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How to Choose an SEO Company: 12 Essential Tips

How to Choose an SEO Company: 12 Essential Tips

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness, improve user experience (UX), and drive organic traffic to your website.

That said, not all businesses have the knowledge or time to personally invest in SEO efforts. As a result, many choose to outsource their SEO needs. Nevertheless, the question of “how to choose an SEO company” is something they must address when considering outsourcing to specialized agencies. With numerous SEO companies to choose from, how can you be sure you’re partnering with the right one? 

To help take the guesswork out of your selection process, we’ve put together a list of 12 valuable tips on how to choose an SEO company, as well as key questions to ask any SEO agency. 

Circular infographic titled "How to Choose an SEO Company" with steps including "Define Your Goals," "Read Reviews," "Ask About Experience," "Review Their Website," and more.

How to Choose an SEO Company for Your Business: 12 Essential Tips

Tips on How to Choose an SEO Agency
1Define Your Goals
2Research Different Agency Types
3Read Reviews
4Consider Your Budget
5Avoid an Unethical SEO Agency
6Schedule a Consultation
7Ask About Reporting
8Think Beyond SEO
10Ask for Deliverables 
11Review Their Website
12Local SEO

1. Define Your Goals

Before embarking on the quest for the right SEO agency, you’ll need to start by clearly defining your objectives. This involves analyzing your business goals and translating them to SEO-specific goals. For example, if one of your organizational goals is to increase brand awareness, your SEO goal could be to increase your ranking on search engines and boost organic traffic so that your brand is more visible to your online audience.   

Defining your goals is important because it not only helps you find an agency with the right expertise but also ensures both parties are on the same page. So whether it’s improving search engine rankings, driving more targeted traffic, or revamping your content strategy, articulate your goals clearly to set the foundation for a successful collaboration.

2. Research Different Agency Types 

A key thing to have in mind when choosing an SEO agency is that not all agencies are created equal, so it is imperative that you do your research to find the best SEO services for your business. For example, a factor to research is the size of the agency compared to your business. If you are a small business, a large agency might not be able to offer the personalized SEO services you require. 

Another factor to consider is whether the agency is a generalist that works with all businesses across all industries or a specialist that focuses on specific sectors and niches. A specialist agency that focuses on companies in your industry would likely be more suitable.

Some other ways to find out more about the agency you’re considering include:

  • reading through their case studies; 
  • exploring their portfolio to gauge their expertise;
  • reading references, credentials, and client testimonials; 
  • taking a look at their current client mix to find similarities with your business.

This leads us to our next tip: looking at agency reviews.

3. Read Reviews

Illustration of three people jumping with stars, symbolizing success and satisfaction.

Aside from the testimonials and reviews on their website, you should also check online outside of their website to see what people are saying about their agency. You can delve into client reviews on their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), social media, and even independent platforms like Trustpilot or G2. 

Look for genuine reviews that provide insight into the agency’s transparency (more on this later), communication, and ability to meet expectations. You should also explore both the positive and negative reviews to get a balanced perspective. Finally, check for patterns in their customer feedback, be it consistent praise or recurring issues.

Doing this not only gives you a better view of the agency’s abilities and reputation but also helps you anticipate any standout qualities or potential challenges.

4. Consider Your Budget

It can be difficult to determine the exact cost of hiring an SEO agency. However, it is helpful to have a rough estimate of your budget by considering things like your business goals, your existing marketing budget, and the SEO services you require. This will allow you to narrow down the agencies that fit within your estimated financial parameters. 

Although it may be tempting to choose the cheapest option, keep in mind that quality often comes at a cost, and the least expensive choice may compromise on standards! Remember that SEO is an investment with long-term benefits. A higher upfront cost may be justified by superior expertise, leading to more significant returns in the future. Be transparent about your budget during consultations, and allow potential agencies to tailor their proposals accordingly.

5. Avoid an Unethical SEO Agency

Comparison chart titled "White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO," listing strategies for each.

A particularly important factor to beware of when choosing an SEO agency is unethical SEO or black hat SEO practices. Black hat SEO refers to SEO tactics that generate traffic and boost a website’s ranking on search engines by violating search engine guidelines and terms of service. Some agencies resort to unethical SEO in order to offer instant results and quick fixes, but these practices can eventually lead to your website being banned from search engines altogether. 

Keep an eye out for agencies that make promises that sound too good to be true, such as top rankings overnight! 

Ethical SEO takes time, and good SEO agencies adhere to industry best practices, focusing on sustainable and long-term results. When considering any agency, make sure to scrutinize its methods, and if an agency is hesitant to disclose its strategies or insists on shortcuts, do not proceed with them. 

6. Schedule a Consultation

Before committing to an SEO company, you should schedule a consultation — either online or in-person — to assess your compatibility. Doing this gives you the opportunity to discuss your goals, challenges, and expectations openly, as well as delve deeper into the agency’s approach and strategies. It is at this stage that you also get to ask important questions that will give you a clearer perspective of what working together would look like. 

Additionally, it’s worth noting that during these consultations, some agencies offer free audits or keyword research even before you agree to partner with them. This demonstrates their willingness to invest time and resources into understanding your business and showcasing their capabilities upfront. So, take advantage of these opportunities to gain further insights into their expertise and dedication.

The right SEO company will use this session to provide insights, ask and answer relevant questions, and propose a customized plan. Pay attention to their communication style, level of engagement, the clarity of their explanations, and their ability to address your concerns. Also, observe their body language and behavior, as non-verbal cues can often reveal a lot about their professionalism, confidence, and sincerity, which will help you make a more informed decision. 

7. Ask About Reporting 

Infographic on "Reporting" showing various aspects such as "Detailed Reports," "Transparency," and "KPIs."

Another way to know how to choose an SEO company is by inquiring about their reporting. A good report is not just about presenting numbers; it’s also about analyzing and interpreting those observations to drive your company forward. It should include a comprehensive overview of key performance indicators (KPIs) like organic traffic, keyword ranking, and conversion rates. It should also help you track and analyze the effectiveness of the agency’s SEO strategy, so don’t hesitate to ask questions about their reporting practices during the selection process. 

Some questions to ask include:

  • What is the frequency of your reports? 
  • What level of customization is available? 
  • Do you adjust your strategies based on your findings? 

A good SEO service provider will be committed to providing clear and detailed reports, as this reflects their dedication to accountability and client satisfaction.

8. Think Beyond SEO

While focusing on an agency’s SEO capabilities is important, it’s also worth noting that effective SEO doesn’t operate in isolation. Look for a qualified and experienced SEO agency that will take the time to understand your target audience and overall business and marketing goals so that they can develop a strategy that seamlessly aligns. 

For instance, when thinking of how to choose an SEO company, try to seek out agencies that offer advanced SEO services, such as employing conversion rate optimization (CRO) techniques to boost sales. Some of these techniques might include A/B testing of different web elements like headlines, button copy, colors, and landing pages. 

This broader perspective tells you that the agency will not only be committed to enhancing your online visibility but also contributing to the development of a holistic digital presence and elevating your brand across different channels. A good tip is to always go for forward-thinking SEO companies that envision the bigger picture for your brand’s digital success. 

9. Transparency

When looking for an SEO company to work with, it’s important to prioritize those that are open and transparent from the very beginning. A reliable agency will be happy to answer any questions you may have about their team, services, SEO strategies, and general processes. They should also be open about potential risks, challenges, and success metrics so that you can better understand how SEO works and how they can help you achieve your goals. 

Establishing a partnership built on trust is key, so be wary of companies that try to hide or withhold important information, as this is often a sign of unethical SEO practices. Remember, transparency is crucial in ensuring a successful and ethical working relationship with an SEO agency!

10. Ask for Deliverables

Diagram of "SEO Agency Key Services" including "SEO Audit," "Keyword Research," "On-page SEO Services," and "Off-page SEO Services."

When selecting an SEO agency, it is important to ask for and carefully examine its deliverables. An agency’s deliverables should include a clear breakdown of the tasks, timelines, price, and dedicated point of contact. 

Make sure to review their deliverables to ensure they not only meet industry standards but also reflect a customized approach that addresses the unique needs and challenges of your business. Avoid any company that makes vague promises. 

Some key services that should be featured in the deliverables include:

11. Review Their Website

Another important factor you should consider when choosing an SEO company is their ability to optimize their own website for search engines, so make sure to examine their website. If their site isn’t SEO-friendly, it’s a red flag. An effective SEO agency should showcase their expertise through their own digital presence. 

Look out for things like fast loading times, easy navigation, and optimized content with relevant keywords. Check their blog for regular, high-quality updates, and see if their site ranks well for industry-related search terms. A poorly optimized site suggests that the agency may not be capable of delivering the results you need. An SEO company’s website reflects their skills and capabilities, so it should meet high standards!

12. Local SEO

Title "Local SEO" with a globe and location markers.

If you are a business that targets local customers, it is essential to prioritize an agency that has expertise in local business SEO services. Local SEO has to do with optimizing your online presence to appear prominently in location-based searches. This includes managing your Google Business Profile listings, obtaining positive reviews, and creating content that aligns with your local audience. 

By focusing on geographic relevance and proximity, local SEO not only drives foot traffic but also establishes a strong connection with nearby customers. An agency that specializes in local SEO can help your business attract relevant traffic and enhance your regional visibility in search results.

How to Choose an SEO Agency: Questions to Ask

If you’re still wondering how to choose an SEO company, here are some prudent questions you can ask during your consultation that will help narrow down your list of options. 

What SEO services do you offer?

Because SEO has a rather wide scope, services can vary between agencies. To ensure that you select the right SEO agency for your business, you need to know the services they provide. For instance, if your website requires technical SEO services, the agency you go for should offer that. Ideally, it is best to opt for an agency that provides all-encompassing SEO solutions, as they will be able to adjust their services to meet your needs as your SEO requirements evolve. Additionally, if an agency offers services for companies specifically in your niche, choosing them could be a smart choice, too.

How would you improve my SEO ranking?

A reputable SEO agency will begin its process by carrying out an SEO audit to determine the issues preventing your site from ranking well. Using this information, they will outline a tailored strategy that details how they aim to boost your online visibility and ranking. If the agency you’re considering provides a similar answer to this question, they are likely experienced and credible.

Who would I be working with?

Inquire about the professionals that would be assigned to your project, including their expertise, level of experience, and specific roles. Having this information will help you know what to expect from them and the value they could bring to your business. You can also ask if there would be a dedicated account manager or team leader who will provide valuable insights, go through reports with you, and act as a direct point of contact to ensure clear communication and a seamless working relationship throughout the campaign.

Do you stay updated with algorithm changes? 

Because search engine algorithms change fairly regularly, it’s necessary that the SEO agency you work with stays up-to-date with algorithm changes, as they can have an impact on your website’s SEO. Any good agency should have a proactive approach in place to adapt strategies in response to changes. Ensure you ask about their methods for staying informed of industry shifts and how they incorporate the latest best practices to maintain and enhance your website’s visibility.

How do you measure SEO success?

A successful SEO campaign is measurable, and an experienced agency will have the right metrics in place. Ask about the KPIs they measure, which should include organic traffic growth, keyword ranking improvements, CRO, social engagement, and, most importantly, return on investment (ROI). You can also ask about the frequency and format of performance reports to ensure they align with your expectations and needs. 

Leverage the Services of a Comprehensive SEO Company — NUOPTIMA 

When it comes to driving business growth through effective SEO strategies, NUOPTIMA is your dedicated partner. As a leading SaaS growth agency, we specialize in helping businesses scale by offering a comprehensive range of SEO services designed to enhance online visibility, drive organic traffic, and boost conversions. 

At NUOPTIMA, we equip businesses with the right strategies to kickstart their journey or elevate their existing efforts. We also have extensive experience and expertise in SEO that has helped us serve a wide range of clients across industries. Wondering how to choose an SEO company for your business? Look no further than our award-winning services! 

Our team of experts provides a complete range of SEO services, including keyword research, on-page and off-page SEO, technical SEO audits, content creation, and link building. We tailor our strategies to meet the unique needs of each client, so you can rest assured knowing that our approach will align with your business goals and target audience.

A great example of our success is our collaboration with Zelt, a B2B agency that specializes in people management services. By implementing a robust SEO strategy, we significantly improved their online performance, resulting in 300% traffic growth in just one month.

Ready to scale your business to the next level? Book a free discovery call today — we even perform a free audit on the call — to begin your growth journey!  


Choosing the right SEO company is crucial for achieving your business’s digital marketing goals. The 12 tips outlined provide a robust framework to guide your decision-making process. These steps are designed to help you find an agency that not only understands your objectives but also has the expertise and resources to achieve them.

By carefully considering how to choose an SEO company, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision. You can ensure a partnership that enhances your online presence and drives sustainable growth. 

For a dedicated partner in your growth journey, explore NUOPTIMA, an SEO agency committed to your success. 


How do I choose SEO services?

The SEO services you opt for should be dependent on your organizational goals and your desired results. For instance, if your business goal is to increase conversions, SEO services like keyword research, optimizing existing pages, backlink building, and content creation can boost the visibility of your business and help you attract more bottom-funnel customers.

How do I choose a local SEO company?

When choosing a local SEO company, consider factors like their level of experience, the spread of SEO services they offer, the types of businesses and industries they work with, their communication style, company culture, and frequency of reporting.

What to look for when hiring an SEO company?

When looking to hire an SEO company, ensure you follow our top 12 tips in this guide, which outline what to look for and important steps to take. These include reading reviews, avoiding black hat practices, and scheduling a consultation.

What makes the best SEO company?

The best SEO companies practice ethical SEO, have in-depth experience working with businesses across different industries, offer a solid spread of SEO services, have a track record of satisfied clients, and value communication, transparency, and results.

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