Hire an SEO Agency With a Local Chicago Service
AUQ was born in Chicago, in the Edgewater neighborhood. Since then we’ve expanded into a remote team with employees in all over the world.
We offer SEO, content marketing & web development services specifically to B2B brands. We understand the need for brands to stand out in the online space and we help them achieve this by creating high quality, educational content that portrays your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
We develop individual and specialized SEO strategies that consider the uniquness of your brand and your consumers. We are not a one-size-fits-all agency and are proud of the time we put into understanding our clients’ business.
Every business is unique, so work with a team that won’t apply a one size fits all
We specialize in the 4 main aspects of SEO:
- Technical Audits
- Content Creation
- Conversion Focused Design
Thousands of sites are launched each year, but only the top 10 positions receive traffic. This is why you need a team that specializes in all aspects of SEO and can do more than just make recommendations.
Our SEO managers & editors hire unique content writers for each client we work on, they are subject matter experts in their fields and can contribute with insightful
Our Designers are trained on conversion & SEO focused design, that keeps users engaged on your site – whether they land on your homepage or one of our blog articles.
Our Developers specialize in secure, fast and clean code and a well thought out mobile experience. As loading times become a bigger factor within Google’s algorithm, we work hard to make sure our sites load faster than the competition!
Our SEO Projects & Services
A modern design paired with a fast loading theme.Casino M8trix
An ecommerce SEO campaign that reached ROI in 6 months.Outland Living
A website refresh focused on SEO growth.Armormax
A classic brand, redesigned for modern times.Odors Away
A new design, optimized for local SEO & pagespeed.Econ Granite
SEO & Development Services
SEO Focused Web Design
SEO is much much more than keywords on a page. As Google’s algorithm has evolved to comprehend user behavior, design is now becoming a vital part of an SEO strategy. Aspects of design like:
- Which content is important enough to be above the fold?
- Do your landing pages encourage deeper exploration?
- Is your content easy to scan & understand?
Majority of non-branded SEO visits won’t start on your homepage, most likely it’ll be your service pages or articles. Designers must understand this user journey and design engaging pages deeper in the funnel. Afterwards our development approach stresses fast loading times, security and easy website management.
SEO Content Marketing
A content library is a great way to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Useful, informational content is a tried & tested way for consumers to discover your brand during their research phase, opening up doors for top of mind consideration and powerful retargeting campaigns.
However, this content must be written by experts in the field and it’s rare that a brand’s product managers have time to dedicate to building an SEO content library. Our team can help – we find & hire subject matter experts and oversee their content creation – whether it’s infographics, long form articles or data visualizations.
Due to the competitive nature of the landscape, content marketing only works if the content is well researched, well written and optimized for conversion.
Analytics & Dashboard Setup
Accurate analytics help us test & optimize our clients’ campaigns. We set up custom systems to track a variety of primary & secondary metrics, and use this data to help us adjust our conversion and SEO strategies. Our clients receive a custom analytics dashboard that reflects statistics unique to their business and are auto-updated daily.
Many SEO audits will provide you with a templated and auto-generated report. You’ll receive a list of problems like missing alt tags or h2’s and then your developers will go to work fixing this list of issues.
We are convinced that this is NOT the way to approach technical SEO. While there is nothing wrong with fixing obvious errors, this is only going to get you a quarter of the way to a high-performing website analysis. A real understanding of technical SEO involves the ability to prioritize fixes, and making sure your developers are not wasting time on complex edits that will not yield results.
True technical SEO looks at website from a developers point of view, and marries it with industry knowledge of SEO. At this point the best practices of SEO are just table stakes. So a deep dive into your technical SEO analyzes aspects of design, internal linking and while keyword research may not traditionally be part of a “technical audit” it is essential to understand what pages to prioritize for optimizations.
We’re proud of our development roots and hope to offer the same type of technical analysis that we do on our own websites!
We are are a team of seasoned experts
Founder & SEO
UX / UI Designer
Andres Bernardo Diaz
UX / UI Designer
Front End Developer
Common SEO Questions
How much do SEO services cost in Chicago?
SEO services vary from agency to agency, and depending on their services the price varies as well. Some are specialists in certain aspects of SEO like audits or link building campaigns.
We developed our SEO campaigns to be a full service offering so that we can see a campaign from beginning to end. We offer full service monthly SEO plans in Chicago starting at $3,000.
If you have a special project or audit – we’re happy to provide a custom quote based on the size of the project.
How do you work with business in Chicago?
A big part of our team is global, and for a time we had a space in Edgewater, but as the world moved to remote work we no longer keep it.
However, we’re happy to meet in person at your Chicago offices or set up regular video calls to keep our projects on track.
What industries do you work with?
We work with a variety of industries, but our primarily focus is on B2B services and national saas companies – our solutions are always custom tailored to our client’s needs, therefore each SEO strategy is a unique campaign designed specifically for your brand and your customers.
Do you also help with web design & development?
Yes! If we recommend it – we can implement it. We believe it’s not enough to submit an audit and point out a site’s shortcomings. We take the extra steps to follow through on our recommendations and implement them from a technical & design point of view. This allows us to execute our strategy from conception to delivery when working with WordPress sites.
Do you offer SEO penalty recovery services?
Yes. Our penalty recovery process focuses primarily on technical SEO issues. Generally what most people view as “penalties” are actually results of a poor website redesign or domain migration.
We’re happy to work with teams in Chicago to help them diagnose these issues, apply fixes and track recovery.
How do you approach linkbuilding services for SEO?
We’ve spent years perfecting our link building approach, we tested multiple vendors and eventually settled on our own in-house process that focuses on page level linkbuilding.
We place links on pages that already rank in Google, this allows for quicker indexation and strong ranking signals than domain based linkbuilding that focuses on misleading domain rank stats.
Ever since the Penguin 2.0 update in 2012 – Google has shifted focus from penalizing links, to de-valuing them, the result is while businesses might not be penalized – they could be wasting thousands of dollars in linkbuilding costs that do nothing to benefit their website.
How do you approach keyword research?
Before we begin any keyword research project we take the time to meet with a business’s stakeholders and understand the ins and outs of their business and their customers. These sessions give us a better understanding of where to being our keyword research, what keywords are most profitable for you and how your customers think and the general questions they might have.
To get a further understanding of your customer’s search behavior we dive into your industry’s online platforms. We review message boards, quora, reddit – these are great sources of information for learning about customer pain points.
After the initial research is complete and we have a good understanding of your customer profile we start analyzing your top competitors and the keywords that they rank for. Depending if your site is new or old and the strength of your domain – our recommendations may differ.
For new sites with a small lnikbuilding profile – we try to find keywords that are either not covered by your competitors or where your competitors have thin or weak content. These become your best short term goals.
For more established sites with strong backlink profiles – we focus on the biggest conversion drivers, these are generally keywords that have the highest cost per clicks in your industry. If your competitors are willing to pay to show up for certain keywords, that means there is a profitable opportunity there, and we will prioritize these terms in our recommendations.
If your SEO goals are based around thought leadership or brand exposure – we will recommend informational high traffic & high funnel research articles. These are great opportunities to constantly appear on your customer’s research journeys, especially valuable if your brand can be one of the first educational articles they read – it establishes trust early on in their buying cycle.
After these issues are identified we’re happy to partner with your development team or lend our own experience and get our hands dirty to help implement fixes.
What common technical SEO issues do you target?
While our technical audits are unique for each client, and we may deep dive into different issues for different clients, there are some common table stakes issues that we review for all clients.
- Robots.txt file set to no-index: a robots.txt file is used by search engines to undrestand which pages should be ignored by the crawler. In some cases developers may block certain pages from search engines while they’re being developed, and sometimes they forget to change the settings when moving from the dev server to production. Alternatively it can be a good idea to block indexation of certain scripts that may take too long to load but don’t contain useful information for search engines, additionally pages that may contain private information like user profiles can sometimes be blocked for privacy reasons.
- WordPress set to no-index: this is a common WordPress issue we’ve seen that certain pages may be de-indexed by a number of settings within WordPress like the “reading” menu, or certain SEO plugins. It’s always worth double checking the basics!
- Http vs Https: Https version is 100% the better option for your users and search engines, however you may ran into ‘mixed content warnings’ when files ( often images ) are linked to with ‘http’ links. We will run a craw to make sure all links are serving secure content, and set up necessary site wide redirects to push users to the https version.
- XML sitemap issues: XML sitemaps help search engines map and crawl the site, it’s a birds eye view of your site’s pages, categories, posts, user pages etc.. It’s important to set up a system to auto generate these pages every time there is an update, and submit it to Search Console for indexation.
- XML video & image sitemaps: similar concept as above for but for video and image files, depending on your content library this could be a useful addition to your sitemap links.
- Page speed: loading times are integral to a good user experience, and Google recognizes this by weighing loading speed in it’s algorithm. However this is not compared equally across the web, and you should only be measuring yourself against your top SEO competitors – you don’t need perfect scores, you just need better scores than your competition. Specifically in situations for different industries, they may have different page speed benchmarks for example for beauty and clothing brands images are absolutely integral to the sales process and they may not be interested in serving compressed, low quality images. However options such as a CDN or lazy loading may be acceptable solutions here.
- Mobile content missing: Google follows a mobile first philosophy where the mobile version of the site is the “true” version which will be indexed by search engines.
- Missing img alt tags: This is an easy one to spot and fix, each image should have an “alternative text” attached to it, this is visible only by search engine robots & screen readers for vision impaired. It’s a requirement for google, but more importantly it’s a critical feature for users with visual impairment who rely on these tags to understand your site. Failing to add them not only hurts your search engine rankings, it can also have legal ramifications depending on what state you’re in.
How to interview a technical SEO consultant or agency?
Technical SEO’s will often have a strong background in web development, it’s crucial for understanding how to prioritize and understand the effort necessary to implement our recommendations. I would ask interview questions such as:
- Describe sites you’ve built in the past – what languages are you familiar with?
- How do you prioritize development tasks?
- Describe the order in which page elements load? ( HTML, DOM, CSS, JS, External CSS )
- Describe the difference between client side and server side rendering?
How do you incorporate EAT factors into your audits?
EAT in SEO stands for expertise, authority, trust. These are factors that Google looks to analyze when deciding if your site is ‘trustworthy’ – although this isn’t strictly a ‘developer’ task we still consider this as part of technical SEO.
This is specifically important for “Your money or your life sites” – which are sites concerning health or financial decisions.
EAT factors are often based on design, and if users perceive your site as “trustworthy” while browsing it. The ways to achieve this is by including the following design elements:
- Author information on blogs
- Listing certifications related to your field
- Citations to well written research
- Your brands reputation online ( glassdoor, google reviews, bbb )
- Long form content that is educational, no thin content
- External links to authoritative sources, and not linking to pseudoscience
Why is UX design part of technical SEO?
UX design is a key player in the equation that adds up to SEO. We view technical SEO as “all on page factors” and it would be a huge miss to leave out the user experience from an audit. A quality SEO audit will provide design feedback as well for a few reasons:
- You may be missing a category of pages that correspond to important keywords
- A page could have additional content blocks for keyword rich content
- A good landing page design prevents users from bouncing back to SERPS which is a direct ranking factor in our eyes
- Certain aspects of the page cause it to load slowly, and page speed is a major technical SEO factor
- Does the design of the user journey reflect how a crawler would navigate the site, or are there important orphaned pages?
Design & development go hand in hand, and it would be a mistake to only evaluate the development aspect of a site for a technical SEO audit.