You’re here because you want an SEO pricing guide for 2021. That’s good, as it’s important to know the updated cost of SEO in Australia so that you can find the best solutions to fit your budget. Plus, there’s nothing worse than searching for answers to financially-based questions on SEO services and finding vague answers or tech speak about how much you should or could spend.
So, exactly how much does good SEO cost in Australia? Let’s get right into the figures.
The average SEO cost in Australia (hourly, monthly, project-based, pay for performance)
We’ll be upfront by saying the average cost of SEO in Australia isn’t cheap. Every business that wants to strengthen their online presence and work with an excellent SEO provider must be ready to shell out cash to reap the benefits of SEO.
For hourly rates, many budget SEO companies price their services for as low as AU$25 to AU$50. When you look at higher quality digital marketing providers, the average prices for SEO services are higher, but the cost is definitely worth it.
- Hourly rates –According to Moz.com, the average hourly cost of SEO services in Australia falls between AU$76 and AU$200. However, a more recent survey by Ahrefs found that AU$100 to AU$150 was the most common pricing tier among SEO professionals in the country. There are also consultants who charge hourly rates that cost between $80-$200/hour. This provides you with a clearer picture of the amount of time SEO specialists will spend on your campaign. However, big SEO projects take longer than what you’d usually expect so this isn’t a reliable metric. Paying by the hour might cost your business way more than your initial estimate.
- Monthly rates – Most experts recommend paying an SEO provider per month. There are usually fixed prices, terms and deadlines with a monthly package. This gives you enough time and bandwidth to sit back, relax and watch your organic traffic grow, albeit slowly. Most SEO per month packages cost around AU$700 to AU$3,000. As a general rule, any SEO per month service that falls below $500 should be viewed with caution. It’s an unbelievable deal that just sounds too good to be true.
- Project-based rates –Similar to monthly rates, project-based work also requires contracts, but they’re slightly more negotiable. These types of SEO project can be also tricky, given that providers can’t dictate how long a client will stay with them. The average SEO cost for these types of campaigns typically fall between four ranges:
- AU$1,500 – AU$2,500
- AU$2,501 – AU$5,000
- AU$5,001 – AU$10,000
- AU$10,001 – AU$15,000
- Pay for Performance – With this type of offer, you have a contract with the SEO company for a set goal or outcome in the search engine results. In this model, you don’t pay until the targeted goal has been reached. Since some keyword goals are easier to achieve than others, pricing is dynamic and dependent on the competitiveness of a keyword. You will have to discuss closely with your SEO provider when it comes to this model. But if you have substantial knowledge on the average SEO cost in Australia, you can negotiate prices fairly.
To develop a truly realistic idea of how much SEO will cost you, you can further seek help or advice from experts. This will be especially for small businesses, as getting tips on finding affordable yet quality SEO will help you grow and save on costs.
Why is the average SEO cost hard to pin down?
With more than one type of SEO and at least three different models of pricing widely used, understanding the average cost of SEO in Australia can be complicated. It’s also impossible to give a one-size-fits-all quote for the average price of SEO services as there are several factors that come into play.
- The size of your website. A new site with thousands of articles posted and an e-commerce store with hundreds of product pages will generate significantly more work than a website with only 10-15 pages.
- Your goals. Some websites only need basic structural tasks conducted on them while other SEO campaigns require more resources to achieve a results-driven goal.
- The industry you’re in. Some industries are more competitive than others, which makes their SEO cost per keyword more competitive, and in turn higher-priced, too.
- The level of service. There are SEO models designed to work on a set-it-and-forget-it basis, where you have someone who manages the campaign end-to-end for you. Other models work a la carte wherein you purchase a plan or project that fits into your overall marketing strategy. There are also some who offer their SEO services on a cost per keyword The more competitive a keyword, the higher the price.
SEO Cost Calculator: How much should you budget for SEO Services?
Now that we’ve answered, “How much does SEO cost in Australia?” it’s time to move on to another pressing question: How do you set your SEO budget?
Many business owners struggle with SEO management cost. As the world wide web doesn’t exist or operate in a vacuum, the specific factors and elements needed for a campaign to be successful vary widely. In other words, it all comes down to a matter of positioning — how does your website fare with your competitors? Your current position and how fast you want to reach the top are important variables for determining your budget.
Expectations vs. Reality
Many small businesses spend less than AU$100 per month. That’s right – only AU$100 a month. Let’s face it, most small business owners don’t have a comprehensive idea of how SEO works. That’s fair, considering they are too busy managing their businesses to spend time learning SEO. But if you’re only paying that SEO price in Australia, you can’t expect to reap successful results.
With Google utilising over 200 ranking factors, it’s easy for small business owners to feel intimidated or overwhelmed. The good news is that when deciding on a budget for SEO cost, you can focus on three major factors and still crush the competition, no matter the niche.
Here are the three factors you need to pay attention to:
1. Information Architecture
Your website should:
- Be accessible and crawlable to search engines
- Follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines for best practices in SEO
- Perform at the fastest page speed possible
- Render cleanly regardless of device — mobile, tablet or desktop
2. On-page Content
When taking SEO management cost into account, don’t forget that content is king. It’s a major factor that will help your site reach the top of the search results page. Your content should conform to the best practices disclosed in the Search Quality Ratings Guidelines, with an emphasis on:
- Offering unique and valuable information.
- Matching the search queries of users.
- Meeting the search intent of users.
- Satisfying the fresh content algorithm.
- Being original and of high quality.
It’s important that your backlinks are natural. Avoid popular link schemes such as paid guest posts and private blog networks. Instead, focus on building real links that boost ranking on search engine results.
Quality is also key. A lower number of relevant/high authority/high trust links can outperform a large quantity of low-quality links.
How Much Can You Expect to Spend on SEO in Australia?
If you are hiring a top-level company to execute a local campaign, the average SEO cost in Australia would be at least AU$700 a month. Some firms such as SEO Services Australia offer their services with no contract, allowing prospective clients to their packages with minimised risk.
Your goals will also determine what tactics you will need for success. In turn, this will set up a framework for developing an action plan and the necessary budget to support that plan. This brings us full circle to the three major elements we discussed:
- How does your website’s information architecture compare with competitors?
- How does your content stack up with the leading brands in your industry?
- How does your backlink profile fare with top-ranked websites?
Your answers to those questions will determine your priorities and the volume of work needed to achieve your goals. In many cases, the actual work performed will be pretty much the same — regardless of budget level. The major difference is the volume of work that will be performed on your site.
What it’s like working with a cheap SEO agency
We’re not saying cheap SEO services don’t exist. They do. There are many organisations across Australia who offer SEO per month offers. However, these companies have a bad reputation for doing shoddy work or engaging in black hat SEO techniques that you should avoid, such as:
- Sub-par keywords – The bloodline of your SEO success is the keywords you use in your campaign. After all, keywords are the ones that help customers find you on Google. Companies who offer cheap SEO services often suggest keywords for you, but they’re not exactly the keywords that perfectly fit your products, services or industry. Since these companies offer their solutions at a cheap price, cheaper than the average SEO cost, they don’t give much thought into keyword research, giving you sub-par results.
- Keyword stuffing – Many budget SEO companies produce content that’s stuffed to the brim with keywords, resulting in penalties from Google. Keyword stuffing is an old practice from SEO’s earlier days and Google algorithms constantly evolve. This outdated practice will just penalise your website and push you further down the search ranking results.
- Article spinning – Unreliable companies who offer services below the average cost of SEO in Australia utilise a spinner, which is a program that takes high-ranking articles from popular websites. The spinner then flips the articles’ word arrangements, just enough to pass plagiarism checks. The result is a pile of badly written articles that don’t make sense due to bad syntax. Badly written content not only lowers your rank on search engines, it also spikes up your bounce rate.
- Invisible text –Sometimes, cheap SEO companies make the text almost unreadable or they hide relevant text and keywords on your site. Other times, they change the body of a text so that it’s the same colour as your site’s background. It might not be detected immediately by Google, but once they do, your site will be heavily penalised.
You know by now that SEO is a huge yet worth it investment – you’re paying for well-researched keywords, excellent content and high-quality backlinks. It’s always good to have the average SEO cost in Australia as your basis before deciding if a cheap monthly plan is worth it or you’re just wasting your budget on a strategy that doesn’t bring in real results.
Investing in SEO the smart way
Before you start investing SEO services, determine and finalise your budget first. Yes, there’s a standard for cost of SEO in Australia, but packages are still priced differently depending on your needs. There’ll be a few factors you’ll need to consider:
- Your existing rankings – It’s great to have a realistic assessment of where you currently stand to determine your future goals for your website. Do you already have a set of keywords you want to rank for? Have you run these keywords on Google? Have you reached Google’s first page for your chosen keywords? If your answer is no to one of more of the questions, prepare for an uphill battle. You’ll likely be spending more money than other businesses who’ve been doing SEO for a long time already.
- Your objectives – Before partnering with an SEO agency, develop quantifiable goals for your business. Whether it’s boosting your website’s popularity for long-term search keywords (cheaper) or making it to Google’s first page for highly competitive keywords (expensive), set a goal so you can budget your SEO spend effectively.
- Your timeline –Online success doesn’t happen overnight. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day too. Many SEO projects take at least three to six months before they provide the desired or expected ROI. It can be less, it can be more. Also, keep in mind that many of your strongest competitors have probably been investing in SEO for years already. You’ll have to set your expectations, budget according to long-term goals and look for cost-effective SEO services.
Key Takeaways for Business Owners
You now know the average cost of SEO in Australia, but if you want to match your SEO goals with your allotted budget, it’s a simple formula:
- You’ll need to pay for more time from the SEO professionals if you want faster results.
- You’ll need a bigger budget if you want to target popular keywords.
- You’ll need to invest more time, money and effort than your competitors if you want to stay on top.
Ultimately, the goals you’ve set for your SEO campaign and your targeted ROI will impact the amount you pay. However, it’s still good to assess an agency’s package or SEO per month pricing based on the average SEO cost in Australia.
While there’s never going to be a definitive cost for SEO in Australia, we hope our guide will help you budget your expenses and help narrow down your potential spend. If you look at the bigger picture and see SEO as the long-term strategy it is, you’ll get maximum ROI once you find the SEO agency to partner with.