How Much Does SEO Cost in Australia?

Let's look at the costs of SEO in Australia in 2024! We will breakdown cost per monthly campaigns, once off projects and the average investments by business size...
SEO Costs in Australia 2024
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Managing Director Benjamin Paine at Digital Nomads HQ

Benjamin Paine

Managing Director at Digital Nomads HQ

How much does SEO cost?

SEO services in Australia range from $1,000 p/m AUD to $10,000+ p/m, depending on campaign scope, client requirements & geographical focus. Single (once-off) campaigns often cost between $3,000 to $8,000, once again depending on page count and platform or CMS.

So, what does this tell you?

Well yes, the cost of SEO services in Australia varies quite dramatically, and not only this but equally so does the deliverables and service that you can expect to receive for these price tags.


Let’s help break down some common questions, misconceptions of SEOs pricing and assist you on investing into your next campaign… making sure you do it without overpaying!


Let’s get into it…

How much should you spend on SEO in Australia?

Investment into SEO shouldn’t be necessarily based on the Average cost of “how much should you spend” rather it should be based on “YOUR” business individually;

Here’s some key factors that will affect the cost, or increases the viability to invest more into a campaign;

Your industry & competition

Depending on the industry you are situated within this can have effect on how much an SEO campaign may cost…

Why?

Well, it’s not that the campaign is inflated due to your industry, rather that your industry may be more aggressive than another… requiring more work or page creation and optimisation to ensure a successful campaign.

Similarly, how much your competitors are investing into SEO! If all of your competitors within your geographical area are investing 2-3x your investment into their campaigns, this can require yourself to invest more to not be left behind.

Your target market and its size

Somewhat similar to your industry, is your target market and its size. We do often see correlation between the two (competition < market size) as often this drives additional investment when there is opportunity. The more people searching, the more opportunity for leads… the more companies are willing to invest into their SEO campaign.

Your business size and service area

Your business and its geographical focus will effect the costs of your SEO campaign.

Example: You’re a real estate agent only focusing on Sydney
You only have a single geographical focus, requiring a lower hourly commitment from your SEO agency.

Contrastingly: You’re a real estate agent servicing across Australia

This requires far more man hours – with multiple pages and primary CBD locations to focus on. Having a campaign of this scale will dramatically increase the cost of your campaign if your looking to have consistent work across all service locations.

New business or existing business

Yes, this also can have an effect on your SEO campaign cost. 

A new or existing business isn’t a direct factor to “how much your SEO will cost” but if you’re in a position where your business has no authority, no links and no service pages… this requires a substantial amount of upfront (and continual work) therefore increasing your campaign cost. An existing business with authority, with pages created may elevate some of these “set-up” costs.

Your GOALS.

Your goals, your objectives and the results you are looking for has an effect on your SEO cost!

Pro-Tip: Just because you spend more… it doesn’t mean you will be first quicker! In some instances, time, compounding work, continual signals are required to get that first position – this can’t be bought, but rather a long-term strategy is required.

When investing into SEO and the price that you will pay is all effected by these key factors above… and while some businesses may invest only a few thousand and see incredible results, each business and industry is different – which ultimately has impact on the cost of your SEO campaign.

PRO-TIP: While industries can affect your campaign costs, so can your competition… If your competition are investing more or started their campaign with a better SEO baseline (domain age, more backlinks, better social signals etc.).

All of these things may contribute to how much you need to invest to out rank your competition… even if they are spending less than you!

One last thing to consider in “how much should you spend on SEO? Is who you choose to engage your SEO campaign with.

Some agencies may have slightly higher fees (20%, 30% or even 50% more) than the proposals you may be receiving… but ultimately if a more expensive agency can get you’re the results and the 20% cheaper agency doesn’t…
One becomes an investment, while the cheaper agency would be a waste of money.

 

What’s the average cost of SEO in Australia

The average cost we see within Australia is between $1,800 to $2,200 per month. Considering a large portion of investment is from small business, this can generally bring down the average… so don’t be alarmed if you are spending more.

Let’s breakdown the costs by business size;

Small business SEO Cost – $1,500 – $2,500 Per Month

Medium Business SEO Cost – $2,000 – $5,000 Per Month

Large Business SEO Cost – $3,000 – $10,000 Per Month

Enterprise SEO Cost – $5,000+ Per Month

Note: All average monthly costs above are exclusive of GST.

These prices are based on averages we see as an agency within the industry, the exact cost you may experience may differ and this is merely an indication of the average cost from our experience in Australia.

SEO project generally work on monthly, retainer plans – these include, weekly or monthly updates to your website, content optimisation, link building, technical SEO and more.

SEO Cost by Business Size Australia

What’s the cost of once-off SEO in Australia

SEO campaigns can be once-off fees, while these generally aren’t as common due to the requirement of ongoing optimisation and adjustments to get the best results, they are still frequently requested throughout Australia in agencies.

Depending on the requirements of the once-off SEO campaign pricing generally costs between $3,000 – $6,000 for a optimisation and corrective foundation campaign.

If the once-off campaign is being implemented to develop pages surrounding focus keywords, along with technical SEO & link building, expect to pay more… between $5,000 – $10,000 would be more realistic from a reputable agency.

What is SEO hourly rate in Australia?

Average hourly rate for SEO services in Australia is between $100 – $200 per hour. This is determined by the SEO professionals experience or the agencies experience being enlisted.

SEO by an hourly rate is less common in Australia, with the majority of agencies or freelancers billing by project or monthly retainer, as opposed to by the hour.

“I have seen hourly rates at $30 – $50”

We hear this a lot…and yes you can get “SEO” for much less than $100 – $200 per hour… however, expect the results to correlate to the cost or worse… send your results backwards.

Cost of SEO agency vs Cost of SEO in-house?

The average salary for a junior SEO specialist is between $60,000 – $70,000 per year, with senior SEO specialists costing $80,000 – $120,000.

When you consider the actual cost to seat for hiring an individual in-house (recruiting, super, equipment, training etc.) this can quickly put an in-house senior SEO specialist cost to business between $95,000 – $135,000 per year.

That’s around $8,000 – $11,250 per month for an in-house member.

Considering the average investment for most businesses in Australia being between $1,800 – $2,200… utilising an agency is considerably cheaper.
Even if you are a medium or large business, enlisting an agency to manage your campaign would still be more cost effective, along with the additional insight you can gain from having a team manage your campaign vs an individual in-house.

$100, $300, $500 SEO campaigns… What about these?

Yes, you receive emails (probably daily) offering you SEO for $200-300 per month… or you have jumped onto Fiver or Upwork and see agents offering SEO campaigns for $100 per month… So, why not use them?

Put simply… They don’t work

Trust us! We see companies coming to us daily from these cheap campaigns and require us to “fix them up”.

Grabbing 1000 backlinks for $20 or spinning up 50 pages for $200… these are a recipe for disaster and can very quickly get you penalised by Google.

Here’s an example of a penalised websites ranking;

Quick wins, and short-term SEO success is the wrong way to look at your campaign… Long term strategies backed with helpful content for your customers, this will set your business up for successful organic growth into the future. Don’t rush it… it’s worth the wait.

Paying per keyword in SEO?

Pay per keyword is considered an “old-school” approach to costing an SEO campaign in 2024. Today a user centric approach to SEO is required, this includes;

  • High Quality Content (that’s engaging)
  • Page experience & User experience
  • Website Responsiveness (Mobile-first indexing)
  • Link Building and a websites authority
  • Brand mentions, awareness & social signals
  • Technical SEO and site architecture

Is the SEO cost worth it?

SEO isn’t a “quick win” return for your business… let’s get that straight.

But is it worth the investment… Yes, and almost every industry and business type will have some area that SEO can be utilised.

This can be service based searches for local business, or content optimisation and articles for business with less searches attributed to your service.

What does an SEO investment look like?

Generally speaking, SEO average spend and campaign investment looks as such;

Graph displaying SEO Costs - Larger upfront cost that drops over time and Organic search that compounds

Campaigns will start often at a higher monthly investment that will tend to reduce over time, this as the completion of primary pages is completed, keyword positions obtained and campaigns move it to what most SEO specialists call a “maintenance” campaign.

This meaning your campaign requires less investment to maintain its position.

What does the ROI look like for an SEO campaign

Here’s a few examples for campaign investment based on industries;
Costs for SEO for a plumbing business.

Let’s grab a local SEO average at $1500 p/m over the spend of 12 months = AUD 18,000 (Total investment)

The top 3 ranking websites currently in the “Plumber Melbourne” niche are currently generating on average of 2-4k users p/m.

So, being conservative by month 6 we estimate 250 users, by 9 months 500 and by 12 months the goal of 1000.

Here is a table breakdown of investment vs traffic.

Here’s a few examples for campaign investment based on industries;
Costs for SEO for a plumbing business.

Let’s grab a local SEO average at $1500 p/m over the spend of 12 months = AUD 18,000 (Total investment)

The top 3 ranking websites currently in the “Plumber Melbourne” niche are currently generating on average of 2-4k users p/m.

So, being conservative by month 6 we estimate 250 users, by 9 months 500 and by 12 months the goal of 1000.

Here is a table breakdown of investment vs traffic.

Plumber SEO campaign - 12 months, costs and traffic

Now yes, we aren’t putting the 2-4k traffic average, as this industry is competitive and I would anticipate a 24-month campaign to obtain a top 3 position for this key term.

A goal of the 1000 traffic threshold is more realistic for my experience.

By the end of the 12 months, you would have invested $18,000 for 3250 users

With a statical “Organic traffic” conv. rate average being between 2 – 5% (3.5% average) is 113 leads…. Not bad.

Here’s another example for “costs for SEO for electricians”

$1500 p/m x 12 months = $18,000 AUD

The top 3 ranking positions “Electrician Sydney” are currently generating on average. 500 users p/m, so keeping the numbers conservative by month 6 we estimate 100 users, by 9 months 250 and by 12 months the goal of 500.

Here is a table breakdown of investment vs traffic.

12 month SEO campaign for Electricians
By the end of the 12 months, you would have invested $18,000 for 1550 users With a statical “Organic traffic” conv. rate average being between 2 – 5% is 54 leads.

Conclusion for SEO costs in Australia

Let’s conclude some of the key points from this article and summarise the costs for SEO services…

Average SEO cost in Australia is $1,800 – $2,200

Small business SEO Cost – $1,500 – $2,500 Per Month

Medium Business SEO Cost – $2,000 – $5,000 Per Month

Large Business SEO Cost – $3,000 – $10,000 Per Month

Enterprise SEO Cost – $5,000+ Per Month

In-house SEO costs range from $60,000 – $70,000 per year, with senior SEO specialists costing $80,000 – $120,000.

If you’re looking for some affordable SEO campaigns, check out some of the packages we offer as an agency here.  

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