Search Engine Optimization has been a hot topic of conversation ever since the early days of digital marketing. In fact, SEO even predates social media, with the first SEO companies launching around the same time as search engines surfaced in the early-to-mid 1990s. The biggest SEO companies in the world have come a long way since then, but just how many are there?
It is commonly accepted that the term SEO entered the digital marketing arena in around 1997 as John Audette and, subsequently, Danny Sullivan used it. Over the past 20-25 years, its importance and universal usage has grown at a rapid rate. The landscape is now almost unrecognizable to what it was back then.
How much is the SEO industry worth?
The SEO industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, and is now worth in the region of $80bn, up from $65bn in 2016. Incredibly that 2016 figure is 3x bigger than what was forecast back in 2008. So, while the experts have championed SEO as the heartbeat of digital marketing for over two decades, even they couldn’t have predicted the speed of growth.
There are many reasons for the continued development of SEO and digital marketing as a whole. Social media and smartphone technology are just two of the key features that have inspired a spike in users, time spent online, and online purchases.
Meanwhile, search engines have remained the focal point of all online interactions, with over 5.6 billion searches made on Google every single day. As businesses fight for visibility, the role of SEO companies has become greater than ever.
How many SEO companies are there?
It’s impossible to know exactly how many SEO companies are available worldwide, not least because new ones are incorporated every single day. However, if you include freelancers, SEO specialists, digital marketing companies, and pretenders, it’s likely that the figure will be in the tens of millions.
Why are there so many companies? Some of the telling reasons include;
- SEO is a service used in virtually every country where people have internet access.
- People wanting to work in the industry think promoting a site is easier than designing it.
- The value of the industry shows that there is money to be made.
While exact figures remain vague, it’s clear that the market is saturated with so-called experts. Of course, though, only a small percentage will actually take your business to the next level and fire your website up the SERPs.
So, how do you find the best SEO companies?
When looking to find an expert, it’s best to stick with the biggest SEO companies. There are thousands of companies registered in the USA alone. The following checklist will help you pinpoint the best companies;
- Check out their site to see their credentials and see whether they provide other digital marketing services.
- Look for testimonials from real clients, as well as awards or recommendations from impartial outlets.
- Test to see that their site has good visibility – if it doesn’t, how can they possibly deliver results for yours?
As well as the above steps, you must be sure to ask any SEO expert or company about the strategies implemented and check that they are ready to meet the demands of the evolving landscape. Get it right, and your web traffic will soar in no time.