The average cost of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in Australia ranges from $500 + GST per month up to $10,000 + GST per month for businesses. The cost of SEO services in Australia varies greatly depending on a variety of factors including the current SEO competition in your industry, your geographical location and the level of keywords you are wishing to target through SEO.
In this 2022 SEO pricing guide, we will cover off some of the most asked questions about SEO pricing in Australia, along with SEO cost averages and much more.
How Much Should You Spend On SEO?
At Australian Web Experts, we get asked this every single day. There really isn’t a one size fits all answer and it will greatly vary depending on your industry, the level of competition in your space and what has previously been done through SEO on your website.
If you have found this article, you want an answer. We get tired of looking for answers ourselves and we really don’t like when businesses don’t actually offer any information! With that in mind, let’s break this down.
How much you should spend on SEO if you’re a small business, servicing a local area. As a general rule of thumb, businesses in this category can expect to spend anywhere between $500 + GST per month and $4,000 + GST on SEO per month.
How much you should spend on SEO if you’re a medium sized business, servicing a metropolitan area. As a general rule of thumb, businesses that fall in this category can expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 + GST and $6,000 + GST on SEO per month.
How much you should spend on SEO if you’re a large enterprise, servicing Australia wide. As a general rule of thumb, enterprises in this category can expect to spend anywhere from $8,000 + GST on SEO per month.
How much you should spend on SEO if you’re a large enterprise, servicing an International market. As a general rule of thumb, large enterprises servicing an International market can expect to spend upward of $10,000+ on SEO per month.
As you can see, the level of spending varies quite drastically based on your business. When it comes down to figuring out how much your business should spend on SEO per month, you also need to factor in the level of growth you are wishing to receive.
In general, the larger your budget for SEO and marketing in general, will equate to quicker growth of your overall SEO campaign and Google rankings. This isn’t to say the most expensive option will be the best; it will come down to the level of hours and resources put into your SEO campaign each month and the expertise of the SEO provider you choose to work with.
There is quite a lot to consider when planning for your SEO budget, which is why our clients love our upfront SEO package pricing to remove the budget confusion.
Inhouse SEO vs Outsourced SEO
Inhouse SEO Costs
For larger businesses, hiring a dedicated SEO for their business in-house may seem attractive. That way, you have a full-time resource working on your businesses SEO. Major brands and businesses will often have full-time on-page SEO specialists, content writers, marketing specialists, off-page SEO experts and more. Obviously this can come at a giant cost to the business overall, as the average salary in Australia of an SEO specialist is around $96,500 + super.
We sometimes hear of businesses who think, hey, we’ll just hire an “SEO expert” in-house and save the agency fees. If you do some simple math and divide $96,000 by 12 you receive a monthly cost of $8,000.
This monthly cost of $8,000 may be cheaper, especially for large brands and businesses, than the quoted agency rate for completing SEO on their website. Where businesses and brands go wrong here is that they don’t realise the level of specialities within the SEO space. One “SEO expert” isn’t going to be able to perform, or have the required expertise in, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, content product and beyond.
Outsourced SEO Costs
An agency like Australian Web Experts hires people in all fields of SEO, so it doesn’t matter if you are spending $500 + GST per month with us, or $10,000 + GST per month. You are receiving the expertise of 20+ SEO experts on your project, for a fraction of the cost to hire these resources full-time.
In some instances, it can certainly make sense to build your own in-house SEO team, however this is very rarely the case for our clients. When you consider the average SEO spend with Australian Web Experts being around the $2,000 per month mark, there is no way you could build an in-house team of 20+ SEO experts with that budget level.
In reality, the payroll cost for 20 in-house SEO experts can cost businesses upwards of $1,920,000 per annum! While hiring a SEO agency will typically make sense for most businesses, you need to consider the key factors when deciding which SEO agency to work with.
SEO Packages Or SEO Consultants?
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, another consideration when figuring out the budget and cost of your businesses SEO is the question of SEO packages and SEO consultants. Should you undertake a dedicated SEO package or hire an expert SEO consultant to consult to the business?
SEO Package Costs
If you are serious about growing your small to medium business through SEO and have a low to medium budget for SEO, a SEO package will always be our recommendation. The beauty of SEO packages is that the SEO campaign is specifically designed custom to your business, and conducted on a monthly basis. Our SEO packages start at $500 + GST per month.
SEO Consultant Costs
A SEO consultant, on the other hand, becomes more of an SEO advisor to the business. When we are engaged for SEO consulting projects, we typically become part of the clients marketing team and work directly with their marketing managers to consult with them on SEO. A SEO consultant can be extraordinarily valuable for your business’s marketing team. We charge around $150 + GST per hour for SEO consulting projects.
In summary; if you are a small to medium business, choose a SEO package. If you have a dedicated marketing team already, but need help implementing SEO, work with a SEO consultant.
The Hourly Cost Of SEO In Australia
So, how much does SEO cost on an hourly basis? For businesses looking to hire an SEO agency or SEO consultant on an hourly basis, this is for you.
A beginner SEO will charge anywhere from $50 per hour, on a freelance basis.
An intermediate SEO professional will charge around $150 per hour, on a freelance basis.
An advanced SEO professional will charge $250+ per hour, on a freelance basis.
For businesses planning a budget for a freelance SEO consultant, you also need to consider the various niches within the industry itself. There will be on-page SEO professionals, off-page SEO professionals, technical SEO professionals and content writers who charge a variety of different rates depending on their experience level.
A key thing to remember, particularly for businesses who are new to marketing through SEO, is that one SEO expert will not be able to manage every aspect of your SEO campaign. In fact, there are 100+ ranking factors that Google looks at when ranking your website through SEO.
Once again, when you start thinking about the costs of SEO down to the hourly rate of an individual SEO professional – SEO packages, where you have access to a team of 20+ SEO experts, become very attractive.
The Cost Of Cheap Overseas SEO Providers
If you receive hundreds of emails a month offering “SEO for the price of $99 a month”, you aren’t alone. We always chuckle when we get them ourselves. These “SEO providers” clearly don’t check who they send these spammy emails to!
The sad thing is that these emails offering SEO for the unbelievably low cost of $99 a month sometimes convince business owners, and disaster usually follows. I think where a lot of businesses go wrong is that they don’t realise SEO actually takes a giant amount of time and resources, when executed correctly. Some business owners think of SEO as “black internet magic”, where the SEO company just has to click a few buttons and you’ll be page 1. Spoiler alert: this isn’t the case.
When something is too good to be true, it usually is. The $99 cost you are being quoted will not provide your business with any return whatsoever if you are genuinely looking to grow your business through SEO. In actual fact, most of these cheap overseas SEO providers will often do more harm than good to your website and your Google rankings.
Whether they actually do any work or not, it is very common for overseas providers to try and take shortcuts. It won’t be long before Google notices these “shortcuts” and your website will be penalised by Google. This can be a seriously expensive exercise for businesses to learn, and we’ve seen it many times before.
While we don’t like to take too much of a hard stand, the verdict is in on overseas SEO providers: steer clear. Your overall website presence, and bank account, will be much better off by simply not engaging these providers. In short, if your budget doesn’t allow for SEO to be completed by an experienced Australian SEO agency, simply hold off any SEO efforts until this changes.
SEO Is All About Return On Investment
Now that we have covered off the costs of SEO quite comprehensively, it is worth considering the return on investment, as this is the key factor when undertaking a SEO campaign.
When conducted properly, a SEO campaign can provide a giant return on investment. If you are running through the motions of figuring out SEO costs, SEO providers and looking through case studies, we recommend asking the SEO provider or SEO specialist you are working with about return on investment.
For each SEO package we undertake, no matter the cost level of the package, we break down a number of factors.
The first step is to work out your profit margin on each client. For example, let’s presume you make $1,000 off each client (in profit).
The second step is to work out the success rate of your quotes. Once a prospective client has contacted your business and received a quote, how many of those quotes go ahead? For example, let’s say that 50% go ahead.
The third step is to make sure the economic units stand up. Let’s presume you are spending $2,000 per month on SEO. For the equation to make sense, you need a minimum of 6 enquiries through your website to make a 50% ROI on your spend.
How did this all play out? We’ll quickly run through the equation.
SEO Costs Equation #1:
Average profit of $1,000 per client.
6 enquiries at a 50% close rate = 3 new clients
3 new clients x $1,000 profit = $3,000
Return On Investment (ROI) for SEO = 50%
For the invested $2,000 you have received $3,000 back into your business. Or a 50% return. Now, a 50% return doesn’t sound particularly sexy does it? You need to remember that these are the minimum numbers you need to receive for the investment in SEO to cover itself and provide you with a return.
In general, our SEO clients will receive anywhere from 20-100 enquiries through their websites each month. The return on investment at those numbers can be extraordinarily high. If we base a calculation on a minimum of 20 enquiries, here’s where things can go:
SEO Costs Equation #2:
Average profit of $1,000 per client.
20 enquiries at a 50% close rate = 10 new clients.
10 new clients x $1,000 profit = $10,000
Return On Investment (ROI) for SEO = 400%
Based on this equation, you have put $2,000 into your business and received $10,000 back. Or, in essence, received a 400% increase on your SEO investment!
When looking at the costs of SEO, business owners need to remember that the cost of SEO is actually an investment; one that can return itself many times over when executed properly by a trusted SEO company with a proven-track record.
Small Business SEO Costs In Australia Summary
Hopefully you have found this guide useful when considering the costs for SEO in 2022! We are often asked these questions by clients, so we figured a comprehensive guide was in order.
With so many different variables at play, it can be very difficult to figure out how much to spend on SEO and what your business is realistically looking at for Search Engine Optimisation costs in Australia. There are also a number of ways that you can undertake SEO for free on your own website.
If there’s something we haven’t answered for you here, or you would just like to chat further, feel free to reach out to our team.