How much does SEO cost? We know business owners are hoping for a straight answer here. You want a simple figure that will fit neatly into your monthly or annual budget. The reality is that the cost of SEO can differ dramatically depending on the SEO services you need or want.
Marketers should not be able to provide an SEO quote without gaining key information about their clients. Important factors include:
- The current state of their marketing
- Average revenue per sale
- Close rate of leads to sales
- Campaign goals
- How quickly they want to see results
- How is the current marketing budget allocated (ie. % of gross sales?)
Then, and only then should a price begin to emerge for SEO services. This partly explains why SEO pricing points can differ to such a great extent.
According to some polls, it’s possible to pay anything from $25 per hour for your service or up to $20,000 each month. The first fact we advise you remember when exploring the cost of SEO is that it will be a constant service or solution you need, instead of a one-off option.
Aside from goals and aspirations you have for your business, SEO pricing is also impacted by the type of service you want. It’s impossible to consider this aspect without exploring the issue of quality.
A lower price can mean low quality of service. For instance, you should be wary of a company offering their services for anything similar to $150 a month. Particularly when you consider that the average salary of pro SEO specialists is upwards of $60,000 per year. For such a low cost, a company is either relying on dangerous methods such as link schemes or will provide very little in terms of results.
It’s no surprise that spending so little would be low in terms of average spending for SEO. According to one survey:
- 22% of businesses spend between $1000 and $2,500 per month
- Only 7% are spending less than $500 per month
- 21% are spending between $5,000 and $10,000
Again, there are significant variations here. It’s important to realize that businesses spending less than $500 are probably also focusing on local marketing.
SEO pricing can also be impacted by the type of professional you choose. If you want a pro with more than 2 years of experience, expect to pay nearly 40% more per hour and over double per month. Unsurprisingly SEO companies will on average charge close to double compared with freelancers and consultants.
Do be aware that most SEO professionals also charge a monthly retainer. According to an article from Business 2 Community, About ¾ of all search engine optimization professionals charge some sort of monthly retainer. The most popular retainer is between $2500 and $5000 dollars in the U.S..
It’s worth pointing out that most SEO tactics do require monthly attention, including link building and content marketing. Content and links must be constantly upgraded and improved on your site. This is why most business owners will be more than willing to pay a monthly retainer for a quality SEO service.
How Much Does Local SEO Cost?
You might be marketing to a local target audience. If that’s the case, we imagine you are asking the question: how much does local SEO cost? Good news, local SEO is comparatively cheaper than global SEO services. The best SEO professionals charge, on average, roughly 23% less for local services.
Similar to global SEO, the amount you pay will depend on the pricing models you are interested in and the search engine optimization package you need. Generally speaking, local SEO can be divided into three categories:
- Automated Local SEO
- Small-Scale Local SEO
- Comprehensive Local SEO
Automated local SEO is the cheapest option and will ensure that business information is provided to directories. However, this will not boost your rating alone and to see real, beneficial results, you may need small-scale SEO. While not providing all the features, this can be enough to boost your ranking if you only operate in one location.
Comprehensive local SEO offers more in-depth options including: paid search management, content management, reporting, Google My Business management, social media, external linking, citation optimization, management of online reviews and much more. Services like this are also more transparent providing you information on exactly where your marketing money is being spent.
Reporting services provided with these more thorough local SEO services should focus on call tracking and conversions to help you clearly measure your ROI.
Other key performance metrics should include: rankings, backlinks, analytics, paid search, competition, website health, Google My Business, reviews, citations, email campaigns, and social media.
While automated local SEO can be obtained for as little as $300 per month, comprehensive services can be as much as $4000. However, these more intensive, detailed marketing campaigns can offer far greater value.
Beyond the typical differentiations between different company rates, local SEO pricing can be impacted by various factors including:
- Industry – Some industries are more likely to market online and thus are more competitive. Lawyers, finance companies, locksmiths and car mechanics all fall into this category. We know this is largely based on how many monthly searches a specific industry has. For instance, a company seeing thousands of searches for their services a month will spend more on local SEO.
- Geographic Location – Everything from the population of a city or what part of an area you are targeting will impact price. Even individual factors can have an impact. For instance, snow tire services would obviously be more competitive in Alaska compared with New Jersey.
- Type of Service You Need – The fixed price will also often be determined by whether you want to optimize your site for search engines, gain traction on social media or build up content. While some companies will handle all areas, many will focus on individual needs.
You might be wondering whether ‘How much does local SEO cost’ is the right question. Perhaps a better alternative would be ‘How much should you be paying? When you look at different SEO consultants we think you should be exploring what you need to do to outrun your competition. Some business owners think it’s impossible to tell how well the competition is performing locally.
The truth is it’s quite simple. First, we need to complete some keyword research, exploring the top ten performers for keywords you are targeting. Exploring key stats and data like Domain Authority can also provide a clear picture of how your competitors are performing and what you’ll need to do to outrank them. Or, more importantly, how much you’ll need to spend.
Remember, according to Forbes: “If a business can’t be discovered on the web, via multiple channels, then it’s losing its competitive advantage.”
How Much Does SEO Cost for Small Business?
You would be right to assume that an SEO campaign for small business owners can be comparatively cheaper compared to a large company or corporation. SEO agencies always work to make SEO tactics scalable so that hourly rates and fixed pricing is affordable for a diverse range of clients. Indeed, according to one survey, more than 40% of SEO agencies offer multiple pricing models.
Multiple pricing models allow business owners to choose the solution that fits their needs. For instance, you can pay hourly and expect anything between $125-$150. Alternatively, fixed priced services can be anything between $500 up to $7,500. Or, you can choose a project based package and expect to pay anything from $1000 regardless of which services you need.
Again, for small business owners, there is no fixed cost to fall back on when asking: “How much does SEO cost for small business needs?” Instead, we recommend that you aim to spend at least $500 per month on SEO to see results and improvements that you can take to the bank. It’s best to consider SEO a long-term investment which provides fantastic value to you and your business. Just think about the power of a fantastic piece of content.
According to WordStream, “Compared to traditional marketing programs, content marketing costs 62% less and generates approximately three times the volume of leads.”
So, as well as providing results, high-quality SEO services for small businesses can also be cost-effective and provide fantastic ROI.
While $500 is the bare minimum you can pay, small business owners should be fitting between $1000 and $5000 into their monthly budget for SEO. Remember, that more experienced SEO professionals will be able to provide a scalable service without missing any of the crucial elements including:
- Quality Content
- Link Building
- Optimization of Conversions
- Accessibility and Usability of your Website
- Social Media Management
Paying upwards of $10,000 per month will provide a fully managed SEO marketing campaign for your small business. Ultimately, this will allow you to forget about promotion complete and leave it all to an experienced SEO team. You might be surprised to learn companies can spend up to $100K per month on SEO depending on the keywords targeted and level of competition.
We hope this provides you with an insiders account and allow you to understand the cost of SEO as well as the factors that can impact how much you’ll pay.
At Foxxr we provide professional SEO services and solutions that are completely scalable to suit your business budget. With our expertise, you can outrank your competition without breaking the bank. Get in touch today or fill out a form and we’ll put together the perfect SEO package for you.