SEO Pricing Factors: How Much Does SEO Cost

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In this digital age, having an online presence is crucial for the success of any business. The calculated digital marketing spending reached a mind-boggling 522.5 billion in 2023.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool that helps businesses improve their visibility on search engines and attract organic traffic to their websites.

However, one question that often arises is, “How much does SEO cost?” The answer to this question can vary greatly depending on various factors.

In this blog post, we will discuss the factors that influence SEO pricing and provide some insights on how you can determine your budget for SEO services.

That’s exactly what we will cover today to demystify the costs of SEO and help you understand what to expect when you are ready to invest in SEO.

How Much Does SEO Cost?

SEO can cost anywhere from $150 – $30,000 per month.

On the lower end, $150-$400 you can expect automated SEO services where there is little manual work being done. This works if you have a very localized service like a coffee shop or a barber shop and you only want to show up a mile or so around your physical location.

For $500-$1,400 you can expect to have a bit more link building and a more in-depth SEO strategy. In this range be careful with the type of backlinks your SEO manager is building to make sure they are not heavily farmed websites.

Between $1,500 and $5,000 you can expect to have more of a custom SEO campaign. You will also typically have an account manager and an SEO expert available to answer questions. You can also expect a much more robust link building campaign.


SEO Campaign Type Monthly Cost Range
Automated SEO Campaign $150-$400
Small Business SEO Campaign $500 – $1,400
eCommerce SEO Campaign $1,000 – $5,000
Custom SEO Campaign $1,500 – $5,000
Enterprise SEO Campaign $5,000 – $30,000

Typical Costs for Different Types of SEO

What is the Cost of Local SEO?

Local SEO services can range from $350 per month to $2,500 per month. The variation in pricing for local SEO depends on the difficulty of keywords and the number of cities we will target.

What is the Cost of Ecommerce SEO Services?

The cost of eCommerce SEO services can range from $1,000 per month to $5,000 per month. eCommerce SEO is typically more involved than local SEO. One example of the added complexity of eCommerce SEO is that typically eCommerce website will have thousands of web pages while a local business website will only have 10 to 20 web pages.

What is the Cost of Small Business SEO Services?

The cost of seo for a small business can range from $500 per month to $2,500 per month. The pricing of small business seo services is very similar to local SEO services.

What is the cost of an SEO Audit?

Many SEO companies offer free SEO audits or analysis but these are typically simple in terms of scope. SEO audit costs typically go from $650 to $14,000 for a complete SEO audit.

Factors that Affect the Price of SEO for Businesses

1. Industry and Service You Provide

The industry you operate in and the type of services you offer play a significant role in determining the cost of SEO. Some industries are highly competitive, with many businesses vying for the top spot on search engine results pages (SERPs). In such cases, SEO costs may be higher due to the increased effort required to outrank competitors and achieve desired results. Additionally, certain services may require more extensive optimization strategies, resulting in higher costs.

2. Location You Want to Target

The geographical location you want to target can also influence SEO pricing. If you are targeting a specific city or region, the competition may be lower, and the cost of SEO services may be more affordable.

However, if you want to target a highly competitive location, such as a major city or a global market, the cost of SEO may be higher because of the increased effort required to rank in those areas.

3. Type of SEO Service

There are various types of SEO services available, each with its own pricing structure. Some common types of SEO services include on-page optimization, off-page optimization, technical SEO, content marketing, and local SEO. The complexity and scope of the service you require will impact the overall cost. For example, if you need a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes all aspects of optimization, the cost may be higher compared to a service that focuses on specific areas.

4. Current Visibility and Rankings

The current state of your website’s visibility and rankings also plays a role in determining SEO pricing. If your website has already achieved some level of visibility and ranks well for certain keywords, the cost may be lower. On the other hand, if your website is new or does not have a strong online presence, it may require more intensive optimization efforts, resulting in higher costs.

How Can You Determine Your Budget for SEO Services?

Determining your budget for SEO services can be challenging, but it is essential to allocate sufficient resources to achieve tangible results. Here are some steps to help you determine your budget:

1. Assess your business goals

Start by identifying your business goals and what you hope to achieve with SEO. Consider factors such as increased website traffic, lead generation, revenue growth, or brand visibility. Having clear goals will help you prioritize your SEO efforts and allocate a suitable budget.

2. Conduct competitive research

Look at what your competitors are doing in terms of SEO. Analyze their online presence, keywords they are targeting, and the strategies they are implementing. This will give you insights into what it takes to compete in your industry and help you gauge the level of investment required.

3. Seek professional advice

Consult with SEO professionals who can provide you with an assessment of your website’s current state and recommend a strategy tailored to your specific needs. They can provide you with an estimate of the investment required based on the scope of work involved.

What are The Potential Risks of Cheap SEO?

While it may be tempting to opt for cheap SEO services to save money, it is essential to understand the potential risks involved. Cheap SEO services often employ unethical practices that can harm your website’s reputation and visibility in the long run. These practices, known as black hat SEO techniques, include keyword stuffing, buying links, and cloaking. Search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated in detecting and penalizing websites that engage in such practices, which can result in your website being deindexed or receiving a manual penalty.

Cheap SEO services also often lack the expertise and resources required to implement an effective SEO strategy. This can lead to poor results, wasted time and money, and limited return on investment. It is crucial to invest in quality SEO services from reputable agencies or professionals who follow industry best practices and have a proven track record of delivering results.

How Much Does the Average Business Spend on SEO Per Month?

The cost of SEO services can vary widely depending on the factors mentioned earlier. According to a study, the average monthly cost of SEO for small and medium-sized businesses is approximately $497. However, it is important to note that this is just an average, and you must consider your specific requirements and goals when determining your budget.

How to Get the Most out of Your SEO Budget

To maximize the return on investment from your SEO budget, consider the following tips:

1. Set realistic expectations

SEO is a long-term strategy that takes time to yield results. Understand that it may take several months before you start seeing significant improvements in your rankings and organic traffic. Setting realistic expectations will prevent you from being disappointed or giving up prematurely

2. Focus on quality content

Content is a crucial component of SEO. Invest in creating high-quality, keyword-optimized content that provides value to your target audience. This will not only improve your search engine rankings but also attract and engage potential customers.

3. Monitor and analyze your progress

Regularly track the performance of your SEO efforts to identify areas of improvement. Use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to monitor traffic, rankings, and user behavior on your website. This data will help you identify opportunities for optimization and make informed decisions about your SEO strategy.

4. Stay up-to-date with industry trends

SEO is a constantly evolving field, with search engines regularly updating their algorithms. Stay informed about the latest trends and best practices in SEO to ensure that your strategies remain effective. This may require ongoing learning, attending industry conferences, or working with professionals who stay abreast of the latest developments.

Understand the Desired ROI of Your SEO Campaign Before Getting Started

When justifying the cost of SEO you can start by understanding your desired return on investment, aka ROI. If you invest in SEO, will you get your desired return. Your SEO company should be able to create an SEO strategy that includes ROI calculations so you know ahead of time if it is worth the money.

Before conducting research into an SEO agency right away, it’s important to determine your budget and desired ROI. Some online calculators can help what you need to spend to achieve your desired ROI, as well as what a smaller budget can still achieve.

Tips on Choosing an SEO Agency

Once you have a number in mind, it’s time to look into potential seo companies. If you are looking to outsource your SEO strategy, there seem to be so many to choose from. But here are some important factors to consider:

  • If they’re on the front page of your search, it’s likely they know what they’re doing to optimize keywords
  • Look at client reviews on their website as well as 3rd party platforms, such as Google and Facebook
  • Collect and compare quotes from multiple digital marketing firms — a wider range of services and SEO pricing tiers means a more flexible approach

While there’s no need to break the bank to improve your SEO strategy, quality work is worth the cost. Rather than ignoring this essential method to attracting and converting traffic to customers, work with a professional agency for their expertise and ability to drive revenue.

Understanding SEO

Search engine optimization is earning and growing website traffic using organic search engine results. Rather than a single strategy, SEO encompasses a variety of techniques that, when integrated into a complete campaign, can achieve amazing results for your ROI.

While 46% of small companies try to operate with no SEO budget, it’s almost impossible to get visitors to your website without a strategy in place. Many don’t realize what goes into SEO or even what it is.

Staying on the front page of search results for targeted keywords is the ultimate goal. After all, if your link is on the second page or beyond, the chances of a potential visitor seeing your link drops exponentially.

Since SEO as we know it came into play in 2010, there have remained many long-lasting research tools and best practices. But there are also some newer strategies that are showing to greatly impact keyword rankings in 2019.

8 Ways to Get the Most out of Your SEO Budget

1. Keyword Research

The most well-known and essential aspect to SEO strategy, this technique remains just as important as ever. As well, with the advancements in search engine algorithms, the overall content of the page helps determine the quality of your ranking. Even if you have your desired keyword-stuffed throughout the page, you’re going to get dinged in traffic if the quality isn’t there.

Time Needed: Several days to weeks for research; long-term to see impact and optimize

2. Competitor Research

competitor research in seo

Your website doesn’t live in a vacuum on search engines. Competitors are out there trying to get search engines to rank their links higher than yours. It’s important to understand what other companies with similar websites are doing in order to outsmart them.

Time Needed: A few weeks to complete research; long-term to monitor and respond to new strategies

3. Backlinks

Two web pages with backlink illustration

Getting links to your pages on other websites is a huge factor in earning better rankings and higher traffic. These connections shows search engines that your content is worth sharing due to its quality. But if the other website is full of spam or otherwise toxic, your SEO quality suffers as a result of this bad backlink.

Time Needed: A few weeks to months to earn quality backlinks; long-term to manage toxicity and new opportunities

4. Page Load Speed

If it takes more than a few seconds for a web page to load, it’s incredibly likely that a visitor will bounce, leaving your website without seeing a thing. While there are a few quick fixes to minimally improve site speed, a web development team and SEO team often have to work together to solve the real issues.

Time Needed: A few weeks to months to increase page load time; long-term to manage speed and address new issues

5. Website Architecture

When building websites, wireframes are used to show individual page layouts as well as site page hierarchy. Rather than having pages continuously off-shoot off one another without any guidance, a well-defined structure will keep important pages within a few clicks of the Homepage. This makes it easier for visitors to explore your site and find relevant content. Google is a fan, as great website architecture makes for faster and more efficient crawling for rankings.

Time Needed: A few weeks to months to create a website with excellent architecture; long-term to maintain structure

6. Voice Search

Alexa and Google Assistant are taking over search as we know it. There are different tools involved, but researching and optimizing for this type of audio search is similar to traditional keyword research. It’s just a matter of understanding the technology and staying on top of new updates in the algorithm.

Time Needed: A few weeks to months to create a website with excellent architecture; long-term to maintain the structure

7. Video SEO

After acquiring YouTube in 2006, Google has drastically increased the significance of video marketing to search for results. By working in collaboration with a video production company and SEO agency, it is possible to produce high-quality videos within a range of budgets. This type of media offers improved visibility for pages as well as new traffic from those using the Video Tab on search engines.

Time Needed: A few weeks to months to create videos and conduct SEO keyword research; long-term to maintain and optimize rankings while creating new content

8. Mobile Optimization

Smartphones have quickly become an important touchpoint for people searching for products, information, news, and more. Both the experience and expectations are different for mobile versus someone using a laptop to use a search engine. It’s important to understand where this type of search factors in the customer journey, as well as how to optimize effectively for tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches.

Time Needed: A few days to weeks to conduct mobile SEO research and implement; long-term to maintain and optimize

Closing Thoughts on SEO Budgeting

SEO is an essential investment for businesses looking to establish a strong online presence and attract organic traffic. While determining the exact cost of SEO can be challenging, considering factors such as industry competition, target location, type of services needed, and current website visibility can help you estimate a suitable budget. Remember to prioritize quality over cost and focus on long-term results rather than quick fixes.

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Roger Avila

Roger is an SEO Manager at JetRank based out of San Diego, CA. He has been in the SEO industry since 2016 and has helped hundreds of companies with their SEO.

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