If you’re a local business owner, you may be considering hiring a professional local SEO company to boost your local search presence. And with good reason – an experienced firm that knows local optimization in and out can work wonders.
But not all SEO companies are created equal. The wrong provider can fumble your strategy and waste your marketing budget. You want to carefully choose a true expert fit to achieve your specific goals.
The process of identifying, vetting, and selecting the right local SEO partner for your business is so important. With the proper due diligence upfront, you can find an agency that aligns with your needs and drives results.
In this article, I’ll walk through key tips for choosing a stellar local SEO company to amplify your brand and help you dominate the local pack. Let’s look at critical factors like experience, capabilities, reporting, and pricing to assess as you make this crucial decision. Read on to learn how to find the ideal SEO firm to boost your local search strategy.
Define Your Goals
Before reaching out to any SEO agencies, take time to clearly define your goals. What specific objectives do you want local SEO services to achieve for your business?
Get very clear on concrete metrics like:
- Increasing website traffic from local organic searches by X%.
- Gaining page 1 rankings for X high-value local keywords.
- Growing monthly leads and sales conversions by X amounts.
Quantifiable goals like these give SEO firms a target to hit. Be as detailed as possible on what success looks like to you. This aligns with expectations.
Research Options Extensively
Cast a wide net at first to discover local SEO company options. Search online directories like Clutch for providers. Check Google and Yelp. Ask business peers for referrals of companies they’ve used.
Create a shortlist of 4-5 firms that look promising, then vet them thoroughly. Review their client case studies, ROI delivered, and expertise. Check reviews and testimonials. Evaluate their engagement across digital marketing channels.
Take time to dive into agency websites, portfolios, and content. Gauge their experience optimizing sites similar to yours. The more due diligence upfront, the better.
Assess Technical Capabilities
A key aspect is evaluating the SEO agency’s core technical expertise. They need sharp skills in optimizing websites, generating high-value links, managing local citations, leveraging schema markup, and more.
Discuss specifics in initial calls. Ask about the technical strategies, auditing processes, and tools they use for clients. Gauge their depth on vital optimization work like progress tracking and algorithm monitoring.
Choose an agency that instills confidence in their technical abilities. They should demonstrate savvy around both on-page and off-page optimization factors.
Consider Industry Experience
Ideally, your SEO company should have experience optimizing for businesses in your specific niche. For example, if you’re a law firm, a provider that’s worked extensively with legal clients is preferable.
Ask prospective agencies about clients in your industry they’ve assisted. Request specific case studies and examples of results achieved for similar businesses.
Niche experience translates to a deeper understanding of your target audience, your competitors, and relevant keywords to target. Their strategies will be tailored and proven for businesses like yours.
Evaluate Reporting and Communication
Insist on clear reporting and communication from any SEO firm you consider hiring. You need visibility into the work and regular progress updates.
Require they provide monthly reports covering rankings, traffic, leads, and other key metrics. Schedule calls to discuss strategy and address any issues. Look for responsiveness and transparency.
An agency that communicates proactively, keeps you in the loop and collaborates closely is ideal. This level of service ensures alignment on goals and priorities as efforts evolve.
Compare Pricing and Contracts
When researching agencies, get pricing models from at least 3-4 contenders for comparison. Evaluate monthly retainer fees, onboarding costs, contract terms, and deliverables included.
Scrutinize contracts closely to verify you’re getting sufficient value – competitive link building, reporting, support, etc. – for your investment. Get guarantees on ROI goals in writing.
Choose a provider that balances strong expertise with pricing that fits your budget. Just ensure you’re getting quality service at a fair rate to meet your needs.
References can provide unbiased insight into working with an agency. Ask providers for 2-3 past clients you can contact to discuss their experience.
Inquire about specifics – Did the agency deliver the promised results? How responsive were they? Did strategies meet expectations? Would they recommend them?
Verified positive references suggest an agency that fulfills obligations and satisfies customers. But beware of providers hesitant to provide references.
Choosing the right local SEO company takes time and diligence upfront. Define your goals, thoroughly vet options, and evaluate expertise, communication, pricing, and references.
The ideal partner for your business depends on your specific goals, niche, and budget. But following a rigorous selection process ensures you find the perfect fit.
Doing your homework reduces risk and sets your local SEO efforts up for success. Be an informed buyer and find the agency ready to boost your local presence. Your efforts will pay off with the right local SEO services.