Choosing An SEO Agency
Our rankings are based on third party data, client reviews, and first-hand experience. We’re confident that this is the most comprehensive and objective list of SEO firms on the web.
That being said, choosing a partner agency is never easy. Here’s a video to help: It was made by Google, so you know it’s a truly impartial treatise on how to go about hiring qualified and effective SEO help for your business.
Our rankings are meant to serve as a jumping-off point for your search. We’ve done much of the legwork involved in vetting these agencies from a fundamentals point of view, but you need to make sure the agency you choose is also a good fit for your business on a personal level as well.
Our Top 50 Firms - Full Comparison Table
Important Questions To Ask Small Business SEO Agencies
It is important to ask questions when choosing a small business search engine optimization (SEO) agency to work with your company. Without asking the right questions, your business could end up working with scammers and hustlers who only drive SEO traffic in the short-term using practices banned by Google, which could penalize your company’s website in the long run. Some questions we suggest asking a SEO agency before hiring them for your small business would be:
Can you guarantee results?
No, no one can. If an SEO agency guarantees you the number one spot on a search engine results page (SERP), they are most likely using black-hat techniques that are frowned upon by Google. You want to be able to trust the company your small business is going to be working with, meaning they should be honest and upfront with you, and no one can guarantee SEO results. SEO ranking changes from industry to industry, and ultimately, is all determined by the search engines.
How long will it take until my website improves in ranking?
Usually up to 6 months, but can differ from industry to industry. We suggest you ask every SEO agency this question because any company that says results will be instant could be purchasing links, email lists or followers, all practices which are banned by Google. Improving SEO ranking takes time and won’t happen overnight.
What metrics do you think are the most important to measure?
While it is good to gather as much data as possible, measuring leads and sales are the most important. You want an SEO team that connects their strategy to your bottom line; improving traffic should lead to improvement in leads and sales. Measuring metrics such as bounce rate and number of sessions can help you to convert users as well; however, just focusing on these metrics and not driving the end goal could cause problems in the future.
Have you worked with a similar company in this industry before?
By asking about their past experience, you can determine if they are a good fit for your company. SEO agencies need to be somewhat familiar with what your small business offers in order to provide quality content and optimize webpages for the right keywords and phrases.
How Much Does SEO Cost?
Specialized Small Business SEO work will likely cost more because you are getting someone who knows your niche market and is focused on driving leads for your company. Hiring someone familiar with your industry is an important part in looking for an SEO agency; someone unfamiliar with your company’s market won’t know what keywords and phrases to target or what type of content attracts potential customers. It can also be harder to drive traffic to smaller niche businesses because the number of people searching for your product or service is significantly less than a huge retail company.
Be wary of any company offering rates that seem too good to be true; they most likely are. Companies that are able to offer low rates for their SEO services are not putting the time or effort needed into your small business’s SEO strategy. Instead, they may be using black-hat techniques such as buying low-quality links and purchasing followers, both of which could get your site blacklisted from Google.
Why it’s worth spending more for specialized Small Business SEO work
By spending more for specialized Small Business SEO work, you know you will be receiving quality content and links, as well as qualified traffic for your website. When done correctly, SEO can provide long-lasting results; pages that are optimized for specific keywords related to your small business will continue to rise in rankings and you will see an increase in traffic for that page year after year. Quality content will also be unique to your site and industry specific, making you stand out from your competitors.
Another benefit of hiring an SEO agency for your small business is that they are the experts in what they do; each specialist practices SEO on a daily basis and knows different techniques, some of which they may have successfully used before with similar companies. Letting them optimize your webpages for search engines will lead to higher rankings and an increase of traffic to your site over time. Some agencies even have specific team members that specialize in certain areas of SEO and individual industries.
How Long Does SEO Take To See Results?
When using specialized SEO for your small business, it may be awhile before you see results. This is because SEO takes time, and a lot of it is based on user experience. Google doesn’t know how users will react to your website’s content until they click on it, and aren’t going to start by putting a new page at the top of the search results. Optimized webpages will move up in rank as more users visit the site when searching for keywords related to the page. This shows Google that your content is useful to users and something they want to see when searching for information using those keywords. Therefore, Google will move your page up in position. As users continue to go to your site’s page, that page will continue moving up in rank. However, this process can take a while, and usually is anywhere between 3 to 6 months for your small business to start seeing a change in rank using SEO.
Picking the perfect SEO Company For Small Business Work
When picking an SEO agency for your small business, it is important to make sure they are the right fit for your company and good at what they do. Here are a few things to keep in mind while searching for someone to help with your business’s SEO strategy:
- Ask if they have worked with a company in your industry before – When hiring an SEO agency, you want someone with experience in your industry. Someone who is familiar with your business already has a general idea of what keywords and phrases to target, along with what kind of content will work best for your company.
- Talk with their team – If possible, try to meet with the team that will be working on your company’s SEO strategy. You can then ask questions about what practices they use for SEO, what they know about the industry, how often you would be meeting, and what metrics they focus on.
- See an example report – By looking at an example of their reports, you can see what metrics they report on and how the reports are organized.
- Find an SEO company in your budget – Make sure the companies you are looking at offer services you can afford.
- Decide if you want to work with a local company – Some business owners prefer having face-to-face meetings, while others are okay with communicating over the phone. With a local company, meeting in person is easy; however, with companies that aren’t nearby, information is usually shared through e-mails or over the phone.
- Avoid large SEO companies – The agencies may be too big for your needs. Look for a company that works specifically with small to mid-size businesses.
- Ask other business owners in the area what companies they use – An easy way to find SEO companies that you can trust is to ask for referrals from other business owners you may know.
- Check to see how their website is ranking – If a company claims to be the best in SEO, yet their website doesn’t rank very high in search engine results, something isn’t right. A great way to find SEO companies is just by Googling; those good at what they do will show up higher in search results!