SEO Audit Pricing: How Much Does an SEO Audit Cost in 2023?

SEO audit cost professional woman holding tablet
Sabrina Dougall

An SEO audit will cost you between $500 and $30,000 in 2023. It's also possible to get a “free” SEO audit, though you should know that it won't be anywhere near as comprehensive as a premium one.

You're here for clarity on SEO audit costs and we've got you covered. On the lower end of the scale, a backlink (off-page) SEO audit costs $500 to $5,000. By comparison, an on-page (content) SEO audit costs between $3,000 and $30,000.

The highest price tag comes attached to a technical SEO audit, which involves the highest level of technological expertise. Smaller businesses can expect to pay in the region of $5,000, whereas enterprise-level firms with multiple websites could face bills as high as $75,000, or more.

The truth is: a range of situation-specific factors apply to the price of an SEO audit. If you're curious about the exact price of SEO analysis of your business, why not reach out? Let us know what your project outline is and we'll put you in touch with SEO service providers to work their magic.

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What Does an SEO Audit Include?

It stands to reason that a free SEO audit will be far less comprehensive than one you've paid $8,000 for. So you should adjust your expectations accordingly.

A paid SEO audit ($5,000 to $9,000) will typically include the following:

  • Review 40 to 70 pages of your website
  • Core web vital metrics: average and homepage
  • Keyword research with content suggestions
  • Competitor analysis
  • Backlink analysis
  • Improve title tags, meta description, and alt text
  • List broken links, redirects, and crawl errors
  • HTTP security certificate status reports
  • robots.txt configuration
  • Sitemap analysis
  • Duplicate content detection

A premium SEO audit such as this will usually include the full audit report and an implementation plan. You're also likely to get an hour or so of training time for your team in any necessary tools and techniques.

A basic, free SEO audit may include some (or all) of the following:

  • An overall score for your website's SEO performance
  • Basic keyword analysis
  • Number of backlinks to your domain
  • Multi-device analysis, including mobile responsiveness

How Much Do Different Types of SEO Audit Cost?

Below is a summary of the three main types of SEO audit:

Audit typeWhat is it?How much is it?
Technical SEO audit
  • In-depth assessment of website’s code, structure, tags, and internal linking
  • Check if pages can be crawled and indexed
  • Test site speed and user experience
$5,000-$75,000
Content (or on-page SEO) audit
  • Check for duplicate content
  • Assess if pages are optimized for keywords
  • Find content gaps and opportunities
$3,000-$30,000
Backlink (or off-page SEO) audit
  • Checking the credibility of websites linking to you
  • Removing bad backlinks
  • Find out if you’re suffering from Google penalties, and forming a recovery strategy
  • Discover backlink opportunities
$500-$5,000

As you can see, there is great variety in the price brackets for each SEO audit type. This is broadly linked to the amount of time it takes to perform each set of tasks. However, we'll go into more detail on cost factors in the next section.

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What Factors Affect SEO Audit Pricing?

SEO audit costs vary so widely because service providers are using different business models. Some SEO companies are trying to entice your interest with a free service, while others offer an in-depth consultation at a premium price.

With that said, the two most significant factors affecting SEO audit price are: the size of your website(s) and the quality of the SEO agency. It should come as no surprise that the number of pages your website contains – and, in fact, the number of websites you need audited – will greatly affect the cost of SEO services. Plain and simple: it takes longer to analyze more web pages. Each individual page has its own set of metrics that contribute to, or detract from, the overall quality of the website.

In addition to this, highly-regarded SEO agencies will charge higher fees – although, this is not always the case. In any case, you can reasonably expect an in-depth SEO audit from well-seasoned professionals. For instance, you can expect a far higher price tag for an SEO audit from Deloitte (in the ballpark of $10,000+) compared with a tiny agency established two years prior (which may offer a free audit).

In summary, then, factors affecting SEO audit pricing are:

  • How many websites you need auditing
  • The size of the websites (number of pages)
  • The reputation of the SEO service provider
  • What type of SEO audit you need
  • Whether you're buying it as a standalone service or part of a package

What's the Difference in Cost Between an SEO Audit and Auditing Tools?

It may seem as if you can avoid SEO audit costs by downloading some tools and carrying out the work yourself. Well, stranger things have happened and you may make some progress with this tactic.

Let's look at the cost of tools SEO professionals would need to use in an audit:

Audit TypeTools NeededMinimum Costs (one month, one website)
Technical SEO audit
  • Semrush (two users) $550/month
  • Screaming Frog (two users) $418/year
  • Ahrefs (one user) $399/month
  • SpyFu $299/month
  • Lumar (f.k.a. Deepcrawl) $170/month

$1,154

Content (or on-page SEO) Audit
  • Semrush (two users) $550/month
  • cognitiveSEO $499/month
  • Screaming Frog (two users) $418/year
  • Ahrefs (one user) $399/month
  • Moz $299/month
  • BuzzSumo $299/month
  • Yoast SEO (one website) $99/year 
  • Readable $69/month (plus $4 per website)
  • Keyword Snatcher $47

$2,209

Backlink (or off-page SEO) audit
  • Moz $299/month
  • LinkProspector $127/month
  • Majestic SEO $99/month

$525

In addition to the above, there's a range of free tools essential for a good, in-depth SEO audit, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google PageSpeed Insights, and Google Schema Markup Testing Tool.

As we can see from these calculations, you might not even save any money at all if you pay for your own SEO audit tools. For instance, the backlink SEO audit tools total at least $525 per month, whereas the low-end price of a backlink SEO audit is $500.

When it comes to the cost of an on-page SEO or content audit, the cost savings seem decent. However, the initial outlay of over $2,000 for one month's SEO audit work is a big financial risk for a small business. Could you afford to spend this much money on tools only to find your team doesn't have the expertise to use them?

Do SEO Services Include SEO Audits in Their Pricing?

Good news: SEO audit costs may be absorbed into monthly service retainers. An SEO service provider worth their salt should undertake a thorough SEO audit of your target domain(s) before laying out an SEO strategy for the coming year. The audit provides a set of benchmark metrics from which growth success will be measured at the end of the contracted period.

Sometimes SEO audits are not included in ongoing service costs, for the reason that they are a one-off piece of work. Also, some SEO agencies offer a free “audit” as part of their new client recruitment tactics. In reality, this will be much more surface-level than the deep, technical SEO audit you should look to commission for your business websites.

SEO Clarity pricing screengrab showing SEO audit costs
SEO Clarity includes an SEO audit in its Core and Professional price plans, starting from $3,000 and $4,500 per month, respectively.

A one-off audit could be useful for your company if you are looking for external expertise on the current state of your website's health and traffic potential. If you have in-house resources, you may be looking for an initial push to guide your SEO specialists on the direction to take with your SEO strategy. In this case, buying a one-off audit would be a wise business decision.

In general, however, we advise you to engage with an SEO service provider with a view to build a long-term relationship. If you trust the expert agency or freelancer you're engaging with, you're more likely to achieve success if you plan for long-term SEO than short-term, or one-off projects.

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Is an SEO Audit Worth the Cost?

Yes, absolutely! An SEO audit is the first step to improve the commercial potential of your website(s). It's essential to view it as a business investment rather than a ‘nice-to-have'. While it may seem scary to consider spending $3,000+ on a one-off service, it's more accurate to see this as the start of a business upgrade strategy. After all, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.

You should bear in mind that SEO audit pricing includes the time of skilled experts who are using SEO software tools with paid subscriptions. Even if you were willing to invest your own time and money into buying subscriptions, educating yourself and doing your own SEO, a dedicated professional would surely produce better results for you.

After all, if you were to undertake this in-house, you've also got to factor in the time spent self-educating on SEO news and updates – which change all the time. If you're curious about the cost of an SEO audit from an expert, we'll put you in touch with the right professionals for the job.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina Dougall Web Marketing Expert

Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master’s in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camen New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.