How Much Does SEO Cost In Australia? [Updated Sept 2023]

how much does SEO cost in Australia by Marketix

Navigating the complexities of SEO investment and the cost of SEO in Australia can be challenging, especially when you're trying to align costs with your business objectives. 


This guide is designed to answer common questions you may have about the cost of SEO services in Australia, offering real-world examples, statistics, and other essential information on the price of SEO services in Australia


Common Questions about the Cost of SEO in Australia


Understanding SEO services in Australia can be challenging. It's not just about identifying the services you're paying for; it's crucial to align those services with your business goals and budget. This becomes especially crucial for niches like Enterprise SEO or SEO for Tradies.


This section explores frequently asked questions to help you make informed, profitable decisions for your business.


How Much Does SEO Cost in Australia?


The cost for SEO services in Australia varies widely and can be broadly categorised into three segments:


• Small Businesses: Budget between AUD 1,500 to AUD 3,000 monthly for foundational SEO services like keyword research and content optimisation.


• Medium-sized Businesses: If you're looking to scale a mid-sized business with SEO services, expect costs to range from AUD 3,000 to AUD 9,000 per month.


• Enterprise-Level: For those requiring a comprehensive strategy, including international SEO, costs can be above AUD 10,000 per month.


It's worth noting that these are general figures for a quality SEO service provider. Customised solutions tailored to a business's unique needs could fluctuate in cost.


Is Paying Per Keyword Still Relevant?


The idea of paying per keyword was more relevant in the early days of SEO but has largely (and thankfully) become outdated and irrelevant. Modern SEO services, as practised at Marketix, considers a wide array of factors including:


• Content quality

• User experience

• Site speed

• Mobile-friendliness

• Backlink profile

• Technical architecture & Crawlability


A holistic strategy will consider all these elements and more, making a "pay per keyword" model less comprehensive and is not effective with how complex the Google algorithm is now.


Hourly Rates for SEO Services in Australia


If you're looking for a more flexible pricing model, hourly rates for SEO services in Australia can be a viable option. However, remember that you're not just paying for time but also for expertise and skill. 


The average hourly rate ranges from $100 to $300 AUD, but this can vary based on the agency's reputation, experience, the complexity of the tasks, and the level of expertise required; with specialised agencies being at the top end of those brackets.


It’s important to note that with specialised agencies, whilst the cost is higher per hour, more can be achieved with a stronger “hit rate” than with lower cost, or generic “do it all”-type agencies.

Hourly Rates for SEO Services in Australia

Factors Affecting the Cost of SEO Services


Understanding the cost of SEO is far from straightforward. With a myriad of variables at play, it's crucial to dissect each one to make informed, budget-friendly decisions.


Let's explore these factors in greater detail.


The Nature of Your Business


Crafting and implementing an effective SEO campaign is not a one-size-fits-all endeavour. The unique attributes of your business model are instrumental in shaping the kind of SEO approach that will yield the most benefit. These attributes also influence the financial investment required for SEO. 


In this section, we examine the SEO considerations for various business types in greater detail.


E-commerce Sites


For those who operate e-commerce platforms, the eCommerce SEO requirements presents both unique challenges and opportunities.


Individual Product Page Optimisations: Each product page is essentially its own SEO project. This involves crafting compelling descriptions, optimising images with alt text, and ensuring that each element is fine-tuned for search engine algorithms.


Multiple Category Pages: With a variety of product categories, each category page becomes its own mini-SEO project. These pages require optimisation for both user experience and search engine visibility, which includes elements like breadcrumb navigation, content, backlinks and internal linking strategies.


Informational Content Clusters: Beyond mere product listings, e-commerce sites can gain significant SEO traction through informational content clusters. This could be in the form of blogs, how-to guides, or video tutorials.


Complex Schema Markups: These are vital for helping search engines understand the context of your product listings, thereby enhancing your site's visibility in rich snippets and other advanced search features.


Cost Implication: The intricate nature of e-commerce SEO means that costs can be quite high. In terms of Australian Dollars, monthly expenditures could range from $3,500 to $12,000 or more, depending on various factors like scale and complexity.


Local Businesses


For businesses with a local focus, SEO needs are distinct and specialised.


• Highly Specialised: Local SEO goes beyond merely inserting a city name into your keywords. It involves a deep understanding of local search behaviour, seasonal trends, and even local events that can influence search volume.


• Geographically Tailored: Every aspect of your SEO—from Google My Business listings to local citations and map features—needs to be customised to your specific geographic location.


• Cost Implication: While local SEO is generally more budget-friendly, it does necessitate a nuanced understanding of the local market. Monthly costs could range from $1,500 to $3,500 AUD.


Mid-Sized Businesses


Occupying a unique position between small local businesses and large enterprises, mid-sized businesses have their own set of SEO considerations.


• Moderate Technical SEO: Your website is likely large enough to require a moderate level of technical SEO, including aspects like site speed optimisation and mobile responsiveness.


• Content Strategy: With a more extensive product or service offering, a robust content strategy is essential. This could involve a mix of blogs, whitepapers, and webinars.


• Local and National Focus: Your SEO strategy may need to cater to a more diverse audience, which could include both local and national campaigns.


• Cost Implication: Costs for SEO for mid-sized businesses can vary but are generally moderate, with monthly expenditures ranging from $3,500 to $12,000 AUD or more.


Enterprise-like Businesses


For large-scale corporations and enterprises, enterprise SEO is a complex and multifaceted undertaking.


• Advanced Technical SEO: The complexity of your website requires advanced technical SEO strategies. This includes dealing with complex site architecture, and often, optimising for multiple languages and audiences.


• Compliance and Governance Measures: Operating under stringent regulations means that compliance is a crucial aspect of your SEO strategy.


• Cost Implication: Due to the scale and complexity, costs are naturally on the higher end, often exceeding $15,000 AUD or even more than $25,000 AUD per month.


The Competitive Nature of Your Industry


The competitive environment in which your business operates has a profound impact on your SEO budget. Different industries have varying levels of competition, which in turn, influences the aggressiveness and cost of your SEO strategy.


High-Competition Industries


Industries such as mortgages, personal injury lawyers, healthcare, or even SEO services, are often teeming with competition when it comes to SEO competitiveness.


• Content Saturation: The sheer volume of content available makes standing out a significant challenge. This often necessitates a more sophisticated content marketing strategy, involving not just written content but also video, podcasts, and interactive media.


• Reputation Management: High competition often leads to a more significant focus on online reputation, including reviews and testimonials, which can be another area requiring investment.


• Cost Implication: Given the aggressive nature of SEO in these industries, costs can be quite high. You could be looking at a monthly budget ranging from AUD $5,000 to $15,000 or more.


Low-Competition Industries


Niche markets or less competitive industries such as jewellery designers, cobblers, or rare plant cultivation offer a different set of challenges and opportunities.


• Focused Keyword Strategy: In low-competition industries, the battle for keywords is often less intense, allowing for a more targeted approach.


• Content Opportunities: Lower competition often means less content saturation, providing an opportunity to quickly establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.


• Cost Implication: The less aggressive nature of SEO in these markets often allows for a more budget-friendly approach, with costs potentially ranging from AUD $1,200 to $6,000 per month.

Chart of SEO services for differing Target Markets - Local SEO, National SEO, International SEO

The Scope of Your Target Market


The scope of your target market, in terms of both size and geographical location, is a pivotal factor that can significantly influence your SEO costs. Different scopes require varying strategies and levels of investment. Here, we probe deeper into the intricacies involved in Local, National, and International SEO.


Local SEO


Local SEO is particularly beneficial for businesses that aim to attract a local customer base.


• Geo-Specific Keywords: One of the cornerstones of local SEO is the optimisation for geo-specific keywords. This involves not just inserting the name of the locality, but also other local identifiers that potential customers might search for.


• Local Business Listings: Creating and optimising local business listings, especially on platforms like Google My Business, is crucial for local visibility.


• Community Engagement: Beyond your online presence, local SEO also involves real-world community engagement. This could include sponsoring local events or forming partnerships with local businesses to build high-quality backlinks.


• Local Reviews and Testimonials: Encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews on local review sites can also significantly boost your local SEO efforts.


• Cost Implication: Local SEO is generally specialised but less expensive, with costs typically ranging from AUD $1,800 to $5,500 per month for city-wide campaigns.


National SEO


National SEO is ideal for businesses that aim to reach a broader, nationwide audience.


• Broad Keyword Strategy: Unlike local SEO, a national SEO strategy requires a broader keyword focus. This could involve targeting keywords that are relevant across multiple states or regions.


• Diverse Content Strategy: A national audience is likely to have diverse needs and preferences. As such, your content strategy will need to be equally diverse, possibly involving various types of content like blogs, videos, and podcasts.


• Competitive Analysis: Given the broader target market, understanding and analysing the competition becomes even more critical in national SEO.


• User Experience and Site Speed: With a national audience, the performance of your website across various devices and internet speeds becomes more crucial.


• Cost Implication: Given the broader scope, the costs for national SEO are generally in the mid-to-high range, often ranging from AUD $5,000 to $15,000 or more per month.


International SEO


For businesses targeting a global market, the complexities are manifold.


• Multi-Language Optimisation: One of the most obvious challenges is language. Your website will need to be optimised for multiple languages, which involves not just translation but also localisation.


• Cultural Sensitivity: Beyond language, the content must also be culturally sensitive and relevant to different target markets. This could involve understanding local customs, beliefs, and even legal regulations that might affect your industry.


• Global Link-Building Strategy: A global audience means that your link-building strategy also needs to be global. This could involve partnerships with international organisations or influencers.


• Geo-Targeting and Localisation: Advanced SEO techniques like geo-targeting can be used to direct users to the version of the site that is most relevant to their location.


• Cost Implication: Given the complexities involved in international SEO, the costs are often on the higher end, frequently exceeding AUD $12,000 per month.


Geographical Considerations


The geographical location of your business or your target audience plays a significant role in shaping your SEO strategy and the associated costs. Whether you're operating in a bustling city or a less populated regional area, the challenges and opportunities can vary widely. Here, we explore the nuances of SEO investment based on geographical considerations.


Major Cities


Operating in major cities like Sydney or Melbourne presents a unique set of challenges that can impact your SEO strategy.


• High Competition: Major cities are often hubs for various industries, leading to heightened competition. This necessitates a more aggressive SEO strategy, which could include advanced techniques like competitive analysis.


• Cost of Living: The higher cost of living in these cities often translates to higher service costs, including those for SEO services. This is because agencies and freelancers may charge more to cover their own higher living expenses. However, this gives you access to a larger talent pool.


• Local vs National Focus: In major cities, businesses often have to balance between local and national SEO, as they may serve both local residents and a broader audience.


• Consumer Behaviour: The diverse and cosmopolitan nature of major cities means that consumer behaviour can be more complex, requiring a more nuanced approach to keyword and content strategy.


Cost Implication: Given the challenges associated with operating in major cities, the SEO costs are generally higher, often ranging from AUD $5,500 to $13,000 per month.


Regional Areas


In contrast, operating in less populated or regional areas comes with its own set of advantages and challenges.


• Community Focus: In smaller communities, businesses often have the opportunity to become community leaders. SEO strategies can leverage this by focusing on local events, partnerships, and even local news to build high-quality backlinks.


• Localised Keywords: In regional areas, a more localised keyword strategy can often be effective. This could include focusing on local landmarks, events, or colloquial terms that may not be relevant in a broader context.


• Lower Competition: The lower level of competition in regional areas often allows for a less aggressive SEO strategy, which can be advantageous for smaller businesses or those just starting with SEO.


• Geo-Specific Content: Content can be more geo-specific, focusing on the unique attributes or needs of the local community, thereby making the business more relevant in local search results.


• Cost Implication: Due to the generally lower level of competition and the potential for a more community-focused strategy, SEO costs in regional areas are often more budget-friendly, ranging from AUD $1,200 to $4,500 per month.


Complexity and Size of Your Website


The intricacy and dimensions of your website are pivotal factors that can have a considerable impact on your SEO investment. Websites with a large number of pages or complex functionalities often require a more advanced level of SEO expertise. Below, we look into the specific challenges and considerations based on the complexity and size of your website.


Number of Pages


The number of pages on your website directly correlates with the scale of your SEO efforts.


• Page Optimisation: Each page on your website has its own set of metadata, including title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags, that need to be optimised. The more pages you have, the more time-consuming this process becomes.


• Content Strategy: A website with a large number of pages often necessitates a more complex content strategy. This could involve a mix of different content types, such as blogs, how-to guides, product pages, and landing pages, each requiring its own SEO considerations.


• Internal Linking: With more pages, the complexity of your internal linking structure increases. A well-thought-out internal linking strategy is crucial for guiding both users and search engines through your site effectively.


• Page Speed Optimisation: More pages often mean more elements like images, scripts, and CSS files. Each of these elements can impact the loading speed of your pages, requiring additional optimisation efforts.


• Cost Implication: Given the increased workload associated with larger websites, the SEO costs can be substantial. You could be looking at a monthly budget ranging from AUD $8,000 to $14,000 or more, depending on the exact number of pages and the complexity of your content.


Technical Complexity


The technical complexity of your website is a crucial factor that can significantly influence your SEO costs. Websites with intricate designs, custom-coded elements, or unique functionalities often require a more advanced level of SEO expertise. Here are some key considerations:


Custom-Coded Websites


Websites that are custom-coded present unique challenges and opportunities in the world of SEO.


• Schema Markup and Meta Tag Optimisation: Custom-coded websites often require tailored schema markup and meta tag optimisation to ensure that search engines can easily understand the content and structure of the site.


• JavaScript Frameworks: If your custom-coded website uses modern JavaScript frameworks like React or Angular, additional steps may be needed to ensure that the site is crawlable and indexable by search engines.


• Server-Side Optimisation: Custom-coded sites may also require server-side optimisations, such as implementing server-side rendering or configuring HTTP headers, to improve site speed and crawlability.


• Cost Implication: Given the bespoke nature of custom-coded websites, the SEO costs can be on the higher end, ranging from AUD $10,000 to $25,000 or more per month.


Website Architecture


The architecture of your website plays a vital role in how easily search engines can crawl and index your content.


• URL Structure: A complex URL structure can make it difficult for search engines to understand the hierarchy and relevance of your pages, requiring additional optimisation.


• Internal Linking: A well-thought-out internal linking strategy is crucial for complex websites to ensure that search engines and users can easily navigate the site.


• XML Sitemaps: For complex sites, dynamically generated XML sitemaps may be necessary to ensure that all pages are discoverable by search engines.


• Cost Implication: The intricacies involved in optimising complex website architecture can push costs towards the higher end, often ranging from AUD $8,500 to $14,000 or more per month.


Unique Functionality


Websites with unique functionalities, such as advanced search features or custom databases, require specialised SEO strategies.


• Dynamic Content: If your website generates dynamic content based on user interactions, additional SEO techniques like programmatic & dynamic rendering may be required.


• Database Optimisation: For sites with custom databases, SEO strategies may need to extend to the database level to ensure that the content is crawlable and indexable.


• User Experience (UX) Optimisation: Unique functionalities often require a focus on UX optimisation, ensuring that these features are not just functional but also easily discoverable through search engines.


• Cost Implication: Due to the advanced level of technical SEO work required, costs for such websites are generally on the higher end, ranging from AUD $8,000 to $17,000 per month.


Quality of Service


The quality of the SEO service you choose is a critical factor that can significantly influence both your costs and the results you can expect. While it's tempting to opt for lower-cost options, it's crucial to remember that you often get what you pay for in the world of SEO. Below, we explore the various aspects of service quality and how they relate to cost.




An experienced SEO team usually commands higher fees, but the investment is often justified.


 •Better ROI: Teams with a track record of success are more likely to deliver a better return on investment. Their experience allows them to avoid common pitfalls and implement proven strategies more efficiently.


• Faster Results: Experienced professionals often achieve desired outcomes in a shorter timeframe, thanks to their deep understanding of search engine algorithms and best practices.


• Cost Implication: The expertise level of the SEO team can significantly influence costs, with more experienced teams often charging upwards of AUD $8,000 to $15,000 per month.




The range of services offered can also add to the overall cost of your SEO strategy.


• Content Creation: Comprehensive services often include content creation, which can be a significant part of your overall SEO strategy. High-quality content requires skilled writers, graphic designers, and possibly even video production teams.


• Quality Link Building: Effective SEO isn't just about on-page optimisation; it also involves off-page factors like link building. Quality link building is a resource-intensive task that involves outreach, negotiation, and ongoing relationship management.


• Cost Implication: The broader and more comprehensive the range of SEO services included, the higher the cost is likely to be. Comprehensive services can push the monthly costs to between AUD $8,000 and $16,000 per month.


Customer Service


Higher-cost services often come with a higher level of customer service, which can be invaluable in the fast-paced world of SEO.


• Ongoing Support: With higher-cost services, you can generally expect ongoing support, which can be crucial for addressing issues promptly and making timely adjustments to your strategy.


• Transparent Reporting: Transparency is key to any successful partnership. Higher-cost services usually offer more detailed and transparent reporting, allowing you to understand exactly what is being done and what results are being achieved.


• Cost Implication: The level of customer service provided can also influence costs. Services that offer high levels of customer support and transparent reporting often charge more.

Pricing Models for SEO Services in Australia

Choosing the Right Pricing Model for Your SEO Needs


Selecting an appropriate pricing model is a crucial step in aligning your budget with the quality of SEO work you expect. Different pricing models offer various advantages and drawbacks, and understanding these can help you make an informed decision. 


At Marketix, we offer a diverse range of services tailored to your specific needs, including Quality SEO Services, Enterprise SEO, B2B SEO, eCommerce SEO, Technical SEO.


Below, we explore the different pricing models in detail.


Retainer-Based SEO Model


A retainer-based model involves paying a fixed monthly or annual fee for ongoing SEO services.


• Predictable Budgeting: One of the main advantages of a retainer-based model is that it allows for predictable budgeting. You know exactly how much you'll be spending each month, making it easier to plan your finances.


• Ongoing Support and Strategy Implementation: This model is ideal for long-term projects that require consistent SEO work. It ensures ongoing support and the continuous implementation of your SEO strategy, adapting to changes in search engine algorithms and your business needs.


• Cost Implication: While costs can vary, opting for a retainer-based model usually involves a long-term commitment. Monthly fees can range from AUD $3,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the complexity and scale of your project.


Project-Based SEO Model


In a project-based model, you pay for a specific task or set of tasks.


• Clear Scope and Deliverables: This model is best suited for short-term projects with well-defined requirements. You know exactly what you're getting, and there's a clear scope and set of deliverables. This could be for a one-off technical audit, a website migration, a traffic loss audit, or even, a Google penalty removal service.


• One-Time Payment: Unlike retainer-based models, a project-based model usually involves a one-time payment, offering budget certainty and eliminating the need for long-term financial commitments.


• Cost Implication: Costs are usually defined upfront, providing clarity and certainty for your budget. Depending on the project's scope, you could be looking at a one-time fee ranging from AUD $5,000 to $25,000 or more per project.


Hourly SEO Model


An hourly model involves paying for SEO services by the hour.


• Flexibility: This model offers the most flexibility, allowing you to pay only for the time you need. It's ideal for small tasks or consultation services that don't require a long-term commitment.


• Pay Only for the Time You Need: The hourly model allows you to control costs more closely, as you only pay for the specific hours worked on your project.


• Cost Implication: Hourly rates can vary significantly based on the level of expertise required and the complexity of the task. Rates can range from AUD $100 to $300 per hour.


The Other Costs You Should Know About


When budgeting for SEO, it's crucial to consider not just the ongoing monthly or annual fees but also additional costs that can arise. These can include one-off setup fees, the cost of additional tools and subscriptions, and other miscellaneous expenses.


Below, we look into these often-overlooked costs to provide a comprehensive understanding of what you might expect to pay.


One-off Setup Fees


Initial setup fees are common in the SEO industry and cover a range of activities.


• What It Covers: These fees often cover initial audits, strategy planning, and basic SEO implementations such as keyword research, on-page optimisation, and perhaps even a preliminary link-building campaign.


Cost Range: Depending on the complexity of your website and the depth of the initial audit and strategy planning, costs can range from AUD 500 to AUD 8,000.


Cost Implication: While these are one-time costs, they are essential to kickstart your SEO efforts and should be factored into your initial budget, you need to pay people fo their time, and this often requires a lot of heavy lifting up front.


Additional Tools and Subscriptions


SEO often requires the use of specialised tools for various tasks like keyword research, competitor analysis, and performance tracking.


• Popular Tools: Premium SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs or Screaming Frog are commonly used in the industry for tasks ranging from keyword tracking to backlink analysis.


• Subscription Costs: These tools often require monthly or yearly subscriptions, adding to your ongoing costs.


• Cost Range: Depending on the tool and the plan you choose, expect to pay between AUD 120 to AUD 400 per month per tool. You will need several of them to execute an SEO plan effectively.


• Cost Implication: While these are ongoing costs, they are crucial for effective SEO management and should be included in your monthly or annual budget.


Comparison Tables for Understanding SEO Costs


Understanding the costs associated with SEO is a critical step in your decision-making process. 


Whether you're a business owner, a marketing manager, or someone responsible for the online presence of a business, this guide aims to offer clarity on the various factors that influence SEO costs.


Average SEO Costs by Business Type


Understanding the average costs associated with SEO for different types of businesses can provide valuable insights for budgeting and planning. Below, we break down the typical costs and factors that influence them for E-commerce Sites, Local Businesses, Mid-Sized Businesses, and Enterprise-like Businesses.

Average SEO Costs by Business Type

E-commerce Sites


In the E-commerce sector, SEO is not just an option but a necessity for survival and growth.


Average Cost: Typically, E-commerce businesses should expect to invest from $3,500 to $12,000 or more per month for competent SEO services.


Complexity of the Website: E-commerce platforms often have intricate site architectures with multiple layers of product categories, filters, and individual product pages. This complexity necessitates a more detailed SEO strategy, thereby increasing costs.


Number of Products: The sheer volume of products can significantly impact the cost. More products mean more pages that need to be optimised, which in turn requires more resources.


Level of Competition: Niches like electronics or beauty products are highly competitive online, especially against behemoths like Amazon. A competitive market often requires a more aggressive and resource-intensive SEO strategy.


Cost Implication: Given the complexities and variables involved, the cost for E-commerce SEO can vary widely. Businesses should be prepared for costs to occasionally exceed the average starting point, especially during peak seasons or sales events.


Local Businesses


Local businesses often have the advantage of a more focused target audience, but this comes with its own set of challenges.


Average Cost: Local businesses usually spend between AUD 1,500 and AUD 3,500 per month on SEO services.


Local Competition: A saturated local market, such as plumbers, or food & beverage, in a populous city, can drive up SEO costs due to the need for a more aggressive local SEO strategy.


Scope of Local Reach: The geographical area you're targeting can also influence costs. Targeting a larger city will generally be more expensive than focusing on a small town.


Cost Implication: While generally more budget-friendly, costs can fluctuate based on local market conditions, seasonal trends, and the level of competition.


Mid-Sized Businesses


Mid-sized businesses often find themselves in a unique position, balancing the scale of larger enterprises with the focused approach of smaller businesses.


Average Cost: For a mid-sized business, SEO costs often hover around AUD 3,000 to AUD 9,000 per month.


Industry Competitiveness: Some industries are more competitive than others. For example, a mid-sized tech company may find itself competing against both startups and tech giants, which can drive up SEO costs.


Market Trends: Economic conditions, consumer behaviour, and industry innovations can all necessitate changes in your SEO strategy, affecting costs.


Cost Implication: Costs can be highly variable, influenced by both internal business factors and external market conditions. Budgeting should be flexible to accommodate these fluctuations.


Enterprise-like Businesses


Enterprise-like businesses often operate on a much larger scale, and their SEO needs reflect this complexity.


Average Cost: SEO costs for enterprise-like businesses can easily start at AUD 10,000 per month and go upwards.


National or International Targeting: Operating on a national or global scale requires a more intricate SEO strategy, involving multiple languages, cultures, and legal considerations, which can significantly increase costs.


Complexity of the Website: Enterprise websites are often massive, with hundreds or even thousands of pages. This complexity requires a more sophisticated SEO strategy, involving a larger team and more resources.


Bespoke Strategies: Customised SEO strategies that are tailored to the unique needs and goals of the enterprise can significantly add to the cost.


Cost Implication: Given the scale, complexity, and custom requirements, SEO for enterprise-like businesses is often a significant investment. The high costs are usually justified by the potential for equally high returns.


Choosing Between In-House, Agency, and Hybrid Models


When it comes to executing your SEO strategy, you have several options: you can opt for an in-house team, outsource to an agency, or use a hybrid model that combines both. Each of these models comes with its own set of costs and benefits. Below, we explore these different models to help you make an informed decision.

In-House vs Agency SEO Models

In-House Models


An in-house SEO team is fully integrated into your company, offering the advantage of close collaboration but often at a higher cost.


Cost Implication: Generally, in-house models are 20-30% more expensive than agency models and lack the depth of experience that a specialised SEO agency can offer.


Salaries: One of the most significant costs is the salaries of the SEO specialists, which can vary based on experience and location.


Software: The cost of SEO tools and software required for effective management.

Training: Ongoing training to keep the team updated with the latest SEO trends and techniques.


Benefits: Additional costs like healthcare and other employee benefits.


Cost Implication: Given the various elements involved, in-house SEO can be a significant investment but offers the advantage of close, ongoing collaboration.


Agency Models


Outsourcing your SEO needs to an agency can offer specialist cutting-edge expertise and often cost savings, especially in the long run.


Cost Implication: Generally more cost-effective in the long run, compared to in-house models.


One Consolidated Fee: Agency costs are typically consolidated into one fee, which can simplify budgeting.


Expertise: Agencies often have a range of experts in different areas of SEO, providing a more comprehensive service.


Tools and Software: The cost of premium tools is usually absorbed by the agency and included in the overall fee.


Cost Implication: While specialist agencies may seem like an additional cost, they often provide value for money given the level of expertise and the range of services offered.


Hybrid Models


A hybrid model combines in-house staff with outsourced tasks, offering a balance between control and expertise.


Cost Implication: Costs can vary widely depending on the mix of in-house and outsourced tasks.


In-House Tasks: Tasks that are easier to manage internally or require close collaboration with other departments.


Outsourced Tasks: More complex or specialised tasks that require specific expertise, often outsourced to agencies or freelancers.


Cost Implication: The hybrid model offers flexibility but can complicate budgeting due to the variable nature of costs.


Other Factors Influencing SEO Costs


Beyond the specific business type or pricing model you choose, there are several other variables that can significantly influence your SEO budget. Understanding these additional factors can help you create a more accurate and comprehensive budget for your SEO activities. Below, we explore these often-overlooked variables.

Other Factors Influencing SEO Costs

Regardless of the model or business type, several other variables can affect your SEO budget:


Scope of the Project


The scope of your SEO project can have a direct impact on the overall costs.


What It Means: The scope refers to the range of activities and strategies that will be implemented as part of your SEO campaign. This could include everything from keyword research and on-page optimisation to content creation and link-building strategies.


Cost Implication: A broader scope involving more complex strategies will naturally cost more. For instance, a campaign that includes video marketing, extensive content creation, and international targeting will be more expensive than a basic local SEO strategy.


Level of Expertise


The expertise of the professionals you engage for your SEO needs can also affect costs.


Top-Tier/Specialist SEO Agencies: Agencies with a proven track record of success and a team of seasoned professionals will command higher fees. Their experience often translates into more effective strategies and faster results.


Seasoned Professionals: Freelancers or consultants with extensive experience and specialised skills may also charge higher rates compared to those who are relatively new to the field.


Cost Implication: Opting for top-tier agencies or seasoned professionals can push your costs higher but may offer better ROI in the long run.


Geographical Location


The location of your business or the agency you choose can influence SEO costs.


Major Cities: Operating in bustling cities like Sydney or Melbourne often comes with its own set of challenges, including higher competition and elevated living expenses.


Cost of Living: The higher cost of living in major cities often translates into higher service costs, as agencies need to cover higher operational expenses.


Cost Implication: If you're operating in a major city, you may need to budget for higher SEO costs compared to businesses located in smaller towns or regions.


The Risks of Cheap SEO


If you're a business owner or marketing manager focused on enhancing your online presence, the appeal of budget-friendly SEO might seem tempting. 


However, opting for cheaper SEO services can lead to risks such as search engine penalties, which can significantly lower your site's ranking and visibility. These budget options often compromise on website performance, resulting in poor user engagement and higher bounce rates.


Additionally, budget-friendly services frequently lack transparency, offering 'one-size-fits-all' solutions that may not align with your specific business needs. This makes it difficult to measure effectiveness and ROI, leaving you uncertain about the actual value you're getting for your money. 


In the world of SEO, the adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true; cutting corners can result in long-term setbacks that could ultimately cost you more.


SEO as an Investment


SEO is not just a cost; it's an investment that will continue to benefit your business for years to come. 


Unlike other marketing channels, the benefits of SEO are long-term. When you invest in SEO, you're essentially investing in the online real estate of your business. Just like a well-located storefront can bring in foot traffic, a well-optimised website can bring in valuable organic traffic.


Investing in SEO is akin to investing in a long-term asset for your business. While paid advertising campaigns like PPC (Pay-Per-Click) can offer quick wins, they stop the moment you stop funding them.


In contrast, the results of a well-executed SEO strategy can last for months, if not years. The content you create, the backlinks you earn, and the user experience you provide are all long-term assets that keep attracting visitors and generating leads.


Competitive Advantage & Cost Effectiveness


Another reason why SEO is a wise investment is its role in building a sustainable competitive advantage. When you rank high in search engine results for keywords relevant to your business, you're not just getting short-term traffic. You're also positioning your brand as an authority in your industry, which can have a lasting impact on your market share and customer loyalty.


Compared to traditional advertising channels, SEO is incredibly cost-effective. There are no recurring fees for ad space, and the inbound nature of SEO helps businesses save money as opposed to outbound strategies like cold-calling. The only costs involved are the initial setup, ongoing optimisation, and any updates to keep up with search engine algorithm changes.


Measurable Results and Future-Proofing


Search engines are continually evolving, and consumer behaviour is increasingly shifting towards online search. An investment in SEO today is also an investment in the future adaptability and resilience of your business. As algorithms change, a solid SEO foundation will make it easier for your business to adapt and capitalise on new opportunities.


One of the most compelling aspects of SEO as an investment is its measurability. With the right tools and metrics, you can track the performance of your SEO activities, understand your audience better, and continuously refine your strategy for better results. This data-driven approach ensures that every dollar you invest in SEO is accountable, allowing for ongoing improvement and greater ROI.


Making the Right Choice: How to Choose an SEO Service


Selecting the ideal SEO service is a pivotal choice that can have a lasting impact on your online visibility. Whether you're a business owner, marketing manager, or someone responsible for your organisation's online presence, the following guidelines can assist you in making an informed decision.


Selecting the right SEO agency or consultant is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your online visibility and overall business success. Here are some guidelines to help you make an informed choice.


Experience: Opt for a service provider with a solid track record in SEO. A tenure of a few years in the industry is generally a reliable indicator.


Past Case Studies: Trustworthy agencies should be open to sharing case studies that showcase their effectiveness. These should encompass metrics, strategies implemented, and results achieved.


Client Testimonials: Positive feedback from previous clients can offer invaluable insights into an agency's capabilities. While testimonials are useful, consider contacting these clients directly for more in-depth feedback.


Transparency: Agencies should be forthright about their methods, reporting mechanisms, and pricing. A lack of transparency is often a warning sign.


What Questions to Ask Before Signing a Contract


Before you sign on the dotted line, there are several questions you should ask to ensure you're making the right choice.


Industry Experience: Query whether the agency or consultant has expertise in your particular industry. Specialised knowledge can be a considerable asset.


Reporting Methods: Ascertain the frequency and type of reports you'll receive. Consistent, transparent reporting is vital for monitoring ROI.


Metrics: Determine which KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) the agency focuses on. These could range from organic traffic and conversion rates to metrics specific to your industry.


Contract Length: Clarify the contract's duration and the implications of early termination. Be aware that some agencies impose penalties for early exit.


Additional Costs: Probe for any extra or concealed charges that might surface during the project. This will enable you to budget more precisely, especially if you're operating within a constrained financial framework. All costs should be specified in AUD for clarity.




Understanding the intricate landscape of SEO investment is no small feat, especially when you're responsible for the online success of your business or organisation. Whether you're a seasoned marketing manager or a business owner new to the world of SEO, understanding these complexities is crucial for making strategic, financially sound decisions. 


At Marketix, as a specialised SEO agency in Australia, we're dedicated to delivering value by ranking our clients for their most crucial keywords.


Top Takeaways


• SEO is a long-term investment that continues to deliver value over time.

• Quality of service is crucial; you often get what you pay for.

• The cost of SEO services varies widely based on various factors such as business type, industry competition, and geographical location.

• Be cautious of cheap SEO services; they can do more harm than good.


For more tailored insights specific to your business, contact us today for a consultation or take advantage of our free SEO audit offer.

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Understanding SEO pricing is not just about finding the most affordable option; it's about finding a sustainable, effective solution that aligns with your business objectives. 


With the knowledge gained from this guide, you are now better equipped to make that decision.


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