You cannot mention digital marketing without referencing SEO due to the significant role it plays in placing one’s business in front of the right audience. However, regardless of the importance of SEO in the marketing realm, some small businesses chose to ignore it. But why? Why would a business not want to leverage the power of SEO to increase its online presence, get quality leads, and rack up juicy profits?

The simple decision to ignore SEO is often based on the expenses involved. Some business owners assume that adopting SEO services will break their budget, thus plunging their business into a huge financial predicament.

To confirm this fear, I'll highlight the cost of SEO services and round it up with how much you ought to pay for this service. Having done that, it is left for you to decide if SEO is too expensive for your business, of course, while having its benefits in mind.

Let’s begin by defining what SEO is.

What is SEO?

SEO, also known as search engine optimization, involves taking steps to help a website rank better on search engines. With SEO, businesses can raise their online visibility, thus boosting their tendency to convert qualified prospects into customers and top their niche.

How much does SEO cost?

Like some services out there, SEO has no standard price. Hence, this gives agencies the chance to charge whatever they deem fit. A certain SEO expert could charge you $100 for SEO services, while another may charge higher due to your business needs or pricing model.

To understand how much SEO costs, you'll have to know the pricing models.

Per hour

SEO services are usually charged per hour. This pricing model, which is quite prevalent, is often adopted by freelancers or independent contractors offering SEO services to smaller clients. It is often difficult to see SEO firms or online marketing companies adopt this pricing model.

In the pricing models, fees are often based on hours dedicated to working on each project. On average, the cost for hourly SEO service is $100 to $250 per hour.

Per month

Aside from charging on an hourly basis, some SEO experts charge a per-month fee. Mind you, this pricing model isn't always utilized by typical freelancers or independent contractors. Instead, it is used by bigger SEO and marketing firms.

How it works is simple. You’ll register to pay a fixed price for using the services of an agency, which will conduct SEO work on your website. Due to the cost involved in this pricing model, the services provided often come in packages like SEO content writing, technical audits, content marketing audits, link building, etc.

SEO firms usually charge around $10,000 per month to $200,000 per month. While this may be much for your business, it makes sense to make a comparison. Say you have two SEO companies in mind, boostability and another. Ensure you conduct boostability-price-comparison before you make your final decision. Doing so will help you choose a price that fits your budget.

Per project

Charging clients per project is a widely adopted pricing model. This model involves charging a one-off fee for a certain SEO project. Business owners are required to kick off the negotiation by stating their SEO needs and goals before agreeing on the project scope and cost.

The average cost for SEO services conducted on a project-based pricing model ranges from $1,000 to $1 million upwards. Smaller companies can splurge $1,000 per month on an SEO project, while larger companies can spend more.

How much should you pay for SEO?

The amount you should pay for SEO depends on a few factors. First off, it depends on the pricing model and the nature of your project. If you agree on the hourly pricing model, then $100-$250 per hour is feasible, depending on your SEO needs.

If you embrace the per month pricing model, you should pay around $10,000 to $200,000 per month, depending on your SEO needs. Finally, if you adopt the per-project pricing mode, you should get ready to pay $1,000 to $1M, depending on your SEO aims.


When sourcing for the right SEO company, freelancer, or consultant for your business, it is important you understand that each of these SEO providers has varying charges. Considering this, it makes sense to do thorough market research before making your final decision.

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