How much does it cost for SEO services?

How much does it cost for SEO services?


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How much does it cost for SEO services?

Seeking SEO services

SEO is one of a company’s most valuable tools to stand out and thrive online. However, mastering search engine optimization yourself can be easier said than done. Search engine optimization has become a critical component of digital marketing.  However, some small enterprises still overlook it, with just half of them including it in their budget.

Multiple elements are involved in any optimization effort, from building backlinks to targeting specific keywords. With algorithms and trends changing, it’s hard for any business leader to stay ahead of the curve.

In this article, we’ll tackle the question of How much it costs to hire an SEO company or SEO services and the best practices when hiring one. 

Seeking the standard cost of SEO services can be frustrating because the honest answer here is, “It depends.” Pricing can range anywhere across the board from $25 per hour to $10,000+ per month. No one can budget for an SEO project based on that kind of range. 

SEO costing estimates

Woman calculating SEO services cost

According to WebFX, most SEO projects cost between $400 to $10,000, depending on the service. These projects can range from working with an hourly consultant to hiring an agency for monthly SEO.

Stages: What determines SEO pricing 

Size of the website

The size of your website is one of the essential factors in an SEO quote. A 10-15 page website will produce more work than an e-commerce company with hundreds of pages. This may appear unethical to charge based on the firm size.

For instance, Company that has a 15-page website will typically be on the lower end of the $400-$10,000 spectrum, while an e-commerce store with 50,000+ products should plan on a larger budget for SEO.

Company objectives

Some websites require basic structural work, while others have a results-oriented purpose requiring more resources. Suppose a company X has a $1,000,000 revenue and improves it by 10%. That’s an extra $100,000 for them. So, you will estimate the SEO rates accordingly.

Line of work

Certain industries are more competitive than others, and their keywords are also more competitive. So they require more effort and time, increasing the SEO costs.

Level of service

Each company sets its service standards, which can be time, project, or result-dependent.

Common SEO services

Background research

The first part of your SEO strategy is to think about who you want to target. Your content must be relevant, useful to your audience, and easy for new visitors to discover via search engines.

Getting to know your audience is crucial, so the background research phase should include gathering feedback to find out what your users want from your site. You’ll also need to conduct industry research, to spot current trends and get ahead of the game.

This process will give you an insight into the kind of content your audience is looking for and what form they prefer to consume the content in. In part, you can do the analysis yourself. But SEOs do this, too, along with other elements of the strategy.

Content Marketing 

The essence of SEO is content marketing. The content of your website can be tweaked to increase SEO. Content marketing uses relevant content to encourage customers to take a specific action.

Drawing new eyeballs to your page after optimization encourages people to take action. It is the most cost-effective SEO technique. Many SEO businesses create content and distribute it to industry-relevant websites to gain backlinks to your website.

Keyword and competitor research

Keyword research involves thinking about how potential customers might search for your business. It is vital to identify direct competitors and check which keywords drive traffic to their sites.

Free keyword research tools could get the job done, but it is advisable to outsource SEO services for more comprehensive, in-depth research.

Woman doing research on computer
SEO services may include research, marketing, or technical SEO

Technical Search Engine Optimization

Technical difficulties are frequently detected during an initial SEO assessment, including a full-service package. Meta descriptions, title tags, alt tags, page speed, page experience, website architecture, schema markup, and other factors are all considered.

Each landing page should be as relevant as possible to at least 1-3 keywords from one group. There should not be pages optimized for the same keywords, as this causes keyword cannibalization.

Resource management

Resource management can sound daunting because of Google’s 200+ ranking factors, but the process can be simplified by focussing on the three main factors.

1. Information Architecture

SEO services for your information architecture should be geared toward the following: 

  • Be crawlable & accessible to Search Engines.
  • Follow Google Webmaster Guidelines for SEO best practices.
  • Be optimized for a high-quality user experience (paying careful attention to Core Web Vitals).
  • Render cleanly on mobile, tablet & desktop devices.

2. Content

Your site’s content should conform to best practices with an emphasis on:

  • Being unique and offering value.
  • Matching search queries.
  • Satisfying user intent.
  • Being of high quality.
  • Satisfying the fresh content Algorithm.

3. Backlinks

Link-building is when you get other websites to link to your site, driving referral traffic and telling Google that your site is worthy of citation (so you’ll earn a higher ranking). You can do this via great content, influencer reviews, and partner links.

  • Must be natural. Avoid popular link schemes like PBNs and paid guest posts. Instead, focus on building real links that boost positioning in the SERPs.
  • Quality is key: A lower number of High trust/High Authority/Relevant links can outperform a large quantity of lower quality links.

SEO Pricing Models

Before hiring someone, it helps to know how you’d like to work with them. Here are some of the most common options based on Upwork’s data.

Hourly basis

The contract for SEO services can be hourly. Most clients pay on an hourly basis when they want to bind the projects on an immediate basis. Because sometimes, the deadlines are fixed in advance, and the projects get delayed due to uncertainties. The average SEO cost per hour ranges between 80-100 USD.

Project basis

When you decide in advance to complete the SEO project and find an SEO partner to complete the whole project, the average SEO cost per project ranges between 5,000-30,000 USD.

Result basis

In this arrangement, you hire an SEO firm to produce a specific result in terms of ranking.

You don’t have to pay anything until the target is met because some SEO tasks are more straightforward while others are a little complex.

Monthly basis 

You can hire a team monthly when you have good relations with an SEO company, which could be due to past positive experiences. The average SEO cost per month ranges between 750-5000 USD.

Set goals: Manage the measurable

Before establishing a budget, define specific goals for a campaign. Your goals should include measurable results, a specified timeframe, and an actual measurement for success.

The general consensus is that the most important metrics directly impact the bottom line. Organic sessions, goal conversions, and revenue fall into that category.

Setting achievable goals for your SEO will help you plan and budget better

Goal setting could include improving organic sessions by X%, increasing conversions by Y per month, and/or increasing revenues by Z%. When setting goals, remember that:

“…in most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.”


A campaign with actionable goals makes it easy to develop a budget with which you can seek SEO services.

The Takeaway

SEO services and companies can be expensive, and many smaller websites may find this financially taxing. Because of this, it is easy for start-up companies with a low budget to fall prey to “affordable” SEO service advertisements that guarantee crazy results that sound too good to be true.

Here is our SEO pricing guide to help you find a great SEO plan.

  • Avoid agencies advertising ‘cheap’ SEO rates, like $100 or less
  • Pass on SEO plans that guarantee results, like page one rankings
  • Request deliverables alongside pricing to see what you’re paying for
  • Look for companies that customize their solutions to your goals and industry
  • Search for agencies that measure SEO performance and its ROI so you can see the impact of your investment.

You are now equipped with the basic guide to finding a suitable SEO service provider that suits your budget constraints. That said, you can confidently go out into the overwhelming waters of finding a legitimate SEO that will work with your needs.



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