The cost of SEO services varies depending on what is included. Most SEO projects in 2020 cost between $750-$2,000/month based on the scope of the project. A one-time project will range between $5,000-$30,000 and hourly rates for consultants fall between $80-$200/hour.
Common Pricing Models
Back in late 2011, SEO powerhouse MOZ conducted a survey of over 600 agencies in order to understand variations in SEO services pricing models. While this survey is now seven years old and MOZ admits the survey isn’t perfectly scientific, it does provide a solid general understanding of how most agencies price this type of work.
Some key takeaways from the survey:
- Project-based pricing is by far the most popular model. Around 70% of the agencies surveyed said it’s their most commonly used scheme with projects falling into the four price ranges: $1,001-$1,500, $1,501-$2,500, $2501-$5,000, and $5,001-$7,500.
- Monthly retainer pricing models, specifically the monthly rate, vary radically from agency to agency. The two most common were $251-$500/month and $2,501-$5,000/month.
- Most agencies offer project-based, retainer-based, and hourly based pricing models in order to fit the diverse needs and budget of clients. It is a competitive marketplace and it seems agencies are very willing to adjust their systems to retain clients.
Main Street ROI’s SEO Pricing Models
Over the years working with hundreds of SEO clients, we’ve learned how to expertly tailor our SEO services in Newport Beach to the unique variables of each of our clients in Orange County, and we tailor our plans to our clients’ budgets.
We determine a scope of work by breaking down factors such as:
- How big is the website? How many pages need optimization?
- How much content development is needed, particularly if the site is obviously lacking important pages?
- How many technical issues need to be fixed?
- If it’s a local business, are there multiple locations requiring business profile listing setup or edits?
- How many backlinks does the website have? If there are not many, we’ll allocate more budget to focus on building a stronger link foundation.
- How strong is the competition?
- Are there aspects of the work that our client can handle on their end?
The standard service we recommend is $1,000/month. In month 1, we focus on conducting an SEO audit, optimizing the top 20 priority pages, and beginning to address technical issues. Then, in future months, we shift our focus to content development and link-building.
For businesses with multiple locations, we recommend a larger budget (for example, an additional $250 per month per location) in order to build citations for each location and build out location-specific content. So, if a business has 4 locations, our standard recommendation would be the $1000 standard fee plus 3 x $250 for the 3 locations, for a total of $1,750 per month.
For larger websites, we’ll often quote a higher initial fee in order to optimize more pages, faster. For a project where we’ll optimize 20 pages in the first month, we would quote a $1000 month 1 fee. If we’re going to optimize 50 pages in the first month, we’d quote $2000 for month 1, and for a 100 pages, we’d quote $3000 for the first month.
At the same time, a major factor in pricing our SEO services in Newport Beach is the client’s budget. We understand that most small businesses have SEO budgets in the hundreds of dollars versus thousands. That’s why we also provide “Starter SEO” services at reduced fees below $1000 per month.
At reduced fees, we have fewer hours to invest in the work, so we execute our strategy at a reduced speed and with a reduced scope of work. In practice, this means it may take us an additional month to complete the initial optimization of some priority pages, and we’ll develop less content per month and build fewer links per month on an ongoing basis.
However, in our experience, SEO is one of the best marketing investments you can make — and the faster you begin, the sooner you can start reaping the rewards. So, even if you only have a limited budget to start, it’s always better to get started rather than putting it off.
Since the beginning of search engine optimization, it is very hard to provide answers to a basic question “What is the true cost of SEO?” Or “How much does SEO cost you?” Countless numbers of people providing SEO services and even business owners are struggling to perfectly answer these questions. It’s a very complicated task to do as you don’t know the specific requirements that are needed in the SEO services. SEO is a more advanced practice of optimizing the website and its content to increase the traffic on a website. It is used to manage visitors on your website and provide better rankings on the search list of popular search engines like Google, Bing, etc. The traffic quality and quantity both are very important to handle on a website. This increases the conversion rate of the website and makes it stand on its peak. To do all this, you have to hire SEO professionals for managing your website and its performance and pay them higher to obtain benefits from their services. Let’s take a look at the pricing aspect for SEO and how the true cost of SEO is configured.
Understanding the Variables
The very first thing that you have to understand while doing SEO is the dynamics of the marketplace that directly affects the result and cost of SEO. You have to understand the competition in the industry and the area where you are serving. It is quite complex and very difficult to get through with only half knowledge. Improving the ranking of the website has a value that can vary between every business. It is also based on the amount and type of traffic that are situated and available in that specific market. The result for every business varies drastically as some local businesses on top rankings may get a higher amount of leads and benefits while some have to compromise with slight improvements. You require various techniques to measure the traffic as different marketing activities and techniques can impact the organic search and traffic. You have to understand the basic concept behind the process of website ranking. If you do the SEO process for a local business within a small city, then it might get this business website to top in the search rankings, but if you do the exact process for a business that is situated within a large metropolitan city, then it will only slightly affect the ranking of that website.
Factors Affecting the Cost of SEO
The process of doing SEO for every company varies with different market conditions and company numbers. It is also affected by the presence quality of a business inside the market which affects the numbers in many ways. The digital presence of the business matters the most as everything related to SEO is affected by it. The size of the business impacts the process and cost of SEO. If it’s large, then it requires more optimization which welcomes more cost for this process. The website structure is needed to be properly customized concerning the requirements of a more balanced process. The hold of keywords in the content of the website decides the quantity of traffic that you will receive to your web pages. If the website has some technical issues related to SEO, then it will also affect the pricing of the process.
The website should have a good number of backlinks and referring links to increase the number of visitors on the website. The business also has to be accurately listed on the local listing websites. There are many more aspects that are needed to be cleared for doing a near to perfect SEO for the website. One thing to note is that no website has the perfect SEO and you have to do a lot of work to achieve a good level. Many times, you will find that a slow and outdated website is ranked better than a technically well-made newer website. This is because the older websites are comprised of a more robust backlink profile that is quite hard-earned. That’s why every aspect is very important for increasing the number of visitors on the website which requires a well-trained professional and a high cost bundled to it.
What Determines the Cost of SEO?
There are various aspects that we have discussed earlier that affect the process and the cost of doing SEO. It has to be maintained on many variables to deliver the best possible outcome for a company. Some basic variables are considered when determining the cost of SEO.
- Situation – Where do you stand at present in the competition?
- Timeline – How much faster are you willing to improve your situation?
- Objectives – What do you want to achieve and where do you want yourself to be?
These three elements mentioned above are the factors that an SEO provider sees to calculate the cost of SEO services for a local business. It works in the same manner for all the websites as these factors largely affect the process of SEO and they indulge in hard work to get the proper outcome. If you will consider these elements, you can decide the varying cost. Take an example of a local business website that currently sits at the 16th rank for the specifically targeted keyword “true cost of SEO”. This tells us that its competitors on that same keyword that are ranking better have metrics of higher authority and more links to it and they have invested a lot for the local SEO of their business. If you consider these aspects, then you can decide on an outcome of the actual cost of SEO for the business. You can decide the approximate value for the number of links. You can get a rough idea about how much process and work is required for doing the local SEO of the website. Lastly, you can build a rough estimate of the time that is required to achieve the target. All these elements combined are used to determine the cost of doing the SEO.