Everyone needs a website that is seen online when people search, but not everyone understands what it costs to get ranked by search engines. Although you might want to keep your expenses low and not invest in search engine optimisation, the result is going to be less than stellar. Instead, learn what to expect about SEO, such as how much excellent service should cost and how to weed out the competitors who might charge you too much.

Use Your Goals To Decide What You Pay

Once you realise that SEO and marketing are two pivotal parts of success, you need to start shopping for an SEO specialist or agency that is going to do right by you. Not every specialist or agency is going to offer the same services the same way, so you need to figure out what you want to focus on, such as keywords or on-site optimisation, which involves content or customer engagement.

Then, you can decide whether you want to hire an internal SEO specialist, a marketing agency, or a firm dedicated to SEO to help. Your choice ultimately changes how much you’re going to pay.

Risks Of Cheap SEO


Before getting into how expensive SEO can be, it’s important to go over the reasons why discounted SEO can be a potentially fatal blow to your business. Discounted or cheap SEO is usually $500-$1000 a month. It’s not realistic (and we’ll get to that later). You don’t want to choose a cheap service, because it will cost you thousands. Here’s why:

Cheap SEO means less attention to your website. The less you pay, the less the agency commits to your website and your overall goal. The SEO specialist will look for shortcuts, and those shortcuts are usually black hat practices that could get your website slammed with penalties by algorithms in the future.

Agencies that offer “discounted” SEO will often:

  • Have a low rate of customer satisfaction
  • Even with an average percentage of satisfied customers, the company will have a high churn rate—meaning they have low returning clients
  • Use short term strategies with poor long term results, including black hat methods like PBNs, duplicating content, and ineffective link-building
  • Do nothing

The damage done by the above listed things could result in having a search engine penalise your website to the point where your domain is erased forever. You might lose all organic growth in the blink of an eye, and that hinders revenue. In short, you would have wasted thousands of dollars and have months of work lost in an instant.

How Much SEO Costs

What can be frustrating about SEO is that many people think they can invest a minimal amount in SEO over a few months and see results, but any professional agency will tell you that SEO not only takes time, it also requires an investment.

A general rule of thumb is for businesses to invest about 5% of their revenue into SEO and digital marketing and expanding businesses should use about 8-10% of their revenue.

That means about $5000-$10,000 a year if you want to start with small advertising methods and build a decent reputation. Those who spend about $10,000-$20,000 a year can start testing numerous advertisement methods. To have a consistent and focused marketing campaign that is backed by research and helps your business grow will cost anywhere from $20,000-$50,000 a year. Bigger brands that have excellent brand awareness and identity will spend much more, sometimes upwards of $100,000 a year on SEO and digital marketing.

Hourly consultation from experienced SEO consultants usually runs around $100-$300 an hour. While you could find cheaper, it means the consultant is not as experienced or professional as someone working within the above price range. Remember, even if you decided to just use an hourly consultant, you never want to cut corners with something as essential as SEO. Again, a cheaper consultant might not use the smartest or most reputable methods, which could have terrible consequences later.

But what about smaller companies that are just starting out and want to target the locale where their business is? Do you still have to pay that amount? Not exactly. That’s why you need to consider your goals. In order to understand what you would have to pay, you need to contact different agencies and receive a quote.

How To Estimate The Cost Of SEO: What Various Services Cost


As mentioned above, SEO takes time—and time is money. What you pay is dependent on the goals you have and for how long you want to campaign. Furthermore, the level of competition you have, how fast you want results, and how much you’re willing to invest per month is going to shift around the services provided by the agency.

So, if you want to estimate how much SEO could cost you each month, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Faster results mean paying for more attention from the agency.
  • Targeting more people means paying for more a bigger, more expansive campaign.
  • Beating the competition means investing more into SEO than they are.

As you can see, the more you want out of SEO, the more it’s going to cost you, and vice versa.

Final Thoughts

You know the phrase “you get what you pay for”? That’s true with SEO. Search engine optimisation is not something you should skimp on. Every day, SEO specialists hear things from clients about how their domain has been penalised, or how they pay $1000 a month but haven’t seen any results, or how they purchased links on a gig website then ended up with zero organic traffic. Instead of becoming dust in the wind, you should invest in SEO, especially if you are serious about growing your business.

By now, you should understand that the amount of money you invest in search engine optimisation is directly linked to how well SEO works for you. By investing the appropriate amount of money into SEO, you will be able to remain competitive in your industry and even reach your goals faster. Remember, if you want to maximise the return of investment (ROI) of SEO, you need to hire a quality SEO professional or firm that has experience, referrals, and a low churn rate.

To be prepared for how much SEO could cost, consider the factors listed in this article then search for the solution that best fits your budget and goals. Now that you know what you can expect to pay, you are ready to seek out the best SEO agency to work with.