Cost of SEO Services for Small Businesses | 2023 Edition
6 min read

Cost of SEO Services for Small Businesses | 2023 Edition

Marcin Pastuszek

If you are reading this article you know how SEO is important for your business. It's a fuel. 

I bet you have asked a question, how much does a comprehensive SEO service cost? If you're caught in this predicament, you're not alone. Millions of businesses worldwide are grappling with deciphering the actual costs of SEO services and if these costs are justifiable for their organizations. We took a leap into unmasking the relevance of SEO, its pricing models, and core benefits, to help the budding entrepreneur make an informed decision.

Understanding SEO Pricing: Simplifying of SEO Service Expenses

Are you aware of the most typical monthly cost breakdown for effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services? If you are a small business, you would be looking at costs within the range of $3,000 - $7,500. However, this is merely a broad estimate, with costs potentially diverging significantly due to various influencing factors. SEO costs are an intricate amalgamation of numerous underlying components that can dramatically affect the final quote.

To aid your understanding, let's dissect the key factors contributing to these costs in this informational story. These factors include the nature of your business, its overarching goals, the industry's competitive landscape, and your target audience. Before we dive deeper into the riddle of SEO costs, it's pivotal to grasp SEO's essence and its pivotal role in the contemporary digital landscape.

SEO services include a range of different tasks, which can all contribute to the overall cost of the service. Here are some categories they often include:

  1. SEO Audit & Keyword Research: These are crucial first steps in SEO. SEO professionals carry out intensive research to discover keywords pertinent to your business. Optimization activities are then carried out based on these keywords. The cost can vary, depending on the target keywords' competition level and volume.An SEO audit is a comprehensive assessment of a website to pinpoint areas that need enhancement. It evaluates not just the site's technical infrastructure, but also factors such as keyword implementation, content quality, user experience, and social media connectivity. The price for an audit depends on the depth of the analysis and the duration of the review.
  2. On-page Optimization: This refers to optimizing individual web pages to rank higher in search results. It covers aspects like meta tags, title tags, header tags, URL structure, image alt tags, and optimized content, among others. The cost here is usually based on the number of pages that need to be optimized.
  3. Off-page Optimization: This is all about your website's relationship with the rest of the web. It includes link building, social media marketing, guest posting, influencer outreach and so on. The cost here is often dependent on the number of backlinks built, the quality of sites linked to, and the relevance of those sites to your own.
  4. Technical SEO: This deals with non-content elements like enhancing mobile-friendliness, use of JavaScript, data markup, XML sitemaps, loading speed, etc. The cost here will depend on the complexity of the website and the amount of technical work required.
  5. Local SEO: If you're a business with a physical location or serve a specific geographic area, local SEO is crucial. This includes optimizing your business for local search results, setting up and optimizing Google My Business and other local listings. The cost is typically a monthly or yearly fee.
  6. Content Marketing: SEO services often include creating and marketing valuable content. It could be blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, etc. Fees are usually based on the type and amount of content created.
  7. Reporting and Analysis: This includes tracking the impact of SEO strategies and reporting on analytics, key performance indicators (KPIs), return on investment (ROI), etc. The cost usually depends on the complexity of reporting and frequency of reports.

Remember, costs may vary from agency to agency, region to region, and are subject to the complexity and scale of SEO project.

SEO pricing models

As a business, your decision to invest in SEO services should align with your unique requirements, current industry trends, and more importantly, your ultimate goals. These factors determine the selection of different pricing mechanisms, such as retainer-based SEO pricing, SEO hourly rates, and one-time SEO costs. Each pricing structure provides specific benefits and will influence your company's finances differently.

So, what distinguishes these models?

Retainer-Based SEO Pricing & Monthly Plans - In this structure, you pay a fixed monthly charge for predetermined services. The main benefit of this model is predictability since the monthly expenses are known in advance.

SEO Hourly Rates - Here, you're billed for each hour the agency dedicates to your SEO tasks. This model offers transparency and flexibility as the charges directly equate to the volume of work performed.

One-Time SEO Costs - This model entails investing in a single SEO project. It's appropriate for businesses with a specific and clearly outlined SEO goal to accomplish.

Your next step would be thoroughly evaluating your business's SEO requirements against your budget. Naturally, a larger budget would offer more comprehensive and aggressive SEO strategies, but smaller budgets can also yield tangible benefits by focusing on specific, achievable goals. 

Your call to action should thus be to evaluate whether SEO services align with your business's strategic objectives and if you're ultimately willing to make the required investment.

Is there any other method than outsourcing SEO to an agency?

Yes, there are a couple of alternative methods to grow your organic traffic.

  1. Hire an SEO specialist - You can do this by yourself or use a recruitment agency.
  2. Hire an SEO freelancer - You can find them on platforms like or
  3. Do it yourself with Seodity and Seodity's experts. It's easy to do this with someone who guides you through the process and it's much cheaper than any other option. You can read more about it here ->

SEO Pricing: FAQs

Given the complexity of SEO cost estimation, it is normal to have an array of questions. Among the most common questions are:

How much does a full SEO service cost?

Full SEO service costs are subject to various factors such as the nature of your business, competition, location, SEO goals, and the pricing model adopted. On average, these costs range between $3,000 to $7,500 per month.

How much does it cost to make SEO?

SEO costs, whether you're setting up from scratch or improving an existing model, are generally influenced by your specific business needs, size, competition, geographic location, and specific SEO goals. Average monthly costs stand at roughly $3,000 - $7,500.

Is it worth paying for SEO services?

Investing in SEO can yield significant benefits, including increased visibility, enhanced user experience, and long-term financial gains.

How much does SEO cost for a start-up?

Starting up, SEO costs can be more manageable. Given the often-limited scope of start-ups, the average monthly costs typically are on the lower end of the estimated average ($3,000 to $7,500).

In conclusion, SEO services are an invaluable tool in today's digital marketing world. Although costs may vary, the benefits that come with effective SEO significantly overshadow the associated costs. As you consider incorporating SEO services into your marketing plan, it's essential to analyze costs involved critically and ascertain that they align with your business strategy and budget.

Marcin Pastuszek

Marcin is co-founder of Seodity

Seodity - AI Content Generator fueled by Real SEO data. | Product Hunt