Best Local SEO Marketing Companies in 2023

vector graphic magnifying glass over computer screen
Sabrina Dougall

The best local SEO company is Jives Media, with an average customer review score of 5/5, our research found. We were also impressed by Townsquare Interactive, which specializes in engaging local audiences.

We evaluated the best search engine optimization (SEO) agencies that get small, medium and large businesses better visibility on local search results, web directories, and map tools.

When choosing an agency to outsource your local SEO work to, you should look for:

  • A roster of happy clients
  • Proven expertise in local SEO
  • Whether the agency usually works with businesses like yours

The above criteria are exactly how we’ve come up with this ranked list of local SEO agencies. We’ve been advising businesses on how to grow for over 10 years, so we know what separates a strong SEO marketing agency from a weak one.

Did You Know?

Most Americans use Google to search for information about local businesses: 83%, in fact. Of these, 90% are looking to make a purchase within a week.

To make it easier for you to find the right SEO agency for your business, we’ve made a custom tool to request quotes based on your specific needs. Simply let us know what sort of SEO you’re looking for and we’ll ask our partners to get in touch with you right away.

Here are our top recommendations for local SEO agencies:

  1. Jives Media (5/5) – Best for brand transformation
  2. SmartSites (4.9/5) – Best for rapid ROI
  3. Ignite Visibility (4.8/5) – Best for comprehensive SEO strategy
  4. SocialSEO (4.6/5) – Best for local expertise
  5. On The Map (4.3/5) – Best for lead tracking
  6. Townsquare Interactive (3.5/5) – Best for beating the competition
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Quick Roundup – Best Local SEO Agencies

With Google constantly updating its search engine algorithms (the rules it uses to rank business listings in search results), you need an industry insider to help you stay ahead. In the following reviews, we’ve made reference to a number of customer reviews left on various online platforms. We’ve tried to summarize the most important parts, to save you the hassle of reading through every single one yourself.

Here’s a comparison of the top local SEO marketing services providers:

We compared the highest-rated SEO service providers across five trusted review platforms, and aggregated the results for you. When selecting the best SEO agencies, we look out for:

  • High customer satisfaction
  • How communicative they were during contracts
  • Ability to deliver on deadlines
  • Breadth of local SEO services
  • Other marketing support

Now, let’s get into the details for each of the top performers.

1. Jives Media – Best for Brand Transformation 5/5

jives media logo
Jives Media – Best for Brand Transformation
5
Pricing On request
Quick overview

Impressively, Jives Media scored full marks across all the customer reviews we found for them online. They have proven success in local SEO, helping businesses attract more new customers from nearby regions.

Pros

Perfect customer review scores

Offers reputation management

Offers web design

Cons

Not cheap

The team will manage your off-page SEO, including reputation management, link-building, and optimizing your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) so your business will be found by web users looking for services locally. In online reviews, clients that enjoyed success in their local SEO with Jives Media praised the team’s attention to detail plus their speed of delivery, and said they were easy to work with.

As well as SEO, Jives Media offers a range of digital marketing services, including web design and video production. Although it’s hard to say whether video content on your website would really boost search engine rankings, it definitely gives a great impression to web visitors.

The agency is particularly experienced in marketing real estate, travel, and hospitality brands. Frankly, their portfolio in these areas is eye-catching, showing a flair for design, and all-around branding.

For these reasons we’d recommend Jives Media to businesses with a bigger marketing budget, as they’re capable of handling larger projects. If you’re a microbusiness without the spending power of a big-budget brand, then it’s best to steer clear of this agency.

Pricing on request.

Screengrab of local pack on Google Maps for New Jersey dentists
SEO companies help your business get into the “Local Pack” on Google. Users can view listings based on customer review ratings.

2. SmartSites – Best for Rapid ROI 4.9/5

smartsites logo
SmartSites: Best for Rapid ROI
4.9
Pricing On request
Quick overview

SEO is always a long-term investment, and no reasonable search engine expert will promise you brilliant results in a matter of days or weeks. Yet SmartSites is confident enough in their abilities to share that “most of [their] SEO campaigns double their traffic within six months”. While it’s impossible to independently verify this particular claim, SmartSites certainly has a great reputation overall, judging by its hundreds of positive customer reviews online.

Pros

Excellent customer reviews

Wide range of marketing services

Cons

Unaffordable for some

Overall, SmartSites’ customer reviews average 4.9/5, just squeezing into second place behind Jives Media.

A recent happy customer said in an online review that their leads increased by 40% after SmartSites worked on their Google business profile, and linked their business to Yelp and TripAdvisor. That’s a particularly handy service for entrepreneurs that need technical assistance with listing their business on online directories.

Former clients describe how SmartSites’ staff were careful to listen to their precise goals and business needs. For those trying to drum up more business in the local area, agency staff diligently designed a custom local SEO strategy to suit the specific aims of each one.

The size of the agency means it is capable of scaling up its workload as needed. Yet the agency’s larger size can be a drawback; one client said they would have felt more committed if they’d met more of the team. Yet their friendly, approachable demeanor makes them suitable for smaller companies as well. For this reason, we recommend SmartSites for SMEs.

Unfortunately, not everyone was delighted with the cost of services; their average hourly rate is between $100 and $149 per hour. One former client said in an online review in December 2021 that SmartSites’ SEO services were “overpriced”. However, most others rated the agency 4/5 or better on value for money. Overall, we’d say companies with a larger budget may benefit most from engaging with SmartSites.

Pricing on request.

Name Change!

Google renamed “Google My Business” to “Google Business Profile” (often shortened to GBP) in November 2021. This refers to your local business listing on Google Maps. You might see the two names used interchangeably as everyone catches up.

3. Ignite Visibility – Best for Comprehensive SEO Strategy 4.8/5

ignite visibility logo
Best for Comprehensive SEO Strategy
4.8
Pricing On request
Quick overview

Falling just shy of the outstanding customer satisfaction of SmartSites and Jives Media is Ignite Visibility. While its co-founder and CEO, John Lincoln, is not as big an industry name as he claims to be (he’s no Rand Fishkin, who co-founded Moz, for example), the quality of the agency’s work exceeded clients’ expectations in many cases.

Pros

Short-term contracts

Very big brand name clients

Cons

Ongoing action needed from client

CEO is not as influential as he claims

We rate Ignite Visibility for its depth of experience in digital marketing and SEO strategy. Thanks to its efforts, clients saw boosted revenue from new customer engagement.

On top of local SEO work, the agency can carry out technical fixes; keyword research; content strategy; and linkbuilding, to improve customer generation for your business. It’s trusted by major corporations, including Office Depot, Morgan Stanley, and DoorDash. That’s a great hallmark of credibility – as well as the fact that at least one client remained with them for seven years.

On the downside, one former client said the agency struggled to secure backlinks, which is one reason they parted ways.

The agency is said to respond positively to client feedback, which bodes well for an easy and collaborative relationship. Customers recommend proactively making changes suggested by Ignite Visibility, as they’re not an entirely do-it-for-you type outfit.

SEO from Ignite Visibility often goes hand-in-hand with wider digital marketing transformation, but there’s no need to hire unwanted additional services. You should expect to spend in the tens of thousands of dollars. Happily, it does offer short-term contracts, saving you the anxiety of long-term commitment.

Pricing on request.

highlighted phrase in a text article
Here’s an example of a backlink: a Forbes article mentions a company by name and includes a URL link to that company’s website.

4. SocialSEO – Best for Local Expertise 4.6/5

socialseo logo
SocialSEO: Best for Local Expertise
4.6
Pricing On request
Quick overview

We like SocialSEO for its skill in local SEO for certain geographical locations. It’s worthwhile for businesses to focus on reaching potential customers in their locale, and SocialSEO has a track record for getting this done. Its industry expertise lies in landscaping, shopping centers, and vehicle retail (they count Jaguar, Land Rover, and Cadillac among their clients).

Pros

In-house content creation

White-hat backlinking

Offices in a variety of US locations

Cons

Lower paying clients may not get best service

SocialSEO has offices in: Austin, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, and San Diego. We recommend going for SocialSEO over Ignite Visibility or SmartSites if your business is in any of those regions, as it’s convenient to be able to meet the team in person.

Another strength of SocialSEO is its content development. Not all SEO agencies will create business assets for you in-house, but SocialSEO creates custom media, such as whitepapers, case studies, newsletters, and infographics. They’ll do this as part of their white hat SEO backlinking strategy, improving the chances of getting your business credentials name-dropped by authoritative entities.

On the negative side, a customer in a lower price bracket felt disappointed at the quality of keyword research done. They said the agency overlooked duplicate content on the client’s website, which should have been simple to find. However, the majority of other customer reviews expressed satisfaction with service delivery.

Pricing on request.

How Much do Local SEO Services Cost?

According to SEO industry leader, Brightlocal, local marketers in the USA charged an average of $132 per hour in 2022. The average monthly charge to a client was $1,557. We’ve had a comprehensive look at SEO costs in our dedicated guide.

5. On The Map – Best for Lead Tracking 4.3/5

on the map logo
On The Map – Best for Lead Tracking
4.5
Pricing On request
Quick overview

We’re excited about On The Map mainly for its proprietary tech platform, TrackRight, for managing your Google Business Profile, monitoring keyword rankings and tracking leads. It’s similar to market leader Agency Analytics (which is $81 cheaper per month), though with TrackRight you get text and email notifications about leads. That’s handy for ensuring your team can quickly respond to new business enquiries.

Pros

Own tech platform for lead tracking

Good at deadlines

Cons

Spelling mistakes on their website

Some customers disappointed with service quality

Its clientele mainly consists of dentists, plastic surgeons, realtors, home services and law firms looking for legal SEO services. Like the other SEO agencies we’ve reviewed, On The Map will carry out optimizations of your online business listings, run backlink campaigns, and carry out keyword research. Yet, if your business is in any of its speciality sectors, you’d be wise to choose On The Map over SocialSEO because of their greater expertise.

Clients noted the prompt and professional communication of On The Map, which made for a reassuring experience. Others noted the agency kept to agreed costs, and met deadlines.

We found a couple of spelling errors on their website (ironically, on the local SEO services page), so you’d best double-check work produced if you end up hiring them. A minority of customer reviews were less than favorable about the quality of On The Map’s content production, which explains why they’re not as high up on our list as Jives Media or SocialSEO.

TrackRight platform is $99 per month. Other SEO services pricing on request.

6. Townsquare Interactive – Best for Beating the Competition 3.5/5

townsquare logo
Townsquare Interactive – Best for Beating the Competition
3.5
Pricing On request
Quick overview

As the third largest owner/operator of radio stations, Townsquare Interactive is highly experienced in gearing content towards specific regional audiences. It carries out on-site and off-site SEO as well as directory listing and mobile optimization. All of these are essential if your aim is to raise awareness of your brand among search engine users who want to buy and hire locally.

Pros

Ideal for small businesses

Short-term contracts

Does all of your SEO for you

Cons

Rated 1.5/5 on Yelp

Townsquare told us its ideal client is a small business owner, such as a tradesperson working in home services. Entrepreneurs making over $5,000 per month, such as dentists, lawyers, manual workers, and designers stand to succeed with Townsquare.

For client convenience, it also offers short-term contracts, like Ignite Visibility. However, unlike Ignite Visibility, Townsquare takes full ownership of your local SEO marketing. This means you can cross it off your to-do list because the work is entirely outsourced.

A bonus is the option of investing in Townsquare’s CRM app for invoicing, scheduling appointments, and email marketing. If you’re having trouble staying on top of customer management as your business grows, then this could be a viable solution to those woes.

Despite its strong performance in some customer reviews, Townsquare was unpopular with Yelp reviewers, averaging just 1.5/5 on that platform. Unhappy customers mention they lost control of the business website built by Townsquare Interactive once they stopped paying. Several cite difficulty in contacting account managers to correct misunderstandings.

Pricing on request.

How Important is Local SEO?

Every week, new studies are coming out to show that customers are using search engines to find trustworthy local business information. For example, 70% of consumers research on Google when they’re thinking of buying something. If you’re not getting the basics of local SEO right, you’re just not going to show up on screens when customers are ready to buy.

It’s therefore crucial to get your local business profiles set up correctly on Google, Bing, Yelp, TrustPilot, and specialist directories per your industry. Now, your online profiles must not only contain accurate details of your store locations, opening hours and services, but you’ll also want to ensure you’ve got positive customer reviews, too.

Responding to a less-than-perfect customer review gives an impression of care and consideration.

An incredible 79% of Americans trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. And after reading a positive review, almost a third (31%) will click onto that business’ website, according to BrightLocal.

Thoughtfully responding to feedback is a core tenet of local SEO. After all, it’s all about your reputation. Unanswered negative testimonials can harm your credibility for months and even years – so you’re best off answering quickly and politely each time.

Verdict – Choose your Local SEO Agency Carefully

We’ve shown you there are many excellent local SEO providers, though most of the larger ones are pretty pricey. Yet, given the high return on investment for growing businesses, we reckon it’s a no-brainer: you must invest in quality local SEO if you want regional recognition.

Here’s the round-up of our recommendations:

  1. Jives Media (5/5) – Best for brand transformation
  2. SmartSites (4.9/5) – Best for rapid ROI
  3. Ignite Visibility (4.8/5) – Best for comprehensive SEO strategy
  4. SocialSEO (4.6/5) – Best for local expertise
  5. On The Map (4.3/5) – Best for lead tracking
  6. Townsquare Interactive (3.5/5) – Best for beating the competition

Still can’t decide which agency is the best option for you? We provide an exclusive free supplier matching service for our readers. All you have to do is answer a couple of questions about your business’ SEO needs and agree for us to put you in touch with our SEO agency partners.

This will take the hassle out of continuing to wade through customer reviews when you should be getting on with spreadsheets and sales targets.

FAQs

How much should I pay for local SEO?
Local marketers in the USA cost $132 per hour, on average, in 2022, Brightlocal research found. However, charging per month is more common than per hour, and the average monthly bill was $1,557.

Cheaper companies, such as Townsquare Interactive, may only cost a few hundred dollars per month, if you don’t need much work done. If you’re a larger corporation with ambitious growth goals or a competitive niche, you should aim to spend at least $2,500 per month with a larger agency.

For more advice, check out our guide to SEO costs for businesses.

How do I choose a local SEO company?
You should focus on your business type, consider your specific goals, and choose a local SEO agency that specializes in helping companies like yours succeed. Of course, budget makes a big difference, and you should choose a company with great client testimonials in any case.

We don’t recommend choosing the cheapest SEO agency you can find, as it could be worse than attempting to do your local SEO in-house. During our research, we found that very low-costs can be a sign that the agency will use black hat tactics (that amount to spam) and occasionally feed bigger scams.

We’ve done some research and here are our recommendations:

  1. Jives Media – Best for brand transformation
  2. SmartSites – Best for rapid ROI
  3. Ignite Visibility – Best for comprehensive SEO strategy
  4. SocialSEO – Best for local expertise
  5. On The Map – Best for lead tracking
  6. Townsquare Interactive – Best for beating the competition
Is it worth paying for local SEO?
Depending on your level of in-house expertise and time availability, it can be worth paying for outside help with your local SEO. If you have a tech-savvy team member that’s committed to keeping up with Google algorithm updates, SEO news and keyword trends, then you may not need to pay anyone else. Compared with technical SEO, there’s less need for expensive industry tools like Screaming Frog, ContentKing, or Lumar (formerly Deepcrawl).

On the other hand, if optimizing business listings is low on your priority list, you can save valuable time by outsourcing your local SEO work to experts. We’re fortunate to work with some established agencies that we can connect you with. If you let us know the bare bones of your SEO needs, we’ll put you in touch with our partner service providers.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina Dougall Web Marketing Expert

Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master’s in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camen New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.