How Much Does SEO Cost?

Smart Marketing

SEO generates more leads than any other marketing field but does not necessarily cost more. In fact, it is highly cost-effective — the average close rate of SEO leads is 14.6%, compared to outbound leads with a rate of 1.7%. 

Understanding the investment required for effective SEO strategies is crucial for businesses aiming to improve their online visibility and attract more organic traffic.

By the end of this article, you will understand what services constitute SEO prices, what packages work for what business size, and how to set up a budget for your campaign.

What Affects the Price of SEO? 

These factors determine the price of SEO services, and understanding them can help you make informed decisions when investing in SEO for your business.

They are the following:

  • Scope of services – The range of SEO services you require, such as on-page optimization, content creation, link building, technical SEO audits, and ongoing monitoring, can impact the overall cost. More extensive services typically incur higher costs.
  • Competitive landscape – The level of competition in your industry and target keywords can influence SEO pricing. Higher competition often requires more aggressive and resource-intensive strategies, affecting the cost.
  • Website size and complexity – The size and complexity of your website, including the number of pages, site architecture, and technical intricacies, can affect SEO pricing. Larger and more complex websites may require additional optimization efforts and resources.
  • Target audience and geographic focus – Targeting specific audiences or geographical locations can impact SEO costs. Local SEO efforts, targeting a specific region, may have different pricing considerations compared to national or international SEO campaigns.
  • Industry niche – The industry or niche of your business can influence SEO pricing. Highly specialized industries or niche markets may require tailored SEO strategies and expertise, affecting the overall cost of services.
  • Timeline and goals – The timeline for achieving SEO goals, such as ranking improvements, traffic growth, and lead generation, can impact pricing. Expedited timelines or aggressive goals may require more resources and, thus, higher costs.
  • Experience and expertise – The experience, expertise, and reputation of the SEO agency or consultant you choose can affect pricing. Agencies with a proven track record and specialized skills may charge higher fees for their services.
  • Customization and flexibility – The level of customization and flexibility in your SEO strategy can influence pricing. Customized strategies tailored to your unique needs may involve additional planning, execution, and monitoring, leading to adjusted pricing.

Reporting and analysis – The depth and frequency of reporting, analysis, and performance tracking can impact SEO costs. Comprehensive reporting and regular analysis provide valuable insights but may require additional resources and time investment.

Types of SEO Service Packages 

These SEO service packages cater to different business sizes, objectives, and budgets, providing a range of options to choose from based on your specific requirements and goals.So how much does SEO cost? It typically depends on the pricing model. Here is what they typically look like:

Basic SEO Package

  • Keyword research and analysis
  • On-page optimization (title tags, meta descriptions, header tags)
  • Content optimization and recommendations
  • Technical SEO audit (site structure, crawlability, indexability)
  • Basic link building (directory submissions, social bookmarking)
  • Monthly performance reporting

Standard SEO Package

  • All features of the basic package
  • Enhanced keyword research and targeting
  • Comprehensive on-page optimization (content updates, internal linking)
  • Advanced technical SEO audit and recommendations
  • Guest posting and outreach for backlinks
  • Local SEO optimization (Google My Business setup, local citations)
  • Regular content creation (blog posts, articles)
  • Monthly progress tracking and analysis

Advanced SEO Package

  • All features of the standard package
  • Customized SEO strategy based on industry and competition analysis
  • Advanced keyword targeting (long-tail keywords, semantic search optimization)
  • In-depth technical SEO enhancements (site speed optimization, schema markup)
  • High-quality link building (guest posts on authoritative sites, influencer collaborations)
  • Content marketing strategy development (infographics, videos, eBooks)
  • Conversion rate optimization (CTA optimization, A/B testing)
  • Continuous monitoring and optimization for sustained growth
  • Bi-weekly or weekly performance reporting with actionable insights

Custom SEO Packages

  • Tailored to specific client needs and goals
  • Flexible services and SEO pricing based on requirements
  • Combination of basic, standard, and advanced SEO features
  • Additional services such as reputation management, social media integration, PPC management
  • Dedicated account management and regular strategy consultations
  • Comprehensive analytics and ROI tracking

One-Time SEO Package

The One-Time SEO Package is designed for businesses looking for a one-time boost in their search engine visibility and website performance.

This package includes a comprehensive SEO audit and optimization of key elements such as on-page SEO, technical SEO, and content optimization. It also includes keyword research and recommendations, competitor analysis, and initial link building efforts to kickstart your SEO strategy.

One-Time SEO Packages are ideal for businesses looking to improve their SEO foundation without committing to ongoing monthly services.

SEO Hourly Package

Different factors determine how much SEO costs per hour, but the average hourly rate ranges between $75 and $200. Hourly SEO services offer flexibility and customization for businesses with specific SEO needs or projects.

This package allows you to purchase SEO services on an hourly basis, making it suitable for tasks such as website audits, keyword research, content optimization, technical fixes, and consulting sessions.

Whether you need quick fixes or targeted SEO improvements, the SEO Hourly Package provides you with the flexibility to allocate hours as needed to address your SEO requirements efficiently.

SEO Monthly Package

Many people ask how much SEO costs per month, expecting a simple and straightforward answer — but as with other services, it depends on the package and the company. The usual pricing for monthly retainers ranges between $1,000 and $5,000.

The SEO Monthly Package is a comprehensive and ongoing SEO solution for businesses looking to establish a consistent and effective online presence.

This package includes a range of services such as keyword research and targeting, on-page optimization, content creation and optimization, link building, technical SEO enhancements, and regular performance monitoring and reporting.

With the SEO Monthly Package, you benefit from continuous SEO efforts aimed at improving your search rankings, driving organic traffic, and achieving long-term growth and success online.

How Much Does SEO Cost?

SEO services pricing varies based on factors like the scope of services, industry competitiveness, and customization levels.

How much SEO costs for a small business will also differ from costs for large enterprises, as the two business types have entirely different needs. For example, an enterprise may need SEO services in more geographic areas, or more pages that need to be optimized.  

It’s also essential to use reputable SEO companies, and their services may be more expensive. Note that while cheap SEO may sound appealing at first, it’s sometimes more trouble than it’s worth — it may include shady black-hat practices or poor content quality that will harm your website in the long run.So how much does Google search optimization cost? Let’s look at the numbers.

SEO Services Price Based on Pricing Models 

Please note that these price ranges are approximate and can vary based on the specific services included, the complexity of the project, the expertise of the SEO provider, and other factors. Discuss pricing details directly with the SEO service provider to get a precise quote tailored to your needs.

SEO Pricing Based on Business Size

Business SizePlans
Small BusinessOne-Time SEO Package (one-time fee)SEO Hourly Package
Mid Sized BusinessOne-Time SEO PackageSEO Hourly Package
StartupsOne-Time SEO PackageSEO Hourly Package
Large FirmsOne-Time SEO PackageSEO Hourly Package
EnterpriseCustomized SEO Solutions
Please note that these price ranges are approximate and can vary based on the specific needs, goals, and complexities of each business within their respective size categories. Consult with SEO service providers to get tailored SEO pricing quotes based on your business’s unique requirements.

SEO Cost Based on the SEO Type

SEO TypePrice
Full-Service SEO$1,000 – $10,000+ per month
On-Page SEO$500 – $2,500 (one-time fee or monthly)
Off-Page SEO$500 – $3,000 per month
Technical SEO$1,000 – $5,000 (one-time fee or monthly)
Local SEO $300 – $1,500 per month
eCommerce SEO$1,000 – $5,000+ per month
These price ranges are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the scope of services, industry competitiveness, the complexity of the project, and the expertise of the SEO provider. Always discuss SEO costs directly with SEO service providers to get accurate quotes tailored to your specific needs and goals.

What Is Included in Search Engine Optimization Services?

Typical SEO services involve the following aspects:

  • Keyword research and analysis to identify relevant and high-performing keywords.
  • On-page optimization, including title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and content optimization.
  • Off-page optimization, such as link building strategies to improve domain authority and backlink profile.
  • Technical SEO audits and enhancements to improve website performance, crawlability, and indexability.
  • Local SEO strategies for businesses targeting specific geographical locations.
  • Content creation and optimization, including blog posts, articles, infographics, and other multimedia content.
  • Regular performance monitoring, analysis, and reporting to track SEO progress and make data-driven decisions.
  • Ongoing optimization and adjustments based on search engine algorithm updates and industry trends.
  • Consultation and support from SEO experts to answer questions, provide recommendations, and guide strategy implementation.

How to Set an SEO Budget 

Setting an SEO budget involves several considerations, including business size, goals, competition, and desired outcomes.

Here’s a guide on how to set an SEO budget based on different business sizes:

1. Small Businesses

  • Assess your current online presence and SEO needs.
  • Determine your marketing budget allocation for SEO, typically ranging from 5% to 10% of total revenue for small businesses.
  • Consider investing in foundational SEO services like on-page optimization and basic link building. Don’t forget to ask the provider how much local SEO costs and what is included in the package, as it’s a key feature for small business owners.
  • Start with a manageable monthly budget or consider one-time SEO packages to improve your website’s visibility and organic traffic.

2. Mid-Sized Businesses

  • Evaluate your existing SEO efforts and performance metrics.
  • Allocate a higher percentage of your marketing budget to SEO, around 10% to 15% of total revenue.
  • Invest in comprehensive SEO packages that include on-page and off-page optimization, technical SEO, content creation, and ongoing monitoring.
  • Consider hiring a reputable SEO agency or consultant with expertise in your industry and competition analysis capabilities.

3. Startups

  • Determine your startup’s growth objectives and target audience.
  • Allocate a portion of your initial funding or marketing budget to SEO, typically 10% to 20% of available funds.
  • Focus on cost-effective SEO strategies such as keyword research, on-page optimization, and content marketing to establish a strong online presence.
  • Monitor ROI closely and adjust your SEO budget as your startup grows and scales its operations.

4. Large Firms

  • Conduct a thorough SEO audit and competitive analysis to identify opportunities and challenges.
  • Allocate a significant portion of your marketing budget to SEO, ranging from 15% to 25% of total marketing expenditures.
  • Invest in advanced SEO services like technical audits, advanced link building, comprehensive content strategies, and ongoing performance optimization.
  • Consider partnering with top-tier SEO agencies or building an in-house SEO team for long-term strategic initiatives.

5. Enterprise Level

  • Develop a comprehensive SEO strategy aligned with your enterprise goals and multi-channel marketing efforts.
  • Allocate a substantial budget for SEO, typically ranging from 20% to 30% of total marketing spend.
  • Implement advanced SEO tactics such as international SEO, enterprise-level content creation, AI-driven optimization, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).
  • Collaborate with experienced SEO professionals, data analysts, and digital marketers to execute and measure the success of your SEO initiatives.

Regardless of business size, it’s essential to regularly evaluate and adjust your SEO budget based on performance metrics, market trends, and business objectives to ensure optimal ROI and sustained growth in organic search visibility.

Is It Worth Paying for SEO?

Paying for SEO is worth it because it provides a sustainable, cost-effective, and long-term solution for improving online visibility, building credibility and trust, driving organic traffic, and achieving measurable ROI over time.

It’s an essential investment for businesses looking to establish a strong online presence, attract targeted audiences, and succeed in the competitive digital marketplace.


Can I do SEO on my own?

Yes, you can do SEO on your own with the right knowledge, tools, and dedication. However, it can be complex and time-consuming, requiring expertise in keyword research, on-page optimization, technical SEO, and content creation. Hiring an experienced SEO professional or agency can provide expertise, save time, and ensure effective results for your website’s search engine rankings and visibility.

Why is SEO so expensive?

SEO is often perceived as expensive due to its long-term nature and the ongoing investment required for sustained results. However, compared to other marketing options like PPC advertising, SEO is actually cost-effective in the long run. It offers higher ROI, continuous organic traffic, and builds credibility, making it a valuable and affordable investment for businesses looking to grow their online presence.

Are monthly SEO services the better option?

Monthly SEO services are often the better option for businesses seeking consistent and long-term SEO benefits. These services provide ongoing optimization, regular monitoring, and adjustments based on performance metrics and algorithm updates. Monthly plans offer continuous support, strategic planning, and a holistic approach to improving search rankings, organic traffic, and overall online visibility, making them a valuable investment for sustainable growth.

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