For businesses in need of a sizable online presence, having a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is the first step. How much does it cost to hire an SEO firm?
SEO is, in simpler terms, the process of improving a website to increase visibility when people search for a particular topic. SEO can help a business page rank higher on Google and drive more website traffic.
When businesses look to hire a full-service SEO company, they likely want to find an agency that will help their services gain more visibility in their specific industry.
For example, a tax accounting firm based in Nebraska would want to drive more customers to their new website. If a small business owner is searching for tax support, they will likely type in “tax accountants in Nebraska” in their favorite search engine to find the right fit for their needs.
An SEO company helps your business be seen first on search engine results pages (SERPs).
This SEO pricing guide will provide more insight into how much it costs to hire an SEO agency and the costs associated with the most popular SEO services.
Search Engine Optimization projects reviewed on Clutch typically cost$10,000 - $49,999
As shown in the chart above, the average SEO project on Clutch ranges from a few thousand dollars to several tens of thousands. All of this is dependent on the scale and scope of your project.
For any business that’s looking to attract an online customer base, regardless of industry, their marketing teams must rely on a variety of SEO tactics to improve website usability, increase rank on search engines, and generate new leads.
With many options in the SEO sphere and general uncertainty on the ins and outs, it can be difficult for business leaders and marketing teams to know where to invest their time and resources. This is where an SEO company can have the most impact.
Types of SEO Services & Hourly Rates
SEO companies provide consultation services and help businesses of all sizes be found online.
What are the different types of SEO services out there? And how much do they cost?
This table dives into the pricing models for each SEO service and the average SEO price for the service when working with an SEO agency.
Average Hourly Cost
An SEO agency can perform outreach to other businesses to secure links to your website.Your company’s backlink profile factors into how your site ranks in search results. Your backlink profile refers to the quantity and quality of sites that link back to your website.
Local SEO helps your business become more visible in local search results and can also drive foot traffic to brick and mortars. This is an ideal strategy for localized businesses like accountants, lawyers, dentists, etc.
Multilingual SEO is the act of optimizing web content for different languages. This can help your company appear in different markets for customers all over the world. An SEO agency can help your company determine where to target, perform keyword research for specific locations, and implement proper hreflang tags.
On-page SEO focuses on optimizations on your website’s frontend. An SEO agency can assist with services like keyword research, header & title tag optimization, content creation, and other tasks that help with site visibility.
Technical SEO focuses on optimizations that are related to your website’s backend. An SEO agency can assist with optimizing your website’s architecture, speed, and other factors that impact overall performance.
An SEO agency can work closely with your marketing team to create quality content that helps your web pages rank higher on search engines and provides value to your target audience.
Mobile optimization is the process of ensuring that site visitors have a great, seamless experience accessing your website from their mobile devices. An SEO agency can help optimize your website for mobile by using traditional SEO tactics with a mobile spin.
What is the Real Cost of Hiring an SEO Company?
The average cost of hiring an SEO company on Clutch ranges between $100-$149 per hour.
All SEO engagements should start with a comprehensive SEO audit that reviews what’s preventing the website from capturing the right amount of organic traffic. An SEO audit gives your team a plan to fix specific site issues and start the journey of turning site visitors into conversions.
Once a full SEO audit report is delivered, the actionable recommendations can turn into the next steps for the SEO company you’ve hired for the work. A reputable SEO agency will also prioritize those fixes based on lift, impact and your company goals.
What Services Do SEO Companies Offer?
- SEO audits
- On-page / off-page SEO services
- Technical SEO support
- Custom SEO strategy plans
- Competitive analysis
- Monthly reports
Before hiring an SEO agency or consultant, it’s important for your marketing team to outline what’s most important for you in an SEO partner. The cost of working with an experienced SEO company depends on various factors like industry experience, size and location.
What Impacts the Cost of Hiring an SEO Company?
- Agency size
- Scope of Work
Larger SEO companies will likely charge more for their services because of their level of experience and client history. Or, if an SEO company specializes in a specific industry or niche, they can charge more.
The scope of work, or SEO services provided also has an impact - for example, if your accounting firm is a small business that is just starting out with a website, the SEO agency will likely need to provide more work to get it up to snuff and compete.
Urgency is also a niche factor regarding the cost of hiring an SEO company. SEO is a process that takes time - the changes a company makes to your website might not take shape for a few weeks. If an SEO agency is only working with a few clients, they can dedicate more time and resources to your company, but that might come with a price tag.
The location of the service provider also has an impact on the cost of hiring an SEO agency. If an agency is based in a metropolitan location, the SEO company will usually charge more for their services.
2023 Search Engine Optimization Pricing by Location
Browse hourly rates for Search Engine Optimization companies by popular locations.
|Country||Average Cost per Hour|
|United States of America||$100 - $149|
|United Kingdom||$150 - $199|
|Canada||$100 - $149|
|Australia||$100 - $149|
|Ukraine||$25 - $49|
|Poland||$25 - $49|
|Spain||$25 - $49|
|Mexico||$25 - $49|
In contrast to other regions around the world, SEO agencies in North America, Australia, and Western Europe seem to charge more for SEO services than other agencies in other parts of the world.
It is important to note that these hourly rates are based on the average rate charged by agencies and do not reflect any geographic factors.
Business leaders can review customer testimonials, SEO package prices, and case studies to get an idea of SEO agency pricing, but the best way to find out how much it will cost to hire an SEO company is to contact SEO professionals directly to get a price point.Often an SEO company will offer a free first consultation, so be sure to ask.
Pricing Models for SEO Services
Many agencies offer SEO packages or SEO pricing models that can provide companies with a plethora of services to help them get close to that first page of Google.
A lot of SEO companies work on fixed pricing models.
SEO professionals can offer the following pricing models to business owners:
For a monthly retainer, clients will pay a monthly recurring fee for selected SEO services.
Fixed Priced Contracts or Packages
A fixed-price SEO package allows clients to sign a contract and then pay a set fee for a specific SEO service.
For example, a tax accountant could hire an SEO specialist to update meta information and write copy for their new website to showcase their knowledge of state tax services and rates for local customers.
Similar to contract-based services, project-based pricing allows clients to pay a determined amount for custom SEO projects. For example, it is not uncommon for a company to enter a project-based agreement with an SEO agency for a technical audit and implementation.
For SEO partnerships based on hourly rates, clients pay SEO agencies or freelancers an hourly fee in exchange for SEO services.
Quick Tip: When deciding on which SEO partner to work with, be careful of organizations that brand themselves as “cheap SEO” services. These companies generally lack the right SEO expertise to help your company earn the highest value with organic search or may participate in black hat SEO practices.
Questions to Ask When Interviewing SEO Agencies
- How long has your business been doing SEO?
- How do you approach backlink acquistion?
- Do you have experience working with businesses in my industry?
- How do you measure and report success?
- Do you offer all three flavors of SEO - technical, UX and content?
- How will it take for us to start seeing positive results?
- How do you determine which keywords we should capture?
- How will you help us stay ahead of our competitors?
- Will I have a dedicated team, work with the same team?
- Can you share some of your client case studies?
- What’s your pricing model?
- What’s the contract time commitment (if applicable)?
- What are your termination terms?
Read more questions to ask potential SEO partners, according to Moz.
How Do I Budget for SEO?
SEO is one of the key digital marketing services that provide success to businesses, making it tough to estimate typical costs due to the wide range of SEO campaigns and the specificity of the company's SEO needs.
To factor in SEO services within your company’s marketing budget, think about where your company stands among these key questions that determine SEO pricing:
- What is the current state of your search presence?
- What are the goals of your SEO campaign?
- What is your company’s average revenue per sale? Rate of leads to sales?
- How quickly do you want to see results from quality SEO work?
- Do you have the internal content writing talent or will you need to outsource that too?
Hire the Right SEO Company for Your Marketing Budget
The amount your company pays for SEO services will depend on the size of your business and the help you require.
While SEO pricing varies from agency to agency, keep in mind that the most important aspect of choosing the right SEO partner is finding one that understands your business goals.
A trusted SEO consultant or company will deliver the correct advice on SEO services that will be the most impactful for your business, provide ongoing support for all technical aspects, and strive to stay within your company’s budget.
Whether you’re looking to hire an SEO consultant for a technical support fix, looking for a long-term SEO company to support multiple project-based tasks, or investing in a retained SEO expert to help your local SEO services, Clutch can help slim down your search and provide the most qualified and personalized options for you.