SEO Keyword Research price

How Much Does SEO Keyword Research Cost Per Month?

Keyword research is a fundamental aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing. Organizations looking to grow online need comprehensive keyword research to reach their targeted audience. However, there is an aspect of keyword research that is less talked about – the cost. The cost of keyword research varies widely based on several factors, including the tools used, the depth of research required, and whether the work is done in-house or outsourced to a professional agency or freelancer. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how much SEO keyword research costs per month to help you make a better decision when planning your SEO. 

What is Keyword Research?

This is the process of identifying and analyzing the terms and phrases that people use in search engines. The goal is to use this information to optimize content and marketing strategies, ensuring that a website or digital content appears in search engine results when these keywords are used. This process involves understanding the target audience’s search habits, the specific words they use, and the intent behind their searches. 

Benefits of Keyword Research

Here are some of the advantages of conducting keyword research to optimize your SEO strategy. 

  • Improved Search Engine Rankings: By targeting the right keywords, websites can improve their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), leading to higher rankings.

  • Increased Traffic: Effective keyword research can attract more organic traffic to a website. By understanding and using the terms that potential customers are searching for, businesses can draw a more relevant audience to their sites.

  • Better User Experience: Keyword research helps in creating content that aligns with user intent. This relevance improves the user experience, as visitors find the information they are looking for more easily.

  • Higher Conversion Rates: By targeting keywords with specific buyer intent, businesses can attract visitors who are more likely to convert into customers or leads.

  • Competitive Advantage: Understanding the keywords that competitors are targeting can provide insights into market trends and help in developing strategies to compete more effectively.

  • Cost-Effective Marketing: For businesses using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, keyword research helps in choosing cost-effective keywords that can lead to a better return on investment (ROI).

  • Content Strategy Development: Keyword research informs content creation, guiding businesses in developing topics that resonate with their audience and address their queries and needs.

  • Local SEO Enhancement: For local businesses, keyword research can identify local search terms, helping them to target customers in their specific geographic area.

Type of Keyword Research

Here’s a breakdown of the costs for different levels of keyword research:

Basic Keyword Research

For small businesses or startups, basic keyword research is often sufficient. This level of research typically involves:

  • Free Tools: Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest offer basic functionalities like search volume data, competition levels, and related keyword suggestions. These tools are ideal for businesses just starting with SEO or those with limited budgets.

  • In-House Execution: Conducting keyword research in-house using these free tools can be cost-effective. It requires time and effort but no direct financial investment beyond the time of the employee or business owner.

  • Cost Implications: The primary cost for basic keyword research is time. If done in-house, it’s part of an employee’s regular duties. For a small business owner, it’s a time investment in their digital marketing strategy.

Intermediate Keyword Research

Mid-level businesses often need more comprehensive keyword research, which involves:

  • Combination of Tools: A mix of free and paid tools is used. Paid tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer or SEMrush offer more in-depth analysis, including keyword difficulty scores, SERP feature data, and more detailed competitive analysis.

  • Monthly Subscriptions: These tools typically offer various subscription levels, ranging from $99 to $300 per month, depending on the features required.

  • Outsourcing Option: Some businesses may choose to outsource this task to freelancers or small agencies. Costs for outsourcing can range from $1,000 to $2,500 per month, depending on the scope of the research and the expertise of the service provider.

  • Additional Resources: This level might also involve additional resources like training for staff or attending workshops and webinars to stay updated with SEO best practices.

Advanced Keyword Research

Large businesses or those in highly competitive industries often require advanced keyword research:

  • Premium Tools: Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Majestic offer advanced features, including detailed backlink analysis, historical data, content gap analysis, and predictive search trends. These tools are more sophisticated and provide comprehensive data for high-level SEO strategies.

  • Higher Subscription Costs: The cost for these premium tools can exceed $300 per month, with some advanced plans reaching up to $399 or more.

  • Professional Agency Services: Outsourcing to top-tier SEO agencies for a comprehensive keyword strategy is common at this level. These agencies offer bespoke services, including market analysis, competitor keyword analysis, and integration with broader digital marketing strategies.

  • Monthly Agency Fees: The cost for such services can start from $3,000 per month and go higher, depending on the complexity of the project and the reputation of the agency.

  • Long-Term Commitments: Advanced keyword research often involves long-term commitments, both in terms of tool subscriptions and agency contracts, to ensure consistent and evolving SEO strategies.
How Much Does SEO Keyword Research Cost Per Month?

Detailed Explanation of Cost Factors in Keyword Research

Understanding the costs involved in keyword research is crucial for effective SEO planning. Here’s a detailed explanation of the key cost factors, including tools, professional services, and in-house resources:

Tools and Software

In keyword research, the choice of tools and software is crucial, impacting both effectiveness and cost. Here’s a detailed look at these options and their associated pricing models:

  • Variety of Tools: The market offers a diverse range of keyword research tools, each designed to meet different needs and budgets. These tools are essential for uncovering valuable keywords, understanding search trends, and gaining insights into competitors’ strategies.

  • Free Tools: Tools like Google Keyword Planner are accessible at no cost. They provide basic functionalities such as search volume data, keyword suggestions, and some level of competitive analysis. These tools are suitable for businesses just starting with SEO or those with limited budgets.

  • Premium Tools: Advanced tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz offer a more comprehensive suite of features. These include detailed keyword analysis, SERP feature data, competitive intelligence, backlink analysis, and content gap assessments. 

  • Subscription Costs: The cost for these premium tools varies. Basic plans can start from around $99 per month, offering limited features and data. More comprehensive plans can cost $399 per month or more, providing extensive functionalities and higher data limits. The choice of plan depends on the depth of research required and the size of the SEO campaign.

Professional Services

Professional services play a crucial role in keyword research, impacting cost and effectiveness. Here’s a detailed look at how hiring SEO agencies or freelancers can influence your budget:

  • SEO Agencies: Hiring an SEO agency can significantly vary in cost. Agencies offer expertise and dedicated resources for keyword research and overall SEO strategy. They might charge between $500 to $5,000 per month, depending on the complexity of the project, the reputation of the agency, and the breadth of services provided.

  • Freelance Experts: Freelancers are another option, often providing more flexible and cost-effective services. Rates for freelance SEO experts can range from $50 to $150 per hour. The total cost will depend on the project’s scope and the freelancer’s expertise.

  • Scope of Work: The cost for professional services generally includes not just keyword research but also strategy development, implementation guidance, and sometimes content creation and optimization.

In-House Resources

In-house resources for keyword research involve various internal costs and considerations. Here’s a detailed look at the expenses and benefits of conducting keyword research with an in-house team:

  • Employee Salaries: When keyword research is conducted in-house, the primary cost is the salaries of the employees involved. This includes the time spent by SEO specialists, content marketers, and possibly data analysts.

  • Training and Development: In-house teams may require ongoing training and development to stay updated with the latest SEO practices and tools. This could include online courses, workshops, and attending industry conferences.

  • Software Costs: In addition to salaries, the cost of any tools or software used for keyword research and other SEO activities is also a factor. Even if using free tools, premium versions might be needed as the company grows.

  • Cost-Effectiveness for Larger Companies: For larger companies with ongoing, extensive SEO needs, having an in-house team can be more cost-effective in the long run. It allows for more control over the SEO strategy and can be integrated more closely with the company’s overall marketing goals.

Get Expert Keyword Research Services from Expert-Hire

At Expert-Hire, we help businesses find and hire the best SEO experts who will do comprehensive keyword research services. We are a tech hub for hiring skilled, vetted nearshore developers, SEOs, content writers, graphic designers, and digital marketers. For companies looking to hire keyword research experts, we can help find talented SEOs who will craft conversion-generating content based on your business needs. Hiring remote content writers on Expert-Hire is different from other sites. Here are a few reasons. 


  • Vetted keyword research experts with industry experience. 
  • Select based on experience, from junior to senior.
  • We help manage the tech experts if you hire a team.
  • Find dedicated SEOs who will work remotely as part of your team.


Pricing starts from $30 per article and can reach $1000 to hire a dedicated SEO expert monthly. 

Why Choose Expert-Hire? 

Businesses choose Expert-Hire for semantic keyword research services for several reasons. Here are a few. 

  • Our Expertise in Latest SEO Practices: We are constantly updating our knowledge with the latest SEO trends and algorithm changes. Our expertise lies in identifying the most effective keywords that are specifically tailored to your industry and target audience, ensuring your content achieves higher rankings in search engine results.

  • Customized Keyword Strategies: We understand that each business has its unique needs. That’s why we develop customized keyword strategies for you. Our approach involves a thorough analysis of your business goals, target audience, and market trends to pinpoint keywords that will attract the right visitors to your site.

  • Advanced Tools and Techniques: Utilizing cutting-edge tools and techniques, our team conducts comprehensive keyword research. We delve into search volume, competition, and relevance to find the perfect mix of broad and long-tail keywords that align with your content strategy.

  • Competitive Analysis: Our initial step involves a thorough analysis of the competition, including the market’s top performers and your website. We focus on identifying and examining the keywords they rank for, providing valuable insights into your market positioning.

  • Keyword Clustering: We categorize each keyword into specific clusters. This process helps us determine the strategic value of each cluster based on its search difficulty and volume, guiding our focus on the most impactful areas.

  • In-House Expertise: Leveraging our proprietary tools, refined methodology, and API integrations with external platforms, we excel at uncovering a wide range of strategic keywords that can significantly benefit your SEO efforts.

  • Strategic Page Development: From the insights gained, we recommend clusters of pages to target, complete with detailed keyword analysis and search volume data. We provide comprehensive spreadsheets containing all identified keywords meticulously aligned with your brand’s semantic field.

So, are you ready to hire an SEO expert? Contact us today


The cost of keyword research per month varies widely based on the scale of the project, the tools used, and whether the research is done in-house or outsourced. Small businesses might spend very little by using free tools and in-house resources. In contrast, larger companies or those in competitive industries might spend thousands per month for comprehensive research using advanced tools and professional services. It’s important to balance the cost with the potential ROI and align the investment with the specific needs and goals of the business.


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