Wednesday October 11, 2023

SEO Projects: Choosing Between a Marketing Agency and a Freelancer

Freelancers discussing SEO project

In the evolving digital landscape, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) personally stands out as a cornerstone for online success. Through my journey, I've navigated the realms of both agency-driven SEO projects and freelance SEO endeavours. Each path offers its unique set of challenges and rewards, and I hope my insights guide you in making an informed decision.

Understanding the Difference

Marketing Agency: In an agency, SEO is often a dedicated department, working in tandem with other digital marketing sectors. As an agency-side SEO expert, I am able to work collaboratively with other SEO professionals as well as other digital marketing experts such as PPC, paid social, email marketing & more. This allows a fully fleshed-out digital marketing strategy where each element complements the other. 

Freelancer: Freelance SEO is a different landscape. The direct client interactions and the autonomy to mould strategies can be both invigorating and demanding. My freelance SEO journey started with providing technical SEO audits before expanding into other areas of SEO as my experience grew.

Advantages of an SEO Marketing Agency

Team of Specialists: In an agency, SEO specialists often collaborate with content creators, link builders, and technical experts, ensuring a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Scalability: Agencies have the infrastructure to handle SEO for both small businesses and large corporations, adapting strategies based on scale.

Established Processes: With proven methodologies, agencies ensure that SEO campaigns adhere to best practices and are tracked meticulously.

Industry Knowledge: The diverse clientele of agencies provides a broader perspective on SEO trends and strategies across sectors. For example, when looking after lots of accounts it’s easier to assess the impact of updates to the search algorithm.

Team of Specialists: Different projects require varied expertise in SEO. For instance, technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO are distinct areas that necessitate different skills. While agencies often have a diverse team covering these areas, freelancers might specialize in one or two aspects. Understanding the specific SEO needs of your project is crucial in making an informed decision between a freelancer and an agency. At an agency, collaboration is key. I often found myself learning from peers, exchanging ideas, and integrating diverse strategies for a holistic approach.

Scalability: One of the most palpable advantages of agencies is their capacity to handle projects of any scale, from local campaigns to national ones.

Established Processes: Agencies come with set processes. This structure often ensures that no detail is overlooked and campaigns run seamlessly.

Advantages of Working with an SEO Freelancer

Personal Touch: Freelancers often provide a bespoke SEO service, understanding the unique nuances of a client's industry and target audience. The communication model also varies significantly between freelancers and agencies. With freelancers, you often have direct communication with the person handling your project, ensuring swift feedback and adjustments. On the other hand, agencies may have structured communication channels that might be more or less responsive based on their internal processes.

Flexibility: Freelancers can swiftly adapt to algorithm changes, industry trends, and client feedback, making them agile in their approach.

Cost-Effective: Without the overheads of a large agency, freelancers can offer competitive rates, making them an attractive option for businesses on a tighter budget.

Niche Expertise: Freelancers often specialise in certain industries or types of SEO, bringing depth to their strategies. For example, I specialise in technical SEO which is ideal for site migrations, large websites or eCommerce sites. 

Factors to Consider When Making Your Decision

Size and Scope: Consider the magnitude of your SEO project. While agencies excel in large-scale, multi-faceted campaigns, freelancers can be invaluable for niche or localised SEO efforts.

Budget: Balance your budgetary constraints with the depth and breadth of SEO services you require.

Expertise Required: SEO is vast, from technical audits to content optimisation. Identify the skills crucial for your project to guide your choice.

Duration and Commitment: Gauge whether you're looking for a long-term SEO partner or a short-term expert to address specific challenges.

Mistakes to Avoid

Vague Objectives: Clearly define your SEO goals. Whether it's ranking for specific keywords or improving site health, clarity is paramount.

Communication Gaps: Ensure transparent communication. Regular updates on rankings, traffic, and conversions are vital for gauging success.

Cost Over Value: While budget is a consideration, it's crucial to view SEO as an investment in your online presence and brand visibility.

Navigating the intricate world of SEO, from the bustling environment of an agency to the autonomous realm of freelancing, has enriched my perspective. Both avenues have their merits. Your choice should align with your business's objectives, budget, and the specific nuances of your SEO challenges. If you're unsure of which route you should take then feel free to drop me a message and I'm happy to help guide your decision in an unbiased manner

Chay Kelly Headshot
Chay Kelly
I am an SEO Consultant and digital marketer with many years of agency experience in implementing and executing digital strategies such as SEO, PPC and email marketing campaigns.
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