How Much Does SEO Cost on Average in 2022?

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By Matt Cayless - SEO Director

Posted on May, 24, 2022

How much does SEO cost for a UK business? 

Find out what you should be spending each month on SEO and why cheap SEO services may not be the right answer for your business.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re planning your marketing budget for the year ahead. 

You need to consider all the marketing channels you want to use, as well as how much money you’re willing to spend on each one.

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If you’re looking to introduce search engine optimisation (SEO) into your marketing mix, you may have many questions. 

For example, ‘what is the average cost of SEO per month’ and ‘how much does an SEO audit cost’?

So… how much does SEO cost for a small and medium UK business?

We’ve put together this guide to help you find out more about the cost of SEO for UK businesses, so you know what to factor into your 2022 budget.

£50 to £200 per month – cheap SEO services

There’s an old saying that goes, ‘if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.’ This can be applied to SEO services in this price bracket.

Unless you’re a small business testing the waters with SEO, or have hired a freelancer to spend a few hours auditing your website, we would stay clear of anything in this price range.

SEO providers charging this amount typically use shortcuts to get results – what is known as ‘black hat SEO.’

Black hat SEO techniques are ones that violate search engine guidelines. They include stuffing your pages full of repeated keywords, paying for links on other websites and using SEO to damage your competitor’s reputation.

These tactics can work wonders for your business… at first. However, as soon as Google sees you are using black hat SEO on your site, it will stop showing your pages, causing your traffic and conversions to tank.

Here’s an example of a black hat tactic a cheap SEO provider might use. It may buy up lots of expired website domains and use them to host backlinks for its clients. This is what is known as a private blog network (PBN). This tactic goes against Google’s search engine guidelines and can lead to any backlinks on these sites being disregarded at best and your site getting penalised at worse.

£300 to £1,000 per month – affordable SEO services

If you are a micro-business or a locally-based business (like a brick and mortar store), this is a good range to budget towards.

What is local SEO, and how much does it cost?

Local SEO helps your business be more visible in local search results. If you are a business that operates in a specific area, then you will want to focus your efforts on the regions you serve, instead of the whole UK. 

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This is a more cost-effective strategy as you won’t waste money on people who can’t buy from you.

A good agency will focus on the elements of local SEO that will benefit your business and bring you new customers. 

For example, an agency will help optimise your Google My Business (GMB) profile and target location-focused keywords. It will also work to increase your visibility in the Google Map Pack, the location results you see when you search for a specific keyword on Google.

£1,200 to £6,000 per month – national SEO services

If you are a nationally-based chain of stores or provide eCommerce services to the whole of the UK, you should budget up to £6,000 a month on your SEO services.

With this budget, you will get access to a team of experts who will make suggestions about what will be the best SEO strategy for your business. These experts will carry out a thorough SEO audit to identify what your current website is like, and then help with everything from link outreaching to blog planning and article creation.

£7,000 to £15,000 per month – large budget SEO services

If your business is established and you have a large growing website, this budget will enable you to scale your SEO efforts.

The larger your business, the more challenging SEO can be. Not only do you have more products and services to promote, but there is more competition. You need to think more carefully about high volume keywords that will give you the edge in the search engine results. 

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A good SEO agency will become an extension of your existing marketing team. It will recommend what can be done to boost your presence in the search engine rankings and play a large part in your businesses’ marketing strategy.

£15,000 to £50,000 per month – enterprise SEO solutions

The final level of budget is for large corporations, possibly with a large international presence.

At this level, you may need to consider additional aspects of your SEO to appeal to as many customers as possible. For example, keyword research and on-site optimisation for foreign language speakers, as well as multiple websites for different products and services.

In conclusion: what should you be paying for SEO each month?

As you can see, the answer to the average cost of SEO a month depends on the size of your business and what you want to achieve and the level of competition.

It’s good to think of SEO in terms of return on investment (ROI) – how much money you will earn in sales compared to what you put in. 

We’re often asked what the exact ROI for SEO is and the honest answer is… there isn’t one! The ROI of SEO varies from industry to industry and business to business. If you’re interested in calculating your own return on investment when it comes to organic marketing and SEO, we’ve put together a handy guide to help.

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The other advantage of SEO is that results increase over time and last for months and years, after your pages have been optimised. 

Get in touch with us today to find out how SEO can benefit your business.

Matt Cayless is the Director of SEO at Bubblegum Search. He is an SEO expert having worked on campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands and has a passion for helping businesses grow online. When he’s not chasing the Google algorithm he can be found training for his next marathon. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn