With 75% of the clicks going to the top three results of SERPs, having a trusted team that will optimize your online presence and help you unlock your business’s full potential is a must. To help you in your endeavor, we evaluated leading SEO companies based on our custom methodology. We also shared a practical guide for shortlisting the firms and answered some of the most frequently asked questions.
The market is swamped with companies offering SEO, so choosing the best one is tough. But we didn’t leave anything to chance. We took the matter into our own hands and devised a specific methodology to ensure you get an unbiased list of professional firms to choose from.
We researched multiple aspects of over 70 companies to finally narrow it down to the top-of-the-line SEO agencies. We checked out each company’s website, portfolio, and case studies to evaluate their experience and expertise, and then we moved on to check the specific skills and industry areas they excel in. After that, we assessed client satisfaction and retention, as well as their pricing policy and ongoing support.
Read on to find out the details about our proprietary evaluation methodology and get the context behind the table.
Nowadays you can often come across search engine optimization companies that claim they’ll make magic happen for you; however, as enticing as this sounds, odds are the agency is a fake. SEO is not a mystical practice. It requires a unique set of skills and expertise, attention to detail, and flexibility. That’s why we make it our priority to evaluate every agency’s actual expertise. We want to help you find a real expert who will not only deliver technical SEO, quality content, and social media followers but knows the industry inside out and understands business growth.
The first step is to determine whether the agency is real or fake by double-checking the business email, address, and contact number, as well as their portfolio of completed projects. Then, we check how long they’ve been around—it’s always a better idea to trust SEO service companies that have a long track record of working with a range of clients in different industries.
We extend our research to checking whether the companies in question are SEO companies for small businesses or focus on enterprise SEO only. Some of them work with clients of all sizes and we list them only after proving they are capable of delivering good results regardless of the business size.
Once we verify the agency’s legitimacy, we scout their site for more detailed info. First and foremost, we try to figure out whether the agency has a well-optimized site. We believe that top SEO firms should be able to do for themselves what they promise their clients. Of course, we don’t specifically consider whether the agency ranks #1 on the SERPs but rather how they’ve handled their on-site and off-site optimization.
Also, we look for signs of originality, proving that they think outside the box. We take into consideration how the agency contributes to the industry. Experimenting with new ways to get clients the desired results and continuously investigating the ever-changing SEO landscape gives positive points to the search engine optimization agencies we evaluate.
Next, we check their case studies and portfolio. Analyzing what the agency was able to do for their past clients enables us to get a sense of their style of work and ability to deliver the desired results.
Another important thing we note when selecting the SEO companies for our list is whether they provide strategies tailored to the unique goals of each client’s business. We make sure to stay away from the agencies that offer one-size-fits-all solutions. While those may sound like the best choice to some, they rarely offer the best outcomes.
It’s a no-brainer that dental SEO experts, for example, or those offering SEO for law firms, would provide a different strategy than ecommerce SEO specialists. We consider only the agencies that take time to get to know the client, their target audience, business goals, and budget and can adjust their strategy accordingly.
We continue to filter the best SEO agencies by assessing how they execute specific strategies.
Keywords remain the baseline of every SEO strategy. By ranking for keywords that drive traffic and revenue, you can achieve the success you’re craving. That’s why we take special note of the agencies’ keyword strategy.
To find this information, we conduct interviews with the experts from the SEO service providers we’re evaluating and assess their knowledge in keyword research and implementation. Here are some essential points we cover:
Link building is another crucial specialization among SEO pros. The top SEO agencies customize their link building campaigns according to the client’s needs. When evaluating them, we consider the following:
The main goal of all SEO companies is to convert the visitors that land on your site and make you happy. We check whether these agencies can use analytics and feedback to inform their decisions and improve your website’s performance. Specifically, we consider the following:
Top search engine optimization companies need to have basic programming knowledge and understand server-side settings, response codes, sitemaps, and rewrites. This will enable them to make recommendations about lazy loading, page speed, microdata tagging, and basic HTML tags, which will further streamline the optimization process.
SMM is also an important aspect of every SEO campaign. The best search engine optimization firms should have social media skills that far exceed just posting on Facebook a few times a week. They should be able to leverage social media platforms to drive traffic. This means creating a fan acquisition strategy, working on building social media followers and optimizing images and videos.
Another important thing we looked for when evaluating the top SEO consultants and agencies was content marketing proficiency. An agency well-versed in content creation and content distribution will get visitors into your marketing funnel.
SEO strategies are complicated; therefore, the success of an SEO campaign depends largely on having strong project management. We dedicate time to assess how the teams of each agency handle the workflow, their ability to work closely with clients, juggle a variety of projects, and build a great rapport. The best SEO firms should always use the right tools, so we also check what they use to manage their SEO projects. Asana, Slack, Trello, and Basecamp are among the best ones.
Some of the things we analyze during this step are the agency’s ability to understand the client’s target audience and devise the right strategies. Promising they have an ace up their sleeve is a definite no-go.
The online reputation of the companies puts the services they offer into perspective and shows whether they live up to their clients’ expectations. To gather feedback and learn which agencies listed here are strongest, we utilize numerous online resources like reviews sites, blog discussions, social media comments, and Google ratings. We don’t discredit any SEO consulting firms based on a few bad reviews; instead, we use them to gain insight into their weak points.
Working with a responsive and flexible team is essential when working on any type of project and SEO is no exception. The company of your choice must be able to present you with basic and advanced SEO packages, each with a detailed working strategy that outlines how the team plans to meet your goals. Also, they need to invest time and effort into providing clear communication and be flexible enough to adapt according to shifting industry requirements.
Consistent reporting is the basis of every successful project. The best SEO companies will send professional-looking, comprehensive reports regularly, providing an update of the campaign, and strategy-based metrics.
The price of SEO varies according to the services included. An SEO project can cost you anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 per month while a one-time project ranges between $1,000 and $30,000. To ensure we list the most cost-efficient firms, we tried to get quotes and determine the average project size each company works with.
Once you’ve scouted our “best SEO company” list and chosen your top candidates, it’s best to take some time to consider a few important things. Before you decide which is the right one for your business, here are a few points to keep in mind.
Before choosing a partner for your business, you should lay down your main objectives and goals to all of the SEO consulting companies under consideration. Setting specific goals with the SEO company will help you measure the success of your partnership while also helping them define the strategy you need. Decide exactly what you want to accomplish:
This complements your goal-setting and also helps your potential professional SEO company understand which metrics are essential to you. Here are some of the most important KPIs you should take into consideration:
Understanding your budget and defining how much you’re willing to spend on SEO and link building services will make your life and that of the SEO team much easier. There’s no set price when it comes to SEO, but the top firms, especially the best SEO companies for small business owners, should be able to work with any budget and set expectations, respectively.
You can discover the top SEO agency that ticks all the boxes and has a stellar track record. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. You need to have an SEO team that is collaborative, proactive, transparent, and understanding. Most importantly, they need to support the vision you have for your brand.
Given that choosing the best agency is a rather challenging task, we help you better inform your decision by outlining the questions you need to ask your prospective SEO partner. This will ensure that you end up with an agency that you are comfortable working with and which can deliver the SEO services you need to help your business grow.
SEO is a fast-paced industry—there are more than 500 algorithm updates per year. Your agency of choice needs to stay up-to-date with the latest industry changes that would impact the different aspects of search engine optimization. In other words, they need to invest in ongoing education and stay on top of the latest news and releases.
Communication is crucial. You should ask the search engine optimization company you choose to work with to assign a single person for contact. This way, you will get smooth and effective communication without feeling that you’re just another client in their database.
If a lot of your clients are from the local market, you should consider an agency that’s proficient in local optimization, rather than waste time looking for national SEO companies. There are many good local SEO companies out there but the best one for you should be able to optimize title tags for your local market, submit your business to local directories and Google My Business, of course, and employ the best practices aimed at ranking on the local map.
The first thing a quality search engine optimization company will do is audit your site. If you already have a Google Analytics account, your new SEO partner will need access to your dashboard and reports. However, effective SEO providers should also have tools and programs in place that help them diagnose the SEO state of your site. Then, they will explain in detail their observations, while providing suggestions and the concrete steps you’ll need to follow to implement them.
The correct answer should be “a lot.” Even companies that excel in research, off-page and onpage SEO and social media marketing can’t craft a successful campaign without your involvement. Remember, it’s your business. The team should share reports, progress, and strategies. The top SEO companies will both make suggestions and be open to suggestions from you.
If the answer is yes, run. Really. Even the best search engine optimization company wouldn’t be able to offer magic solutions, and any outfit that claims to have a proprietary set of techniques that will get you to the top fast is probably leveraging black hat practices. Any well-established SEO company will research your business and give you an estimate, but they won’t guarantee stellar results in a short, specific time frame.
SEO marketing encompasses a variety of techniques around optimizing your site for search engines. A dedicated team of SEO pros can help your site rank high on search engines, enhance the quality of your traffic, and improve the overall bottom line of your business, thereby driving growth and measurable results.
It depends. The average price range falls between $80 and $130 per hour and $750 and $1,500 per month. There are also SEO firms that offer performance-based SEO with dynamic pricing models.
Many excellent SEO specialists can work as in-house experts. However, if your business is part of a competitive industry, you will need more than a single person. SEO is a complex field, meaning, the best SEO service will also involve a team of skilled graphic designers, content writers, and developers.
While location isn’t always a deciding factor, having your SEO partner nearby can be very beneficial—you will be able to meet with the team in person regularly and be part of their culture.
SEO takes time and effort. It might take up to six months until you see real results. So be patient and don’t hold onto unrealistic expectations, imagining that SEO companies can provide instant results.