What’s the real difference between freelance SEO consultants and agencies? The real difference is obvious, freelancers work as independent consultants. They’re usually self-employed along with their client base is often localised, although in principle freelance SEO’s can work from anywhere with clients from anywhere.
SEO agencies offer similar consultancy services but there is a large team. The dimensions of a search engine optimization agency will range from everything from several individuals to hundreds. SEO agencies often offer other website marketing services like website design, pay per click advertising advertising or display advertising as well as SEO.
As with other service based industries typically freelance SEO’s are cheaper than SEO agencies. Agencies have higher overheads like offices and sales teams, finance departments and account managers. Most freelancers work independently at home offices making their overheads significantly lower.
Most agencies an freelance SEO’s price their work hourly or over a day rate.
The particular SEO process which agencies and freelance consultants follow is usually quite similar. There’s a reasonably well developed best practice process for optimising a website which usually looks something like:
* Market and keyword research
* Technical optimisation
* On location optimisation
* Link building
Terminology as well as the details of each area of the process will vary from agency to agency and consultant to consultant but a majority of follows this formula by and large. Some freelancers may concentrate on a specific part of the SEO process like link-building but most are common rounders who can complete all the parts in the process.
The biggest difference with the agency is probably the degree of account management involvement which can be useful for larger campaigns with big brands.
The caliber of SEO work delivered by agencies and freelancers varies greatly so no real comparison can be drawn so when a company considering dealing with either an advisor or even a consultancy it really is your responsibility to seek assurances about the reliability, credibility and performance of the person you hire to accomplish your SEO.
Seek references off their customers concerning the knowledge of dealing with the company or perhaps the freelancer and check their clientele leads to Internet search results.
Agency’s often sell themselves on the benefit from using a multi-disciplinary team at their disposal comprised of departmental specialists like link builders and copywriters. This can definitely be a benefit but just as much freelancers can give you a better service quality and results with more personal experience on the project.
Using a team may give agencies an edge in this way but often freelancers are ex-agency employees who may have been in the SEO business longer and are on the top with their game. When working with an agency be sure to seek assurances concerning the knowledge of they members caring for your project. Sloppy SEO work conducted by under qualified consultants can in some instances damage your websites search rankings more than it can help.
Managing an SEO campaign has different challenges in different industries and frequently specialist experience working in a certain sector can be a huge advantage. Some freelance SEO consultants will specialise in a sector like travel, retail or finance or in a certain geographical area like local business owners in the uk. Most SEO agencies don’t specialise in a sector since they would soon use up all your prospective clients (being an agency should only work with one site in a particular niche to avoid conflict between clients) this means they may be more generalists but they will often be capable of draw on knowledge using their company campaigns within the same niche.
Some larger SEO agencies have developed bespoke tools to control their customers campaigns and generate reports. Technology is certainly an important part of SEO however in most cases the most effective SEO tools are for sale to everyone (at a price). Most agency tools are created to create reports and streamline parts of their SEO process. They can certainly help but be aware that there’s no secret tool or bit of technology which will deliver you higher search rankings- only good solid SEO work will do that kqekqa it always necessitates the human touch.
There’s certainly no person size fits all answer for whether a freelancer or agency will be a better fit to your SEO project. When you’re seeking proposals I’d recommend speaking to both, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each and ultimately choose based on the quality with their proposed solution and integrity of personal references.