How Much Does SEO Cost in Australia

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The cost of high-quality SEO services in Australia ranges from $1,600 to $8,000+ per month. 

Yes, that’s a wide gap, and for good reason.

The cost of SEO in Australia depends heavily on several factors, such as the size of your website, the competition in your industry, and the level of expertise you seek from the SEO agency.

And that’s precisely why there’s no such thing as a fixed SEO cost. Every business has unique needs and circumstances that call for unique solutions, affecting the cost.

In this blog, we’ll discuss more about SEO pricing in Australia, the factors that affect pricing, the different SEO subscription models, and why you should avoid super cheap SEO services.

What is the average cost of SEO in Australia? 

Average cost of SEO in Australia

Monthly SEO retainers: $1,600 – $8,000+ per month

Monthly retainers are the most popular choice for businesses. In this arrangement, you pay a set SEO fee per month for a dedicated team to constantly optimise your website and address arising issues.

Pros:

  • You know exactly how much you’re spending each month, making it easier to plan your finances.
  • You always have a dedicated team that provides ongoing optimisation and improvements consistently, allowing for sustained SEO growth
  • You have flexibility to adapt your strategies in case of any changes in your business goals.
  • You receive regular updates on your website’s performance and the progress of your SEO campaign.

Cons:

  • Compared to project-based work, monthly retainers can require a larger upfront commitment.

Project-based SEO: $2,300 – $8,000+ per project

Project-based arrangements are best if you have a defined goal in mind. Here, you pay a fixed fee for a fixed set of deliverables agreed upon. 

For instance, you might ask the SEO agency to do on-page optimization for every product page on your new website. Or you might also request to receive a set number of informative, keyword-rich blogs in addition to that.

Pros:

  • Because there is a clear scope, you know exactly what you’re paying for and when the project will be completed.
  • You can tackle your most urgent needs first, making sure your money goes where it matters most.

Cons:

  • As the project ends, so does SEO work. This means you can’t steadily grow as quickly as when you have SEO work happening consistently (as in a monthly retainer).
  • Once the project is complete, you will have to find new SEO support.
  • There may be additional costs if there are any alterations to the scope or deliverables.

Hourly SEO rates: $150 – $200 per hour

Hourly SEO rates offer good value for money especially if you have a very limited budget or when you require only small and specific SEO tasks.

Pros:

  • You’ll know exactly how much time is spent on a specific SEO task which allows for detailed tracking.
  • You can easily estimate your SEO cost in the short term.

Cons:

  • Especially if more work is required than expected, you will more than likely go over your initial hours limit to be able to see tangible SEO results.
  • SEO firms may not have a clear view of your overarching business goals, as they are more likely to focus on short-term deliverables rather than considering the big picture.

Why SEO can be expensive: Factors that affect SEO pricing

Let’s get straight to the point – SEO isn’t cheap. But before you dismiss it as an unaffordable luxury, understand that you’re not paying for instant results. You’re paying for expertise and effort that lead to those results. 

Now, what factors actually influence the price of your SEO journey?

1. Scope of work

More complex projects = higher cost

A basic SEO audit and keyword research will cost less than a full-blown campaign with ongoing content creation, link building, and technical optimisation.

2. Industry competition

Fiercer competition = more effort needed

Especially in major cities or busy areas, the market is often saturated and competition tends to be high. In order to stand out, you will have to think out of the box and be more aggressive in your SEO efforts – which can demand more financial resources.

3. Website size

More pages = more work

For example, an ecommerce site that houses numerous product pages and listings would have to undergo continuous updating and optimising (not to mention customer reviews management, which is a big part of e-commerce SEO). 

Handling a simple company blog site, on the other hand, usually involves overseeing only a handful of pages.

4. Target keywords

The higher the value of the keyword = more investment needed to compete effectively

Apart from, your industry competitors, you have what’s called your organic search competitors – everyone else aiming to rank for the same keywords you’re after.

Usually, more established businesses or websites will have already ranked for keywords with high commercial intent or conversion value. To be able to outrank them, you have to spend more time building your website authority by building quality backlinks, improving your site’s user experience, and so on.

5. SEO work done in the past

Existing SEO foundation = potential cost savings

If you’ve done some SEO in the past, there’s a good chance you’re still reaping its benefits, which is great.

That is if you (or an SEO agency you worked with) did SEO right…

If not, you’ll find yourself having to spend more in fixing the consequences of unethical SEO tactics that may have been applied to your site without your knowledge.

The deal with super cheap SEO

How about SEOs at $1000 a month…fine. But anything else lower than that, run.

At first glance, the allure of cheap SEO might tempt you with the promise of saving a buck or two. But the truth is, you’re likely tossing your money away because cheap SEO doesn’t work.

Consider yourself lucky if all you lose is some cash. But what if you lose a lot of traffic and completely disappear from Google search (while your competitors are still ranking)?

In such cases, SEO agencies often play the heroes and attempt the tricky task of fixing the damage (and it’s not particularly easy). 

This is the ugly truth about cheap SEO services…

1. Less money means less time for SEO.

That $700 SEO package you found? It may look like a steal compared to the $1,600 option, but what you’re really doing is paying for less time and less effort. 

SEO takes time. Time to analyze your website, build high-quality backlinks, write engaging content, and track your progress – time that cheap SEO companies simply don’t have when they’re working with a bag of peanuts.

And when you skimp on time, you get mediocre results at best. Your rankings might not budge, your traffic might stay stagnant, and you’ll be left wondering where your “savings” went.

With cheap SEO, you’re just delaying the inevitable – investing in real, ethical SEO that takes time, effort, and yes, a reasonable budget.

2. They prioritise deliverables over results.

So, we established that cheap SEO companies have limited time due to, well, being cheap. 

The side effect? Their focus shifts from actually improving your SEO to simply ticking off boxes and pretending they’re delivering.

The pressure to deliver becomes so intense that ethical considerations often fly out the window and they turn to black-hat SEO tactics:

  • They buy cheap, spammy backlinks from random websites with zero relevance to yours.
  • They plagiarise content from other websites.
  • They cram your target keywords into your content, which makes it awkward to read and creates a terrible user experience.

As if Google doesn’t catch on to these…

While these unethical tactics give your rankings a temporary boost, understand that search engine algorithms like Google’s are evolving and becoming smarter by the day. 

And when they do catch on to these gimmicks, the consequences can be disastrous:

  • Your website could be completely removed from search engine results, making you invisible to potential customers.
  • Even if you avoid delisting, your rankings will plummet, leading to a significant drop in website traffic.
  • Fixing the damage from black hat SEO can be a long and expensive process. You might need to completely rebuild your website’s backlink profile and content, and it could take months or even years to recover.

3. They adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.

Cheap SEO companies treat you as just another client on their list.

In their eyes, the cookie-cutter method they’ve used for past clients is presumed to work for you too. But the truth is, it doesn’t.

SEO is not just about keywords and backlinks, though those are important. 

The real work lies in taking time to understand your target audience and your website’s strengths and weaknesses, and then crafting a strategy that aligns with your unique goals.

And while businesses generally want the same things – more traffic, more leads, more sales, the paths to get there are as diverse as the businesses themselves. For instance, a bakery in a small town needs a different strategy than a multinational tech company.

A professional SEO agency listens to your preferences like a real tailor. They take your measurements and create a suit that fits you perfectly. A cheap SEO agency, on the other hand, throws a generic outfit at you and hopes it doesn’t fall apart at the seams.

How much should I pay for SEO?

If you’re just starting out or have a smaller website, basic SEO packages starting around $1600 per month can be a good value. 

With this budget, you’ll typically receive the following:

  • Personalised SEO strategy
  • On-page optimisation
  • High-quality Backlink building
  • Keyword research
  • Industry and competitor research

For e-commerce sites or websites with extensive content, a more comprehensive SEO package starting at around $2100 per month might be more suitable. 

On top of the benefits you get from the basic tier, you also get:

  • Deeper website analysis to identify optimisation opportunities.
  • Technical SEO audit
  • High-quality content creation
  • Advanced link building

Remember that ultimately, the price comes down to your:

  • Goals: What do you want to achieve? Higher rankings, more leads, increased sales? Clarifying your goals helps agencies tailor their approach.
  • Timeline: When do you want to see results? Setting realistic expectations helps agencies determine resources needed.
  • Speed: How quickly do you want to see progress? Urgent results often require more effort and resources, hence the price adjustment.

Important Note: Beware of agencies offering SEO guarantees and specific results. Remember, you’re not paying for results; you’re investing in experts who dedicate their time and expertise to improve your site’s visibility on Google. 

Reputable agencies provide a strategy backed by data and offer clear reports, showing you the work done and how its impacting your website’s performance.

How long should I pay for SEO?

Of any marketing channel (social media, ads, you name it), SEO yields the highest ROI according to the latest SEO statistics.

So, how long should you commit to SEO? We say as long as you can. 

Generally, you’ll see initial results within 6 months of consistent SEO work. However, understand that SEO has a snowball effect – the more you push, the bigger and faster it grows. 

And that means your ROI keeps snowballing too, three years, five years, even ten years down the line.

Obviously, we can’t force anyone to continue SEO when they can’t or when they no longer want to…

But drawing from professional experience, we advice not to pull the plug abruptly, especially when you’re in the early stages. Else, you might end up rolling back to square one and rebuild from scratch.

While stopping SEO won’t erase all progress (there will be some lasting benefits), your website’s growth will likely slow down as Google and other search engines evolve. 

With that said, here are the 2 key reasons why we advocate for SEO as a regular investment:

  • Search engines like Google constantly update their algorithms. An experienced SEO agency acts can monitor trends and changes and adapt your strategy seamlessly. 
  • You won’t have to stress out about any dips in traffic. Your SEO team will investigate the cause, explain what’s happening, and implement adjustments to keep you on track.

Final words on the cost of SEO in Australia

There is no fixed price for SEO in Australia. Ultimately, the cost will depend on your goals and your specific requirements.
If you’re still unsure about the exact investment for quality SEO, schedule a free meeting and get insights directly from our SEO expert. We’ll map out how we’ll move you from point A to B, spell out what you’ll get, and show how it can push your business forward.