Pricing SEO Services

Does your site need SEO? If so, how much will it cost? Learn about the factors that impact SEO costs–no gate keeping!

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How much does SEO cost?

One Million Dollars - Austin Power Gif

I kid-I kid… But to find out how much SEO costs, you need to know some other things first. First, there’s this terrible joke in the SEO community that the answer to all SEO questions is “it depends.”

And it does depend.

But it also depends on who you ask…

Depends Billy Zane GIF By MacGruber

The truth is, it’s complicated.

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Don’t worry, I’m cooling it with the gifs, for now. Read on… 

How are SEO Prices Determined

If you evaluate if your site needs SEO, you might now be wondering how much SEO will cost exactly for your business, right? Let’s use a photographer for our example and dive into the factors that can impact SEO costs to help you make an informed decision.

Measuring SEO success and forecasting SEO results for photographers can be tricky due to variations in competition levels, geographic locations, and specific services offered.

Hot Take

Buying SEO services in a package of pages (like you see when shopping for some website design services–5 pages for $$$), will do a disservice to your business & your goals. 

As a tenured SEO expert, I price SEO services based on a lot of factors, but before I can figure out pricing, I need to know the goals of your business.

    • Do you need to show up in local search in a small town or are you a service based business serving multiple areas?
    • Are there many competitors? Are those competitors doing any SEO for themselves?
    • What’s the difficulty of ranking for certain keyword queries related to your business, product, and services?
    • Lastly, the range of services required will impact the overall price tag – the more services you offer the more intricate your SEO plan needs to be in order to capture a wider variety of customer journeys.

 

How I price SEO

I price SEO services as full service/done-for-you services; each project is individually priced based on the industry, competitors, brand positioning, and business’s goals. Contact me today to learn more. 

SEO Pricing Factors

SEO pricing factors include industry, geographic location, type of service needed, current brand awareness and visibility, and competition.

These elements play a crucial role in shaping the cost of a successful SEO strategy for your business. Part of the effort behind providing comprehensive SEO strategies is understanding the external and internal factors so we can make informed decisions on how to allocate a budget effectively while optimizing your online presence and outranking your competitors.

External SEO Pricing Factors

  • Industry
  • Local SEO
  • Services Provided to Client
  • Brand Awareness
  • Competition

Internal SEO Pricing Factors

  • Your current SEO plan/efforts
  • Your goals
  • What we need to do move the needle

Whether you’re in a highly competitive city or specialize in a niche segment, your SEO strategy should be crafted to address your specific needs.

Types of SEO Service Providers

“Most businesses tend to pay anywhere between $500 and $10,000 per month”…that’s a guess based on what I see in SEO expert groups. 

I don’t know what most businesses pay for SEO, but I do know that the expertise and services provided range widely. There are three main types of SEO service providers:

  1. Offshore SEO: If you’re a gambler, you can opt for an offshore company. This isn’t to say there aren’t great providers offshore, but hmm, do your research.
  2. SEO Agency: You might find a regional agency provider who outsources all or some of the SEO tasks to trained VA’s, and their pricing might be a little lower because they’re working on volume. 
  3. In-House Agency or Provider: These are typically working on a smaller set of projects that are more specialized and require more detailed care & planning, and little to no outsourcing.  

 

(Now listen, outsourcing is great, and as long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter, I just want you to understand why Apple A and Apple B may have different prices and experiences.)

 

Types of SEO Services: Monthly SEO vs Full Service SEO

When shopping for SEO services you’ll primarily see Full Service/Done-For-You SEO, or Monthly SEO. 

Monthly packages establish goals and tasks, and execute those changes at an hourly rate/monthly rate. 

In my experience, monthly SEO packages are for service providers who have established SEO efforts already underway.

This is best utilized as a long-term strategy to keep up with every-changing Google algorithm updates. 

Full Service or Done-For-You SEO investment offers several benefits – including increased organic traffic, higher search rankings, and improved online visibility – which can lead to more clients and business growth. 

 

What is a “Reasonable” Price for SEO Services?

Understanding the scope of SEO services and what is ‘reasonable’ price for SEO services truly depends on your business’ specific needs, goals, and budget constraints.

However, investing in high-quality SEO services can lead to impressive returns and long-term growth for your business.

When it comes to SEO pricing, you’re not just paying for immediate results but also fostering a sense of belonging within your target audience—and nurturing their customer journey, which is a priceless benefit in a competitive market.

 

What Do Most Businesses Pay for SEO Services

The better question is “How much can or should I set aside for SEO?”

According to the 2022 CMO Survey results, B2C Services dedicate approximately 15% of their revenue to the marketing budget.

Garner’s The State of Marketing Budget and Strategy 2022, reported that more than half of all digital spending is being allocated to paid channels, but at least 8.5% still goes towards SEO expenses.

 

How to Determine an SEO Budget

To determine an SEO budget for your business, it’s crucial to consider factors such as your goals, the competitiveness of your niche, and the specific services you’ll need to optimize your online presence.

Using the data above, a business to consumer service provider that made $100,000 last year should dedicate $15,000 to marketing expenses, and $7,500 of that should go to SEO. 

These numbers are often underestimated for B2C service providers and if you’re just getting started your efforts may take up more than 50% of your marketing budget initially, but with the right provider, you’ll see a positive ROI and find that the investment was worthwhile–and worth continuing. 

Assessing the market and understanding how much you should allocate towards maximizing SEO ROI can be daunting, but by taking a data-driven approach and examining relevant industry trends and competition levels, you can make an informed decision that will lead to increased online visibility and growth and help you discover innovative ways to reach your target audience.

Using the data above, a business to consumer service provider that made $100,000 last year should dedicate $15,000 to marketing expenses, and $7,500 of that should go to SEO. 

These numbers are often underestimated for B2C service providers and if you’re just getting started your efforts may take up more than 50% of your marketing budget initially, but with the right provider, you’ll see a positive ROI and find that the investment was worthwhile–and worth continuing. 

Assessing the market and understanding how much you should allocate towards maximizing SEO ROI can be daunting, but by taking a data-driven approach and examining relevant industry trends and competition levels, you can make an informed decision that will lead to increased online visibility and growth and help you discover innovative ways to reach your target audience.

Should You Increase Your SEO Spending Budget Over Time

As a former destination wedding photographer, I understand the challenge of balancing budgets for various marketing efforts. But if you’ve been investing in SEO and seeing positive results, it might be time to consider increasing your SEO spending budget over time. 

Here are four key reasons why:

  1. Maximizing SEO ROI: An increased investment in SEO can lead to even better results and higher returns on investment (ROI). As you start to see improvements in your search rankings, website traffic, and conversions, reinvesting some of those gains back into your SEO strategy can help maintain or even accelerate this growth.
  2. Staying ahead of the competition: The photography industry is highly competitive, with new businesses entering the market regularly. To stay ahead of your competitors, it’s crucial to continue optimizing your website and targeting relevant keywords that potential clients are searching for.
  3. Adapting to algorithm changes: Google frequently updates its search algorithms, which means that the best practices for SEO may change over time as well. By allocating more funds toward your SEO budget, you’ll be able to keep up with these changes and ensure that your website remains optimized according to current guidelines.
  4. Balancing SEO spending with other marketing efforts: While it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing strategies, increasing your investment in proven tactics like SEO can have a significant impact on overall business success.

 

What’s the (ROI) Return of Investment of SEO

Investing in search engine optimization can feel like a leap of faith, but when done right, SEO ROI is truly worth every penny spent.

By measuring SEO ROI and maximizing SEO results through a data-driven approach, you’ll reap the benefits of high-quality, engaging content.

 

What to do if you can’t afford SEO yet

If you’re not financially ready to invest in SEO, there are budget-friendly SEO alternatives and DIY SEO strategies that can help you achieve your goals without breaking the bank.

You’ll need to focus on creating engaging content, utilizing data-driven approaches, and optimizing for relevant keywords, to effectively improve your online presence.

With some effort, these cost-effective methods can lead to significant growth in organic traffic and ultimately boost your business’s visibility in search results.

SEO Pricing Recap

To determine your project’s SEO pricing, we always start with  a comprehensive website audit.

It helps identify areas of improvement such as site structure, content quality, keyword usage, and technical SEO factors that contribute to the overall performance of a website. 

All of our services start with a website audit

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for online visibility and success. Hire the best Showit SEO expert, reach out to me today for a website audit. 

Does Your Site Need SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential marketing tool for online visibility and success. 

I'm Stefanie Morris, your Showit SEO expert! Contact me today for a complimentary website audit. 

About The Author

Stefanie Morris

I’m a recovering wedding photographer turned Showit SEO expert & marketing consultant. 

Explore the blog to learn how to do keyword research, search engine optimization, and create blog content strategy to uplevel your marketing and drive leads.