If you are a small business just starting out and looking to grow your brand, then one of the things that you absolutely need to focus on is SEO or search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is not only how you build brand awareness, but it’s also how you bring in more traffic, leads, and hopefully more revenue as well.
In fact, in 2023, around half of all digital marketing teams are looking to increase their budgets, particularly for search engine optimization. An interesting fact to keep in mind is that in 2022, search engine optimization was the second best way to acquire new customers.
Although search engine optimization is of course a great way to improve website traffic and much more, there are also certain costs associated with it. So, how much does SEO cost for a small business?
This is exactly what we’re here to talk about today. We’ll figure out what the average cost of SEO for a small business is, how to determine the cost, what local SEO costs, and more. Whether you have a small budget or a large one, today will help you determine how much money you’ll need to spend for your SEO venture.
How Much Does SEO Really Cost?
Before we start detailing all of the factors you need to take into account when determining what the average cost of SEO for a small business is, we need to say that this is not as straightforward as some people might like to think. In other words, we’re not going to be able to provide you with one single figure, or in other words, we can’t tell you exactly how much money you’ll have to spend down to the penny.
The fact of the matter is that how much search engine optimization costs can differ drastically depending on the exact services that you want, your needs, goals, and more. There are many different factors, such as what your projections for business growth are, what services you need, the amount of content you need, your expectations, and more, all of which can greatly affect the cost of the SEO package that you get.
Therefore, one of the recommendations we can provide you with is to try and get a good idea of exactly what you need. Figure out what your goals are, how much content you need, what type of content you need, how your business is expected to grow, and any other such important factor. Being able to provide this information to an SEO service will then allow you to get a much more accurate quote.
What Factors Are Used to Determine the Cost of SEO?
As mentioned above, there are several important factors that will need to be taken into account by a marketer or SEO agency when they determine how much money you’ll be charged for the services.
This means that you’ll first need to provide a variety of facts about your business to the SEO agency in question, as this will help the agency or marketer determine how much work is needed to achieve your goals.They also need to know how long a project will take and what type of content you need.
The following are important factors that an SEO marketer or agency needs to know when determining the amount of money you’ll have to pay for the search engine optimization.
What your search presence currently looks like makes a big difference. The worse your search engine rankings currently are, the more work will be needed to get you where you are looking to go. The worse your starting position is, the more work your SEO strategy will need, and therefore the more money it will cost you.
The close rate of leads to sales is another factor that you’ll need to consider when determining the price of your search engine optimization campaign. The lower the close rate is, the worse your website or service is performing, which means that it will require more work.
Revenue Per Sale
Another factor that will be considered when determining the cost of SEO services or your needs are how much revenue per sale you are making. Generally speaking, the more revenue per sale you are currently making, the better off you are, and vice versa.
Speed of Delivery
You also need to consider how quickly the results should be seen. The faster you want the results to be seen, the more effort the marketer will have to put in, and therefore the more money it will cost.
Of course, the volume of content that you need for your search engine optimization strategy also makes a difference. Simply put, it costs a lot more to create 100 pieces of content than ten pieces of content, and that’s always something you’ll need to factor into your budget.’
Can I Get a Quote for SEO Services?
Although some SEO marketers and writing agencies may provide you with a fixed monthly cost for a specific search engine optimization package, for the most part, you’ll usually be provided with an average cost or a range.
As mentioned above, there are many pieces of important information that an SEO marketer needs to determine the exact cost, and even then, sometimes it can be hard to nail down an exact price until the project is already underway.
Therefore, fixed quotes should not be provided unless you are able to provide the SEO marketer with every piece of information they need to make an accurate judgment. That said, depending on the business in question, you can always ask for a fixed quote depending on your needs.
The Average Cost of SEO for Small Business
What you’re probably wondering now is how much your average small business pays for search engine optimization services. According to a recent report from 2022, the vast majority of businesses in existence today have monthly budgets of anywhere between $500 and $10,000.
That said, this very same report also states that roughly 60% of SEO experts in the industry generally expect that the budgets of their clients will increase at least slightly within 12 months after being hired.
What is also interesting to note is that this same report also stated that it was businesses that had budgets under $5000 per month that were the most likely to use the highest amount or percentage of money on services related to search engine optimization, as opposed to the money that they might spend on design, social media, influencer marketing, and more.
Once again, this same report that we linked to above also stated that the vast majority of small businesses spend anywhere between $1000 and $5000 per month on SEO services, which accounts for around 31.5% of businesses.
However, what you also need to keep in mind is that these costs are generally associated with large projects and global SEO. However, there are also other options available, such as local SEO services, which we will take a closer look at further below.
What Price is Reasonable for an SEO Service?
What you’re probably wondering now is what a fair price for search engine optimization services is. Interesting to note is that in 2023, your average SEO guru makes upwards of $60,000 annually.
Therefore, you can expect search engine optimization to cost a certain amount of money, and if you find a service that’s offering SEO for less than $150 a month, something is probably not right.
If you find an extremely cheap search engine optimization service, chances are that the results will be about in line with the amount of money paid. Simply put, you get what you pay for, and if you aren’t willing to make a decent investment, the results will definitely show it.
As mentioned above, the average price for a large-scale SEO campaign for a small business is somewhere between $1000 and $5000 per month, which is quite fair. Furthermore, when it comes to hourly services for large and all projects alike, you can expect to spend anywhere between $100 and $300.
This is what would generally be considered fair, although once again, the prices can differ greatly depending on what your needs are.
What you do, however, need to be aware of is that those clients that pay more money for their search engine optimization services tend to also have much better satisfaction rates, particularly over the long term. This just goes to show that the amount of money you invest has a direct impact on both the quality of the work and the results that the SEO campaign provides you with.
One-Time SEO or Monthly SEO – Which is Right for Me?
When it comes to the question of how much does SEO cost for a small business, something else that you’ll need to figure out is whether you want a one-off service, or in other words, a large SEO overhaul or at once, or if you want a continuing service.
Yes, you can pay a lot of money for one large project, but as mentioned above, there are also monthly SEO services available. This therefore begs the question of whether or not this is worth it. For most people, the reality is that search engine optimization is not something that only needs to be done once, but rather something that needs to be repeated over and over again.
SEO needs to be maintained in order for your website to keep its high rankings. Search engine optimization needs constant analysis, updating, and adjustments to provide you with continued results. Therefore, you should consider paying some sort of monthly retainer for a search engine optimization service.
The Cost of Local SEO
So, although global SEO is of course a great way to improve your overall rankings and results, there is also such a thing as local SEO. Local SEO deals More with your local area.
For instance, if you have a plumbing business, instead of optimizing your website simply for plumbing, if you are located in New York, local search engine optimization will therefore aim to optimize your website for people searching for plumbing services in New York.
This is just one example of what local search engine optimization might look like. In some cases, local search engine optimization might cost you only $300 per month. However, there are also much bigger services available, where you might pay anywhere upwards of $4000 per month.
Let’s take a quick look at the different types of local SEO services. Generally speaking, there are three different categories into which local SEO can be placed into, including automated local search engine optimization, small scale local search engine optimization, and comprehensive local search engine optimization.
Three Types of Local SEO
Let’s now take a quick look at the three main types of local search engine optimization and about how much these will cost you.
Automated local search engine optimization is usually the most cost effective option available, and at the very least, it will ensure that the information of businesses is provided to necessary directories.
Therefore, automated search engine optimization involves making sure that contact information, such as e-mail addresses, physical addresses, and phone numbers are provided to directories, such as Yelp.
With that being said, this alone is generally not enough to increase your search engine rankings, although it is great for increasing your overall visibility. If you are looking to target specific customers in a city or state, then this is a good start.
Furthermore, automated SEO on this front may also involve updating business accounts. However, for such low prices, you generally can’t expect social media management or content marketing. At this level, at the automated level, you can expect to spend anywhere between $300 and $500 per month.
Small Scale SEO
We then have small-scale local search engine optimization, which is one step up from the automated type. Generally speaking, expect to spend anywhere between $400 and $900 per month on small-scale search engine optimization campaigns. These campaigns are usually somewhat comprehensive in nature, at least as far as small businesses are concerned.
First of all, a small-scale service like this usually involves creating targeted advertisements that run in certain areas for a short time frame. This could include a variety of social media campaigns that are very much localized to a target audience, and could also include pay per click advertisements.
This type of SEO, the small-scale variety, is best used by smaller businesses that only need to service a small area, and also only need to target a specific customer base.
It’s great for keeping the budget relatively in control while also managing to reach an audience that is relevant for your needs. Therefore, a big deal when it comes to small-scale local search engine optimization is knowing what the best ways to target specific audiences are, and moreover, who those audiences are to begin with.
Finally, we then have comprehensive local search engine optimization. For this type of service, you can expect to spend at least $4000 per month, if not twice that much depending on exactly what your needs are.
There are many different aspects of search engine optimization that a comprehensive service like this will cover, including, but not limited to, reporting, content management, social media management, page search management, citation optimization, management of online reviews, link building, and more.
What also stands out about comprehensive local search engine optimization services such as this is that they use a lot of analysis and reporting to ensure that things are going to plan. Furthermore, this type of service will generally also provide you with exact figures on exactly how your marketing money is being utilized.
What it really comes down to is of course that a comprehensive local search engine optimization service is by far the most expensive one as far as local SEO costs are concerned. However, on that note, it is of course also the most complete and comprehensive, which means that you should also get by far the best results.
Four More SEO Pricing Factors to Consider
Besides what we’ve covered so far today, there are also other factors that you need to consider when determining the price of SEO services.
The Type of Business
For instance, some industries cost more than others. This highly depends on how competitive the keywords are, which determines the price of doing work with those keywords. For instance, car mechanics, finance companies, locksmiths, and medical offices all have highly competitive keywords, which means that SEO services will cost more.
Another factor that determines the cost of search engine optimization is geography. For instance, if you’re targeting just a small niche audience in a small town, then your cost will be a lot lower than if you are targeting a major city, such as Chicago or New York City.
The Amount and Type of Service You Need
How much you’ll pay for a search engine optimization also depends on exactly what you’re looking for, which could include creating a review profile, optimizing for organic search, producing a high volume of content, and so on and so forth. Simply put, the more you need and the more complex and intensive the work is, the more it will cost.
The other factor that makes the difference in terms of SEO costs is how visible your current brand is and how aware of it people are. The newer your business is and the less people know it, the more work will be required to achieve your goals.
Average Cost of SEO – Final Thoughts
So, how much does SEO cost for a small business? If we’re talking about small-scale automated local SEO, it could be as little as $300 per month, or if we’re talking about a comprehensive campaign, it could be more than $4000 per month.
Remember that on average, businesses spend anywhere between $1000 and $5000 per month on large scale search engine optimization services. Furthermore, as long as you keep all of the necessary factors in mind, you should be able to determine roughly how much money you’ll need to spend to achieve your SEO goals.
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