the current brand awareness and the kind of visibility & ranking of the business will contribute to the overall outcome. The ideal cost to start is a USD 500 monthly SEO package to get you to a good position in the market.

How Should You Work With a Tight Budget?

Many small business owners view SEO as a risk or a one-time attempt to escalate their sales. However, perceiving SEO as a long-term investment changes the overall view of budgeting. With a monthly retainer, you can gradually improve your SEO ranking and progressively get command over your competitors.

You have to improve in the areas you need much help in as you also add some content along the way. The USD 500 spent for about six months will have dramatic changes in the long run.

Should You Increase Your SEO Expenditure?

As your business begins to blossom, you should consider doing something more and different from your competitors. New ideas and techniques come along as SEO is progressive, and capitalizing on them is crucial. They might cost you a bit extra, but you will enjoy the benefits.

What’s the ROI of SEO?

A return on investment is not guaranteed in SEO services. Things change over time, and particular tricks might not be as effective in the later dates of your subscription. However, most companies report positive results from SEO, and that is a security to hold onto.

However, the return rates will depend on the services you got and your industry. These are the significant factors to consider when tracking the impact on SEO.

Jeannie Brouts

by Jeannie Brouts

Jeannie Brouts is a Marketing Manager at SEO Vendor. She has 10 years of experience in White Label SEO and online marketing. Jeannie loves writing about the latest ways to help businesses market and produce results.

One comment

  • Avatar
    Chelsea Thompson

    March 26, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for this thorough guide, everything is covered. At least now I have an idea about SEO pricing factors so I can allocate my budget accordingly.

Comments are closed.