In today’s fiercely competitive internet market, search engines have become an important tool for businesses to reach their target audience and increase their website traffic. Because search is one of the primary ways users discover material online, the higher the rank of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs), the higher the chances that potential customers or people will find your content.

However, many organizations lack the necessary resources to achieve or maintain a high search engine ranking. SEO is a complex process and requires a diverse range of skills and expertise. This is why businesses often decide to hire outside assistance from specialized agencies to outsource search engine optimization (SEO), improve their online visibility, and stay ahead of their competitors.

In this article, we will explore how much it cost to outsource SEO, the factors that influence the cost of outsourcing, and what to look for in an outsourcing partner.

Why Should You Outsource SEO?

Below are some of the common reasons why businesses choose to outsource SEO.

To gain access to expertise

SEO is complex and not an easy skill to master. Algorithms and search results are constantly changing. Google, which has dominated the SEO industry for years, has frequently introduced new algorithms to its system to provide relevant content for users. Being an expert in developing and managing an SEO strategy can be challenging to do in-house.

SEO agencies have more experience and expertise in implementing SEO techniques. This means that an SEO agency is likely to achieve more success when developing content, building links, and distributing external articles.

To reduce costs

Outsourcing SEO can be less expensive than keeping an in-house SEO team. SEO is constantly changing and keeping up with the new trends will be difficult for internal employees to do. A team of diverse experts that specialize in particular areas of SEO and digital marketing campaigns will be necessary for your business. Outsourcing SEO will provide you with the expertise for a lot less money than it would cost to keep them in-house.

For comparably little money, an SEO firm or agency can offer a lot of value.

To focus on core business activities

Keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, content creation, and analytics are just a few of the many tasks involved in SEO. For organizations that are unfamiliar with them, it can be time-consuming and complex since they require specialized knowledge and skills.

By outsourcing SEO, businesses can free up time and resources to concentrate on their core competencies. As a result, they may be able to increase their productivity, cut expenses, and boost income.

To gain access to tools and resources

SEO agencies typically have access to specialized programs that can assist them with a number of SEO-related tasks, including keyword research, site audits, and backlink analysis. These tools work on a subscription basis with monthly or annual fees which can be expensive for small and medium-sized businesses to obtain.

By outsourcing SEO, your company gains access to tools and resources that will help you with your business needs.

Types of SEO Services

On-page SEO

This is the most common way used by businesses to boost their site visibility. On-page SEO involves optimizing elements of a webpage such as content, HTML source code, and other technical elements.

For valuable leads to find your business, you need to conduct keyword research to find the most common terms and phrases that people use to search online. You then incorporate these keywords into your website places, like page titles, meta descriptions, and headings.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to the activities that are done outside of the website to improve its search engine ranking and increase its online visibility. These activities usually include link building, guest posting, and social media marketing. Search engines like Google use your off-page SEO to measure your site’s credibility. You can think of it as building your site’s reputation.

Search engines rank websites with high reputations higher since they are considered as having more expertise and authority.

Technical SEO

It is the process of optimizing the technical aspects of a website in order to improve its search engine rankings. The common tasks associated with technical SEO are improving your website’s speed, submitting your sitemap to Google, or making your website more mobile-friendly.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Outsourcing SEO?

SEO used to be a simple process. There are several different services available to improve your SEO and the cost of these can vary greatly. Here are some of the common factors that can affect the overall cost of outsourcing SEO.


The level of competition for specific keywords can have a significant impact on SEO costs. Certain keywords or phrases with high search volume and strong competition are usually more difficult to rank for and require more time and effort to achieve top rankings. This can lead to higher costs. When there is more competition, the company must invest more to differentiate its site from all other sites competing for the top spot.

Website Scale

The scale of a website is determined by its number of pages, its complexity in terms of structure, and the number of products or services offered by the business. The larger the website, the more content to optimize.

Geographic Location

Service providers located in areas where there is a higher demand for SEO services typically charge more. The cost of living in their location plays also a part in the SEO cost.

Scope of Work

One important aspect that can significantly affect the cost of outsourcing SEO is the range of services offered in SEO packages. Any SEO package with the following services are worth-considering:

  • Keyword research
  • Regional and local focus
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Review of backlink use
  • Aid with backlinks
  • Content creation

The level of customization required in an SEO project can also impact the cost of outsourcing. Highly tailored projects could take more time and work to accomplish which could increase the price of SEO services.

Level of Expertise

You can expect to be charged more for SEO services if you outsource to a highly skilled and specialized SEO company. This is because highly qualified professionals can deliver high-quality service and offer a more thorough strategy, both of which can contribute to better results.

On the other hand, outsourcing to an SEO agency with lesser experience will cost less. But, you may not get the same quality of work as you would expect from an agency with more experience.

Naturally, projects that require extensive knowledge and experience to succeed will cost more.

SEO Tools

SEO tools are software programs that can assist you with a number of SEO-related tasks, including keyword research, site audits, and backlink analysis. These technologies help SEO companies and independent contractors to do their work efficiently and effectively.

While the use of SEO tools and services can be more expensive, it is important to note that it can lead to better results and ROI for your business. When outsourcing SEO services, it’s essential to talk about the tools and techniques the agency will use and how will this affect the overall cost of the project.

SEO Pricing Models: How Companies Charge

SEO Hourly Costs

SEO services typically cost between $75 to $200 per hour. Depending on the level of expertise of an agency and the services that they offer, they may charge more or less than this range.

Hourly rates give you control over how much time and resources you devote to a project. This means that depending on your goals and budget, you can change the quantity of work being done. Additionally, it provides transparency on the cost breakdown, giving you the assurance that you are only paying for the task that has been completed.

There are, however, disadvantages to this pricing model. Since the total cost of the project can change depending on how long it takes to finish, the hourly pricing model can be unpredictable. It can also lead to overcharging if the SEO agency takes longer than necessary to finish the project.

Project-Based Fees

With a project-based SEO pricing model, the services have a clear endpoint and the client receives a specified deliverable that is simple to monitor as the project moves along. This might make it possible to do both quick projects and in-depth consultations.

A basic SEO project which includes keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building, may cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for small to medium-sized enterprises. If the project calls for more difficult activities like content production, technical SEO, or local SEO optimization, the full cost of SEO may rise.

For larger businesses with more complex websites and targeting a larger audience, SEO efforts may cost up to $10,000 or more.

Project-based SEO outsourcing can be a smart choice for companies with specialized SEO requirements and limited budgets.

Monthly Retainer

In this model, a fixed monthly fee is paid to an SEO provider. The geographical location, expertise, and project scope will all affect how much the SEO retainer costs.

A typical monthly SEO retainer for small to medium-sized businesses may cost between $500 to $2000 per month.

For larger companies, it may cost as much as $5,000  a month or more. This may include a more thorough SEO plan, ongoing optimization, and possibly additional services like content creation, technical SEO, or local SEO optimization.

With a monthly retainer, your website’s SEO is continually developed which can support the long-term maintenance and enhancement of your SEO rankings.

Choosing the Right SEO Outsourcing Provider


Experience is important in choosing the right SEO partner because it shows their level of expertise. An experienced SEO company that is knowledgeable about your industry will understand the challenges your business is facing. This can assist them in creating a unique SEO plan that fits your business’s objectives and target audience.


If your SEO partner has a solid reputation, you can be more certain that they will be able to provide good results for your business. Their reputation will also establish their credibility. If they have a good reputation, it means they can be trusted. Moreover, it can help reduce the chances of wasting time and resources on ineffective SEO strategies.

Services Offered

Check what services each agency is providing. The services they offer must be aligned with the SEO goals and needs of your business. Look for an SEO partner that offers a wide range of services that can help ensure that all aspects of your SEO campaign are optimized and tailored-fit for your business needs.


Consider the pricing structure of the SEO outsourcing company. SEO is a long-term investment that’s why it is essential to have a full understanding of the pricing.


This is crucial when choosing an SEO outsourcing partner. An SEO partner can assist you in better understanding how they intend to raise the search engine rankings of your website by being open about their procedures and practices. It builds trust and confidence in the services they provide.


Compatibility ensures that your company and the outsourcing partner can work together effectively to achieve common goals. It is easier to align your goals and work towards a shared vision if your SEO partner shares your values. If they are compatible with your business, they are more likely to understand your business’s needs and challenges. This will assist them in creating an SEO plan tailored to your particular business objectives and target market. Lastly, compatibility is important in building a long-term partnership with your SEO outsourcing provider.

Outsourcing SEO can be a good choice for companies looking to boost their online visibility in a cost-effective way. The cost of outsourcing SEO can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the competition, website scale, location of the SEO agency, scope of work, and SEO tools. Different pricing models may also affect the overall cost of outsourcing.

Choosing the right SEO outsourcing partner is an important business decision. You need to consider the agency’s level of experience, reputation, and the services they offer before making a decision. Taking into consideration these factors will help you learn more about the agency and give you more confidence as you choose the right SEO partner.

Ultimately, by partnering with an experienced agency, your business can achieve increased visibility, more organic traffic to your website, and improved ROI.


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