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Best SEO Company in South Africa [2024]

Written by
Luke Marthinusen

So you want your website to move up the search engine rankings? In this article, I cover how I would go about evaluating SEO services to find the best SEO company. I list a few good options to kick off your SEO campaign.

If you just want a list and don't want to know how to evaluate them yourself, here's who I think the leading SEO companies in South Africa are:

  • Algorithm Agency
  • MO Agency
  • Ruby Digital
  • SEO Pros
  • Top Click
  • Web SEO

Top SEO specialists are generally digital marketing agencies with a strong focus on search engine rankings, link building and content. Choosing an SEO company is not an easy thing. The search landscape is always changing, as Google modifies its algorithm. And SEO companies tend to rise and fall with these updates.

SEO agencies in South Africa remain a combination of small (1-3 staff) and mid-sized (3-20) companies. There are very few large firms providing professional SEO services in SA, the likes of which are very common in Europe and the US.

You might also like: Are SEO Agencies in South Africa Wasting your Money?

The difference between SEO and SEM

A distinction needs to be made between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

SEO is the process of ranking on search engines without paying money to the search engine.

SEM is the process of ranking and being visible on search engines by paying money to search companies via products like Google Adwords. In the context of SEO companies, SEM loosely extends to display advertising on websites that are not search engines, and paid ads on social media platforms.

This article deals with SEO - the process of ranking without paying for clicks or impressions.

I do think however that most of the SEO companies mentioned below gain a significant, if not majority of their company revenue as 15 - 25% fee on ad spend. Paid and organic search does work well together - when done the right way.

What makes an SEO company great?

The secret sauce of an SEO company and search engine marketing in general is a combination of factors.

Visionaries and staff

The best firms are headed up - strategically or owned - by one or two SEO Pros. This person has worked with SEO for 5 - 10 years and knows exactly what he/she is doing.

These individuals can read your SEO landscape like Naas Botha reads a rugby game. They can see where you are doing well, and where you need support and hard work. And like a rugby team preparing for a Rugby World Cup, they appreciate that showing up at the World Cup final requires years of consistent work.

These visionaries only have so many hours to work on your SEO every day. Yes, SEO Pros have families, pets, and pastimes outside of the work they do for you.

So, they rely on staff to deliver your SEO strategies. The agency staff needs to be well trained and versed in timeous delivery in order to deliver results. Have you ever been sold by the 'A-team', and handed over to the 'B-team' to deliver?

Unfortunately, what makes a great SEO agency pro, doesn't always translate to a good leader and a sound business delivery process.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Search engine optimisation is no longer a purely technical pursuit, and there are multiple factors that contribute to Technical, On-page and Off-page SEO. A good SEO company needs to deliver on all of these factors. Or work well with teams that can. These include:

1. Content Marketing

  • Blog posts
  • Time on site
  • Social media content and shares
  • eBooks and whitepapers
  • Videos and audio recordings
  • Infographics or other visual content

2. On-Page SEO

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Internal links
  • Image alt tags
  • Content structure

3. Off-Page SEO

  • Backlinks
  • Social signals (likes & shares)
  • Trust

4. Technical SEO

  • Website speed
  • Crawlabilty by search engines
  • Error correction: 404s, removal of spam links
  • Stuctured data
  • Accurate Sitemaps and robots.txt
  • Secure: Https and no spam and malicious code. 

4. Black-hat vs White-hat Search Engine Optimisation

  • Black-hat methods: Optimising for search engines only. This involves exploiting weaknesses in search engines to get results and rank very quickly. By ignoring the human element and breaking or bending the rules SEO companies can rank a company quickly. However, Google is constantly waging war against sites using these methods. One sweeping Google algorithm change can wipe a site using Black-hat methods off Google entirely. Here is an article by a South African SEO company explaining what can be done after a Google penalty. I.e. The wrong move by an SEO company and poof goes your organic search traffic. 
  • White-hat methods: Optimising for humans involves focusing on the human audience that will be engaging with the website content. By consistently producing quality content that is easy to read, informative, and legitimately optimised, websites start to rank well over time. Time is the operative word here. White-hat SEO takes time. (and consistency...)

5. Complimentary digital agency services

  • Website design and development
  • Content marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • UX design
  • Marketing automation

Price

In my opinion, great SEO that works long term is not R5000 a month. It's at least R20,000 per month and upwards. I'd be interested if you have had great SEO results with monthly costs less than this. Connect with me and let me know. I'd be happy to put your story here.

How did I come up with this list?

Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.

Technical website check

Have you ever heard the comment, 'The mechanic's car is always broken'? So I'd rather have the mechanic whose car is running, work on my car. It means their business is running well and they have time to work on their own car. The same goes for SEO companies.

I excluded a few SEO companies because they had tracking errors on their website. Seriously, if you are selling SEO, you should get your own house in order. Loads of website errors, missing or broken tracking codes, and old tracking code technologies the SEO companies I reviewed. These firms were excluded. See below for a well known S.A SEO company

Google SEO Tracking Error

Domain Authority

Domain Authority is a measure of website's link profile. Domain Authority reveals how a website is doing relative to all other sites, which makes it a great KPI for benchmarking and competitive analysis.

Many an SEO agency in SA has very poor Domain Authority. Do you want this SEO agency creating your SEO strategies? Not me.

Rankings for core services

I looked at Google rankings of digital marketing agencies for keywords related to SEO. Including, their first page rankings, and the difficulties of the keywords they were ranking for. If you are going to sell rankings, best you are able to do it for yourself.

Word of mouth/awareness in the S.A marketplace

Lastly, I've been in the digital industry building websites, doing SEO, conducting conversion optimisation projects, and building digital ecosystems for over 10 years. I've shared clients with these SEO service companies. I've had clients praise and bemoan many of them.

Below are the firms I'd reach out to if I was looking for an SEO Company. Just make sure you get the 'A team.'

The Best SEO Company in South Africa List

(In alphabetical order, as described by the agencies themselves)

1. Algorithm Agency

algorithm_agency

"South Africa's Leading SEO & Performance Marketing Agency. Algorithm Agency is a data-driven performance marketing agency. We have developed a powerful set of tools to drive your data and performance marketing efforts."

List of services includes:

  • Google Ads
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Reporting and Data-Tracking
  • Digital Consulting
  • Conversation Rate Optimisation

Visit the website here:

https://www.algorithm.agency

 

2. MO Agency

MO Agency Home Page

MO Agency is a digital marketing agency focusing on websites, organic search and content, marketing and sales campaigns, and automation.

We specialise in B2B companies and deliver websites and sustainable traffic without always on paid ad spend.

Our list of services includes:

  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Social media ads
  • Lead generation
  • Web design and development
  • HubSpot automation and CRM
  • Branding and video

Visit our home page here:

https://www.mo.agency

3. Ruby Digital

rubydigital_agency

"Ruby Digital is SA's leading digital marketing agency. We've helped brands like Virgin & Thomas Cook grow. Most agencies don't focus on ROI. We do."

List of services includes:
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Google Adwords
  • Web design & development
  • Content marketing;
  • Social media management
  • Paid social media management.
Visit the website here:

https://www.rubydigital.co.za

 

4. SEO Pros

SEOPros-1

"SEOPros is one of the leading digital marketing and πŸ₯‡πŸ₯‡πŸ₯‡ SEO companies in South Africa. Unrivalled KPI-driven results growing businesses by 174% on average."

List of services includes:

  • Google Adwords
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Social media management
  • Web design
  • Web hosting

Visit the website here:

https://seopros.co.za

 

5. Top Click

topclick_agency

Top Click has been around for over 15 years, and are specialist in Google Ads, Analytics and local business listings. They also manage paid on social media platforms.  

List of services includes:

  • Google Ads management and audits
  • Google Shopping
  • Google Business
  • Social media advertising
  • SEO
  • Link building

Visit the website here:

https://topclick.co.za/

 

6. Web SEO

WebSEO

"Web SEO is an SEO Company in Cape Town | We aim to get you more relevant visitors for your website and then change them into paying customers"

List of services includes:

  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Web development;
  • Google local optimisation;
  • AdWords
  • Social media marketing; and
  • Graphic design.

Visit the website here:

https://webseo.co.za

Final Thoughts

The selection of Search Engine Optimisation companies above is a great start for anyone looking to find the right partner.

I'm sure there are some great agencies delivering solid SEO services that I may not know about. Feel free to reach out to me and share yours - Luke Marthinusen.

Obviously, we'd love to do your SEO, but you should choose the SEO company that resonates best with your unique requirements.

 

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