What Does SEO Cost in 2021
Wondering what SEO costs as we turn the chapter over to the year 2021? The good news is that SEO, or search engine optimization costs, remain relatively flat year over year. Average SEO costs are $100-$250 an hour for SEO agencies based in the U.S. and costs and average of $2,500 – $10,000 per month.s
According to Equipment Leasing and Financing, the 2021 economic outlook forecasts 7.8% expansion in equipment and software investment growth and 4.7% GDP growth despite an uneven Recovery. This means that digital marketing costs in general will remain largely unchanged.
The Cost Basis of SEO
The true cost of SEO is based on the amount of work required to complete each stage of an SEO engagement. These stages include but are not limited to:
- Basic SEO including Google Analytics and Google Console Setup
- Keyword research
- Technical SEO
- On Page optimization and Content
- Off-page optimization
Costs associated with each of these stages is largely based on labor and expertise of a qualified expert. Prices may vary based on industry due to competition. The other expenses impacting the cost of search engine optimization are related to software. Popular SEO software like SEMrush, MOZ, and hrefs remain the same – keeping costs in check for digital marketing agencies offering organic optimization services.
SEO Costs by Type
SEO in a b-to-b marketplace varies by industry. In large, competitive industries like real estate, longer, more intense projects are required to drive organic traffic. To that end, engagement are typically more expensive and take longer to implement.
For smaller retail businesses, you could find smaller SEO packages that are capable of making a significant difference in online optimization – increasing exposure for retail establishments targeting a small geography.
SEO Pricing: Top 5 Takeaways
Here are my top 10 personal takeaways from the data:
- Most SEOs charge a monthly retainer for some or all of their services. 75% of SEO firms charge clients a monthly retainer fee. Pricing for this varies significantly from country-to-country, but it almost never exceeds $5K/month.
- Many SEOs offer numerous pricing models, although the majority don’t. According to a recent study 40.8% of respondents stated they offer multiple pricing models, but 59.2% of respondents offer only one pricing model. 40% of all SEOs surveyed only charge a monthly retainer—they do not offer hourly or per-project pricing to any of their clients.
- For hourly pricing, $100-$150 per hour is the most popular pricing tier. 25% of all hourly rates fall within this range. In the US, that figure jumps to 35.29%. The second most popular hourly pricing tier is $75-$100, which accounts for 19.53% of all hourly rates.
- SEO agencies charge more than freelancers and consultants. Freelancers charge $68/hour, on average, whereas SEO agencies charge almost double that ($134.66). It’s a similar story for monthly retainers and per-project fees; SEO agencies charge 2–4x more than freelancers and significantly more than consultants.
- More experienced SEOs charge significantly more than less experienced SEOs. Those who’ve been in business for 2+ years charge 40% more per hour, 102% more for monthly retainers, and a staggering 275% more for one-off projects than those who’ve been in business for fewer than 2 years, on average.
The True Cost of SEO
If you want to improve organic traffic and make a real impact online, you get what you pay for. Many international SEO agencies offer inexpensive search engine optimization. Unfortunately, the results are almost always disappointing. Making a true investment in search engine optimization means spending money on a reputable agency with deep experience in SEO.
For a free quote, contact Big Fin SEO, a leader in search engine optimization.