Search engine optimization is what connects your company to the most customers. In 2022, SEO will be the second most effective channel for acquiring new customers, and nearly half of marketing teams hope to increase their digital marketing budgets in 2023.

If you’re one of those marketers looking to up your SEO game, you’ve probably researched a ton of content about SEO costs in 2023. That’s what we’re here for. No matter how big or small your budget is, we’ll guide you in choosing the right paid SEO service.

1. So, how much does SEO cost?

We know business owners want straight answers here. You want a number that fits perfectly within your monthly or annual budget. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

The reality is that the cost of SEO can vary greatly depending on the SEO services you need or want. SEO package pricing varies based on many factors, such as the amount of content required, expectations, projections of business growth, and the scope of services required.

When you get an SEO pricing quote from a marketing agency, you should have a good idea of ​​what to expect so that you aren’t overcharged or surprised later. In this guide, we hope to help businesses of all sizes understand how to properly budget for quality SEO services and avoid being taken advantage of.


2. How is SEO price determined?

To get an accurate estimate of SEO pricing from a marketer or agency, you first need to provide some information about your business. This will help SEO marketers determine how much work is required, the type of content required, and approximately how long the project will take to complete.

The following are some of the most important factors (but they are not limited to):

  • The current status of your search status
  • average revenue per sale
  • Close rate of potential customers and sales
  • Activity goal
  • What is your desired turnaround time
  • How the current marketing budget is allocated (e.g., as a percentage of total sales)

This partly explains why SEO pricing points can vary so widely.

3. What is a “reasonable” price for SEO services?

Be wary of companies offering services for $150 per month or less, especially when you consider that the average annual salary for an SEO specialist will be over $60,000 in 2023 (according to Glassdoor). For such low costs, companies or experts either rely on shady methods (such as linking schemes) or provide little results.

Generally speaking, you should pay a reasonable price of $1,500 to $5,000 per month for large projects, or $100 to $300 for hourly services. Of course, these numbers and “fair” pricing can vary greatly depending on your needs, requirements, and location.

One thing to note is that according to Search Engine Magazine, clients who pay more for SEO services over the years tend to report higher levels of satisfaction. In many ways, SEO services are a deal where you get what you pay for.

SEO cost

4. Are monthly SEO services a better option?

When researching the cost of SEO, understand up front that it will be an ongoing service or solution you need, rather than a one-time option. In addition to your goals and desires for your business, SEO pricing is also affected by the type of services you want. It is impossible to consider this aspect without exploring quality issues.

It’s worth pointing out that most SEO strategies require monthly attention, including link-building and content marketing. SEO is not a one-time project; it requires constant updating, analysis, and adjustments to deliver the desired results.

Content and links must be continuously upgraded and improved. That’s why most business owners are more than willing to pay an upfront monthly fee for quality SEO services.

5. How much does local SEO cost?

You may be marketing to a local customer base. If so, we thought you might be asking yourself this question: How much does local SEO cost?

The good news is that local SEO is relatively cheaper than global SEO services. You’re dealing with a much smaller, more focused audience, and the competition is much lower. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for local SEO campaigns to cost as little as $300 per month, depending on your needs.

1) What types of local SEO services are available?

As with global SEO, the amount you pay will depend on the pricing model you’re interested in and the SEO package you need. Generally speaking, local SEO can be divided into three categories:

#1. Automated local SEO ($300-$500 per month)

This is usually the cheapest option and will ensure that business information is provided to the directory. This includes making sure all contact information (such as phone numbers, addresses, and email links) on sites like Yelp or the Yellow Pages is correct.

However, this alone will not improve your search rankings, as this is only necessary information that Google uses for geographic search results. Still, if you only operate from one location and want to target customers within a specific city or state, this is enough to gain visibility. These services will involve updating all business accounts on location-based websites and incorporating necessary links and information that customers commonly search for. It doesn’t involve content marketing or social media management.

#2. Small-Scale Local SEO ($400-$900 per month)

These campaigns typically involve the creation of highly targeted ads that run in a specific area for a period of time. This often includes pay-per-click advertising or social media campaigns that are highly localized to reach geographic audiences.

Small SEO is designed for small businesses that serve a limited area and only need to target customers within a specific mileage. This is great for keeping costs low while reaching a highly relevant audience.

The key here is understanding how to optimize your content to match local search intent and finding clever ways to target audiences that meet the necessary criteria. While this is more powerful than automated SEO, a small local SEO marketer will help you cover the basics without getting into the real details. This may be a good starting point, but it doesn’t guarantee any rapid growth.

SEO cost

#3. Comprehensive local SEO (from $4,000 per month)

This event offers more in-depth options covering all aspects of SEO, including (but not limited to):

  • Paid search management
  • Content management
  • Report
  • Google My Business Management
  • social media
  • link building
  • Citation optimization
  • Online comment management

Such services can provide you with more transparency into exactly where your marketing dollars are being spent. Comprehensive SEO focuses on analytical reporting to track metrics such as online traffic growth, conversion rates, and visibility.

The reporting services provided with these more comprehensive local SEO services should focus on call tracking and conversions to help you clearly measure ROI.

Other key performance indicators included in comprehensive SEO tracking include:

  • Ranking list
  • backlinks
  • analyze
  • paid search
  • competition
  • Website health
  • Google My Business
  • Comment
  • citation
  • social media engagement

There is no doubt that local SEO packages will increase with more comprehensive services. However, they are intensive; detailed marketing campaigns can provide greater value and higher returns.

6. What are the other SEO pricing factors?

In addition to the typical differences between company rates, SEO pricing plans can be affected by a variety of factors.

1) Industry

Some industries are more likely than others to market online and therefore be more competitive. If you look at the most expensive keywords on Google, you’ll find that attorneys, medical practices, financial firms, locksmiths, and auto mechanics all fall into this category. Other industries where keywords are expensive and competitive include (but are not limited to) real estate, marketing services, software companies, and home improvement businesses.

In some cases, the CPC (cost per click) for these highly competitive keywords can exceed $1,000! Niche businesses often have the upper hand here because they can leverage longer keyword phrases or additional keywords with lower competition (and lower prices).

SEO pricing for different industries largely depends on the monthly search volume of a specific industry.

For example, a company that has thousands of searches for its services every month will need to invest more in an SEO package. Additionally, a company that serves many similar businesses will need to invest more in order to outperform others.

SEO cost

2) Geographical location

Everything from a city’s population or which part of the area you’re targeting affects SEO pricing. Even personal factors can have an impact. For example, snow tire service in Alaska is more competitive than in Florida or Southern California.

Of course, more concentrated metropolitan areas also bring more competition. Localized SEO packages in areas like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago will cost significantly more than a business that only wants to target customers who live in nearby towns.

3) The type of service you need

SEO pricing often depends on whether you want to optimize your site for organic search, build a review profile, generate a lot of content, etc.

This can determine which type of SEO pricing structure is the best option for your business. For example, if you just need help setting up a Google My Business account and optimizing website tags, this may be a one-time fee per project. If you need to build a strong blog and want to rank higher on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), a monthly subscription service may be a better option.

4) Current brand awareness and popularity

SEO pricing also changes based on where your brand currently stands in terms of visibility and recognition. If you’re a brand new company starting from scratch, there’s going to be a lot of legwork that needs to be done. On the other hand, if your business has been around for a while and has an established search presence, you will need to focus more on optimization and maintenance.

7. How should you determine your budget for SEO services?

“How much does local SEO cost?” you may ask. ” This is even the right question.

It might be better to ask “How much money do I need to set aside for SEO?”

According to the results of the 2022 CMO Survey, most companies spent 8% to 13% of company revenue on marketing expenses last year. Another report (Garner’s 2022 State of Marketing Budgets and Strategy ) reports that more than half of all digital spending is allocated to paid channels, but at least 8.5% is still spent on SEO.

So if you’re looking for a place to start planning your marketing budget, we generally recommend aiming for at least 8% of your company’s revenue. Then, allocate at least 8% of that number to SEO strategies. Of course, this is a suggestion – your company’s unique needs and goals will determine your budget more specifically.

First and foremost – you have to determine how far apart you are from your competitors and how much effort you need to put in to start surpassing them.

SEO cost

8. Conclusion

We hope this gives you an insider’s account and gives you an idea of ​​the SEO pricing structure and the factors that influence what you pay. There is no one-size-fits-all budget for businesses in need of SEO services. Cost depends on a variety of factors, but the more you are able (and willing) to spend on quality work, the better the results and ROI will be. At Donsafe, we provide scalable, professional SEO services and solutions to fit your business budget.