A Guide To SEO and How Much SEO Services Cost in 2022 in the UK

6 mins read -
November 7, 2022

The link between a successful website and SEO has been proven to be true time and time again. This is why small businesses that embark on their SEO journeys early on have seen immense success and return on investment.

But it's not too late to join the SEO craze.

Are you a small business owner that wants to move into digital marketing?

You're on the right track!

One of the most effective ways to enter the digital marketing space for a business is to implement SEO strategies for your website. While SEO is an excellent strategy, most business owners know the basics of SEO but are confused about certain details of it.

Don't worry. Although SEO can get confusing, the experts are here to help.

In this article, we'll be getting into how much SEO costs, how much you should spend on SEO, if you should hire an SEO agency, and if it's worth it at the end of the day.

Are you looking for an SEO agency to help you weave through complex SEO practices? Schedule an appointment with Smarter Media for more information about how you can make use of SEO strategies today.

How much does SEO cost?

Here's the reality: there are over 3.5 billion search queries per day through Google.

But small businesses aren't usually keen on allocating a budget for SEO. In fact, there are some times where SEO marketing strategies are entirely ignored. According to a study done, 54% of small enterprise owners didn't have a budget for SEO at all.

This doesn't mean small enterprises aren't informed of the use of SEO - they simply don't know what is needed and how much to allocate towards digital marketing.

Quit the worry and learn about how you, as a business owner, can benefit from SEO while knowing how much it costs.

How much does SEO cost for a business?

We first need to look at what we mean by the cost of SEO.

When we’re looking at SEO budgeting, this does not refer to pay-per-click advertising methods. Instead, SEO costs are related to improving organic traffic to a specific website through search engine optimisation and rankings.

There are already hundreds of SEO agencies scattered around the UK, and they offer various SEO services to small businesses like mom and pop shops to large conglomerates that are valued at billions.

Usually, there are three pricing structures that you might find when looking through SEO agencies and services:

  1. Hourly pricing: Presented at an hourly rate, these SEO agencies base their pricing on the hours it takes to accomplish specific tasks.
  2. Monthly retainer: This type of pricing is used by established SEO agencies that see the value in monthly analytics and provide ongoing SEO on websites.
  3. Per project: Usually, upon the request of the client, project-basis payments are usually made by quoting a price for an entire SEO project, no matter how short or how long - as long as the agreed-upon terms are met.

How much does SEO cost monthly?

Depending on the type of SEO you choose, here are estimates of what SEO could cost you per month:



For business owners that are working on an extra tight budget and/or already have the necessary SEO skills and industry knowledge, doing SEO on your website is cost-efficient. This isn’t recommended though for those that are not well-versed in the digital marketing world or have the consistent time required to dedicate to the constant updates and adjustments needed.

Budget-friendly SEO

£50 - £2,000.

Best for small businesses, budget-friendly SEO allows you to define your content. Services included are suggestions for content marketing and basic onsite SEO recommendations.

Those in gardening, local construction, hairdressers, and the like are encouraged to invest their budget here.

Mid-range SEO

£2,000 - £6,000

Established businesses benefit from this the most - they are looking to define their content marketing and include content and website audits.

In this budget range, not only are you fixing website issues, but you are also altering and optimising the current website to generate even more traffic and revenue.

High-end SEO


For websites with high traffic volumes, high-end SEO is the best option. With this budget, technical SEO issues can be fixed without worry.

How much is SEO marketing?

SEO's benefits might seem too good to be true. They must cost a crazy amount of money!

But contrary to popular belief, SEO is one of the most flexible types of marketing in the business. In fact, many say that it's one of the more cost-efficient ways to advertise and convert leads online, as it can be bent to how much you want to spend in a month. Although it may be overwhelming at first, SEO pays for itself in the long run. And isn't that the beauty of investments?

We aren't saying SEO is cheap - all forms of advertising can cost you a pound or two. Instead, we're telling you that there are ways to temper price points based on your budget for the year or even the month.

Here are reasons why SEO can be expensive:

  1. SEO takes a while before it works organically. With SEO, organic growth is key. This means overnight results is nonexistent with SEO unless, of course, they're using black-hat SEO which is harmful to any website. SEO takes time to grow, and anything worth something is the same!
  2. SEO requires work. SEO requires a lot of hours and human resources. From building a website, monitoring monthly analytics, creating content, keyword research, and conducting audits, it takes a lot of effort and skill for SEO to work efficiently.
  3. Successful SEO is the handiwork of professionals. Speaking of expertise, SEO requires a ton of it. You wouldn't entrust your finances to a fraud, right? Keep the same principles for SEO.

For these reasons, SEO can become expensive, especially if you decide to ball out on the services. But the more you spend, the better your website traffic will be, turning lurks into leads and leads into loyal customers that will stay with you forever.

So even though you need to shell out for the first few months of the process, costs will go down after your website gains the following it needs.

An agency should also make use of some of these tools to help optimise your website:

  • Tools to optimise keyword research:
    • Google Keyword Planner
    • Ubersuggest
    • KeywordTool.io
  • To simplify on-page optimisation:
    • SEMrush
    • Screaming Frog
    • Redirect Path
  • To improve off-page optimization:
    • Ahrefs
    • Open Site Explorer
  • To monitor results:
    • Google Analytics
    • Google Search Console
  • To improve conversion rates:
    • GTMetrix
    • Crazy Egg

How much to spend on SEO?

Although the budget is the determining factor of how much you can spend on SEO, also keep in mind that SEO is an excellent investment to make.

To help guide you, here are some crucial things to consider when hiring an SEO agency:

  • Your location
  • Your objectives
  • The time frame you're working with
  • How reputable the SEO agency is
  • The services you need

Here are the objectives a website requires to be successful or generate more traffic:

Information architecture

  • Must be crawlable and accessible by search engines
  • Follow Google webmaster guidelines
  • Render well on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices


  • Be unique
  • Match search queries
  • Satisfy user intent
  • Remain fresh


  • Must look natural
  • High in quality

If your SEO agency hasn’t mentioned any of these listed above, inquire about these services and consider including them in your SEO package. But if your SEO agency doesn’t offer these essential services, you should consider moving agencies once you outgrow the basics of SEO.

At the end of the day, all of these don’t matter if you’re working with the wrong SEO agency. Selecting the agency that you know can work best with you and you trust enough to help your business grow.

Once you find the right agency, your investment will be well worth it, especially since the benefits of SEO last for years and years.

How much is SEO worth, and is it worth it?

The verdict?

Invest in SEO.

Small businesses can work with a smaller budget, but your SEO should follow suit as your business grows. Those starting can get away with just the basics, but as more traffic comes in, more website issues need fixing. More issues mean a larger budget.

One thing's for sure with SEO, as long as you're with the right company that understands your vision, SEO can be an amazing tool for growing any business in any industry.

So it’s safe to invest your money in SEO as it has proven to be successful for many.

Are you looking for an SEO agency to guide you in the right direction? Visit us at Smarter Media for more information about starting your SEO journey today!

Smarter Media is a digital growth agency using our Smarter Approach to help your business grow digitally. Working side by side with our clients, we use our 'Smarter Way' Process to create a plan that delivers results and our 'Smarter Promise' to do what we say we will. For a more comprehensive look at SEO, or to find out how you can achieve a better ROI with SEO & Paid Media working side by side, set an appointment with Smarter Media today!

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