When it comes to SEO pricing in Sydney, it’s a little more complicated than just a sliding scale of low cost equally low quality and higher cost offering better quality, because cheap SEO can actually put you in a worse position than your initial landscape.

SEO Sydney prices range greatly because of many variables, from the experience of the agency, the competitiveness of the client’s particular niche, the duration of the service and even the pricing model of the provider. There are a lot of things to consider to ensure you get a great local SEO price in Sydney, so we’re here to clear the fog out of the service and help you find the best provider at an affordable rate.

In this article, we’ll explore everything from how much you can expect to pay for SEO, the common pricing models, packages to avoid and how to spot green flags of a trusted agency to outsource SEO successfully.

How Much Does SEO in Sydney Cost?

An SEO agency or service provider can include a range of different tasks and tiers within their service to cover various client needs. These different services often come in different pricing tiers and models, such as hourly rates, monthly retainers, per project fixed prices or pay-for-performance structures. We explore each of these models in detail here.


Some agencies offer hourly pricing models, but more often than not if you see an hourly offer, it’s likely to come from a freelancer or independent contractor. This is because they only have one person in their team, so it’s much easier for them to track the hours they work on a project and then assign their hourly rate as the payment.

Since this pricing model is more suited to small teams working on projects that can be split up into hours, it’s also best suited to smaller clients with less demanding SEO needs. If the requirements of your SEO service are highly specific or your scope is small, like creating a few pages of content writing and optimisation, hourly SEO may be an appropriate model.

For most businesses though, hourly SEO will become restrictive for applying effective SEO strategies. If your goals involve increasing your keyword ranking and generating more website traffic, your agency needs to establish and deploy a comprehensive plan. Creating a strategy that has the most potential for real results requires extensive research, so charging by the hour can boost the costs if you have a large scope, whereas this part of the process is included in monthly models.


If you have strong business goals or desire to make a real impact on your website traffic, monthly pricing models are likely to be the way to go. Most of the top and trusted SEO agencies charge per month for SEO because it allows them the time and money to apply the necessary research and build the foundation that can grow strong SEO.

Monthly pricing acts as a retainer for ongoing SEO applications, so all of your content writing, technical audits and compliance, link building, digital PR, keyword research and targeting and performance insights are included. Not only that, through monthly pricing, all of these facets that make up sustainable SEO can be improved upon over time by an agency that has the resources to help you rank increasingly higher with time.

You can establish a monthly price with your agency, which is likely to be tailored to your needs and budget, so once you explain your objectives they can help outline what will be required to give you the best chance of reaching your goals. What’s more, if you commit to a longer-term, you’re likely to get a better value deal than buying a short-time service.

Per Project

Hourly and monthly billing are the two major time-based models. Per project pricing is another commonly used pricing structure that charges a fixed price for SEO services. These allow you to see the tasks and activities that the agency will perform for you for the specific amount, and ensure you have control over how much you spend.

Similarly to hourly pricing models, if the scope of your work is small or you have very specific requirements, per project prices may be suitable for your needs. When your objectives are measurable and achievable in a small duration per project model might be a suitable choice. However, this pricing model comes with a concerning amount of risk because it’s hard to get meaningful web traffic results through one-off projects.

Per project billing doesn’t allow for performance insights and updates and changes to be made to your strategy based on these insights. It’s not an ideal choice for long-term success and transformative increases in traffic, but it can help you complete specific tasks that expand your web presence. It’s nearly impossible to identify an average cost for per-project billing because the size of the project can come in all different shapes, sizes and durations, so it can be challenging to know how much is an affordable price.

Pay For Performance

You might find some agencies offer their services on a pay-for-performance SEO structure where clients only pay when milestones are reached. These offers can sound enticing because they’re often marketed with a promise of exciting results and they claim that clients only pay for the value that they get. However, these offers can be misleading for a number of reasons.

Firstly, they often take it upon themselves to create the desired goals that act as the milestones for payment, which means these targets are often not very valuable. For example, one performance milestone might be ranking on the first page of Google for a specific keyword, for which the client pays once they reach this target. But they’ll use unethical tactics to help the site get there, which means once the payment has been made to the agency, the results are likely to be short-lived.

With these short-lived results, the actual goal of SEO to increase web traffic and revenue consistently and sustainably isn’t achieved. This SEO package pricing in Sydney can put your business in a worse position than it was initially. Google penalises websites that use these improper tactics to trick their algorithm and plummets their ranking position.

Factors that Influence SEO Prices in Sydney

SEO can be a complex procedure and the prices you can expect to pay will vary depending on your needs and the capabilities of the provider. If you consider where you currently stand in Google rankings, as well as other business factors like your market and location, you can develop a better picture of the amount of work needed to get you to a more valuable spot. These factors grouped with the quality and expertise of the agency make up most of the funding needs that influence SEO prices Sydney-wide.

Agency Experience

In every service your business hires, the experience of the provider will influence the cost because, as well as the service itself, you’re paying for the expertise that makes for a quality and high-performing result. For SEO, this is usually even truer because SEO is a complex field. The experience of the agency is integral to their understanding of the changing nature of search engine algorithms.

An experienced SEO agency will be aware that an SEO application needs to be done comprehensively to appeal to the algorithm on any given day so your results are not only strong but also sustainable. A less experienced agency might be able to follow best practices and implement some adequate strategies, but without experience in how strategies should be implemented long-term, the results are generally less consistent.

Current Rankings and State of the Site

Many clients overlook the fact that they may have had some professional work completed on their website already. If this has had a positive impact on your site and the technical state of your web pages have been made compliant with Google, then you can expect to pay less for your SEO service. If you’re already ranking fairly well for keywords relevant to your business without any help, this also puts you in a better position when seeking SEO and your agency should offer a lower pricing model.

High SERP rankings are a primary goal of SEO, so the current rankings can help indicate the amount of SEO work required to get your site in a suitable position to increase your web traffic and leads. In terms of the state of the site, this refers to the layout and backend formatting. To help search engines crawl your site, the state should be technically compatible with search engines to help them prioritise your pages. So the price you pay for your SEO service will often depend on these features of your current site.

Competition in Niche

Strong SEO allows you to be competitive within your market and beat other businesses for a high ranking on Google. Competition within your niche is usually a strong indicator of the volume and duration of SEO required to help your site achieve its initial results. So it’s also one of the most influential factors in the price of your SEO service.

Every market is different and has various competitors of all shapes and sizes. Some industries may be more technically advanced and already have a high volume of competitors harnessing proper SEO strategies. Other markets have many similar businesses in the same areas or may provide a unique solution and don’t have a lot of users searching for them. These competition points are all important for your agency to consider and plan a strategy to overcome, and the work involved in this strategy filters into the SEO cost.

Number of Pages to be Optimised

You can optimise as many pages of your website as you like, and your SEO agency can help you determine an ideal amount to boost your traffic to the desired volume. These pages can rank for different keywords too, to help you spread the range of searchers that can find your site. However, the number of pages to be optimised within your SEO plan directly affects the cost of the service as each page involves more work.

More pages to be optimised also result in more work required to ensure your pages are technically compliant with search engines. They each require involvement in backlink production, require content writing work and are involved in the overall market research, planning and implementation of your SEO efforts. While it can seem like the best option is to optimise all of your sites, sometimes it’s best to focus on a few pages ranking for specific keywords, but your agency can help you determine the optimal approach.

Ongoing Services

In your search for an ideal SEO service, you might come across providers that offer SEO packages that deliver a result by a specific time. These can seem desirable at first glance, but lasting and meaningful SEO results require a long-term commitment. This once-and-done approach may cost less initially but they often provide a lower return on investment. Ongoing services are the recommended option because they appeal to Google’s changing algorithm by applying comprehensive SEO tactics that create a network of digital presence.

The length of your service has an obvious effect on price – the longer you hire an agency the more you’ll pay for their work. However, if you opt for a partnership approach to SEO, their fees are often better valued on a month-to-month basis due to the longer-term commitment. As a result of using an ongoing service, when your site begins to gain momentum and climb the rankings, it’s able to rank for more competitive and relevant keywords easier. So it becomes simpler and more cost-effective to reach increasingly better results.

Is the SEO Being Outsourced to Another Country?

SEO services are executed differently from one agency to another. Many of the most reputable providers will keep their operations in-house and harness the diversity and skills of their chosen team to deliver effective SEO. Other agencies offer lower prices by outsourcing the work to contractors located in another country where they can legally pay them less than Australian contractors. As a result, the overall service cost may be lower but it can come with other consequences that outweigh the value saved.

Most of the time these workers are non-native English speakers, so when using them for your content writing, the work is performed to a low standard. Google’s algorithm heavily penalises errors and low-quality content, and when your visitors find your site, they can be put off by the lack of professionalism. So while the service may cost less when the work is outsourced, the reduced price is reflected in a less valuable outcome.

Business Objectives

SEO Sydney prices are massively influenced by your business goals because these ambitions will determine the extent of your SEO work. If you aim to reach the first page of Google SERPs for all of your primary keywords, this is going to be an extensive task that will consume a lot of time and resources and will need more funding to achieve.

If you only want to rank well for one or two keywords to generate a steady increase in traffic, your SEO campaign can be a little more conservative and probably cost less. For comprehensive goals that wish to multiply the visitors to the site, and then work on your page conversion rate and copywriting for a fully improved funnel, more tasks and skills are required, and your costs will increase to reflect the extra demand. But larger goals are never wrong, in fact, if you’re hiring a trusted agency,  this is the time to be realistically ambitious.

Amount of Outreach

SEO outreach involves the activities used to help build a backlink profile, which is a critical component of powerful and sustainable SEO. The aim of your outreach is to create a network of sites to house links that direct users to your site. Proper outreach places you on the most valuable and authoritative websites. Backlinks tell Google that your site has integrity because other unrelated sites are linking you on their site, so when you have a strong backlink profile, your ranking positions often increase as a result.

The amount of outreach within your SEO campaign has a direct influence on cost because it takes time and resources to build this profile. If your backlink profile is well-established already, the amount of outreach is reduced and the cost of your service might be lower. If your agency needs to set up a strong profile to help you achieve ambitious business objectives, then you can expect higher SEO pricing, Sydney-located or otherwise.

Why You Should Avoid Cheap SEO Packages

Cheap Packages Don’t Deliver

Cheap SEO packages entice business owners with an offer they can’t refuse at face value. But when exploring the mechanics of this service, it becomes clear how they undercut the rest of the market and take advantage of clients without delivering effective SEO. Creating sustainable and powerful SEO that positions a website in high SERP ranking requires time and effort to build a foundation of digital presence and link building.

Cheap packages that claim to offer the best price SEO in Sydney do not do this. They instead manipulate search engines with improper techniques and this sort of practice breaches Google’s terms of service – the platform that SEO is trying to work with, not against. These packages may offer promised results, which sounds even more attractive to potential clients.

What’s even worse is that they can actually achieve the results set out in their strategy, but because they’ve used improper techniques, the performance is almost always short-lived and doesn’t generate much increase in sales at all. The site then loses its position entirely due to the lack of SEO foundation but the client has to pay because the agency completed the agreed service. 

SEO is Not One-Size-Fits-All

If an agency offers you SEO marketed as ‘cheap’ for an entire strategy implementation it’s likely they’ll use cookie-cutter methods and apply them to your website. Unlike services within the control of a company, SEO is never a one-size-fits-all application. There are many variables that come into play for each business’s website that determine what applications are needed to help the site reach its SEO goals.

To garner success in search engine optimisation, your situation needs to be looked at individually. You have a unique current position, geographic location, competitive niche and business objectives – all of these are critical to moving you in the direction of SEO success.

Cheap SEO strategies can’t offer the customisation required for this intricate work. A proper SEO agency will charge more than the entry-level prices, but the value lies in a service backed by experience, custom-made SEO plans and long-term, sustainable results.

Black Hat Tactics and Google Penalties

To achieve any results at all, even ones that don’t last, cheap packages have to use unethical practices. At these low rates, they can’t fund a team to apply the proper work needed for solid rankings. These unethical practices are often called black hat tactics, which are a group of activities that aim to manipulate Google’s algorithm. They include things like keyword stuffing content, cloaking text and hiding links, which all create a big mess that harms a website.

While they can be successful at tricking the algorithm, Google is driven to provide their users with the best experience, which means they work hard to identify when websites are breaching their terms and not providing quality content. Google punishing your site is one thing, but having an audience arrive at a page that reads poorly, with lots of keywords stuffed into the text can be pretty damaging to your reputation too.

When they inevitably catch on, Google has the power to apply some harsh penalties, including knocking the site position below its initial ranking or removing it from SERPs altogether. This means that any time and money spent on cheap SEO packages are wasted and businesses have to work harder and pay more to earn back their rankings.

How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

SEO is executed through a range of activities across the digital landscape, which means a lot of the work and effort put in place to make your site favoured by Google can live in the background. This makes it possible for sketchy agencies to offer SEO services that don’t provide meaningful results for their clients. Consider the factors below to help you avoid these service providers.

Avoid Agencies that Guarantee Results

When searing for SEO services, keep your eyes peeled for agencies offering guaranteed results as part of their deal. This should sound the alarm for any experienced digital marketer because there just isn’t any viable way to guarantee results when it comes to SEO. Digital marketers work with search engines over a long period of time and discover how frequently and significantly algorithms to rank websites change.

This means that all the control lies outside of the SEO agency’s hands and while a reputable specialist can apply a wide scope of techniques to appeal to search engines more often and consistently, results can never be guaranteed. What can be guaranteed is arbitrary or strangely specific targets that cheap agencies aim for, like ranking on a specific page of Google for a keyword, which can be done on one occasion before the position is lost. Once they hit the mark, clients have to pay for the service but the results rarely last and the whole process wastes clients’ time and money.

Avoid Cheap, Template SEO Packages

Cheap SEO packages are another offer that should be avoided because of the setbacks that can occur once their work is complete. These agencies use a variety of damaging means to apply their SEO works which usually backfires. The first is a template approach to SEO, which assumes that one method will work for all businesses. SEO is only effective when it considers the unique position and needs of the particular websites and a clear structure is drawn out to get there.

Another way cheap SEO is made possible is through outsourcing the actual work to contractors in different countries. This presents problems because the exterior parties perform low-quality work and are not informed of the actual goals and activities needed in the overall strategy. Cheap SEO packages lack accountability because once the service is paid for, they have no obligation to manage any repercussions from Google when the site is penalised.

No Black Hat SEO Providers

Black hat SEO has severe consequences not just for your website but for your business’s reputation as well. Some SEO providers harness black hat tactics to trigger certain points of the algorithm that can sometimes help the website rank high. These improper techniques fall outside of Google’s clearly set out regulations, and when they realise a site has breached its terms the punishments can be harsh and put sites in a worse position than when they began SEO.

When your visitors see keyword stuffing in your text or incomplete pages, which is a feature of black hat techniques, they can mistrust your whole business very fast. This reputation damage is often more harmful than the lower search engine ranking so it’s important to avoid these service providers at all costs.

Ask To See Case Studies

While the above points help you to look out for agencies that will take advantage of you, a way to confirm that a firm is reputable is to ask to see their case studies. Case studies are written explanations of specific projects that the agency has worked on with real-world clients just like you. These can showcase a lot of valuable first-hand information about who you’ll potentially do business with.

If they’re happy to show you their case studies this is a strong sign of a pro, but if they’re reluctant or don’t have much to show you, this can be a red flag. If you do get to see some, try to analyse how they overcome challenges that arose and their approach to creating a customised plan for their client in its unique market position. This can help you determine if their insights and work we’re effective and if you’d like to move forward with them.

Vine Digital SEO Prices in Sydney

Vine Digital are experts in various Sydney and New South Wales markets, but we still ensure we perform thorough research on your individual needs, position, location and niche so we develop an informed and intricate understanding before we begin. From here, we can assign an affordable pricing model that provides your site with the best chance of reaching its biggest ambitions.

We prefer to work with clients on a partnership approach and monthly pricing plan. This allows us to apply research integral to success, create the foundation for your digital presence and continue to move your site up the ranks long into the future. All of our SEO plans are completely customised to our client’s needs, and no two ever look the same. Every business needs something different to reach its goals, and we’re here to find out what that is for you.

Contact us today to find out more about our pricing or start your custom SEO strategy!