SEO Pricing: How Much Does SEO Cost? (Revised 2019)

SEO Cost depends on what is included on the plan. Hiring an SEO expert on an hourly basis can cost from $80 per hour - $130 per hour. SEO Pricing for a one time project ranges anywhere from $2 000 - $20 000 depending on the size of the project. Most SEO projects cost $350 per month to $5 000 per month.

How much should you spend on SEO services?

Not all businesses require a fixed amount of SEO work. Some business requires a high amount of SEO investment while some are fine with a little investment in SEO. Before jumping into hiring an SEO agency, it is first important to determine where your business stands currently. Then think about how much of an SEO you need for your website and how much traffic can SEO provide for your business. Before deciding to spend on SEO services, there are three initial things to think about: The current situation of your website, an objective of the SEO campaign, and the deadline you want to achieve this campaign.

Situation: Situation defines where your business currently stands. Being able to analyze the current situation of the website is the gateway to further SEO efforts. If your website is not visible on search engines, or do not have any business listings yet, then it is better to start thinking about SEO. In this case, the amount of SEO investment can be huge because everything needs to be done from scratch.

Another situation is where your website is visible on search engines, has a few local listings and backlinks, but yet is not ranking higher in search engines for a keyword specific to your business. The reason behind this can be an unmanaged website structure, unorganized internal and external links, not much focus on a particular keyword and key phrase, or poor web contents.  In this case, you might need to hire an SEO expert to further enhance the website ranking.

The third situation is where your website ranks on the first page for a query that relates to your business. Your website has a good number of backlinks, all internal and external links on a website are organized. Yet SEO work is still needed to maintain this position. Frequent updates of optimized contents and monitoring the overall performance of a website is vital to ensure that the same results are secured for a long run.

Objective: The objective of your SEO campaign also determines how much you should be spending on SEO services. If your desire is to rank higher in search engines, the SEO pricing can vary depending on the work by an SEO expert. If you want to increase the number of backlinks, the SEO pricing varies. There are different SEO cost for various SEO work such as enhancing local listing to reach an audience on a local area. If the desire is to improve an internal website structure the SEO pricing can be different.

Time: Timing is another main factor that determines how much you will be spending on SEO services. If you want something to be done quickly and would like to see an instant result, the SEO cost can go up. This is because a large number of SEO resources is required to meet your demands within a specified timeframe.

SEO is vital for businesses wanting to grow, yet it can be expensive. It can be a total waste of your time and investment if the resource you hire does not possess an expertise in SEO industry. It is always a good idea to avoid cheap SEO pricing that applies black hat SEO tactics to rank higher in search engines. By saying this we are not implying that spending more on SEO services can deliver you the result. Not all expensive SEO firms are good at SEO and not all cheap SEO agencies do not deliver the result. We are just trying to say that it is important to do a comprehensive research in SEO agencies before deciding anything further.

There are several B2B firms that perform a market research. Among all, Clutch is one of the authentic research firms that evaluate the performance of various SEO firms within the United States and ranks them accordingly. This will make it a little easier for you to determine the right agency for your next SEO project.


How much should I pay for SEO?

SEO efforts often take time to deliver the result. SEO is not a one night game and the result of an SEO effort can take 3 months to 6 months depending on how search engines evaluate the SEO on a website. To determine the best in SEO investment, it is important to research pricing among various agencies and the SEO plans and features they offer. It is always the best idea to avoid cheap SEO services that apply black hat SEO techniques to rank higher in search engines. SEO cost can greatly vary depending on several factors. Some of the most popular SEO Pricing models among SEO agencies are Project-based SEO where you pay an SEO agency a one-time fee, Hourly SEO Pricing model where you pay an SEO agency on an hourly basis, Monthly SEO retainers where you pay them a flat rate on a monthly basis, and Performance-based SEO where you pay an SEO firm based on their performance.

  • Project-Based SEO Pricing Model

  • There are various plans offered by SEO agencies that you can choose from. Some businesses are fine with one-time SEO. This is a project-based SEO and can cost anywhere from $2 000 to $20 000 depending on the size of the project. This project-based SEO investment can bring initial SEO improvements to your website. Any further SEO enhancement or an effort in external SEO requires the purchase of similar or another SEO plan again.

  • Hourly SEO Pricing Model

  • Another type of SEO plan is the hourly SEO pricing model. In this type of plan, you pay an SEO agency on an hourly basis for their work. Whenever you require an SEO improvement, the SEO experts can be hired to make improvements and adjust to the SEO standards. Unlike project based SEO pricing model where an agency performs SEO work for a specified time frame or until the completion of a project and you pay the agency a lump sum of money at once, the hourly SEO pricing model only requires payment on a worked/per hour basis. This means you pay an SEO agency only for the hours worked.

  • Monthly SEO Pricing Model

  • Monthly SEO pricing model is a plan where you pay an SEO agency on a monthly basis. Hiring an SEO agency on a monthly basis has an advantage that your SEO efforts are constantly being monitored and improved. Unlike Project-based SEO pricing model and hourly SEO pricing plan, monthly SEO retainer constantly works on to improve the performance of an SEO campaign. Usually, with a monthly SEO plan, you pay an SEO agency a flat rate every month upon agreement no matter how much more work is done.

  • Performance-based SEO Pricing Model

  • Pay for performance based SEO pricing model can be expensive in nature because the SEO agency is paid only for their performance. This model has become very popular due to the fact that SEO agencies are growing in numbers day by day. Pay for performance based SEO pricing model can be a good choice if you are new to the SEO world and do not have much idea about what and how SEO agencies work. In the end, all you need is the result.

Though all of these SEO pricing plans have their own pros and cons, it is up to you decide which SEO plans and pricing you would like to go with. To make things a little easier, we will be discussing all of these SEO pricing plans in much greater details with their pros and cons, and the businesses suitable for each of them.


SEO Pricing Plans from w3Infinity

w3Infinity offers four different SEO packages - Standard, Advanced, Ultimate, and Custom. Each of this SEO package is crafted with the size and need of a business in mind. When you subscribe to a monthly SEO package, every aspect of SEO is taken a great care of by our SEO experts.

FEATURES w3-STANDARD w3-ADVANCED w3-ULTIMATE w3-Custom
COST / MONTH $550

(After Initial Campaign Investment)

$1 400

(After Initial Campaign Investment)

$1 900

(After Initial Campaign Investment)

Custom Pricing
Keywords research, and selection

Custom
Number of keywords optimized

Upto 80 keywords Up to 150 keywords Up to 300 keywords Custom
Key phrase research and selection

Custom
Number of key phrases optimized

Upto 80 key phrases Up to 150 key phrases Up to 300 key phrases Custom
Title tags optimization

Upto 30 existing pages + All future pages Upto 60 existing pages + All future pages Upto 120 existing pages + All future pages Custom
Meta description optimization

Upto 30 existing pages + All future pages Upto 60 existing pages + All future pages Upto 120 existing pages + All future pages Custom
Existing web page content enhancement

Upto 30 existing pages Upto 60 existing pages Upto 120 existing pages Custom
Robots.txt file optimization

Custom
Page SiteMap creation, and optimization

Custom
Post sitemap creation, and optimization

Custom
Image SiteMap creation, and optimization

Custom
Video SiteMap creation, and optimization

Custom
SEO copywriting number of pages

1 page / month (1 000 - 1 200 words) 2 pages / month (1 800 - 2 000 words / page) 4 pages / month (4 500 - 5 000 words / page) Custom
Google My Business Optimization ($50 per month per additional location)

Upto 2 Locations optimized Upto 4 Locations optimized Upto 6 Locations optimized Custom
Bing Places Optimization ($50 per month per additional location)

Upto 2 Locations optimized Upto 4 Locations optimized Upto 6 Locations optimized Custom
Mobile Site Optimization

Custom
Google Analytics Setup

Custom
Google Analytics Traffic Report

Custom
Local search optimization

Upto 2 locations optimized for organic ranking Upto 4 locations optimized for organic ranking Upto 6 locations optimized for organic ranking Custom
Image Optimization

Upto 60 existing images + All future images Upto 150 existing images + All future images Upto 300 existing images + All future images Custom
Image alt and title tags optimization

Upto 60 existing images + All future images Upto 150 existing images + All future images Upto 300 existing images + All future images Custom
Links redirect and audit

Custom
Custom 404-page setup

Custom
Header (H1 - H6) optimization

Upto 30 existing pages + All future pages Upto 60 existing pages + All future pages Upto 120 existing pages + All future pages Custom
Duplicate content analysis

Custom
Relation building with online bloggers

Custom
Backlinks generation

Up to 9 backlinks Up to 25 backlinks Up to 50 backlinks Custom
Website design analysis

Custom
Monitor competitors search ranking and report

Custom
Monitor competitors website changes on a monthly basis

Custom
Monitor competitors contents and link addition on a monthly basis

Custom
Google Data Highlights

Custom
Structured Data - Local Business

Custom
Structured Data - Organization

Custom
Structured Data - Sitelinks search box

Custom
Structured Data - Website

Custom
Structured Data - Webpage

Upto 30 existing pages + All future pages Upto 60 existing pages + All future pages Upto 120 existing pages + All future pages Custom
Structured Data - Person

Custom
Structured Data - Reviews and rating

Display for upto 30 existing pages + For All future pages Display for upto 60 existing pages + For All future pages Display for upto 120 existing pages + For All future pages Custom
Structured Data - Services

Custom
Structured Data - Site Navigation Element

Custom
Structured Data - Article

Upto 60 existing pages + All future pages Upto 120 existing pages + All future pages Custom
HTML enhancement and improvement

Upto 30 existing pages + All future pages Upto 60 existing pages + All future pages Upto 120 existing pages + All future pages; Custom
Website architecture audit

Custom
Website speed enhancement

Custom
Avoid landing page redirect

Custom
Minify HTML

Custom
Minify CSS

Custom
Minify Javascript

Custom
Enable z-gip compression

Custom
Reduce server response time

Custom
Eliminate render-blocking JS and CSS

Custom
Enable Browser caching

Custom
Redirect minimization

Custom
Social Media Integration

Custom
Web server analysis and reporting

Custom
Structured data - Breadcrumb

Display for upto 60 existing pages + For All future pages Display for upto 120 existing pages + For All future pages Custom
Canonicalization analysis, and improvements

Custom
Link analysis

Custom
Ongoing keyword analysis and report

Custom
Internal links optimization

Custom
Monthly keyword rank reporting

Custom
User experience / Site Navigation enhancement

Custom
Competitor's market share prediction

Upto 20 competitors Custom
Online project management application

Custom
Dedicated SEO Expert

Custom
Initial Campaign Investment (2-months duration)

$1 800 - 2 000 $4 000 - 4 200 $5 000 - 5 500 Custom
Monthly Optimization (10 months commitment)

$550 $1 400 $1 900 Custom

Standard SEO Plan: Most small sized or local businesses are fine with our Standard SEO plan which includes most of the SEO features in the Advanced and Ultimate Plan. Standard plans differ with the Advanced and Ultimate plan in a way that this plan requires less amount of SEO work and resources and is suitable for small-sized businesses. Standard SEO pricing plan from w3Infinity starts at $550 per month with an initial campaign investment of $1 800 - $2 000. Cost for any addition of features to the Standard SEO plan can be decided upon agreement.

Advanced SEO Plan: Advanced SEO pricing package from w3Infinity includes similar features as that of the Standard plan. However, more SEO work and resources are dedicated to fulfilling the need for this plan. Advanced SEO plan is suitable for mid-sized business that requires optimization of several business locations, and that is surrounded by tough competitors. This pricing package from w3Infinity starts at $1 400 per month with an initial campaign investment of $4 000 - $ 4 200. Cost for any addition of features to the Advanced SEO plan can be decided upon agreement.

Ultimate SEO Plan: Ultimate SEO Plan from w3Infinity is crafted with large-sized businesses in mind that require constant SEO work every month. Ultimate SEO pricing plan from w3Infinity starts at $1 900 per month with an initial campaign investment of $5 000 - $5 500. Cost for any addition of features to the Advanced SEO plan can be decided upon agreement.

Custom SEO Plan: Custom SEO plan from w3Infinity is designed for businesses with custom SEO needs. If you do not require all the features listed in the above three SEO packages, then a custom SEO plan can be of help. In this plan, we will consult you with what features can help your business grow and upon agreement, we will go with the custom SEO plan for your business. The cost for this SEO plan varies as the features in the plan vary. The cost might be more or less than that of the above-mentioned SEO packages depending on the features you choose.

SEO Campaigns (Know What You Want)

Understanding different SEO campaigns can help streamline your campaign efforts!

Local SEO

Local SEO is a technique focused on enhancing business visibility on a local area. In digital marketing, this type of SEO focuses on increasing visibility on the internet for businesses that serve the community face-to-face. Local SEO deals more with creating a local business listing on various business listing sites and also focuses on creating high-quality that are targeted to an audience in a local area. SEO cost for local businesses can start from $250 per month to $5000 per month.

National SEO

National SEO focuses on enhancing the online visibility of a website in various search engines. National search engine optimization is vast as compared to local SEO because the contents are targeted to a wide variety of audience within a particular country. SEO cost for National SEO can start from $650 per month - $10 000 per month depending on the size of the project. National SEO is the right fit if you intention is to target to an audience across the country.

E-Commerce SEO

As the name implies, e-commerce SEO is meant for e-commerce websites. Businesses that sell products on their website can benefit from E-commerce SEO. E-commerce SEO requires an optimization in every product listing that a business would like to sell and the internal and external structure of a website. SEO cost for an e-commerce SEO can range from $1 200 per month to $5 000 per month depending on the size of the project.

How much do Project-Based SEO services cost?

Project-based SEO services are one of the most popular SEO pricing models you’ll find amongst SEO agencies. According to a study by Moz nearly half of respondents - 43% fell into four price ranges:

  • $1 001 – $1 500

  • $1 501 – $2 500

  • $2 501 – $5 000

  • $5 001 – $7 500

These variations in SEO pricing is due to the fact that every project is diverse and can be different from each other. Project-based SEO services from w3Infinity can range anywhere from $2 000 - $20 000 depending on the size of the project.

Pros:

All it takes is one lump sum. With project-based SEO pricing model, you pay an SEO agency only once for a specified project work. Project-based SEO is better as compared to hourly SEO pricing model if you have a fixed amount that you can invest in SEO. Thus you need not worry about tracking hours of an SEO expert and whether the project might exceed your budget.

With project-based SEO pricing model, you know exactly what you’re getting. In this model of SEO pricing, an SEO agency will provide you with the exact work to be done and the timeframe of the completion of the project.

Cons:

In project-based SEO pricing model, you might even end up paying more. If you don’t have prior knowledge regarding SEO and how SEO agencies work, you won’t be able to understand how much time is actually invested in your SEO campaign. This means you could easily end up being overcharged.

Project-based SEO pricing model might not be flexible at times. Project-based SEO model usually comes with a contract that outlines all deliverables and due dates. Thus if you need to change some aspect of the project, chances are you might need to pay an extra amount to have it done.

Best for...

Project-based SEO pricing model is ideal for companies and startups who need help developing their initial SEO campaign or those wanting to outsource specific tasks. SEO audits, website architecture analysis, on-page optimization, and link building campaigns fall under this category.


How much does Hourly SEO cost?

Hourly SEO investment can be a worthwhile investment. In hourly SEO pricing model, you pay an SEO agency whatever rate you have agreed upon initially. Depending on how many hours have been worked, you can clearly estimate what your bill is going to look like. As compared to Project-based SEO where there is a flat one-time fee, hourly SEO pricing model can sometimes end you up with high bills because some SEO project can take longer than expected. Most agencies SEO pricing per hour starts from $80 per hour to $130 per hour.

Pros:

Hourly SEO pricing models are usually transparent. The time worked by an SEO expert are always logged. Therefore, you can clearly determine where the most focus is being devoted to.

With a fixed hourly rate, it allows you to predict the project cost and gives a rough estimate of how much you will be spending on SEO.

Cons:

SEO often takes up to 3 months to 6 months to see noticeable improvements in rankings. In hourly SEO pricing model, it might be easier to control how much you spend on the project, but you’ll still often end up getting less value and paying more per hour than if you had gone with a different pricing model.

Hourly SEO pricing model might not sometimes become your source of satisfaction. In this pricing model, it is like having an employee work for you. SEO professionals are paid on an hourly basis even just for showing up. They might not be compelled to deliver results within a specified timeframe.

Best for…

Hourly SEO pricing model can be useful if you are trying to run an SEO campaign on your own. Hourly SEO professional can become a useful resource to validate your work and make necessary improvements suggestions as needed.


How much do Monthly SEO retainers cost?

Monthly SEO services focus on long-term partnership with a business rather than a short-term. This SEO pricing model is suitable if you want to outsource your SEO project completely.

Monthly SEO cost depends on several factors as discussed before such as the type of campaign, your business location, etc... Most monthly SEO retainers cost $350 per month to $5 000 per month.

Pros:

With monthly SEO services, you need not worry about technical details as most of the things are taken care of by an SEO agency. You can leave the project to an agency and focus on other aspects of your business.

Monthly SEO services can build better client relationship motivating the agency to perform even better.

Cons:

You might be wasting money on monthly SEO payment if you are not careful about the SEO agency you choose to perform the work. Even in monthly SEO pricing model, it is important that you frequently monitor the performance of an agency for a better outcome.

Monthly SEO services usually bound you to a time commitment of at least 6 months because SEO often takes 3 month - 6 months to have significance impact in ranking.

Best for…

Monthly SEO pricing model is best for companies who want to outsource all the project. You can choose this pricing model if you trust the SEO agency.


How much do Performance-Based SEO Cost?

The performance-based SEO is an SEO pricing model where you pay an agency based on their performance. This model is a risk-free SEO pricing model to most of the business but is a huge burden to SEO agencies as they are compelled to deliver the performance to get paid. Though Performance-based pricing model is quite new, it is starting to become popular among agencies.

Pros:

Pay for performance and results and nothing else. You pay an SEO agency if they deliver the result.

Performance-based SEO pricing model can provide you with the exact investment required. You need not worry whether you bill is going to be higher.

Cons:

Performance-based SEO is not good for an extremely competitive keyword. This will require a greater amount of time and investment and the results are not even guaranteed.

For less competitive keyword, Performance-based SEO pricing model is the best. However, this pricing model can become very much expensive. Performance-based SEO cost depends on the size of the project, your current situation, and the objective of your campaign.

Best for…

Small business owners need to look at this pricing model first before any other SEO pricing model. You might spend a lot of money on this model but you get the result. And in the end, the only thing that matters the most is the result.


How is SEO pricing determined?

Unfortunately, there are no set standards for SEO pricing. SEO pricing varies from agencies to agencies and from projects to projects. Many SEO agencies determine the SEO cost based on the features included in the plan. SEO cost is also determined by the level of skills set and expertise of an SEO agency or an expert. Ability to deliver the result within a specified timeframe is another factor that determines the SEO cost. Most SEO agencies and experts also go on with the type of SEO campaign and the industry of your business while determining SEO cost.

SEO Campaign: SEO pricing can vary with the different type of SEO campaign. Local SEO campaigns are usually cheaper and require less amount to time and investment. National SEO requires a greater investment of time and thus can be more expensive than local SEO. E-commerce SEO can become even expensive and some agencies can also charge e-commerce business based on a percentage of product sale.

Type of your Business: SEO pricing can vary depending on the size of your business and also depending on your business profit. SEO agencies also do have pricing model depending on the type of industry of your business. Usually a profitable industry such as real estate, automotive, etc... would pay more for SEO as compared to businesses that generate a less annual revenue.

Location of your Business: SEO cost can also depend on where your business is located. Usually, businesses located in bigger cities would pay more for SEO services than businesses who operate in rural areas. This fluctuation in SEO pricing is because it takes more time and resources to deliver the result to business in bigger cities where the competition is higher.


What affects the SEO Cost?

We have seen what SEO agencies can charge for SEO depending on the campaign type. As discussed earlier there are no set rules of SEO cost and that SEO agency can charge whatever they feel right. However, an SEO agency focused on delivering the results to clients have a defined strategy in creating SEO pricing plan so that the SEO cost makes sense. Below we will look into the factor that affects the SEO pricing and also how do SEO agencies determine SEO cost.

Features included in the SEO Pricing Plan: SEO pricing greatly varies on what features are included in the SEO plan. SEO often requires months to start showing performance and there are so many things that need to be taken care of for a successful SEO campaign. The features you choose determines what the SEO cost is going to be.

Skill Level of SEO professional: Skill level and expertise of an SEO professional can determine the SEO pricing. If an SEO professional has the ability to deliver the result within a specified time frame, the SEO cost is going to be higher. SEO cost can also depend on how many years the SEO professional has an experience working on SEO, the past work performance, and the results that are delivered to the clients.

Location of your business: Location of your business affects the SEO cost. If you are a business located in the heart of New York City, chances are there are more competitors and thus you pay the higher price for SEO. If you run a business somewhere in a rural area where the competition is not too high, you would pay less in SEO. If you are serving your customer face-to-face on a local area, the SEO pricing model for local SEO is usually cheaper than that for a national SEO or e-commerce SEO.

Competency in your Target Audience: Competency in your target audience means how likely are your target audience to visit your website, or a purchase something from your business. In order to persuade your tough target audience, more time and resources are required eventually increasing the SEO cost.

Competency in your competitors: More time and resources are required if your business has a higher competition with other business. In order to win your competitor, the SEO professional has to work in a similar fashion with a greater amount of time and resource investment.


SEO Cost and Pricing in the US

SEO Pricing varies from countries to countries. Project size varies from websites to websites. Therefore different businesses pay a different amount for SEO. According to our recent study on SEO investment by businesses within the US, we found that:

  • 15% — less than $500

  • 21% — $500 - $1 500

  • 30% — $1 500 - $2 500

  • 19% — $2 500 - $6 000

  • 15% — $6 000 - $12 000 +

Majority of businesses are spending less than $5 000 per month on SEO in the US based on this survey. 15% of small businesses are spending less than $500 per month on SEO. 21% of local businesses are investing $500 - $1 500 per month on SEO.  30% of businesses are spending $1 500 - $2 500 on SEO per month. 19% of e-commerce businesses are spending $2 500 - $6 000 per month and 15% of big corporates in the US are spending $6 000 - $12 000 + per month on SEO.


How can you tell if SEO cost is worth it?

Hiring a right SEO agency can improve your organic and inorganic search ranking within your specified budget limit. SEO is much better than paid marketing if your business is bound to a budget. With SEO, there are no extra fees to appear higher on search results. Effective SEO campaign can increase your website visitors eventually increasing your brand awareness.

At the end of the day, the return on investment (ROI) is what matters the most. If a lead costs you $30 from paid search, $20 from social media ads or $5 from organic search, then organic is definitely a highly valuable channel which can offer the best overall return on investment.

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