In this article, you’ll learn exactly how much does SEO cost.
In particular, you’ll get the answer for how much does SEO cost per month, per hour, on a project-by-project basis as well chart with example search engine optimization packages.
SEO pricing can vary for every size website and business; however, there are industry standards for this digital marketing service that you can use to estimate your SEO budget so you know what a typical agency or consultant will charge.
The ultimate goal here is to help you understand how much SEO services cost so you know the amount of money required for investing in an SEO campaign to increase your website’s ranking and traffic in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to grow your business online.
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How Much Does SEO Cost?
SEO costs $100-250 per hour on average with project-based SEO services costing from $1,000 to $1 million or more. Smaller businesses using local SEO spend the least money per month on SEO while larger, enterprise-level companies pay much higher per month for SEO services.
Average SEO Costs include:
- Cheap SEO: $500 to $3,000 per month
- Mid-range SEO: $3,000 to $15,000 per month
- High-end SEO: $15,000-$30,000 per month
SEO Pricing Models
|SEO Pricing Model||SEO Cost|
|Monthly SEO||$500 – $30,000 per Month|
|Hourly SEO||$100 – $250 per Hour|
|Project-based SEO||$1,000 – $1,000,000 per Project|
|Fixed Price SEO||$1,500 – $25,000 per Contract|
|Pay for Performance SEO||$50 – $1,000 per Result|
The SEO pricing table above shows the average SEO costs for each SEO pricing model. Depending on the type of SEO service you choose, you can expect to pay between $50 to $1,000 as a base level for search engine optimization work.
When it comes to SEO pricing, most professional agencies and freelance contractors follow one of these payment models:
Monthly SEO Pricing
With a monthly SEO retainer, a client pays a monthly fee for a search engine optimization package or selected SEO services. The average cost for a monthly retainer plan ranges from $500 to $30,000 per month based on client’s website needs.
Hourly SEO Pricing
Hourly SEO costs are billed on an hour-by-hour basis in exchange for specific search engine optimization work. This is a common pricing model for a search engine marketing consultant who offers advice for clients, manages SEO projects, and/or does the actual work for the website. The average cost for hourly SEO services ranges from $100 to $250 per hour based on the scope of the work required.
Project-Based SEO Pricing
A project-based SEO pricing model has a pre-determined cost for the work required to do search engine optimization for a website. With project-based SEO, the provider works with clients to establish clear goals, milestones, and deliverables with a defined start and end date for the project. It also typically includes a wide range of SEO services to meet a target goal as opposed to one specific task. The average cost for project-based SEO ranges from $1,000 to $1,000,000 per project based on the scope of the work involved.
Fixed Price SEO Services
Fixed price SEO services are used when a client wants a particular task performed for search engine optimization. Examples include SEO copywriting, an SEO audit, technical SEO fixes, page speed optimization, etc. A fixed priced SEO project is a great choice for clients to get specific work done without having to be locked into a monthly or hourly SEO fee. The average cost for fixed price SEO services ranges from $1,500 to $25,000 per contract.
Pay for Performance SEO
As explained in this other guide on Pay for Performance SEO services, this pricing model only requires the client to pay the agency or contractor after certain results are delivered for the website. Performance based SEO pricing works by setting goals based on the improvements in search engine rankings, website traffic, or revenue. Typically no initial payment is made and you can cancel at any time without a fee. The average cost for pay for performance SEO ranges from $50 to $1,000 per results, such as $500 to get a web page to rank #1 for a target keyword or $1,000 to get 500 daily visitors to single URL.
Example SEO Packages
|SEO Package||Deliverables||Average Cost|
|Monthly SEO||A package with an SEO audit, SEO strategy plan, technical SEO, on-page SEO, link building, keyword research, SEO copywriting, and content creation||$2,500 per Month|
|Hourly SEO||Individual SEO work for keyword research, link prospecting, on-page SEO updates, or project management.||$150 per Hour|
|Project-based SEO||An SEO package with an initial audit, defined goals, milestones, and weekly reporting for specific SEO work like backlink building or on-site technical SEO fixes.||$3,000 per Project|
|Fixed Price SEO||A clearly defined SEO task like SEO copywriting, content creation, keyword research, link building outreach, etc.||$1,000 per Contract|
|Pay for Performance SEO||Ongoing SEO work until a particular goal is achieved for the website like #1 rankings on Google for a specific keyword or 250 daily visitors to a single web page.||$500 per Result|
How Much Does SEO Cost Per Month?
SEO costs $500 to $30,000 per month on average with the total price dependent on the scope of SEO work involved for the website project. Small businesses pay less per month for SEO than larger enterprise companies.
How Much Does SEO Cost Per Hour?
SEO costs $100 to $250 per hour on average with the total price varying on the type of work needed and the experience level of the SEO agency or consultant. Entry level SEO tasks are on the lower end of hourly SEO costs and higher level tasks are on the upper end of the scale.
Keyword research is a lower-level SEO task that has a lower SEO cost per hour while performing link building services to acquire backlinks from high domain authority websites is a higher-level task that requires a much higher cost per hour for SEO work.
Average SEO Costs By Business Size
|Business Size||SEO Cost|
|Startup Business||$750 – $1,500 per Month|
|Small Business||$1,500 – $3,500 per Month|
|Mid-Sized Business||$1,500 – $5,000 per Month|
|Enterprise Business||$5,000 – $30,000 per Month|
SEO Services You Can Pay for
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Mobile SEO
- Local SEO
- International SEO
- SEO content
- SEO audit
- Backlink management
- Social media link building
- Schema in SEO
How Much Does SEO Cost for a Small Business?
SEO costs $1,500 to $3,500 per month for a small business on average or $5,000 to $10,000 project based services. A small business can expect to pay $100 to $250 per hour for SEO consulting or fixed priced projects with a single search engine optimization task.
How Much Does Local SEO Cost?
Local SEO costs between $1,000 to $2,000 per month on average depending on your SEO needs, the competition, and your geographic location. SEO services for a small local business will cost less than search engine optimization for a large enterprise company.
See this related guide on Google My Business pricing to find out how much it costs to set up and manage a GMB listing.
How Much Does an SEO Audit Cost?
An SEO audit costs $5,000 on average but can range between $3,000 to $30,000 depending on how complex you want the SEO audit to be for your website. SEO audit pricing also varies based on the website’s size.
Is It Worth Paying for SEO?
SEO is worth paying for if you have the right strategy in place and work with an SEO expert that can get your website results. The value of SEO can be worth quite a lot to your business in terms of more website traffic, leads, and sales.
According to Terakeet, the return on investment for SEO is between 5x and 12.2x and SEO traffic is 5X higher than pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements and 10X higher than social media marketing.
How Much Should You Budget for SEO?
You should budget between 5% to 12% of annual revenue for SEO services to get the greatest return on investment (ROI) for your monthly SEO budget.
According to Search Engine Land, the industry research they collected showed that B2C businesses spend between 5% to 12% of annual revenue on marketing that include search engine optimization strategies and B2B businesses budget between 8% to 9% for SEO.
Moz explains how the ROI for SEO averages around $2.75 for every $1 spent for an ecommerce company but will vary for lead gen sites and content publishers depending on the approximate dollar value each lead and website visitor generates for your business.
Can I Do My Own SEO?
You can do SEO on your own and avoid a lot of the monthly costs required for search engine optimization. To get started, visit this other page that teaches you how to learn SEO at home to get a list of useful training resources. You can also browse through the SEO Chatter blog for the latest tips and advice on improving your search engine optimization skills.
SEO Services Cost Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how much does SEO cost.
As you discovered, the answer for how much does SEO cost per month varies by website size and the type of business. The cost for SEO services for a small business will be much less like $100-250 per hour and an enterprise level company paying on average $30,000 or more for project-based work.