SEO Pricing: Cost of SEO for Small Businesses in 2024

Are you a small business looking to bring SEO into your marketing game?, if so, then you should be worried about the cost of SEO. 

Although a lot of newbies call this SEO optimization, technically it is referred to as  Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but let’s cut the fluff and focus on the cost of SEO. 

The cost of optimizing for search engines is not fixed, it has a lot of determinants and cost drivers leading to why anyone would decide to pay for SEO or not.

This article will be a great guide to knowing the cost of Search Engine Optimization for your business.

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Best Cost Of SEO Optimization for Small Businesses

Also Read: SurgeGraph AI Review: Best AI SEO Content Writer


Is SEO Free?


Whether you are well-established or still building a business, your web presence is an important part of your business’s success and growth. More than 53% of consumers do online research before they purchase a product, and getting your pages ranked on search engines can bring great deals and business growth.

SEO is not free, but it is very essential for a website’s growth. it’s one of the best things that can happen to any online business. It is an important aspect of marketing strategy and can take your business to the next level.


What do SEO Services Include?


SEO services vary between different providers which is why there are no standard prices for SEO services. Typically, SEO services include the following deliverables: 

  • Initial website and SEO audit
  • Developing and executing an SEO campaign
  • Keyword research and integration
  • Writing content for your blog
  • On-page SEO, including title tag, URL, and meta description optimizations
  • Off-page SEO, like backlink outreach and implementation 
  • Competitor analysis
  • Technical SEO, like Improving the loading speed of your website
  •  and responsive web design
  • Ongoing reports and analysis of your SEO performance
  • Updating pages on your website.
  • Monitoring and updating the internal linking structure
  • Managing your local SEO presence.
  • Custom strategy
  • Tracking Monthly Performance 
  • ROI tracking
  • First-party data activation.

Factors that Determine the Cost of SEO For Small Businesses?


You might wonder why SEO pricing varies even for the same services. A lot of factors go into SEO pricing. Some of the most important factors that influence the cost of SEO include:

Getting an accurate cost of SEO pricing from an agency or freelancer, some information about your business will be needed to help an SEO agency or freelancer determine just how much work will be required, the type of content, and project duration.

Information about a business needed to help an SEO agency or freelancer.

  • The current state of your search presence
  • Campaign goals
  • How quickly you want to see results
  • The average revenue per sale
  • What is the business budget for SEO?
  • Close rate of leads to sales
  • Your company’s needs and goals.

After getting the information above, the SEO agency or freelancer now gets to use the following

Factors to influence the cost of SEO:


        1. Skills and Specialty

SEO professionals with development and coding skills tend to charge significantly more than those who don’t possess these skills.

Having an understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript will help to ensure websites are set up in a user-friendly way, and identify issues with rendering, indexation, and crawlability.

Even SEO professionals who specialize in link building are paid well too.

SEO professionals who specialize in one task oftentimes charge more than those who provide general SEO services.  Speciality leads to higher rates.

        2. Results and Experience

Years of experience are a big factor when it comes to SEO writing. Professionals with years of experience and good results can charge a premium for SEO services because their results show they can deliver.

Results and Experience are important factors to consider when choosing an SEO agency because a proven track record shows that they have skills and can deliver results, this reduces the risk of working with them.

        3. Agency Or Freelancers

SEO agencies charge premiums more than individual freelancers, sometimes agencies put more resources into running a campaign. Working with an agency will give the client assurance of the delivery of a quality and perfect campaign but this doesn’t apply to all agencies. Individual freelancers who are good at their jobs could still deliver an excellent job at an affordable price. 

Moreover, It is statically recorded that an agency charges more than an individual freelancer because the agency works with a team of experts while a freelancer handles the work alone.

73.3% of SEO agencies command $1,001+ per project, compared to only 64% of consultants and 40.68% of freelancers.

The most common per-project fee for freelancers is $101–$250. For SEO agencies, it’s $2,501–$5,000. And for consultants, it’s $5,001–$10,000.

According to stats, the per-project fee charged by SEO agencies is more than 4X that of SEO freelancers.

       4. Geographic Location

Everything from a city’s population or what part of an area you are targeting will impact SEO pricing. Even individual factors can have an impact. For instance, snow tire services would be more competitive in Alaska compared to Florida or Southern California.

Of course, more concentrated metropolitan areas will also have more competition. Costs for localized SEO packages in areas like New York City, Santa Monica, and Chicago will be far higher than for businesses that only want to target customers living in small nearby towns.

         5. Types of Services Offered

SEO plans that include more, cost more although certain SEO services cost significantly more than others. Either because they’re require specific expertise or more time-consuming and these different services impact SEO pricing. Below is a list of expensive SEO services:

Expensive SEO Services
  • Link building
  • NAP citation building
  • Web design and development
  • E-commerce SEO
  • Enterprise SEO
  • Creating visual assets (like infographics)
  • Digital PR
  • Running a site’s content marketing
  • Coding or programming

Cheap SEO Services
  • Google My Business account 
  • Social media management
  • On-page and on-site SEO
  • Writing simple blog posts
  • SEO audits
  • Creating an SEO strategy plan
  • Guest posting

Best Cost and Pricing Models for SEO Packages

There is no direct way to know the cost of SEO because it differs depending on the SEO services you need or want, the amount of content needed, expectations, the scope of the project for business growth, the size of your business, SEO provider.

Your cost of SEO depends on how much you need to do to outrank your competition and also how much the tools and outsourcing will cost you.

According to the Search Engine Journal’s State of SEO Agency Report in 2022, most businesses have budgets that range from $500/month to $10,000/month. However, the same report also indicates that nearly 60% of agency SEO professionals expect their clients’ budgets to increase at least a little within the next 12 months.

The Search Engine Journal also shared that businesses with under $5,000/month budgets were likely to allocate the highest percentage of their spending toward SEO-specific services – more than what they spent on paid media, social media, design, influencer marketing, etc.

As you launch a new website, you need to understand that your SEO cost will be pricier upfront, but as your site becomes established in the search engine results pages (SERPs), it becomes less expensive and more standard monthly plan as they’ll move into a niche work and focus areas monthly.

Here is a pricing I found from one of the top SEO companies:

Pricing Model/Frequency SEO Pricing
Ongoing monthly SEO $1,500 to $5,000 per month
One-time SEO project $5,000 to $30,000 per project
Fixed contract $1,500 to $25,000
Hourly SEO consulting $100 to $300 per hour
SEO copywriting $0.15 to $0.50 per word
Link profile audit $500 to $7,500 per audit
SEO content audit $500 to $7,500 per audit

There are different pricing packages for different business sizes that SEO companies offer like:

Business Size SEO Pricing
Startup $750 to $1500 per month
Small business $1,500 to $3,000 per month
Medium-sized business $1,500 to $5,000 per month
Enterprise $5,000+ per month

The size of your business has an impact on your SEO costs.

SEO services from an experienced agency will bring a higher return on investment (ROI) for your brand.

But,  to make this happen.

Floodgate Digital Services (led by Ferdinand Anok), is an experienced SEO agency, if you want SEO-optimised content that will rank on the first page or search engine results, Floodgates has a superb and dedicated team of trained SEO writers who will take time to know your unique business to craft a personalized and satisfying SEO strategy that helps you achieve and exceed your goals. A trial will convince you.

How Should You Determine Your Budget for SEO Services?

How much you spend on SEO depends on your company’s unique needs and goals. Every organization’s marketing budget is different, but these tips can help you build an SEO budget:

  • Determine where you stand with your competitors and how much work you need to start outranking them.
  • Avoid cheap SEO plans, They tend to deliver below what was the promised deliverables or results.
  • Have SEO goals, your understanding of what you want from SEO will make it easier to find an SEO company that aligns with your goals.
  • Focus on search engine optimization services that measure ROI and deliver bottom-line results.
  • Plan for continuous investment in SEO, this will help your business generate a greater return on investment.

What is the Return on Investments in SEO?

Search engine optimization connects your company to most of your customers. SEO is worthwhile if you work with a reputable partner that has the right strategy in place and knows how to drive results. SEO can significantly have the following ROI

  • Saves time
  • Expedite implementation times for SEO action items
  • Improve rankings and returns for high-competition keywords
  • Optimize in-house costs
  • Rankings
  • Increase visibility
  • Traffic
  • Leads or sales
  • Revenue
  • SEO goals
  • Organizational key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Service expectations etc


The cost of SEO for different industries is largely based on how many monthly searches a specific industry has, the SEO services to be offered, and the budget.

Moreover, you have to take notice of the following 

  • Beware of an SEO agency that gives you a guarantee of results.
  • Invest in an SEO strategy that drives sales
  • Avoid cheap SEO plans
  • Your size of business, like an enterprise or small business, the scale of your SEO project and website, and your SEO goals will largely determine your budget and SEO cost.

Related Article: SurgeGraph AI Review: Best AI SEO Content Writer

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