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How much does SEO cost? SEO Pricing Guide 2020-2021

At some point, most serious businesses will wonder about the cost of SEO. SEO pricing can vary significantly depending on the location, niche, and type of company. In Toronto and Vancouver SEO can cost $250CAD or more per hour. On the other hand, local SEO for a business in a small town might cost as little as $50-$100 per hour.

One thing is certain; search engine optimization is a process requiring skilled individuals or teams. But there are agencies that will charge top dollar without the knowledge and systems to deliver results. We built this SEO pricing guide for 2020 and beyond to help business owners understand what they’re paying for and how much SEO should cost.

SEO Pricing Guide – SEO Cost in Toronto and Canada

SEO Services Canada

Average Price Per Hour*
Consulting 100-149$
Keyword/Topic research 200-300$
Technical audits 150$
Technical SEO (fixing/speeding up sites etc) 150$
Web/UX/UI design 50-99$ 
Website maintenance (updates, security, etc) 100-149$ 
Content creation (writing, video, graphics) 100-150$
Content management (sourcing images, managing posts etc) 50-99$
Link building (outreach, guest posts, research) 100-150
Community management (social, forums, etc) 200-300$
Media buying/PPC 150-199$
Local SEO (maps, GMB) 50-99$
Conversion optimization 50-99$
Tracking/Reporting 200-300$

*Data based on averages taken from Clutch.co.

What is/was the cost of SEO 2020?

From the data above we can learn that the overall price of SEO is quite variable. There may be even more variance in coming years, because online marketing and SEO are becoming more accessible. As a new wave of Search Engine Optimizers learn the ropes and begin offering services, some may try to undercut existing prices.

Many SEO companies in Toronto use monthly SEO pricing models

Most companies charge on a monthly basis. Research has shown that 75% of SEO agencies in Toronto charge clients on a monthly basis. Pricing for this varies from city to city. Irrespective of your location, you are likely to pay between $3000-$5000 CAD per month.

Not all SEO agencies have multiple pricing models

In Toronto, only 41% of companies offer multiple pricing models. A larger percentage offer just one pricing model. 70% of which charge on a monthly basis. The majority of these companies do not charge hourly or per project. Most of their clients are on monthly SEO contracts.

Since the beginning of search engine optimization the question “how much does SEO cost?” has been greatly debated. It has been on the lips of many in Canada who want to promote their brands and find new customers. The ultimate goal is to make sure that search engine users can locate their brands quickly.

There are a lot of variables to consider when looking into how much SEO services should cost. Without any doubt, the toolkits and mechanics for SEO are basically the same.

However, one must consider things like user experience, content updates, and backlinks when strategizing and budgeting for the price of SEO. Most times, determining the exact cost of SEO and possible ROI can seem complicated. But it gets easier once you understand the marketplace factors that affect the success and price of SEO.

This guide seeks to provide you with the elusive answer to how much does SEO cost and give you an insight into SEO pricing models in Toronto.

Why is SEO important?

Nowadays top priority is given to SEO by brand owners in Toronto. Most firms and startups use it as a significant marketing tool to increase brand awareness. The potential it creates for business websites is limited only by search volume.

Implementing SEO will not only help improve your search engine ranking but also increase the quality of your website. This is achieved by making your website super user-friendly. By optimizing your site, you increase the ease of use and improve the user interface.
You know how competitive the market can get, especially in Toronto. The marketplace is full of businesses that offer products and services similar to yours.

Finding a way to make your business stand out is not always easy. SEO can put you ahead of the game, gaining you more customers and therefore better return on investment.

Search engine optimization can amplify your brand voice among the ocean of businesses. We are in the tech age, and a lot of customers and potential customers turn to search engines for answers to their questions.

Many individuals now search for products and services that can meet their needs online. Research has shown that search engines process over 3.5 billion searches daily. This doesn’t come as a surprise considering the number of people that have access to the internet.

Over 50% of the world population have access to search engines. This is why paid search marketing has become a preferred marketing strategy most businesses seek to employ. It’s simple as long as you have an answer to how much does SEO cost, you can harness it and increase your website reach.

The power of SEO cannot be over-emphasized. It is essential if you want to ensure the smooth running of your website and attract more traffic. As of 2019, over 65% of businesses worldwide implemented SEO into their promotion strategies.

As a business owner in Toronto interested in using SEO services as a critical marketing strategy, you might be wondering how many people you will have access to. Well, 81% of the Canadian population turn to the internet to get answers.

The CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) has made it known that 74% of Canadians spend at least 4 hours on the internet every single day. SEO will not only increase your brand’s visibility to these people, it will also increase your chances of users promoting your website on their various social media platforms.

With SEO, you can trust that your website shows up in the top positions when a user is searching for specific keywords relating to your business.
Through the use of search engine optimization, you can:

  • Increase your online visibility
  • Generate more brand awareness
  • Increase sales
  • Gain new customers
  • Generate roof-breaking income

 

What is the cost of SEO in the United States?

All things being equal, the cost of SEO is generally a bit higher in the United States compared to Canada. However, according to our research some services (such as content creation) may actually cost more on average north of the border. Overall, it seems that smart businesses could potentially save a lot of money by outsourcing the right types of tasks to other countries.

SEO Services United States

Average Price Per Hour*
Consulting 150-200$
Keyword/Topic research 100-150$
Technical audits 200-300$
Technical SEO (fixing/speeding up sites etc) 100-150$
Web/UX/UI design 150-200$
Website maintenance (updates, security, etc) 150-200 $
Content creation (writing, video, graphics) 25-50$
Content management (sourcing images, managing posts etc) 150-200$
Link building (outreach, guest posts, research) 100-150$
Community management (social, forums, etc) 100-150$
Media buying/PPC 150-200$
Local SEO (maps, GMB) 100-150$
Conversion optimization 150-200$
Tracking/Reporting 150-200$

*Data based on averages taken from Clutch.co.

What is the cost of SEO in the United Kingdom?

With the value of the UK’s pound sterling being significantly higher than the dollar value in the US or Canada, UK-based entrepreneurs can stand to save in some areas by outsourcing across the pond. This wouldn’t be true for every service in every country, for example the UK has the lowest website maintenance costs of the three. But in the many cases an English company can save significantly by paying their SEO costs in Canadian dollars.

SEO Services United Kingdom

Average Price Per Hour
Consulting 150-200$
Keyword/Topic research 150-200$
Technical audits 50-100 $
Technical SEO (fixing/speeding up sites etc) 150-200$
Web/UX/UI design 100-150$
Website maintenance (updates, security, etc) 50-100$
Content creation (writing, video, graphics) 50-100$
Content management (sourcing images, managing posts etc) 150-200$
Link building (outreach, guest posts, research) 100-150$
Community management (social, forums, etc) 150-200$
Media buying/PPC 150-200$
Local SEO (maps, GMB) 150-200$
Conversion optimization 150-200$
Tracking/Reporting 150-200$

*Data based on averages taken from Clutch.co.

Why does SEO cost as much as it does?

We’ve already answered the question “how much does SEO cost”. But the answer is not always so simple or straightforward.

We know it would be easier if we could provide a single simple response, but that’s not the way complex marketing practices work. The cost of SEO varies depending on some significant factors. Before you start considering the cost of SEO, there are some key things to pay attention to.

First, you must consider how competitive your industry is. If your business is located in a small town, say Tobermory or Yarmouth, your SEO website tune-up might make it to the top rankings. However, you might not experience the same result in big cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Montreal.

There are no sites with perfect SEO. However, you can maximize your site’s SEO by hiring the services of a reputable SEO Company near you.

Basically, the cost of SEO in Toronto can go as high as $3000+ CAD one-time or monthly. It is all a function of which pricing model you employ. Generally, it is quite tricky to get an exact estimate since there are different SEO pricing models. There are four major pricing models that will be discussed in the next section.

Cost of SEO based on major pricing models

How much does SEO cost? With these models, we can give you the answers you have been searching for.

SEO package prices in Toronto depend on all four of these models. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Performance-Based SEO

Performance-based SEO, also known as pay per for performance SEO is where you only pay when you see results.

Agencies that offer this kind of SEO service focus solely on generating traffic for your website and improving your ranking. It is simple. You rank, you pay. You don’t rank, no payment. Depending on your ranking, you can pay between $800 – $1600 CAD monthly.

This sounds like a great option for small businesses. It means that you give the agency a certain number you are trying to hit. It might be the number of site visitors. Once you hit that number, you pay them. If not, you don’t pay.

This may seem like the safest option, but the truth is it can create its own problems. If your SEO contractor focuses exclusively on short-term wins to increase your rankings and hit their goal as quickly as possible, they may end up ignoring longer-term factors which will be important for years to come.

Some agencies are authentic and make sure your goal is their priority. However, some performance-based SEO agencies use some tactics to get quick results while your business suffers the repercussion. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of performance-based SEO.

Pros:

Your website will get more traffic

When your site pops up on the front page of Google and other search engines, you will acquire a significant amount of traffic. Over 70% of search engine users click on the links provided on the first page.

Basically, users go for top ratings. Your website has the opportunity to be viewed and visited by the majority of users. Apart from traffic on your site, users can interact with your content. You can generate income with a lower investment.

You only pay when you rank

You are exposed to lower financial risks. Your SEO company is likely not to fail you because they are very aware that payments only come when they deliver. Their job is to make sure your ranking improves. If it doesn’t, you pay nothing or a reduced fee. It’s a win-win situation as you are not afraid of money loss in any way. Many businesses go for this because it seems financially sound.

You’ll get an up-front price

The majority of performance-based SEO companies in Toronto will provide you with an upfront price. They will give you a breakdown of the rates when you see results.
You will not pay any amount initially; it is free to start. The pricing, however, is not guaranteed. It all depends on the company working for you.

Cons:

Shady SEO companies

Some companies do not care about your business. Their aim is to get money. So, they use techniques like using long keywords to get quick results.
They implement vanity keywords unrelated to your business or just stuff keywords together to get you top ratings. This is not sustainable. It can lead to you being sandboxed and losing all your rankings.

Cost changes monthly

Since rankings and traffic are not static, the amount of money you pay the company monthly will vary.

It is not likely that you will be able to predict what your rankings will be monthly. This might affect your budgeting because SEO costs have a variable rate.

Monthly SEO Contracts

This is also known as ongoing SEO Maintenance. This SEO pricing model is a combination of all the online activities carried out to improve your rankings.

A company that offers monthly SEO contracts will look to increase your authority on Google and other search engines in your region. The more authority you have, the higher you rank.
Your SEO company will use constructive tactics such as:

  • increasing social media activity around your website
  • Creating quality content on your site
  • improving your backlinks to drive more traffic to your website and increase revenue

This might cost you between $1000 to $3000 CAD per month.

This is a more permanent option, especially if you care about long term search engine optimization results. Many companies choose this option because it tends to come with more assurances, and the results are more sustainable.

Hourly SEO Work

If your business is a startup and you have a low volume of content on your site, this is the best option to consider. Hiring an SEO company for a few hours per day is ROI positive. In actual sense, it is a worthwhile investment.

You know precisely what you are going for. You can communicate your goal clearly to your SEO company whatever rates are agreed on before the job is what will be paid.

This is a financially wise decision for small businesses. However, if you require quality work done, you will need to hire the services of an SEO expert, and this might cost you $85 to $200 CAD per hour.

Pros:

It is more trustworthy

Your SEO expert is propelled to be accountable. There is 100% transparency. They log the number of hours they work for. Therefore, you pay for exactly how much they work for.

It doesn’t affect your budget

Unlike performance-based SEO, you can set hourly rates and maximum hours. You can predict how much you will spend on SEO in a year.

Cons:

It takes time

It may take as many as six months before you see visible results. Paying just one person instead of a company might save you money but not time.

You might not get any results at all

At the end of the agreed hour, there might not be any improvements on your ranking that day. You will have to pay the expert whether or not they meet your target goal.

SEO project-based payment model

This is a popular type of SEO pricing in Toronto. SEO companies will charge you based on the scope of your needs. Your SEO company is aware of your budget and is committed to your site’s natural search performance.

Depending on the needs for your project, the cost of SEO can be as low as $1700 CAD and as high as $5000 CAD.

Pros:

It’s a one-off payment

You don’t have to worry about hourly/monthly payment. The set price is agreed on, and you will not spend more than budgeted.

You are certain the company will deliver

This usually comes with peace of mind. You and the SEO company will agree upon a contract. You know what your anticipated results are and when you will start to see visible results.

Cons:

Zero flexibility

Everything is fixed and set. Everything is outlined in the contract. Once the job commences, you cannot change anything. You do not have the capacity to pivot your campaign.
However, this also means the SEO agency will not scam you. It is a great option for first-timers to the optimization scene.

Summarizing the Costs of SEO

SEO gives you a definite increase in traffic, increases your brand awareness, and gives your brand a higher conversion rate.

With the continuous rise in competition in today’s market, it is doubtless that SEO can help your brand stand out in the crowd. There is a lot of noise in today’s market, and customers are confused about which brand to trust. You can use SEO as a tool to build brand credibility, gain more customers, and generate better ROI.

Go through all the pricing models discussed in this article, choose which is best for you, and use it to take your business to the next level!

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