The range of services SEO agencies offer varies significantly, but most fall into several “packages.” To help you understand the differences in the packages offered, we’ve compared the 6 most common packages you’ll find across the SEO industry.
Below the comparison table, we offer more detail on what you can expect from each SEO agency package, highlighting pros & cons as well as what type of business each package is the best fit for.
Types of SEO Agency Packages
|SEO-Centered Web Design
|$12,000 – $16,000 for a 10 page web design
(Varies based on complexity and number of pages)
|A brand new web design built from the ground up, likely based on a template, with SEO in mind. The best web designs are fast, responsive, conversion focused, and on an easy-to-manage CMS like WordPress.
|Basic SEO Audit
|$300 – $1,000
|A list of your website’s problems, most of which can be detected by an automated Website Health tool. Is mainly a jumping off point for discussion, as it does not include a plan for solving the problems.
|Comprehensive SEO Audit
|$3,000 – $4,500
|A comprehensive list of problems and proposed solutions with practical next steps. Includes a competitive analysis, list of most valuable keywords, and a hub and spoke SEO plan.
|$3,000 – $8,000 monthly
|A comprehensive audit + a 6 – 12 month plan laying out how to target each of your most valuable keywords on your website’s pages. For each page’s plan, includes searcher intent, personas targeted, and content & graphic suggestions. May also include practical advice on how to find a writer to create the suggested content.
|Standard SEO & Content Package
|$3,000 – $7,000 monthly
|A basic SEO audit combined with average-quality content. With Google’s increasing focus on content quality, these packages are unlikely to attract customers and push them through the conversion funnel.
|SEO & Thought Leadership Package
|$10,000 – $15,000 monthly
|The creme de la creme. A comprehensive SEO audit, ongoing SEO consulting, weekly ghostwriting of new pages targeting your most valuable keywords, thoughtful building out of your marketing stack & reporting tools, and clear KPIs focused on lead generation.
SEO Agency Packages: More Detail
Although it’s clear that thought leadership-focused SEO is the best overall SEO package if your goal is lead generation, your company may have a more specific need, and thus a different SEO agency package may be more appropriate. In this section, we list the pros & cons of each package and give examples of the types of companies for which each package is best suited.
SEO-Centered Web Design
The best websites are those that instill trust and encourage visitors to stick around and eventually convert. These websites attract a steady stream of leads from SEO.
Pros: A brand new site signals to your audience that your business is trustworthy and authoritative. Web design, SEO, and conversion optimization best practices can all be integrated from day 1 to convert visitors from researchers to customers with a custom featureset.
Cons: Web design gets expensive quickly. A basic B2B 10-page web build with little customization can run $12,000-16,000, and scope creep is common.
Best for: Companies that need a complete site overhaul; startups.
Basic SEO Audit
A quick-and-dirty audit of your website to check its overall health and provide a basis for discussion.
Pros: Many older websites have broken links, missing images, or missing meta titles. A basic SEO audit will find and flag these.
Cons: A basic audit will only provide you with an overview of your website health and surface-level recommendations. These recommendations are unlikely to bring about meaningful improvements to search rankings, as they do not include a competitor analysis or take transactionality into account.
Best for: Smaller local businesses such as restaurants and cafes that maintain a website as a convenience. We don’t recommend basic SEO audits for any business that sees its website as a potential lead generation source.
Comprehensive SEO Audit
A deep dive into your website, as well as an analysis of how it compares to your competitors. A comprehensive audit will also contain a detailed plan of the improvements that need to be made.
Pros: In addition to technical issues that may be preventing pages from ranking highly, a comprehensive SEO audit also analyzes competitor websites, industry journals, and customer forums to make more informed recommendations for future keyword targeting. Comprehensive SEO audits will also provide you with a detailed report of next steps, prioritized by their expected impact.
Cons: The comprehensiveness can be overwhelming to a tech team not accustomed to such details. As it does not include content creation, its impact on SEO is limited to the existing content on the site.
Best for: Businesses that have an existing in-house content team but aren’t seeing improvements in their rankings, or those who can’t afford currently to invest in content.
An initial, comprehensive audit to establish the terrain, followed by a 6 – 12 plan with in-depth content recommendations. Everything included in a full thought leadership marketing campaign except the content itself.
Pros: This package takes you beyond a well-functioning website and knowledge of the competitive landscape. You learn more about who your customers are and what competitive advantages you have. SEO consulting also helps you understand more about your goals, be they lead generation, establishing yourself as an industry thought leader, or something else. The package can be expanded to include more strategic planning and action steps.
Cons: This can be resource intensive, particularly when it comes to the time of company leaders who are called on to do critical thinking about vision, strategy, and goals. It also leads to next steps you may not be prepared to take.
Best for: Larger companies who have dedicated resources to expand their SEO commitment and are ready to begin generating leads and growing their business.
Standard SEO & Content Package
Exists in poor middle ground between high quality SEO consulting and a full thought leadership campaign, with the benefits of neither.
Pros: More pages and blog articles will give your website more opportunities to rank. For companies with simple products, this can be enough to justify the cost.
Cons: Mediocre or even average content is unlikely to rank highly, and will not drive traffic to your website. Even if searchers find your site, these pages won’t convince them to convert.
Best for: Smaller B2C ecommerce companies with low sales tickets.
SEO & Thought Leadership Package
This is the motherlode: a complete package of a website audit, SEO strategy, clear KPIs focused on lead generation and creation of keyword- and audience-focused thought leadership content that will boost sales and reputation for long-term success.
Pros: High rankings, high ROI, and long-term thought leadership reputation are among the benefits of this top-of-the-line SEO agency package. It comes complete with a dedicated team of technical, subject matter, and creative experts. ROI is among the highest of any lead generation channel.
Cons: While it provides high ROI, the baseline expense of an SEO agency that employs a dedicated team and subject-matter experts can be difficult for smaller businesses to budget for, especially when the inherently long-term nature of SEO is taken into account.
Best for: Enterprises and midsized businesses in competitive markets, especially those in complex B2B industries.
The Best SEO Agencies to Work With
The best agencies are the ones that understand your industry and challenges and are also willing to fully partner with you as if they were an organic part of your team. When searching for a partner, ask questions about their results, the structure of their teams, and their service packages. Below are our recommendations for the top agencies in several different niches.
|First Page Sage
|Thought leadership, SEO consulting, and audits that emphasize systematic lead generation
|Enterprise and midsized companies, particularly those in B2B or particularly complex industries
|Mix-and-match SEO packages targeted at small businesses
|B2C and smaller B2B companies with non-complex products or services
|SEO for multilingual and international businesses
|Global brands with multiple international markets
|Local businesses, particularly services providers, that will benefit primarily from local search traffic
|In-person services providers, or local retailers with a lesser focus on ecommerce
|Managing both traditional and digital marketing channels
|Enterprises with $500M+ annual revenue and who want a single provider