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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 and their client base is often localised, although in principle freelance SEO’s can work from anywhere with clients from anywhere.

SEO agencies offer similar consultancy services but there is a large team. How big a search engine optimisation agency will range from everything from a few men and women to hundreds. SEO agencies often offer other website marketing services like website design, pay per click 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 at home offices making their overheads significantly lower.

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


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

* Niche research

* Technical optimisation

* At your location optimisation

* Backlink building

* Reporting

Terminology and the specifics of each portion of the process can vary from agency to agency and consultant to consultant but most will follow this formula by and large. Some freelancers may focus on a specific part of the SEO process like link-building but many are common rounders who can complete all parts in the process.

The greatest difference with the agency is probably the degree of account management involvement which can be of use for larger campaigns with big brands.


The standard of SEO work delivered by agencies and freelancers varies greatly so no real comparison can be drawn and as an organization considering working with either a consultant or a consultancy it is actually your responsibility to seek assurances about the reliability, credibility and gratification of whom you hire to accomplish your SEO.

Seek references from other customers about the knowledge of working with the agency or perhaps the freelancer and check their customers brings about Internet search results.

Agency’s often sell themselves on the benefit of having a multi-disciplinary team at their disposal comprised of departmental specialists like link builders and copywriters. This can easily be an edge but just as often freelancers can provide a better quality of service and results with more personal experience on your project.


Possessing a team may give agencies a benefit in this way but often freelancers are ex-agency employees who may have experienced the SEO business longer and are on the top of the game. Whenever using an agency make sure to seek assurances regarding the knowledge of the group members working on your project. Sloppy SEO work conducted by under qualified consultants can in some instances damage your websites search rankings more than it will help.

Sector specialists

Managing a search engine optimization campaign has different challenges in various industries and often 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 businesses in London. Most SEO agencies don’t specialise in a sector because they would soon run out of potential clients (as being an agency should only work with one site in a particular niche to avoid conflict between clients) what this means is they may be a little more generalists however they will often be in a position to draw on knowledge using their company campaigns inside the same niche.


Some larger SEO agencies have developed bespoke tools to handle their customers campaigns and generate reports. Technology is unquestionably an essential part of SEO however for the most part the very best SEO tools are offered to everyone (at a cost). Most agency tools are made to create reports and streamline parts of their SEO process. They can certainly help but be aware that there’s no secret tool or part of technology which will deliver you higher search rankings- only good solid SEO work is going to do that kqekqa it always necessitates the human touch.

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

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