The Cost of SEO: Research Reveals Monthly SEO Budgets

A survey of 1,241 of the SEO professionals by SEO industry heavyweight Search Engine Journal reveals the most common SEO budgets. The industry survey report titled The State of SEO 2021: Insights, Opportunities & Threats, shares insights from SEO experts who work directly with clients through an agency (875) or as a freelancer (366).

In the State of SEO survey, the most commonly reported monthly SEO client average budget range is between $1,000-$5,000 (USD), according to 27% of respondents. Close behind was a budget of $500-1,000, for 23% of respondents.

Most common SEO budgets graph

Twice as many agencies (33%) to freelancers (14%) fell into the $1,000-5,000 bracket.

According to this data, the comparison between freelancers and agencies shows that freelancers tend to charge less than agencies.

Freelancer respondents are more likely to charge a budget under $500 than an agency. Of those charging $500 per month or less, 28% are freelancers.

It’s worth noting that 14% of respondents were from India, where substantially lower costs of living and average earnings could explain the lower budgets.

SEO Consultant Blake Smith was surprised by these figures. “It was interesting to learn of the considerable amount of agencies servicing smaller businesses for under $500 per month. These types of campaigns are usually highly productised with a defined set of deliverables. I fall somewhere in the middle of this pricing graph, though I typically do complex Shopify SEO or work with larger B2B companies.”

The State of SEO survey also revealed insights into where SEO practitioners spend their time: 11.7% of SEO professionals report that the amount of time spent on audience research is “None”; 8.67% of SEO pros spend no time at all on mobile SEO, while 7% spend all of their time here; Only 7% of respondents spend all of their time on technical SEO; 19.2% of SEO pros spend only a little of their total SEO time on on-page optimization; 7.3% of SEO pros reportedly spend “all” of their productive time on keyword research; Just 5.7% of SEO pros spend no time at all on technical SEO, making it an essential skill for most.

With Technical SEO receiving generally a lot lower time dedicated to it, it presents an opportunity for experienced SEO’s to differentiate themselves.

Eric Enge explains, “On sites where the technical SEO is already sound and budgets are being invested in adding content/making content improvements across the site we see a very strong correlation between increased budgets and increasing traffic.”

He added, “Done the right way this is like printing money. In other types of investments, the results are not as predictable but generally still have a positive effect.”

To learn more about the research check out the full report on Search Engine Journal.

To learn more about SEO pricing in Australia visit Blake's website to receive an obligation-free quote.


For more information about Blake Smith SEO Consultant, contact the company here:

Blake Smith SEO Consultant
Blake Smith
+61 02 84136405
Sydney, Australia