How Much Should You Spend on SEO Services?

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SEO is not cheap nor should it be. In a way, you should see SEO services as an investment allowing you to promote your blog and increase traffic. That being said, the question remains: How much should you pay for your SEO?

Imagine if everybody used outside SEO services. If you think about it from that perspective, it would be logical for you to pay more than your competition. Otherwise, you won’t be able to beat them right?

Unfortunately, there are some other factors that should be considered when determining how much you should pay. Search engine optimization is a global service. You can employ services of a company working in Philippines or US. This also has an impact on the final price. 

To get the right picture, let’s analyze all the factors:

Costs for SEO company

Like with any other type of product or service, you first have to consider how much money a SEO company needs to perform its daily activities. 

First, we should start with the tools.
This is an important cost for every SEO expert. SEO company will pay at least from 100 to 500 dollars per months just to have a good set of tools that will enable them to perform various analysis. Naturally, this cost can be way higher.

Paying more for tools doesn’t make a company good. However, paying too little means that they won’t be able to do their thing efficiently.

In other words, if a person is asks a small compensation for a complex procedure, this means that he probably won’t be able to pay the costs of tool and with that in mind, he probably won’t be able to perform an efficient service. 

Depending on service, SEO expert will have to do several different things such as copywriting, outreach, scraping etc. Again, this is something that should be performed by several individuals. If same person is doing all the tasks, there is a low chance he will be proficient in everything. 

When you calculate the costs, account for all the different tasks a person needs to do. For example for creating a copy, he will need to do keyword research and copywriting (done by a different person). So, this is another thing that needs to be considered.

Costs of services

Check the costs for common SEO services:

  • Monthly retainer – $500  to $5000 
  • Site content audit – $500  to $7,500
  • Link profile audit – $500  to $7,500
  • Social media – $400  to $4,000
  • Content writing – $20 to $500 per thousand words
  • Consulting - $50 to $300 per hour

As you can see, the prices can vary significantly. Now, we will mention all the factors that contribute to that price variation.

Things to consider when paying for SEO services:

There are various things that can be considered as SEO services. Naturally, each type of the service has different cost. Here are some of the factors based on which you can determine how much should be paid for company’s services:

Reputation of the company

Like with anything else, the reputation of the company will have major impact on final cost of service. If you are employing a high tier Western company, you will have to consider paying at least couple thousand dollars for monthly website optimization. On the other hand, you can also get articles for your blog that costs 5 to 10 dollars. 

Country of origin

Generally speaking, country of origin will play a part when it comes to final cost. It is only to be expected that certain regions will require much less money for same work. This is quite reasonable as their overall costs will be much lower than those for Western companies. 

Always remember, cheap SEO packages do not have to be bad. They can be a product of country’s living standard. Nevertheless, if the project requires certain tools, this will most definitely increase the costs no matter where the company is situated. 
In-house SEO costs

Entrepreneurs recognize the need to have a special SEO department within their company. This is why a lot of them are prepared to create a new in-house team that will do this task. Sometimes, given the importance of SEO, blogger is prepared to oversee the entire process personally.
If you do decide to perform SEO in-house here are some of the things you will have to pay on a monthly basis:
  • Research – $100 to $200
  • On-site optimization – $0 to $300
  • Content – $0 to $1500

In-house SEO can be done either by you or one of your employees. If you decide to do it all by yourself, you can save a lot of money. Basically, the only thing you really have to pay for is the tools. 

All the other costs depend solely on your free time and how much you can invest in your SEO. However, if you are not certain about some of your skills, you can always employ a person full-time to do that task for you. 

Freelance SEO costs

Freelance SEO is oftentimes seen as a transitional SEO. In other words, if you just started your own company or if you do not have a good SEO expert, you will start by employing assistance of freelance experts. This is not a long term engagement and most of the jobs consist of small projects. 

Freelancers usually can do one thing for you (such as keyword research or content writing). However, they are unable to manage the entire SEO process. This is perfect for both sides as you do not have enough resources to invest into everything and it also good for freelancer as it allows him to get other clients.

Costs usually vary based on freelancer’s country of origin. Based on data that we have, here are some of the hourly costs you can expect:
  • India – less than $20
  • Australia, UK, Canada – $50 to $75
  • USA, Germany – $75 to $90

Agency SEO costs

Agencies are great for long-term cooperation. They have enough manpower and experience to deal with any kind of SEO issue you might have. However, they are also a bit more expensive than individual freelancers.

Nevertheless, agencies can also be employed for one-time projects. In the end, it all depends on how much you have to invest in your SEO. They are a great solution for all those who have money to invest and require fast and reliable help.

Here are some hourly costs for SEO agencies:
  • India – less than $25
  • Australia, UK, Canada – $75 to $100
  • USA, Germany – $100 to $125


It is very hard to give you a precise price for a certain service. As mentioned, there are numerous factors that need to be accounted for. Anyway, like with anything else, for a proper job, you will have to invest some money. SEO is expensive but without it, your blog cannot grow. 

With this article, you will know the price ranges so you can project your costs and how much you would like to pay for certain types of services. 

Nikolay Stoyanov is a well-known Bulgarian SEO expert with over 8 years of SEO experience. He's a huge fan of Brian Dean and a proud graduate of his SEO That Works online course. He practices 100% white hat SEO techniques and has a vast experience in keyword research, on-page optimization, SEO auditing and link building.


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