How much does an SEO service cost in the USA ?


Among all the options and types of SEO services available on the internet, it can get quite complicated to understand what is behind an SEO service and how much website holders should be spending on them. In today's article, we're going to answer the following questions : 

What is the basis of an SEO service ?
What is an SEO service composed of ?
How long does an SEO service last ?

What is the basis of an SEO service ?

An SEO service takes into account several elements in its implementation. It is based on 3 pillars and the objective is to improve the current and or, start from scratch the SEO strategy of a website.

The pillars are presented as follow : 

1st pillar : Technical aspects (loading time)

2nd pillar : Content (visibility and attractiveness)

3rd pillar : Netlinking (the website’s popularity)


It is important to keep in mind that a successful SEO takes into account all these pillars, because they depend on each other. Having content on your site without an optimized technical foundation is like having gasoline without a car and, having a website without developing its popularity is like entering a car race without a sponsor. Therefore, an SEO service can focus on one or all of these 3 pillars.

For this reason, you may find agencies or consultants proposing services such as :

  • Development of backlinks,
  • Management of the internal linkage,
  • Content creation and optimization of existing content,
  • Keyword & long-tail research,
  • Creation of semantic cocoons,
  • Technical error correction / redirection optimization,
  • Implementation of security certificates & redirections (SSL certificate, www redirection, https...)
  • Ergonomic / Graphic redesign of the site or of a page / Creation of page template,
  • Daily or monthly monitoring of positions,
  • Competitor analysis,
  • Realization of an audit,
  • Etc...

What does an SEO service consist of ?

Now that you have an overview of the elements of an SEO service, you need to know other factors that can affect the cost of an SEO service.

Here's what will hang in the balance :

  • The time spent: the time spent by a service provider varies according to his level of expertise.
  • The time frame: The results of an SEO mission can take several months. A long-term commitment will often be proposed.
  • The number of actors involved in the development of your service: Several experts can intervene in this service. For example, a web developer, a project manager, an SEO expert, a web editor... Each expert has a different time cost!
  • The cost of SEO tools: Several tools are necessary for the good implementation of the SEO service. There are different SEO solutions available in the market: website audit, positions, competitors, and backlinks trackings. Some of them will offer one or more functionalities, while others will include all of them, which is the case of Cocolyze.
  • The technical infrastructure : That is, the technology used by your website or its programming language as well as your server infrastructure that hosts it.
  • The reporting : The monitoring of operations is done according to a monthly or bi-monthly or even quarterly reporting depending on your provider. The latter must formalize a detailed report that will allow you to qualify the results of operations and adjust the mission accordingly.


Please note that you may be asked to access your Google Analytics and Search Console for the proper conduct of your marketing operations. If nothing has been set up, the service provider will take care of its setup. The time spent will be charged to you. 

How long does an SEO service last ?

Now that you know all the aspects that make up an SEO service, all that remains is to evaluate the tasks to be performed. These will have a direct impact on the time dedicated to the success of the SEO service.

The only way to know how long an SEO service will last is to conduct an SEO audit.


Conducting an SEO audit

This is not just a buzzword but the basis of SEO work. The SEO audit is a complete diagnosis that addresses all aspects of SEO and like any good diagnosis, it lists your areas of improvement, raises your strengths and weaknesses, and gives you a list of actions to complete the mission.  

Your provider will give you an "SEO Audit Report". Often there are two approaches in this report, we use the term Technical Audit and SEO Audit.


What do we find in a technical audit ?

It consists of monitoring if your website's technical base is well optimized to measure its impact on your SEO. Does your website load properly ? Is it compatible with mobile devices ? Is it easy to access ? What pages are you defaulting on ?


What do we find in an SEO audit ?

The SEO audit will take into consideration the complete content of the website, your reputation, and your positions. Is the content of your website well structured ? Is it well optimized ? Does your website have a good or bad reputation ? Are you visible on search engines ?


A commitment over several months.

It is not only the results of the audit that determine the duration of the service.

The SEO business can be time-consuming, and normally there is no immediate return, so a long-term commitment is necessary to start having results. It is sometimes necessary to wait an average of 3 months depending on the objectives to be reached. The higher the goal, the longer it will take.

For example, if you have just arrived on the market and your objective is to be positioned on generic queries with a high level of competition and a large volume of searches, you should know that on average it can take between 12 and 18 months.

It is important to know that a monthly budget will be required in addition to the tasks of setting up and preliminary study.

Overall SEO service Pricing in the USA

We've prepared a list with the average of SEO service pricing on each one of the pillars presented in the previous sections.

For an audit :

  • Count between $200 and 2.000$ for a standard audit
  • Count between 2.000 and 20.000$ for advanced audits

Creation of editorial content :

  • The cost of editorial content  can vary according to :
  • The number of words in the content: A content with 350 words costs less than a content with 1000 words, for example.
  • The sector of activity: The more technical the content is, the longer the reflections and the more complex the choice of words.
  • The quality of the writing: A good writer costs more but you will be sure to have a storytelling that meets your expectations.
  • Count on average between 0,2 $ and 0,10$ per word. The price will vary depending on the editor’s level of expertise.

Backlinks campaigns :

The cost of a backlink will also depend on different aspects :

  • The number of backlinks,
  • The popularity of websites on which you appear,
  • The number of keywords in the content to create,
  • If the links are “Follow” or “Nofollow”
  • Some platforms develop for you a tailor-made backlinks strategy like Develink or SEMJuice...

For a global  SEO strategy, there are 2 types of pricing :

1 - The setup and implementation of the strategy :

  • Agencies: $134.66/hour, on average.
  • Consultancies: $122.33/hour, on average.
  • Freelancers: $68/hour, on average.

2 - The operational (single action) :

  • between 5,000 to 20k or more depending on the action 

Without forgetting a monthly budget. After all, you have to continuously feed your site with content, right? Again, this budget will depend on the amount of content you're willing to have and also if you're going to hire someone or an agency: on average you should count between 500 and 2000$ / month.


As we could see, an SEO service takes into account different criteria making it difficult to precisely estimate its price. In the end, everything will depend on which strategy you're willing to adopt : keep an on going complete SEO strategy or deal with it by ponctual and single actions. 

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