How Much Does SEO Cost In The UK (2024)
February 24, 2024
7 min read


When looking for SEO services, the very first thing you should be asking is “how much does SEO cost in the UK?”.

The answer is it depends on what service you’re looking for.

To get the most value possible, you need to be aware of the different services that the SEO industry has to offer and at what cost.

Only then you can go looking for deals and services that fit within your budget.

The Average Cost Of SEO In The UK

An average SEO agency will typically charge from £700 to £2500 on a monthly retainer.

The average SEO consultant will typically charge from £150 to £300 per hour worked.

And then project based work is incredibly hard to forecast for as all projects differ. But you could expect to pay in the range of £2500 to £4000 for a holistic approach.

The Different Services On Offer

For the pricing later in the article, we’re going to provide general pricing structures. However, it’s worth noting that there are different pillars of SEO and that you can choose from very specific services from within those pillars.

We’ll provide you with some examples below:

1. Baseline SEO Services

A) Keyword research. This is where you hire a consultant or service to identify keywords that people within your target audience are searching for. You can then make content centred upon these keywords to drive traffic to your site.

B) Technical SEO Audit. Possibly the most common specific service within the SEO world, technical SEO audits look to examine the performance of your website and provide you with a checklist of everything that needs attending to. Examples include page speed and navigation ability. The goal is to improve the performance of your site – a key ranking factor.

C) On-Page SEO Audit. Similar to a technical SEO audit, on-page audits look to analyse all of your website’s content. Usually an on-page SEO audit consists of conducting keyword research and then optimizing everything from your headings to meta descriptions. The goal is to ensure that you’re ranking for the right keywords.

D) Competitor Analysis. Especially popular within competitive industries, competitor audits are exactly what they sound like – an analysis of your competitor’s SEO strategy. The point is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of those around you so you can then mold a strategy to surpass them.

E) Content Pieces. No matter what SEO strategy you’re implementing, the likelihood is that it requires consistent creation, after all content IS king. If you know you’re taking care of each pillar of SEO and all you need is content then this can be a great option.

2. Off-Page SEO Services

Off-Page SEO all comes to building links from other domains and back to yours. Google looks at backlinks as an indicator of authority so the more high-quality backlinks you can get, the better your SEO is. As you can probably guess, there are a two primary Off-Page SEO services on the market.

First and foremost, you have a back-link audit. These audits will determine the quality of your current backlinks along with the volume. The audit will then look to educate you on steps you could take to improve upon your current situation. Think of this as a D.I.Y solution.

The next service is a Done-For-You solution. There are plenty of agencies that specialise in solely link-building; they look to improve the quality of your backlinks along with the quantity. They’ll look to do things such as high-quality guest posting and content marketing to earn you those backlinks.

3. Local SEO Services

With every year that passes, local businesses find it harder and harder to keep up with the offerings on the internet. A prime example being the amount of high-street retailers who have gone out of business due to the growth in E-Commerce.

Most local SEO services all fall into one package but there are three things to look out for.

Citation building means ensuring that each of your businesses citations are consistent across the internet. Any inconsistencies can rob you of a chance of showing up in front of your regional audience.

Review acquisition. The more reviews you have on Google, the more trusted and favoured you are in the search engine results page. There are plenty of softwares and agencies that help you acquire reviews by approaching your customer base and putting systems in place.

The last services that’s offered under the umbrella that is Local SEO is Google My Business verification. Without Google My Business, you really don’t stand a chance of driving organic traffic to your business. So if you lack the technical know-how, you can reach out to agencies who will create your profile, verify it, and optimise it.

Pricing Models

Whilst there are quite a few different pricing models within the SEO industry, we’re going to stick to the most common ones to give you insight into which is best for you.

A) Monthly Retainer

The most popular pricing model is a monthly retainer. This is where you pay an agency or consultant a set fee to perform on-going SEO work for you.

The major benefit of a monthly retainer is that it tends to be a lot cheaper than the other pricing models hence why so many smaller businesses opt for it.

On the flip side, the downside of the monthly retainer model is results are not promised and your agency’s pay does not correlate with the amount of hours they’ve worked.

B) Hourly Rates

As you’re probably aware, an hourly rate is where you pay a specialist individual or an agency on the amount of hours they’ve worked on your website.

The hourly rate model is best for those who aren’t looking for ongoing work. If you’re looking for continuous growth, the hourly rate is going to end up being much more expensive than a monthly retainer.

On the other hand, if you just want some specific work done on your SEO (i.e. setting up a Google My Business Profile) then an hourly rate could end up being much more efficient compared to committing to a monthly retainer.

It’s worth noting that with hourly rates, you’ll never know what you could get charged month to month so it’s essential that you have the cash flow required for this model.

C) Project Rates

Project rates offer a degree of flexibility that’s hard to find elsewhere. When working with an agency on a project-basis, you can choose to stop your SEO campaign or switch direction once the work has been completed.

Furthermore, project work is great for trialing work with a new agency. If you’re not sure about whether you want to partner with an agency on a long term basis, you can go the project route to sample their services.

One major downside to project-based work is that it’s nowhere near as cost-efficient as monthly retainers.

D) Pay On Performance

No reputable SEO professional or agency will consider a pay on performance model. It sounds great to only pay when you see a ranking increase but the SEO industry is far too complicated for this to be profitable.

Firstly, SEO work is front loaded meaning a business could get SEO work done and not see results for 12 months. In that time they could get rid of the SEO professional/agency and reap the rewards without sharing the profits.

Furthermore, no SEO professional has control over the search engine rankings. Again, no reputable SEO agency or professional guarantees results; all they can do is work their hardest to influence the search engine results through following best practices.

The Cost Of SEO In The UK

For the sake of convenience, we’re not going to go through every pricing model. We’re just going to stick to the core three: monthly retainers, hourly rates, project work.

1. How Much Does SEO Cost In The UK (Monthly Retainers)

On the cheap side of the equation, you will find budget SEO services for anywhere between £100 to £400 a month. We would heavily recommend you don’t use these services because getting results for such little cost usually means they’re resorting on shady tactics that could get your website blacklisted.

The average SEO agency will charge you anywhere from £700-£2500. These are usually agencies that work with small businesses to improve their rankings on a long time horizon. As with most things, the more you pay, the higher level of service you will receive.

On the more expensive side, you’ll find agencies that charge from £3000 all the way up to the £10,000 mark and higher. These agencies offer intensive work where they put in more hours to ensure that they’re producing content and earning back links on a consistent basis.

2. How Much Does SEO Cost In The UK (Hourly Rates)

On the cheaper side, you can find consultants that will work from anywhere between £25 to £100 an hour. As we mentioned previously, don’t expect much ranking progression when paying these rates.

The average for a good SEO consultant will range from £150 to £300 per hour. At this rate, you should be working with someone knowledgeable and experienced in the craft. Here’s where you can start to see some good results if you stick with it on a long time horizon.

On the higher end, you’ll find SEO consultants charge anywhere from £300 to £1000 an hour. These consultants are usually incredible at their craft and have a proven track record behind them.

3. How Much Does SEO Cost In The UK (Project Rates)

It’s incredibly difficult to give an average price for SEO projects because each project is unique and requires a different amount of work. For example, a content-focused project is going to be more expensive than a local SEO project because it requires more resources.

If we were to give an average, most one-off SEO projects are priced from £2000 to £4000. This price will cover you for a combination of technical SEO, content, and off-page SEO work. As with all SEO projects, don’t expect great results as SEO results require on-going work.

4. How Much Does SEO Cost In The UK (Freelancer Rates)

SEO freelancers typically opt for an hourly rate as mentioned earlier but there are freelancers that do charge a day rate.

The average day rate for an SEO freelancer is the £350 mark. As always, expect to pay lower for below-average service and higher for above-average service.

How Much Do SEO Tools Cost In The UK

If you’re thinking of going at SEO alone, you’ll be glad to know that it is definitely possible to see great results. As with all things, you’ll have to put in the time to learn the skill-set and best practices.

But there is one thing that can significantly speed up your results. A secret held by all agencies.

That secret is high-quality SEO tools.

We’ve compiled our favourites below along with their price.

A) Semrush Pro Plan – £99 per month

If there’s one SEO tool that you should invest in for your website, it’s Semrush.

It tracks everything you need to improve upon your SEO. That includes keyword rankings, organic traffic, domain authority, and number of backlinks.

Their keyword tool will even show you keywords that are easy to target for your business and that are likely to bring in traffic – you’ll never run out of content ideas.

And if you’re operating within a competitive niche, the tool can conduct a competitive analysis for you to identify strengths and weaknesses with your competitors’ SEO.

Last but not least, this tool will also perform a technical SEO audit for you. You’ll be provided with a checklist of actions that you need to perform to ensure that your website is running optimally.

B) Moz Pro – $99 / £81 Per Month

Moz Pro is a collection of tools under the Moz brand. Each tool works with each other to offer you insight into your SEO.

Similar to Semrush, Moz Pro offers a wide range of SEO tools to assist in improving your organic presence. These range from keyword tools to site audits and even a backlink analysis tool- everything you need to gain a comprehensive insight into your website’s performance.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that for the price that Moz are offering, this is one of the best value packages on the SEO market.

C) Ahrefs – $99 / £81 a month

The most advanced tool on this list, Ahrefs is the most comprehensive SEO tool on this list. Ahrefs offer three tools that work alongside each other to get you the best possible results: their site explorer, content explorer, and keyword explorer.

Their site explorer works to analyse your backlinks and domain authority whilst their content explorer helps you identify content topics that are relevant to your business. And then their keyword explorer helps in finding keywords to target and the volume associated with each keywords.

Site explorer can offer you an incredible amount of detail. For example ,their backlink tool analyses each of your backlinks and is updated every 15 minutes.

And not only do they offer these tools to help you improve upon your SEO, they also offer a range of free resources to get you started. Their blog is jam-packed with tips and tricks for developing your SEO skillset whilst they also offer a range of courses too.


Hopefully, this guide has been helpful with regards to identifying how much you should pay for your SEO service.

Our only warning is that those offering SEO services for significantly cheap prices usually resort to blackhat tactics which can ruin your website’s credibility long term.

If you want to learn more about how much SEO costs in the UK, this is great article from the guys at On Top Marketing!

If you want to learn more about our own SEO, check out another one of our blog posts here.