How much does SEO cost? The SEO price guide

How much does SEO cost The SEO price guide

This is one of the most common questions on business owners’ minds when they hear about SEO. But why shouldn’t it be? As someone who is running a business and managing a marketing budget, the cost is an important factor in investing in a new marketing channel. Fortunately, SEO is an extremely effective form of digital marketing. It has some of the highest return on investments of marketing channels.

So, how much does it cost? Let’s answer that.

How much should be spent on SEO?

With investment into SEO hitting over $80 billion this year in the U.S. alone, it is safe to say SEO is a popular and lucrative investment for the vast majority of businesses. However, the question still remains, how much should you, as a business owner, be spending on your SEO? Well, the trouble with that question is it is not an easy one to answer.

How much you should be spending will vary wildly from business to business. It will depend on your goals, your timeframes, and your industry. Every campaign is different. You may be in an extremely competitive industry, or your industry may have more limited search options. Essentially, there is no one size fits all approach to SEO, so there is no singular price to give.

However, to help you get a better idea we will break it down further, so you can get an idea of how much you should spend.

Ask the right question

Before you ask how much should I pay, it is important to ask “How much am I willing to pay?” SEO shouldn’t be thought of as a cost to gain an equally valuable asset. Instead, it should be looked at as an investment that increases in value over time, ultimately providing back far more than it costs.

Organic traffic has an average conversion rate of 14.6%, which is significantly higher than that of traditional outbound marketing at 1.7%. This means that the return on investment experienced tends to be faster from SEO than other forms of marketing. So, keep this in mind as we continue to break down the costs of SEO.

Avoid the unbelievable deals

First up, one of the big things that will affect SEO are the different companies that offer the service. The price may differ wildly from company to company. Some more affordable options may outperform more expensive options and vice versa. What is best for your business is to match with an SEO company that gets you the results you want, then consider the price.

However, one thing that should raise a red flag is those SEO companies that are too cheap. Anything below $750 per month you should be skeptical about. What you want from an SEO company is the best service, not the best price. So, the service offered at this price may not be what you expect.

Generally, the costs of services of an SEO professional is between $75 and $200 per hour, though it can fluctuate between companies. So, to achieve results that provide the visibility and traffic needed to see a good ROI, you should be spending at least $1000 per month or more. Less than that and you start to get into the danger zone, where not only will you likely miss your goals, you could put your SEO back years.

The three types of SEO pricing

Typically, you will find SEO services offered at one of these three types of pricing structures.

  • Hourly rate – This will tend to be around $75-$200 an hour, however it could be higher.
  • Monthly retainer – A monthly retainer is one of the most popular and common forms of SEO pricing. Typically a retainer will be between $1000 and $3000 per month.
  • Pay for performance – The cost of this will depend entirely on ranking performance, and could be very expensive depending on the results.

You can expect the costs of SEO to depend on the goals of the campaign, the time required, and the industry you are in. While most projects will cost between $1000 and $2000 per month, it is possible for that to change based on the scope of the project. One-off projects will often cost a larger one-time payment due to them still requiring time to achieve your goals. These could be between $5000 and $10,000+.

The costs of SEO could change based on your target area as well. For example, a local SEO campaign will sit in the price range of $500 – $5000 monthly, while a national campaign would be $2000 – $5000 monthly. International campaigns would be even more expensive than this. But, it is important to remember that SEO will give your business long term benefits that will recoup the costs of the campaign. So, you should avoid the risks associated with cheap SEO. They could hurt your business’s rankings, and may even get your website penalised by Google, forcing you to start again from square one.

Note that you are paying for time

When you are purchasing an SEO service you are paying for the time it will take to achieve results. If you want faster results you have to pay more per month. In the case you want to target more popular keywords, you will need a larger budget, and it will take more time. If you want to get ahead of your competition you will have to outspend them.

The more money you put into your campaign, the more time can be spent on it, and the better the results can be. With this time, greater strategies can be used to get you greater results.


SEO is an investment that tends to pay itself off and then gives you a great return, over time. It is important to look at it through this lens. Often organic traffic will make up over 50% of a website’s traffic, and be quite affordable to attain. So, investing in SEO is more of a question of how much are you willing to invest rather than how much does it cost. You need to decide what the results that can be attained are worth to you, and the figure you land on is what you should pay for SEO.

For more information on SEO reach out to Link Pixel.

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Matt Power

Matt Power

Matt is here to transform your marketing strategy with excellent content designed to grab eyeballs. With his background in Journalism, Matt writes kick-ass blogs, email marketing, and website copy. In his spare time, Matt is a musician, tech enthusiast, and avid lego collector.