How Much Should SEO Cost a Business? Five SEO Pricing Strategies to Help You

SEO is one of the best ways of driving results that scalable and help grow your business. It helps get new customers from organic traffic and reduce your cost to acquire a customer through search traffic.  It works –regardless of goals to achieve.

But the big question is: how much will SEO cost your startup?


The price of SEO services varies, depending on many factors which also include the quality of work, the experience of the agency, its location, and the breadth and depth of work completed.

These along with other factors determine the final pricing of an SEO campaign.

A managed SEO plan can cost anywhere between $250/month and  $10,000/month, depending on the scope of services, the size of the website, and the experience of the provider hired to perform SEO for your business.

Types of SEO pricing

There are various modules or say SEO packages pricing strategies, and most of agencies as well as freelancers and consultancies offering SEO services use these models for pricing. Here are five most popular pricing models used in the industry across the world.

SEO pricing (Hourly)

According to a study by Ahrefs, 36.78% of respondents admitted to charge some or all of their work by the hour.

It was found that $100-$150 per hour is the most popular hourly rate for SEOs, and around 25% of respondents offer this rate for their services.  And 50% of respondents charge between $75 and $200 per hour and 88.28% charge $150/hour or less. Only 6.25% command an hourly rate of $201+. With that, it is quite clear that majority of SEOs charge 150/hour or less.

The price is far less in India reported the study. According to it, 83.33% of India‐based charge an hourly rate of $25 or less. Only 16.67% were in the $41–50 range.

Keep this in mind whether you are looking for cheap SEO packages in India or want to hire a local agency. If you suspect the price is a bit higher, you should go deep and get to know the substantial benefits of paying the higher price,

As experience is one of pricing factors, the more an SEO is experienced, the higher they may charge.

$79.37 is the average hourly rate for SEOs who have been in business for two years or less. And the price jumps to $110.69 for those who’ve been in business for 2–4 years.

So, it seems that experience and track record play a vital role when it comes SEO pricing. But you should go for it provided you get any added advantages, and you should be clear about that before you make your decision.

Location also acts as a factor to the cost, which means if hiring an SEO in the USA may cost you more than cheap SEO packages. And you should not worry about the quality of result if the price is low due to location factor.

Monthly retainer rates

According to the Ahrefs, 74.71% of respondents claimed to charge a monthly retainer for some or all of their work.

$501-$1,000 per month is the most popular monthly retainer rate for SEOs, and as much as 23.08% of respondents admitted to use this range of rate. 45% of respondents charge between $501 and $2,000 per month, and 75.77% of respondents $2,000/month or less. Only 24.23% offer a retainer rate of above $2,001.

For small businesses, cheap SEO packages India remain the best choice. 91.3% of India‐based SEOs charge $1,000 or less per month, which is much less than the global average. Only 8.7% charge between $2,001 and $5,000.

However, the pricing will vary, depending on the experience, and the quality of work, and nature of your business, and, of course, the competition in your domain.

Project based

When it comes to project based fee, 43.39% of respondents claimed to use this pricing module. 25.17% uses the price range of $501-$1,000 per project. However, more than half the respondents surveyed told they charge$1,001 or more.

 SEOs with over two years experience charge somewhere between $ 1200 and 4000 per project. The price jumps to $4,629 or more for those having more than two years experience.

One time

One-time SEO, as it suggests, is a one-off service comprising of an on-page optimization. It also includes a few fours of follow up consultation to explain the work, and provide guidance for the client moving forward.

The pricing for such a service more depend on factors like the size and complexity of the site. Unlike with other pricing modules, the competitiveness of the market for a business does not come into play. And the work is only meant to address any deficiencies in regards to technical, organizational, and contextual nature.

Local SEO pricing

There is a different pricing for local SEO packages, which the cost for local SEO might be a bit lower than that of the SEO pricing packages with a global perspective.

Local SEO services may cost between $250 and $5,000 per month while national SEO price ranges from $750 - $10,000+ per month.

If you are a business with customers in a certain region, local SEO packages would be a good to choice to go for. Choose an agency with expertise in providing local SEO for your kind of business.

These are widely used pricing models or strategies for pricing SEO packages.  And keeping them in mind will help you decide on a budget for SEO for your business. However, make it (SEO budget) flexible as the price is dynamic and change significantly, depending on several factors.