A recent study* showed that over the years, the price of an iPhone has gone up 81%. In the U.S. alone, the cost of an iPhone has gone up 60% since its launch in 2007, and around the world, it has risen 7.75% every year.

The data highlighted exactly how expensive the iPhone has become compared to the rise in the cost of living on a local scale.

And yet, none of that will stop people from buying a new iPhone this year.


Because people like quality, and they understand that quality comes at a higher price.

So, what does this have to do with SEO?

Quality  is something you need to consider when you price out the  SEO services you really need.

Does Quality SEO Always Mean Pricier SEO Services?

When you shop around for a new SEO partner, you are going to receive a lot of different quotes which are going to vary in price, strategy, and deliverables.

The vetting process  can be tedious and confusing at times, but it’s worth it to carefully weigh out all your options. If you choose wrong, your site’s traffic may suffer. That’s a heavy blow that you probably don’t want to deal with.

Fortunately, that’s something you can (eventually) recover from. The heavier blow comes when you consider the amount of money lost by choosing the wrong company.

If you decided on a company that has a higher price point, it will cost you much more upfront. However, it’s simply an unavoidable fact that, just like the annual iPhone releases, higher-quality and reliable results come at a higher cost.

Of course, SEO services aren’t like getting a better screen. In the case of online marketing, the higher the quality of your SEO services, the more likely you’ll see a substantial ROI and a healthier, more sustainable website.

Beware of SEO Companies that Seem “Too Good to be True”

Before moving on, I want to make it clear that the last thing I want to do here is call out other agencies in the SEO industry. I do want to share some of the most common things that we hear from clients who worked with other agencies in the past.

If an agency gives you a quote and it’s dramatically lower than some of the others you’ve received, they are most likely outsourcing to foreign countries or automating much of the work. They may also assign you to a manager who is dealing with 50+ accounts. This helps them keep costs down, and they pass those savings on to you.

It’s these same agencies that have the “burn em & churn em” mentality. They don’t expect their clients to stick around for longer than, let’s say, six-months (which is not long enough to get real results ). But they don’t lose sleep over that because they have a giant sales force that keeps bringing in the next short-term client.

That’s perfect for them, but not so ideal for you.

SEO agencies often reduce costs by creating cookie-cutter strategies. That way they don’t have to spend time performing research on your industry, competition, and current status online. They just provide ‘X’ number of deliverables each month and convince you that it’s going to have a lasting effect on your business.

You may see some increases at first, but I can tell you… you’ll be lucky if it lasts.

Chances are, an SEO company that comes in at a bit higher price is going to spend more time on research and creating a strategy that will have a lasting effect. They are also going to spend time adjusting that strategy as the campaign progresses (which is critically important). Google updates their algorithms over 500 times a year. On top of that, your competition is implementing their own marketing strategy, and new competitors are popping up every other day. You need an SEO partner that is agile enough to react to these changes at the right time and in the right way.

A cookie-cutter, one-price-fits all strategy will not compensate for these changes.

You want a strategy that is organic. A strategy that evolves and adjusts with the latest trends, tactics, and guidelines. You want a plan that is customized for your business.

Getting the Most Out of Your Budget

When you are allocating a good chunk of your marketing budget towards SEO, you want to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth. You will want to see evidence that work is being done and delivering tangible results.

I get that.

It’s natural to want something immediately in exchange for the money we’ve invested. And even if your SEO manager has told you time and again that rankings take time, many companies still want to see a range of very specific deliverables.

They want to see a certain number of blogs written every month or a certain number of links built. This is fine and understandable, but just keep in mind that SEO takes time.  And it may turn out that blogs and links may not be the best thing for your campaign  at this time.

Instead, your budget for a given month might be spent on market research and identifying hurdles that may pop up. It could be used to optimize the nuts and bolts of your website that have important “behind-the-scenes” benefits for your rankings.

This is what you want to see from your team.

You can’t build a house without a strong foundation and you can’t succeed at SEO without a custom plan, a fully optimized website, and an understanding of  your immediate competition.

Does Higher Price Always Mean Higher Quality SEO Services?

Of course, just because your SEO agency is charging a higher price point doesn’t guarantee they’re providing the quality work you need. And if your SEO team isn’t able to provide a list of the tasks they are working on, then you may want to start asking for proof of work. (They should provide this in their monthly report.)

This list of work may not include 3.5 blogs a month or whatever you may have heard you needed, but ask yourself this:

Are you working with an S EO agency because you want to buy some blogs, or because you want a marketing team that functions as a partner for your ongoing success?

Specific number of blogs versus sustainable online success?

Is that really a question?

A lot of people will balk at the ever-increasing costs of the latest iPhone, while others will recognize the value of higher-quality materials. The thought of paying the higher price may make you a little anxious, but I can assure you that if you ask the right questions during the sales process,  work with your SEO team as a partnership , and maintain reasonable expectations, it’ll all be worth it in the end.