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SEO Agency Vs Freelance SEO Expert – Who to Hire?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long-term investment that, as a business owner, you should take seriously. The success of your digital business highly depends upon how you bring potential traffic to your website and convert. SEO helps you with that.

But when it comes to hiring the right resource for devising a customized SEO strategy and implementing it, you have to choose between two options: an SEO agency and a freelance SEO expert.

Both the agencies and freelancers have their pros and cons in terms of cost, quality, performance, and results. But as someone who doesn’t know much about the SEO industry, it can be pretty confusing for you which option you should opt for to get the desired results.

We have put together this guide, to ease your worries, outline the pros and cons of an agency and a freelancer, and help you make the right decision.

What is the Difference Between an Agency and a Freelancer SEO?

An SEO Agency 

seo professional services

In today's world, Search Engine Optimization needs a specialized staff with extensive expertise that can put together the fundamental elements to assist your business in improving its SERP rankings, attracting visitors and leads, and establishing its online presence.

To get this done right, you need to hire the right SEO experts who are highly experienced, knowledgeable, resourceful, and result-oriented. 

A well-established digital marketing firm has a competent staff of SEO specialists, content writers, back-link builders, and project managers who deal with a variety of clients from different countries and industries.

But, a dedicated team with vast experience and expertise comes at a huge price, and you’ll realize that hiring an SEO agency is significantly costlier. 

Because a digital marketing firm works with a variety of customers, you cannot expect them to be at your service round-the-clock as they have other clients to serve. 

This may cause serious issues if your business demands a sudden change in your online marketing strategy.

Furthermore, the nature of an SEO agency is chancy in a way that employees leave and new ones constantly come and this is how the cycle goes. 

As a result, there's a higher possibility that the individuals working on your project now won't be working in the next few months, which may upset the overall development as well as the SEO efforts.

A Freelance SEO Expert

freelance seo expert

SEO freelancers aren’t associated with any organization or an agency. They work independently and so they work on only a handful of projects at a time. 

A freelance SEO expert will take on a client’s SEO project and make sure to put in their best to deliver the best results when it comes to rankings, traffic, and brand presence. 

For businesses that are tight on budget and want cheap SEO services, hiring a freelance SEO expert is an ideal option.

While a digital marketing agency takes on many projects at a time, a freelance SEO expert usually won’t take on more than a few projects and thus will be more accessible to work one-on-one with a client. 

Furthermore, a freelancer might have more space and flexibility to work and listen to a client more than an SEO agency would do.

Last but not least, you pay a freelancer SEO only for a particular project you hire them for. Once that task is completed, you can part ways with the individual until the next project. As a result, you get to save a lot as a startup. 

The Benefits of Hiring a Freelance SEO Expert

search engine optimization services

  1. Cost-Effectiveness

SEO freelancers are relatively less expensive than SEO firms.  One of the reasons that make SEO freelancers cost-effective is that they may be hired on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Freelancers often have lower overhead costs, which they may pass on to you. Furthermore, many firms simply outsource much of their work to competent freelancers. As a result, in order to earn a profit, companies charge you more for services.

To summarize, if you're searching for cheap SEO services without compromising on quality, hiring a freelance SEO specialist is a way to go.

  1. Flexibility

Because their work schedules are flexible, freelance SEO experts, unlike agencies, seldom miss work due to meetings, dentist appointments, or other planned events.

If they have a meeting one day, they will make up for the project the next day. If they have to take the day off for any reason, they will just catch up in the evening.

Freelancers may establish their own schedules, ensuring that they are not restricted to a 9-5 timetable and can complete their tasks with ease.

  1. 24/7 Availability

With the emergence of innumerable freelance marketplaces, securing professional SEO services has become relatively easy and painless. 

Since freelance SEO experts come from all over the globe, you'll notice that the vast majority of them will comfortably adapt to your time zone. 

They do not stick to a fixed timetable and often work irregular hours, which allows them to be more flexible and responsive if something needs to be altered last minute. This level of flexibility is very problematic for agencies that follow strict rules and guidelines.

If you’re working with an agency and need something tweaked on a Friday evening, there’s a great chance that your email will go unanswered until Monday morning and your request may not be addressed until a few days later.

Hence, a freelancer is always the best choice for a committed, customized, and flexible solution to your SEO needs.

  1. Worldwide Reach

Hiring high-quality talent may seem to be a nightmare for small businesses because of the regional limitations and budget constraints.

But today, small businesses may acquire internal SEO services without burning a dent in their wallets, thanks to freelancing, which helps break down regional and policy barriers. 

By linking clients with freelance SEO experts, freelance marketplaces have made the job simpler. And, as small businesses tend to stay ahead of the competition, they can make the most of online platforms to hire a freelance SEO expert with diverse experience. 

If You Choose to Hire an SEO Agency

international seo services

If you stick to hiring an SEO agency, be sure to do your homework and shop around. Here are some pointers to avoid being conned or wasting your money:

  • Understand precisely what you're receiving for your money and the conditions of payment. Some organizations charge on a month-to-month basis, while others may demand a 12-month commitment. 

  • Look for business-related information. Are they licensed? Are there any customer reviews available on public forums? (apart from the selected ones on their website)

  • Inquire about who owns what. Some agencies, for example, may specify that they own all links and content. They may delete your links and ask you to remove any of their material from your site if you stop using their services. 

If You Choose to Hire a Freelance SEO Expert

cheap seo services

Since freelancers are often sole workers, their hiring process is a bit different. You'll need to be more engaged in strategic choices, and safeguarding your investment will need a different strategy than with agencies:

  • Be aware of your requirements. On the most basic level, SEO may be split into two categories: on-page optimization and off-page optimization. However, each entails a slew of micro tasks that you'll have to contract out. To make your work a little simpler, we’ve put together this comprehensive article: How to Hire an SEO expert

  • Don’t forget to check your portfolio. You’ll find a lot of freelancers promising 5,000 backlinks for small bucks. So just like with anything you expend on, be a smart customer.

  • Keep away from scams by using a freelance marketplace rather than directly paying your freelancer in advance. On a freelance platform, your money is kept secured via an Escrow and not released to the freelancer until they deliver the work.

What is the Best Option for Your Business?

There are a number of factors to consider before coming to a decision.

As discussed earlier, the first and most evident thing to consider is your marketing budget. Different options require different financial backing, whether it’s the hiring of an SEO agency or a freelance SEO expert.

Hiring an agency will typically cost over $3,000 per month, which is exorbitantly expensive especially for small businesses. 

On the other hand, hiring a freelance SEO expert will be much more affordable, and you’ll have the flexibility of hiring them on a per-project basis. 

The ideal choice will also be determined by the degree of complexity of the job you need. If you just need a few small changes to your website's SEO, you may be better off doing it yourself or hiring a freelancer.

A freelance SEO specialist may be the ideal option if you need someone to dig deep into the technical side of your website.

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