How Much Does SEO Cost?

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How Much Does SEO Cost

Business owners worldwide use SEO as a primary way of marketing their business, and so should you! SEO is more than doing just a little tweak here and there on the website, as people mostly think it to be. And, as a result, they often underestimate the necessary average price of SEO services for their business.

SEO is a mix of several one-time On-page activities (done to make the website search engine and user friendly) and off-page activities (done periodically to give your site good backlinks and a trustworthy online reputation).

Here is the list of On-page and Off-page SEO activities:

On Page Off Page SEO

The importance of SEO and the benefits of SEO for any business are easy to identify and undoubtedly impeccable. But the question that confuses most of the business owners like you is: “How much does SEO cost?”

When you do SEO, you make your business more visible on the internet by doing all the activities online just as you do them offline.

You make the website beautiful, just like your storefront.

  • You use Layman terms to explain your business, just like conversing with the first-time face-to-face customer.
  • You submit articles online, just like giving ads in magazines.
  • You list your business in various directories, just like listing in yellow pages.
  • You create backlinking, just like mouth publicity.
  • You submit business reviews just like improving brand reputation through paid promotion.

And the list goes on and on…

Well, an adequate SEO budget is crucial for scaling your business online while also,

  1. Increasing brand awareness
  2. Building targeted traffic
  3. Promoting your website on SERPs
  4. Bringing in more leads, sales, and conversions

This article will help you in identifying the answer to the two scariest questions that may be keeping you awake for nights “how much does SEO should cost for my business” and “how much SEO budget should I keep”.

What Elements of SEO Affects the Overall SEO Cost?

As a business owner, if you are not getting a satisfactory answer about what the appropriate SEO budget for your business is, then we suggest that you first understand what the major factors that will affect the SEO cost are.

The major factors causing a rise or fall in the standard SEO pricing are:

Primary factors

These factors are essential, and on the basis of your willingness, they can always be controlled and managed by you to make any changes in the average cost of SEO.

Goals and expectations

What are you looking to achieve from your campaign? Do you want more visibility or sales? Whatever you expect from your campaign is going to directly cause a decrease or increase in the average cost of SEO.


When do you want to start achieving your target is yet another deciding factor responsible for fluctuating the average price for SEO services of your business.

Marketing Budget

How much are you willing to invest is definitely one of the prominent factors that influence the cost of SEO and the outcome.

Technology and Tools

The CMS technology and other technical factors affecting the current performance of the website, which need attention, are also major cost affecting factors.

Secondary factors

Some other significant factors that affect the average price for SEO services but cannot be controlled by you are:

  1. Industry
  2. Business Size
  3. Competitors
  4. Target Audience

Why is it hard to estimate SEO costs?

When you think about how much does it cost for SEO services and come up to a point to make a decision on finalizing the budget, things start going south.

The biggest challenge that you face as a business owner in the decision making of SEO cost is that you know that SEO takes time.

And, therefore, you have to come up with a prudent number, so you do not end up burning your savings until results start happening.

But make sure that you do not decide too less of a budget that even after consistent efforts of months, the results show up nothing significant.

Well, as much as your business is unique, so are its needs. SEO pricing is a careful study to factor in all the essential elements. Then only it is possible to know how much does search engine optimization costs for you. So, before you assign a part of your annual budget considering the average cost of SEO, you must learn about the way you are going to be charged by the agencies, for making sure that you do not under- or over- spend

Principally there are three ways, but here we are discussing five ways of how any digital marketing agency will charge you.

Common SEO Pricing Models:

  1. Consultancy Only
  2. Performance Basis
  3. SEO Pricing (Per Project)
  4. SEO Pricing (Monthly Retainer)
  5. SEO Pricing (Hourly)

Consultancy Only SEO Pricing

This model is quickly gaining popularity where if you are very short on budget and not even sure if Digital marketing is going to work for your industry then an expert helps you in answering a bunch load of questions like

  • how much does SEO cost for small business
  • the average cost of SEO for small business
  • the average monthly price for SEO
  • how much does an SEO specialist cost
  • how much does an SEO audit cost

A Consultant primarily identifies your competitors, tells you what size of business you are when it comes to online storefront and point of sales. They inform you about the best practices, act as an SEO cost calculator and estimates the average price for SEO services for your business

SEO consultants and their consultancy can help your business to grow mysteriously quick. They act both as Nutritionists and Doctors for your business. They don’t just heal the pain of your business but also helps in preventing any possible future issues.

Our experts at EvenDigit are available on an hourly billing basis to help you in demystifying all the hidden potential of your business.

Performance Basis SEO Pricing

In this model, you pay only if you see results. Well, this may sound a very promising pricing model, but actually, it is not!

First of all, the pricing goes too dynamic, initially what looks like the price of a peanut soon in a few months start turning out to be the price of feeding the whole town.

Also, most often, an agency can very easily commit first position ranking for 20 or 40 sets of keywords, but you realize long after investing in this model is that you rank for keywords that nobody is looking for!

A bitter truth then strikes you so hard that you lose all kinds of faith in both digital marketing and marketers. You start seeing them all as cheaters!

So, we suggest you control all kinds of urges of hiring an agency on a performance-based pricing model.

Project Basis SEO Pricing

You may think it may be relaxing to pay a lump sum and have a clear project scope. You will imagine being free from all the math of keeping tally of how much does SEO cost per month or how much does SEO cost per hour, for every task, but the reality is far too away.

This pricing model is proven to burn the business owners hard, especially the ones who lack a good grasp on SEO basics. Agencies often charge you according to their plan and vision, whereas, at times, you may not be needing things their way.

One more drawback of this pricing model is that once an agreement is made, making changes in the plan and approach can be difficult for any agency.

However, it is not ALWAYS wrong. In case you have a sale or a small short period event, then this is your best option, but when it comes to doing it for the entire business, we wouldn’t recommend it at all.

If you still find a soft corner for this pricing model, then you can try compromising a little and opt for a Monthly Retainer Basis SEO Pricing.

Monthly Retainer Basis SEO Pricing

Well, as stated above, this is a finer and smaller version of the Project basis pricing model where everything Is done exactly the same but with the only difference that it is planned for just a month-long.

In this pricing model, your agency gives you a month-long or a quarter-long plan, and you pay them a lump sum amount either on a monthly or quarterly basis.

This model allows flexibility to monitor and improve the approach. You can always upgrade or downgrade a service or two according to how your business does.

Plus, it also builds and keeps trust between both you and your agency. Both of you stay committed and enjoy hearing each other.

So, think no more and outsource your whole SEO management to an agency on a monthly retainer basis and worry no more. This gives you the immense upper hand as you may be required to pay a lump sum for a quarter or six months, but you have the liberty to make changes on a monthly basis.

Get to know how much does SEO cost per month!

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Hourly Basis SEO Pricing

For the business owners who take care of their business like their babies and prefer to know everything that’s going on, this model works best for them.

You get an hour to hour detail of everything that is done. You can easily check with your agency at any time what results you are getting and modify all they are doing. There are time trackers that capture screenshot of people working, so at any time, if you think something fishy is going on, you can always double-check.

Hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses follow this pricing model and enjoy reaping more excellent benefits of their SEO campaigns. This pricing model gives you immense transparency and control over your project. You can easily predict and adjust marketing costs.

Get to know how much does SEO cost per hour!

Common Seo Pricing Models

So how much should I pay for SEO?

SEO includes a long list of tasks. Estimating an average price for SEO services of your business is doable; however, to know exactly how much do SEO services cost for a business like you, the best method is to use an SEO cost calculator.

Any SEO campaign will need many different resources, including some developers, designers, and writers as well. You will need various people to do your link building, auditing your website, running a competitor analysis, managing your project pace, and ensuring timeliness of all the deliverables.

So, you must make sure to consider all these while you calculate a rough estimate on your own.

However, noteworthy, if you are considering hiring more than one agency or outsource standalone tasks to multiple agencies, then you must completely give up that idea.

SEO is like some kind of dark art. You need to have all the ingredients in correct proportion and must follow all the process religiously, one wrong move, and everything can fail. Engaging more than one agency will cause a significant mismatch of the process execution, ultimately resulting in damages, instead of bringing any profits.

SEO KPIs that affects the SEO cost for your business

KPIs are the most prominent factors helping in deciding the evaluation of any outcome. Just like anything else, SEO KPIs can also help you in determining the success of your SEO campaign.
Investment, ROI, Traffic, Conversion, Bounce rate, and other technical parameters are the essential SEO KPIs. To know what are the crucial factors for various different sized businesses read our blog Important SEO KPIs To Measure Website Performance


SEO Pricing: How Much Does SEO Cost in 2020?

SEO KPIs that affects the SEO cost for your business
Are you planning a mid-year SEO strategy and wondering how much does SEO cost now due to COVID-19? Well, the answer is going to surprise you a lot!

While the lockdown may have given rise to a worldwide slowdown in the economy, but the adoption of SEO by too many local businesses during COVID-19 has toughened the race for you or any business more than ever.

Although the SEO companies were giving huge discounts on their services, still the average cost of SEO has risen way too much. In such a scenario, even when the agencies are still offering their services at half prices, you would still need to pay a lot more to have the leads as the efforts for ranking have risen significantly.

Some common mistakes Business owners make while deciding SEO budget

You may be desperate to fight out the stagnant or decreasing leads, and conversions and often, business owners like you make some wrong decisions in the heat of the moment.

Here are some of the risks which we would very strongly recommend you to avoid in all possible ways, no matter how lucrative or appealing they may look to you.

Mistake 1:

Chasing Instant Results with SEO

The marketing is all about fake promises, and if you fall prey to the mystical marketing campaigns, then you must start looking out for yourselves. No matter how experienced or specialized a marketer is, promising the outcomes are impossible. The outcomes can be projected, but making a guarantee should be your first sign to step out and walk far away.

You may be in desperate need of some quick miraculous results, but it is SEO, and results don’t happen here that soon.

Mistake 2:

Opting unethical SEO techniques

SEO is often presented as some sort of art that includes both bright and dark practices. But SEO that’s fair is the only one that’s best. Almost all of the agencies and marketers will tell you that following the wrong techniques to go up quickly is like playing foul. You can hurt someone only once, next time you do it, and it will be you getting the way outside.

No matter what you know or learn, you must not go for doing any such malpractices.

Mistake 3:

Going for the cheapest

All proposals list almost everything the same, and so often you may want to go for the agency that is bidding the least, but hey, wait a minute and watch out for what you are going to step on carefully here.

The proposals may be pricing less or more. However, you must always factor in experience, knowledge of your industry, approach, and many other factors that are going to affect the partnership between you and your agency.

You don’t want someone who is just involved, you want more for your business, you want someone who is committed, and the ones bidding the least could be the desperate ones trying to get in, but commitment may not be one of the things they would be excelling at.

Mistake 4:

Choosing the Most Expensive

Don’t be decisive on the impression that if it costs the highest, then it will be the best. Agency may be charging you according to the cost of what they must be paying their resources, but your project may be possible to be worked out well even with the lesser paid resource.

Before you make a decision, always take a minute and consider all the pros and cons in your mind, and choose what is best for both you and your business.

Mistake 5:

Assuming one size fits all

You may often hear from fellow business owners that they tried just one or two practices out of the whole long list of activities and received humongous profits, well our say is to ignore them. They may have been lucky by saving some amount out of the average price for SEO services, but it doesn’t verify the success of the technique for every business or your business too.

Ready to create SEO campaigns that drive results?

As a business owner, price matters you the most, but while thinking about making an investment in SEO of your business, you must not be just money-minded! We strongly recommend that you carefully consider other factors like how much a strategic SEO plan aligns with your needs or goals, what your budget is, how much ROI you are expecting, and the time you can wait for before the results start showing up.

You may be overwhelmed with a lot of things, but it is necessary to think free and make a wise decision while deciding the budget of your SEO. You can ask our experts to walk you through a more detailed audit of your website and devise the right strategy to achieve your goals within the best investment.

With 10+ years of experience, EvenDigit can help you in planning, executing, and monitoring an effective SEO strategy. We will be happy to help you in finding the average cost of SEO for your business.

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