screenshot of SEO ROI calculator example result

How Much Does SEO Cost in 2024? (Free Calculator)

When I talk with businesses about SEO, many who are new to it are somewhat surprised at the cost. And they have reason to be. The truth is SEO requires a lot of skill and time, but if done right, results in a high return on investment (ROI).

Together, these three aspects prove how SEO can be expensive.

SEO costs $50 to $200 per hour, $500 to $10,000+ per month, or $1,000 to $30,000+ per project. The exact price you get depends on expertise, location, and the complexity of the project.

For a small business, investing $500 to $10,000 per month can seem daunting. But it’s important to consider your ROI first before deciding anything.

So, what is the true cost of SEO, and what exactly are you getting from it? Let’s take a closer look.

Jump To The SEO ROI Calculator

How Much Does SEO Cost?

Pricing ModelSEO Cost
Per Hour$50 to $200
Per Month$500 to $10,000+
Per Project$1,000 to $30,000+

Just like any industry, you’ll find every SEO has a different pricing model and rate. While this may be confusing, it’s important to look at their track record and see if the ROI is worth it for you.

For example, here’s what our pricing model looks like at Epic Ranks:

  • $3,000 per month
  • $100 per hour (consulting)

Because SEO takes a lot of work and time to implement, we spend an average of 40 to 80 hours per client per month. If you divide the monthly cost by the hours spent, you’ll see that $3,000 is on the affordable side.

SEO Spending Per YearPercentage of Small Businesses
Less than $1,00050%
Over $25,0002%
Survey of 1,200 business owners,

And, unlike other SEO agencies, we don’t do long-term contracts. While SEO takes at least 3-6 months to see results, we provide you the freedom to choose how you invest your money. So, if you try SEO for a month or two and find it’s not for you, then we won’t hold you back.

Just know that the best results are seen after 6 months and beyond.

Is It Worth Paying For SEO? (Free Calculator)

B2B Revenue in 2019 seo graphic

It’s worth paying for a good SEO. While many SEOs charge $500 or less per month, it’s often not enough to get quality work.

In fact, clients that spent over $500/month were 53.3% more likely to be “extremely satisfied” compared to those that spent less than $500/month.

Backlinko, 2019

So, if your budget for SEO is $500 or less, there’s a good chance you might not be satisfied with the quality of work. While investing more into SEO can sometimes be difficult, you generally do get what you pay for.

To help with this, here are some key stats that prove SEO is worth the investment:

  • SEO drives over 1,000% more website traffic than organic social media [53% vs 5%]. (BrightEdge, 2019)
  • SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate (cold calls, marketing, etc.). This means SEO leads are 8x more likely to turn into customers than outbound leads. (, 2023)
  • Brands who engage in SEO save 400% on ad spending on average, whilst attracting the same level of traffic (Lyfe, 2022)

If you’d like more stats, you can check out our other post: 110 Amazing Stats That Prove SEO Works In 2024

Free SEO ROI Calculator

Need a clearer view of your ROI on SEO? We put together this free calculator. Just input the required fields and see if SEO is worth it for you.

Here’s an example if you need it.

Let’s say you have a plumbing business and you’re in talks with an SEO company. They’re projecting that after 12 months, your plumbing website will be getting 5,000 visitors per month with a conservative 1% conversion rate. Your average order value is $300. The SEO company is asking for an investment of $3,000 per month.

To recap:

  • Plumber
  • Projected 5,000 monthly visitors
  • 1% conversion rate
  • $300 order value
  • $3000 monthly cost

So, is it worth it for your business? Try the calculator above to find out.

Price Breakdown (What You Get From SEO)

I previously mentioned we spend 40 to 80 hours per client, per month, but what exactly goes into this?

Types of SEOExampleHours Spent Per Client Per Month
On-PageOptimizing Web Pages, Blog Posts16 to 32
Off-PageOnline Mentions, Social Media9 to 16
TechnicalWebsite Speed, Mobile-Friendliness7 to 12
LocalGoogle Business Profile, Reviews8 to 20

As you can see, the majority of our time goes into on-page SEO, while the rest of our time goes into off-page, technical, and local SEO fairly equally.

If you’d like to learn more about SEO and the different types, see our complete guide: What Is SEO?

How Long Does It Take To See SEO Results?

Why SEO Takes So Long graphic

SEO takes at least 3-6 months to start seeing results, and up to 12 months for significant results. This depends on your industry, competition, quality of SEO, and Google’s algorithm updates. We suggest publishing a minimum of 2-4 quality SEO articles per month.

Keep in mind, SEO is a compounding investment. It takes time for Google to trust your website and rank your content. However, the more time and quality content your website has, the faster your new content begins to rank. Eventually, this compounds, resulting in exponential growth.

We’ve seen new content go from taking 8 months to rank to just 1 week. It’s simply a matter of age and quality.

If you’d like more of a breakdown of how long SEO takes, see our other post: How Long Does SEO Take in 2024? A Timeline For Your Business

Can I Do SEO Myself?

You can definitely do SEO yourself, but keep in mind it will take an estimated 10 to 40 hours per week. Most business owners will see a better ROI focusing on their core business instead of learning SEO.

However, if you’d like to do your own SEO, here’s how we recommend you start.

  1. Crawl Your Website: Sign up for Google Search Console and use it to crawl your website, identifying errors or issues that need your attention.
  2. Check It’s Indexed: Type “” in Google’s search bar to see if your pages are indexed.
  3. Ensure a Logical Site Structure: Plan your website like a tree with the main topics as branches and subtopics as leaves.
  4. Optimize On-Page Elements: Research keywords relevant to your content and include them in your page titles, headers, and meta descriptions.
  5. Enhance Content Quality: Answer common questions in your field in detail to create valuable content for your audience.
  6. Strengthen Internal Linking: Whenever you write a new piece of content, link it to other relevant pages and posts on your site.
  7. Make Mobile-Friendly: Use a responsive design for your website, automatically adjusting to fit the screen size of any device.
  8. Improve Site Speed: Compress images and use a content delivery network (CDN) to speed up page load times.
  9. Identify Keyword Opportunities: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to discover popular keywords and phrases related to your products or services.
  10. Increase Backlinks: Create high-quality content that other sites want to link to, and reach out to relevant websites to share your content.

If you’d like to learn more about doing your own SEO, see our complete guide: 10 Steps to Do An SEO Audit (Free Checklist)

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