Hiring the best SEO company for your business: The features to look for in every agency
If you search, “best seo companies,” or, “who is the best seo company,” you get a lot of results back — and we mean a lot, with more than 200 million for, “who is the best seo company,” alone. While you’ll come across dozens of lists, they often skip on saying why that agency is number one, two, or three.
That’s why it’s helpful find the number one SEO company by looking at the following features:
Experience | Best SEO company features
A critical factor in researching SEO agencies is their experience. While a young start-up can deliver results, it often comes with risks that can impact your company’s investment. That may mean your business invests hundreds to thousands of dollars but receives zero deliverables or returns.
It’s unfortunate, but younger companies come with several risks, including:
- Funding: Unless a start-up’s received funding from an outside investor, they’re often operating on a limited budget. Without enough clients, they can find themselves closing, which can leave your company without a return on your investment.
- Outside investors: Another risk is that the start-up does rely on investors. The challenge here is that these investors often dictate the business’ model, as well as strategy. That can lead to big, sudden changes, which can make you feel like you’re working with a company you don’t know.
- Expertise: While the founding team of a start-up may bring years of SEO experience to the business, they’re often not the ones managing your account. Or, if they are, they’re juggling several others, which can lead to burnout and a low-performing SEO strategy.
- Staff: Another reason why start-ups aren’t the best SEO companies? They feature a rotating team of inexperienced marketers. That high turnover rate can result in your business switching between account managers that don’t understand your company, industry, or goals.
That’s why, when researching top SEO marketing companies, it’s best to exclude start-ups. Instead, focus on companies with 10 or more years of experience. By taking this approach, you can compare established businesses with a track record of adapting to search engine algorithm changes.
Results | Best SEO company features
When it comes to SEO, results matter. They also depend on your goals, which may range from improving conversions to increasing sales. Due to the vital role of measurable results, as well as the various goals clients can have, the best SEO company in the world needs to demonstrate those results.
That’s why you want to look at agencies that provide an inside peek at their work. You want to see case studies from real clients, as well as the why and how behind that agency’s approach. That transparency matters when it comes to the best SEO companies because it shows they drive real results.
With that established, start looking at agencies that have published several case studies on their website. Try to find an agency with a diverse portfolio, which demonstrates that the agency can meet a variety of goals for clients from a wide range of industries.
Coupled with their decade of experience — or more — the results from client case studies can narrow your list of the best SEO companies even more.
Reviews and testimonials | Best SEO company features
While an agency’s portfolio can reveal their biggest accomplishments, their public reviews will highlight their biggest missteps. Meanwhile, their on-site testimonials will emphasize the best qualities of the company.
To find the top SEO services company for your business, focus on these client feedback factors:
- Content: The content of a review or testimonial is invaluable. It reveals an agency’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the severity of those pain points. It can also highlight red-flags for your business, such as prices riddled with hidden fees.
- Age: The age of the review or testimonial was also helpful because it could indicate whether the agency evolved and resolved past issues. It also demonstrates if the company’s remained consistent with their promoted values, such as providing transparent pricing.
- Response: The response of a company to a negative review says a lot about them. It can reveal how they respond to failure, as well as difficult clients. If they ignore reviews on their social media channels, it can also indicate a lack of follow-through.
Another indicator of a reliable SEO company is the number of reviews and testimonials. With more than 10 years of history, you should expect an agency to have dozens of testimonials and reviews. If an agency doesn’t, it can lessen the social proof that they are a top-ranked SEO company.
Expertise | Best SEO company features
A critical influence on a company being the best in the business is their team. If they’re an agency with high employee turnover, it often impacts the quality of their services. That can lead to the agency shuffling your account from one staff member to another, which inconveniences your team.
It also jeopardizes the success of your SEO strategy, which impacts your company’s bottom line.
That’s why the best SEO company in the world needs to demonstrate low employee turnover. They also needed to maintain a team of experienced professionals, indicating that clients receive SEO services from an experienced marketer.
In some cases, it’s hard to determine a company’s turnover rate. Businesses with a low employee turnover rate are happy to share it, but those with an average or low rate won’t advertise it to the public.
With more than 550 million users on LinkedIn, however, you can estimate a company’s turnover rate. If you see many employees leaving within one to two years, for instance, it indicates that something’s promoting them to leave.
A variety of reasons can cause a person to leave a workplace, but the result is the same — it diminishes the quality of your service and your experience as a customer. Instead of working with a consistent and dedicated account manager, you’re working with a new person every few months.
If an agency is one of the best SEO marketing companies, they’d deliver a consistent and optimal client experience.
Client retention | Best SEO company features
Like employee turnover, an agency’s client retention rate can also reveal their quality. SEO is also a long-term strategy — it doesn’t deliver results overnight like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. That’s why client retention rate is an essential metric when determining the best SEO firms for your business.
While it’s normal for every agency to lose some clients, it’s a red flag when an agency loses a significant number of clients on a routine basis. For some SEO companies, this is normal as their business model focuses more on replacing customers than retaining them.
What causes businesses to leave their SEO agency? A variety of reasons, including:
- Service: An agency’s team may provide poor service, such as by missing calls and ignoring emails. In some cases, they may offer clients little-to-no explanation when questioned about the company’s SEO strategy.
- Results: Another reason a business will terminate their service comes from results. If an agency’s unable to meet their promise of reaching a client’s goal without explanation, it’s understandable that the client would want to find another SEO company.
In other cases, companies will cancel their contract due to internal issues. A budget cut, for example, may not make it feasible for the company to outsource its SEO services. A change in company structure, such as due to a buyout, can also lead to cancellations.
Even so, for a company to be the best search engine optimization agency for your business they need to maintain a high client retention rate. It’s a direct reflection on the quality of their service, as well as their team. It also emphasizes the overall satisfaction of clients.
Pricing | Best SEO company features
A factor that many rating websites don’t weigh when building a list of the best SEO companies is pricing. It’s worth investigating, however, as many agencies will lure businesses with the promise of low prices. In other instances, agencies will price gouge companies for their services.
When it comes to delivering a competitive strategy, however, both types of agencies falter.
That’s why price should earns consideration when choosing the number one SEO company. The question is, how much does SEO cost? While prices will vary, the average cost is between $350 to $2,000 a month.
For your company’s research, look at what the agency charges for their services, as well as their location. Depending on a company’s location, it may make sense for them to have higher prices. An SEO agency in California, for example, will often charge more than an agency in Pennsylvania due to the cost of living.
The idea is that the best SEO agency provides fair prices for their services.
TransparencY | Best SEO company features
A lot of agencies fail to become the number one SEO company because they make transparency a low priority. Instead of providing potential clients with transparent prices and quotes, they deliver inflated quote or prices with a range of hidden fees.
While it’s unusual for SEO agencies to publish their prices online, it’s not an abandoned practice. The best SEO companies will share their prices with users, as well as provide flat-rate quotes that are transparent.
They’ll also continue a policy of transparency after signing a client.
It’s vital, for example, that the best SEO service providers give their clients complete access to the results and status of their SEO campaign. Another critical aspect of transparency is that the agency shares these results with complete honesty — they shouldn’t hide campaign missteps or failures.
In short, the agency that tops the list of the best SEO firms is one you can trust.