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How Much Does Search Engine Optimization Cost in 2024?

The cost of SEO varies greatly based on what type of business you run, where it’s located, and what kind of marketing strategy you want to employ. Some companies offer free trials so they can see if they’re a good fit for your company. Others charge monthly fees or hourly rates. In the end, It all depends on your needs and expectations.

Why pay for SEO services?

Everyone will have their unique reasons as to why every company in the world should pay for SEO services. Without getting into the subjective reasons, here are some facts as to why SEO might a great option for your business:

  •  46% of all Google searches are for local businesses. Therefore, if you are a business that relies heavily on a local presence, this might be an outlet you are missing out on.
  • 91.5% of all clicks go to the top ten ranked search results.
  • 31% of all clicks go to the number 1 ranked search result
  • 75% of people never click past page 1 of the search results.

How Should You Determine Your Budget for SEO Services?

The first step is determining what type of budget you want to allocate to your SEO campaign. There are three main types of budgets available: monthly, annual, and hourly. Monthly budgets are typically used by companies who want to pay for ongoing SEO services. Annual budgets are usually reserved for companies looking to set aside money for one big push. Hourly budgets are generally used by freelancers and consultants who want to spend some extra cash on SEO services but aren’t sure if they want to commit to a longer-term relationship.

SEO Investment Models and Costs

The cost of SEO varies widely based on the service provider, the type of website, and the desired outcome. Some providers offer packages that include monthly fees, while others charge hourly rates. If you want to hire someone to manage all aspects of your SEO campaign, expect to pay anywhere between $300-$6,000 per month.

Average SEO costs

The average cost of SEO varies widely based on the type of business you run, your industry, and the size of your website. As mentioned above, SEO services can range between $300-$10,000 per month.

How is the price tag so wide?

It all depends on the expertise of the individual running your SEO or the agency doing the work. Agencies will have a higher price tag whereas freelancers and individual business owners will be more reasonable with their pricing structure.

What determines SEO pricing?

There are a number of costs associated when doing SEO work. Taking out overhead costs that agencies and independent SEO’s have to cover, common operating costs include:

  • SEO tools and monitoring software (which aren’t cheap)
  • Delegating work or outsourcing small tasks (i.e. writing meta descriptions or content writing)
  • Acquiring links for backlink strategies

How much should I pay for SEO?

The cost of SEO depends on many factors including the size of your business, your industry, your target audience, and the type of service you want. A typical SEO package might include keyword research, link building, content creation, social media marketing, and website optimization.

Keep in mind that when it comes to SEO you truly get what you pay for. If you are seeing SEO services for less than $850/month, be careful. Often these packages are very basic and provide the same deliverables on a monthly basis. Which to an untrained eye looks very appealing.

If SEO were as easy as putting together a simple monthly package and checking boxes, then agencies and higher-priced services would become extinct. I recommend you look for an agency or individual SEO person that can provide tailored strategies to your business. After all, SEO requires as much data analysis as anything else and cheap SEO packages just do not offer that kind of service.

Which is better: Monthly or Hourly SEO Services?

The average SEO hourly rate ranges between $80- $200 an hour.  So if your invest $500 a month on a freelancer who changes $100/hour, you really only paid for 5 hours of work for the entire month. With that investment, it’s hard to say how well your performance will be.

That’s not to say that hourly SEO is not valuable. Maybe you are a business owner working on your own SEO in-house and need to delegate technical SEO because that’s an area you lack knowledge in, then hiring an hourly SEO person makes total sense.

Monthly SEO is a great way to go. Four main reasons why:

  • Your SEO person is not limited to time
  • You have predictable costs with trackable benchmarks
  • Your SEO person will be able to afford additional tools that provide more insight that will help your performance
  • Your SEO will move faster if your SEO person has a wider budget

Remember in the end, SEO is an investment. It doesn’t operate the same way as paid ads and you won’t be able to see amazing results within the first few weeks or even months. It takes time. Whatever route you choose for SEO services, be sure your SEO person or agen


Larry Norris

With over 5 years of experience in agency work as an SEO Manager, I am proud to have assisted many clients in achieving higher search engine rankings and a stronger online presence. My successful track record includes top 3 rankings in SERPS, the attainment of featured snippets, and increased website domain authority.