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What’s the main difference between freelance SEO consultants and agencies? The main difference is obvious, freelancers work as independent consultants. They’re usually self-employed as well as their client base is often localised, although theoretically freelance SEO’s can work from anywhere with clients from anywhere.

SEO agencies offer similar consultancy services but these people have a large team. The size of a search engine optimization agency will range from everything from a couple of individuals to hundreds. SEO agencies often offer other website marketing services like web design, pay per click advertising advertising or display advertising as well as SEO.


Similar to other service based industries typically freelance SEO’s are less expensive than SEO agencies. Agencies have higher overheads like offices and sales teams, finance departments and account managers. Most freelancers work independently from home offices making their overheads significantly lower.

Most agencies an freelance SEO’s price their work hourly or on the day rate.


The specific SEO process which agencies and freelance consultants follow is usually quite similar. There’s a fairly well developed best practice process for optimising a web site which normally looks something like:

* Niche research

* Technical optimisation

* On location optimisation

* Link-building

* Reporting

Terminology as well as the details of each portion of the process will be different from agency to agency and consultant to consultant but most will follow this formula by and large. Some freelancers may focus on a specific portion of the SEO process like link building but a majority of are all rounders who can complete all the parts in the process.

The greatest difference having an agency is probably the level of account management involvement which can come in handy 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 business considering dealing with either a consultant or even a consultancy it really is your responsibility to seek assurances about the reliability, credibility and performance of who you hire to accomplish your SEO.

Seek references from other customers about the experience of dealing with the agency or even the freelancer and check their clientele brings about Google search results.

Agency’s often sell themselves on the benefit from using a multi-disciplinary team at their disposal made up of departmental specialists like link builders and copywriters. This can easily be a benefit but just as much freelancers can offer a better service quality and results by having more personal experience on your own project.


Using a team may give agencies a benefit in this respect but often freelancers are ex-agency employees that have been in the SEO business longer and they are at the top of the game. When you use an agency make sure to seek assurances concerning the experience with they members dealing with your project. Sloppy SEO work conducted by under qualified consultants can sometimes damage your websites search rankings more than it can help.

Sector specialists

Managing an SEO campaign has different challenges in numerous industries and frequently specialist experience working in a certain sector can become 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 inside london. Most SEO agencies don’t specialise in a sector because they would soon use up all your potential customers (as an agency should only work with one site in a particular niche to avoid conflict between clients) this implies they may be a little more generalists nonetheless they will often be able to draw on knowledge from other campaigns in the same niche.


Some larger SEO agencies have developed bespoke tools to control their customers campaigns and generate reports. Technology is undoubtedly an essential part of SEO however typically the very best SEO tools are offered 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 remember 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 involves the human touch.

There’s certainly no person size fits all answer for whether a freelancer or agency is a better fit to your SEO project. When you’re seeking proposals I’d recommend speaking with both, comparing the pros and cons of every and ultimately choose based on the quality of their proposed solution and integrity of personal references.

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