With 75% of Internet users not looking beyond the first page of search results, you need nothing short of the best local SEO company to come up with a custom strategy to get you measurable results. Scroll down to discover our top choices in the field, along with our evaluation methodology that covers everything from the companies’ experience and expertise to client satisfaction and retention rates. Just below it, you’ll find a compact guide to help you choose the right partner for your business.
In the following section, you can take a peek into our evaluation system that was devised by our expert team to cover the most important aspects of local SEO. We compared the potential firms against this strict criteria to bring you only the best options.
SEO is a multifaceted discipline. There are companies that specialize in national SEO, ecommerce SEO, or even international SEO. During the initial classification, we filter companies and consider only those that offer focused local SEO strategies aiming to boost visibility for local customers and attract more website visitors, leads, and sales.
The best way to gain a deep understanding of the work that the agency does is by going through their portfolio and case studies. They give us an idea about the creativity of their strategy and the approach to problem-solving. We assess their implementation actions and identify the factors that led to success. We deepen our research to examine whether their past clients got to Google’s first page and their overall position compared to competitors. We appreciate companies that provide consistent performance and growth for their clients.
Once we have established that the companies under consideration specialize in local SEO, we dive deeper and examine their service offering in detail. While there might be variations in the companies’ services catalog, there are a few essentials that each reputable agency needs to offer to land a spot in our table. Read on to learn which services we took into account.
At the foundation of every successful SEO solution lies a comprehensive audit. Through auditing the site’s SEO status, you’ll gain information about the state your website is currently at, and the areas you need to focus on first. This particular service also provides competitive intelligence, meaning, you will get information about how you compare against your direct rivals on the market, regardless of your industry. Your agency should stick to a compact local SEO checklist along the lines of this one:
Website localization is another absolutely essential service if you want your digital strategy to yield results. The best local SEO should include the target city or region naturally throughout the site. The process might also involve translation into a local language, depending on the country/region, and adaptation to the target market’s culture. The aim of this process is to customize the content, images, and the overall design of the site so that it seems natural to the visitors, which will ultimately help with conversion.
The companies we choose need to be agile in building and maintaining local citations. This is one of the most important things that influence the local SEO ranking. A solid citation should include NAP — the business name, address, and phone number on third-party sites. These are a must but variation of local citations can also include opening hours, images, products or services offered, and links to social media profiles. We look for agencies that can also update and clean up listings, keeping the data accurate and up to date.
Google My Business is the staple of local search. To get the most out of GMB, the best local SEO company will optimize it. We assess their approach and how adept they are in getting businesses in Google’s local three-pack. Beyond keeping a consistent NAP, this practice involves adding or editing service-are business details, including keywords, adding photos, managing and responding to reviews, and more.
Next, we consider the agencies’ capability to provide on-site SEO strategies specifically designed for local business websites. Proper on-page local SEO involves robust keyword optimization and the creation of unique, informative content. Keywords are an important local SEO ranking factor so we take note of the companies’ keyword selection process, whether they consider search intent and local voice search in the research process, whether they have strategies for video SEO, whether they conduct competition analysis, and more.
Creating a unique page for different locations (even if you’re not physically present there) can also be beneficial. Additionally, since Google loves fresh content, you need a team that will keep your content up to date, ensuring it stays at the top of SERPs. The agency should also take care of keyword placement to ensure optimal results.
Local SEO companies shouldn’t ignore the importance of metadata optimization. The title tags and meta description should include the name of the target city/region and the product/service you offer.
Another way to highlight keywords is by using schema markup code which provides context to an otherwise unclear page and can take your data to the coveted rich snippet, providing countless benefits. When creating pages for multiple locations, it’s important to set up a site structure. This process involves setting up local landing pages for each of them with clean URLs.
We also assess the tactics that local SEO agencies use to build links. We consider whether they apply white hat tactics — needless to say, we stay away if we notice any sign of using black hat methods. Additionally, we evaluate their take on buying or selling links. This is a practice that can negatively impact a site’s ranking so we make sure to avoid companies that offer such service. We appreciate companies that successfully cover directories and invest efforts in creative ways to link-building like a collaboration with local influencers, using broken links, and successfully using competitors’ backlinks.
The local SEO firms listed here are proficient in making sites mobile responsive. The latest local SEO statistics show that 60% of online searches come from mobile devices. That said, your business site needs to adopt mobile responsive design and perform well across all devices. Additionally, the responsive design needs to be created with UX in mind. This means thumb-friendly design, easy-to-find CTAs, and a clean navigation bar.
Showcasing the quality of your services is best done by displaying customer reviews. This not only instills trust with your potential customers but also signals to search engines that your site is trustworthy. The top local SEO company should monitor, manage, and respond to reviews which will show that you care and establish a better connection with your customer, converting them into loyal ambassadors of your business. Plus, they can leverage the best feedback as a free promotional material that might convince potential customers to do business with you.
To further evaluate the companies’ expertise, we read real-customer reviews for each top local SEO company we’ve considered for our list. We check directories, social media, and Google. First, we determine that the reviews are from real people. Then, we read them carefully to get insights into the quality of customer service and project management style and whether they excel in a particular area. Also, we note whether the reviews are from happy customers only — if that’s the case, it’s a red flag because even the best companies will have at least one dissatisfied client. Finally, we take note of any issues that appear repeatedly because that would seem the company is not capable of solving it.
Pricing for local SEO ranges from $75 to $5,000 a month. Some companies are upfront about the cost of their services while others base their billing on the hour. The cost of SEO is almost always custom and it depends on the number of locations you have and the type of products/services you offer. It’s worth mentioning that our goal isn’t to go for the most affordable local SEO services but to discover the companies that offer good value for money.
When looking to assemble a list of the best companies, we consider the reporting capability of each team. Local SEO reports are often different from national SEO reports so we make sure they involve information like rankings for each location, location-specific data on traffic, conversion rates, and leads, as well as analysis of generated reviews and social media activity.
The team is what makes a good local SEO firm so we make sure to give advantage to companies that put efforts being transparent and responsive. They should present you with a detailed strategy that outlines in detail how the team plans to meet your goals. We also appreciate teams that are flexible enough to adapt to changing requirements.
We’ve done extensive research to discover the top companies in the industry. Now it’s your turn to find the best candidate for your needs. To help you with that, we offer you a few tips and things to consider so that you are absolutely certain that you will be investing your money in the right partner.
Before reaching out to local SEO consultants, you need to set specific goals. Consider what you want to get from your partnership — do you want to reach a specific audience, or you want to boost sales? Maybe you’re looking to improve your current SEO efforts to create a presence at a particular location. All these are reasonable objectives and you’ll need a clear vision before even starting to look for an agency. This will be useful for the initial interview with potential agencies — they will be able to tell you whether or not they can help you reach the set goals but also you’ll have concrete criteria to track your progress and ROI calculations.
Deciding what services you need goes hand-in-hand with defining your business goals. This is an important step because if you’re looking to adopt more than local business SEO, you’ll need to look for an agency that offers a broader range of services that encompass all strategies you want to implement. Of course, you can explore digital marketing agencies and pair one of them with the local SEO team but this can quickly get messy and you’re more likely to save money by ordering more than one service from the same company.
Defining your budget will help you shortlist the companies. The local SEO services pricing isn’t set in stone but you can surely define the amount you’re willing to invest in this type of service and look for an agency that can work with it. When drafting your budget you should also consider your industry/market and your rivals.
If you’re working in a highly competitive niche, chances are that your local SEO specialist will cost you more. In other words, you’ll need to put in extra effort to create high-quality content and relevant pages to build up domain authority and outrank the competition. The number of locations you have and the type of product/service you offer will also influence the price.
Beyond setting your goals, you should establish the most important KPIs for your business. The firm can offer you some local SEO tips which KPIs to measure but it’s good to have some vision about what’s most important for you. Also, you should discuss the outcome expectations with your potential partner. Talk about the strategy, execution plans, and expected results. While at it, try to uncover how they will drive the realization of your objectives and whether they can do it within the budget limits.
A successful local SEO campaign requires close collaboration with the agency’s team. With that in mind, you need to find a group that matches your work culture and shares the same values as you and your company.
If you’re a local business owner, competing with global giants for a position on the SERPs will prove pointless. Investing in local prominence is achievable with local search engine optimization. Google has a set of ranking factors to determine whether your business is geographically relevant to the users performing a “near me” search. Proximity matters and so does local SEO.
The main benefits of this effort are better local online visibility which can easily translate to more foot traffic and more sales. Additionally, local SEO will help you build trust and enhanced Google Maps visibility, as well as more traffic for relevant search terms.
No. Local SEO is a great strategy for enterprises with multiple locations too. That said, the approach might be slightly different for multi-location brands because, unlike small businesses, they will have to standardize data across all locations, scale everything (content development, site architecture, etc.), managing multiple teams that need to work in sync in order to achieve the previously set goals, and more.
If you are a local business, you’ll benefit more from a locally-focused strategy. Choosing the best local SEO company for your needs is therefore likely to yield better results than going with a national/global SEO firm — your business site will be optimized based on the principles of local search algorithms and will be easy to find by those looking for local/near me results.