7 Undeniably Best SEO Agencies and Consultants for Startups

Discover which agencies and SEO consultants would be ideal to help with boosting your startup's SEO

Your product is live, and you have initial paying customers, too. Next step is to kickstart and build your growth engine, right?

This, in practical terms, means that you need to find an SEO agency to help you do it. There is just too much to it for you to try and do SEO yourself. 

The problem? There are so many agencies and consultants to choose from.

Google lists 273 million results for the phrase “SEO agency,” for example, and nearly 60 million results for "SEO consultant."

There’s no way you could filter even the first few result pages to find the right vendor.

SERP example for the term SEO Agency.

Sites like Credo are no help either. Their databases are filled with agency and consultant listings to the brim too.

So, who’s good out there? Who specializes in helping startups like yours? Who could not only develop your SEO strategy or find profitable keywords but also, implement it, and build your entire organic growth? 

Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find out from this guide.

Below, you’ll find a shortlist of 7 absolutely and undeniably best SEO agencies and consltants who specialize in working with startups. You’ll learn who they are, what are their core strengths, verticals they operate in, and more.

Before we get to that, though, let’s cover some basics. These will give you the information you need to make an informed decision about hiring an SEO agency or a consultant. 

It’s a lot to cover so, let’s get right to it. 

When to hire an SEO agency amd when to choose a consultant?

As a startup, you actually have three options when it comes to boosting your SEO: 

1. Do it yourself

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course.

But doing SEO yourself just means that you're taking on all aspects of startup SEO on yourself.

That's all.

2. Hire an SEO consultant

A startup SEO conultant is a good option when:

In other words, a consultant is someone you’d hire to help achieve a specific outcome or deliver a project.

A consultant could join you for a limited time, own the organic channel, and complete actions that help propel your SEO program forward. 

3. Hire an agency

An agency provides all services required to deliver an SEO program, it is an ideal solution to hire when you have no internal resources (or time) to do SEO in-house, and need someone to do it all for you. 

An agency will build your strategy, create all the necessary content, optimize it, promote it, and do everything else that’s needed to build your organic growth.

As a result, an agency is more suitable for startups that have no internal resources and no plans to build a marketing department, yet want to kick start its growth.

Let’s compare the two options - consultants and agencies.

SEO Consultant

  • Role: Strategic (but can help with execution, too)
  • When to hire: When you need someone to become a partner in building your SEO program or help overcome a particular growh issue
  • Worth to know: SEO consultants take a very personal approach to their clients' success.
    Since they, usually, work with a handful of clients at a time, they can embed themselves within the client's business, and become more involved and engaged.

SEO Agency

  • Role: Strategy and Execution
  • When to hire: Early on to kick start your SEO program.
  • Worth to know: Agencies are less personal in their approach to working with clients.
    Agencies usually work with many companies at a time, and focus on deliverables and following a strict process, rather than a strategic approach to growing a client's business.
    That's why you often find agencies to offer productized services whereas consultants are more flexible in how they deliver client work.

What to look for when choosing an SEO partner for your startup?

I’ve already hinted at the problem - There’s just so much choice when it comes to SEO consultants and agencies.

Naturally, practically all of them claim to be the best for you

Hint: They’re not. (This is not to say that they are not good, of course. They’re just not ideal for your particular project.)

But how do you figure that out? How can you tell whether a particla agency or a consultant are a good fit for your startup? 

The best way to find out is to talk to a potential partner, of course. Before you do that, though, you need to shortlist potential candidates to interview. 

To do that, review the company against these factors:


The agency you choose doesn’t have to specialize in  startups exclusively. It’s perfectly fine if they cover some other verticals. 

That said, there is a limit to the number of verticals an agency or consultant could be an expert at. Two, three, maybe four is alright. 

But a company that specializes in more than that is, most likely, a generalist.

It’s simply impossible to build specialized market and vertical knowledge across so many industries, verticals, and niches. 

As a result, the agency might lack that specialized approach required to work with startups.

So, as the first thing - Look at how many verticals your potential SEO agency specializes in. If you see them working in more than three or four, beware. 


Let’s face it; anybody can claim to have “extensive startup experience.” 

But do they have any proof? 

Can the agency demonstrate such expertise? Or are they just making empty claims on their startups landing page?

Naturally, there is no single way to showcase the experience. Some SEO practitioners do that through content. Others run podcasts, share internal research projects, offer templates or free tools, and so on. 

So, review their websites for signals of startup experience. Check if they cover startup-related topics on their blogs. Run through the list of their podcast episodes. See how many startup-related topics they talk about there. 

And of course, review their case studies. Do they show results delivered to startups? 

I’m going to shamelessly illustrate this with the example of my consulting practice.

I work exclusively with startups, and that’s reflected practically everywhere on my site. 

I share only startup case studies. 

Startup SEO expertise example.

I also post a ton of advice directed at startups exclusively.

Startup SEO expertise example 2.


I admit, this is a tricky factor to evaluate. No agency would reveal on their website any specific data about their client campaigns, after all. It’s all confidential. 

(Actually, if they do, and make the client data public, then it’s, probably, a warning sign already.) 

But they should offer at least some proof of the results they’ve delivered. 

This proof can be as simple as client testimonials (with the client’s real name, position, and company.) 

It could be a case study about the client’s problem and solutions implemented but without revealing any confidential data. 

Or it could be a list of campaign results without revealing who the client is. 

This is how Brandon Hufford from GrowthSprints showcases his accomplishments for clients. (Please forgive him for the typo, though.)

Startup SEO case study from an agency.

Best Startup SEO Consultants and Agencies

Below is a purely subjective list of SEO agencies and consultants I consider to be the best choice for startups.

Full disclaimer - I’ve included my consulting practice - Pancake - on the list as well. But I’ll leave it to you to decide whether my services are a good fit for your startup or not, though.

So, without any further ado…

#1. Pancake

Pancake is a boutique, one-person SEO agency run by me, an SEO consultant. I work exclusively with early-stage startups and help clients: 

As an SEO consultant, I deliver a wide range of services, from evaluating your SEO opportunity, strategy development, technical SEO, content marketing, to user acquisition and CRO. 

In short, I have your entire organic growth covered. 

Where you can learn more about meand my experience:

#2. Simple Tiger

Simple Tiger is one of the very first (if not, the very first) SEO agency dedicated to helping SaaS companies exclusively. However, since its inception, the agency grew to also incorporate PPC services. 

Simple Tiger is the best option if you need someone to deliver and implement the complete digital marketing strategy for your startup - from keyword research, technical SEO, content creation, link building, and paid advertising. 

Where you can learn more about Simple Tiger’s experience:

#3. Skale

I keep hearing good things about Skale, and hence their place on the list. Skale services include everything you’d expect from an SEO agency. The company will develop your strategy, oversee the implementation, including content creation and link building, and help you convert that newly acquired traffic into signups and revenue. 

Although, the two services that Skale seem to push the most are link building and content writing, so it’s worth noting that these seem to be the company’s greatest strengths. 

Where you can learn more about Skale’s experience:

#4. SALT

SALT is quite an unique agency on the list. It’s also one of the agencies I truly admire and wholeheartedly recommend. What makes SALT unique is that the agency focuses exclusively on technical SEO. SALT is your partner if you’re looking to improve crawlability, fix technical issues on the site, recover from a Google penalty, or even to find out what problems might be hindering your SEO efforts. 

Where you can learn more about SALT’s experience:

#5. Fortis

Fortis is another pioneer SEO agency for SaaS. I heard of them a couple of years ago, and I considered them a competition when I began considering growing my SEO consulting practice into an agency, and for a good reason - Fortis offers a comprehensive set of SEO services tailored to SaaS specifically. Their main emphasis is on producing SEO content at scale, and helping startups to build their search visibility organically.  

Where you can learn more about Fortis’ experience:

#6. Growth Turn

Growth Turn is an agency run by my friend, Marcin Chirowski. Marcin used to work as an SEO consultant but over time built his practice into a thriving agency. What makes Growth Turn different on the market is Marcin’s unique approach to structuring client engagements. Instead of focusing on continuous engagement, Marcin and his team break it into sprints, and focus each sprint on clearly defined growth tactics they implement. I find this an ingenious approach that brings much clarity into agency client engagement, and lets clients understand what their vendor is working on and why.

Where you can learn more about Growth Turn’s experience:

#7. Optimist

Optimist is a unique agency. First, it’s more of a collective of freelancers than a typical agency (which isn’t a bad thing, by the way.) As a collective, Optimist is able to create custom creative teams for clients that match their unique requirements and needs.  

Secondly, Optimist focuses primarily on funded, growth-stage startups that need help with scaling their SEO content efforts to drive growth. It’s, probably, not ideal for an early-stage company. But if you’re a growth-stage startup, with a solid venture capital behind it, Optimist should be on your radar.

Where you can learn more about Optimist’s experience:

And that's it...

I realize that seven doesn’t seem like a vast choice, but isn’t that the point? 

These SEO experts have cut teeth helping companies like yours. They know how startups work. They know what you need to do, and what actions wouldn’t move the needle for you yet.

So, even though there’s just seven of them, they are seven absolutely best SEO agencies for startups.

All that’s left for you is to start researching them further, and pick the ones you’d like to chat with further.

Good luck!

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