How to Choose a Trustworthy SEO Agency in 6 Steps (and 3 Mistakes to Avoid)

Standing out online is non-negotiable in the age we live in. That’s where SEO comes in to help your website shine online. With countless SEO companies claiming to deliver great results, finding the right one can be challenging. The right SEO company can make all the difference by boosting your traffic, improving your search rankings, and increasing your sales while understanding your needs, business objectives, and industry. Did you know that 67.60% of all clicks on search engine results pages (SERPs) go to the first five results? This highlights very well the importance of effective SEO strategies.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose the best SEO company in 2024. From understanding the different types of SEO services to evaluating potential agencies, we’ve got all the expert tips you need.

How to Choose an SEO Company in 2024

As there are so many options available, we understand -and are here to help!- that choosing the right SEO company can feel overwhelming. It’s important to break down the process into manageable steps, focusing on key aspects that will ensure you make an informed decision. The following section lists the essential factors you need to consider when selecting an SEO agency to partner with.


Benefiting from a digital marketing marketplace to select an SEO agency can streamline the process. Marketplaces like DAN provide a platform where businesses can compare various SEO companies, read reviews, and assess their portfolios. DAN also features agency case studies where you can read and learn about the past projects and achievements of the agency in detail. With the help of marketplaces, you can find agencies with specific regional and industry expertise easily. For instance, if you need localized SEO services, a marketplace can help you identify the best SEO company specializing in the US or your geographic region.

Type of SEO Service

What type of SEO service do you think you need for your business? For getting the best results, you might wanna start identifying that first. Whether you need on-page search engine optimization to optimize your website’s content, off-page optimization to build backlinks and improve your online reputation, or local SEO to attract customers in specific areas, knowing your requirements helps you find an agency that can apply strategies just for you. For example, if your business is targeting local customers, you need to focus on local SEO. A local SEO checklist can be a handy tool as well if you want to evaluate which companies are best at optimizing for local search. Let’s say you’re searching for an SEO agency in London, then you can check out a specialized London SEO directory to point you in the right direction.

Packages & Pricing

SEO companies use different pricing structures, including retainers, project-based fees, and hourly rates. A retainer model, where you pay a fixed monthly fee, is great for ongoing SEO services that require continuous attention and long-term strategy. Project-based pricing, on the other hand, works well for specific, one-time projects like a website overhaul or a targeted campaign. Then there are hourly rates, which can be useful if you need expert advice or a few specific tasks done without a long-term commitment. Remember that you can get the most out of your search engine optimization investment by customizing the price model to your unique requirements.


Agency Website Traffic

High traffic of an agency website indicates a well-optimized website, thus showing the agency’s ability to implement effective SEO strategies. We recommend looking for agencies with robust traffic metrics as an indicator of their proficiency when evaluating.


Straight North is an agency that attracts high traffic to its website, which is well-structured and easy to navigate. From the moment you visit, it’s clear that Straight North is an expert in the services they offer. The agency features a variety of case studies across different services, including SEO, showcasing their success stories.


They also boast a great online reputation and backlink profile, further solidifying their authority in the industry. Moreover, Straight North consistently proves their authority with high-quality, informative content that educates their audience, reinforcing their status as experts in digital marketing.


Reputation, Reviews, and Past Performance

The reputation of an SEO company speaks volumes about their reliability and effectiveness. To get a sense of their past performance, take a look into online testimonials, case studies, and client success stories. These resources provide a window into the experiences of other businesses that have worked with the agency. Additionally, when you have questions to ask an SEO agency, focus on their track record and request specific examples of their work. For valuable insights into an SEO company’s reputation, you can explore platforms like Digital Agency Network, which offers detailed reviews and ratings of various digital agencies. DAN also offers a ‘Get Quotes’ system that simplifies the process for brands to connect with agencies.  Brands like yours can quickly find SEO agencies or others with the right skills by sharing details about the project, budgets, and requirements. This guarantees the agencies are a perfect fit for your needs. 

Experience, Expertise, and Technical SEO Capabilities

When you’re on the hunt for an SEO agency, you need to get into their background. Why does it matter though?

It’s because an agency with plenty of experience, especially in your specific industry, will be better equipped to understand and tackle your own challenges. They’ve likely faced similar issues before and know what strategies work best. 

Thus, we believe that you should look for agencies that boast certifications, partnerships as well as the key organic search performance indicators. These are signs that they’re not just claiming expertise– they’re proving it. Even though they may not be able to provide all the details due to customer confidentiality clauses, they can show some proof of how good they are at their job. Certifications and partnerships also show they’re committed to maintaining high standards and keeping up with the latest SEO trends and techniques.

Top SEO metrics that should be tracked are:

  • Rankings
  • Leads and Sales
  • Organic Traffic
  • Keyword Rankings
  • Backlinks
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages per session
  • Average page loading time
  • Organic Click Through Rate (CTR)

Technical SEO is another critical area to consider though. You want an agency that’s adept at handling all the details like site audits, fixing technical problems, and managing complex optimization tasks. This is important because a website must be visible to search engines, yes, but it should also run smoothly and efficiently. A technically sound website is more likely to rank higher and provide a better user experience.

What to Avoid When Choosing an SEO Agency

Outsourcing SEO services is a significant decision. Signing a contract with an SEO agency marks the start of a long-term relationship, and like any successful relationship, it requires trust and reliability. You can’t just pick a name that looks good on paper; thorough research is essential. While there are clear steps on how to choose an SEO agency, it’s equally important to know what to avoid. Proceeding with caution and awareness will help you make a well-informed choice.

Watch out for SEO Ranking Guarantees

It’s one thing to show positive results, but it’s quite another to guarantee specific outcomes. Be suspicious if an SEO company guarantees them because there is no way to predict website SERPs precisely.

While SEO agencies have a good idea about how to produce optimum results, Google algorithms are constantly changing. Therefore, the experience and number of years that an agency has been in the business are determining factors of how effective an agency’s strategies are.

Search engine optimization is a long-term strategy, and instant results often indicate the use of black-hat techniques that can harm your website’s reputation and ranking. Keep in mind that a reputable SEO company will focus on sustainable growth and realistic timelines.

Lack of Transparency

Transparency is crucial for every partnership. We recommend avoiding seo agencies that are not clear about their processes or unwilling to share their strategies. Transparency builds trust and ensures you understand the efforts being made to improve your website’s organic performance.

One-Size-Fits-All SEO Packages

Each business is unique, with its own set of goals, challenges, and target audiences. So, SEO strategies should be customized to your business needs as well. That’s why it’s crucial to avoid agencies that offer generic packages without taking the time to understand your specific needs. Why should you steer clear of these cookie-cutter approaches? Generic plans often overlook the nuances of your business, leading to strategies that might not align with your goals. Tailored SEO plans, on the other hand, are crafted with your unique requirements in mind. This means the strategies are more likely to be effective and deliver the results you’re looking for.

One Last Thought

Remember that SEO is a complex process. It is a valuable investment that you shouldn’t pass off as another technical jargon. Rather, it’s something you should start sooner than later. In fact, consider this as the ideal opportunity to build your brand’s awareness and equity. With the right campaign, your website can gain quantitative and qualitative visits.

If your marketing budget permits, hiring an SEO company is a great way to expand your business. But finding the perfect one is probably the hardest part. You want to work alongside a team of experts that are just as vested in the prosperity of your business as you are. You’re trusting them to build the right image of your brand.