Top 23 SEO Services Companies in Chicago (2019 Rankings)

Top 23 SEO Services Companies in Chicago (2019 Rankings)

If you’re looking for a list of the best SEO companies in Chicago, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s the deal:

Most Chicago SEO agency rankings are completely subjective.

We wanted to do things differently. Specifically, we decided to rank agencies using an objective rating system.

Here’s What We Did (Our Process)

  1. Compiled a list of SEO agencies in and around Chicago
  2. Gathered a bunch of data for each one
  3. Created a scoring “algorithm” to rank the entire list

To create our scoring model, we compiled 8 pieces of data for each of the SEO agencies on our list:

  1. BBB rating
  2. # of years in business
  3. # of Google reviews
  4. Average Google rating
  5. # of Yelp reviews
  6. Average Yelp rating
  7. Domain rank (according to Ahrefs)
  8. Estimated monthly organic traffic (according to Ahrefs)

Next, we converted each metric into a number on a five point scale.

BBB Ratings converted to a 5-point scale
BBB Rating
A B C D F or N/A
5 4 3 2 1

(Go here to see detailed rankings for every company on this list).

After we converted each metric into a score from 1-5, we weighed each factor based on the parameters we believe to be most important.

So we came up with this equation:

(BBB Rating * 0.1) + (Years in Business * 0.1) + (# of Google Reviews * 0.2) + (Avg. Google Rating * 0.1) + (# of Yelp Reviews * 0.2) + (Avg. Yelp Rating * 0.1) + (Domain Rank * 0.1) + (Est. Monthly Organic Traffic * 0.1)

By no means is this a perfect model. But we think it does a solid job of ranking each agency based on objective data.

Scoring Note: Our thought process behind giving the number of reviews the most weight was that if a company has 2-3 reviews and they have 5 stars, it shouldn’t carry as much weight as another company with 10+ reviews and 5 stars. It’s easy to game 2-3 reviews but harder to get double-digit reviews that way. Also, in the event of a tie score between 2 or more agencies, we ranked those agencies based on the total number of reviews (Google + Yelp).

With that, here are the top Chicago SEO companies.

1. Straight North

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 21
# of Google Reviews: 37
Average Google Rating: 4.5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 6
Average Yelp Rating: 4/5
Domain Rank: 73
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 9,000

Straight North

Topping our list is Straight North – an internet marketing agency that’s been around for 21 years (also tops on our list).

Straight North has over 20 SEO case studies published on their website that show off the results they’ve got for their clients. They also have a ton of great reviews on both Google and Yelp, meaning you should be in good hands with them.

You can visit their site to request a quote or enter your website URL to get a free, instant SEO audit.

2. Comrade Web Agency

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 11
# of Google Reviews: 24
Average Google Rating: 4.5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 8
Average Yelp Rating: 4.5/5
Domain Rank: 61
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 622

Comrade

Co-Founded by Ivan Vislavskiy and Stan Bogdashin, Comrade Web Agency has helped optimize over 200+ websites over the last decade.

Their industries of expertise are SEO for law firms, professional services, manufacturing, ecommerce, small businesses, and senior living facilities.

Comrade has built partnerships with over 10,000 websites to provide their clients with link building services. They also claim to be able to predict exactly when you’ll be able to rank a page on the first page of Google based on the performance of a backlinking strategy.

3. Chicago Website Design SEO Company

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 11
# of Google Reviews: 24
Average Google Rating: 4.8/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 18
Average Yelp Rating: 5/5
Domain Rank: 48
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 202

Chicago Website Company

Besides being a mouthful to say, Chicago Website Design SEO Company (CWDSC) had one of the best compilations of Google and Yelp reviews out of any agency on this list.

CWDSC offers a free website analysis of your business on their homepage, as well as transparent pricing of their SEO services.

4. RizkAD

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 11
# of Google Reviews: 15
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 5
Average Yelp Rating: 5/5
Domain Rank: 37
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 41

Rizk Ad

RizkAD offers prospects a free consultation, as well as a free local SEO report.

While they offer other services like large format printing, website development, and design, RizkAD’s core competency is SEO.

Local SEO projects start at $299/month.

5. Vision Friendly

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 11
# of Google Reviews: 14
Average Google Rating: 4.6/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 3
Average Yelp Rating: 5/5
Domain Rank: 71
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 710

Vision Friendly

VisionFriendly considers themselves a niche agency – “between bigger companies that cost more and smaller companies that can’t handle the various skills needed in today’s world of technology on the web.”

This Naperville-based agency’s SEO services include:

  • Monthly ranking and traffic reports
  • Web design and development
  • Social media management

6. LLT Group

BBB Rating: N/R
# of Years in Business: 9
# of Google Reviews: 24
Average Google Rating: 4.6/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 7
Average Yelp Rating: 3.5/5
Domain Rank: 63
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 1,100

LLT Group

LLT Group has worked with some big name clients (like Callaway, Burger King, National Geographic Channel). That said, this work was more on the web development and design side. Not so much straight SEO.

They were ranked #92 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies back in 2015, and have a team of over 45 employees to help you reach your SEO goals.

7. The Ocean Agency

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 15
# of Google Reviews: 13
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 2
Average Yelp Rating: 3/5
Domain Rank: 62
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 1,800

Ocean Agency

The Ocean Agency has a simple 3-step system to help you improve your SEO:

  1. Audit your existing site before running any campaigns
  2. Optimize your website for search engines
  3. Earn higher ranking through strategic link building

What are some of the results they’ve earned for their clients?

Their site features a case study of how they helped one company in a competitive niche increase their year-over-year organic search traffic by 95% in 10 months.

8. eBizUniverse

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 10
# of Google Reviews: 20
Average Google Rating: 4.8/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 4
Average Yelp Rating: 5/5
Domain Rank: 64
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 68

eBiz University

eBizUniverse is led by a team with project management experience at “Big 4” Consulting Firms and Fortune 500 companies.

They’ve helped organizations like the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center increase their online traffic by 635%.

You can also use their free SEO Audit Tool to get the SEO score of any landing page or blog post on your site.

9. Walker Sands Digital

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 11
# of Google Reviews: 4
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 2
Average Yelp Rating: 4.5/5
Domain Rank: 50
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 1,800

Walker Sands

Walker Sands works with B2B clients in industries like Educational Tech, Electronics, Enterprise Software, FinTech, Professional Services, and many more.

Their team of over 40 people help companies grow through content marketing, demand generation, design, and web development.

Walker Sands has won a handful of awards, prominently displayed on their About Us page:

Walker Sands Awards

10. Chicago Style SEO

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 9
# of Google Reviews: 8
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 3
Average Yelp Rating: 2.5/5
Domain Rank: 53
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 613

Chicago Style SEO

Like several of the other agencies on this list, Chicago Style SEO offers website visitors a free website audit.

Enter your email address and homepage URL, and in 48 hours, their SEO team will evaluate your website to find areas of improvement.

Their most impressive SEO case study includes helping one of the largest website hosting companies 3x their backlinks from 4 million to 12 million in 1 year. Impressive.

11. Digital Third Coast

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 11
# of Google Reviews: 11
Average Google Rating: 4.6/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 54
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 1,800

Digital Third Coast

Digital Third Coast’s SEO expertise includes on-site technical strategy, content marketing, and outreach-based link building.

They’ve helped their clients get mentions on sites like Forbes, USA Today, Inc., and The Chicago Tribune.

Digital Third Coast also boasts a nice page of awards that you can check out here.

12. Be Found Online

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 14
# of Google Reviews: 2
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 1
Average Yelp Rating: 4/5
Domain Rank: 49
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 822

Be Found Online

Listed on the Inc. 5000 list for 6 years in a row and named one of Clutch’s Top SEO Agencies between 2016-2018, Be Found Online is another premier SEO agency in Chicago.

The main industries they’re experts in are B2B, Education, Food & Beverage, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Hospitality, Retail, Financial Services, and Ecommerce.

If you’re curious about how Be Found Online can help you, they offer a free 30 minute consultation with one of their experts.

13. OneIMS

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 12
# of Google Reviews: 7
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 3
Average Yelp Rating: 2.5/5
Domain Rank: 61
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 186

OneIMS

OneIMS has been featured on sites like Forbes, Business Insider, and HuffPost.

Primarily specializing in SEO, OneIMS has one of the best libraries of video case studies out of any agency on this list (check it out here).

You can also go on their site to get a free website evaluation.

14. Rise Interactive

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 15
# of Google Reviews: 4
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 64
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 3400

Rise Interactive

Touted as Search Engine Land’s “Agency of The Year”, Rise Interactive puts a focus on all areas of SEO – from keyword research and on-page strategy to technical and offsite.

They’ve helped clients like Northshore University HealthSystem boost their organic traffic by 575%.

15. Linchpin SEO

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 6
# of Google Reviews: 2
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 66
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 50,000

Linchpin SEO

An SEO company who can get a good amount of organic traffic to their own site is always a good sign. And Linchpin’s site tops this list as the agency with the most organic traffic.

Founder Bill Ross has consulted with clients like Nissan, Infiniti, Moen, HP, and Budweiser.

16. Marcel Digital

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 16
# of Google Reviews: 2
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 34
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 679

Marcel Digital

This agency got its name from a disgruntled client that CEO Ben Swartz was working with during his time at AOL Time Warner. His client, Marcel, wanted to move all his marketing spend over to Google Adwords, which Ben hadn’t been familiar with at the time.

Ben was intrigued that he could serve up ads only when people were searching and pay only when people clicked. So when he started his own business, Ben and his partner got permission to name the company after Marcel.

Ben and his team have been helping companies improve their search marketing for over 15 years.

17. SoMe Connect

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 7
# of Google Reviews: 2
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 41
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 554

SoMe Connect

SoMe Connect has a simple goal with their SEO services:

“Getting you the highest quantity and quality of organic traffic to your site that you can convert into sales.”

Their service offering includes on-page, content marketing, link building, and keyword research.

18. 97 Switch

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 6
# of Google Reviews: 13
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 30
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 71

97 Switch

97 Switch is a small agency led by Jeremy Greenberg and Josh Gibbs.

Their list of clients primarily include companies in the hospitality and food service industries.

19. SEO Fuel Marketing

BBB Rating: A+
# of Years in Business: 4
# of Google Reviews: 1
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: 5
Average Yelp Rating: 1/5
Domain Rank: 13
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 29

SEO Fuel Marketing

SEO Fuel Marketing markets itself as an affordable agency that specializes in ranking and marketing your website within major search engines like Google.

SEO services include website audits, local SEO, consulting, copywriting, and link building.

20. Kotton Grammer Media

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 6
# of Google Reviews: N/A
Average Google Rating: N/A
# of Yelp Reviews: 1
Average Yelp Rating: 5
Domain Rank: 53
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 4300

Kotton Grammer

Kotton Grammer Media walks the walk, as they rank high on page 1 for the keyword “Chicago SEO”.

(Same for “Orlando SEO” and “New Orleans SEO” too)

Founder Kotton Grammer has been featured or quoted in publications like Inc., HuffPost and Forbes.

21. Fanatically Digital

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 6
# of Google Reviews: 7
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 45
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 22

Fanatically Digital

Fanatically Digital offers people interested in their services a free SEO site audit report and proposal.

Their clients include Farmers Insurance and Caterpillar.

22. Northcutt

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 9
# of Google Reviews: 5
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 57
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 2000

Northcutt

As you can see from the screenshot above, Northcutt focuses their SEO services to cloud and e-commerce sites.

They also offer funnel services to help turn your organic traffic into paying customers.

23. Zima Media

BBB Rating: N/A
# of Years in Business: 2
# of Google Reviews: 9
Average Google Rating: 5/5
# of Yelp Reviews: N/A
Average Yelp Rating: N/A
Domain Rank: 33
Estimated Monthly Organic Traffic: 270

Zima Media

What’s unique about Zima Media is their standard packages and transparent pricing… always a plus.

Zima Media Pricing

They’ve also helped sites like Adam Kemp Fitness go from 1,185 organic visits/month to 64,449 organic visits/month (in 1 year).

Conclusion

There you have it: a list of the top SEO companies in Chicago.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Have you worked with any of the agencies listed here?

If so, leave a comment below right now.

16 Comments

  1. Thank you for mentioning Zima Media. We built an entirely remote business that I manage from Mallorca, Spain. We are from Chicago but working on the internet does not require a physical location. Fortunate to be a long-time reader and happy to make the cut! Thank you.

  2. yikes, this list is nowhere near what I would call the best in Chicago. Some of the companies on the list provide horrible strategies and have no idea what they are doing. Clearly, the scoring methodology didn’t work out as intended.

      1. Hi Brian. The big three are typically publicis, dentsu and sapient razor fish. All which have locations and offices in Chicago.

        Probably want to include at the minimum Digitas, wpromote, iprospect, 360i. There are others as well which fit. Some of the places you’ve covered produce very low quality work. Don’t want to put any specific agency on blast but you can look at some of the glass doors to see the overall faults in strategies.

  3. Bunch of crap, know of much better agencies than straight north, run by scammers that push a point system that doesn’t push results. Just ask Blue Pay and see how much their positions have dropped and that was Straight Norths largest customer!!!

  4. Thank you for mentioning RizkAd Brian. We are happy to make it in position 4 on your list, hard work pays off. We will continue to work hard to satisfy our customers.

  5. I’ve been a fan of Backlinko for a very long time. It’s an amazing platform and I’ve learned a lot about SEO from your articles. But to have Straight North as the best agency in Chicago begs the simple question: how much are they paying you or are you nuts? These guys are vultures. And I mean it. They hook you in for a small-ish monthly fee, on 4-6 months contracts (around 5k/ month). And they provide zero value. They had the stupidity of coming to me with a list of directory listings and called them “amazing backlinks secured by our team”. Directory listings???? I’m really disappointed Dean. It seems you did some superficial research and put the worst at the top.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 Comments