Question: How much does SEO cost?

Answer: A managed SEO plan can cost anywhere from $250/month to over $10,000/month depending on the scope of services, the size of the website, and the experience of the provider that was hired to perform SEO services.

SEO Packages & Pricing:
Let’s Get To The Point

So, you’re looking for how SEO services are priced by agencies. This is the guide that is going to actually answer your question, and if you’re looking for custom pricing, you can scroll down to the bottom and request an SEO pricing quote.

Our SEO services start at $1,500/month. We have 5 pre-set packages that are $1,500, $3,500, $6,500, $12,500, and $19,000 per month, respectively. We also build custom SEO packages with custom SEO pricing depending on the specific needs of our future clients.

On the spectrum of SEO agency pricing, we’re in the mid-to-high range because we’re a boutique agency that delivers massive value, across the board. We rarely accept clients for our $1,500/month plan unless the goals are limited and the industry is extremely uncompetitive. That $1,500/month plan is a local SEO-only plan, meaning that we’re only trying to target customers in a specific region (less than a 60-mile radius around the business or franchise’s location).

PixelCutLabs Isometric SEO Rankings Graphic

SEO Agency Billing Models

It’s time to explore the differences between project-based, hourly, and retainer-based SEO pricing.

Project-Based SEO

Project-based SEO engagements have a clear beginning and end that’s set before the project begins. Project-based SEO is most common in on-site audit & technical SEO analyses because this type of work requires less ongoing maintenance than content and link building.

Hourly SEO

Hourly SEO consulting services provided by SEO consultants and high-performing SEO agencies are great for businesses who want to build a strategy for which they will execute on internally. Hourly SEO consulting ranges from $45/hr (typically overseas) to $850/hr (SEO influencers).

Retainer-Based SEO

Retainer-based SEO is one of the more common SEO pricing structures. The client agrees to pay the agency a monthly (or other intervals) fee for a set list of SEO deliverables. Retainer-based SEO services give the agency ample opportunity to prove their worth (or otherwise).

Get a Custom SEO Pricing Estimate

Answer these questions to find out how much it will cost to reach your goals.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Three Categories of SEO Packages

We’re going to take a closer look at three types of SEO agencies and their respective SEO pricing models.

Low-Cost SEO Packages ($150-$500/mo.)

If you search for “SEO Pricing” or “SEO Packages” on Google (which is probably how you found this page), you’re more than likely to come across SEO retainer pricing in the $150-$500/month range. If you’re a small business on a budget, these may be the best option for you. We’re not going to slam them for being low-quality, because the truth is, some of them are of quality. We just don’t offer services like these because we generate value for clients by offering higher-end services to a smaller audience.

Most often, these packages include Local SEO management (citation building), reporting, and possibly a limited amount of content generation. Don’t expect to get 4 high-end researched blocks of onsite content or blog content from these entry-level plans. As a point of reference, our single blog posts cost, at the very least, $450 each. It’s because we stuff them full of quality and each one is optimized by our in-house SEO experts.

One other thing to consider about inexpensive SEO pricing packages is that, while cost-effective, the agency you’re working with needs to pay their bills. There are two ways this could go (and possibly more that aren’t being considered): Either A) the agency is assigning a large number of clients to a single account manager to support payroll – or B) the agency you’re working with is offshore, or partly offshore, to keep expenses low – thereby passing on savings to you.

If you don’t think you’ll need to speak with your account manager very often, then you’re in the clear. Furthermore, we’ve seen excellent SEO work come out of India, the Phillippines, and elsewhere around the world – it’s just less common than what you may find from SEO professionals in the USA. You’re best off getting references or reading reviews before you sign any contracts with an agency offering low-cost SEO packages (or any SEO agency, for that matter).

Middle-Market SEO Packages ($2,500-$5,000/mo.)

Did you catch the big jump from $500 to $2,500? So did we… as a matter of fact, it seems like very few agencies offer packages priced between these two numbers because it’s an uncomfortable middle-ground between low-cost services and high-end managed SEO. As a matter of fact, we rarely offer our plan that falls between these ranges because we’d rather clients who don’t have accessible funds or the desire to invest more heavily in SEO spend their money on paid advertising to reap greater benefits.

According to this industry study by Ahrefs, the most frequently reported monthly SEO package with services performed by an SEO agency in the United States costs between $2,500 and $5,000/month. Now, do keep in mind, that’s only the most popular segment of pricing from the list of pricing options provided.

At this price point, you’ll typically be working with an independent SEO consultant, an SEO agency, or a high-end SEO freelancer.

SEO plans that exceed $2,500/month in investment should include a good mix of on-site SEO, content development, and link building: the three essential building blocks of a successfully executed SEO strategy. If you’re curious about how we price our only package that falls in the middle-market range (The Kickstart SEO plan) check out the other content on this page for a detailed breakdown.

In most cases, at a $2,500/mo+ price, you’ll be working with SEO experts from Western English regions (The USA, Canada, Th United Kingdom, and so-on) to research, design, and implement your campaign. You’ll typically have a dedicated account manager (known by our clients as “The Advocate”) and will have conversations with your SEO specialist throughout the month.

We love middle-market SEO packages because they give early-stage small businesses the opportunity to experience the positive outcomes delivered by effective content marketing.

High-Investment SEO Packages ($5,000-$25,000+/mo.)

Above $5,000/month, we enter a few new hidden segments of SEO packages. Let’s take a closer look:

Small Business SEOTypically small businesses with less than 50 employees engage in SEO plans that cost as much as $10,000/month (occasionally, much more). – While on the more expensive end, many small businesses make considerable investments in SEO which, if done right, will do great things for those small businesses bottom lines.

Enterprise SEO Services: Lots of enterprise companies spend between $10,000/month and $75,000/month on high-end SEO packages. These SEO plans typically require that agencies have specific teams dedicated to enterprise accounts, depending on the monthly SEO pricing.

eCommerce SEO: eCommerce stores are another big spender when it comes to SEO. The primary reason for this being that revenue can be directly attributed to SEO investment. In other words, it’s very easy to retain and convince eCommerce SEO clients to increase monthly investment in SEO services when you can prove that every $1 they spend on their SEO package brings back $6.50 in revenue.

Aside from these three categories, some companies exist in highly-competitive industries and/or markets. For example, a personal injury attorney in New York City could pay $20,000/month to generate as much search engine visibility as a plumber in a suburban town with 25,000 residents paying $2,000/month.

When we talk about SEO retainers that exceed $10,000/month, a few more elements come into play (in addition to the three core pillars of SEO discussed above). Beyond standard onsite SEO, content development, and link building, high-investment SEO packages may involve the following services:

Public Relations (PR): PR-style link building entails acquiring links from household-name websites including Forbes, USA Today, Manta, Github, and many more. These types of links not only contribute to a site’s overall authority as it relates to PageRank (one of the ways Google tracks a web entity’s authority) but also increase a brand’s credibility and social proof when linking site’s logos are used. These types of links can contribute over $2,000-$5,000 each to an SEO package’s cost.

Infographic and Digital Asset Development: Another reason high-investment SEO plans are so effective (warranting the higher-than-normal cost) is the development of linkable content. SEO agencies and infographic agencies like Killer Infographics (one of our favorite digital agencies) may include services like independent research for developing infographics in-house to add to link building efforts and results.

This is, in no way shape or form, an exhaustive list – rather, a sampling of what could contribute to a higher-investment SEO campaign in the $10,000+ range.

A Real SEO Plan Breakdown

Let’s take a deep dive into the pricing strategy for one of our award-winning entry-level SEO packages.

Kickstart SEO Package – $3,500/mo.

This is our basic SEO package for small businesses with relatively low-competition keywords. This SEO package includes deliverables curated by our senior in-house SEO expert and has achieved a 92% success rate (determined by clients who receive a directly-attributed ROI of at least 1.5X their initial investment by the 12th month of the campaign). This campaign includes the following deliverables every month:

  • 2 onsite SEO content deliverables (about $900) – These content deliverables can be used for your blog, service page, product pages, or other content areas on your website. The content is heavily researched by premium content writers and optimized thoroughly by your campaign’s dedicated in-house SEO specialist. This content is the cornerstone of your Kickstart SEO package and contributes roughly $900 to the total price of the SEO pricing for the Kickstart SEO Package.
  • 3.5 hours of SEO consulting & implementation (about $525) – We designate 3 and 1/2 hours per month to SEO strategy on your campaign from your SEO campaign’s dedicated SEO strategist. Your strategist will typically use this time to optimize your onsite SEO, unless there are other requests that align with your overall SEO goals.
  • 1 hour of senior SEO strategy (about $295) – We designate an hour of senior SEO consulting to this SEO package every single month. During this hour, one of our senior SEO specialists will consider search engine algorithm updates, your campaign’s performance trends, and front-line SEO industry strategies to tailor your campaign’s direction.
  • Agency SEO reporting & research software (about $600) – The Kickstart SEO package includes an arsenal of the best SEO software available to businesses, at a fraction of the cost thanks to our ability to spread the costs across our entire client base. The SEO software suite we use to deliver on Kickstart SEO packages includes Ahrefs, SEMRush, Moz, AnswerThePublic, ScreamingFrog, SpyFu, and many more. Our SEO pricing strategy also includes costs associated with developing and maintaining proprietary SEO reporting software that we offer exclusively to our PixelCutLabs clients.
  • Authority development & link building (about $1,200) – All of our managed SEO plans (including the Kickstart SEO package) include a specific budget designated towards curating and attracting high-authority backlinks. While we would love to disclose the mix of backlinks we acquire as part of each of our plans, we take the liberty to keep this one a secret so that we maintain our national competitive edge when compared to competing SEO agencies.
  • Project management (client advocacy) & agency overhead – We do not create a separate line item for our world-class dedicated project managers (what we call “Advocates” internall and between our excellent clients), nor do we for our agency overhead. The costs of both of these, instead, are included in the other line items listed above.

Frequently Asked SEO Pricing Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions to  about SEO pricing:

How much is SEO per month?

Based on extensive research by Ahrefs, the average agency SEO plan costs $2819 per month. The low-end of the average is around $500 per month, and the high-end of the average is between $25,000 and $50,000 per month.

How much does an SEO audit cost?

A full onsite SEO audit for a website with less than 500 pages costs around $2,500 for basic recommendations, and up to $7,250 for advanced recommendations. Audit implementation can cost between $95/hr and $175/hr.