Thousands of SEO agencies in the United States are vying for the top rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Where does your business fit in the online realm?
A study by Radu Plugaru, CEO and founder of Romania-based SEOlium.com, explored how U.S. websites ranked for eight SEO-related search terms. After analyzing 35 million Google search results, Plugaru compiled a list of top-ranking SEO agencies and SEO consultants in the U.S. He also compiled a list of top-ranking websites (that weren’t SEO companies or consultants) based on those same search terms.
According to Plugaru, he conducted the research in an effort to help boost his new professional rank tracker SEO tool. This rank tracker tool aims to help individuals and businesses monitor their competition and understand how to achieve online success.
Initially, Plugaru planned to conduct a study for only one search term: “SEO agency.” However, to help boost the accuracy and credibility of the study, Plugaru added seven more SEO-related search terms. The final list of eight keywords included:
• SEO agency
• SEO company
• SEO services
• SEO consultant
• SEO expert
• Digital marketing agency
• PPC agency
• Google ads agency
Plugaru combined the eight keywords with almost 42,000 U.S. zip codes to produce 341,056 search phrases. The 341,000 searches generated about 35 million search results belonging to about 25,000 domains. Each U.S. website was then ranked by how many of the 341,000-plus search phrases it ranked for on SERPs.
In this post, we’ve put together Plugaru’s lists of leading SEO agencies and consultants, websites and directories with a dynamic keyword optimization strategy based on his findings. Read on and learn what keeps the leading U.S. digital marketing agencies and consultants ahead of the curve.
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing. As a marketer, you need to stay abreast of the latest industry developments and search engine updates. These practices will help you zoom past the competition and claim your spot on top of the SERPs rankings.
The problem, however, is many entrepreneurs either lack the time or expertise to run their online marketing campaign.
In this fast-changing, fierce online landscape, you can’t simply launch an SEO campaign and expect results. To keep up with the competition and stay current with the search engine updates, you need to re-evaluate your optimization tactics continually.
But where do you start?
Begin with a targeted keyword optimization strategy. Doing so will help you determine and analyze terms that your target customers look for in search engines.
Let’s look at how Plugaru came up with the list of the top-performing websites via the eight search terms mentioned above.
In the quest to develop a robust rank tracking tool, Plugaru performed extensive research on eight top-ranking, SEO-related search terms. “If you ask me, the value of such a study is not in the data itself,” Plugaru said, “but in the methodology, the paradigm.”
To determine a comprehensive list of all SEO agencies and consultants in the U.S., Plugaru replicated the methods of his previous studies, including his research on the “World’s Most Googled English Words.” In the past, he used the same process to determine the local businesses in specific industries in the U.S. These included:
• Pest control
• Auto repair
• News outlets
• Hair salon
• Flower delivery
Now, to facilitate his research on U.S. SEO agencies and consultants, Plugaru and his team allotted four days (Tuesday to Friday) for Google search. It should be noted that this was one-time research. “We only did it once and were happy with the results we got,” Plugaru said. “We realized that no list is 100 percent accurate, especially since businesses close and open shop every day, and there’s also the Google factor, so we really needed to know when to stop.”
Using his rank tracker tool, Plugaru conducted Google search for 341,000 keywords. “Out of the 13,200 agencies we found, I discovered 46 were specialized in link building,” Plugaru said. “Perhaps others specialize in other aspects of SEO, but most of them are full-service SEO agencies.”
Here’s an overview of how Plugaru and his team processed these data:
The process started with the creation of a CSV file with all the 341,000 search phrases. These are 341,056 keywords, which represented combinations of almost 42,000 U.S. zip codes with the eight SEO-related terms mentioned above.
Once the list of keywords was finalized, Plugaru imported the file into the ranking tool. This method generated 35 million search results and more than 2GB of raw data. “Though I wasn’t really interested in actual rankings,” Plugaru said, “I used the raw data in a Microsoft Power BI project to see which agencies are most prominent.”
To filter out SEO agencies, Plugaru selected the 25,000 ranking domains and scraped them using Screaming Frog in list mode. “The idea here was that an SEO agency will always have something relevant in the title tag of their homepage,” Plugaru said. “This part is important. Not any page, but the homepage and the title tag.”
Plugaru added a few custom search fields to crawl the title tags of these websites for keywords, such as SEO, PPC, link building and digital. “After I had the idea with the homepage title tag filtering, it wasn’t that tricky anymore,” Plugaru said. “Screaming Frog did its job brilliantly and my 16GB RAM laptop worked hard, but succeeded.”
He also filtered out negative results, such as irrelevant subdomains, businesses and sites, among others. “The somewhat tricky part was to create the custom search regular expression that would only catch title tags containing SEO keywords,” Plugaru added.
After exporting the data to Microsoft Power BI, Plugaru found a few websites that rank for almost 100 percent of the 341,056 search terms and location combinations.
This list contains a broad category of websites. It includes online marketing companies, SEO blog sites and even some online SEO directories:
Interestingly, the majority of these U.S. websites that ranked high for the eight relevant search terms stated above are SEO agencies.
“There are all the local results, and there are national results,” Plugaru said. “And national SEO agencies rank in all the locations. What was perhaps amazing is that they need to rank for all eight search terms, such as Google Ads, PPC, SEO expert and digital marketing. But then Google tells us they are so good at determining search intent, right?”
To narrow down the research, Plugaru filtered out SEO agencies from the results. He found the following top 50 high-ranking, non-SEO agency websites based on Google search results for related terms:
This data indicates that in the online realm, you are not only competing with other service or product providers; you are also competing with information sources across the web to win in the SERPs.
Now, to give more targeted results, Plugaru isolated U.S. SEO agencies and consultants from the initial findings. Doing so allowed him to provide a more accurate listing of the top-performing digital marketing agencies in the U.S.
The idea that guided the study was, “If an agency doesn’t have relevant keywords in their homepage’s title, they’re not an SEO agency after all,” Plugaru said.
Simply put, online marketing companies that lack proper keyword optimization tactics are missing out on the competition. This means that both search engines and online users can hardly recognize them.
Listed below are the top 100 U.S. SEO agencies and consultants that ranked high on search results for the keywords stated above:
Search optimization is all about getting search engines to crawl and index your website effectively and, ultimately, showing your site high up on SERPs. However, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to SERPs.
Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 U.S. digital marketing agencies and consultants from Plugaru’s findings:
|1.||webfx.com||WebFX is a full-service digital marketing agency that helps companies boost their leads, conversions and revenue.||Philadelphia|
|2.||lyfemarketing.com||LYFE Marketing is an online marketing company that provides a variety of services, including social media marketing, SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) management.||Atlanta|
|3.||coalitiontechnologies.com||Coalition Technologies is a California-based digital marketing agency. It offers SEO, web design and online marketing solutions.||Los Angeles|
|4.||thriveagency.com||Thrive Internet Marketing Agency is an award-winning digital marketing agency that provides a holistic approach to online marketing. It offers conversion rate optimization (CRO), SEO, PPC and a variety of web solutions.||Dallas|
|5.||bluecorona.com||Blue Corona is a digital marketing company that provides results-driven web solutions. It offers email marketing, live chat services and video marketing, among others.||North Carolina|
|6.||seo.com||SEO.com is an online marketing agency that provides custom marketing strategies for companies of all types and sizes. It offers web design, SEO, content creation and social media marketing services.||Utah|
|7.||outerboxdesign.com||OuterBox is one of the leading digital marketing agencies that offer eCommerce web design, SEO and Google Ads management services.||Ohio|
|8.||actuatemedia.com||Actuate Media provides online marketing services to facilitate business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) transactions.||Seattle|
|9.||seoinc.com||SEO Inc. is an internet marketing company that provides custom SEO, PPC, social media and web development solutions.||California|
|10.||walkersands.com||Walker Sands facilitates the online growth of B2B brands. It offers B2B branding, marketing strategy creation, demand generation and web services.||Chicago|
To better understand the implication of this research, let’s look at the key factors that set these U.S-based online marketing companies apart from the competition:
Interestingly, each of the top 10 digital marketing agencies and consultants belongs to different regions in the U.S. Now, what does this mean for your business?
This simply indicates that for your business to rank high on search results, you need to optimize your content based on high-ranking, geo-targeted keywords. This is especially true if you have a multiple-location business.
Organic search keywords are dominated by a handful of established digital marketing players. You can try aiming for the broadest high-traffic keywords. However, this leaves you with stiff competition.
With more targeted terms, you can boost your ranking for broad terms and specific locations. At the same time, geo-targeting allows you to connect with a targeted client base.
Here are some tips you can follow to boost your search ranking for your target locations:
→ Determine your niche
→ Perform extensive keyword research
→ Optimize your site structure
→ Add geo-targeted keywords for each franchise location
The top U.S. digital marketing agencies and consultants listed above are all full-service online companies. This means that all of them provide digital marketing solutions, including SEO, PPC and web design and development solutions.
Now, as a marketer, you need to determine your area of expertise clearly. Choose your business category on Google My Business (GMB) listings. Ensure that you enlist in the category that best describes your business.
Identifying your niches helps narrow down your target terms and facilitates your keyword research strategy.
Each of the digital marketing agencies and consultants listed above has a fully-optimized, high-performing website. This means that all these sites are SEO-optimized, device-responsive and accessible to all users.
To boost your chances of ranking on top-performing keywords, you must:
→ Improve the usability of your website
→ Ensure mobile and browser compatibility
→ Publish unique, information-rich content
→ Optimize your site speed
→ Place effective site navigations
→ Include clear, usable form fields
→ Leverage internal linking
→ Maximize social sharing
→ Secure external links to the page
These practices help ensure your site gets crawled and indexed by search engines.
Title tags are significant factors in your business’ online success. These are HTML tags found in the head section of each webpage. Title tags are the clickable titles displayed on SERPs when online users search for a specific term.
For instance, if you enter the key phrase, “digital marketing agency” on Google, the following results will appear:
Now, it is crucial that you incorporate your target keywords on your title tags. Doing so sends signals to search engines that you want to rank for the specific terms.
Title tags are also displayed on social networks and at the top of web browsers. Here are some tips in optimizing your title tags:
→ Keep your page title short and simple — it should not be longer than 60 characters
→ Avoid keyword stuffing
→ Use a unique title for each web page
→ Put primary keywords first, if possible
→ Write for your customers
If you visit each of the top 10 U.S. digital marketing agencies and consultants listed above, you will notice that they have a specific page assigned for each web solution they offer.
Using different service pages helps guide both search engines and online users in navigating your website. To create effective service pages, you need to:
→ Identify all your service or product offerings
→ Conduct extensive keyword research for each page
→ Create unique, comprehensive page content
→ Leverage internal linking across all web pages
→ Write content that targets your buyer persona
When asked about his plans on utilizing the raw data, Plugaru said, “I may add some more data points, such as estimated monthly search volume (per each search expression), to discover actual visibility.” Plugaru also said he’s considering conducting a similar study based on worldwide rankings instead of just isolating it to the United States.
“A challenge, though,” Plugaru added. “I need to translate those eight search terms into all the languages out there!”
Learn from these top-performing U.S. digital marketing companies and consultants and boost your chances of ranking high on search results. Remember, the key to successful online growth is to continually improve your optimization strategies and aim to rank high for top-performing, relevant keywords.
To ensure you are implementing white-hat SEO tactics, partner with one of the best SEO companies in the United States. Choose an SEO agency in your city that can help you go above and beyond your marketing goals.