seo cost, woman making payment to piggy bank

Key Factors

  • On average, SEO costs run at $100-$250* an hour at US SEO agencies.
  • SEO costs can range from $2,500 – $10,000* per month for US agencies.
  • Prices start at $5,999.00* for a marketing package at our full-service marketing agency, Motivated Marketing.

Good search engine optimization (SEO) is a hot commodity in this digital age. With so much information on the internet today, it’s important that your expert advice is reaching page one. On average, SEO can cost around $100 to $250* per hour, about $2,500 to $10,000* a month, depending on the US agency you’re working with.

At Motivated Marketing, we’re a one-stop-shop for all your marketing needs, and our prices start at $5,999.00* for a full marketing package, including SEO. Stay focused on running your business and let our experienced team handle the rest. From optimizing your website to optimizing your search ranking, to managing co-op, we’re motivated to help you out.

Instead of dealing with multiple vendors, partner with a team you can trust!

Motivated Marketing Package Includes:


Exact costs vary depending on factors such as business size, goals, industry, geographical location, and the overall complexity of the project. To learn more, call 843-478-3019 or message us!

The Cost of Doing Little-to-No SEO

Not investing in SEO comes with its own costs and impacts on a business. 

  • Reduced visibility: Your customers use Google, that’s a given, so not being visible organically can lead to fewer visitors to your site and less conversions.
  • Reduced local or brand awareness: If customers can’t find you easily through a search, this can negatively impact direct business, referrals, and recommendations.
  • Credibility: Showing up on page one of a search engine brings a sense of credibility to your business, so if you only rely on ads to get you see, this can impact credibility and conversions as well.
  • Impact on other channels: Even if you’re visible through other types of marketing, a customer may still google your business. Don’t run the risk of losing a customer because they can’t find you in a search.
  • Losing out to competitors: A job you don’t get will go to one of your competitors. Not implementing a solid organic presence can cause you to lose ground.
  • Higher advertising costs: When organic search is well-established, you’ll most likely see higher engagement and lower costs for generating leads and sales compared to other marketing channels. If organic search isn’t established, it can lead to relying on more expensive channels for engagement and sales. 

Ultimately, if your customers are searching for you and you don’t invest in SEO, you’re most likely losing out on business and handing it over to your competitors.

SEO Pricing Models

Pricing Model/Frequency

SEO Pricing*

Ongoing monthly SEO

$2,500 to $10,000 per month

One-time SEO project

$5,000 to $30,000 per project

Fixed contract

$1,500 to $25,000

Hourly SEO consulting

$100 to $300 per hour

SEO copywriting

$0.15 to $0.50 per word

Link profile audit

$500 to $7,500 per audit

SEO content audit

$500 to $7,500 per audit

Whether you hire an inexpensive SEO consultant or a nationally recognized eCommerce SEO agency, you can expect to see a few different pricing models offered:

SEO Monthly Plans (Retainer-Based)

Many SEO companies and agencies offer monthly or annual contracts based around monthly deliverables. With this model, communication between you, the client, and the agency is imperative to achieve the best results.

We believe in breaking out of the mold of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to SEO monthly packages, as that doesn’t fit every need of every business. Many agencies will offer a “turnkey” SEO package, but focusing on pushing out a specific number of articles or backlinks every month doesn’t provide the same value as producing effective results.

While our SEO tasks and activities are scheduled on a monthly basis, we customize our SEO services and strategies so we’re always focused on how we can deliver the greatest ROI for your business.

SEO One-Time Price

If you’re ready to get started with an SEO agency or are even interested in a consultant to provide specific SEO services, some companies offer consulting services or one-time SEO projects. This may be done in the way of an SEO audit or simply performing optimizations to your website.

An SEO consists of a comprehensive dive into your website’s search engine optimization performance. Much like a checkup at the doctor, this basically checks to see if your website is “healthy” in terms of organic search. The audit evaluates the quality of your website’s content, its visibility on search engines, and its overall technical structure. The audit will identify any issues that could be impacting your website’s ability to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). Depending on what the audit finds, you may decide to go forward with hiring an SEO agency or choose to take on the project in-house.

On average, SEO audits can cost around $2,500 to $10,000* when working with an experienced, reputable company.

SEO Hourly Rates

SEO pricing ranges anywhere from $100 per hour to $250* per hour depending on the agency.

What Do SEO Services Include?

Before diving into an SEO contract, it’s important to understand what is actually included in the plan.

SEO services typically include the following deliverables: 

  • Initial website and SEO audit
  • Keyword research and integration
  • Competitor analysis
  • SEO content creation and optimization
  • On-page SEO, including title tag, URL, and meta description optimizations
  • Off-page SEO, like building backlink profile
  • Technical SEO, including page speed optimization and responsive web design
  • Ongoing reports and analysis of SEO performance
  • Ongoing strategy optimizations and improvements

What Impacts the Cost of SEO?

The price you pay for SEO services can vary no matter who you decide to trust with your website. Those variables can include:

  • Competition
    • How competitive your industry is can have an effect including the set of keywords you need to target.
  • Current Brand Awareness and Visibility on the Web
    • How established your web presence is can determine how much work is needed to see tangible results. A brand-new website might take longer than a well-established site.
  • Experience of Hired SEO Agency
    • The experience of an SEO agency can affect the cost. A more experienced agency with expertise and in-depth capabilities tends to have higher rates, as they can show proven results, have busier schedules, and are in higher demand.
  • Goals of the Business
    • What you’re trying to accomplish through SEO services can determine what your contract includes to get the results you want.
  • Level of Expertise in your Niche
    • It’s important to hire an agency that is familiar with your industry. For example, at Motivated Marketing, our specialty is full-service marketing, including TV, radio, website management, and SEO, for automotive, legal, and healthcare clients, as well as additional industries. An agency that has experience in your industry can be more effective and efficient in delivering tangible results.
  • Target Audience and Demographic
    • Before stepping into SEO services, outline the size of the SEO campaign you’re looking to accomplish. Are you running a national or global SEO campaign or a local, geotargeted campaign for your small business? This is an important question to ask yourself.
  • Urgency of Project
    • SEO results don’t happen at the snap of a finger, with visible results happening around six to 12 months after implementing the campaign. It’s important to note your timeline before jumping in.
  • Website Capabilities
    • An SEO agency will take into account your website’s aptitude and content management system. For example, Motivated Marketing offers skilled SEO specialists and web developers to build or update websites for our clients that exceed the expectations for Google and other search engine algorithms. Having a solid website with built-in SEO makes a huge impact on search engine algorithms and your ranking.

Helpful SEO Tips

  • Custom SEO strategies are needed for the best results (Templated SEO packages are becoming less popular)
  • Watch for hidden costs for link building
  • SEO pricing is typically lower for local campaigns
  • SEO costs are higher for eCommerce websites
  • SEO firms may have additional content creation fees
  • For small businesses, spend at least $500* per month on SEO to see results (Search Engine Journal).
  • 12.96% of SEO practitioners reported they were working with budgets of more than $10,000*. (SEJ State of SEO 2024)
  • Nearly 48.9% of marketers expect their clients’ budgets to increase within the next 12 months (Search Engine Journal).
  • At least 88% of those using SEO strategies will increase or maintain their investments. (Hubspot)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing programs. (DemandMetric)


Why is SEO important?
Billions of people use Google every day, so it’s important to be in front of your customers when they’re searching for your products or services. Odds are, if a person is searching for your products or services, they are actively engaged and looking for YOU. Most people click on the first organic search, so not only being on page one, but at the top of page one can seriously increase your chances of capturing traffic.

Is SEO cheaper than Google ads?
Generally speaking, SEO tends to cost less than Google Ads. The cost of SEO will vary depending on your company’s unique needs. Details like the level of competition in your industry, the size of the campaign, location, and more, but you can always opt for a one-time SEO project if you’re on a budget.

Does SEO have a cost per click?
SEO does not have a cost per click, so in the long run, it isn’t as expensive since you don’t have to pay every time someone clicks on your website. 

Why do some companies charge only a few hundred dollars a month?
If an SEO company charges as little as a few hundred dollars a month, it’s likely they’re outsourcing the work. In this case, you run the risk of poor copywriting, low quality backlinks, and poor results. 

Is it better to choose monthly SEO services?
The right cadence for your SEO services depends on your business’s needs. When exploring costs, understand whether or not you plan to use SEO as a constant service or a one-off project. The pricing of your SEO services will be dependent on the type of service you want and the quality you strive to uphold. To see the best results with SEO, paying monthly attention to your content marketing and link-building, as well as constantly updating, analyzing, and adjusting your strategy is key.

How much does it cost to do SEO for YouTube?
The cost of SEO for YouTube depends on a number of factors like the proficiency of the company doing the work, the service provided, and the unique needs of your brand and channel.

If you want to know more about the cost of SEO and YouTube services with a trusted full-service marketing agency, contact Motivated Marketing for a quote today. Let’s just chat, it’s free!

How much does local SEO cost?
Local SEO is comparatively cheaper than the cost of national and global SEO services. Your audience is more concentrated, so your competition is lower. It’s pretty common to see local SEO campaigns cost as little as $100 to $300 per month, depending on the needs of your business.

If you want to know more about the pricing of local SEO services, contact Motivated Marketing today!

How much does SEO cost for small businesses?
It depends. The cost of your SEO could be as little as $100 per month or as much as $10,000* per month. The overall cost of your SEO is going to depend on the size of your business, the scope of your project or services needed, and the SEO provider.

How long does SEO take to see good results?
On average, SEO results are typically seen within six to 12 months of implementing a new SEO strategy. 

The amount of time it takes to see results depends on your current ranking. If you’re on page 50 for your targeted keywords, it will take longer to get to page one of a search engine than if you’re already on page three. Within our complimentary consultation, we can help give an estimate on how long it may take to get you where you want to be.

How can SEO help my website?
SEO can have a positive impact on your business! By being at the top of page one on Google for your most searched keywords, you’ll increase your website’s visibility, resulting in more website traffic and sales. SEO can also have a positive impact on your marketing budget since you don’t have to pay for each click. 

Is paying someone to do SEO worth it?
While investing in SEO might not be cheap, having an expert handle SEO on your behalf can lead to a greater payout down the road. A greater search engine ranking can generate more traffic to your site and increase conversions.

Does SEO always cost money?
Due to the detailed complexity of SEO, it comes with a cost when hiring a professional to handle your website. The price can vary based on your business size, industry, goals, location, and the type of project.

Should I pay monthly for SEO?
Most SEO agencies have many options for how you pay for SEO services – monthly payments being one of them. While most SEO companies offer a one-time project option, we recommend looking into longer term options, so you can maintain necessary updates, analyses, and adjustments to ensure you’re seeing your desired results. This is why most business owners are more than willing to pay a monthly retainer for quality SEO services.

How much should you budget for SEO?
On average, SEO services can cost around $100 to $250* an hour or around $2,500 to $10,000* per month. The exact cost of your SEO services will depend on a variety of factors, like the size of your business, industry, location, and the project at hand. Here at Motivated Marketing, a full marketing package including SEO starts at $5,999.00*.

Will SEO exist in 5 years?
It’s difficult to predict the future of SEO, but it’s reasonable to assume that SEO will continue to exist and undergo significant transformations throughout the next five years.

Predicting the exact landscape of SEO in the future is challenging, but it’s reasonable to assume that SEO will not only exist but will also undergo significant transformations in the next five years.

People Also Asked

Choose a Full-Service Marketing Agency like Motivated Marketing

m2 motivated marketing company logo for charleston marketing agencyA strong SEO strategy positions your brand at the top of the page – and the top of your audience’s minds. At Motivated Marketing, our Charleston marketing agency can help you claim that top spot, with a dedicated SEO team focused solely on search engine optimization. Contact us today to get started!

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*Exact costs vary depending on factors such as business size, goals, industry, geographical location, and the overall complexity of the project.