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Scope, speed, and quality are three determining factors of your SEO budget. However, many SEO agencies in Canada charge between CAD 130 and up to CAD 350 per hour.
Note: the higher price does not determine the speed and quality of execution. You need to trust your small business to an SEO company that works in your location, knows your industry, and has access to systems like Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Analytics and Google Trends, SpyFu and others.
Some cheap SEO agencies can charge less than CAD 100. It should be your red flag because their promises remain only promises when they come after your contract only, not to help you.
We wrote an article to explain how SEO pricing works, so you choose your SEO agency wisely.
What are the SEO pricing models?
SEO agencies offer four types of SEO pricing packages: based on results, per month, per hour, and project-based pricing. There is no straightforward answer to what SEO pricing is best for your organization. You need to understand your scope and how fast you want to receive SEO results - these two factors will determine the direction you need to go with an SEO company.
Few rules that you can use when choosing an SEO pricing model:
- If you need to improve only your ranking for a bunch of keywords - sign based on the results contract.
- If you need to maintain your website SEO performance for some time, then use monthly packages. You can always customize your package.
- If your website works well and content needs to be updated - hire SEO experts based on an hourly rate.
- Sign a project-based contract if you have a detailed scope of work for an SEO agency.
Let’s review the pros and cons of every pricing model.
Performance SEO is when you pay solely after you get results - better ranking, more conversions, more website visitors, more links, etc.
Agencies that offer performance-based SEO focus only on the task and are careless about the quality of their work. You pay them based on their accomplishments, and you don’t pay if they did not achieve what was expected.
For example, many businesses need to rank higher for a particular group of keywords. You can expect to pay up to CAD 2,000 if they get you to the first page. However, you need to be aware of the following advantages and disadvantages of this.
- Your website ranks higher and gets more organic traffic. Over 70% of internet users do not go to the second page of search results.
- You pay when you rank, so you pay only after the results are spotted. It sounds like a pretty safe deal.
- Pricing is transparent, and you know the cost before getting into the deal. Note that the pricing is unguaranteed in many cases.
- Performance-based SEO agencies can use black hat SEO techniques that harm your website.
- Cost can change after the fact.
Many companies call monthly SEO ongoing SEO maintenance. A customer and an SEO agency start with mapping out a long-term SEO action plan, defining milestones, and setting success measures for goals.
An SEO agency that offers monthly SEO packages has a systematic approach. They would take care of all aspects of SEO including link building, image optimization, improving website copy, and creating content to improve ranking.
In most cases, a monthly SEO budget is calculated based on the hours you want an SEO agency to work on your website. The cost can vary from CAD 1,500 to several thousand dollars per month.
- Significant long-term search engine optimization results.
- Consistent meetings with an SEO team - you get sufficient time to review the results and direction.
- Changes in scope may not reflect on pricing, but the project length can change.
- Transparent pricing - you pay per number of hours per month.
- You get to know an SEO agency better, they learn your business and culture, and you become partners.
- Your project can get expensive, depending on how fast you want your SEO to grow.
- SEO success is still not guaranteed, so be prepared to wait if needed.
- It can be hard to find a reliable SEO agency.
The average price for hourly SEO can vary depending on whom you hire. An SEO agency would charge CAD 150 to CAD 350; for an SEO consultant - CAD 90 - CAD 130/hour, and freelancers, it’s CAD 50-80/hour.
This SEO pricing model is the best for short-term projects and slight fixes. However, hiring a less expensive freelancer does not guarantee you results. The best is to look for a local SEO agency, so they know the local language your customers speak and understand how to approach your audience.
- Usually transparent in terms of quality and time of work.
- One of the least expensive ways to get small things done.
- It is easy to find a replacement.
- The cost of the switch is low.
- Less formality in meetings while maintaining good delivery.
- Quality of work depends on the SEO freelancer or SEO expert skills.
- More sustainable results may require hiring multiple SEO consultants.
- Every new SEO freelancer will need time to understand the previous progress, so your business is already paying per hour.
It is best to hire an SEO expert from an SEO agency you already worked for or were referred to.
SEO project-based pricing
SEO pricing per project is one of the best ways to cooperate with an SEO agency when you have a specific scope. Your SEO budget is tight to your expectations, and your partner company aims to meet them.
In Vancouver, SEO agencies charge as low as CAD 1,500 per SEO project. The selling price can be tricky, as small business projects can be much different than a mid-sized company.
Also, more experienced SEOs charge a lot more per project than SEO freelancers or SEO consultants. The best bet would be to hire an SEO agency with 2-4 years of experience.
- You set expectations, and you know the budget before the project starts.
- Pricing is based on the project accomplishments, not based on the hours spent.
- You are certain that your SEO agency will deliver results - sooner or later.
- Minimal risk to be scammed by an SEO company.
- Fixed terms on the contract can be hard to break without penalties.
- You may not have an opportunity to test the waters first.
- An SEO budget can be significant, so make sure your expectations match your financial capabilities.
SEO project-based pricing
Vancouver-based digital agencies offer custom pricing, and most of the time need to reach out to them to get a custom quote. SEO companies charge customers per project or hour - depending on what’s required.
Monthly SEO in Vancouver typically costs between CAD 1,000 (low end), CAD 2,300 (average) to CAD 5000+ (high end).
If you need help with SEO and ranking, please reach out to our WebDriven team.