If you want to hire a programmer, you turn to Slovakia or Poland. If you want a web designer, you might look to India, the Philippines or Ukraine. For some reason or another, some countries specialize in certain tech and web services, and thanks to globalization and the magic of the internet, businesses stateside can access them and gain top-tier skills at an affordable price.
Yet, what if you want the best SEO services the world has to offer — where should go to for SEO? That question isn’t quite as easy to answer, but we’ll do our best.
Why SEO Is Different
Services like web design, app programming, cloud storage and the like can occur around the world because the processes of completing them aren’t terribly different from place to place. Though there are always obstacles to working with a service provider halfway around the world — like language barriers as well as differences in time zone that result in work delays — in general, the work itself is going to be the same if not much better for a much lower price than you can find within the U.S.
However, this isn’t true for SEO. While SEO professionals around the world undoubtedly have a similar understanding of search algorithms and skill in manipulating them, you can’t always trust that an SEO far from home will be able to help your search rankings budge on the home front. Search engines vary from place to place; not only are different search providers more popular in different areas of the world but major engines, like Google, simply perform different types of searches depending on the location of the web user. Not only will rankings of your webpages vary from place to place, but the rankings of your SEO competition will, as well. As a result, an SEO provider in China might never be able to access the same search results page as you and your audience sees, which means they can’t always offer the most useful advice for improving your ranking.
What’s more, some SEOs around the world continue to rely on exceedingly outdated techniques. Tactics like link spamming and keyword stuffing might suffice in parts of the world that are new to the internet, but they will only earn you ranking penalties in the U.S. Search engines work hard to discourage SEO practices that worsen user experience, so when they detect nefarious SEO tactics, search engines will send related pages much lower in the rankings or de-index related URLs entirely.
So, if you shouldn’t trust low-budget SEO services from countries outside the U.S., where should you go for quality SEO?
In the U.S.
If you operate a business within the United States, it is within the United States that you should look for SEO services. There are a few basic reasons why hiring a U.S.-based SEO business is important, such as the guarantee that you will speak the same language and assured overlaps in your hours of operation. However, more importantly, American SEOs will be more familiar with American search engines, American search habits and American business goals than SEOs from across the world. Because SEO is so closely tied to your greater digital marketing strategy — drawing upon content, social media, web design and more — it is essential that you take advantage of SEOs who understand what you want and need from your SEO services.
In Your Region
Yet, it is even more critical that you hire an SEO firm within your region of operation. Again, this solves obstacles related to time zones — but that isn’t the only reason to hire an SEO close to home. The United States is large and boasts dozens of dialects, cultures and consumer attitudes; an SEO operating within your region has a better understanding of your audience’s habits and behaviors, especially as they pertain to online search. Plus, your regional SEOs will see exactly the SEO results pages that you and your audience sees, including localized results, so they can do even more to improve your ranking.
This isn’t to say that you should feel compelled to hire whatever po-dunk SEO firm you find next door. Rather, if your business is local to some city in the Southwest, like El Paso or Pueblo, you might hire a Phoenix SEO agency with an exceptional reputation and longstanding experience in the field. Then again, if your business is national or international, you might consider hiring a handful of SEO firms in different regions to address different regional needs.
Outsourcing SEO is smart, but you don’t need to bother searching other countries for reliable SEO services. Instead, you should vet a few different firms in your area to find the best possible SEO for you.