Today, the SEO service provider industry is valued at more than $51 billion. It’s why you’ll find countless SEO companies scrambling for a piece of the pie.
Where does that leave you, a business owner eager to reach Google’s top pages, generate qualified traffic, and drive sales? Often lost and unsure where to turn.
With all this confusion, you’re probably wondering:
- How do I find vetted SEO services?
- How can I find a top SEO company that doesn’t need ads to rank its website organically?
- How to choose the best SEO company for my business?
You’ll find the answer to those questions here.
That’s not all. You can also get a free SEO audit by putting in your URL here.
You’ll also see the SEO companies that go beyond vanity metrics and deliver real business results.
The Best SEO Companies in The World
In the past, you could hire any Tom or Harry to stuff keywords into a page or website you wanted to rank, and it’ll make its way to Google’s 1st page.
The constant evolution of SEO has reached a tipping point where ranking alone doesn’t guarantee business results—qualified traffic, leads, and sales.
To get the most out of any SEO investment today, you need a holistic SEO strategy based on proven strategies.
Take this guide you’re reading, for example. If it wasn’t valuable to you, would you still be reading?
You’re experiencing excellent SEO execution right now.
I’m confident the best SEO companies we reviewed below will provide you with exactly what you need to succeed online. Hire any of them, and you’ll attract and convert visitors into leads and customers.
#1 Neil Patel Digital – Best For SEO Content Marketing
Yes, we’re tooting our own horn.
But I strongly believe we’ve earned our place on this list.
Neil Patel Digital was founded by skilled and experienced marketers who walk the talk and know best practices. If you type “SEO strategies” into Google from anywhere in the world, you’ll find well-crafted content by Neil Patel.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We generate millions of organic visits every month—around 4.5 million, to be exact. While we do use some ads, most of the traffic is generated through SEO-optimized content marketing:
The executive team here at Neil Patel Digital has over five decades of combined hands-on experience creating rock-solid SEO strategies for some of the top brands in the world, and we can do the same for you.
In short, SEO-optimized content marketing is one of the prime reasons customers, from startups to enterprise brands, trust Neil Patel Digital to deliver top-notch search engine optimization strategies. Get your free consultation here.
#2 ReachLocal – Best For Local SEO
ReachLocal is the go-to company for strategic local SEO executions. Their experience, results, and high-value partnerships speak for themselves. Here are a few highlights:
- Founded in 2004
- Generated over 201 million local leads for about 19,000 clients worldwide.
- Google Premier Partner, and Bing Ads Certified specialists.
- ReachLocal proudly partners with Google, Yelp, Yahoo!, Bing, and Facebook to help businesses to implement local SEO strategies and drive in-store customers.
Plus, this company’s experience and attention to detail have seen them receive 4.5/5-star ratings from happy customers:
#3 FATJOE – Best For Backlink Acquisition
Search engines interpret the relevance and quality of your website by looking at the number and quality of backlinks pointing to it.
In other words, the more backlinks you acquire, the more the search engines see your site as authoritative, and the higher it ranks your site over those of your competitors for competitive keywords.
When it comes to acquiring building backlinks for SEO, FATJOE comes highly recommended by us. Here’s why:
- Generate high-value backlinks (even other SEO agencies turn to them for link-building help.)
- FATJOE is one of the world’s largest outsourced link-building agencies with 10,000+ clients worldwide.
- In addition to link building, FAT JOE offers SEO, copywriting, design, video, and overall marketing services.
- About 97% of customers who use FAT JOE rate them a 4.5/5.
When you sign up for FATJOE’s SEO link-building services, you get premium access to every tool you need: A dashboard to manage and track your orders, and their Blogger Outreach product to find and reach relevant websites to build links from.
#4 OuterBox – Best for E-Commerce SEO
If you own an e-commerce website and want a talented group of dedicated people to power your business through the search engines, you should look OuterBox’s way.
- Founded in 2004
- Named Inc.’s 500 fastest growing companies in the US
- Serves hundreds of customers across several e-commerce sectors.
- Clients include NewAir, AtlasOil, JetDock, UCFS, and others.
Even better, it doesn’t matter which eCommerce platform you’ve built your business on. Whether you use WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Drupal, or others; you can rely on OuterBox for effective e-commerce search engine optimization:
5 Characteristics That Make the Best SEO Companies
You’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of SEO companies out there.
Let’s say you want to hire an SEO not on our list. What characteristics make a great SEO company?
They are as follows.
1. Experience and Processes for Implementing SEO Services
When it comes to SEO these days, anyone with a laptop, access to the internet, and a WordPress-installed blog can call themselves an SEO company.
What you won’t see behind those claims, however, is the experience and process they take to deliver results.
You should always look out for this.
Scroll their website, do a simple Google search and see if they show up on the search engine’s organic positions. If they don’t, it means they have little to no experience nor implemented what they claim to deliver.
Can you give what you don’t have?
Likewise, a fundamental characteristic of a great SEO company is they have experience implementing SEO for themselves first.
And they have a process, showing you how they go about getting results.
2. An Impressive Portfolio
Looking at portfolios is the best way to tell if the company you’re considering is a good SEO company. The reason is simple: a solid portfolio shows they are proud of the businesses they’ve helped increase rankings on Google and drive traffic to get leads and sales.
Scroll through it, and you’ll see the kind of clients they’ve worked with or frequently work with.
Then decide if you want to be in that mix and get similar results.
For example, at Neil Patel Digital, here are some clients in our work portfolio. Clients can see who we’ve worked with and the results we’ve earned.
3. Be A Thought Leader
SEO is constantly evolving and changing. How can you keep tabs on all these changes?
You need a thought leader who is constantly reading, learning, and sharing their advice on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, or their own blog. The best SEO companies don’t need to have a million TikTok followers or 5,000 blog posts—but they do need to know what they’re doing and stay up to date on changes.
Check out their website—are they staying up to date with SEO best practices as they evolve, and sharing tips to help businesses adjust for maximum impact? Do they publish content, share industry tips, and talk about upcoming changes?
If not, you might want to look somewhere else.
4. Real-Life Testimonials
Who doesn’t like to toot their own horn? Definitely not search engine optimization companies.
Developing winning SEO strategies, managing its implementation, and guiding teams on its execution to generate results is hard.
When an SEO company does all this hard work and gets fantastic results, their customers reward them with testimonials, having got value for their money.
Thus, sharing real-life testimonials is a characteristic you’ll find with most great SEO organizations.
5. A Complete Team of Leaders, Managers, and Executors
Turning SEO ideas into higher rankings, website visitors, leads, and sales need a diverse team of specialists.
When an SEO company makes too many promises without showing you the team to make it happen, hold tight. Why?
Because that’s a red flag they’ll charge you a premium and outsource your job for pennies on the dollar overseas or Fiverr for $5.
From strategic leaders to managers and different teams of specialists to execute your strategy, great SEO companies are proud to show off their amazing team members.
What to Expect From The Best SEO Companies
So far, I’ve listed our recommended SEO companies and highlighted the characteristics that make a great search engine optimization company, suppose you decide to find one yourself.
Either way, after making a choice, what should you expect from a great SEO company?
1. Discovery Session
Your decision to work with an SEO company may come from the need to rank your site higher, generate more traffic, drive sales, or all three.
No business case and needs are exactly the same. The SEO strategies that worked for another company won’t work automatically for yours.
Great SEO companies, from experience working with different organizations, know this. Thus, they’re not quick to send proposals. Instead, they’ll want to have a discovery session where you can share your needs and they can learn a bit about your business.
2. Research and Recommendations
After sharing your needs and business case with an SEO company, they take what you tell them and use their expertise to conduct in-depth research.
They do this to get the right context needed to bring themselves on the same page with you, your target audience, and your industry.
After they’ve performed this research, expect a great SEO company to share their recommendations of what you need to do to get maximum results. This, they can do over another discovery call or via email.
3. Contract with Deliverables
If your discovery session and follow-up conversations go well and you both seem like a good fit, you’ll receive a contract for your business.
A great SEO company won’t only send you any contract. Expect to see a detailed list of what they’ll deliver, how they plan to deliver it, and when you should start expecting results.
Pro Tip: If the SEO company offers very specific results that seem unattainable, like “We can get you on the first page of Google in two weeks,” don’t sign the contract! SEO takes time and no one can promise you the first page.
4. Onboarding, Project Scoping, and Management
To get started, the SEO company will need access to some of your assets.
Depending on your work scope, this could include your in-house staff, website or blog access, your analytics login codes, etc.
So, to forge a smooth partnership with your company, expect your team to go through a detailed onboarding process from a great SEO company.
From this onboarding process, they’ll also scope your project and timelines, establishing an understanding of how they’ll manage your project.
How to Know You’re Ready to Hire An SEO Company
While every company can benefit from SEO, not every company is ready to hire an SEO company. Here are five signs your company is ready to hire an SEO company to drive growth.
1. You Know What You Don’t Know
Maybe you’ve been managing SEO on your own for a while now or maybe you’ve never had a specific SEO strategy—either way, you know you don’t know enough and it’s time to bring in the big guns.
If that sounds like you, then you are ready to hire an SEO. If you still think you can figure it out or think SEO is dumb, you aren’t ready.
2. You Have a Budget for SEO
This might seem obvious, but SEO costs money. Most agencies charge a retainer fee and require you to sign a contract for at least three to six months. If you’re struggling to keep the lights on, you might not be ready for SEO.
SEO can take a little time to work, but it is well worth the effort. However, to see results, you must be willing to invest in the best SEO companies.
3. Everything is Going Well…Except for SEO
Your paid advertising is churning out leads and your sales team is closing deals—but you still can’t rank in Google. If your current SEO efforts aren’t paying off, it might be time to bring in a professional.
SEO isn’t as easy as adding keywords to your pages and publishing a blog a week. Technical SEO, for example, requires a deep understanding of the Google algorithm and website design. If that sounds like you, then it might be time for professional SEO services.
4. Your Traffic Recently Dropped
Google uses more than 200 factors to decide what pages to show for search queries. If you break one of their rules or fail to follow their guidelines, your rankings can (and will) drop. If you used to get tons of organic traffic, it might be time to hire a professional.
What is the request for proposal process like?
Requests for proposals are used in enterprise SEO to help a company determine if an SEO agency is a good fit. A large company sends several SEO agencies requests for proposals and asks questions such as:
- How do you create an SEO strategy?
- What is your workflow like?
- What SEO strategies do you view as most effective in the current market?
- What trends should my company be concerned with in the next 12-18 months?
Depending on the company’s needs and industry, the RFP may also include questions about on-page SEO, mobile SEO, and the tools and reporting they use. The SEO company or agency will complete the RFP and return it to the prospective client, who uses that information to select the best SEO company for their business.
How much does hiring an SEO company cost?
The cost of hiring an SEO company varies drastically by industry, your current rankings, the number of pages on your website, and much more. Smaller companies can expect to pay at least $2,000 – $3,000 per month while enterprise companies may pay as much as $20,000 to $30,000 a month.
How do SEO companies charge for their services?
SEO companies generally charge on retainer. This means you will pay a set amount each month. Some companies may charge for an SEO audit before beginning work to see where your site stands and what type of work will need to be completed.
What are the top signs of a great SEO company?
The top signs of a great SEO company include a well-ranking site with advice about SEO and digital marketing, great reviews from customers in your industry, and a quick response time.
Once you begin the proposal process, make sure they have a defined process for onboarding and seem to understand your industry.
Conclusion: How To Choose The Best SEO Company
SEO takes time to work. You should start expecting results from SEO in about 100 days.
Any company that promises overnight successes doesn’t know SEO well enough or what they’re doing.
In short, great SEO companies don’t make wild promises; they show you what’s possible and how they’ll work hard to achieve it.
If you give them time, you’ll start seeing results—qualified traffic, leads, and sales.
Once things pick up, it’s like a flywheel, getting better as long as you continue to work with a great SEO company.
Are you looking to hire a great SEO company? What’s holding you back?