SEO pricing might look like a complex subject. Prices can range from $150 to $15000. Hourly rates of top SEO consultants can go up to $1000 per hour and more!. It can be overwhelming if you’re just getting into SEO. 

NOTE: If you’re an agency looking to learn how to price your SEO services, we have a section that discusses how much you should charge for your SEO.

Many factors can determine the price of an SEO campaign, and these are usually uncovered after a thorough SEO audit. The most important thing you’ll need from your SEO company is full transparency regarding rates and deliverables.

We wrote a guide to break down common price structures. After this read, you’ll be able to understand what goes into an SEO campaign and roughly, how much you should pay if you’re in the market for SEO services.

What are the Different SEO Pricing Models

Different industry types require different strategies, agencies will offer different activities depending on the business’ need and project complexity. This is why there are several ways to price SEO. 

Hourly SEO Rate

Freelancers, SEO consultants, and solo agencies often set an hourly rate for their services. Some apply this pricing structure for minor projects or SEO services that require very specific work, such as keyword research, website SEO audits, and content creation. 

Hourly rates can range from $100 to $250 per hour, depending on the difficulty and the requirements for the job at hand. Of course, highly skilled consultants will charge more for their time.

Project-based SEO Rate

When there are various activities involved, but there’s no need for recurring work, a project-based engagement might be applicable.

In the cases of technical audits that require on-page and technical fixes, some laser-pointed revamps to site silo structure or content marketing initiatives, the agency or consultant can bundle the activities into a project with a finite timeline and deliverables. 

Project-based SEO prices can range between $500 to thousands of dollars and more if the project is complex and requires more resources. 

Agencies with more experience and clout have been known to charge prices in the tens of thousands, please note that they will not always do things extremely different from a less known better-priced agency, at the end of the day SEO is SEO, despite some trying to make it sound like magic.

Monthly SEO Retainer

A monthly fee is the most common setup for SEO agencies, sometimes referred to as “SEO packages”.

It would usually entail an initial conversation also called onboarding, technical audit, keyword research, and recommendations, and then it goes into monthly production of content and probably backlinks.

This allows you to stick to your marketing budget and pay for specified, measurable SEO work based on agreed goals or keywords you want to rank for.

Monthly SEO retainer fees may range from $500 to $5000—agencies with more experience might price their service higher. In some cases, SEO professionals offer different tiers for their monthly retainer fees with differences in the inclusions. 


Ala Carte Pricing

If you require specific services for specific needs and you know what you’re doing, you can pay for content only, keyword research, buy SEO backlink, or just get an audit to learn more and take it from there.

The upside is that you can save money, the downside is, if you don’t know what you’re doing at best you won’t get any results but worst case scenario you can damage your SEO.

Some of the common SEO products you can buy ala carte are:

  • SEO Audits.
  • Backlinks.
  • Content.
  • Citations.
  • Site speed optimization.
  • Keyword research.
  • Backlink clean up.

For example, you may need additional blogs for content marketing despite already having content creation. In cases like this, you can request blogs as add-ons to your current SEO plan. 

SEO Agency Packages and Pricing


Factors that Affect SEO Pricing

  • The scale of the website. A website for a law firm or a dental clinic won’t be the same as an ecommerce site with hundreds or thousands of pages (depending on the products and services they offer). Needs vary and in this case, SEO for ecommerce will be different from SEO applied to law firms or medical sites.
  • Business goals. The kind of SEO services implemented will depend on the website goals. Some will require basic site structural tasks and maintenance performed, while some require a more in-depth optimization that needs added resources.
  • Competition (Industry, Location, Keywords). Keywords are very important in SEO and the actions needed to rank them will depend on the competition and industry you’re in.
  • Service model. Your digital marketing plan will dictate the service model you’ll choose, whether it’s hourly, monthly, retainer, or ala carte. In addition, the SEO package you’ll take, whether you go for the fixed package or a customized one is going to influence the final rate you’ll get. All-in-all, communicate with your consultant and get a campaign that fits your digital marketing goal.

Tips and Facts About SEO Pricing

Based on our partner agencies and research on various reputable sites like we’ve gathered some data for you:

  • SEO can cost as low as $1000 to as high as $100,000 or more for US SEO agencies.
  • $50 – $500 per hour is the average cost for US SEO agencies.
  • Different industries require different strategies and may be in need of a more customized SEO plan.
  • Google warns against ranking guarantees so beware of companies or consultants guaranteeing SEO results as it may not be legitimate.
  • Some agencies may have additional link building and content creation fees.


Pricing can also vary depending on your location.


Average Hourly Rate

Project Size

Los Angeles SEO

starts at $50/hour

$1,000+ to $100,000 or more

New York SEO

starts at $100/hour

$1,000+ to $100,000 or more

Dallas SEO 

starts at $150/hour

$1,000+ to $100,000 or more

Washington SEO

starts at $50/hour

$1,000+ to $100,000 or more

Detroit SEO

starts at $100/hour

$1,000+ to $100,000 or more

San Diego SEO

starts at $100/hour

$1,000+ to $100,000 or more

Austin SEO

starts at $100/hour

$5,000+ to $100,000 or more


What SEO Services Can You Get


SEO consists of many elements, you can see that SEO packages pricing can include one or more of these services:

Website Audit

An extensive SEO audit is needed to detect and prioritize all issues that prevent a website from reaching optimum performance. This will be initially done first, specialists will collate the findings and present you with the report along with the recommendations.

Keyword Research 

Adding keywords to URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, headings, and different site content is very important because keywords are the identifiers that bots need to effectively crawl your website. It will tell them what your website is all about so implementing relevant keywords will help boys display your site as a relevant search result. As the formula goes, the higher a search engine ranks your site and the more people can see you popping up in results pages, the more people will enter your site and convert.

Content Creation

Quality content is a huge factor in search engine rankings. It’s a priority when thinking about diving into SEO. It’s how you engage with your audience and it’s how search engines begin to evaluate your website. This service includes on-page content, blogs, an about page, testimonials, and any element that has content in it. 

It’s essential to pay attention to the standard set by search engines. You want to be overly conscious about Google’s algorithms since it

Off-Page SEO

Off-page optimization is anything happening externally that involves your website’s ranking and search visibility. This is valuable because it helps promote your website in other places, which vouches for its credibility and highly contributes to a higher ranking in search engines.

On-Page SEO

On-page optimization is the process of fixing the most important issues of the website in terms of content on the site pages and HTML source code. This also includes sitemaps and robots.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the more tactical aspect of optimizing a website. It involves making sure that your website abides by the guidelines set by search engines, keyword research, site speed optimization, website architecture, and more. 

Link Building and Guest Post Outreach

This is the process of increasing your site authority through backlinks from reputable websites. Guest posting is one of the best link-building techniques where your site forms a partnership with another website through blogging.

Local SEO Pricing


Local SEO marketing focuses on ranking websites in specific areas and regions. This is done through geo-targeted keywords, localized content, citation building, and claiming local listings.

Price can start from $500 and get up to $10,000 or more depending on the work required. There’s not much difference in SEO services pricing compared to regular SEO, but it will cost you less since it’s focused on targeting an audience within a specific geographical area. Local SEO services are for businesses looking for local clients in their own community or a specific region.

What’s in an SEO Quotation

Your SEO agency pricing  should be able to provide you with an SEO proposal that will show you a comprehensive SEO workflow, along with the SEO quotation that will vary depending on the services you decide on. However, the SEO quotation should reflect the following:

  • Campaign Length. The quotation will include the duration of your campaign. A basic SEO project can be done in a month or two. Many companies require the campaign long-term as a part of their ongoing digital marketing strategy.
  • Keywords Targeted. Targeted keywords will vary depending on the number of pages you want to rank. Some pages will focus on a singular query while others will choose to focus on two per page.
  • Pre-campaign Site Audit. This is the thorough site check-up and site test that will be conducted in order to assess all the web pages in terms of SEO, usability, content, web design, and more.
  • Keyword Research, Grouping, Mapping. In-depth keyword research and mapping will optimize your website with the best keywords that target your visitors thus creating a website that is both user- and Google-friendly.
  • On-page Optimization. These are all initiatives listed in the recommendations, which will include more or less the following tasks: campaign road map, web page copywriting, title tag optimization, meta description optimization, URL rewrites.
  • Technical Optimization. These are all the technical work that will be implemented on your site which more or less includes the following: domain redirect optimization, 404 and 301 pages reporting, organic schema implementation, local scheme optimization, Robots.txt checking, and .xml sitemap optimization.
  • Monthly Rank Building. This refers to the creation and optimization of content in order to rank a page or elevate its position on the search engine results pages.
  • Monthly Executive Summary Report. This will contain the progress of your campaign.

What is the Cost of SEO?

A business decides to hire an SEO company because they want the traffic, the rankings, and the added revenue without doing all the technical work themselves. The moment comes when you’re presented with the packages and rates, then you wonder, what goes on behind the scenes? What are the actual components of these services and how much do they cost?


How to Know if the Services are Worth the Price?

As with most circumstances, when the quality of service increases it also reflects on the price. However, it’s also important to do your research before diving into a decision. Here are some factors that can help you decide:

Study their website. You’ll know when an SEO agency pricing is as good as they claim to be when their website is authentic. Check their privacy policy, owner details, and that they have a way for customers to contact and communicate with them. 

Also, check for spelling and grammar. If a company claims to be an SEO agency yet has poor grammar and spelling, then that should raise a red flag.

Look for Case Studies. Case studies are real examples of their work and should be provided to you without hesitation. If it’s readily available on the site, then they are proud of their success stories. Otherwise, if you find it difficult to acquire proof of their work then there’s a chance they’re new to the business or don’t have much to show for.

Reviewing case studies will give you the job that they did for other businesses will also give you an idea of what kind of success you can expect.

Check Client Reviews. Client reviews and testimonials from the company’s website and 3rd-party sites can help you evaluate the agency. There will be positive and negative reviews so assess with care since like with all products and services, what’s right for some might not be for others.

They Only Use the Best White Hat Practices. Search engines like Google have a set of rules that must be followed and there are some agencies that find loopholes or break these rules in order to achieve their goals faster. These dubious practices are penalized leading to an unproductive campaign that will cost more to fix. Partnering with a white-hat SEO company means that you will be provided with only the best methodologies and practices adhering to the search engine guidelines. This ensures that your site is clean, pristine, and performing on a high level.

Have a Chat with the Agency. You will be paying for their services so talking to them will let you know more about their strategies, body of work, and what kind of professionals will be working on your project. There’s also something about directly talking to them that lets you assess if they’re the right company for you.

Tips For Agencies: How Much To Charge For SEO

Pay Attention to the Competition’s SEO Pricing

SEO businesses have carte blanche when setting their SEO prices. 

There’s no standard rate or absolute formula when it comes to SEO pricing packages and services. That’s why before you charge clients, look at how much the competition is charging for their SEO. 

Think of it as an online marketplace where businesses flock to SEO agencies that can offer the best price for the services they need. 

If you’re planning to start an SEO business then doing research and seeing how much your competitors are charging on average for their SEO services can be a good baseline for your own pricing. 

Lower or Higher SEO Pricing Packages Than the Competition?

Some SEO experts have the tendency to lower their SEO prices to compete with others and get more clients. If you’re thinking of doing the same thing, don’t. 

Don’t price yourself down just to stick close to what your competitors are offering. It’s important that you know the value of your service. Don’t undervalue your service—because if you do, your clients will. 

To make sure your SEO is priced competitively, consider the following:

  • Location of your SEO business: If your agency is in the metropolitan area, you’ll need to charge more to cover business expenses and ensure you still have a desirable income. 
  • The state of your client’s competition: You’re not just looking at your own competitors; you should also look at how the competition is for your potential clients. Most clients in the metro likely have tougher competition, and getting them the visibility they need will require more work. 
  • Scope of the competition’s SEO services: The costs of SEO services vary for every agency or consultant based on what they can offer to clients. Some agencies have SEO packages pricing with different tiers to provide clients with options. Look at five competitors and compare—this can provide you with a realistic baseline on your SEO costs. 


Your SEO pricing packages and services will depend on your target market, their digital marketing needs, their industry, and the nature of their business. 

Thorough market research is crucial before setting a price. This allows you to match SEO costs to your clients’ demands. 

What Niche are You Targeting?

Different industries have different levels of SEO competition. Some niches are more competitive and saturated than others, which means double the efforts to increase website rankings

For instance, SEO for real estate can be highly competitive. Clients coming from this niche will likely need a hefty marketing budget. 

Competition isn’t the only factor here, though. A business’ marketing budget also relies on the average transaction value (ATV) or customer lifetime value (CLV) they get. 

If they have a high ATV, they’re likely to have more budget to spend on SEO. This makes it easier for you to justify your SEO services pricing. An example of this is when you’re offeringSEO for car dealerships

How Big is Their Business?

Business size is also a factor when setting your SEO services pricing. 

Are you planning to target small businesses for SEO? Do you only offer SEO pricing packages to enterprises? 

Small businesses and mom-and-pop shops will have different SEO needs compared to larger organizations or businesses. Those with a physical store and want to focus on getting more foot traffic are likely to get local SEO marketing services

Enterprises are likely to have a more established online presence but it doesn’t mean they won’t be needing SEO services. 

At this point, you need to determine who will be your primary target market. This allows you to set a baseline that aligns realistically with their marketing budget. 


The easiest way to convey the costs of your SEO is by setting a pricing model. Creating an SEO pricing model allows you to identify line items that you can fulfill for your clients, so they have clear expectations from the get-go. (refer to SEO  pricing packages model above)


The point of buying wholesale SEO services is to mark it up and sell it for a premium while keeping SEO agency pricing  competitive and reasonable. 

“As a rule, don’t charge too much”

Some agencies who get white label SEO services and resell these as their own charge double for their work. This may or may not be too much—it will all depend on your inclusions.

As a rule, don’t charge too much. 

SEO is not a get-rich-quick business, and charging too much could backfire on you when clients find other providers with more competitive SEO pricing packages. 

Don’t undersell if you know your services are worth it

In our experience working with agencies and SEO professionals, 50% is an acceptable figure. This is enough to attract new clients and still give you the revenue you need. However, make sure to evaluate very carefully if you will be marking up to 100%.

Another very important rule: Don’t undersell your services if you know they are worth more.

Set SEO Pricing That Gets the Job Done and Delivers the Best Returns

Setting your SEO prices is all about managing your client’s expectations from the very start. It’s the same as when you’re pricing website design services. The value of your service should reflect what they’re getting. 

In other words, don’t pitch an SEO quote if you don’t have the capability to deliver the work. Your SEO price should get the job done and deliver the best returns for your client. This way, you’re not shooting yourself in the foot by overpromising and asking for a high SEO cost, only to deliver less work. 


SEO is technical and can be complicated, however, it is now a necessity in order for businesses to compete, create brand awareness, ramp up online visibility, garner more leads, and maximize revenue. 

It’s understandable that companies just want the services in order to gain the benefits without diving into a pool of technicalities.

It’s important to note that not all SEO services are executed the same way and this can influence pricing. For example, an SEO analysis that costs you $200 will not be as in-depth and comprehensive as an advanced SEO analysis that costs $1000. Similarly, link building costing $40/link won’t be as high quality as those that cost $100 to $500 per link.

Quality SEO services will tend to cost more because you will be provided with the expertise, manpower, software, and tools needed to give you the best results. By going for a cheaper alternative, you risk hiring an amateur who can do more harm than good in the long run. Either way, it’s best to do your research beforehand and gather information for weighing your options. Talk to an SEO consultant and make sure to thoroughly interview your prospective SEO company before making a decision.

Similar Posts