When you need an SEO should you choose an agency or a freelance SEO? Who does the better job? It’s a very common question and no matter what industry or niche you operate in, maintaining a strong online presence is crucial for the success of your business. Having a website for your company is no longer optional in the current business landscape but rather an absolute necessity. And, with an estimated 1.5 billion websites currently online, (200 million of which are deemed to be active), you need to ensure that you can be found. The best way to do this is through an effective, well-executed SEO strategy.
Implementing an SEO strategy that will allow your website to feature higher in the search rankings takes time. While it’s possible to implement effective techniques yourself, hiring a professional is almost always the better option. You won’t need to spend time learning all of the different facets of SEO, going through the process of trial and error and wasting valuable time and money that could be better spent running your business. The question remains, however, should you hire an SEO agency or work with a freelancer to improve your SEO?
Let’s take a look at some key points that you need to consider so that you can make the right call.
As with any major business decision, you need to consider how much you are willing to spend. When it comes to hiring an SEO specialist, large agencies tend to be significantly more expensive than smaller providers and freelancers. One of the main reasons for this is that a freelancer will have much lower overheads, allowing them to pass these savings onto you, the client.
A large agency, on the other hand, needs to increase their prices to cover their office rent, staff payroll, accounting, marketing team and all the other costs associated with operating a larger firm. Freelancers and small providers will always offer better value.
Level Of Expertise
The thought of outsourcing any aspect of your business to a third-party can be daunting for business owners. You want to know that you are hiring people with the skills and expertise to get you the results you need.
A large SEO agency, by its very nature, will employ a team of people with varying expertise and industry knowledge. While you might discuss your project with the company director who might be a true expert in SEO, there’s an extremely good chance that he or she will not be the one working on creating an effective SEO strategy for your business.
Conversely, when you hire a freelancer, you know that you are always in communication with the individual who will be working on your project. Many freelancers have worked in agencies, honing their skills before going out on their own. As business owners themselves, freelancers are passionate and driven, meaning they will continue to study and learn about the latest trends and best practices in SEO, translating to better results for you.
Reputation And Reliability
There are agencies out there with stellar reputations, that do a great job for their clients but they are not always affordable. There are also plenty of large agencies out there that are affordable but that cannot be relied on to do the work properly. However, many people assume that a big agency can be trusted and will have a proven track record just because they present a professional, corporate image. This image alone can bring new business to their door with ease.
A smaller SEO firm or a freelancer must work hard to find clients. They tend to rely on word-of-mouth and referrals rather than glossy ads and a catchy tag line. A freelancer is only as good as their last job and their reputation is everything! When hiring a freelance SEO, you can be sure that they will dedicate themselves 100% to getting you real results. Unlike some bigger agencies, they will appreciate you hiring them and will work hard to deliver for you.
While the days of set 9-5 office hours are becoming increasingly less common in the digital age, for many large companies, these traditional working conditions are often still upheld. If you need something tweaked on a Friday evening, there’s a good chance that your email will not be replied to until Monday morning and your request may not be dealt with until a few days later at best.
For a dedicated, personalized and flexible solution to your SEO needs, a smaller provider or a freelancer is always the better option. They have the capacity to work around your schedule to deliver what you need when you need it! Freelancers often work unsociable hours, which allows them to be more flexible and reactive if something needs to be altered last-minute. This level of flexibility is very difficult for agencies that have more stringent rules and guidelines in place.
Large corporate agencies will generally operate on a contractual basis, whereby you will need to sign a six-month, one-year or even longer contract for them to work with you. This can be a big commitment for smaller business owners, who may not have the resources to lock themselves into a long-term contract.
Sometimes, you will need an SEO for a short-term campaign or for a one-off project. Other times, you might need their expertise on an ongoing basis but you might not be able to commit to a certain period of time due to financial constraints or other reasons. For true flexibility and an approach that can be tailored to your unique needs or situation, a freelance SEO will be the right decision. They will not try to lock you into a contract and will work with you in a capacity that will work for you, whether that is on an as-needed basis or on a longer-term capacity without a set contract in place.
Agencies Vs Freelancers: Make The Right Choice For Your SEO
With the business landscape becoming increasingly more competitive, having an effective SEO strategy in place is key to success. In order to implement a strategy that is tailored to the unique requirements of your business, you need to hire the right person or people for the job.
While some business owners may be drawn to a large firm that they assume will get them the results they want, it’s important to take a step back and assess what you really need. Do you want to work with someone who is passionate, results-driven and who stands by their reputation? Do you need an SEO who will dedicate themselves to your project, be there for you when you need them and offer a personalised solution? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, then for you, a freelance SEO is absolutely the right choice. With their drive, determination, skills and dedication to their craft, you can be sure that a freelance SEO will always go above and beyond to not only meet but surpass your expectations.