Sure, you’ve decided to improve your local SEO ranking to drive more leads and conversions.
But now you face the real mountain to climb…
How do I choose a local SEO agency?
What to look for when hiring a local SEO agency?
Well, we have just the solution for you.
In this article we take you through:
- The must-follow 6-step process to hiring the best possible local SEO agency.
- 3 red flags to watch out for when hiring a local SEO agency.
Before you set out to hire the best possible local SEO agency for your small business, you need to know what you want.
That means getting clear on your goals and your budget.
What are your company’s goals for this quarter, and this year?
Which of these goals can local SEO make an impact on?
What metrics are you going to use to measure success? (Higher search engine ranking, more local leads, higher conversions, improved brand awareness among industry, etc.)
Are there specific platforms or target audiences or locations that you want to focus on?
To help you understand industry averages for how much it costs to hire a local SEO agency… We’ve got some stats for you.
U.S. local SEO agencies charge an average of $100-$250 an hour
Your monthly local SEO costs with a U.S. agency can range anywhere from $1500 to $10,000/ month.
If you want quality service, but at a lower budget, then consider looking for offshore local SEO agencies.
Overseas SEO agencies charge much lesser, around just $10-$50 an hour.
Before hiring an agency, be sure to talk to the local SEO team they have on board.
Look at their educational background, SEO certifications, and any affiliations they have.
These could be degrees in digital marketing, or online certifications from industry leaders (like Google’s SEO Fundamentals, HubSpot’s SEO Certification, Digital Marketer’s Search Marketing Mastery, etc.)
But above all, check out the number of years of practical experience they have had in handling local SEO.
There is almost nothing that replaces the power of practical experience when it comes to qualifying an SEO expert.
As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
So in the initial stages of prospecting, be sure to check out any case studies of the agency’s previous projects.
If you can’t find any case studies or results listed on their website, request them to send over a portfolio of past projects.
(If possible, also ask them to run you through the process they followed to get those results.)
Going through them will give you a clear idea of the agency’s real capabilities and the strategies they use to get there.
While you’re at it, also look into if they have worked with other businesses in your industry. Having some prior industry knowledge will help them do a better job when it comes to your local SEO too.
If there was only one thing you had to look for when hiring a local SEO agency, it would be testimonials and reviews.
Nothing gives you a realistic and clear picture of what it’s like to work with the SEO agency as reviews from previous clients.
We’re not talking about the one-line testimonials like “XYZ Agency is great!”.
Look for more in-depth ones that detail out:
- their experience of working with the agency
- the results they achieved
- the process of getting there
- if they’d recommend them to others