How Much Does It Cost to SEO a Website?


August 5, 2020

How Much Does It Cost to SEO a Website?


After hearing much about the effectiveness of search engine optimization and it’s said benefits for different businesses, what is the first question that comes to your mind?

It must be “how much does it cost to SEO a website”?

Be it a small business or a large organization, this is the primary question that needs an answer to formulate a way forward and streamline your digital marketing strategy accordingly.

Is there any standard answer or a defined number that you will get in your answer? Not absolutely, there are many factors that may or may not impact your budget or expected cost for getting answers to “how much should I spend on SEO?” With passage of time, the results of your digital efforts start showing and then you may get a clearer idea but we are going to provide you all information that you can utilize in determining an accurate estimate to start off.

Being a small business setup it is of critical importance that you plan your future expenses from day 1 and should know the associated outcomes to predict the futuristic revenues. SEO is an effective way of attracting and reaching out to potential customers without spending a heavy budget on marketing activities. You can find a lot of information here to upgrade your knowledge base and then come back here to know more on deciding how much it can cost you.

What contributes to SEO pricing?

There is a wide range of services that fall under a well-build SEO strategy and the more services you include the higher the price point will be. These range of services include but not limited to:

  • Website development
  • Black linking
  • Pre-strategy research work
  • Keyword selection
  • Content development
  • Content posting
  • Social media scheduling management
  • Paid marketing
  • Email marketing etc.

However, not all of these services are included or needed for every business. It varies from business to business, expected outcome of the SEO activity, budget of the business etc. Altogether, these factors contribute to the final cost that you can expect for your website’s SEO pricing.

How does it work?

Once you are aware of the possible benefits of getting SEO done for your website, the next step is to find a reliable service provider. Most of the cases the SEO provider goes through follow process:

  1. Study your available digital presence and conduct a pre-strategy research
  2. Outline the findings and propose a working plan (there are three working models that you will get to know later in this article)
  3. Lock the scope of work
  4. Execute
  5. Reporting

There are three possible types of costing models that the service provider can offer you:

One Time Project

This is the very basic working model where you decide to have a one-time activity for SEO. It is mostly beneficial for businesses with smaller scale of operations and limited revenues. With the execution of the onetime project, both the service provider and the business get to know the initial outcome and then plan for next activities accordingly. Generally, a starter package may include:

  • Website development or redoing if the structure is not SEO friendly
  • Keywords optimized content development for website

With different service providers the price range may vary between 300$ – 750$. A one time project only makes sense at the very beginning level of getting prepared for the structured SEO activities.

Monthly Retainer

If your website is ready and you have a little bit of digital presence already then a monthly working model will suit you better. There are two subcategories of monthly SEO pricing:

  • Fix Cost
  • Hourly cost

In the first pricing model, a predefined list of activities is agreed between you and the service provider. The schedule of SEO activities will stay intact through the agreed time period of the project. At the end of the contract tenure, the overall results determine the way forward. Normally, a monthly fixed retainer may lie in between of 400$ – 700$.

In the other pricing model, you get a liberty of choosing between what is planned for the website, what is working and what should be discontinued rather than waiting for the contract to end and restart with new terms. A dedicated SEO is associated with the project and depending upon the need minimum and maximum working hours are defined to keep a check on the budget. You may find a reliable SEO specialist as low as 10$ per hour and as high as 100$ per hour. It is up to you to decide the level of expertise you require for the business.

Annual Project Plan

In most cases, the service providers offer you a month or two free if you sign off a yearly project. However, this is beneficial for large scale organizations and big budget firms. The key formula is multiply your monthly set budget into 12, get one or two months for paying in bulk and save a cost for those months.

Cheap Selling Tactics

Being a small scale business, cheaper rates may attract you more regardless knowing what it will bring for you. There would be many service providers offering you cheap rates, may show increasing numbers of traffic to your website but eventually there will be no impact on your sales/revenues. The traffic coming to your website will have no intention to buy and hence, the numbers will just be numbers.

The key take out here is to not fall for low price points, rather look into credibility of the service provider, experience handling the similar work and the results that are promised to you for getting better customer outreach. We hope that this guide helps you in a dual way, first getting a bare minimum idea for how much the SEO may cost you. Then, understanding the importance of long term results over short-term low price scams.

It is highly recommended to value long term benefits and decide for the SEO budget accordingly.


Fahad Bin Zahid is a Digital Marketing & SEO consultant and the co-founder of Social Gravity.


Fahad Bin Zahid is a Digital Marketing & SEO consultant and the co-founder of Social Gravity.

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