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How much does SEO cost?


What does search engine optimization cost?
Which Billing models are useful?
What about a performance-based payment off?
What price is justified?

Many people find it difficult to estimate the effort behind a good SEO job. We want to give you an overview so that you can better assess which amounts or which compensation approach is right.

SEO costs

Basically, the following rule applies:

The investment in SEO is justified only if you have more return in the end

If the effort is higher than the return - what sense should all the effort make?

Basic information about SEO costs

For many webmasters who want to have their website professionally optimized for Google or other search engines, the all-important question is: How much does it cost? For many companies, the budget is often limited at the beginning.

SEO is an investment in the future

Basically, the SEO costs depending on many different factors.  Each company has its own business objectives, requirements and competitive situation. Likewise, special requirements (e.g. according to the industry are present).

We explain below what a professional and successful search engine optimization may cost. Likewise we explain to you, how the price is usually determined. In addition, you will learn what you should pay attention to when you select and hire an SEO service provider.

Do you prefer SEO or Google Ads?

Studies say that SEO has about 20 times more potential than search engine advertising (SEA). However, many companies invest 80 to 90% of their budget in SEA. Therefore, the question arises, when is search engine advertising and when is SEO more useful?

When is SEO more useful?

SEO makes more sense when you long-term and sustainable wants to improve its result.

As a rule, it must be assumed that approx. 6 to 12 months will pass before success is achieved.

When is SEA more useful?

SEA is useful when short-term and targeted something is to be sold (e.g. special promotional merchandise, etc.) or if SEO does not pay off.

If you are running a "niche site", investing in SEO usually makes more sense.

For small, specialized sites SEO is usually the most lucrative channel

For small, specialized sites, optimizing their own homepage is often the cheapest and most effective advertising measure - especially if this is combined sensibly with social media, for example.

What are the billing models?

There are different billing models that are offered on the market. Basically, you should always look at offers in detail, because some providers do not include all costs (e.g. license costs for software, etc.) - i.e. additional costs are incurred here.

Typically, the following billing models are offered:

Hourly or daily rates

Hourly rate

Payment on an hourly or daily rate provides maximum flexibility. However, these are also relatively expensive. In the most common cases are Hourly rates between EUR 80,- and EUR 200,- - Daily rates between EUR 400,- and EUR 1600,-.

The price differences often come from experience, qualification, specialization, tools used, etc.

Flat rates / all-inclusive packages

Flat rate

Flat rates are the most common and popular. The differences here lie in the contract term (usually between 6 and 24 months). The advantage of the flat rate is that the customer always has consistent expenses. The agency itself has months in which you have less effort - but also months in which there is more effort.

Monthly flat rates vary widely and are based on the amount of work involved. Common amounts are from EUR 500,- - for extensive projects also several thousand Euro.

Performance-based payment


Few providers or SEO service providers offer performance-based billing. Here, billing is based on a measurement number. Common numbers are:

  • Search result positions
  • Payment per visitor
  • Payment by lead or sale
  • Revenue share


In the case of performance-based payment, there may be discussions in the long term, because over time, existing customers usually also generate corresponding sales. Here, the problem often arises that payment is made for sales or success figures that have not actually been acquired from the SEO activity.

What components affect the cost of SEO?

Before you hire an SEO agency or SEO service provider, the following points need to be considered in more detail:

What are the targets?

  • Which Company goals have you?
  • What is your goal with your website?
  • How fast should organic visibility be increased?

What is the initial situation?

  • Is Your website still in the starting blocks or already finished?
  • Do high-quality texts exist?
  • If the domain has a high Domain Authority?
  • Are Anomalies present in the user metrics?
  • In which Branch is being worked?
  • Are there any abnormalities in Reviews, etc. available on the net?
  • Like extensive is your current website?
  • How many interesting Keywords need to be revised, managed and optimized accordingly?

What resources are available?

  • Do you have Internal resources free for support?
  • What information can you provide (statistics, reports, etc.)?
  • Is Image material available?
  • etc.

What is the competitive situation?

  • How strong are your Competitor?
  • Are there special Requirements for your industry (e.g. in the medical field, etc.)?
  • How good is the content of the competitors?
  • Which referring domains are available?
  • How agile are your competitors?
  • Which Keywords are aimed at?

SEO profile & the experience

  • Which Experience is proven?
  • Which Tools are in use (e.g. Sistrix, Searchmetrics, etc.)?
  • Are there Successeswhich can be proven in the long term? The more successes, the more expensive usually the provider
  • Which Services are included (e.g. image research, image rights, etc.)?
  • How often and how extensively should the Reporting take place?
  • Which Runtime of agreements is offered (usually short-term contracts are more expensive than long-term)?

Basically, you should always consider what SEO brings you and whether SEO also pays off for you. What additional turnover do you need to generate the costs for your service provider?

Cheap is not worth price

So that you can get an idea of what costs you will incur or whether a quote may also make sense, you can use our calculator. Please note that this is not an offer calculator - it is for your information only:

Two columns

Calculate monthly costs SEO


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Always keep in mind that a good SEO optimization can take a minimum of 6 months - often 12 months or longer (depending on the industry and initial situation).

If you consider yourself how time-consuming SEO work is, then you will also quickly realize yourself whether offers with low prices (e.g. EUR 100,- per month) can be realistic.

Frequently asked questions about the cost of SEO

A comprehensive analysis is carried out to estimate how much time and effort will be required. According to this calculation, an offer is then submitted accordingly.

A good guidebook or a special topic, for example, including keyword search, is often a time commitment of 10 to 15 hours. It must be researched, written, corrected, etc..

An onpage optimization of an average online store often ranges between 15 and 25 hours of effort.

Therefore, common flat rates range from EUR 500,- to EUR 3000,- or higher - depending on the effort, scope and your resources that you can bring to the project.

Google is constantly changing the algorithm. Likewise, your competition also changes the corresponding information.

Users are changing, too - especially in the Corona Age. 

If a user searched for Corona in 2019, the intention behind it was something completely different from 2020.

Now you can answer for yourself whether a guarantee of placement in the search results can be guaranteed.

Many activities are not perceived externally. Therefore, we would like to give an overview of the regular activities:

  • As-is analysis of the website (e.g. link structure, content, ranking, etc.)
  • Testing and monitoring of competitors
  • Keywords monitoring
  • Optimization of texts or of image material
  • Domain Authority Monitoring
  • Technical optimizations
  • Potiential analysis for external links or guest posts
  • Search for alternative topics, which extend the success or the target group
  • Monitoring the directories
  • Regular market analysis
  • etc.

SEO is one of the most important traffic channels in online marketing. Although SEO has become much more difficult and cost-intensive in recent years, it is very valuable. You should never forget that your own homepage is one of the most important business cards for outsiders, despite all other channels.

Compared to ad placement via Google Ads, SEO is not useful for short-term goal achievement. Basically, all measures are to be considered in the long term.

Basically there are many different tasks, which have to be done regularly. I list some below, so that you get an impression of what is all behind the term SEO work (time spent per month):

  • Blog article creation / News -
    Time required between 4 and 10 hours
  • Website monitoring (OnPage monitoring) - time required depending on the size of the website
    2 to 5 hours
  • Implementation of improvement measures onpage (e.g. links, pagespeed optimization, system updates, and more) -
    3 to 10 hours
  • Implementation improvements exteren linkstrutkur - very time-consuming and can take between 5 and 20 hours per month (e.g. research of opportunities, evaluation of competitors, etc.)
  • Consultation and coordination with customers and other service providers
    Very individual time requirements (e.g. coordination with social media agency, etc.)


In addition to the pure personnel costs, pro rata license costs for any software, etc. must also be included in the monthly costs. In addition, it must be taken into account that continuous training is also enormously time-consuming.

Hourly rates in 2022 are often in the range of 80,- to 200,- Euro at recognized and good SEO agencies.

One of the main components of the price is personnel costs. If you look at the job portals like stepstone, indeed,, etc., so salaries of SEO Manager with professional experience of 45,000 to 50,000. To this one must add the ancillary wage costs, etc., so that a total expenditure of approx. 60,000, - to 70,000 euro results for the employer. Large agencies or companies offer correspondingly more.

This is EUR 5000,- to EUR 5850,- monthly burden for the employer (pure salary costs - provided no illness and no vacation). In addition to the pure personnel costs for the SEO work, which the customer sees, often come the following cost factors, which are included in the price:

  • Office
  • PC
  • Software
  • License costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Power
  • Times & costs for further education
  • Time required Coordination with other service providers and customers
  • Research activities
  • Any travel expenses incurred
  • Tax
  • etc.


Of course costs play a role - but you should also consider what the neglect or the wrong SEO costs. In our eyes, a good and correct SEO should bring a profit in the long run, instead of costing money.


Your average order volume is EUR 4000,- per order. You get one more customer per month through good SEO and have a profit margin of 15 %. This means you have EUR 600,- more per month.

You are an online store. You earn on average EUR 15,- per order. Through good SEO you achieve one more order per day - that would be EUR 450,- more per month.

Depending on your business model or margin, you can consider accordingly how this looks specifically in your case. If the expected costs are higher than the expected additional sales or additional profit, SEO makes little sense. Here you can consider whether other digital forms of marketing come into question for you.

Before you decide for a SEO measure, so in principle in our eyes an analysis of the possibilities should be carried out. Just the Corona pandemic has shown that there can quickly be appropriate changes. Even the best SEO work would be of no use to the excursion restaurant if it is not allowed to open.

What advantages do we offer you?

Individual approach

There is no "one concept" with us - rather, the solution must be based on Tailored to your needs its

years of experience in digital marketing

We have been serving many clients for over 15 years in the field of digital marketing

fast and effective

Especially in this day and age, you have to Fast and flexible can act - that's why our structure is exactly like this

short and lean communication

With us you have One contact personwho is there for you for any question.

Price worth

We are worth our price. But we also say openly when we think the cost/benefit is not there.


We are there for our customers and are guided by their requirements. Often also on Saturday or Sunday.

You have questions or want more information?

We are at your disposal.