A quick guide to SEO pricing models and what you should be spending for SEO in 2022. This report was built by a freelance writer and edited by a Seota team member.
Table of Contents
- Different Models of SEO Pricing
- Factors that Impact SEO Pricing
- Facts and Tips about SEO Pricing
- Local SEO Pricing
- What’s Included in an SEO Quote?
- Get the Best SEO Services and SEO Pricing Tailored for your Needs
SEO pricing shouldn’t be a complex topic, but, unfortunately, it is. There are no uniform prices, so, SEO agencies can freely charge whatever amount they deem fit. Prices can start from $100 to $15,000. Some highly-rated SEO consultants demand and receive $500 or more per hour. As a business owner or executive, it’s your responsibility to find out which SEO agency is offering authentic value for your money. For some, this is not easy and many mid-size businesses end up neglecting SEO and they leave significant revenue on the table.
There are numerous factors that go into calculating the cost of running an SEO campaign. It is only after you conduct yourself with a reputable SEO firm that you can get a true estimate of what it is going to take to achieve your business objectives.
In this article, we delve into the most typical SEO pricing structures. When your finish reading this article, you should understand the factors that will impact the cost and return of an SEO campaign.
There is no one-price-fit-all-sizes for running SEO campaigns. SEO agencies price their SEO services depending on the complexity of the project and the business involved. Different industry types call for different strategies. Below are the different SEO pricing being quoted by US SEO Firms.
Small companies, SEO consultants, freelancers, and beginners may charge hourly rates for their SEO services. Charing by the hour is not a standard billing practice for most SEO firms. For instance, at Seota, we never charge by the hour because it would discount the tools, procedures, and systems we spent years and money building. These resources allow us to deliver high-quality SEO with less manpower. We can do in an hour what a freelancer might take 10 hours to do. We have built the levers and tools to maximize our efficiency. When you hire Seota, you hire us to get results, not nickel and dime you on hours.
The average cost for hourly SEO service can vary from $85 – $250, based on the job’s difficulty and hours spent. Obviously, a highly qualified SEO company that bills by the hour will charge you more for services rendered to cover the cost they have sunk into building their systems.
TIP: If you are going to hire by the hour, you need a detailed list of tasks done per hour to match the hourly invoice.
Most SEO services charge a monthly retainer or fee, which is typically priced as an “SEO package.”
Most monthly SEO packages contain services like link building, onboarding, competitor research, keyword research, SEO content writing, content marketing audits, technical audit, and recommendations and insights. Some SEO agencies allow you to develop a custom plan based on a defined monthly price.
On average, monthly SEO retainer rates may range between $500 and $10,000. Consultants with greater experience may charge more for their enterprise-level services up to $200,000.
At Seota, we price our monthly plans for each client based on doing a detailed SEO Audit and Gap Analysis. From there, we show you the gaps and base pricing on the effort and resources needed to close said gaps.
A project-based SEO service may be right for you if your project involves multiple steps but does not require recurring work. Under this type of SEO price model, the agency may charge you a one-off fee. Make sure you discuss your SEO project objectives before consenting to the project scope and cost
Fixed project pricing is also not a popular model with SEO firms but it could be the right model for you if you have specific objectives in mind, you are doing an audit, or you are launching a new product or division.
Bear in mind that experienced and reputable SEO agencies usually charge thousands of dollars per project. Good SEO agencies will typically outperform your expectation on a fixed-cost project. On the other side of the coin, a mediocre firm will vastly underperform and you be left disillusioned and hire a second company to fix what you started.
Ala carte SEO services are specialized services designed for clients with specific needs. There are small agencies and freelancers popping up that specialize in very specific SEO skills like SEO backlinks, or audits.
Below are examples of basic Ala carte SEO products you can buy:
- SEO Auditing Services
- Backlink maintenance
- Site performance improvement (Page Speed & Core Metrics)
- Keyword analysis
A website for a local business like an attorney or dentist will have different needs and costs than a national or international B2B company or even eCommerce. If you are investigating SEO for the first time, try to figure out what your competitors are paying. Ask friends in similar businesses or the same niche in a different market.
The type of SEO services implemented relies on the client’s website’s objectives. Your SEO needs might be as simple as basic site maintenance and structural cleanup. While others companies are trying to dominate a niche or geography. We even had a client say it didn’t matter how much they spent, they just wanted to be above their rival when someone search for an OB/GYN in Frisco, TX. Know and communicate your goals and your budget. A good SEO company will help you balance the two.
Search intent and keyword phrases are extremely crucial in SEO, and the steps required to successfully rank those phrases will depend largely on your industry and level of competition. For example, legal SEO is highly competitive with law firms spending thousands per month to rank in major cities. If you want to catch up and compete you may have to outspend them. The GAP in your SEO vs. Your competitors will influence the number of hours, skills, and effort put into ranking your site.
Your digital marketing strategy will determine whether you need an hourly, monthly, retainer, or à la carte service arrangement. Additionally, the SEO plan you choose, whether it’s a customized or fixed package, will determine the total you spend. Discuss this honestly with the agency you hire so that you can get an SEO campaign that matches your digital marketing objective and your budget.
We’ve compiled the following information for you based on our partner agencies and research on other credible websites such as Clutch.co:
- National SEO campaigns might cost anywhere between $2,500 and $100,000 a month, depending on your business, the competition, the agency you hire, and your objectives.
- US SEO services often charge between $85 and $500 per hour.
- Different industries need different techniques and possibly require a more tailored SEO strategy.
- Nobody can guarantee rankings unless they are buying ads. So, avoid SEO companies guaranteeing SEO outcomes. They may not be legitimate.
- Some SEO consultants may charge hidden costs for link building and content production. These are real costs. Ask if they are included in the price or in addition to the monthly fee.
The focus of local SEO is on websites that have an in-market presence. This could be a storefront or a service area business. The objective is to improve rankings in a specific location for specific user searches. SEO companies get results by geo-targeting keywords, creating customized local content, claiming local listings, and citation building. Most local SEO services focus on the Google 3-Pack results. The 3-pack is the map that shows local options for the search at the top of the other organic results and usually under the Ads on the page.
Prices could start as low as $500 for local SEO. We would be careful on the low end of the pricing model, most of the companies charging $500 don’t do much work, so your money will be wasted. If you have a business in a modestly competitive space we recommend a budget of $900-$1,500. If you are in a competitive space, or larger city you should plan to spend $1,500-$3,000. If you are in a niche like a DUI attorney or Plastic Surgeon, your spending will start at $2,50 and go up for ancillary services.
The SEO agency you chose should present you with a detailed SEO proposal that outlines a full SEO workflow, together with the SEO quotation based on your needs. Nevertheless, the SEO quote should include the following:
SEO campaigns are a constant battle between you, Google, and your competitors. Google often changes the rules with “Core Updates”. These updates use to be an anomaly, not why are quarterly. If you are in it for the long haul, make sure you understand the deliverables your SEO team will be producing. We have clients that have been doing SEO with us for 10 years. We know they never open their reports. We produce them anyway because they are one of the deliverables of the campaign.
The keywords and phrases you are targeting will vary based on the number of pages you intend to rank for and the user intent of the search phrase. For example, the more targeted the phrase and the user intent, the easier it may be for us to rank for it. As your phrase becomes more generic, and the user intent of the searcher becomes more nebulous, the harder it is to rank.
This is the comprehensive site audit and site evaluation that will be performed to evaluate all website pages regarding SEO, functionality, content, website design, and more. Some audits cover on-site and offsite ranking factors.
Thorough keyword research. grouping and mapping we can optimize your site content with the ideal keywords targeting your visitors, resulting in a site that is both Google and user-friendly.
On-page covers all initiatives outlined in the recommendation, and they include Webpage copywriting, campaign road map, title tag optimization, URL rewrites, meta description optimization, etc.
Technical SEO is its own beast, and we are proud to have an excellent technical SEO team. Technical SEO work focuses on Core Web Vitals, PageSpeed, and Schema. It also deals with 301 redirects, 404-page reporting, domain redirect optimization, organic schema implementation, .xml sitemap optimization, local scheme optimization, Robots.txt verification, and .xml sitemap optimization.
This involves creating and optimizing content in order to increase a page’s ranking or position in SERPs (search engine results pages).
The report will include your SEO campaign progress.
Are you an entrepreneur, an executive, or a store manager that wants the best strategy for your digital marketing campaign? We can help you select the best SEO services at a budget that fits your needs. Our team at Seota is made up of industry veterans with vast SEO knowledge. We have assisted hundreds of businesses to leverage their digital footprint to increase sales and profits.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO Audits and SEO services.