SEO Pricing Guide: How Much Does SEO Cost in 2024?

  • AFX
SEO Pricing Guide

SEO, or search engine optimization, is crucial for your business but you have no idea how much SEO optimization costs or how to budget for it. Search engine optimization costs can vary widely depending on your needs and goals. The good news is that, with some research, you can find an SEO strategy and solution that fits your budget.

In this guide, we’ll break down exactly how much SEO will cost in 2024 based on factors like your business size, location, competition, and more. We’ll explore the different SEO pricing models, like hourly rates, monthly retainers, and project-based pricing, so you know what to look for. Afx Web Studio also provides tips to determine if an SEO company’s fees seem reasonable and in line with industry standards.

The secret to SEO success is finding the right partner, not necessarily the cheapest or most expensive one. Let’s dive in!

Factors That Influence SEO Pricing

The costs of search engine optimization depend on several factors, including:

  • Your business goals. Do you want to rank higher in search engines or drive more traffic? The more complex your goals, the higher the price tag.
  • Your target keywords. Ranking for highly competitive terms can cost more. Keywords with high search volume and commercial intent may also increase costs.
  • Your location. SEO pricing varies in different areas and countries. Services tend to cost more in places with a higher cost of living.
  • Experience of the SEO agency or consultant. Established experts with a proven track record of success will likely charge higher rates than newcomers.
  • Services offered. A full range of SEO services—keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, content creation, technical SEO, reporting, etc.—will cost more than basic keyword ranking services alone.
  • Additional fees. Some SEO companies may charge extra for meetings, phone calls, SEO tools and software, or other expenses on top of their service fees. Make sure you understand all potential charges upfront.

You can expect to pay between $500 and $10,000 per month for international SEO services in 2024, depending on the factors that influence your unique situation. The investment can be well worth it for long-term success, so choose your SEO partner wisely!

Average SEO Costs for Different Business Sizes

How much does seo cost

How much does SEO cost per month? If you run a small business, you’ll be looking at the lower end of the range, from $500 to $2,000 per month. This should get you set up with on-page optimization, link building, and basic keyword research.

For mid-sized companies, the cost of SEO services will likely be between $2,000 and $5,000 per month. At this level, you can expect expanded keyword research, authoritative link building, and comprehensive on-page optimization. Some technical SEO and analytics are also typically included.

Enterprise SEO engagements usually start at around $5,000 per month and can go up to $10,000 or more, depending on the complexity of your site and campaign. For this investment, you’ll get advanced link building, extensive keyword research, on-page optimization, and technical SEO. Your SEO acronyms will also provide detailed reporting and analytics to track progress and make data-driven decisions.

While SEO pricing depends on many factors, the good news is that there are options at every budget level. The key is finding an SEO company that suits your needs and will get you real, measurable results. After all, the goal of any SEO campaign should be to drive more organic traffic, increase visibility, and boost conversions.

SEO Pricing Models: Hourly, Monthly Retainer, and Project-Based

There are a few common pricing models for SEO services. Let’s go over the options so you can determine what will work best for your business and budget.


You only pay for the time the SEO expert or agency spends working on your account when you use hourly SEO pricing. Typically, hourly search engine optimization rates range from $50 to $200 per hour. The benefit is that you only pay for the work being done. The downside is that SEO can be unpredictable, so costs may vary from month to month. Hourly pricing works best if you need SEO tasks done occasionally or have a tight budget.

How much does SEO cost for a small business? For a small local business, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per hour. For a midsized business targeting regional keywords, $100 to $150 per hour is common. National brands targeting competitive keywords on a large scale will pay $150 per hour or more for an experienced SEO agency.

Questions to Ask When Evaluating SEO Providers

When researching SEO companies, ask the right questions to determine if they’re the right fit for your needs and budget. A few things you’ll want to ask:

Do they have experience optimizing sites in your industry or niche? SEO strategies can vary across industries, so choose a provider familiar with your field.

What kind of results have they achieved for clients? Ask for examples of the rankings and traffic increases they’ve delivered. Legitimate SEO companies should be transparent with case studies and client success stories.

What SEO principles do they use? You want a company that focuses on building high-quality, ethical backlinks, creating optimized content, making technical fixes, and improving the user experience—not just link-building spam.

How do they track and report on your SEO progress? Look for detailed reports on rankings, traffic, backlinks, and more. They should also provide recommendations to keep improving your SEO.

How much do SEO packages cost? SEO pricing varies widely depending on the scope of services. Get quotes from multiple providers before choosing a package within your budget.

Do they have a satisfaction guarantee? Reputable SEO companies will stand by their service and offer a guarantee of some kind. This shows they’re confident in their abilities to deliver real results.

Tips for Getting the Most Value from Your SEO Investment

How much does seo cost

To get the most bang for your buck from SEO, keep these tips in mind:

Compare Apples to Apples.

When evaluating SEO proposals, make sure you’re comparing the same services. Some companies may charge less because they’re offering fewer services. Know what’s included before signing a contract.

Set Clear Goals.

Work with your SEO provider to establish concrete goals, like increasing organic traffic by 25% in 6 months. This helps give SEO efforts direction and makes it easier to determine if you’re getting results. Be open to revising goals based on initial progress.

Track Your Rankings.

Use a tool like Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to monitor how your site ranks for key terms over time. Rising rankings are a sign that your SEO investment is paying off. Stagnant or dropping rankings indicate it may be time to re-evaluate your strategy.

Measure Other Metrics.

Rankings aren’t the only thing that matters. Look at referral traffic, click-through rates, and conversions to get the full picture. High rankings don’t mean much if they’re not driving business results.

Stay Involved

Don’t hand off SEO responsibilities completely to an agency or consultant. Stay involved in strategy discussions, check in on progress, and provide feedback. The more you engage, the more tailored and effective your SEO efforts can be.

How Much Does Seo Usually Cost?

So how much does professional SEO typically cost? As with many services, SEO pricing can vary quite a bit depending on the campaign’s specifics and the agency’s or consultant’s experience. However, you can expect to pay:

  • Around $500 to $2,000 monthly for ongoing SEO from a small agency or consultant. This often includes keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building.
  • Between $2,000 and $5,000 per month for mid-sized agencies with a few years of experience. They’ll provide a wider range of services and often faster results.
  • $5,000 per month or more for larger, established agencies. They have the resources and expertise to handle complex, competitive campaigns. Enterprise SEO engagements with major agencies typically start around $10,000 per month.

The total cost will also depend on the number of web pages optimized, how competitive your keywords are, and how fast you want to achieve results. SEO is an ongoing process, so most companies budget for at least 6–12 months of work to significantly improve their organic search traffic.

Some agencies charge on an hourly basis, typically between $100 and $200 per hour. Others charge a monthly retainer fee. The specific services, deliverables, and metrics to measure success should be outlined in your SEO contract before kicking off a campaign. SEO pricing may increase over time as Google’s algorithms become more advanced and competitive, but a good agency can achieve results within your budget.

How Much Does An SEO Platform Cost?

How much does seo cost

SEO platforms offer tools and services to help businesses improve their search rankings. The cost will depend on the specific features and level of service.


If you want to handle SEO, you can access free or low-cost tools to get started. Google’s Keyword Planner helps determine keywords, and Google Analytics tracks site analytics. You can also use free content management systems like WordPress. However, managing SEO in-house requires a significant time commitment to gain expertise.

Freemium and low-cost SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz offer beginner-friendly interfaces to identify keywords, audit on-page SEO, and track rankings. Prices start around $100–$500/month. These tools work for small businesses on a budget, although they may lack the advanced features of enterprise-level SEO platforms.

SEO Agency Services

Hiring an SEO agency provides the benefit of having experienced professionals optimize your site and run SEO campaigns. Agency fees vary but often cost $1,000–$10,000 per month or more, depending on the scope of services. SEO agency pricing may be worthwhile for midsize and enterprise companies that want to outsource the workload and gain the best results.

You have options at every price point to fit your business needs and budget. For small sites, starting with free tools and learning SEO fundamentals can be an affordable way to improve visibility. As your site and goals grow more complex, investing in SEO platforms and agency services helps take your optimization to the next level.

Is Seo Worth It For Small Businesses?

SEO costs for small businesses with limited marketing budgets can be an affordable way to drive organic traffic to your website. While SEO pricing varies depending on factors like location, experience, and services offered, you have options to fit most small business budgets.

Do It Yourself.

If you have time to invest in learning SEO best practices, you can implement an SEO strategy yourself at no cost. Focus on on-page optimizations like using target keywords in your page titles, URLs, and content. Build internal links between relevant pages on your site. And create a blog to generate organic traffic over time.

Hire A Freelance SEO Consultant.

Freelance SEO consultants typically charge between $50 and $150 per hour. For a few hundred dollars per month, a freelancer can help you with technical SEO audits, keyword research, and link building. They can get your SEO strategy up and running, and then you take over ongoing optimizations and content creation.

Work With An SEO Agency.

SEO agencies offer comprehensive SEO services but at a higher cost, typically starting around $1,000 to $5,000 per month for small businesses. However, agencies have teams of SEO experts, so they can achieve greater results faster. If boosting traffic and revenue is a high priority, the return on investment from hiring an agency may well be worth the cost.

For any small business, a good SEO strategy is essential to competing online. While a significant investment, the rewards of higher organic traffic, more customers, and increased revenue can make SEO worth the cost, whether you do it yourself or work with a consultant or agency. The options are there to fit most budgets. With the right strategy and effort, SEO success is possible for small businesses.

How Long Does It Take To Do Seo?

How much does seo cost

SEO is not an overnight process. Optimizing your website and content takes time to implement fully and see results. In general, you can expect:

  • 3 to 6 months of initial SEO work to start seeing gradual improvements in rankings and traffic. This includes technical fixes, content creation, link building, and more.
  • 6 to 12 months to achieve most of your target keywords and desired rankings. Competitive terms can take 9–18 months.
  • Ongoing monitoring and adjustments to maintain and improve rankings. SEO is a continual process as search engines evolve and competitors intensify their efforts.

Many factors determine how fast SEO results can be achieved:

  • The competitiveness of your industry and keywords. More competitive areas take longer.
  • Authority and trust in your domain. Established sites with good authority take less time.
  • The quality and quantity of optimized content. The more useful content you have, the faster SEO gains you’ll see.
  • How aggressively do you build high-quality backlinks? More links mean faster rankings. But focus on quality over quantity.
  • Using an experienced SEO agency or consultant. Their expertise can help speed up results.

In the end, effective SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. But with a strategic, long-term approach, you’ll gain sustainable traffic and leads over time. Stay patient and consistent for the best outcomes.

How Much Does Local SEO Cost?

Local SEO focuses on optimizing your online presence to rank higher in local search results and drive more local customers to your business. For small businesses, local SEO can be more affordable than broader SEO campaigns.

Pricing for local SEO services typically ranges from $500 to $5,000 per month. The cost depends on the scope of services, your location, and the competitiveness of your industry. A small business in a less competitive market may pay on the lower end of that range, while a larger company in a bigger city may pay $3,000–$5,000 or more for local SEO.

Some of the specific local SEO services that factor into the cost include:

  • Optimizing your Google My Business listing
  • Submitting your business to local directories
  • Building local citations and reviews
  • Optimizing your website for local searches
  • Creating location pages or microsites
  • Running a local link-building campaign
  • Managing local paid search and social ads

The investment in an experienced local SEO agency or consultant is worth it to establish a strong local search presence, attract more customers from your area, and boost your bottom line. While the upfront cost may seem high, the long-term rewards of ranking well in local search results are huge.

How much does seo cost

Automated local SEO

Automated local SEO tools can help streamline the process of optimizing your business for local search rankings. These tools automatically build and optimize your:

  • Business listings on sites like Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Facebook.
  • Citations are found across dozens of local directories like Yelp, YellowPages, and Hotfrog.
  • Reviews by sending review requests to customers and monitoring review sites.
  • On-page optimization involves optimizing your title tags, meta descriptions, content, and internal linking for local SEO.
  • Reporting to see how your rankings and listings change over time.

Using an automated tool saves you the time and effort of doing all this work manually. The top tools are also very affordable, often only costing between $50 and $500 per month, depending on the number of locations and features. For most local businesses, the time savings and potential increase in revenue from higher local search rankings make the investment in an automated local SEO tool well worth the cost.

Local SEO Software

Some top options for automated local SEO tools include Moz Local, BrightLocal, Chatmeter, and Local Vox. Each platform offers similar core features like listing management, citation building, and reporting but has different strengths. Compare a few options to find the right fit for your business’s needs and budget.

Small-Scale Local SEO

You likely don’t need a huge SEO campaign if you’re a small local business. Focus on optimizing for local searches to reach customers in your area.

Build a Google My Business listing. This free tool allows you to provide details about your business, like hours of operation, photos, and reviews from local customers. Google prominently displays this information in local search results, so it’s key for ranking well locally.

Optimize your website for local SEO. Include your business name, address, and phone number on every page. Use your city and state names in page titles and content. Create location pages highlighting your address, contact information, hours, and a map.

Create local social profiles. Set up pages for your business on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Engage with customers and promote your latest news, sales, events, and more. Link to your social profiles from your website.

Run a local PPC campaign. Use Google Ads to target customers searching in your city and zip code. Send them to your website or a special local landing page. PPC ads are a fast way to start generating local traffic and leads.

Build local links. Seek out links from city guides, local organizations, newspaper sites, and relevant industry resources in your area. Ask happy clients to link to your site too. Local links carry more weight for local SEO.

Doing small things like these can lead to big improvements in your local search rankings over time. While massive SEO campaigns are great for huge companies, as a small local business, focus on community engagement and optimizing for your hometown customers.

Comprehensive Local SEO

These campaigns aim to improve your search rankings and visibility on Google Maps and other local listing sites. To rank well locally, focus on:

  • Building location citations. Submit your business name, address, and phone number to sites like Yelp, Facebook, Bing, and Apple Maps. The more sites that have your correct information, the higher you’ll rank.
  • optimizing your Google My Business listing. Make sure your business hours, photos, and contact details are up-to-date. Ask happy customers to leave reviews. Respond to all reviews to build trust.
  • Creating location-optimized content. Publish blog posts, news articles, and social media updates that mention your location and area of service. Use your city and state name in titles, headers, alt text, and page content.
  • Building location-based backlinks. Get dofollow backlinks from other local sites like chamber of Commerce chapters, networking groups, city blogs, and university organizations in your area. Local backlinks carry more weight.
  • Encouraging social shares. Run contests and promotions on social media that require people to check in or tag your location. This boosts your local authority in search rankings.
  • Improving on-page optimization. Use your city, state, and ZIP code in your page titles, meta descriptions, alt text, and content. Make sure your full address, phone number, and hours of operation are easy to find on your website.

Following these local SEO best practices can drive more foot traffic into your brick-and-mortar business. Be patient and consistent, as local results may take 3 to 6 months of work to significantly improve. But the rewards of ranking higher on Google Maps and other sites will be well worth the effort.


An overview of how much search engine optimization will cost in 2024 and beyond. Though it’s not inexpensive, SEO can have a significant return on investment if done correctly by a qualified individual or company.

Finding an SEO company that meets your needs and budget is now possible with the knowledge you’ve gained. Regardless of the size of the firm, small local agency, or individual consultant you choose, be sure to thoroughly screen them, review their references and case studies, and confirm that their methodology fits with your company’s objectives. While SEO requires investment, with the right partner it can propel your company to new heights.


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