How Much Does it Cost to Hire an SEO Expert or Company?

In this article, I’m going to discuss, how much does it cost to hire an SEO expert or an SEO consulting firm to set up a standard SEO campaign for your web entity. Costing varies on different conditions…

“A campaign below than $500 for a small and local project can be fishy. So once you’re planning to have a discussion with your SEO guy or a company, you must know circumstances that decide your SEO campaign costing”

So, I don’t need to tell you what’s SEO and how does it work. For people who don’t have an idea, please jump to this page.

Let’s jump straight to the point, how does it work actually.

The payable amount should be depending upon the work hours spent and any external expenses made specially to handle out that project

To understand this, we must know the extended process and work hour distribution of an SEO professional may have.

Website Audit:

Whenever a project arrives, a pre-audit is required to check its current condition, a position with respect to the search engine’s visibility. A lot of tasks included in this check, like,

Content Audit, Technical codes Audit, Website Hierarchy, UI & UX of the website, link building & On-page SEO Audit, and a few more.

These audits take a hell of a lot of time and also depend upon the size of the website. The combination of various free and paid tools involved when someone does a pre SEO audit.

2. Longer Time to See Results:

Search engine optimization is a long-term strategy. People eager to see results from the earlier days or months. It is only possible in a few niches or if you are opt-in to a Paid advertising strategy.

Sometimes agency gives an approximate time when one business owner can start seeing results and due to the nature of the service if the agency gets a failure to show the expected result, it creates bad faith in the business owner.

How SEO priced over the years?

Previously when we were doing SEO, it was quite easy to show the results with fewer resources and in less time.

Time passed and search engines like Google started hunting down the low-quality search results, in terms of content, link building quality, and most importantly user experience.

Now SEO people who were somehow managing the client’s website rank with less effort started using qualitative practices in terms of all of the rank signals.

They started using qualified niche-based writes to produce knowledge base content. Hired top SEOs to build and earn links for an SEO project.

Hiring a professional definitely going to cost you more, isn’t it?

Also, Google has filtered out its search algorithm to the next level.  Now functions work with artificial intelligence. BERT update, one of the advanced updates so far. This Google search engine’s update made it compatible to take operations based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Now if someone who is doing SEO, must take care of these guidelines and make your entities like content, link & other technical things compatible with these algorithm updates. This is nothing but time taking and a hell of a lot of work.

As a result, more time consumption and brainstorming mean more money demand and that makes sense for any of the businesses out there.

How much does it cost to set up a standard SEO campaign?

There are numerous amounts of actions an SEO person performs on a project. From the beginning audit to final reporting.

  There are tons of 3rd party software and services available in the market. They are used to automate & fasten the process.

Tools like ahref, moz, semrush can be used for link audit, competitor’s research, keyword research, and many page actions. They’re paid in nature and cost almost $150-$500 for each in a month to perform the tasks.

 SERP tracking (keywords rank tracking) can cost $50 a month. Technical Audit software like a screaming frog can cost $200-$400 for a year.

Link building & Guestpost:

when we pitch a webmaster for a link back to our website, not every time you’re going to get a link placed instead of your high-quality content. These webmasters charge $50 – $500 for a single link and much more. Sometimes these don’t come under SEO direct pricing because of the divertive nature of it. 

I’ve written a brief article about this, right here.

The Time Frame for a Simple SEO Campaign:

Below are the time and work input tables that I personally follow for small projects. The work and time distribution depends on multiple conditions.

For the first 7-8 business days, people perform a full SEO audit and on-page optimization for the website in the under SEO process.

First Month TaskHours
Full SEO Audit5-7

Keyword Research 


Title tag optimization4-6
Meta description optimization2-4
URL structure optimization2
Content Optimization8
XML Sitemap creation2
Robots.txt validation1
Image Alt Tag optimization3-5
Keyword Placement & Optimization2-4
Broken Link Repair3
Schema Implementation3-5

For succeeding work weeks, the SEO Services focuses on more On-Page & off-page optimization simultaneously.

The weekly task/hours breakdown can be as follows:

Week- 1



Building Basic BrandingChecking the relevancy of the link, Setting up foundation links and profiles, the setting of business pages15
Content Set upContent development for foundation links and profiles5
Video (if available)Augmenting of videos for YouTube8
Article WritingTop-quality articles will be written per month. Inclusive of blog and guest posts7.5
TOTAL 35.5

Each Week- 2, 3 & 4:

Building Brand LinksChecking the relevance of the links, Building More foundation links and profiles7
Content Set upContent development for foundation links and profiles8 -10
Creating Buffer SitesCreating Buffer sites with engaging handwritten content or Something Similar5
Guest Post & Outreach LinkSetting up & push to process outreach campaigns8
Niche Relevant LinksBuilding niche relevant tiered links on high authority and spam-free blogs and websites.10
Article WritingTop-quality articles will be written per month. Inclusive of blog and guest posts15
TOTAL 53-55

You can have an idea about the task performed in general. The average can be 45-50 hours in a month.  Even you hire a professional having 5+ years of hands-on experience in the field, it can cost at least $20-$25 per hour from a tier 3rd country.

If you hire the same from tier 2nd countries, it can cost $40 – $50 for an hour and so on.

Now, this is another subject of debate about which country is better to outsource or you should outsource it to your local agency or hire an in-house team.

I’ll write another article on this subject in the coming months. But for now, you can assume the cost for your SEO work hours this way.

Cheap Work Vs Long Term Work

Do you think SEO is affordable for you? Think about it twice!

SEO takes time and money at least a couple of months if not years to start seeing some benefits. It isn’t a win-win process always if you picked the wrong direction.

Do you think a Cheap SEO will work for your website? If yes, do you have any specific reason behind it? Do you think a small website cost less?

That can be true to some extent but there is a starting point for all of the SEO campaigns.  Google treats websites equally and gives weight to one that fulfills search algorithms more than others.

Cheap SEO practices never can handle this out even they put months on it.

An honest SEO person, an agency never deals that they can get a particular rank position in X month. They always talk about Rank & Traffic Improvement. End of the day you will want to see conversion and sales, not the rank position, isn’t it? And that makes sense.

I’ve written perfect points in my article, how to hire an SEO expert. You can check out what you should consider as your hiring points.

Long-term work may be kind of exhausting in nature but works all the time. Any website that follows search algorithms gives authentic information and behaves all the time equally is treated as an Authority, and can be rewarded by Google in terms of stable rank positions in SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

Hiring an SEO professional or an agency for your long-term work can be costly but worth the time and money.

Have you got anything to speak about this article? Share your thoughts by doing comments below and let me know how you manage your SEO costing.


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