How Much Does Search Engine Optimization Cost? The Raw Numbers


Andrew Steven
March 26, 2023


As digital marketing continues to dominate the business landscape, companies are increasingly investing in search engine optimization to stay ahead of their competition. 

However, one of the biggest challenges they face is determining how much to budget for SEO services

With so many factors at play, from the level of competition to the desired speed of progress, it can be difficult to put the right price tag on a winning SEO strategy and make sure that the benefits of search engine optimization exceed the costs. 

In this article, we’ll how much search engine optimization costs and provide insights into how businesses can make informed decisions about their SEO budget.

Breaking Down The Costs of SEO

While there are many factors that contribute to a successful SEO strategy, the costs associated with it can primarily be broken down into three buckets: technical SEO, content, and backlinks.

Without getting into too much detail, here’s how those break down:

Technical SEO Pricing

Technical SEO site audits are a crucial first step to ensure your website is functioning properly and able to be found by search engines. These audits start at the DNS level and cover all the features of your website, including schema and off-site factors. It usually takes two weeks, but could be up to a month depending on the size of the website, and the cost can range from $1,000 to $10,000.

To keep up with Google’s algorithms and ensure your website is healthy, a technical SEO consulting service is recommended. Normally, these services are conducted once per week for one hour and cost an average of $100 – $1,000 per month.

After the audit is complete, it’s time to implement the fixes. This can include properly applying an SSL certificate, decreasing site load time, eliminating mixed content issues, and more. Implementation is usually billed by the hour, with an average cost of $100 per hour. If more complex fixes are needed, a subject matter expert may be required, increasing the cost.

SEO Content Cost

Creating quality content is a key part of SEO success. Whether you’re writing blog posts, product descriptions, or landing page copy, your content must be effective and optimized for search engines. But how much does SEO content writing cost?

The answer is, it depends. Your SEO content writing costs will vary depending on the quantity of content you need, your SEO objectives, and the quality of the content you desire. Generally, a site owner should budget between $500 and $2,000 a month for content.

The cost can be higher or lower depending on the scope of your business. For instance, if you run an e-commerce site with hundreds or thousands of products, you may require a large volume of content to optimize your site. But if you run a small business with limited online presence, you may not need as much content to reach your goals.

High-quality content takes time and effort to produce and will be more expensive. However, investing in quality content can be beneficial in the long run as it can help your site rank higher in search engines and bring more visitors to your site.

Backlinks And Guest Posts Pricing

When it comes to SEO, the cost of achieving success is no small sum and a big chunk of that cost comes doen to getting good backlinks for SEO. It takes financial investment to create content that will drive links and ultimately boost your ranking. While $1,000 per link isn’t a hard and fast rule, it’s a reasonable starting point for gauging the cost of SEO. 

This varies greatly depending on the industry, but it’s a good way to get an idea of the financial commitment necessary to make progress.

It’s not just the cost of placing the links that matters, but the manual outreach too.

Conclusion – How Much Does Search Engine Optimization Cost

If you’re looking to invest in SEO, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand to six figures each month. The exact amount depends on the industry, with local SEO typically costing a bit less. However, to get quality SEO services, you should plan to spend at least $3,000 monthly. That comes out to an average hourly rate of $150+, so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Invest wisely and you’ll be reaping the rewards in no time.

About the author 

Andrew Steven

Andrew has been building and managing SEO teams since 2008 where he led the largest SEO firm in Australia. Since meeting Kyle and partnering to form High Voltage SEO Andrew has been Kyle Roof’s man behind the scenes and together with Maria Dubretic have since co-founded the SEO tool PageOptimizer Pro. Andrew wishes he could stop dreaming about digital marketing in his sleep and would love to hear from anyone who has a cure for this.

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