For those who are new to SEO and starting to think about SEO for the first time, check out this Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz.

For those trying to figure out how much to spend on SEO, you’re in the right place. When it comes to SEO spending and budgeting, be sure to have a marketing goal in mind and the desired return on that investment (ROI) right from the start.

Nearly every business today must decide how much to spend on website SEO services. This isn’t an if question. The question every business professional must ask is, “How much will I pay for SEO services?”

In this post, I give all the information that you’ll need to make that decision, plus some helpful tips on how SEO agencies work so you can be successful as you partner with the search engine optimization firm when you looking for SEO expert.

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The Story of Mine

One of my friends is Ted and he is an auto mechanic. When Ted told me what it would cost to repair or replace the timing chain, CV boot, or ball joint, I had no idea what he was talking about. I had no idea what such things should cost, but I knew I could trust Ted to treat me right.

Having a mechanic you can trust is like to live with your mind at peace. However, the process to find a good auto shop can be a nightmare. One mechanic will look at your car and give you one price, and another will give you a price that is twice as much. It would be easy to go for the cheaper one, but then you start wondering whether that guy knows what he’s doing, or if he’s using cheaper parts that are going to break and land you back at the repair shop the next week.

Hiring the right type of SEO is a lot like choosing the right auto mechanic. It can be confusing, but knowing a few key points of information will give you confidence.

SEO Won’t Cost You Anything

SEO is an investment that will yield a positive return and therefore your cost is zero. Asking what SEO costs always get the response: “It depends on what are you looking for?” The good news is that I am going to give you actual prices range below. But first, let’s look at factors that affect the price of SEO services.

How SEOers Estimate Price?

There are 3 factors affect the prices of SEO services:

  • 1.Situation: The current positions your website ranked on.
  • 2.Objectives: The ranking position your website want to be.
  • 3.Timeline: How fast you want to achieve the goal?

By looking at these three elements, the SEOer should be able to estimate the cost of your business search engine optimization.

One-time SEO or Ongoing SEO?

One-Time SEO

One Time SEO is usually needed when a new website is launched. You can search for keywords that you want to optimize for each page of your website. Some basic techniques for one-time SEO are keywords research, on-page optimization, initial business submission for local business.

Ongoing SEO

Ongoing SEO is more professional and requires technical abilities. According to many SEO experts from Moz, SEO is an ongoing process because of the dynamic nature of market and web. Some basic techniques for ongoing SEO are Google Analytics Setup, Content Optimization, Link Building, Guest Post, Search Ranking report and Website Traffic Analysis.

You may choose on your own by evaluating which one gives you the most value. You can ask and consult with SEO experts in this regard. You may set your priority list by setting criteria such as cost, time, efficiency and industry practice. Whatever plan you select, you should remember that SEO requires time to deliver results.

SEO Payment Models

SEO agencies typically offer four main forms of services and payment:

  • Monthly Retainer.
  • Contract services at fixed prices.
  • Project-based pricing.
  • By-the-hour consulting.
  • Profit/revenue percent-of-growth-based pricing.

How Much Best for Your Business SEO?

$250-$500 per month.

If you are a small business that is limited geographically such as landscaping company, dental office, self-storage facility, restaurant, auto repair garage. Then you should be able to get by with a budget in this range.

$700-$1,500 per month.

If your market is limited geographically by the nature of your business, but you’re targeting the large population cities, then this budget should work fine for local search engine optimization. $500 per month might work for a restaurant in a town with a population of 10,000 but will not get the same job done in a town of 100,000. You may be able to pay $1,500 per month and get a decent national campaign if your business is extremely focused without too much competition.

$2,000-$6,000 per month.

If your target market is regional like the intermountain west, west coast, east coast, midwest, national, or international, you’re looking at a minimum of $2,000/month, and that’s if you’re selling a niche product or service without much competition. The more mainstream the product, the more you’ll have to pay to rise above your competitors.

$10,000+ per month.

For a national or international company that isn’t focused on a niche audience, expect to pay more than $10,000 per month.

Click here to view the full infographic. This is a survey done by Moz with 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models.

Last Rule to Follow

There are three kinds of SEO: Good, Cheap, Fast. However, you can only pick 2 of them.

  • Good & Cheap Won’t Be FAST.
  • Fast & Good Won’t Be CHEAP.
  • Cheap & Fast Won’t Be GOOD.

Finding The Right SEO

Once you’ve determined whether your needs are temporary or ongoing SEO and whether your target market is niche or broad, local or global or somewhere in between, you’ll be in a position to better understand how much you should pay for SEO services and why.

Click here to get a free keyword research and an SEO proposal.