Category: SEO Pricing

Prices and Costs of SEO

How Much Does Local SEO Cost?

Like any ongoing service, when people ask the question How much does this service cost? Invariably the answer will come back “it depends”.

Generally speaking however, local SEO as a whole is a lot cheaper than the national SEO campaigns of medium to bigger sized companies.

The reason being that local search-engine-optimisation campaigns are easier to optimise for due to the localisation of the business. This means that the keywords your business is trying to rank for have a lot less competition than the broader keywords of a national campaign.

For example, the more localised keywords “Plumber Sheffield” or “Plumbers in Sheffield” are a lot less competitive and easier to rank for on Google than more broader keywords such as “Plumber” or “Plumber UK” would be.

So, what does the price of SEO depend on and how does that differ in a local SEO campaign?

The Number of Pages on Your Website

When it comes to SEO, the smaller the website, the easier it will be to optimise. This is because bigger websites not only have lots more pages to optimise and possibly change, they also often have architectural complexities that smaller sites won’t have. Often the difference between optimising smaller and larger sites can be thousands of pounds.

What Does this Mean in Terms of Local SEO?

Generally speaking, local businesses tend to have small websites with only a handful of pages, so the price of optimising a local businesses website shouldn’t fluctuate as much as that of optimising a large ecommerce site for example.

The Condition of your Website

The condition of your website also plays a big role in the price of your SEO, the more things that need fixing, the more expensive your SEO is going to become. Generally speaking the larger your website the higher chance your site will be in a non-optimisable condition, but not always.

What Does this Mean in Terms of Local SEO?

Unfortunately, although smaller websites are often easier to optimise, sometimes they require a complete re development before an effective SEO campaign can commence.

Often, small or local businesses will opt to use “free website builders” offered by website hosting companies such as; Wix or 1 and 1.

Using such services make SEO very difficult for example, the free website builder Wix won’t allow you to:

  • Choose your page names (URLs)
  • Redirect one old page to a new page in the same Wix site
  • Create duplicate pages or duplicate test sites
  • Move your site from Wix without losing SEO juice

In this case, it is often much easier to completely redesign the website on a SEO friendly CMS than try and work with the limitations of Wix.

You can read more about the limitations of Wix on: Why Web Designers Won’t Touch Wix: SEO

On Going Services

Although many of the initial services offered by a reputable SEO companies will be done and put under the completed category, there are many services that will be ongoing throughout the entire length of the SEO contract.

Ongoing services will be things like:

  • Content publication
  • Link building
  • Data analysis
  • Page optimisation

So if you are thinking about undergoing a SEO campaign, you should be prepared to have a ongoing monthly spend on your SEO services.

What Ongoing Services Do SEOs Spend the Most Time on?

In October last year, Search Engine Journal asked 65 of the “top SEOS” how they “spend their time, their biggest challenges, their top priorities and their vision for the future” and here are the results.

Where is the Majority of Your Time Spent?

More than 25% of SEO marketers say the majority of their work hours are spent on technical and onsite SEO projects. With 15.8% of those asked concentrating on off-site only, 14.2% of those asked concentrating on on-site only and 19% of those asked concentrating on all three.

What SEO Tasks Do You Spend the Most of Your Day Working On?

SEO marketers agreed that content creation is by far the most labour intensive task with 72% of people surveyed saying they spent most of their time creating content.

Content relating tasks including;

  • Keyword research
  • creating content
  • building relevant backlinks
  • editing meta data
  • mobile optimisation

What are Your Biggest SEO Challenges Right Now?

28.5% of those asked revealed that building relevant backlinks is the hardest to achieve part of SEO success with 17.9% of those asked saying that both data analysis and mobile optimisation is the hardest.

You can view the study and info graphic on Search Engine Journal.

Different Pay Models of SEO Companies

Every SEO company is different and will have different approaches when it comes to pricing local SEO, here are some of the payment models that SEO companies tend to adopt.

  • Monthly Retainer
  • Pay per rank
  • Pay per visibility

You can find more about the different payment models in our article: How to find a reputable SEO company.

Vision64’s Local SEO Payment Model

Here at Vision64, we adopt a Pay for results pricing model, we are so confident of our ability to rank your website for the keywords important to your business that we won’t charge you unless you start seeing results.
Find out more about our Local SEO Services.

Further Resources

Prices and Costs of SEO

SEO Pricing: How Much Does it Cost?

Click here to visit our pricing page…

Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the process of improving content, coding, keywords, HTML, tags and links in order to increase a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results. Google Search statistics show that there are over 40,000 search queries every single second, which equates to over 1.2 trillion searches every year – and that’s just on Google alone! Other Internet search engines account for roughly 30% of the market share. Marketing Sherpa estimates that 70% of all the search results links that users click on are organic, and that 75% of users will never scroll past the first page of results. The incredibly high number of Internet searches mean that it is vital for companies and individuals to use SEO techniques to get their website to rise to the top of the search engine results. In fact SEO is such a powerful tool that it has the ability to make or break a business.

Both big corporations and small start-ups are investing in SEO to improve their visibility on the web and to potentially boost sales. The growing popularity of employing SEO professionals means that there are now a number of ways to pay for SEO experts to work on a project, including by hourly rates and monthly retainers. The type of search-engine-optimization pricing model that you choose should depend on your budget, your expectations and the task in-hand. Read on for some valuable information on how much SEO costs, and how to choose the very best pricing model for your requirements.

Hourly SEO Costs

Hourly SEO Costs

Hourly SEO costs are when a specialist is hired based on their hourly rate alone. A survey revealed that of the 600 SEO firms questioned only 55% offered hourly rates, as monthly retainers and project-based rates were more popular with clients. This method appeals to a range of businesses on the surface, but there are a few important issues to consider before you hire a SEO specialist on an hourly rate.

The pros of this type of payment method include that the business owner is given full transparency and accountability over their hiring of the SEO expert. The hourly rate will be agreed prior the hiring stage, so it’s simple and easy to calculate how much time you want to allocate in order for the SEO service to remain within your allocated budget. Many SEO professionals will even be able to provide you with a complete breakdown of their hourly rate and what goes on what. With an hourly rate you get to compare rates with other specialists that have similar qualifications and experience to ensure that you are getting a fair price for the services that are offered.

However, there are several cons to this payment scale. Firstly, hourly rates mostly enable a more cut-and-dry relationship between yourself and the SEO expert. With an hourly rate you do not give the expert the creative freedom to work on the project and actualize your visions and goals for SEO. Instead, you are simply paying them per hour worked which in turn can potentially mean that the expert will not be able to improve the SEO as expected and results may not be seen as quickly as desired. If you don’t put a cap on the amount of hours that you want to expert to work then you could also easily run over budget and be left with a larger bill to pay. Some SEO providers will charge additional ‘service fees’ which are added on the end of the bill. The services charges could mean that the amount of hours worked is actually less than expected due to these fees. Another con is that hourly SEO specialists will often be kept in shorter contracts, as opposed to stay on monthly retainers, which often means they will have a lesser of an understanding of the business and will not be able to follow up and maintain previous SEO work. Overall, the hourly rate SEO is a good option to test the waters with a new SEO expert and see what they are capable of.

Monthly SEO Payment

Monthly SEO Costs

Another type of payment schedule that is available for SEO services is that of the monthly SEO payment. This is when a set fee is agreed to be paid every month in return for services including updates and maintenance work.

Benefits of a monthly retainer include that any work provided is result-based as opposed to just on an hourly rate. With monthly payments the specialists are able to focus on the task in hand and ensure results are provided regardless of the amount of hours that are worked. This method also allows for more communication between the SEO expert and business owner, as conversations will not be cut-short if you exceed the hours worked like in the hourly rate option. A great SEO specialist that works with you on a monthly plan will be able to provide a detailed breakdown on the areas that they have focused on, so you can see direct results of their services.

There are also a number of negatives to using monthly payment methods, including that the amount of hours worked will differ from one month to the next. If there are a lack of updates or visible results then it can be easy to become frustrated with the monthly plan and easy to feel like you may not be getting your money’s worth. Many monthly plans also require that a regular contract is set up for a longer time frame, such as for a 6-month or one year period. Discounts are commonly offered for longer contracts, however this means that you are tied-in to the contact even if you are not content with the level of work which is being completed. It also means that if your business finances are unstable you could find it difficult to budget for the SEO services during tough times.

Project-Based SEO

This is a popular type of payment plan, particularly for small businesses or for those just starting to discover SEO and how it can benefit their business, is that of the project-based SEO plan. Many firms will offer this plan at an affordable price as a way to showcase their services and how they can benefit businesses in the hope of promoting either a monthly retainer or hourly rates for projects in the future. This method acts as a bridge between hourly rates and monthly retainers as it lets business owners see what can be accomplished in relation to a specific project or task that they want help with.

Budget-conscious businesses will benefit from this service as it provides a clear contract and a simple way to meet SEO needs without having to go over budget. The timeline of project completion can also be more straightforward in comparison to monthly retainers where you may not be sure when a task will be completed by. This method also allows business owners to focus on a more specific task and how it can benefit the business as a whole. Excellent results with project-based SEO will ultimately lead to more work for the SEO firms.

What is the Average Cost of SEO?

According to Search Engine Land,  SEO prices in the UK look like this:

  • £50-£150 per month — low-end SEO (or low competition)
  • £150-£300 per month — mid-range small business SEO
  • £300-£500 per month — more competitive mid-range SEO
  • £500-£1,000 per month — high-end small business SEO (usually a national business)
  • £1,000-£2,000 per month — high-quality for competitive industries
  • £2,000 upwards per month — high-value businesses with content-led SEO approach. Typically a national or multi location business.

in 2011 conducted a study on SEO firms and their pricing structures. This revealed some interesting insights in to the current state of SEO. While internet forum users and blog articles rumoured that hands-on-SEO is dead, the survey actually revealed that 95% of all firms questioned do in fact offer hands-on adjustments to websites, plus 79% offered hands-on link building. It also found that the majority of firms work for small to medium sized businesses, and that even those who did serve large corporations were still offering SEO packages to smaller businesses.

Click here for our prices…

Why Good SEO is So Expensive?

Over the years Google has made it increasingly more complex to play the system and improve SEO by black-that methods. News updates and secret algorithms are in place so that their ranking system is not ‘cheated’, so that the search engines can provide the best search results possible based on quality content and other important SEO factors. SEO is also a zero sum game, meaning that if one company ranks higher another company will rank worse. Large companies are constantly investing profits in order to rank well and to maintain their high positions. Even if you are in a position to invest as much as a competitor, you will still need a better strategy in order to beat their lead and maintain top position.

There are so many variables to SEO. As well as constantly having to update strategies and improve knowledge based on how and when search engines choose to update their algorithms, firms are having to deal with the many changes that are thrown at them. For instance, each keyword is unique, and while some may be ranked the same worldwide, others will be localized or have ecommerce ads linked to them. Google are also becoming more secretive with their organic search data, which is making it harder for SEO experts to pinpoint what changes are making an effect on the performance of a website. All of these factors contribute to that fact of why good SEO can be so expensive.

Why Should I Stay Away From Cheap SEO?

Cheap SEO may be enticing. After All, it’s easy to go onto sites like Odesk and eLance and see incredibly low SEO rates offered by so-called SEO specialists. However, in the best case scenario cheap SEO can just be a waste of money, while in the worst instance it can actually cause some major damage to your brand and its reputation and even cause you to be banned from search engine results.

Google hates spam and any type of illegal SEO methods which are used for the sole purpose of attempting to boost rankings. This is reflected in Google’s Penguin update which actually punishes companies that have practiced poor link building techniques. Low-cost SEO specialists will often use these bad tactics as a way to quickly and cheaply build links yet they cause more damage then they are worth.

Cheap SEO services will often use low quality writers, or worse use spun or copied content, in a bid to increase SEO. Cheap content is really terrible for any business, as not only will it dilute your brand but it also reflects poorly on the reputation of your company. Potential customers will find the bad or misleading content a waste of time and will avoid using or purchasing products and services from you. Every piece of content on your site needs to be engaging and informative for your readers. Long gone are the days when content was mass-produced and stuffed with keywords in a bid for bots to pick up and to improve the websites rankings. Google’s Panda update in 2011 practically made content farms extinct overnight. This famous update targeted websites which it thought had thin, duplicate or machine-generated content. This was a big blow for those who had practiced low-cost SEO tactics, and it lost some businesses upward of a 90% loss of their organic search rankings. Good SEO specialists will have access to a team of high-quality writers who are able to craft compelling content that will make visitors want to return time after time to your website, or convert them into purchasing something.

Low-cost SEO service providers and firms can also be behind on the latest upgrades, algorithms and tactics which are needed to stay ahead of the SEO game. This also results in more issues for your website and brand, as they could easily over-optimize or indulge in black-that tactics without even necessarily knowing it. Black that SEO refers to illegal techniques which violate search engine terms and conditions. These include things like unrelated keywords, keyword stuffing, tiny text, hidden links, cloaking, doorway pages or gateway pages, page swapping, duplicate content or spam blogs. These techniques are commonly employed by low-cost SEO specialists and will cause major damage to the reputation and ranking of your website. A high quality SEO expert is more likely to use the latest white hat tactics in order to get your website to rise to the top of the organic search engine rankings.

The same applies for management of social media accounts. These accounts all showcase your brand and its voice. Putting someone in charge of these accounts who is not knowledgeable enough will cause detrimental damage to your business and its potential success. Avoid firms that promise ‘X’ amount of number of fans in a certain time frame. This can be an indication that they are purchasing followers, fans, and likes illegally. Cheap SEO services are really not worth the time or investment. If you want to experiment with high-quality SEO services then it is best to hire a top-notch specialist for a small project and have them talk you through their services and how they will most benefit you, as then you can see the results for yourself.

Overall SEO is and will always will be big business. SEO specialists are having to constantly retrain to keep ahead with competitors, while business owners may have to test out several firms or experts in order to find the perfect person for the job. With three main types of SEO payment models to choose from as well as a host of experts, firms and agencies located all around the world, finding an incredible SEO expert has never been easier. It’s always worth getting recommendations, or asking what experience they have had prior to hiring anyone for a SEO project. Remember, with SEO your truly get what you pay for, so keep that in mind when looking for your next SEO specialist.


Should You Pay For SEO Hourly, Monthly Or By The Project? – Search Engine Land

SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models – Moz

Why Great SEO is Expensive – SEO Book

The Hidden Cost Of Cheap SEO & Social Media Labour – Search Engine Land

How Much Should You Spend on SEO Services? – Search Engine Watch

What Does SEO Cost? [Infographic] – Forbes

How Much Does SEO Cost? – A Guide for Business – ONLINE KICKSTART

SEO Services Pricing – How much do you have to pay for SEO? – Reliable Soft

4 Reasons Why Quality SEO Will Cost You, and Why It’s Worth It – Entrepreneur

Prices and Costs of SEO

What Does SEO Cost – Should I Hire a Professional or Do it Myself?

Every small business owner knows that marketing is a critical and important factor in the overall success of your business. Although traditional marketing methods such as; newspaper ads, billboards and radio spots still deliver results, it is becoming clear that online marketing is beginning to overtake them in terms of overall effectiveness.

In fact, the average person now spends more time online than with TV and all other media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) combined and with over 100 billion Google searches a month, online marketing is definitely the place to be. But this begs the question, who should be doing the online marketing for your business?

Should you hire a professional SEO company to handle your online marketing or should you learn how to do the work yourself? In this article, we aim to answer those very questions.

The Premise

We are aiming to compare the average monthly retainer fee for SEO agencies in the UK with the average hourly cost of a small business owner and compare the 2 to find out which one is more cost effective.

The Methodology

The Monthly Cost of a SEO Professional

in 2011, ran a survey asking consultants and agencies of all sizes and geographies to contribute their SEO prices and cost structures.

We used the resulting infographic to work out the average monthly retainer fee for SEO agencies in the UK and the figure we arrived at was; $251 – $500 for a small to medium business.

The average cost of SEO services monthly retainer

The Hourly Cost of an Average Small Business Owner

Finding out how the hourly cost of a small business owner was a little trickier than finding out the hourly cost of a SEO professional. To find out the hourly cost, we went about trying to calculate how much the time of a small business owner was worth.

Using clear thinking’s tool (What is your time really worth to you), we worked out;

  • The average amount of hours a small business owner will work per week in total, which according to this article from is – 50 Hour Per Week.
  • The average amount of weeks a small business owner will work in the year, which according to this article from is – 50 weeks a year.
  • The average weekly salary of small business owner which according to this article from is £1038.46

This works out at an average hourly figure of £20.77

What Does a SEO Professional Actually do to Improve your Site’s Ranking?

Due to the ever changing nature of SEO, the day to day tasks of a SEO agency aren’t going to stay the same however, there are some tasks that traditionally are always done to help rankings and these are the ones we are going to focus on in this article.

Keyword Research

Keywords are the words and phrases your potential customers are typing into the search engine to find your website. This is why it is important that your website is ranking for and promoting the right keywords so that your customer can find you. If you are a plumber in Leeds, it’s no good ranking for “Plumber Essex” because 99.9% of people who find your website won’t be interested in your services.

So an SEO agency or professional will do keyword research to determine the keywords that your customers are searching for in Google and then implement them on your website’s meta titles and meta descriptions.

How Long Would it take a SEO Agency or Professional?

This process would be included within the monthly retainer fee for a SEO professional or agency: $251 – $500

How Long Would it Take for you Implement it Yourself?

The steps involved in conducting keyword research would be;

  • Learning how keywords work – 1 hour
  • Learning how to use the keyword tools – 1 hour
  • Finding the most relevant keywords for your business – 2 hours
  • Learning how to check what your site is rankings for currently – 1 hour

Total time – 5 hours

Total hourly cost – £103.85

Meta Titles and Descriptions

A website’s meta title and descriptions are important, not only for your websites performance in the search engine results but also for attracting any potential customer thinking about clicking through to your website. A meta title is a very important factor in positioning your web site within the search engine result pages because it is the first factor Google will take into account when submitting your site.

The meta description tags appear in the search results below your page title, a good meta title and description should look like this;

example of a meta title

You can learn more about Meta title and descriptions here: Optimizing your Meta Description Tags for Google Searchers

How Long Would it take a SEO Agency or Professional?

This process would be included within the monthly retainer fee for a SEO professional or agency: $251 – $500

How Long Would it Take for you to Learn how to Implement it Yourself?

The steps involved in conducting learning and implementing meta title and descriptions would be;

  • Learning how meta title and meta descriptions work – 1 hour
  • Create new meta tags from keywords in previous step – 3 hours
  • Replace all existing meta tags on your website – 2 hours

Total time – 6 hours

Total hourly cost – £124.62

Google Analysis

First thing a SEO agency or professional will do is check to see whether your site has Google analytics and webmaster tools installed.

You can find more about Google analytics and Google webmaster tools here:

If they haven’t, then they will install them on your website via a HTML code inserted into your site’s header. If they have been installed, they will check to see how you website is performing in the following areas:

  • How many people have visited your website in the last month
  • Where the visitors that visit your site are from
  • Whether or not you need a mobile friendly website
  • Marketing tactics that drive most traffic to your site
  • What pages are the most popular
  • How many visitors have you converted into a lead or customer
  • Whether or not you can increase your website’s speed
  • What content do your visitors engage with the most
  • what keywords are you visitors using in the search engine to find you

If any of the above factors are underperforming it will be taken note of so it can be corrected at a later date. They will also check how you are ranking already on Google for various keywords and build upon that base.

How Long Would it take a SEO Agency or Professional?

This process would be included within the monthly retainer fee for a SEO professional or agency: $251 – $500

How Long Would it Take for you to Learn how to Implement it Yourself?

The steps involved in conducting a Google analysis would be;

  • Learning how to install Google analytics and Google webmaster tools – 1 Hour
  • Learning how to use Google analytics and Google webmaster tools – 1 hour
  • Creating a report with the relevant data – 1 hour

Total time – 3 hours

Total hourly cost – £68.31

In a link profile analysis, an SEO agency will have a look at all the back links currently pointing at your website. Links and the quality of links play a major role in how your website rank in the search engines. Once they have a list of the links pointing at your website, they will determine the quality of those links. If your website has deployed any techniques that are deemed black hat or spammy, these will need be disavowed straight away as they can seriously hurt your website’s rankings.

Black hat techniques include such methods as;

  • Spamming forums
  • Blog comment spam
  • Links farms
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Cloaking
  • Link buying and link exchange programmes
  • Article spinning
  • Doorway pages

How Long Would it take a SEO Agency or Professional?

This process would be included within the monthly retainer fee for a SEO professional or agency: $251 – $500

How Long Would it Take for you to Learn how to Implement it Yourself?

The steps involved in conducting a link profile analysis would be;

  • Learn how to distinguish a bad link with a good link – 1 hour
  • Subscription to a back link tool (Majestic) – £45 (basic subscription)
  • Check your back links and create a report – 1 Hour
  • Learn how to disavow bad links (If needed) – 2 Hours
  • Disavow bad links pointing at your site (If needed) – 1 Hour

Total time – 5 hours

Total hourly cost – £103.85 + £45 subscription = £148.85

Content Analysis and Expansion

Google loves good quality content, without content, your website is going to struggle to climb the search engine rankings.

A SEO agency will have a look at the current content on your website and see if;

  • There is enough content on your website
  • If the content is of good quality
  • If the content is relevant to your website

To make it easier to get quality links, you need good content. You are not going to get quality links pointing at your homepage very easily, unless you are throwing a lot of money at it. It would be up to the SEO agency to determine whether or not the content you already have on your website is good enough to use already and promote or if they feel you should have some quality content published. Once that content is published, it is then their job to market and try and to get links to that content using the methods mentioned in the link building section.

How Long Would it take a SEO Agency or Professional?

This process would be included within the monthly retainer fee for a SEO professional or agency: $251 – $500

How Long Would it Take for you to Learn how to Implement it Yourself?

The steps involved in conducting a content analysis and expansion would be;

  • Learn about quality content – 1 Hour
  • Determine whether or not your website is need of more content – 1 Hour
  • Define an article/articles to be written – 3 Hours
  • Cost of article being written – £98 – 2500 word article
  • publishing the content on website / formatting – 1 Hour

Total time – 6 hours

Total hourly cost – £124.62 + Article cost £98 = £222.62

Brand Monitoring

If you have a strong local brand, your company or website may get mentioned in the local press, local websites or social media. Sometimes, these mentions don’t include a link back to your website. A SEO company will monitor brand mentions and contact those who forget to include a link back to your website.

How Long Would it take a SEO Agency or Professional?

This process would be included within the monthly retainer fee for a SEO professional or agency: $251 – $500

How Long Would it Take for you to Learn how to Implement it Yourself?

The steps involved in brand monitoring would be

  • Mention subscription – £29 a month
  • Contacting any outlets who have mentioned your business – 1 Hour

Total time – 1 hour

Total hourly cost – £22.77 + Mention subscription = £51.77

Competitor Research

I’m sure you know the saying “keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer”, well keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing can help your website’s performance or marketing campaign. Although it isn’t a good idea to completely copy what your competitor is doing, it may spark an idea or they may be doing something obvious that you have missed and let’s face it, if they are above you in the Google rankings, they must be doing something right.

A good SEO agency will keep an eye things like;

  • Their social media campaigns
  • Their link building practises
  • Their overall marketing strategies

Sistrix is a good tool for monitoring your competitors.

How Long Would it take a SEO Agency or Professional?

This process would be included within the monthly retainer fee for a SEO professional or agency: $251 – $500

How Long Would it Take for you to Learn how to Implement it Yourself?

The steps involved in competitor research would be

  • Sistrix subscription – £100 a month
  • Learning how to use sistrix – 1 hour
  • Conducting research on competitors – 3 hours

Total time – 4 hours

Total hourly cost – £91.08 + £99 sistrix subscription = £190.08

For a website to rank properly they will need good quality back links, the problem is that getting quality back links to a website is particularly hard. A good SEO company will always be actively trying to attract quality back links to a website and there are a number of well known methods out there including;

  • Broken back link building
  • guest posting
  • Link exchange
  • paid for links
  • sponsored links
  • influencer marketing
  • email outreach

More information on link building can be found here: The advanced guide to link building

How Long Would it take a SEO Agency or Professional?

This process would be included within the monthly retainer fee for a SEO professional or agency: $251 – $500

How Long Would it Take for you to Learn how to Implement it Yourself?

The steps involved in link building would be;

  • Learning all the various link building techniques – 5 hours
  • Conducting link building outreach – 20 hours

Total time – 25 hours

Total hourly cost – £569.25


The monthly cost of a SEO campaign of a SEO campaign from a SEO agency or professional = $251 – $500

The monthly cost of a SEO campaign by doing it yourself = £1479.35

All in all, it is much more cost effective to hire a SEO professional to conduct your SEO campaign than yourself.

Other SEO Pricing Models

Fixed Price Services and SEO Costs

Most SEO companies will offer individual services for fixed SEO prices or perhaps on a sliding scale depending on the size and scope of the service. For example, undertaking an initial site audit might be such a project, enabling the customer to assess the current situation before committing to long-term services.

If we were to look at the average cost of SEO services info graphic referenced earlier, we can see that the average monthly retainer fee for the UK is: $251 – $500 for small to medium business and $2501 – $5000 a month for larger companies with a bigger marketing budget.

SEO costs monthly retainer

One-off Project Services and SEO Costs

It’s also possible to engage the services of an SEO company for a specific project, such as a website launch, keyword analysis or a link building campaign among others. Looking again at the info graphic, we can see the average project based SEO prices for the UK is;

One off SEO costs

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring a SEO Professional

Access to a Large Array of SEO Tools

SEO tools are a necessity when conducting a successful SEO campaign. These range from tools that check the back links of a website to tools that check keywords rankings in the search engine results. Unfortunately, these tools aren’t cheap, some of them running into the hundreds for a monthly subscription.

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO is a must have tool for any SEO Professional, its features include;

  • Site explorer – lets you explore a domain/url in great detail, including backlinks and the quality of those backlinks
  • Backlink History tool – allows SEOs to determine the number of backlinks detected by our sophisticated web robots for given domains, subdomains or URLs.
  • Search Explorer – allows you to Search their index for a Keyword or more and see the page title and URL where it appears, as well as getting the Search Score for the URL.


The cheapest monthly subscription starts at £44.99 and the most expensive subscription is £250 a month.


With the SISTRIX Visibility index the performance of more than one hundred million domains is viewable at a glance. Numerous data and analysis options reveal the secrets of success of all successful websites.

It allows you to;

  • Analyze and optimize organic Google search results
  • Analyze Universal Search Integrations within a search like news, photos, videos, etc.
  • Reveal your own website’s, or a competitor’s backlink profile and check for link risks
  • Analyze AdWords and banner campaigns for any website
  • Analyze social signals in the five largest networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • On page analysis of your websites and creation of unique keyword sets.


Price ranges from €100 a month for a basic subscription to €400 a month for the most expensive subscription.

You can find all the important tool for SEO professionals here: SEO Tools: The Complete List

Lack of Experience

A SEO agency or professional has experience.

There are a lot of techniques out there that purport to give you success and instant results and it’s hard to know which ones to trust and which ones could ultimately hurt your site. Well a SEO Professional has undoubtedly tried them all, they know what works and what doesn’t and they know which techniques to stay clear of which would take a lot of time for a small business owner to learn.

But, more important than experience, a SEO professional keeps up to date with new SEO developments. SEO is constantly changing, what may have been really successful just 2 months ago may have been changed and is no longer effective. Along with experience, SEO professionals also have access to a large amount of..

Lack of Resources

A SEO agency or professional will have a wealth of resources that someone just starting out in SEO will not have.

They will have access to;

  • Contacts
  • link building resources
  • previous projects that have proved successful in the past
  • specific tools that fit in with your website’s niche
  • guest blogging opportunities

Resources take a long time to gather and is something a new comer will not be able to acquire easily.


So, we have gone over some advantages of hiring someone to take care of your SEO but what are the disadvantages?

The Experience of Running your own SEO Campaign

I know I listed experience as an advantage in the previous section but it can also be a disadvantage, let me explain.

Undoubtedly, the experience and knowledge gained from successfully piloting your own SEO campaign is invaluable. You will learn techniques and practises that can see you through not just this business but any other business you may start in the future and it will probably save you money in the long run.

However, the question you have to ask yourself is;

How much is your time worth?

Learning SEO is an incredible time sink, is your time better allocated elsewhere? are you able to run a small business and learn SEO?

Further Resources

Here are a couple of articles which are also on the topic of SEO pricing and the cost of SEO

Prices and Costs of SEO

Prices and Costs

Every business owner knows that marketing is a critical and important factor in the overall success of your business but they might not know what good SEO actually costs.

Below you will find a number of articles detailing just that, from the cost of local SEO to the cost of just doing it yourself.

What Does SEO Cost – Should I Hire a Professional or Do it Myself?
SEO Pricing: How Much Does it Cost?
How Much Does Local SEO Cost?