Search Engine optimization pricing-How Much Agency Charges for SEO?

search engine optimization pricing

These days SEO is an essential tactic that marketers use to improve the ranking of their websites in Google search. But, a lot of companies who invest in it are confused about Search Engine Optimization pricing. They want a straight figure cut out that would make it easy to make a choice.

Yet, no one can accurately predict how much the SEO efforts are going to cost. You can contact multiple marketing agencies and expect varied quotes from them. But how do you know what a reasonable price of implementing SEO is?

Here we are going to tell you everything about the cost that you might have to pay for SEO. There are a lot of factors that would come into play, and we suggest that you have a look at all of them before deciding.

Search Engine Optimization pricing-How to determine

Before considering whether the prices are right for you or not, you should have a basic understanding of SEO.

What is SEO?

Before proceeding further, we would like to tell you exactly what SEO is. In simple SEO are the tactics that increase your online ranking during search results. So if someone is looking for a business with your keyword and you have followed SEO practices, he would probably click on your business. This would lead him to your website, and he might purchase your product or service.

However, the SEO processes are pretty complex. It is hard for a company to manage everything on its own. You will have to fine-tune the website to include appropriate keywords in the content. Plus, technical SEO is vital too. This ensures that your website ranks best and is easy to find among competitors.

Why Does SEO matter?

On average most of the browsers pick up the first few rankings when they search for businesses. That means if you are featuring on the third or fourth page, your chances of getting picked are significantly less. When the prospective customers find your business on the first page, they will click and move ahead. That means more revenue and better growth for your business.

As we have mentioned above, many factors come into play when we think of the cost of SEO. Whichever agency you select, you will have to provide the essential details for them to calculate the same. Some of these critical factors are:

  • The present state of your website’s ranking
  • The revenue per sale that you get
  • Rate of conversion from leads to sales
  • The goal of your marketing campaigns
  • Allocation of the current marketing budget
  • How soon do you want to see your rankings change

The truth is that any marketing agency cannot provide you with accurate costing details until you give them all the above information. If any agency cites a round figure without any facts, that will come with applicable terms and conditions.

What is a reasonable Search Engine Optimization cost?

A lower search engine optimization pricing quote could mean low-quality efforts. Obviously, the lack of effort means you will not get the kind of results you want. If an agency is quoting $150 per month, you must not believe them. We would like to tell you that an average SEO guy gets a salary of around $50,000 yearly. Naturally, then, this quote is either fake or just a ploy to get you on board.

The pricing of SEO will also be affected by the kind of professional you want. If you wish to be a person with at least 2+years’ experience in SEO, then you should be prepared to pay 40% more. Such a professional would charge $100 per hour for his efforts.

Apart from that, the pricing asked by an SEO company would be more in comparison to a freelancer. This rate could be almost double, but obviously, the level of expertise is better. Most of the SEO professionals will also charge a monthly retainer. This retainer value in the US ranges between $2500-$5000.

Common SEO services models

Before you proceed further, we will share the various SEO service models available. Along with you can read how beneficial they are.  Choose one as per your SEO requirements.

1. Monthly retainer

SEO at a monthly retainer remains the most popular model for all. To be frank, SEO is a constant effort and needs regular changes. Apart from the goals you have for the website, SEO costs are also affected by the service type. 

Almost all the SEO tactics like link building and content creation need frequent updates. The professional will have to monitor, analyze and change your SEO efforts constantly.

On top of that, Google’s algorithm is changed that modifies the kind of efforts expected out of you. The business owners therefore should be ready to pay more than just a monthly retainer.

The cost of a monthly retainer ranges between $750-$5000 monthly. It depends on the business size, level of expertise you want, type of SEO services needed, etc. In case you are a small business and want it cheap, then you could start with a fixed-price contract. The types of SEO services available are:

i. Enterprise SEO

Enterprise SEO is more to do with the business size or website size, or both. It deals with cross-team collaboration and prioritization and is different from traditional SEO. Basically, it deals with websites having millions of web pages. Or it could mean a company which offers millions in turnover.

ii. Small business SEO 

This is suitable for you if you have a website that is already getting some traffic. But that traffic is not sufficient to bring you the requisite leads. Most businesses assume that if the company is local, they should opt for small business SEO. But that is not the case. If your business has the potential to outperform and achieve high growth, you could go for small business SEO.

iii. Local SEO 

Local SEO is when you target only the customers near your business operations area. Here we would like to tell you that search engine optimization pricing for local SEO is less. Here you are dealing with a smaller audience. Plus the number of competitors is also less. Even the best SEO professional cut down their rate by 20% when it comes to local SEO costs.

Mentioned below are the different types of local SEO services and the costs involved. 

a. Automated Local SEO

The automated local SEO is going to cost $300-$500 monthly. It is the cheapest option and involves sharing your business details with local directories. The information includes your email, phone number, business address. These details must be accurate so that customers find it easy to reach out to you.

However, this alone will not guarantee a boost in your rankings. This is because Google would use these details to show in the Geographical search results. But this is useful if you are operating in a particular area and wish to target the customers of a specific area. The SEO here does not involve social media management or content marketing.

b. Small scale local SEO

This SEO effort costs around $400-$900 monthly. Here targeted ads are created. These ads are then run for a particular time frame for a specific area. Pay-per-click ads and localized social media campaigns are used. 

The Small scale SEO is for businesses who want to serve a particular area only. The aim here is to keep the SEO costs low and still get the conversions. This means the SEO person should know how to create content that matches the local audience. 

The small-scale local SEO is more impactful than automated SEO. It also allows the marketers to reach out to a limited customer base. You could start with this but remember you cannot expect rapid growth out of the same.

c. Comprehensive Local SEO 

This is a more detailed version of local SEO and therefore is high priced at $4000 per month. It includes services like:

  • Content management
  • Paid search management
  • Google My business management
  • Reporting
  • Link Building
  • Social media
  • Managing of online reviews
  • Citation optimization

When you choose this plan, you get more transparency in the service offered. There is more focus on the analytics and result of the SEO tactics applied. They share metrics like conversion rates, increase in visibility, and Online traffic growth. With this level of detail, you get a more detailed analysis of all parameters.

Other key metrics that you can measure through comprehensive SEO are:

  • Rankings
  • Backlinks
  • Analytics
  • Paid search
  • Competition
  • Website health
  • Reviews
  • Social media engagement

2. Fixed-price contracts 

Next, we will talk about fixed-price contracts. If you are starting and have no idea what service you require, you can opt for them. Fixed price contracts entail the client signing a contract with an agency. Here they will pay a set fee for the entire job instead of monthly SEO pricing. 

Supposing you already have a copywriter and other people for marketing, then technical SEO is what you require. Fixed price contract means you sign up the person only to handle that portion of the job. These contracts are often project-based. You only pay to depend on the type of service you need. 

3. Hourly consultation

Hourly work best when you want to spend a minimal amount on SEO. However, to get the maximum out of this, you must have some basic knowledge of SEO. You might have to pay $100-$300 per hour, depending on the service. Since you will pay for experience here, anyone charging less than that is probably a novice in the field.

Some other factors affecting search engine optimization pricing

Apart from the above, there are some other factors that could affect SEO costs. 

Apart from the above, there are some other factors that could affect SEO costs. 

1. Industry

Specific industries are understandably more competitive than others. They will market online more than others. If you see the most keywords, you will find certain sectors using SEO more than others. This includes Finance companies, lawyers, medical offices, car mechanics, and locksmiths. Certain other industries that are competitive online are:

  • Real estate
  • Marketing services
  • Home improvement businesses
  • Software companies

In some cases, the cost per click or CPC can be more than $1000. In this case, the niche businesses get the upper hand as they can use long-tail keywords. The SEO pricing for industries differs based on the number of monthly searches for an industry. For example, a company that gets searches in thousands every month will have to spend more on SEO. Apart from that, a company operating in an area with many businesses will have to increase its SEO spending.

2. Location

The geographic location of your business will also influence SEO pricing. Apart from that, the population matters too. For example, you can sell snow tires in Alaska, but it would be useless in California and Florida.

Even metropolitan areas with dense populations will have high competition. The cost for SEO packages in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago will be high in contrast to small and local towns.

3. Type of service required 

SEO comprises many different services in it. The pricing, in that case, is determined by what you wish to attain. Do you want to create valuable content? Or maybe you want to optimize the site for organic traffic. Whatever you decide will also lay the basis for the SEO optimization cost

For example, you may just want help in setting up a Google My Business account. Or you want to optimize the site tags. If that is the scenario, you will be asked to pay a one-time fee. However, if you’re going to build a solid blog and increase search ranking, then choose a monthly pack.

4. Present brand awareness and visibility

The cost of SEO would also depend on the current visibility your brand enjoys. For instance, if you are a new company just starting out, you have to work hard. First, you will have to make your brand visible and then move on to other services. 

On the other, a relatively established brand has its job cut out. It only has to work on optimizing the website for SEO. A brand with no blog will need help on creating one and inserting the keywords.

How to set a dollar amount for the SEO services?

So, how do you set a particular budget for your SEO efforts? Firstly you will have to analyze your competitor’s SEO plans. Just do simple keyword research. Find out the top ten performers for that keyword. You could also look at the statistics and Domain Authority to see how the competitors are performing.

This will help you identify the kind of efforts you must make. You have to be a step ahead to outrank them and be on the top. If you as a business are not discoverable on the web, you are not in the competition.

What if your budget is tight?

Now suppose you want a higher rank but cannot afford to overpay. It is understandable that you consider search engine optimization services prices as a cost. But in reality, SEO is an investment that would yield excellent results in the future. If you pay for an SEO marketer who provides valuable content pieces, you will get continual returns from it.

So just think of it as an investment that continues to work for you even years after it was created. $500 is the minimum that you must be prepared to invest in for SEO. But if you have the bandwidth, you could expand it to $1000-$1500 monthly. 

Just remember that experienced professionals will charge more. Yet, they will give you the critical elements of SEO and ensure quick returns. Their services will be scalable and customized as per the goal you wish to achieve.

Over a period of time, you can think of expanding your budget. If you can spend $10000 per month, you can get a full-fledged marketing campaign in return. In that case, the team will handle your brand promotion aspects as well.

High-quality SEO services can yield good returns and are cost-effective too. But, you might have to wait for some time to see visible results. The greater the effort you put in SEO, like link building, keyword inclusion, the better results you will receive.

What services you should get in the SEO package 

Eventually, before signing up for anything, you must know what services come as part of the package. If you are comparing agencies, here are some services they should provide you.

1. SEO Audit

Any company that you associate with should do an SEO audit for you. This is a part of the Google search engine optimization pricing.  It involves detailed scrutiny of your current SEO strategy. If you have not devised any strategy, then they will analyze your website. You will get to know where your website is perfect and where there is scope for improvement.

If the company you select does not include an SEO audit, there could be two reasons behind it. Either they are not adequately prepared to complete your job. Or they do not plan to create a complete SEO plan for the website. They intend to use a prepared template that may not be so impactful.

2. Competitor analysis

Whichever niche you may operate in, you have to know what your competitors are up to. Using competitor analysis tools, the company finds out your offline and online competitors. By finding this information, you can see what the weaknesses of your competitors are. Some SEO agencies do a beginning competitor analysis. Later on, they might not go about doing it again for you.

Find out an agency that is ready to do it regularly. They should analyze the competitors and see where they are lacking. You can use the details to fill the need gap.

3. Customized strategy

The agency must offer you a customized strategy. If you have a strategy tailormade for your business, you can get a better Return on Investment (ROI). Ensure that the company you sign up for agrees to prepare a strategy specific to your brand. Many of them cite lower prices and use cheap SEO tools to do your job.

Agencies that offer copy-paste strategies should also be ignored. They do a minimal job, and your website remains on the second or the third page of results. Obviously, none of the customers are coming to you at that point.

4. Off-page optimization

Your package should also consist of off-page optimization strategies. In SEO terms, this means optimizing external factors that influence your website’s ranking. For example, your backlink profile which is the website that links to your website. For example, if you are a photography agency, a food blogger could link to your website with details of the photos you clicked for him.

An SEO agency must provide the following services to you:

  • Promote your website to other bloggers for linking
  • Developing content for your blog that can be shared further
  • Keeping an eye on your online mentions like on Social media by the influencers
  • Optimization of your Google My Business profile

5. On-page optimization

On-page optimization is usually a part of any package. It includes simple jobs like:

  • Updating meta description, title tags, and header tags making them optimized for search
  • Creating your sitemap
  • Auditing the website’s architecture, internal linking, etc.
  • Optimizing the website images adding alt tags to each
  • Researching the keywords and adding them to the content
  • Checking the usability, speed, and overall design of the site

6. Monthly reports

Lastly, any proper SEO agency should provide you with monthly reports of your efforts. With the reports, you will have a fair idea of how successful your SEO strategy is. The performance report would show your conversion rate, organic traffic received, and search result rankings.

Apart from the performance report, the agency should also give you a time you shared with the account manager. These meetings are when you can ask detailed questions, review the report and decide what further changes are needed.


SEO is an integral part of today’s marketing gambit. In order to gain online traction, you have to understand its importance. Investing a decent amount of your budget in SEO reaps your benefits like no other. 

The above information should mainly clarify what goes behind calculating the ideal cost of search engine optimization services. An experienced SEO agency knows what goes behind the Google algorithm. They thus create your SEO strategy in that manner. 

The plan you select for SEO, however, is dependent on a lot of factors. Analyze what is essential for you before making the final decision. Your agency will know the exact details. Have a detailed discussion with them before starting. 

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