How to Find the Best Chicago SEO Consultants of 2024

Over 53% of all website traffic comes from organic searches. Without a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, clients may never find your business. They’ll encounter your competitors during online searches instead.

Developing an effective SEO strategy can take time, though. Instead, work with the best Chicago SEO consultants available.

Not sure who to hire? Read on for the tips you need to find your SEO consultant today!

Years of Experience

Many digital marketing companies are only now starting to offer SEO services. Before choosing a consultant, learn about their professional history. Determine how long they’ve worked in the industry.

Compare that to how long they’ve offered SEO services. Look for a team with years of hands-on experience. 

They’ll leverage their experience to develop an effective SEO strategy for your brand. They’ll know which mistakes to avoid (including black hat SEO strategies). Black hat SEO could get your website penalized by Google.

If your site is penalized, it won’t appear in front of potential customers. You’ll miss the chance to generate brand awareness, website traffic, and leads.

Experienced SEO professionals have developed effective processes over time. They’ll hit the ground running. The sooner they get started, the sooner your rankings will improve.

Improving your organic search engine rankings will help you:

  • Reach ideal customers
  • Generate brand awareness and recognition
  • Establish your credibility
  • Appear ahead of competitors
  • Generate website traffic
  • Build brand trust and loyalty
  • Generate leads and sales
  • Improve your ROI

Finding an experienced team will give you peace of mind. You’ll know the team has the knowledge necessary to accomplish your goals.

Industry Experience

Ask each SEO consultant about the businesses they’ve helped in the past. Determine if they’ve helped a company within your niche.

Their previous experience could give you a competitive advantage. They’ll have a better understanding of your:

  • Target audience
  • Industry
  • Competitors

These consultants know how to adapt strategies based on their clients. If they’ve helped clients within your niche, ask for case studies. Case studies will prove they were capable of meeting the client’s needs.

Determine what key performance indicators (KPIs) the SEO consultant tracked. They may have focused on keyword rankings, impressions, or website traffic.

If they didn’t track the progress of their campaigns, ask how they know they helped their clients. Choose a company that relies on data instead of making assumptions. These consultants are more likely to meet your needs.

SEO Trends

The best Chicago SEO consultants never stop learning. Google’s search engine algorithm changes over 500 times every year. Ignoring these changes could cause your organic rankings to drop.

Instead, look for an SEO agency that keeps up with current trends. The latest SEO marketing trends include:

  • Experience, expertise, authority, trustworthiness (EEAT)
  • Mobile-first indexing
  • Core Web Vitals
  • User experience
  • Voice search
  • Video content
  • AI/machine learning
  • Search intent
  • Zero-click searches/featured snippets

Ask each SEO consultant questions about these trends. How will they adapt your SEO strategy accordingly?

Voice searches are usually phrased as questions. The agency should gather keyword research. They can target the keywords your customers use during a search.

To appeal to voice searches, they should provide a brief answer to the customer’s question at the start of a blog post. This answer will appear for voice searches. The rest of the SEO content should provide in-depth information.

Training and Certification

Learn more about each Chicago SEO consultant’s expertise. Ask about the training they completed. Determine what SEO-specific certifications they have.

You’ll feel more confident relying on an experienced, qualified team. They’ll leverage their expertise to your benefit.

Business woman on her laptop reading about Chicago SEO

A Range of SEO Services

There are four main types of SEO:

  • On-page
  • Off-page
  • Local
  • Technical

Choose a consultant with a thorough understanding of all four types of SEO. If they don’t offer comprehensive SEO services, they may struggle to improve your rankings.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing your website content. Your SEO consultant should gather keyword research first. They’ll focus on long-tail keywords (phrases with four or more words).

Long-tail keywords are more precise. Your consultant will have a better understanding of the user’s search intent. Their intent indicates what they expect to find during an online search.

Your consultant can then create SEO content that aligns with the user’s intent. This content is more likely to rank for relevant searches. 

When optimizing your content for on-page SEO, the target keyword should appear in the:

  • Title/H1 header
  • Opening paragraph
  • Closing paragraph
  • Body text
  • Image file name
  • Image alt text
  • SEO title
  • SEO meta description

Your consultant should add secondary keywords to the content to avoid keyword stuffing. Otherwise, Google may penalize the post.

Ask the consultant about internal and external links. Internal links direct readers to other pages on your website. This makes it easier for Google to understand the context of your posts.

External links send readers to other websites. You can use resources and research to back up claims within your content. Quality external links can strengthen your brand’s credibility.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO involves tactics outside of your website. Off-page SEO factors include:

  • Backlinks
  • Brand mentions
  • Guest posts
  • Social media
  • Influencer marketing

Ask your Chicago SEO consultant how they’ll analyze your backlink profile. Determine if they’ll conduct link-building outreach. 

Off-page SEO will improve your online presence. Brand awareness will grow.

While SEO doesn’t directly influence rankings, it helps drive traffic and improve engagement. Determine if the consultant is aware of social SEO.

Local SEO

Local SEO services can help you reach nearby customers. Over 70% of consumers who complete a local search visit a store within five miles of their location. Another 78% of local searches lead to offline purchases. 

Your SEO consultant should:

  • Claim and optimize your Google Business listing 
  • Generate customer reviews
  • Optimize online directories
  • Target location-specific keywords
  • Create location pages on your website
  • Embed a Google Map on your site

Ask your consultant how they’ll generate reviews for your business. Positive reviews can boost your rankings. They’ll strengthen your reputation, potentially leading to more sales.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves improving the backend of your website. Offering a positive user experience (UX) will encourage visitors to linger. Your dwell times will improve, potentially improving your rankings.

To improve your UX:

  • Confirm your site is mobile-optimized
  • Improve load times
  • Follow Google’s Core Web Vitals
  • Confirm your site is secure

If the consultant isn’t aware of Google’s Core Web Vitals, keep searching. These user-centric factors can affect your rankings.

If you’re not offering a positive UX, visitors will leave. Your website’s bounce rate will increase. A high bounce rate can hurt your organic rankings. 

Look for an agency that offers website design and development services. Improving the backend of your site can boost your rankings and conversion rate. 

Chicago SEO services laptop in the city

A Glowing Reputation

Read online client reviews for each Chicago SEO consultant on your list. Look for comments about their:

  • Professionalism
  • SEO services
  • Responsiveness
  • Success

You can find reviews on Google Business, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau. If the company doesn’t have Google Business reviews, continue searching. This indicates they’re not using their own local SEO services.

Accountability

When reading client reviews, look for comments about the company’s responsiveness. Choose a consultant who will communicate with you. They should keep you apprised of your SEO marketing campaigns.

If they don’t provide regular reports, they could waste your time and money. You won’t realize it until it’s too late.

Ask the consultant if they’ll provide regular updates. Determine if you’ll communicate by email or phone.

A company that’s accountable is more likely to achieve your goals. You can feel confident knowing they’re working hard to support your business. 

The Right Tools

Learn more about the tools each company uses when offering their Chicago SEO services. Ask the company how they gather keyword research. They may use:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Trends
  • Answer the Public
  • Ahrefs
  • SEMRush

Determine if they use backlink-building tools. How do they know you’re generating high-quality backlinks? Quality backlinks can strengthen your domain authority and search engine rankings.

Don’t hire a consultant who purchases backlinks. Instead, they should know how to recognize backlink toxicity markers. Choose a company that will help you find beneficial backlink-building opportunities.

Ideal Pricing

Ask each consultant for an itemized list of their local SEO pricing services. Request estimates from three different companies. Compare their fees to determine the average for SEO services.

If one company charges more than the rest, ask why. Determine what’s included with their pricing.

Don’t make the mistake of choosing the cheapest option. Some teams are desperate for clients and therefore charge low rates.

Instead, review your notes. Look for a team that can meet your needs and expectations. Choose experienced professionals who have a thorough understanding of SEO marketing.

Find Your Chicago SEO Consultants Today

Don’t rush when choosing between Chicago SEO consultants. Instead, use these tips to do your due diligence. Choose an experienced SEO consultant who will operate with your goals and needs in mind. 

Want to simplify your search? Neur is a custom website design and digital marketing agency. I have over 19 years of industry experience helping brands like yours.

I can simplify the process of creating and maintaining a professional online presence. My comprehensive managed SEO services can help you rank at the top! 

Contact me today to request SEO services.

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Jonathan @Neur

After nearly two decades in the world of web design and development, I've raced head first into the thrilling realm of local SEO. My passion is ignited by the fusion of strategic finesse and creative flair.

But here's the kicker – your website isn't just another project to me. I'm fully vested, treating it with the same dedication as if it were my own.

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