Award-Winning Chicago SEO Agency

Digital Third Coast is a real Chicago SEO agency with more than 16 years of experience and award-winning digital marketing strategies.

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Meet Your SEO Ally: Honest Reporting, Real Results, No Middlemen

Welcome to Digital Third Coast. We began our journey in 2008 with a simple aim – to make a real, measurable difference for businesses like yours. Although we’re based in Chicago, our services reach across the country, offering a reliable hand in growing your online presence.

Our award-winning SEO team has a 15+ year track record of success. We’ve navigated through all of Google’s twists and turns and learned and adapted at every stage. We love SEO, it’s not just a job. When you choose to work with us, you’ll work directly with our experts, no middlemen. We value open communication and honest reporting; if there’s a hiccup, we’ll tell you, and then we’ll fix it.

We detest sugar-coated reports as much as you do and believe in presenting the real picture. Being upfront, guiding you through the SEO process, and working together towards measurable and meaningful growth is what we stand for.

Let’s explore how our SEO services can support your business in achieving its online potential.

Our Process & Chicago SEO Services

Our team of SEO experts takes a comprehensive approach to search engine optimization. We offer a variety of optimization services. Learn more about our process and the pillars of our strategy.


DTC’s SEO onboarding process is a structured three-phase approach, ensuring a thorough understanding of each client’s unique needs and goals from the onset of our engagement together:

  • Pre-Kickoff
  • Kickoff
  • Post-Kickoff

Site Audits

Our SEO site audits provide comprehensive evaluations to optimize websites for digital success. These audits include a variety of assessments, each targeting crucial aspects of SEO:

  • Technical & Core Web Vitals Audits
  • Keyword & Backlink Audits
  • Content & Analytics Audits

Keyword Research

Our agency’s approach to keyword research aligns with modern search engines’ focus on context and user intent. Our SEO efforts aim to enhance each site’s keyword rankings and industry authority.

  • Uncovering untapped niche opportunities
  • Boosting content
  • Employing KOB & topic cluster research

Content Strategy

We create impactful content tailored to audience needs and industry trends, while adhering to Google’s Helpful Content Update. Our strategy emphasizes continuous optimization, technical SEO alignment, and client collaboration.

  • Targeted & user-centric
  • Informative, engaging material
  • Updated & refined content

Content Development

DTC offers content development and updating services, combining human creativity with AI, aligned with Google’s guidelines and user needs. The service focuses on:

  • Tailored content for user intent & Google’s standards
  • Continual content updates
  • Strategy implementation

Link Building Services

We’re your experienced link-building experts. With over 15 years of expertise and a record of over 30,000 high-quality links, we know what it takes to succeed in SEO.
Our approach includes:

  • Innovative content creation
  • Active media outreach
  • Optimized content for organic links
  • Holistic SEO using Google’s HCU and KOB

Customized Local SEO Services

Local results have all but taken over local searches on the search engines. They are a big source of traffic for any business that has a physical address. Whether you have one location or more, we leverage Google Business Profiles to drive customers to your door.

  • Site structure
  • Core web vitals
  • Content quality
  • Analytics

Reporting & Communication

DTC emphasizes effective communication and transparent reporting in SEO campaigns. They offer customized, regular reporting using tools like Looker Studio for a comprehensive view of SEO progress, tailored to client needs. The approach includes:

  • Monthly recaps
  • Result analysis
  • Trend insight & future strategy

Why Clients Love Our Chicago-Based SEO Services

“Their work has been absolutely phenomenal.”

“They’re highly responsive to everything that we need and answer any questions that come up. They are incredibly friendly and personable, and they have the ability to self-manage. They stay on top of things and are highly proactive. They’re great to work with, experts in their field, and they’ve been doing exactly what we’ve needed them to do. Their work has been absolutely phenomenal, and we’re planning on working with them again in the future.

Hallie Stahl, Content Manager, Leaf Trade

“We’re a small company that’s fighting a much bigger fish — thanks to DTC, we’re winning.”

“We’ve seen a 24% increase in our page-one keywords, and our category rankings have more than doubled since 2019. They’ve also helped us acquire a significant amount of high-value links relevant to our business. Before engaging with DTC, our revenue has plateaued — now, we see a 10%–30% increase in income every year. They’ve been a boon to our business.”

John Spaw, Operations Director, Bid-on-Equipment


Don’t just take our word for it. After an initial one-year contract, 95% of our clients continue working with us.

We pride ourselves on sustainable growth and long-term business relationships. We do honest work, we don’t cut corners, our expert resources are in-house, and our strategies are transparent. After an initial one-year contract, 95% of our clients continue working with us.

Read More of our Five-Star Reviews:

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Google logo

Why Work With an SEO Agency?

When considering the decision to manage your SEO needs in-house versus partnering with an agency, it’s essential to examine the full scope of costs and productivity. An in-house SEO professional may initially seem to offer a cost advantage. However, when productivity is factored in, which for the average worker is about 75%, the effective hourly cost is $99. In comparison, an agency’s hourly rate of $175 is backed by full productivity and a team’s collective expertise.

Check out our complete breakdown analyzing the cost of doing SEO with an agency vs. in-house or the quick summary below.

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SEO Agency

Annual Cost……………………….$84,000

  • Hours per month: 40
  • Hourly rate: $175
  • Adjusted hourly rate (w/vacation): $71.44
  • Productivity rate: 100%
  • Effective cost per productive hour: $175
  • Turnover likelihood: low (agency stability)
  • Combined experience: extensive
  • Range of experience: diverse
A magnifying glass

In House

Annual Cost……………………….$138,040

  • Hours per month: 168
  • Hourly rate: $68.75
  • Adjusted hourly rate (w/vacation): $175
  • Productivity rate: 75%
  • Effective cost per productive hour: $99
  • Turnover likelihood: high (91% < 3 years)
  • Combined experience: limited
  • Range of expertise: singular

Get Your Free SEO Consultation

Schedule a free consultation with our expert Chicago SEO experts to kickstart your journey towards an optimized and high-performing website.

During this complimentary session, we’ll delve into your specific business goals, current online challenges, and aspirations. Our seasoned professionals will provide tailored insights, offering a roadmap for potential strategies to help you meet your marketing goals.

DTC is Among the Top SEO Agencies Nationwide

Meet Your SEO Team

Charley Vail

Charley Vail

SEO Account Manager

Ryan Dornan

Ryan Dornan

SEO Account Manager

Curtis Weigel

Curtis Weigel

SEO Account Manager

Andrew Najdovski

Andrew Najdovski

Senior SEO Analyst

Keith Fenner

Keith Fenner

SEO Account Manager

George Zlatin

George Zlatin

Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer

Taylor Cimala

Taylor Cimala

Co-Founder & Chief Financial Officer

Lyndsey Maddox

Lyndsey Maddox

Chief Executive Officer

Unlocking SEO Success with Advanced Tools

In the ever-evolving world of SEO, staying ahead of the competition requires not only expertise but also cutting-edge tools that provide valuable insights and streamline our marketing strategies.

At Digital Third Coast, we’re committed to delivering exceptional results. For our digital marketing agency to achieve this, we harness the power of industry-leading SEO tools. These tools serve as invaluable assets, enabling us to meticulously and efficiently orchestrate your SEO strategy.

Screamingfrog Logo

Screaming Frog is one of the most powerful and versatile tools available for SEO. It is a website crawler that allows us to thoroughly audit your site for any technical SEO and/or content issues. It scans your entire website for broken links, URL structure, meta tags, word count, image sizes, and many other metrics that may be hindering your search engine rankings. With Screaming Frog, we can get a birdseye view of your website and quickly identify issues that need fixing.

Google Analytics Logo

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) offers powerful insights into website performance and user behavior which is why it’s our primary reporting tool for SEO and all of our services. We make GA4 easy to understand for clients since it has a rather steep learning curve. We leverage it’s tracking capabilities to analyze how visitors interact with your site, including which pages get the most/least traffic, their engagement levels, traffic sources, and conversion rates. This data allows us to measure the effectiveness of SEO strategies, identify top-performing content, and make informed decisions about your digital strategy.

Google Search Console Logo

Maintaining a strong online presence requires proactive monitoring and optimization, which is where Google Search Console shines. GSC is a free but powerful tool provided by Google and offers insights directly from Google into your website’s performance within search results. By analyzing critical data in the reports such as indexing status, search queries, and crawl errors, we can identify potential issues and implement targeted strategies to fix the situation. In some cases we will use Screaming Frog (the tool mentioned above) and combine the data with GSC to get an even more granular look at things.

SEMRush Logo

Semrush is a powerful SEO toolkit that helps us research and track many data points about your website and its competitors. With Semrush, we conduct in-depth keyword research to uncover high-potential terms aligned with your target audience’s search intent. Additionally, we perform competitive analyses to identify gaps and opportunities within your industry landscape, enabling us to craft targeted strategies to compete in your market. By tracking keyword performance and backlinks, Semrush empowers us to continuously optimize your online presence and make a measurable difference.

ahrefs logo

Ahrefs is another comprehensive SEO power tool for a variety of SEO tasks including keyword research, backlink analysis, and competitor research. It is very similar to SEMrush in many ways, but it has strengths in a few areas like a more robust backlink and keyword database, based on what we’ve seen with clients.

BuzzSumo Logo

BuzzSumo specializes in social listening and backlink analysis. It allows us to discover the most popular and engaging content in your industry. We also use BuzzSumo for detailed information about the quality and quantity of backlinks to your website. It helps us evaluate the authority of your site and make informed decisions about link-building strategies.

Looker Studio Logo

Looker Studio is a tool we use to create custom reporting dashboards that provide a snapshot of your SEO performance. These dashboards consolidate data from various reporting tools and present it in an easy-to-understand format, allowing you to select different data points and date ranges to and make informed decisions. We typically include data from GA4, Google Search Console and Semrush in your Looker Studio by default but can also pull metrics from a variety of other tools.

MOZ Logo

Moz is the originator of the “Domain Authority” metric (DA), and offers a suite of SEO tools that assist in various aspects of SEO, from tracking keyword rankings to analyzing backlinks. It helps us assess your website’s authority, identify opportunities for improvement, and measure the success of our campaigns.

Brightlocal Logo

BrightLocal is a valuable tool for enhancing your local SEO efforts mainly in Google Business Profiles. It enables us to manage your business’s local listings, monitor hyper-local keyword rankings, collect customer reviews, and conduct competitive analysis. BrightLocal’s suite of tools strengthens our local SEO strategy, driving increased local traffic to your business.

FAQ: Top SEO Questions

How long does SEO take?

SEO is your forever strategy. There is no silver bullet or quick fix to achieve higher rankings, and the target is always moving. We expect most sites to see incremental lift within the first few months of our work together, and larger impact results 6-12 months into our engagement.

Our goal is always to increase your organic traffic and engagement, and where we allocate our time will depend on what has already been accomplished.

Read more about how long it takes to see SEO results.

How does SEO work?

99,000 searches happen on Google every second. Our SEO work is focused on making sure your site is visible when your audience is searching for your products or services online. We identify how your potential customers search for your offerings, and ensure the site is set up to answer their query. Good SEO makes your site “bilingual” – readable to users and robots.

When a site earns top rankings by showcasing experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trust, you capture more traffic and customer opportunities. SEO doesn’t make a great business – but it does make a great business more well-known.

What results can I expect with an SEO strategy?

Our mission is to make a measurable difference. This means we set clear baselines for performance, and measure our progress over time as we work to achieve your marketing goals.

With an SEO strategy, key performance indicators include target keyword rankings, organic traffic, and organic conversions which may include lead forms and sales. While we can track a lot of data ourselves, we’ll also look for feedback from you on the quality of the traffic and leads you are receiving to ensure we are fueling growth for your business. Your priorities are our priorities.

How much does SEO cost?

Because our strategies are all customized, the cost of SEO can vary greatly.

That said, most of our clients invest $5-15,000 monthly. We look to ensure we can generate a positive return on your investment over time, meaning we want to make sure you can expect to see revenue amounts that exceed the costs of generating that new revenue.

Does link building play a role in SEO?

Yes! Our SEO link building strategy is based on a progressive form of digital PR. We have a team of former journalists who create original, data-driven content for your website and a proven track record of leveraging our experience and connections to earn linking media coverage for clients in the nation’s leading publications.

Digital association with high-authority online publications like USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes leads Google’s algorithm to hold our clients’ websites in higher regard, resulting in improved search rankings and increased organic traffic.

Our digital PR and link building strategy is built on a rarely mastered formula we’ve honed over the better part of a decade. If you’re looking for a true advantage, you just found it.

How does SEO reporting work?

We are committed to making a measurable difference and providing high-level SEO reporting that is clear, concise, and easy to share with other team members and the executive team.

DTC’s SEO reports include a variety of metrics and provide a comprehensive overview of the performance and effectiveness of a website’s search engine optimization efforts that we also tailor to your specific needs and desired metrics.

Some of the key metrics in our SEO reports include:

  • Traffic, including overall traffic to the website and traffic from specific sources such as organic search or paid search
  • Keyword rankings, impressions, and clicks
  • Backlink total and the quality of those links
  • On-page optimization, title tag, meta description, and header tag performance
  • User experience, including bounce rate, time on site, and pages per visit
  • Conversion numbers and rates such as form submissions or online purchases
What kind of clients do you work with?

Our clients range from local businesses to large Fortune 500 companies.

We have experience working with clients in a variety of industries. Healthcare, finance, manufacturing, real estate, travel, and Cannabis are just a few.

We are a boutique firm that typically works with 25-50 clients at a time and we always have ongoing long-term relationships with our clients.

We’ve Helped Businesses in All Industries

Looking for an SEO company in Chicago? While our office is based in the Windy City, we work with clients across the country! Our team of SEO specialists collaborates with clients and businesses from various sectors all across the United States.

We have a wealth of experience in serving a wide range of companies, spanning from B2B to B2C enterprises, each with distinctive specializations within their respective industries.


Lyndsey Maddox

Chief Executive Officer

Email Lyndsey. Find out how we can help.

Work with DTC

  • Or call us at (773) 904-2700

    Lyndsey will get in touch with you as soon as possible.