The cost of SEO varies greatly between different SEO Consultants and general SEO service providers. In this post, I’ll try to cover the basics of SEO pricing in Australia.
Standard SEO Pricing
I have researched the SEO pricing of 20 of my fellow competitors (SEO consultants and agencies). Here’s the range of pricing of their SEO services:
- Cost of full-implementation: from $300 to $2,000+ per month
- Cost of an SEO Audit and strategic plan: from $500 to $2,000
- Hourly rate: from $60 to $120 per hour
The more interesting question is why SEO prices vary, and what is the rationale behind different prices of SEO.
From what I can tell, there are several main factors that determine SEO pricing.
Here are the main reasons why SEO prices vary heavily among different providers and consultants.
SEO Pricing Factors That Influence The Cost of SEO
The Size of The SEO Provider (Agency vs. Consultant)
There are many large SEO agencies. And these large agencies have quite large overheads and expenses. Large SEO agencies have many employees, large office spaces, and spend a lot of money on marketing in order to get new clients.
To cover these large operating costs, they charge higher prices for their SEO services.
On the other hand, there are many SEO consultants who operate independently. For such consultants, overheads and operating expenses are low, so there is no need to inflate prices for their services.
The quality of work provided by a large agency is no different to that of the work provided by an individual SEO Consultant. (Indeed, on many occasions an SEO consultant probably provides a more direct and personalised service).
All-in-all, the size of the SEO provider is definitely something to consider when reviewing prices.
The Size of Your Website
The larger your website, the higher the cost of SEO.
A 10 page website of a local business does not require the same work and effort as a 2,000 page eCommerce website. The more hours required for research, implementation, and reviewing of progress and results, the higher the cost of SEO.
This is how it should be in theory, at least.
There are, however, quite a few SEO providers that have set packaged pricing, that don’t take the size of a website into consideration. Rather than providing a custom tailored SEO quote, they’ll simply charge a fixed fee, no matter the level of work involved with your website.
Some SEO providers seem to simply charge arbitrary prices.
Such agencies won’t price their service according to your website’s size, or the hours of work involved. Instead, they will simply have a fixed price, regardless of the actual work involved for your website.
Another basis for pricing, which seems an arbitrary factor to base a price on, is the number of keywords targeted.
Some very well-known SEO agencies actually charge according to the number of keywords targeted. This seems especially arbitrary to me, seeing as the number of keywords targeted has little bearing on the amount of time spent actually optimising a website – let alone the sheer quantity of pages in need of optimisation.
Beware of Both Extremely Cheap and Extremely Expensive SEO
Some SEO providers present themselves as offering “cheap seo services”. The reason some providers don’t mind offering low prices is two-fold. First, they aim for volume. They strive to get as many clients as possible, and so can afford to offer lower prices. Second, some of these low cost providers don’t really do much work at all.
This is bad, as it means such an SEO provider will not give your website the dedication and attention that it requires, and therefore your website will not be optimised nor improve its rankings in Google and other search engines.
On the other end of the scale, some providers charge extremely high prices. In fact, some offer prices so high that it might eat into whatever increased profits your business could make through SEO.
What constitutes a high price for SEO? For one thing, a price is high if it outweighs any potential benefit. Moreover, a price is high if it is simply far beyond what most other providers are offering, especially without any justification.
The Right Price for SEO Services
The main factor to consider when assessing the proposed price of SEO Services is the return on investment (ROI).
If the price of SEO services outweighs the potential benefit, then it is too expensive for your business. It’s as simple as that. Conversely, if the benefit of your website ranking highly in Google outweighs the cost of implementing SEO, then the price is reasonable.