Are you looking to find a freelance SEO or SEO agency to outsource some work to?
Freelance SEO consultants can be a great resource for businesses and brands that don’t have in-house SEO expertise available.
This article will go into detail about the differences between working with freelance SEO consultants vs working with agencies and things to consider when choosing between the two.
Working with a Freelance SEO professional
Working with a freelance SEO means you’re working with one individual to handle your website. This isn’t that uncommon as one SEO professional or consultant can handle multiple websites.
However, a freelance SEO consultant can only work with a certain number of clients.
If you’re working with a freelance SEO professional you should consider how well they know your industry and how much you trust them to manage your website growth.
Working with a freelancer can be a great option for businesses who only need help with SEO specifically.
With the right consultant, you can potentially get great results at a significantly lower cost.
Working with a full-service agency vs SEO agency
A full-service agency handles pretty much all aspects of marketing from social media to SEO, to content creation, to conversion optimization.
An SEO agency focuses specifically on SEO related tasks. They might not offer social media services or content creation out of blogs/landing pages.
There are definitely pros and cons of working with a specialist agency vs a full-service one.
I’ll walk through some of the factors that impact providing SEO services and what they mean for freelancers, full-service marketing agencies, and SEO agencies.
Time and attention
Time and attention can be a major consideration when choosing who to partner with on SEO.
Find out who will be assigned to your account and how exactly they operate. “Agency” and “freelancer” can be misnomers when it comes to time and attention that’s being contributed to your project.
Some agencies have individual SEO professionals that handle everything at an account. Some of them have multiple team members working on one account. And some freelancers and individual consultants have people that help them with different tasks like content creation or technical SEO.
Just some things to consider or keep in mind when considering potential vendors.
You’ll have to ask some questions and find out from the people you speak with exactly how they are organized structurally to service your account.
Think about how much time and attention the agency itself or the individual freelancer will commit to making sure your website is optimized for Google search results and reaching your goals.
Project scope will be the biggest factor in decision making
Project scope is a major factor in handling how you outsource your SEO work.
There are a number of areas that contribute to the overall scope of your project in relation to SEO work.
Keep in mind that different professionals and agencies also have different packages as well so if you want to use a specific service provider you can usually pay more for more output.
Size of your current website
The size of your website has a big impact on how much SEO work will need to be done on your website. A larger website means it will take longer to finish audits and fix technical SEO issues and there will be much more content and pages to manage.
If you’re a small business, start-up, newer brand, or have a website without much content, you’re fine to work with a freelancer.
If you’re a mid-market to enterprise company with a huge website, you may want to go with an agency that can dedicate more resources.
Even eCommerce stores with lots of pages and (some stores have huge inventory and tons of product pages) can be a challenge to deal with.
The size of your website can significantly impact the price of your services and the resources necessary to properly manage the site.
Part of the project scope is defining the responsibilities or expectations of the vendor to you as a client.
For example, something to consider with a full-service marketing agency is they would potentially be handling all aspects of your digital marketing activity
- Social media
- Content writing
- Email marketing
- Website optimization
You’ll have to account for what you need help with and what you’re actually getting done when you’re analyzing services.
An SEO freelancer is highly unlikely to handle anything outside of SEO and some aspects of content writing and website optimization.
An SEO agency would probably offer a more comprehensive package of those same services while a full-service agency would be able to handle all of them.
Don’t forget that SEO does impact and contribute to other areas of your marketing strategy.
The keywords you target and the landing pages and blog posts you create for your SEO strategy will tie into the social media content you post, the emails you send customers, and what your website looks like.
Another vital aspect of the scope of the project is the content creation.
The two most important things are the type of content that will be created for you and the amount of it.
If you’ve already got someone making graphics and videos, it makes sense to outsource only the written content you need.
If you don’t have any consistent in-house content creation and you’d like to include that in your strategy, you may want to consider a full-service agency that can take everything off your hands.
One of the most important factors in SEO is the quality of the content you create. You need to choose who you think can best create the content necessary for your specific business and website. Whether that’s an agency or freelancer can depend.
A freelancer might write the content themselves or outsource it, the same as an agency. Find out what they’ll be doing to create your content and consider their expertise in the type of content you’ll need.
Finding a freelancer or agency that has good knowledge of your niche or target audience can be a big advantage in writing content that’s great for your customers and helps you rank on Google.
The amount of content also needs to be considered in terms of timeframe and publishing frequency as well.
4 pieces of content a week vs 4 pieces of content a month is two completely different price ranges and work hours.
Start off with your content requirements and work backward from there to find out what’s the right fit for your business.
Budget and pricing
At the end of the day, one of the biggest things concerning project scope is the budget. You have to balance what you want with what you have.
You also have to temper expectations based on your budget.
If you’re looking to do slow and steady optimization work and don’t need too much new content creation, going with a freelancer might be an ideal option.
If you need lots of content cranked out in a shorter time period, you should consider focusing on agencies.
Freelance SEO work vs Agency SEO work
At the end of the day, freelance work vs agency work depends on what the needs and constraints of your business are.
Even though there are general assumptions you can make when working with a freelancer vs an agency, it’s important to judge every vendor on an individual basis.
Think about what marketing services you need help with, whether it’s just SEO or additional marketing.
Consider the time and attention the vendor will dedicate to your account.
Understand that the project scope – the size of your site, what responsibilities the vendor has, the volume and frequency of content creation, and your budget will all play a role in what type of services will be ideal for your business.
If you’re interested in a consultation with a freelance SEO consultant, click here.
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