This article was first published on June 15, 2021, and was last updated on March 7th, 2023.

As a business owner or marketer, you may have considered: “how much does SEO cost for a small business? Your business can’t survive in a competitive online marketplace without SEO. But how much will quality and effective SEO cost? At a minimum, you should set aside $500–$1,000 a month if you want to work with high-quality online experts. 

However, the total cost of SEO can vary considerably. National brands targeting the hottest keywords may spend over $100,000 a month on SEO services. While a local small business just targeting a small town could spend less than $500. So, how do you make sure that the budget for your business is used in the most effective way possible?

This article will help you understand what to expect when paying for SEO services and whether it is worth the cost. Let’s jump in!

Table of Contents

What Does SEO Cost Per Month?

How Much Does SEO Cost for a Small Business?

Average Price Models for SEO Services

What SEO Products Are You Spending Money On?

How Long Does it Take to See Results from an SEO Campaign?

Is the Average SEO Monthly Cost Worth the Investment?

What Do You Need To Make a Smart SEO Budget?

Is SEO Worth the Cost?

What Does SEO Cost Per Month?

The average SEO monthly cost can range anywhere between $500–$2,000. However, there are a lot of factors that go into determining how much SEO costs per month. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Is it a small business with a smaller budget or is it a large enterprise company with unlimited resources?
  • What are the goals of the organization? 
  • What is the timeframe of achieving those goals?

You also have to be wary of the quality of service you’re getting. Is it high or low quality work with mediocre results? These are just a few examples of the types of factors that go into determining the average SEO monthly cost.

How Much Does SEO Cost for a Small Business?

Some small business SEO campaigns can cost anywhere from $250–$1000 a month. It all depends on what’s included in the campaign and what your business goals are! Every business, big or small, is different. With this in mind, it’s important to analyze your pressing digital marketing needs and what elements may need a longer timeline.

Like other types of marketing, online advertising requires an investment to deliver great results. Here are some factors that affect the average SEO monthly cost of SEO services:

  • Type of Project: A basic SEO audit of your website may cost a one-time fee of $600–$2,000. On the other hand, building a strong blog that’s SEO-friendly takes more work and requires ongoing analysis, so you may need a monthly contract.
  • Type of Service Selected: Costs often vary depending on if you choose a subscription model or hire an SEO company for one-time projects.
  • Keywords Chosen: Some keywords are more difficult to work with than others. Those that appeal to a wide audience are challenging because there are many companies trying to attract the same customers.
  • Target Customers: In general, the larger your potential customer base, the higher the SEO cost. Of course, businesses that market online to people around the country may have more work, but their sales also benefit a lot from SEO results.
  • Your Business: SEO can be easier for certain industries and harder for others. For example, the online market for health products is competitive, so attracting customers takes more work. Appealing mainly to local customers can save you money on SEO because you have less competition.

Your Goals: If you want to reach the top spot for search rankings, expect to invest significant time and money for SEO. The number-one spot also comes with perks, since 33% of organic traffic goes to that link. If you’re trying to increase your brand recognition by simply appearing somewhere on the top several results, you may spend less.

Average Price Models for SEO Services

Total SEO cost can vary from project to project. Many digital marketing companies offer several options for SEO, and they often work within the limits of your budget. Here are a few types of pricing models:

Project-Based SEO Services

SEO companies may charge based on specific projects. These projects can include making websites look great for SEO, and building links or creating an attractive social media profile. Other project-based campaigns focus on producing a certain number of blog posts or social media posts during a trial run. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay $1,000–$5,000 per project, though this number varies depending on the work required.

Monthly Subscriptions

Having an ongoing subscription can cut costs per month while offering a number of benefits.  High-quality SEO agencies watch keyword performance and make changes for better results. They often produce attractive content that is good for SEO and customer engagement.

Each agency determines pricing differently, but it’s not uncommon for small businesses to pay upwards of $1,000 a month for national SEO services. Local SEO services may be priced lower starting at $250 a month at some agencies—this is typically because local search targets a specific location or city that may be less competitive than on a national scale.

Learn more about what’s included in Boostability’s white label SEO program!

Hourly Fees

Some SEO experts charge you by the hour. This is more frequent when you hire an in-house consultant or team. If you go this route, the SEO cost usually runs anywhere from $75–$150 an hour.

It’s easy to focus only on the bottom line when budgeting for SEO, but don’t forget to keep the big picture in mind. An advertising campaign that coordinates social media and blog content may cost more at first, but it can also boost sales. In fact, organic search results provide the highest return on investment for business websites.

What SEO Products Are You Spending Money On?

Understanding how much SEO costs for a small business includes knowing common types of products and services. This next section will dive into what products come with paying for SEO.

Intent-Driven Keyword Research

There are different types of keywords based on a searcher’s intent. Keyword research and analysis shows that intent could be focused on learning additional information, taking action, or recalling past knowledge. For your website, it’s important to have intent-driven keyword research to help match your customer’s intent. Without it, your website might not appear in search results when users are looking for you.

Content Creation and Optimization

Your website needs lots of valuable content to meet Google algorithm expectations. Having new, relevant, and unique content helps generate higher rankings for your website. You might have good writers on your team, but having professional content that’s up-to-date helps ensure it contains the latest popular keywords and up-to-date statistics.

Authoritative Link Building

Having outside links will always be a crucial part of achieving organic rankings. With link building, you’re able to drive referral traffic back to your website while gaining authority for your website. The more authority you have the more you’re able to become an authority in your industry.

Check out Boostability’s white label link building services to see what we have to offer!

How Long Does it Take to See Results from an SEO Campaign?

Good SEO is like a healthy diet for your body. Eating lots of veggies and getting the right nutrients can help you feel great, but it can take a while to see the results in the mirror. If you don’t give up, you can be healthier and feel great. The same thing goes for building a solid reputation in search results.

It takes time and effort for an SEO strategy to deliver results. Getting worthwhile SEO results is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why you should be careful with paid advertising approaches that promise instant miracles. Expecting to appear at the top of search results overnight isn’t realistic.

Google estimates that it takes anywhere from six months to a year to notice substantial improvement, so your SEO cost is usually a long-term investment. 

In the long run, SEO could be your most sustainable cost. It will be your most affordable option other than other marketing channels that rely on bidding to attain a higher position. Spending money to increase your SEO over time will be one of your greatest investments and will serve your business for years to come.

Is the Average SEO Monthly Cost Worth the Investment?

Many business owners remember traditional advertising campaigns with catalogs, flyers or business cards. However, search engine optimization requires a different approach.. Good SEO requires careful management for success, so it’s harder to predict total costs. Attracting online customers is hard work, but the revenue results are worth the effort.

Ranking higher in search results can be a very valuable investment for your company. Once your brand has a solid online reputation, the results can be phenomenal for customer engagement, retention and sales.

Great content makes people see you as an industry expert. This can have a domino effect on growth.  More customers lead to positive online ratings, which leads to even more customers. Search engines also notice when websites are popular, and they direct additional visits to the top results.

It can be tempting to save money on your SEO cost by doing things yourself. However, as you may expect, this doesn’t provide the best results. When homeowners want high-quality work that lasts longer, they call a professional plumber. In the same way, SEO experts make a big difference in online profitability making the average SEO monthly cost a worthwhile investment.

As long as you’re patient and don’t give up, great SEO techniques work. They can help increase page visits, improve your brand recognition, attract new customers, and benefit your online reputation.

What Do You Need To Make a Smart SEO Budget?

Every business that wants to attract online customers should set aside some money each month to budget for SEO services. How much will you need? Follow these steps to find out:

  1. Look at your competitors. If you have a lot of online competition with excellent keyword rankings, expect to pay more for SEO. On the other hand, if you enjoy a great market position, boosting visits can be much easier—and cheaper.
  2. Set reachable goals. Decide whether it’s worth it to appear in the top spot for search rankings. Even businesses with smaller budgets may be able to rank on the first few pages of search results with the right techniques and services.
  3. Determine your available funds. Only you can decide how much capital you have available for digital marketing and SEO cost. You also need to grow your business with good customer service and high-quality products.
  4. Check out available SEO options. SEO professionals offer a wide range of services. They tell you what to expect and how to adapt to the needs of your budget. They can help you identify the search terms and techniques that maximize your ROI.

By choosing the right SEO reseller plan, good SEO companies help you use your online marketing budget wisely. This maximizes your ROI when calculating SEO cost.

Is SEO Worth the Cost?

The answer is yes. If you want your business to be successful online, find potential customers, and continue growing for years to come, you need to factor SEO into your budget. And the good news is, you don’t have to tackle SEO alone. 

An effective SEO company should help you maximize your budget to find new customers online. To us, you aren’t just a number. You are a business owner who deserves the chance to have their products and services found online, without breaking the bank.

How Much Does SEO Cost at Boostability?

At this point, we hope you have a better understanding of how much SEO costs for a small business. It’s time to take advantage of Boostability’s SEO partner program. As the #1 white label SEO company worldwide, we work with you to give your clients the best SEO product possible. 

Our white label SEO platform provides agencies and small businesses with affordable pricing models that work within their budgets while generating value and growth for their client websites. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help grow your business!



Matt Salzl has 10+ years experience in Sales and 8 years in the advertising and marketing sales field. Matt has been a top performer on every team he has been a part of and has 7+ years in sales management leading teams to great success and growth. Matt joined Boostability in 2012.