SEO work can be a bit invisible: it’s performed behind the scenes, which has fuelled a lot of disinformation about the service. Even worse, it’s created a state of general confusion for everyone who’s wondering: ‘how much does SEO cost in Australia?’.

Like many industries, you might come across some offers that are too good to refuse, but it’s important to learn about the different standards of these services to ensure it’s worth the investment. There are major differences between cheap SEO packages, guaranteed SEO services and affordable SEO packages that are priced according to the project, which we’ll explore in this article. 

At Vine Digital, our SEO specialists provide custom strategy at an affordable rate. As an experienced SEO agency, we deliver lasting results. This is essential when working with a constantly changing search engine algorithm. But then we’re still left with the question: how much do quality SEO services cost? 

SEO pricing can be done in multiple ways, as they depend on variables that affect the overall cost on the balance sheet. Depending on your needs and budget, you’ll either be recommended an hourly, monthly or per project price. SEO services cost upwards of $2,000, with some pricing plans costing well above tens of thousands of dollars per month. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to make the most of your SEO budget.

Why Do I Need Search Engine Optimised Services?

The key to understanding the cost of valuable SEO services is to explain why it’s so important for brands online. This helps clear the fog around SEO pricing, because it explains the complexity that goes into any good SEO campaign. The quote of an affordable SEO campaign will reflect the level of time and work invested by an agency: while also giving you the benefit of increased organic traffic. 

Below we explain the main things that quality SEO services include.

Rankings, Visibility and Web Traffic Growth

SEO increases the visibility of your business, as you can generate organic traffic through search engines. Through the right content, frequency, placements and research, a dedicated SEO budget makes it far easier for potential customers to find you and visit your site. This is a result of SEO techniques being implemented to match the desires of search engines, and in turn, these platforms prioritise your site. Stronger SEO efforts generally improve your SERP rankings, and when 75% of Google users don’t search beyond the first page, top positions are invaluable.

Upgrading your rankings isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’. Its power can’t be overstated. Each spot your website moves up in Google’s search rankings increases your click rate by around 30%. 

Strong Authority

Page Authority (PA) essentially relates to the degree to which users trust your website as an authority. Is the content trustworthy, high-quality, relevant and valuable? Google’s algorithm places heavy weight on PA because it’s important that the search results are relevant to their users. For healthcare and fintech brands, expertise, authority and trustworthiness (EAT) is all the more crucial: search engines hold this content to a higher standard, ensuring that information is rigorously fact-checked before reaching the user.

Enhanced UX

Another powerful aim of SEO is to improve the usability of your site and enhance the user experience (UX). While an SEO campaign will generate traffic, it’s important to ensure visitors convert: UX helps you do just this. Good SEO agencies will improve the responsiveness of your site, as well as optimising the user journey—resulting in increased conversions and revenue.

Similarly, increasing the loading speed of your pages minimises bounce rate: which doesn’t directly influence Google rankings, but signals to search engines that users are spending time on your site.

Different SEO Pricing Models

SEO professionals use different pricing models depending on the needs and budget of their clients.


When you come across SEO services charged by the hour, the work applied will be broken down into the number of hours needed, and each hour is then assigned a cost. If an hourly cost is provided by an independent SEO professional, they might have a fixed hourly price for their services, so you’ll pay for the number of hours they work for you.

This pricing model is suited for smaller clients where the amount of work appears to be more tangible and understandable, less extensive and may not require a monthly retainer to manage. SEO agencies are less likely to charge by the hour because it’s harder to track a full team while managing a larger SEO campaign.

How Much Does SEO Cost Hourly?

On average, you can expect to pay between around $100 to $200 for SEO professionals in Australia. The factors that affect your strategy and SEO needs as well as the experience of the service provider will influence the final cost.


If you’re hoping to work with reputable SEO companies, expect a monthly rate pricing model for their services. This model works like a retainer, where your ongoing SEO needs, including your content creation, market research, technical audits, digital PR, performance insights and updates, keyword targeting and link building will be implemented over the span of many months to give you the best chance of long-term success.

Monthly contracts will outline the specific set of services you’re paying for—ideally with a tangible strategy with tasks clearly outlined. Long-term services are a major benefit for SEO, so relationships that charge by the month are much more likely to deliver the results you seek.

How Much Does SEO Cost Monthly?

While monthly SEO costs vary widely depending on your needs and the experience of the agency, these models typically cost between $2,000 to $10,000 per month. But as we’ll explain further, there are also enterprise SEO packages that deliver a premium service and can cost much more than this basic level.

Per Project

Steering away from time-based billing, an SEO company might set a specific price for a project. If the scope of the project and range of the work is outlined from the get-go, per project pricing can suit both parties. As a client, you can understand the exact service you’re getting and know it will be performed for a fixed cost, while the SEO professional has clear deliverables to achieve.

However, per-project billing for projects can be problematic, because they don’t offer the chance to continue operations long-term, which provides the best value in the SEO service. These deliverables may also be fruitless goals: the fixed-length contract means the SEO agency does not need to change its approach, to suit the goals of the site once they’re done. If uncapped performance and traffic growth is your top priority, per project isn’t ideal.

How Much Does SEO Cost Per Project?

Per project SEO pricing models are even more challenging to assign an average to, because the scope of work can extend from simple, one-off content creation to an entire strategy and implementation. Smaller clients could expect to spend around $2000 and upwards for one-off SEO projects.

Different Types of SEO Services for Different Businesses

How Much Does Local SEO Cost?

Local SEO involves optimising your website to appear early in rankings, when local customers search for your product or service. This has powerful benefits because, for many consumers, shopping locally is important for both convenience and community, so when your online presence is locally boosted, it translates quickly into purchases.

Through local SEO, you can target a specific local market with relevant keywords and other techniques. Local SEO professionals might also create a landing page that targets the local community searching for your services. When your community arrives at a landing page tailored to their local area, they’ll instantly feel catered for and know you can meet their needs. This type of SEO is important for online-only businesses as well as local brick and mortar stores; it helps your community to stay involved and engaged with a local business.

An experienced SEO company can charge between around $500 to $5000 per month. This cost can include different scopes, but if you discuss your needs and end objectives with your agency, they should provide an affordable price that encompasses the service required to get you there.

How Much Does SEO Cost for a Small Business?

Small businesses often have to optimise their spending, to ensure they nurture their growth through the most efficient resources. Hiring an SEO agency can come with some hesitation because, after all, it is an investment that requires an upfront cost. For small businesses especially, SEO services are a pivotal method for growing a customer base.

SEO for small businesses focuses on implementing best practice changes on your site, to help you rank higher when users search for an offer like yours. They also allow you to continue working on the critical core components of your company: keeping it operating efficiently while tactfully implementing strategies that help you grow.

Many SEO agencies will develop a pricing model for small businesses that’s affordable, while giving them enough funds to effectively execute their strategy. They might also create a customised plan based on your unique position that’s aligned with your goals. Small business SEO pricing is similar to monthly retainers, but only includes the critical services: so the cost can be reduced. You can expect to pay around $300 – $4000 per month for small business SEO.

How Much Does Enterprise SEO Cost?

Enterprise SEO is the most extensive service for SEO implementation, delivered on a large-scale operation to maximise results. Due to the comprehensive nature of this service, it’s rarely charged on an hourly basis. Monthly pricing is used to structure the higher payments so the agency and client can monitor the service and allocate the necessary budget.

Smaller businesses can typically make enough sustainable change with more basic levels of SEO services, but larger, global and leading businesses benefit from a full-service enterprise SEO to proactively compete at this top level. At this top-tier price point, it’s worth investing in a leading digital marketing agency with extensive experience because they can perform the necessary audits, implement long-term plans and set clear KPIs. 

Hiring a trusted SEO agency for enterprise SEO can cost around $150,000 per year and upwards. It will again depend on your exact needs and current position. When considering the possibility of hiring internally for this service, businesses have to ensure their staff have the expertise to effectively deliver the same results. Salaries for these professionals are upwards of $100,000 and may require a team to make it work, so outsourcing enterprise SEO is a more effective approach.

Factors Affecting SEO Pricing in Australia

On top of the various packages for businesses, there are more specific variables within each service bracket—which can also affect SEO pricing. These factors vary from the experience of the team and agency, your business’s current ranking and market position, where you’re located and some of the specifics of your website.

Experience and Expertise

You might notice a large disparity in the cost of SEO services when comparing firms, and one of the major reasons for this is the different levels of experience within their teams. Experience and expertise directly translate to efficiency, performance and understanding. This is even truer for SEO – an industry rich in misinformation, with constantly changing criteria to succeed.

Cheap SEO generally comes with a lack of knowledge of the practical applications of techniques. In other words, cheap SEO services don’t have the same in-depth knowledge of SEO. Opting for an experienced SEO agency is likely to create greater dividends for the service—hence the additional cost in their quotes.

Geographic Location

Your geographic location is likely to affect the cost of your SEO service. This isn’t because of the lack of service providers in a particular area – in fact, SEO can be executed just as well remotely – but because of the market competitiveness of your area. Dense or well-established locations require more competitive strategies, to get the same results as less competitive areas.

If you consider an area like central Sydney which is jam-packed with high numbers of all kinds of businesses, there are a lot of companies competing for the same traffic. In comparison, a business with similar goals and needs located in Wollongong has fewer businesses in their industry competing for high Google rankings.

Current Rankings and Technical State of the Site

Bridging the gap between current rankings against desired rankings is the primary goal of SEO services. So the size of this gap plays a major role in the cost of your particular service. If you’re currently ranking relatively high but you’d like to boost your rankings even more and generate more traffic and growth, your pricing is likely to be lower than a similar business currently ranking on the back pages.

Likewise, the current technical state of your site can influence your SEO cost. One important aspect of SEO is ensuring your site is built technically compliant and aligned with Google’s preferences to help crawlers scan your content and quickly learn what it’s about so it can rank you. If your site is currently in a good technical condition, you might be charged less than if the SEO agency has to make major technical changes.


No two markets are the same when it comes to SEO, so the competitive landscape of your niche is another main factor in the cost of SEO. As you may have guessed, the more competitive an industry is, the more SEO effort is needed to implement a strategy that meets its goals, so the more expensive the service is.

Some markets are also more digitally advanced, which means a high proportion of the competition is already implementing proper SEO strategies, and agencies may charge additional fees to compete in these markets. Businesses operating within a relatively new or non-competitive niche market may be in the fortunate position of making a real impact in their SERP rankings with less work, so their SEO costs may be less.

Backlinks are a cornerstone of effective SEO but they can take a large amount of work and time to implement, so they make up a large part of the resources needed and therefore the cost of SEO services. If your backlink profile is already well established, it will take less work to get it to a position that makes a powerful impact, so your pricing model should be less.

With a non-existent backlink profile, a quality SEO agency will work to create a network of links that direct visitors to your site which also provide a strong trigger for search engines to find and rank you higher. Creating this profile takes time and resources, and requires extra funds.

Number of Pages on the Site

The number of pages on your website directly translates into the number of pages that need to be SEO optimised for an overall effective site. Your pages can rank for different keywords to help you cover more range while staying relevant to your business, and the more pages that rank high, the more web traffic you’ll filter to your site.

This has an obvious impact on SEO costs – more pages to work on requires more time, effort and a higher price. A high number of pages also means there is more work to do to tweak your site so that it’s in a strong technical state to improve SEO, which is another cause of the higher cost for more site pages.

Ongoing SEO Campaigns

SEO implementation isn’t a once-and-done function. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing and competitor sites will continue to improve their SEO, so once you begin ranking high, investing in an ongoing service is invaluable to help you maintain this powerful position. What’s more, ongoing SEO services allow you to continue using the strategies that have worked well so far.

The length of an SEO campaign will affect the price because you’re hiring an SEO agency for a certain amount of time and work. Usually, the initial phases of SEO work demand the most time and funding, so continuing with an ongoing service can be a great option to deliver a high return on investment.

Can I Use a Cheap SEO Agency?

There are some cheap SEO service providers who use cookie-cutter approaches and black hat tactics, to trick search engine algorithms. This can end up backfiring on the client. Quality SEO professionals try to keep their prices as competitive as possible, which means once they determine the resources and allocate the cost of each they can establish an affordable price. If you find cheap SEO packages much lower than that of reputable agency prices, it can be a sign that they’re using improper techniques that breach Google’s terms of service.

When implemented with experience and proper techniques, SEO services help your site become one that Google loves and is compliant with its guidelines. It will allow you to reach a much larger audience of people searching for your business and boost your web traffic, and with the right content and user experience, you’ll convert a lot more of this traffic into customers. These procedures need to be customised to your business, its current position and its market for them to be successful.

On the other hand, when offers seem too good to be true, they’ll be putting less effort in by applying keyword stuffing and low-quality content that Google will penalise you for when they catch on. These services also present the risk of losing the trust of the visitors that come to your website when they read content that is low-quality and incomplete. Another thing to look out for is agencies that offer guaranteed SEO results. Guarantees can’t be given to SEO work because it involves Google’s ever-changing algorithm that they have no control over.


Through a matrix of techniques implemented digitally, SEO aims to help you rank in top positions for the phrases that your potential customers are searching for. When you appear early, they’re much more likely to visit your website. When coupled with a technically well-crafted website, users have a seamless experience from the first second on your site through to making a purchase. It’s this increase in web traffic that gives you a rich opportunity to convert visitors into customers and generate more revenue.

Once you begin to make progress in SERP rankings, you’re in a powerful position: with higher authority comes greater potential to rank for more competitive keywords. Ranking for these keywords will expand your reach to audiences you weren’t visible to before as well as placing you even higher on your original SERPs.

This means you’ll begin to generate even more web traffic and revenue, making it increasingly easier to climb the ranks for more keywords. At its simplest, SEO is an investment that pays off the longer you apply it effectively. But even after just a few months of working with a good SEO agency in Sydney, you’ll create a ripe landscape to begin increasing your outreach.

SEO Costs at Vine Digital

At Vine Digital, we steer away from offering fixed SEO pricing models. As already mentioned, it’s best to avoid cheap SEO packages in general. We instead provide bespoke SEO strategies formed around your business needs and other factors that outline the work required to reach your objectives. We’re also a full-service agency, so we don’t offer hourly pay rates, but monthly prices over a period of 12 months.

This is because we’ve seen the value in long-term implementation and it allows us to compare year-on-year statistics without locking our clients into a contract. But we do want to give you the best return on your investment and with at least 12 months, we can help you create a strong position among search engine algorithms and get you aiming even higher and reach a larger audience. Working with us for over a year and on an ongoing basis will allow you to leverage the hard work of the first year for even more powerful results.

Our pricing models depend on the type of service – from local, small businesses to enterprise SEO. There’s no upper limit for enterprise SEO services to help multinational corporations, industry leaders or companies with big ambitions reach their desired web traffic. While quotes vary depending on the resources and work required, the level of detail, care and quality of work is always consistently high with our expert team at Vine Digital. And with a 20-day cancellation policy, the onus is on us to achieve strong results through hard work to keep you satisfied with your revenue growth as well as our customer service. If you’d like to find out more about SEO costs with Vine Digital, please get in touch today.