The Basics of SEO pricing

Want to know the cost of SEO? We interviewed more than 100 marketing professionals to understand the SEO services pricing, factors that impact the cost, and other key insights.

Understanding SEO Cost Factors

Do you know how much does SEO cost? In 2024, the average SEO marketing cost ranges from $2,000 to $7,000 monthly, $40 to $80 hourly, and $800 to $5,000 per project. The final cost varies depending on your business’s specific needs, such as size and objectives.

Several factors influence SEO services pricing, including:

  • Experience of the agency, contractor, or consultant.
  • Location of the agency, contractor, or consultant.
  • Pricing model for SEO services, such as monthly or hourly rates.
  • Size of the business, ranging from startup to enterprise level.
  • Complexity and scale of the SEO strategy.
  • Strength of existing SEO strategies, including the quality of your backlink profile.
  • Retail businesses with specific needs to optimize their online presence through retail SEO services.

Small and local businesses must not miss inquiring about local SEO services pricing.

Optimizing for local search has many advantages such as:

  • Increased visibility among local customers
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Improved online presence for brick-and-mortar businesses

Different SEO Pricing Models

No two SEO agencies will have similar pricing model. We are sharing approximate pricing of SEO packages.

Monthly: Ranges from $2,000 to $7,000 per month

Hourly: Between $40 and $80 per hour

Project-based: Between $800 and $5,000 per project

Whether offering or seeking paid SEO services, you must be familiar with these pricing models.

Monthly $2,000 – $7,000 Pay a set amount every month for SEO services Agencies



Hourly $40 – $80 Pay based on the hours worked for SEO services Freelancers



Project-based $800 – $4,000 Pay a fixed fee for a specific SEO project, like an audit Agencies





What Should be Covered in SEO Services?

SEO services typically encompass the following aspects:

  • SEO audit
  • SEO reporting
  • On-page, off-page, or technical SEO optimizations

Additionally, they should address the specific needs of your business. That’s why many paid SEO service providers, like PixelCrayons, offer customized SEO package prices.

For instance, at PixelCrayons, we tailor these plans according to your individual requirements, including your desired level of participation and key performance indicators (KPIs).

You can check out our pricing packages here.

What is the Most Suitable SEO Pricing Model?

Monthly Ongoing SEO

Small, medium, and large businesses

A company aiming to enhance its organic search visibility, traffic, and revenue
Hourly Smaller SEO projects

Small businesses

A small business seeking to investigate a decrease in traffic after a website redesign
Project-based One-time projects

Small, medium, and large businesses

A company endeavoring to enhance its website’s overall page speed


Why Does SEO Cost So Much?

SEO Cost

Many businesses find SEO a pricey endeavor, but that’s not entirely accurate. In fact, search engine optimization (SEO) stands as one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies, especially when compared to PPC management services.

Still, wondering why is SEO expensive? Let’s find out.

Time Factor: Unlike pay-per-click ads that can generate revenue immediately, SEO requires patience. It typically takes four to six months of site optimization before seeing a return on investment (ROI).

Diverse Skill Requirements: SEO involves various skills, from content marketing services to optimizing page speed. As a result, many businesses outsource SEO to full-service agencies like PixelCrayons, which offer a comprehensive suite of skills. However, this level of expertise comes with a higher price tag.

Local and small businesses must consider discussing local SEO services pricing. The advantages of optimizing for local search, such as increased visibility among local customers, higher conversion rates, and improved online presence for brick-and-mortar businesses.

Need for Experience: With the widespread adoption of SEO across companies of all sizes, competition in search is fierce. To stay competitive, businesses need experienced SEO partners. While reputable SEO providers may charge more, they offer a higher level of expertise compared to less reputable alternatives.

 Viewing SEO costs as an investment reveals its cost-effectiveness:

Continuous Results: Unlike pay-per-click ads that cease generating traffic once payments stop, SEO delivers continuous results. It helps drive traffic, leads, and sales round the clock every day of the week.

Enhanced Conversions: Optimizing for user-focused elements in SEO, such as page speed, often leads to higher conversion rates. By addressing pain points in the conversion process, businesses can significantly improve their conversion rates.

Targeting the Entire Sales Funnel: SEO enables businesses to reach users at every stage of the sales funnel, from top to bottom. This broad reach allows businesses to connect with users throughout their journey and nurture them toward conversion using SEO and other digital marketing strategies.

With organic search accounting for over 40% of online revenue, investing in SEO proves to be a wise decision.

Why Invest in SEO?

Businesses opt for SEO for many reasons:

1. Enhanced Visibility: SEO investments aim to bolster online visibility, elevating search engine rankings and facilitating easier discovery by potential customers.

2. Organic Traffic Generation: SEO strategies are instrumental in driving organic traffic to websites, thereby increasing the likelihood of converting visitors into loyal customers.

3. Credibility Establishment: Securing top positions in search results enables businesses to establish credibility and trust with consumers, enhancing brand reputation and authority.

4. Competitive Edge: By investing in SEO, businesses ensure they stay competitive in the digital landscape, staying ahead of the curve with evolving digital marketing trends and strategies.

5. Sustainable Growth: Unlike paid advertising, SEO delivers sustainable long-term results, serving as a solid investment for businesses seeking enduring growth and success.

SEO Price Comparison by Company Size

Here’s a breakdown of SEO prices based on the size of the company:

Company Size Hourly Rate Monthly Retainer Project-based Pricing
Micro Businesses $50-$150 $500-$1,500 $500-$2,000
Small Businesses $75-$200 $750-$2,000 $750-$3,000
Mid-sized Businesses $100-$250 $1,500-$5,000 $2,000-$7500
Large Companies $150-$300 $2,500-$7500 $3,000-$10,000
Enterprise Level $200-$500 $5,000-$15,000 $10,000-$25,000

Please note that prices may vary based on specific project requirements, provider expertise, and market conditions.

SEO Costs Based on Provider Type

Discover how SEO marketing costs vary depending on who you hire as SEO experts.

Service Provider SEO Cost (Hourly) SEO Cost (Monthly)
Agency $50-$75 $2,000-$5,000
Consultant $50-$75 $2,000-$5,000
Freelancer $50-$75 $2,000-$5,000

Compared to other service providers, SEO agencies typically have higher costs. Why is that? There are a few reasons:

Capabilities: SEO companies often have larger teams and access to more tools, enabling them to offer a wider range of services. For example, with PixelCrayons, your business can benefit from SEO specialists, web developers, reporting software, and more — all the essentials for effective SEO.

Experience: SEO agencies usually possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise. If your business requires specialized retail SEO services, such as ecommerce SEO, an agency is better equipped to meet those needs than a consultant, freelancer, or contractor.

Scalability: Most SEO agencies can scale their services according to a business’s evolving SEO needs. This scalability is convenient as it eliminates switching to a new SEO provider. Instead, you can upgrade your SEO plan to accommodate increased traffic and demands. Other SEO providers do not typically offer this level of scalability.

When making decisions about your SEO strategy, it’s crucial to look beyond just the cost. Consider what you aim to achieve with SEO, how much involvement you prefer, and the specific services you need from your provider. This assessment should include factors such as SEO consulting rates, which can vary depending on the type of service provider you choose.

How Much Should You Invest in SEO?

Determining the appropriate budget for SEO depends on various factors, including your business’s SEO goals, industry, and the location of your SEO provider.

While SEO pricing can vary significantly, allocating a minimum of $2000 per month, $20 per hour, or $1000 per project to buy SEO packages is advisable.

It’s worth noting that you may come across SEO services priced lower than the figures mentioned above. However, opting for cheap SEO can harm your team and business.

Common complaints about inexpensive SEO include poorer results, satisfaction, and work quality.

In some cases, businesses may even face penalties from search engines, such as being removed from search results.

This occurs when cheap SEO providers resort to unethical tactics, like using link farms to manipulate search engine rankings.

Therefore, when considering your SEO budget, prioritize quality over cost-effective solutions to ensure the best outcomes for your business.

What’s Included in Monthly SEO Services?

Monthly SEO services typically encompass a comprehensive range of deliverables, such as:

  • Conducting SEO audits
  • Setting up and/or verifying analytics
  • Providing regular reporting
  • Conducting keyword research
  • Content marketing serives
  • Implementing on-page optimizations
  • Implementing off-page optimizations
  • Performing technical optimizations

By investing in monthly SEO services, you can achieve various goals, including:

Enhancing the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts through continuous optimization
Staying competitive by keeping up with competitors and algorithm changes

Additionally, some monthly SEO services may specialize in specific areas, such as:

  • Link building
  • Content creation
  • Improving page speed

What’s Included in Hourly SEO Services?

SEO Services

Hourly SEO services generally consist of the following deliverables:

  • Conducting SEO audits
  • Providing SEO recommendations and/or implementing them
  • Offering regular reporting

By opting for hourly SEO services, you can achieve various goals, including:

  • Completing SEO maintenance tasks
  • Monitoring for SEO issues

What’s Included in Project-Based SEO Services?

Project-based SEO services are typically utilized for specific purposes, such as:

  • Completing larger initiatives, such as website migrations
  • Receiving specialized assistance, like improving sitewide page speed
  • Addressing significant challenges, such as revamping an SEO strategy

The deliverables for project-based SEO services can vary widely, but common projects may involve:

  • Conducting an SEO audit
  • Implementing project-specific optimizations, such as link building
  • Providing regular reporting

By investing in project-based SEO, you can achieve various goals, such as:

  • Successfully completing a larger initiative, like migrating a website to a new domain.
  • Receiving recommendations on how to accomplish a specific goal, such as improving sitewide page speed.

How to Establish an SEO Budget?

Crafting a realistic SEO budget for your business involves several key steps:

Assess Your Budget Allocations: Begin by understanding how your company allocates its marketing budget. Determine the portion available for SEO initiatives and consider advocating for a larger share if necessary.

Define Your Requirements: Outline your goals, preferred outsourcing level, and provider type. Location is also a factor to consider, as it impacts SEO pricing. Decide whether you’re open to outsourcing SEO to a different region.

Evaluate Your SEO Needs: Evaluate the extent of work required by your provider to advance your SEO objectives. Use tools like Screaming Frog to assess factors such as your site’s backlink profile and on-page SEO status.

Determine Your Budget: Based on your research, establish your desired budget. For instance, hiring SEO or PPC experts for hourly tasks may require a monthly expenditure of around $3,200 for 40 hours of work.

Present Your Proposal: If necessary, prepare a compelling pitch to propose your budget. Highlight the potential bottom-line benefits of SEO, such as attracting qualified leads and boosting online sales, along with the advantages of outsourcing SEO.

For more details, you can also read our article on SEO services for winning at SEO on budget.

How to Select an SEO Payment Plan?

SEO Payment Plan

Opting for the ideal SEO payment plan involves careful consideration:

Assess Your SEO Needs: Determine your company’s SEO objectives. Do you seek to address specific issues, like enhancing page speed, or establish and maintain a comprehensive SEO strategy?

Outline Your Timeline: Establish your preferred timeline. Are you embarking on a site migration project in the next month and require immediate SEO assistance, or do you aim to implement gradual website optimizations over time?

Review Your SEO Budget: Investigate the allocated funds for SEO within your organization and their availability. Understand whether your company releases department funds annually, quarterly, or monthly, as this influences your payment plan options.

Choose Your Plan: Based on your assessment, select the payment plan that aligns best with your business objectives. Monthly SEO is suitable for ongoing or long-term projects, while hourly or project-based SEO is ideal for short-term or one-time initiatives.

How to Evaluate SEO Prices?

Evaluate SEO pricing effectively using these strategies:

Review Plan Deliverables: Familiarize yourself with the services included in each pricing plan. Be cautious of excessively low prices, which often indicate subpar quality and may lead to undesirable outcomes.

Ask Questions: Schedule a meeting with the agency, consultant, or freelancer to discuss their pricing structure. Inquire about additional fees, such as overtime charges, and clarify any uncertainties regarding the pricing terms.

Examine the Contract: Thoroughly review the contract provided by the service provider. Pay attention to details such as short-term promotional rates and clauses allowing rate adjustments without notice.

How to Identify Cheap SEO Pricing?

Cheap SEO Pricing

Identify affordable yet effective SEO pricing options using these techniques:

Analyze the Price: Evaluate the pricing of Google SEO services. Prices below $500 per month or $50 per hour often indicate cheap SEO. Be cautious of providers advertising exceptionally low rates, as they may compromise on quality.

Scrutinize the Deliverables: Compare the services offered with the price quoted. If the deliverables seem too good to be true in relation to the price, reconsider your options. Some providers may withhold specific deliverables in low-cost SEO plans.

Read Reviews: Research the reputation of SEO companies, consultants, or freelancers online. Pay attention to common feedback regarding results, work quality, and client satisfaction to gauge the provider’s reliability.

For more information, you can read our blog post on building your SEO blueprint.

How to Request Custom SEO Pricing

Obtain personalized SEO pricing tailored to your business needs with these steps:

Define Your Requirements: Provide detailed specifications, such as your preference for full-service SEO or specific focus areas like off-page optimization. Clearly outline any preferences or exclusions for your SEO plan.

Research Your Options: Narrow your selection of SEO pricing requests to your top choices. Review reviews and case studies to assess the suitability of agencies, consultants, or freelancers for your requirements.

Consult Your Potential Provider: Meet with your chosen SEO provider to discuss your needs further. Share additional insights about your business during this discussion, allowing the provider to create a tailored quote that accurately matches your objectives, including SEO consulting rates.

Also, we have listed the best SEO companies in India that you may find helpful.


Explore answers to frequently asked questions about SEO costs:

How much does SEO cost per month?

SEO costs range from $2,000 to $7,000 per month. The monthly cost of SEO for your business is influenced by factors such as company size, service provider location, and the specific deliverables included in your SEO package prices. Request a custom quote tailored to your needs for the most accurate pricing.

Why is SEO Important?

The reason why SEO is expensive and essential is clear: you want to be visible where it counts. Consider this – 75% of users never venture beyond the first page of search results. Securing top rankings for relevant keywords and phrases is essential to ensure your business gets noticed and contacted.

Studies indicate that the first page of organic search results boasts a 71% click-through rate (CTR), while pages two and three collectively garner a mere 6% CTR – a significant drop.

The higher your position in search results, the more visitors you’ll attract to your site. This translates to reaching a broader audience and generating increased revenue for your business.

How much does SEO cost per hour?

On average, SEO services are priced between $40 and $800 per hour. The hourly rate for SEO varies depending on factors such as the service provider’s experience, the scope of SEO deliverables, and available resources.

For precise hourly rates, requesting custom pricing based on your requirements is recommended. You can also reach out to us to hire PPC experts.

How much does SEO cost per project?

On average, SEO projects range from $1999 to $5000. The cost of project-based SEO is determined by factors like project requirements, size, and deadlines, as well as the service provider’s experience, location, and resources. To obtain accurate project-based SEO pricing, consider requesting a customized quote.

How much does in-house SEO cost?

When you hire SEO experts for in-house SEO, it typically costs between $55,000 to $75,000 annually, which includes the salary of an SEO specialist along with benefits like taxes and insurance. The total investment in conducting SEO in-house varies based on factors such as company location, candidate qualifications, and the scale of the SEO program.

Does PixelCrayons offer custom SEO pricing?

Yes! You can buy pre-built SEO packages and leverage custom pricing options starting at $3,000 per month. Our customized SEO pricing allows you to tailor your SEO strategy to specific needs and objectives.

Client Success Stories

We are pleased to serve our clients and take great pride in delivering quality services that exceed their expectations. Here is what some of them have to say about us: