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How Much Does SEO Cost?

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is arguably the hottest digital marketing strategy in the world. Even so, 57% of American businesses still lack an SEO strategy, which is great news for you!

If you want to rank higher and build organic traffic to your website, SEO is the best way to go about it. So, how much does SEO cost, and is it really worth the price? Let’s find out!

How Much Does SEO Cost For Small Business?

For small, local businesses, your SEO needs are almost certainly less than that of an eCommerce store trying to compete with Amazon. If your competition is local and industry-specific, ranking on search engines is much easier.

Consequently, a local pet shop in a smaller city may only need:

  • A user-friendly website
  • An optimized Google Business Profile
  • Occasional content marketing
  • Link building strategy
  • Applicable local directory listings

In this case, a small, local business may find plenty of success by spending $1,200 per month on SEO.


Let’s Discuss Your SEO Goals

SEO strategies to fit your needs and get you high rankings on search engines.

How Much Does SEO Cost For Mid-Sized Business?

Mid-sized businesses cover a wide variety. However, we’ll define them as having moderate competition and a moderate target market. If it’s location-specific, then it may need some further services.

Still, a mid-sized business with moderate competition should expect to need:

  • A quality website with original content
  • Optimized Google Business Profile
  • Regular content marketing
  • A strong keyword strategy
  • A small backlink network

For this type of strategy, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $4,000 per month for your strategy. The variances largely depend on your current competitors, their strategies, and their budgets.

Still, you will need a user-friendly website with high-quality, original content marketing. This will help you draw links and avoid penalties from Google in the long term, allowing for a successful SEO strategy.

How Much Does SEO Cost For Large Business?

We aren’t only talking about large businesses by revenue. If you have a lot of competition, then you fall into this category as well.

For example, a local law firm may not consider itself a “large business”, but it is a competitive field where most established sites have high SEO value. This is especially true if you’re trying to reach a global market.

Moreover, larger businesses that have the resources should invest more in SEO even if they don’t have too much competition. This is because maintaining your position in the rankings is much more cost-effective than climbing back up again.

For these reasons and more, a larger business or an enterprise with vast competition will likely require:

  • A high-quality website (with managed services)
  • Mobile optimization
  • Optimized Google Business Profile
  • Fast loading times and high server capacity
  • Original website coding elements
  • Diverse keyword strategy
  • Frequent content marketing
  • A quality backlink channel

In this case, a larger or more competitive business should aim to spend between $5,000 and $15,000 a month on SEO, or at least 30% of its marketing budget. For global markets like Amazon competitors or news outlets, you may need to spend even more.

What is the Best Link Building Strategy?

Common SEO Pricing Packages

Freelancers, in-house teams, and managed SEO services will offer different packages and pricing models depending on your needs and strategy. Depending on your preferences, you can typically choose from the following pricing models.

Hourly or Salary

Employees and freelancers may charge an hourly rate. In-house teams will typically need $50 to $150 per hour with benefits, whereas freelancer rates can span from $25 to $75 per hour. However, this widely depends on the services they offer and content quality.

Depending on the size of your projects, hiring an in-house SEO team may be necessary. A regular freelancer is typically more common for startups.


Monthly retainers typically include a comprehensive services package. This may include web design and management, content marketing, link-building outreach, and more. You will pay a flat rate to have your entire SEO strategy managed, and this typically works out as the most cost-effective option in the long run.

However, these packages vary widely. A small business may find an SEO pricing package for under $2,000 per month that includes a blog post and some reputation management. Conversely, a larger enterprise with technical needs may pay $15,000 per month or more for their SEO campaign.

Individual Components

You can always pay as you go for each element of your SEO strategy. This tends to be the most expensive on the list. On average, you should expect to pay the highest rates for each individual service, including web design, listings, and content marketing.

The average freelancer or SEO company charges 10 to 15 cents per word, which means $100 to $150 per 500-word article or $50 to $75 per hour. For more specialized services like link-building or technical SEO, you can expect to pay even more.

Launch Your SEO Strategy Today

Now that we’ve answered the question “how much does SEO cost?”, you can make an informed decision for your business. Just remember that SEO is the best driver of organic traffic to your website, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel where expenses decline. From there, the sky is the limit!

Stay up to date with our latest digital marketing tips, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help with your strategy!

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