Hey. Hey you. It’s now-o’-clock local SEO time.
If you’re ready to expand and fine-tune your marketing practices, you already know about the value of SEO (search engine optimization) and what a local SEO expert can do to help your brand become visible for local searches. If you Google your city plus “SEO expert,” you’ve probably got a lot of options, and most of them are likely all about custom pricing.
Okay, sure, but how can you evaluate these self-proclaimed experts?
Local SEO: What Do Their Customers Say?
Testimonials are ridiculously vital for reviewing a business, but when it comes to a business focused on online visibility (such as a local SEO expert), testimonials are absolutely a must. You can view a local SEO expert’s testimonials in a few places:
- Facebook: Look at their Facebook page. Facebook makes it easy and convenient for customers to provide reviews. If the business does local SEO specifically in one location, ask!
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great place to scope out what people say about any business, but the real value here is in how business owners and managers treat people, and what customers feel about the value they’ve received from the company. Check out the testimonials and endorsements of these individuals on LinkedIn.
- Google Business Page: Their Google business page should reflect an overall rating and some reviews.
- Glassdoor: If the agency or expert has been around for a while, you can find out about what their employees say about them over on Glassdoor.
A local SEO expert should be able to provide testimonials to you directly, have them listed on their website, and give you the contact info of local business owners who will vouch for them.It’s not an insult to ask for testimonials and references: it’s standard business practice, and you should work with a local SEO expert who has this info on hand. Click To Tweet
Ask For Local Success Stories
An established SEO agency should be able to provide you with solid data about their success. What does that look like? Well, it could be ranking statistics from their own site, testimonials about effective CTAs (calls to action), or even customer retention data.
Local SEO experts live and die by local reputation, too. If they’ve been around more than a year, there’s likely a positive (or negative) trace about them in the local community, so be sure to research their successes (and failures) before you throw down any money.
Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce Activity
Does your potential local SEO expert have reliable connections with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the local Chamber of Commerce? Do they participate in regular digital marketing events in their city, if not host them? These aren’t only green flags for positive reputation—these are also indications that your local SEO expert knows that it takes networking and relationship building to make a business local.
What Does a Google Search Reveal?
Check out what happens when you look up Dominate With SEO on Google:
From this image, you can tell that Dominate With SEO not only wants to rank for specific areas (like SEO in Minneapolis), but that we’re damn good at it. The proof is in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
If your agency’s location and main market don’t come up in the search results, they might not be experts in ranking locally. (This is what came up for “Dominate With SEO,” by the way—we didn’t even look up any Twin Cities-related search terms.)
What Does Their Business Look Like on Google for Business?
Time to brag again. What happens when you search for “Dominate With SEO Business Hours” on Google? This:
Google not only answers the question in a search box but brings up a business listing for Dominate With SEO. This shows that the business has a five-star rating. It displays relevant images, a map, and the proper business name. From this one snapshot, you get accurate information about our address, location, and reliability. It also shows you when you can call us, and at which number, and indicates that you can make appointments with us via our websites. The Q&A area reveals that we’re standing by to answer questions for you.
You should expect no less from any local SEO expert. If they’re not listed, they’re not an expert.
Are They Local To You? If Not, Ask Them This
Some SEO experts are experts at ranking in any location. While we’re based in the Twin Cities area, we also do great work for businesses in other places. We understand the desire to go with someone in your city, but the truth is that a real expert in local SEO can rank you using a few methods. Here’s how you can evaluate a local SEO expert in a different location than you:
- What are your methods for local ranking? There are some best practices that’ll work no matter where you’re located, and a real SEO expert should be able to provide you with some examples. Showing up accurately in online business listings and directories is a big one that they should mention.
- Could you provide me with published examples of content you’ve used to help people and businesses located in other cities? If it’s not already on their site, they should be able to furnish you with this information.
- Have you helped other businesses in my city? While this shouldn’t be a requirement, it can help to know if they’ve worked with other companies in the area.
- Do you work with local writers and editors to ensure the content makes sense to people in my area? Many agencies employ freelance writers and editors to keep costs down across the board. An SEO expert or agency will have a team of writers ready to help, and at the very least, the agency should employ team members in your region—or writers who can do phenomenal research and fact checking about local culture. They should also mention that they’ll use your business’ buyer persona to craft content.
Are you ready to work with a local SEO expert? Heck yeah you are! Dominate With SEO is here to help. While we’re located in the Twin Cities area, we provide local SEO services to businesses throughout the US. Contact us today to see how we can create personalized content for your business and its customers. We’re the best; you’re the best. Let’s get together to form one hell of a team.