How Much Does an SEO Audit Cost?
There is no such thing as a fixed price of an SEO audit simply because there is no such thing as two identical websites. The process of the top-to-bottom examination of a site is always personalized, and the final quote depends on the size and complexity of a site. It doesn’t mean though that an SEO audit has no price range. What influences the SEO audit pricing, then? And most importantly, why do free SEO audits give you a misleading picture of your website?
Table of Content:
- SEO Audit Pricing: What Influences the Cost?
- Why Free SEO Audit Isn’t a Good Idea
- SEO Audit Cost – The Takeaway
An SEO audit is a complex and in-depth process. It deals with rather technical issues, x-raying many, often complicated and intricate elements to check all the vitals of a website (e.g. Core Web Vitals).
Like a doctor needs special and diversified equipment to check if a patient is all-healthy and the body is well-functioning, an SEO specialist also needs several analytical tools to go deeper and see things that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Only in this way is it possible to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a website, creating a complete overview of a site’s condition.
It’s worth realizing that having all the essential cutting-edge analytical tools is just half the battle. They may turn out to be largely useless unless their reports are combined with the knowledge of SEO and first-hand experience of an SEO specialist.
All in all, for an SEO audit to be successful, meaning identify all errors and give you clear guidelines on how to improve your website for higher ranks, it needs extensive SEO knowledge, analytical tools, and methodology.
SEO Audit Pricing: What Influences the Cost?
Hands down, a professional SEO audit provides you with the complete information you need to draw up a grand plan to outrun your online rivals. It also helps you identify the opportunities for example pointing out the issues that lower the average time the users spend on your website.
This brings us to the first factor influencing an SEO audit cost, which is the SEO specialist – their experience and hourly rate, to be more specific. Such a professional is trained to read the reports generated by the analytical tools in order to draw correct and reasonable conclusions. Later, they devise actionable plans for their clients to help the website improve its ranks.
The second factor influencing SEO audit pricing is the cost of analytical tools used for this process. The thing is, there is no single ultimate SEO-audit-engine that would go through all website’s metrics and performance indicators to generate one complete SEO audit report.
Experienced SEO specialists have at their disposal at least a few analytical tools that allow them to obtain vital and accurate information on their clients’ website’s condition. Among the most commonly used tools for SEO audit there are:
- Screaming Frog
- Google Search Console
Why so many?
Simply because some tools lack the functionality that others have. Also, an experienced SEO specialist uses at least two analytical tools to check the same type of metrics.
It sometimes happens that two tools find different results despite working on the exact same data. Other times one tool processes fewer items of information, thus showing different reports on certain website performance metrics.
That’s why you need an experienced SEO specialist who knows the ins and outs of the most common analytical tools.
Naturally, the more tools an SEO specialist uses to analyze a website, the higher the investment. How high? Here is a quick overview of the basic analytical tools and the cost of their licenses:
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The third factor influencing the search engine optimization audit price is the amount of work an SEO agency has to do. Again, the heavier the workload, the higher the quote.
Basically, there are three elements that comprise the SEO audit workload. That’s why, before agreeing on getting the website analyzed by an SEO specialist, you need to:
1. Determine the Scope
Do you want the SEO audit to give you the report only on chosen elements (e.g. content or technical SEO), or do you want it to be a complete evaluation of your website?
Generally speaking, there are four main areas that you can get checked by a specialist:
- technical SEO audit mainly deals with the code-related elements that can’t be seen by a regular user, yet make a website easy to crawl, index and rank. To clarify, technical SEO deals with loading speed, mobile optimization, and information architecture, to name just three.
- content audit goes way beyond the readability of blog posts and product descriptions. It also analyzes images, structuring, and meta information.
- link building audit verified both the quality of internal and external links that direct visitors from one page to another. Backlink profile, anchor texts, and link quality are just three examples of what the audit examines.
- local SEO audit establishes whether a website is both relevant and authoritative within a targeted geographical area. Local SEO audit focuses on keywords, competitor analysis, and client review performance.
2. Take Into Consideration the Size of Your Website
This one is a no-brainer. The larger your website is, meaning
- the more pages you have within one domain
- the more complex the design, and
- the more technical SEO elements used on a website
the longer it takes for an SEO specialist to evaluate your site.
3. Specify How Detailed the SEO Specialist Insights and Comments on the Findings Should be
Truth be told, taking the data from the analytical tools and throwing it into a report isn’t that much time-consuming or complicated but it obviously doesn’t give much insight for a regular website owner. Neither does it give clear directions for improving inbound marketing.
That’s why you may ask the SEO specialist to give you either just brief or more elaborated comments on things like:
- what is currently happening on the website
- what direction should you take with your SEO
- how to increase certain metrics
- what are other keywords you can optimize your pages for
- which pages have the higher bounce rate
- how does the latest algorithm update affect your rankings
- and much more
Naturally, the more insightful the analysis is the higher the SEO audit report cost.
All things considered, on average, the SEO audit price range is somewhere between $450-1,200. Yet, with so many variables, the cost of such a service may be lower or higher.
Why Free SEO Audit Isn’t a Good Idea
With so much spending you need to manage while running an online business, you may be tempted to use the offer of free SEO audit. After all, why wouldn’t you – it costs nothing, right?
We hate to break it to you but those seemingly free SEO audits may actually cost you not only time but also money.
How is that?
Many analytical tools and websites offer free SEO audits. The SEO audit reports they provide a user with are generated automatically by scripts that go through and analyze only the most basic factors and website performance metrics. This is one thing.
The other thing is that while running an SEO audit for their clients, those free SEO tools don’t include one of the vital SEO elements – the keywords the website owner strives to rank for.
Moreover, the data free SEO tools are able to acquire for evaluating a website is simply insufficient. For example, they don’t have access to one of the most essential web services like Google Search Console. That’s why they can’t check indexing status, spot crawling errors, or report on the latest search queries. Besides, free SEO tools base their reports only on one, maximally several pages within one domain.
On top of that, those automatically generated reports provided by free SEO tools offer zero comments and recommendations on improving the SEO of the audited website. An SEO specialist, however, encloses such invaluable – often revealing – insights in the SEO audit report.
Last but definitely not least, free SEO tools don’t provide task prioritization. After all, how could they do that since they fail to give any tips on improving the current state of a website? As you may have guessed, an SEO specialist highlights the urgent web issues that have to be addressed in the first instance.
You may be wondering now where the money-saving part is, or rather, why free SEO audits can actually cost you more than a professional SEO audit.
As mentioned above, those tools don’t have the access to the whole range of data that a comprehensive SEO audit report must include. Consequently, free SEO tools reports may be misleading, meaning the red error indicators that blink on your screen may trick you into introducing changes to the elements that in reality don’t require any intervention.
This way you spend your time on “fixing” your site, ignoring other SEO elements that after being given a tweak could actually bring more converting customers to your website.
In the worst-case scenario, you may do serious harm to your website. Despite acting in good faith, you may cause visibility and rank drop, eventually losing potential customers. This is exactly why using free SEO audit tools may cost you way more than you could imagine.
SEO Audit Cost – The Takeaway
When you see that your organic traffic is low, if you struggle with making sales or when you simply have a feeling that your website may perform better in SERP, you need hard data to base your actions. Making some random and ill-thought-out changes to the website may produce disappointing, if not disastrous results.
That’s why, before doing anything, you need a comprehensive SEO audit report. Only with such a document prepared by an SEO specialist are you able to take the right steps to successfully improve your brand presence in search engine results.
Naturally, every website is different, and therefore every SEO audit is different. The price for this service varies accordingly to the elements you want to get examined – and there are at least several of them: technical SEO, content, or link profile, to name just three. Keep in mind that the more complex the examination, the higher the budget may be involved.
It’s also worth realizing that SEO pricing depends also on whether you want the SEO agency to fix the issues on your website revealed by the SEO audit. Perhaps you are perfectly fine with receiving just the SEO audit results and comments provided by the professional.
Others, however, would prefer the agency to carry on and execute all the recommendations they included in the SEO audit report. We know that, and therefore this is how we do SEO audits here, at Delante. Our SEO audit offer is always customized because only in this way can we meet the needs of the clients, without going over the set budget.
Even though you definitely need to spend some amount of money on an SEO audit, the investment pays off pretty quickly. Within a few days, you receive a set of clear guidelines on how to make your website more Google-friendly.
Forget the free SEO audits as the results drawn on the insufficient data can’t be taken as a reliable source of information. Actually, such services are made with one goal in mind – to obtain the email address of potential clients.
Do you have any questions about SEO audits? Let us know!