SEO Pricing Plans: How Much Does SEO Cost in 2024? 150 Companies Polled

Updated on :May 21, 2024

With the launch of Gemini, Google has made its not-so-discreet plans loud and clear: Choose Google Ads over Organic traffic, or we will make your life hell! But then, are businesses taking the Google bait?

I guess not. On the other hand, businesses are doubling down on SEO investments.

To put this more concretely, GoodFirms researchers methodically examined reams of data (collected as part of GoodFirms SEO Cost Survey 2024) and have found conclusive evidence that 57% of businesses plan to up their SEO budget by almost 10-20%, irrespective of their industry.

I repeat: 10-20%. We polled 150 companies in this regard, including top SEO agencies and companies in real estate, digital marketing, software, healthcare, beauty, wellness, accidental attorneys, solar lighting, and more, to get a first-hand account of their SEO pricing plans to help you budget better. The best part: These companies showed keen interest in seofying their website.

So, coming straight to the point: How much does SEO Cost in 2024?

“Should you increase the SEO, decrease or let it remain the same as last year?

Here are 14 data-driven insights to help you find answers to all your SEO pricing-related queries.

How Much Does SEO Cost in 2024: 14 Data-driven Insights to Help You Get a Grip Over Costs

  • Companies intend to increase their SEO budgets by almost 10-20% this year.
  • Most companies will pay $10,000-$50,000 for annual SEO services this year. 
  • As part of the monthly retainer, companies will pay between $1,000 and $1,500 monthly and  $50 and $75 per hour for freelancer and agency SEO services.
  • $1000 and $5,000 is the most popular per-project rate.
  • On-page SEO services cost will be between $500 and $1,000
  • Off-page SEO Pricing will be $500-$1,000   
  • Companies will spend $50-$200 monthly on SEO Software/tools.
  • Technical SEO cost will be between $500 and $1,500 
  • Companies typically spend around $500 - $1000 per post on Guest posting
  • Nearly 60% of the surveyed companies preferred the Retainer Model over other pricing structures like hourly, project-based, performance-based, and fixed packages.

SEO Pricelist for 2024

Time-Frame SEO Cost % Of Companies
Total SEO Pricing for SEO Services in 2024 $10,000 to $ 50,000 38.2%
Monthly Pricing for SEO Services $1000 - $1,500 30.5%
Hourly Pricing for SEO Services $50 - $75 75%
Monthly On-page SEO Pricing $500 - $1000 52%
Monthly Off-page SEO Pricing (social media management, link building, influence marketing) $500 - $1000 42-60%
Technical SEO $500 - $1500 56%
SEO software/tools $50 - $200 Monthly 62.8%
Guest Posting (per post) $500 - $1000 50%

Additional Insights:

  • Over 70% of companies emphasize creating high-quality content aligned with E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) principles.
  • 56.4% of companies plan to use AI extensively in SEO, mainly for data analysis, content optimization, and link building.
  • 43.6% of the companies will focus on local SEO to improve their local reach.

SEO Pricing Plans of 150 Participant Companies - Projected Annual SEO Pricing for 2024

SEO Pricing Plans Projected Annual Cost of 2024

  • 36.3% of the companies will allocate less than $10,000 this year for SEO Services. These are likely smaller businesses or those with limited SEO requirements.
  • A significant segment, nearly 38.2%, will invest between $10,000 and $50,000 in SEO efforts this year, which is ideal for businesses with complex SEO needs.
  • Around 12% plan to spend between $50,000 - $1,00,000. These companies are likely to be larger or enterprise-level businesses.
  • Almost 6% will spend the highest, $1,00,000 to $250,000, this year. A large budget needs to be allocated if you are in a highly competitive industry or run large websites.

Key Takeaway: While many prioritize budget-friendly approaches, a sizeable segment recognizes the potential value of increased investment in SEO services for stronger SEO performance.

% Increase in SEO Budget in 2024

SEO Pricing Plans 2024 - Percentage Rise in Cost -2

Interestingly, a significant portion (nearly 57%) of the participant companies are considering a 10-20% increase in their SEO budget this year, indicating a possible pivot toward more strategic SEO investments such as in-depth keyword research, link building, E-E-A-T content creation, local SEO among other things.

About 8.2% of companies want to invest 20% or more in SEO services 2024.

SEO Cost Survey - 10% to 20% higher

Cota Systems, led by Marketing Head Brian Smith, plans to ramp up SEO spend by almost 50% in the second quarter of 2024.

We plan to increase our SEO spend by 50% in Q2. We’re seeing great success with our high-quality content development. The exponential growth of organic reach, increases in partnership inquiries, and requests for expert opinions lead to more backlinks and business” - BrianSmith, Cota Systems.

In fact, several major companies have announced increased Search Engine Optimization costs this year.

“We're looking to increase our SEO budget by around 15% in 2024. The more we invest, the more eyeballs we can attract.” - Josh Neuman, founder of Chummy Tees

"We've decided to amp up our efforts by increasing it by 20%. We've seen the immense value that a robust SEO strategy brings to our online presence, and we're doubling down on this effort to enhance our visibility further and reach." - Erman Küplü, Co-founder/CEO, Analyzify

"With a whopping 85% of our traffic rolling in from Organic search, it only makes sense for us to keep investing in our SEO efforts. High-quality content remains our rock, whether it's off-page or on-page optimization." - Shefali, Specbee

In light of continuous AI advancements, where will companies likely spend their SEO investment in 2024?

SEO Pricing Plans 2024: Top Investment Areas

Companies plan to invest in the tried-and-tested SEO service areas of lead and sales generation, brand building, and local SEO. E-E-A-T content and integrating AI in SEO are the core focus areas behind which in-house SEO professionals and top digital marketing companies plan to exert their influence.

Let’s deeply dive into these and other strategies companies plan to invest in in 2024.

SEO Pricing Plans 2024 top investment areas

#1. 86.5% of Companies Plan to Invest in 'Lead Generation/Sales'

86.5% of the companies revealed that they prioritize SEO because it attracts organic traffic that ultimately converts into paying customers.

The trend has been echoed by several company CEOs and SEO professionals who plan to bump up their SEO spending this year to allocate more resources to this crucial marketing strategy.

"In my experience, allocating additional resources to SEO has proven to yield significant returns in terms of website traffic, lead generation, and brand visibility." - Adam Hardingham CEO of Rivmedia

"I definitely intend to bump up spending on search engine optimization efforts by around 15% this coming year based on the solid organic traffic and lead generation growth we realized from initial efforts during 2023."- Sam Kadel, Founder of KBA Web

"We've evaluated the impact of our SEO efforts over the past year and have seen significant returns in terms of traffic and conversions. To build on this momentum, we plan to increase our SEO investment by 10 to 20% in 2024" - Harry Wilson, SEO Specialist, Applova Inc

Tips to Boost Lead Generation via SEO

  • Find the keywords, specifically the long-tail keywords, your target audience is using. Pro tip: Choose less competitive keywords compared to your competitors.

  • Optimize content around those keywords and even optimize your meta title, meta descriptions, images, and header tags using them.

  • Publish high-quality content that resonates with your target audience, including blogs, research studies, and more.

  • Promote your content on Social Media

  • Keep updating your website content

  • Build Links on high-authority sites

#2. 70.5% of Companies Prioritize 'Quality Content Creation (Generating E-E-A-T and YMYL Content)'

Over two-thirds of the participants (70.5%) have expressed their desire to laser-focus on E-E-A-T and YMYL content in 2024. E-E-A-T needs no introduction. E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, while YMYL stands for Your-Money-Your-Life.

If you think about it, it’s a departure from convention as Google algos were initially used to determine the content quality. On the other hand, E-E-A-T is part of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which heavily rely on human quality raters. This means content writers do not have the wiggle room to cook up a cock-and-bull story anymore if they are clueless about the topic. This means businesses must double down on hiring experienced people (or upskill their current set of writers) who could offer opinioned pieces or first-hand information on a given topic.

This sentiment resonates with CEOs and SEO experts, prompting them to upskill their current content team or try new approaches to offer thought-leadership articles and not regurgitated pieces that flood the online space.

"A quality content writer (not a prompt engineer!!) will always win the game, hands down. So, our area of investment in 2024 will be to upskill our existing content team to do more research and write better content for our clients." - Neeraj Moorjani - Founder, bleapdigital.com

"We'll be having more of a journalist approach, asking industry experts for opinions, conducting surveys and research to infuse our content with more authority and uniqueness." - Brad Gall, Founder and Owner BG Electrical & Air Con

"Our key priority is optimizing existing posts. This includes removing fluff, shortening intros, and front-loading key takeaways for readers. We believe this strongly aligns with the current emphasis on helpful content." - Phil Vam, Microstartups.org

Looking for tips to generate EEAT and YMYL content?

Here are the tips to generate EEAT content:

  • Highlight your experience: If you have a solid track record in the industry you are writing about, be loud and clear about it in the author bio. Showcase your accomplishments to help Google and readers recognize that you are a relevant authority in the field.

  • Establish Expertise: Showcase your expertise by citing credible sources in your copies, such as academic journals, industry reports, or expert interviews.

  • Showcase Authoritativeness: Speak about your achievements, awards, and affiliations with top organizations.

  • Display Trustworthiness: Display transparency by providing accurate and up-to-date information.

Tips to Generate YMYL Content:

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). Yes, the same E-E-A-T principles apply here. However, I rounded it up again:

  • Establish author expertise by highlighting relevant educational backgrounds. Plus, affiliations and expertise that resonate with the YMYL audience.

  • Demonstrate website authority: Besides the "About Us" and "Contact Us" sections, positive user reviews and testimonials can boost trust.

  • Display up-to-date, factually correct data: Make sure you display factually accurate data that's not just up-to-date but backed by credible sources.

  • Actionable advice: YMYL content should have actionable advice that's easy to follow. Plus, use clear, concise language and avoid making promises that you won't be able to live up to.

  • User experience: Consider readability, visuals, infographics, and videos to make your content more relatable.

Manufacture SEO success by focusing on producing E-E-A-T and YMYL-friendly content.

Thinking of generating AI content this year? Most companies aren't optimistic about ChatGPT-generated articles; contrarily, they plan to scale up their in-house writing teams to develop actionable, in-depth content.

As Dan Gower, Director of Sales and Marketing at Designli revealed, "We're committing to great content in 2024. That will differentiate us from people who blast out ChatGPT articles."

"Our blog and client content will emphasize actionable, in-depth articles over thin content. We're expanding our team of skilled writers." - Carl Broadbent founder of Carl Broadbent

Jason Boyd, Founder and Director of Evolve SEO Agency, disclosed to Goodirms that Quality content creation is at the core of their SEO efforts, and they’ll be exploring ways to maintain quality content while considering the prevalence of flagged AI content.

The companies that believe that AI intervention might help, however, would want to have their content improved upon by human touch.

Content creation costs can be reduced using AI but still, on-page and off-page activities require human attention as well as improving the quality of AI-generated content needs a human touch. - Achintya, Linguidoor Translation Services

We will likely shift to high-level strategies with a hybrid approach of AI tools plus human creativity and strategic thinking. I do feel the need of the hour is to clearly communicate the value of human touch in SEO - Mike Wilson, SunTec India

#3. 62.5% of Companies Focus on 'Algorithm Changes and Updates'

Surviving Google’s evolving algorithms will be the biggest hurdle for businesses (62.5%) this year, highlighting the need to stay on their toes and adapt to changing SEO landscape with lightning speed. For the uninitiated, Google shakes up its search engine landscape no fewer than 3200+ times a year (that’s brutal, I  know), giving SEO marketers sleepless nights. One of the best ways to beat algorithm blues is to generate E-E-A-T content.

Tips to Keep Up with Algorithm Updates

  • Generate E-E-A-T and Y-M-Y-L content

  • Stay abreast with the latest industry trends

  • Focus on quality backlinks

  • Focus on User Experience

  • Experiment with different content styles - Blogposts, videos, infographics, podcasts, and more.

#4. 60.3% of Companies Have 'Brand Building' On Top of Their SEO Agenda

Sure enough, social media and PPC ads are some of the best tools in town to build brand awareness. However, if you want to get it done at reasonable rates then SEO is the go-to tool in 2024.

I plan to increase my investment in SEO by 20% this year. In my experience, allocating additional resources to SEO has proven to yield significant returns in terms of website traffic, lead generation, and brand visibility- Adam Hardingham CEO of Rivmedia

Tips to build Brand Awareness using SEO

  • Quality content that reflects your brand personality. Also, figure out the style and tone your target audience uses and ensure your content follows their line.
  • Find relevant keywords that fit your brand personality and optimize content around it.
  • Add links to other relevant sites to your content to drive more traffic.
  • Take advantage of Local SEO./li>

#5. 56.4% of Companies Plan to Incorporate 'Artificial Intelligence'

AI in SEO can empower your SEO strategy as it helps automate data analysis, track user behavior trends, and figure out content optimization strategies. It also saves time, offering more bandwidth to focus on core strategies.

56.4% of companies plan to add AI to their SEO strategies to make SEO effortless.

Nevertheless, AI isn’t going to handle everything on its own regarding SEO as human intervention would be required, a sentiment echoed by Carl Broadbent, founder of Carl Broadbent.

"We expect inflation will increase SEO costs in 2024, but use of AI and automation will also help bring costs down." -  Jim Liu, CEO, SEO Vendor

"We'll leverage AI tools for better keyword research, meta descriptions, and more. But always optimized by humans." - Carl Broadbent founder of Carl Broadbent.

AI and machine learning technologies offer new opportunities for optimizing SEO strategies, from keyword research to content personalization. We aim to leverage these technologies to enhance our SEO efforts - Vaibhav Kakkar, CEO, Digitalwebsolutions

Here are some tips for using AI in SEO:

  • Content and Keyword optimization: Use AI tools such as Frase.io, Scalenut, Dibb, Alli AI, and more to identify relevant keywords and content structure and, more importantly, personalize your website content for different audiences.
  • Link building: Leverage AI to track potential link-building opportunities, which can help you design targeted outreach campaigns.
  • Data analysis: Analyzing large SEO datasets will be easy with AI. Hiring top content marketing agencies will help quickly identify trends and insights to execute high-caliber SEO strategies.

#6. 54.8% of the Companies Focus On 'Competitor Analysis'

Analyzing competitor strategies helps fill the gaps and improve SEO performance in return. Not surprisingly, almost 55% of the companies will focus on this SEO area seriously.

“As more organizations adopt digital transformation, competition increases. Niche markets are not an exception. To stand out, we devote resources to extensive keyword research, competitor analysis, and strategic planning.” - Diana Zheng, Head of Marketing, Stallion Express.

Tips to Perform Competitor Analysis

  • Compare services or products with your competitors to figure out where you stand out and where you need to fill in the gap
  • Compare pricing strategy to ensure you are not over or undercharging your customers
  • Compare target audiences and see how you are different from your competitors
  • Compare your marketing strategies to connect the dots

#7. 47.4% of Companies Prioritize 'Long-form Content'

Content marketers are in two minds about long-form content. Some prefer to go all the way and produce meaty pieces, while some prefer to keep it short and sweet. For all the skepticism associated with long-form content, the fact is that long-form boosts user engagement and reduces bounce rates, says a WordStream Article, "What Is Long-Form Content & Why Does It Work?"

Long-form content allows you to offer more comprehensive information on a topic and helps users; therefore, it is preferred by search engines.

Focusing on these areas can improve your website's ranking and visibility in search results, attract more organic traffic, and achieve your business goals.

"We'll focus on pillar content, extensive guides, and thought leadership articles to build authority and engagement." - Carl Broadbent Digital Marketing Expert, Founder, Carl Broadbent

"Planning to invest more time into building solid backlinks, as well as writing long-tail keyword-focused blogposts that answer bottom-of-funnel questions from prospects, and interlinking those properly." - Hanna, Marketing Manager at Niceboard

#8. 43.6% of Companies Have a Stake in 'Local SEO'

As it turns out, almost half of the online searches ( 46%) are meant for local businesses.

This translates into a staggering 97 billion monthly searches for local companies and 3.2 billion daily searches, or 37,000 local searches per second.

More to the point, a whopping 78% of local searches done on mobile prompt an offline purchase. This is to say that mobile optimization of your local business shouldn’t be shoved under the carpet; rather, it should be front and center of your SEO agenda in 2024.

What’s more, every month, consumers visit 1.5 billion local brick-and-mortar stores based on their Google searches. So, no matter your profession, whether you are a plumber, electrician, or a car mechanic, make sure your business is listed on Google and optimized for local search. These stats stress the power of local SEO to drive foot traffic.

SEO Cost Survey-2024 97 billion monthly searches for local companies

Not surprisingly, nearly 44% of the companies have conveyed that they’ll prioritize local SEO this year. This means they’ll have to invest $50 to $200+ hourly, that’s the running local SEO pricing rates these days. Bottom line: if your online business has an offline presence, then, no matter what, optimize your website for local search.

Read the quotes below to understand how Local SEO is helping companies relate to the local audience.

"We're looking to focus on geographically targeted markets and optimize for local search queries as a way to capture the top-of-the-funnel audience. This includes Prioritizing platforms like GMB listings and local citations and investing in location-based keywords." - Andriy Shum, Head of SEO, SEOProfy

"In 2024, we plan to primarily focus our SEO endeavors on quality content creation and local search optimization. This allows us to both serve our local community well, while also reaching out to potential clients who may necessitate our services." - Andy Gillin, Attorney & Managing Partner, GJEL Accident Attorneys

Here are some tips for Local SEO optimization:

  • Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing page

  • Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) be uniform across the web

  • Build backlinks and local citations

  • Localize your content that resonates with your community

  • Conduct a local SEO audit

  • Optimize URLs, Meta titles, Meta descriptions, Headers, and Content.

  • Add location pages to your site

  • Create local content

  • Get inbound links with relevance and authority

  • Get involved in local communities

#9. 40.3% of Companies Bet on 'Search Generative Experience'

A brainwave of Google Search Labs, generative AI in search, will display quick and concise content (read: search summaries) at the top of the search engine result pages (SERP) followed up by organic results. Recent research indicates that SGE content will appear in almost 86% of the search queries

SEO Pricing Plans-percentage of Keywords with SGE Content

SGE content will appear for almost 86% of the search queries

Here’s a sample of how AI-driven Search Generative Experience will appear.

/SEO Pricing Plans SGE

Currently, Google has test-launched SGE in English in over 120 new countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Korea, Brazil, and Mexico, besides the U.S., India, and Japan. To test AI SGE on Google, enroll in Search Labs to test early-stage experiments on Search that are currently available on the Google app (Android and iOS) and Chrome desktop.

Sharing his knowledge on SGE, Dimitar Kondev, SEO Expert and founder of DimitarKondev.com shared valuable tips on SGE optimization.

“Many people expect Google to roll out the Search Generative Experience (SGE) across numerous markets this year. This update will make factors like EEAT even more crucial for SEO rankings, prompting increased investment in areas like link building, digital PR, and improving website UI/UX. Since EEAT largely relies on signals outside of the website, strategies to acquire quality links are seeing more investment in anticipation of 2024”

Tips to Generate SGE Content in 2024

  • Ditch keywords and focus more on the “People Also Ask” feature for your content
  • Ditch top-of-the-funnel content and focus on middle and bottom of the funnel content, as top-of-the-funnel content will be covered by SGE
  • Protect your brand through brand-specific content optimization or clone sites that could crowd you out on SGE queries.
  • Genuine SEO metrics like revenue will count more than vanity metrics such as clicks and impressions.

#10. 35.9% of Companies Are Eyeing 'Video SEO'

Developing high-quality videos, just as high-quality visuals and text, is essential for SEO businesses. High-quality videos generate more traffic, prompt browsers to stay on the site for longer, and, more importantly, help create more backlinks.

So, the bottom line is that your pages will surely show up high in SERPs if you can continuously generate high-quality videos, not to mention visuals and text.

Here are some tips for video SEO:

  • Create content that’s informative and engaging at the same time

  • Video titles, descriptions, and tags should have relevant keywords

  • Leverage social media and other channels to promote your videos.

#11. 35.9% of Companies have 'Mobile Optimization' On Their Minds

In the local SEO point, we already covered the significant increase in Local Searches on Mobile, which is 78%. Additionally, nearly 63% of web searches are happening on mobile devices in the U.S. Needless to say, developing mobile-friendly websites is a must for businesses these days.

Simply put, your website should have a responsive design that plays with every screen size and offers a great user experience on mobile devices.

Mobile Optimization as we have identified a prominent shift towards mobile browsing we want to ensure a seamless user experience for our end users, irrespective of the device they use - Tom McSherry, the Managing Director of LeadLocal

Everyone's on their phones, so we're making sure our site looks great on mobile devices - Kate, SEO Specialist, Irresistible Me

#12. 24.4% of Companies Optimize for 'Voice Search'

According to Statista, voice search will grow almost two-fold, thanks to the growing popularity of voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant. This means optimizing for voice search is critical for a powerful online presence.

SEO-Cost-Survey-2024- Digital voice assistants used worldwide

Voice search optimization is one area of search engine optimization in which Mammoth Security plans to increase its investment in 2024.

According to Eugene Klimaszewski, President of Mammoth Security, voice search optimization would entail “Developing content that succinctly responds to certain voice inquiries, enhancing local SEO for near me voice searches, and making sure website technical elements are voice search-friendly are all part of investing in voice search optimization.”

With more people using voice search, we're making sure you can find us easily, even when you're speaking to your device - Kate, SEO Specialist, Irresistible Me

Here are a few tips for Voice Search Optimization:

  • Use long-tail keywords and natural language
  • Optimize content for question-based searches
  • Prioritize local SEO if you have a physical location

There you go! Companies plan to focus on 12 areas for their SEO investment this year. Hopefully, you also know where your money should flow with regard to SEO in 2024.

Now that you have a general idea of the areas where SEO investment is not just nice but necessary, here’s a breakdown of the Search Engine Optimization Costs based on their Monthly and Hourly rates, including On-page and Off-page SEO Costs, to help you budget accordingly.

SEO Cost Breakdown: Monthly and Hourly Rates, including On-page and Off-page SEO Costs

How Much Does SEO Cost Per Month in 2023?

SEO Pricing Plans SEO Cost Per Month in 2023

Average Monthly SEO Pricing Breakdown

  • Almost 43% of companies (30.5% + 12.4%) pay $1,000 - $2,000 as SEO cost per month. This range is likely ideal for small and medium businesses with average SEO requirements.
  • Nearly a third (25.7%) of the companies had spent even less, under $500 monthly, highlighting their singular focus on following cost-effective SEO strategies. This is the perfect budget range for personal businesses, very small businesses, or those whose SEO requirements are minimal.
  • Around a quarter (27.6%) seem interested in stronger results and have spent over $2,000 monthly. At least you’ll have to earmark so much if you are running a larger business, working in a competitive niche, or planning to engage in extensive SEO work.

A small number of outliers spent significantly more, almost $4,000 monthly. In these cases, they likely represent specific industry demands or have experimented with varied SEO strategies for optimal effectiveness.

Key takeaways

  • The average monthly SEO pricing in 2024 will probably fall within the $1,000-$1,500 price band.

  • Companies prioritized value over unmindful spending, thus preferring mid-range pricing options.

  • A significant portion of the companies are ready to invest more for stronger SEO performance.

What was your Hourly SEO Pricing Plan in 2023?

EO Pricing Plans 2024 Hourly SEO Pricing in 2023

Average Hourly SEO Pricing Breakdown

  • Regardless of the company size, a majority (almost 75%) of the companies chose to spend $50-$75 hourly. This meant they opted for cost-effective SEO solutions, signaling their need to get their money’s worth.
  • Nevertheless, 11.1% of the companies recognized the need for increased investment and spent $75-$100 hourly. This suggests that companies want to balance between budget and effectiveness.
  • Given how Google is giving businesses a tough time on the SEO front, thanks to the relentless algo updates it undertakes time and again, it’s no wonder that 4.2% of the companies had spent heavily, over $200 per hour. This indicates their ongoing commitment to executing top-tier strategies for complex SEO challenges.

Key takeaway: The average hourly SEO pricing in 2024 will probably fall within the $50 - $75 price band, indicating the need to balance cost and effectiveness.

How Much Does SEO Cost Per Project?

SEO costs $1000 – $5000 per project; however, some businesses pay over $10,000. Generally speaking, SEO project costs depend on the project’s scope, timeline, and requirements. Request a custom quote from the best SEO Companies & Services to get accurate SEO pricing for a project. (source)

SEO Pricing Plans 2024 - Key findings

Popular SEO Services & Pricing - OnPage and Offpage

On Page SEO is a monthly thing, and there’s no escape from it. If you don’t religiously perform your on-page SEO on a monthly basis, consequences could be severe in the form of lower rankings in SERPs and, therefore, lower traffic and conversions.

For off-page SEO, a site audit is performed annually, while technical maintenance can be performed every month.

On Average, How Much Does Your Company Spend Monthly On On-page SEO

  • A majority(52%) of the participant companies spent in the mid-range, that is, an average of $500 to $1,000 on-page SEO costs per month.
  • A sizeable portion ( 21%) allocated $1,000 - $1,500.
  • 5.2% of participant companies spend in the $1,500 - $2,000 bracket, while 9.1% of investments exceeded $2,000, which could likely be for complex optimization or competitive niches.

SEO-Cost-Survey-2024-monthly-OnPage SEO Cost

Here’s a comprehensive list of on-page SEO elements that you need to undertake in 2024 uncompromisingly:

On-Page SEO Elements Checklist

  • Write E-E-A-T Content

  • Keyword Research

  • Visual Content

  • Page Titles

  • Headers

  • Meta Descriptions

  • Image Alt-Txt

  • Structured Markup

  • Page URLs

  • Internal Linking & External Linking

  • Mobile Responsiveness

  • Site Speed

Write E-E-A-T Content: Technically speaking, E-E-A-T is not part of On-page SEO optimization. But then, come to think of it, if informative and educational content is part of on-page SEO, then E-E-A-T definitely should fall under the On-page SEO elements checklist, isn't it? Given Google's emphasis on authoritative content, EEAT should be high on the On-page SEO ladder.

Keyword Research: Using keywords that your target audience uses (as a search query in Google) in your copy is one sure-shot way to ensure that your copy surfaces in search engines much above your competitors. Take advantage of free keyword tools such as Ahrefs, UberSuggest, Semrush, Moz, and more to know about the trending keywords in your niche.

Visual content: I've heard SEO marketers saying, "Google doesn't understand visuals as much as it understands copy. So keep visuals to the minimum." I agree; there's a grain of truth in that. Google crawls and indexes images; however, its understanding of images is limited, though it uses Alt text and surrounding content to understand the meaning and context of visuals. That said, recent AI advancements are helping Google improve image understanding.

Page Titles: Page Titles or title tags are significant from an SEO viewpoint. You must insert the keyword in the title tag for your website to rank for a particular search query.

Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions appear right below the title in search results. Though it's not a ranking factor, it can lead to clicks on your website.

Image Alt-text: One must uphold the importance of Alt-text as Google delivers both image- and text-based results. Tell Google what your image is all about by adding alt-text.

Structured Markup: This means marking up your website's source code to make it easier for Google to understand its elements. Though part of technical SEO, optimizing structured markup ensures a better user experience for website visitors.

Page URLs: The job of Page URLs is to keep your website hierarchy consistent and, at the same time, ensure it resonates with readers and search engines as you keep rolling out subdomains, blog posts, and other internal pages.

Internal Linking: Internal lining involves linking to other helpful pages on your website to guide readers to other important pages, prompting them to hang out longer on your website and thus sending out a signal to Google that your website offers meaningful and unique content.

Mobile Responsiveness: Google favors mobile-friendly sites. So, ensure your design, theme, content, and hosting service provider are mobile-responsive.

Site Speed: Your website should load quickly on mobile and desktop. Site speed is one of the major on-page SEO elements, and your site's leads and conversions depend highly on it.

Average Monthly Off-page Search Engine Optimization Cost

Many companies (42%-60%) find $500-$1,000 the right budget for critical off-page marketing services like social media management, link building, and influencer marketing (per campaign).

Half of the companies (50%) utilize guest posting within the same $500-$1,000 (per post) budget range.

Off-page SEO checklist:

  • Link-building

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Influencer Marketing

  • Guest Posting

Here’s a broader bifurcation of companies allocating budgets for different off-page SEO elements in 2023.

Average Monthly Link-Building Cost

"The effect of backlink earning from authoritative sites can result in elevated website assist and belief, and therefore to a better website ranking." - Alex Taylor, Head of Marketing at Crown TV

SEO-Cost-Survey-2024-Link building cost

Based on a survey of 150 companies, here's a breakdown of their average monthly link-building costs:

  • Almost half (46.3%) of surveyed companies allocated $500-$1,000 for link building, suggesting that the mid-range is the most popular budget range.

  • A significant 23% opted for the $1,000-$1,500 range, indicating a growing willingness to spend more.

  • 10% invested over $2,000, indicating their interest in high-end link-building strategies.

What do Link Building Strategies generally include?

Backlink Analysis and Strategizing

The practice involves:

  • Studying the existing backlink profile.

  • Tracking new opportunities for new links.

  • Devising new strategies to acquire them.

Guest Posting and Outreach: Contact relevant websites and seek guest blogging opportunities to build and enhance your backlink profile. Almost 50% of the businesses allocated $500 - $1,000 per guest post, while 13% spent $1,000 - $1,500 for premium placements.

Broken Link Building: Tracking websites with broken links and suggesting your replacement.

Link Reclamation: Find websites that mention your brand but haven’t linked you. Reach out to such websites and request them for a link.

Average Monthly Social Media Cost in 2024

/SEO-Cost-Survey-2024 Social Media cost

Most participant companies (60%) allocated $500-$1,000 for social media marketing. A significant 15% opted for the $1,000 - $1,500 range, signaling their intention to explore premium social media strategies. In 2024, 7.5% of the companies had spent over $2,000.

Social media marketing activities include various strategies and tactics; however, the core actions include content creation and sharing, community building and engagement, brand building and reputation management, and analytics and reporting.

Average Monthly Influencer Marketing Cost (per campaign)

SEO Pricing Plans-2024-Influencer Maketing cost

  • 42% of companies invested $500-$1,000, indicating the sweet spot for influencer marketing budgets.

  • 16.7% allocated $1,000-$1,500, suggesting a growing appetite for premium partnerships.

  • 4.2% paid over $2,000, indicating a strategic approach to leverage leading influencers.

Influencer collaborations mean increased social media engagement, likes, shares, comments, and, more importantly, quality backlink generation. Increased social media engagement is a clear-cut signal to search engines on growing user interest and content quality, thus boosting your website’s ranking.

According to Aspire’s The State of Influencer Marketing 2024, macro-influencers' average engagement rate is dismissal only 1.44%, while nano-influencers enjoy a 4.39% average engagement rate, and micro-influencers have a 2.59% average engagement rate. Hire top 50+influencer marketing companies to choose specific nano-influencers and micro-influencers in your niche.

Off-page Monthly SEO Pricing Plan of 2023

Off-page SEO Activities Monthly SEO Pricing % of Companies
Link Building

$500 and $1,000

46.3%
Social Media Management $500-$1,000 60%
Influencer Marketing $500 - $1,000 (per campaign) 42%
Guest Posting $500 - $ 1,000 (per post) 50%

Investing in technical SEO ensures that your website issues are addressed almost instantaneously, which in turn helps you build on your search engines rankings and traffic. The cost depends on company size, website complexity, and specific needs.

SEO-Cost-Survey-2024 One-time Site Audit Cost-

Over half (56%) of the companies invested $500-$1,500 annually in on-site audits. Nearly 21% had spent $1,500 - $3,000 annually for potentially more complex audits.

A site audit is a crucial part of an SEO strategy. Regular site audit helps identify and address technical issues that impact SEO performance, such as slow website loading, broken links, and other technical glitches. More importantly, it helps identify areas that aren't optimized for search engines - such as meta descriptions, keyword inconsistencies, and even issues related to mobile-friendliness. Resolving these issues means higher search engine rankings and increased organic traffic, not to mention the need to avoid costly website redesigns.

Some site audits identify security vulnerabilities to protect your website and users' data.


Technical Maintenance Cost

SEO-Cost-Survey-2024 Technical Maintenance Cost

The majority of the companies (55.3%) allocated $500-$1,500 monthly for ongoing technical maintenance. This ensures the smooth functioning of the website and at the same time, bolsters SEO efforts.

About 1 in 5 companies (18.4%) paid $1,500-$3,000 monthly on technical maintenance, likely due to larger websites or more complex website issues.

SEO Software/Tools Cost (Monthly Expenses)

SEO-Cost-Survey-2024-SEO Software Tools Cost

65% (36% + 29.3%) of companies coughed between $50 and $500 monthly on SEO software/tools. These tools provide in-depth insights about your website’s SEO performance, keyword tracking, and managing various SEO tasks.

Regular site audits and ongoing maintenance are crucial for a healthy SEO strategy.

"Funding tools can be helpful when it comes to heavy keyword research, competitor analysis, and performance tracking. As a result, SEO campaigns will become fewer and easier to Undertake." - Alex Taylor, Head of Marketing at CrownTV

Technical SEO Pricing

Technical SEO

Pricing % of Companies
SEO Site Audit Cost $500 - $1,500 annually 56%
Technical Maintenance $500 - $1,500 monthly 55.3%
SEO Software/ Tools $50 - $200 monthly 36%

Bottomline: Don’t put all eggs in one basket. Don’t just prioritize on-page but give off-page SEO equal weightage. Everything has to work side by side. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t then prioritize accordingly.

Specify Your SEO Pricing Model

SEO-Cost-Survey-2024-SEO Pricing Model

Our research found that most companies (60%) choose the Retainer Model over other pricing structures like hourly, project-based, performance-based, and fixed packages.

What Makes Retainer Supersede over Other Pricing Models: Insights from Real Users

The quotes from various business professionals highlight the key reasons why businesses favor retainer pricing models over others.

"Monthly retainers with agencies allow careful planning across seasons. Everyone benefits from stability versus short bursts that miss bigger opportunities. Building strong, trusting relationships pays off in collaboration over the long haul, too." - Connor Gillivan, SEO and growth expert, founder, and CEO of Trio SEO

"We prefer having an SEO partner actively optimizing and monitoring efforts ongoing. Hourly means losing sight between work bursts. Retainer means they're accountable to results." - Daniel Jarrett, the CEO of Queensland Solar and Lighting

"In terms of pricing models, I prefer to set monthly retainers when working with SEO specialists because that enables better strategizing for long-term gains versus short-term discounted project blitzes." - Sam Kadel, Founder of KBA Web

While the popularity of the Monthly Pricing Model is unquestionable, several companies have their reasons to opt for project-based pricing or performance-based model.

A Quick Note: The monthly retainer model mostly suits larger businesses. Following businesses should think twice before engaging with monthly retainer packages.

  • Smaller businesses should choose hourly or project-based models

  • Complex projects could gain from fixed or performance-based pricing as it helps align costs with outcomes.

While the popularity of the Monthly Pricing Model is unquestionable, several companies have their reasons to opt for project-based pricing or performance-based model.

"As for our preferred SEO pricing model for 2024, we find that Project-based Pricing aligns best with our objectives. It allows us to focus on specific areas we want to improve, with clear deadlines and tangible deliverables." - Joanne Highland, certified Yoga Expert and fitness Teacher of Mind is the Master

"My preferred pricing model for SEO this year is a performance-based model, where payment is tied to results achieved, ensuring accountability and alignment of interests between the client and the SEO provider." - Rongzhong Li, CEO/Founder of Petoi

In a nutshell, companies should carefully thump through their needs and budgets before choosing the most suitable SEO pricing model. Consulting with experienced SEO companies can help you navigate different pricing options.

SEO-Cost-Survey-2024- SEO Pricing Model

ROI Expectation from SEO Efforts in 2024

Company Name ROI Expectation from SEO - 2024
Zovo Team Ltd 1million $
Content Euphoria 10X more than 2023
Stanoz Designs 80% ROI at least
Thatware LLP 189% YOY
Specbee 500% ROI at least
Veraqor,Inc 800% ROI at least
FATbit Technologies 5x ROI
SunTec India 70000 USD
PerfectionGeeks Technology $15000
SEO Vendor 2-3X ROI
Binmile 500% ROI
ImpactQA 10X increase in MoM traffic and 35% increase in inbound leads
Flying V Group 30-40% ROI
Wildnet Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 50% increase
Effeect 3 - 5 x ROI
Seattle New Media 30 qualified leads per month
Agicent Technologies 40 to 60%
Techinfini Solutions Pvt. Ltd. 450% ROI
Saffron Edge 7 to 10 times ROI
Pixated 500% ROI

Overall, there's a range of expectations, with many companies aiming for significant growth through SEO in 2024. It's important to remember that ROI can vary depending on industry, competition, and the specific SEO strategy employed.

CTA- SEO Pricing Plans

Rounding Off

"As Google Algorithms become more and more restrictive and paid-search-oriented, all SEO experts have to rethink their approach to search optimization and get ready to pay more for valuable traffic." - Artem Bezvesilnyi, UKAD

The SEO landscape is dotted with several small and large algorithm disruptions. With every disruption, the online world goes into a frenzy as DAs get affected and websites disappear from SERPs overnight.

The rise of ChatGPT and Gemini has further added to the frenzy that businesses have started questioning the relevance of SEO in the first place. All said and done, businesses have not lost faith in the power of organic search or SEO and are planning to invest more than ever.

It's just that you need to trade old ways of SEO with new ones. Put another way, content stuffing is dead, and E-E-A-T is in. Adding AI to SEO is no longer a nice-to-have strategy; AI and SEO must walk hand-in-hand. User Intent is more important than the density of keywords. All these costs mean you must pay more than in previous years, as quality comes at a price, right? And remember, patience is the key. SEO and nearsightedness are incompatible. SEO is a long-term game, so budget accordingly and iterate and learn from every algorithm update.

We sincerely thank our Research Partners for their valuable insights.

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