SEO Agency VS SEO Freelancer

If you’re new to the SEO game, then you’re probably wondering which route to take. Should you hire an SEO agency or just grab a freelancer who seems half-decent and go with them?

The decision isn’t as easy as you might think. As it turns out, there’s no right or wrong answer: it depends primarily on your objectives and priorities. Freelance SEO specialists are best in some situations; SEO agencies in others.

In this article, we’re going to take an unbiased look at the pros and cons of using each. You’ll learn about some of the positives that an SEO agency can bring, and the negatives too. So, without further delay, let’s dive right in.

What’s The Difference Between An SEO Agency And An SEO Freelancer?

Both SEO agencies and freelancers offer services designed to help you rank higher in search results. They engage in a variety of on-page and off-page activities that boost your visibility on Google and funnel more organic traffic to your site.

The way that they go about this, however, differs. An SEO freelancer is just an individual who provides SEO services, often under the umbrella of a single product. They promise to help you rank higher using their skills and network of contacts in exchange for a regular fee.

An SEO agency is a different animal. Here you pay for the services of an entire team, each with specific talents and focus. Some might be dedicated to web design, while others to content generation. Thus, with an agency, you get access to a group with mixed abilities who individually focus on a specific aspect of your SEO push.

The Pros Of Using An SEO Agency

If you run a larger business, then hiring an SEO freelancer is probably out of the question. It’s unlikely that a single individual will be able to serve your business as and when you need them to. They just don’t have the resources.

An agency, on the other hand, does.

The way agencies work is rather clever. Once your order goes through, an account manager will begin dividing up the work among various members of the team. Some might start work on creating blogs while others get to work on building links. The details don’t matter so much: what is critical is the sheer volume of work that an agency can get done in a short amount of time. You could place an order at 9 am on a Monday and receive fifty articles ready for your site the very next day: that’s how quick some of these services are.

When you choose an agency, you’re also tapping into a wealth of knowledge that you might not get with an SEO freelancer. While a freelancer might be highly skilled, it’s unlikely that they have the same depth of experience as an entire team of specialists. Groups, in general, tend to do a better job per hour spent on SEO than individuals.

The Cons Of Using An SEO Agency

Of course, it’s not all good news: otherwise, everyone would switch to using agencies. Using an agency, for instance, typically costs more than a freelancer. The reason? Agencies usually have higher overheads (such as a real office!)

What’s more, some agencies specialise in certain types of project, while many have a minimum monthly spend or contract term. If you only have a small budget, you might find that you struggle to outsource your campaign to an SEO agency.

Finally, agencies are typically more rigid in their provision of services. While it’s true that many have experienced teams of “link builders,” “web designers” and “content writers,” they may struggle to break out of these core domains and address the weak link in your SEO campaign.

The Pros Of Using An SEO Freelancer

Freelancers have got it tough. Unlike agency employees, they can’t hide behind a brand or the work of other people on their team. Everything they produce must offer value – otherwise, they’re in trouble.

Freelancers, therefore, are often passionate about their work and desperate to please. They tend to work exceptionally hard on any project you give them, seeing it as their mission to bring it to fruition.

Freelancers are most useful when you have a small niche project that you’d like to complete. Often individual SEO experts are better able to divert resources to your specific goals than agencies that might only have a few blunt instruments with which to work.

You’re also likely to pay less for freelancers than agencies. Many attempt to undercut agencies to entice more business.

Finally, there is a lot to be said for the personal touch. When dealing with a freelancer, they will dedicate their time to your project. You will deal with the same individual every time you have a query, and they won’t have to relay information to other parties, because they will be doing the work themselves.

The Cons Of Using A Freelancer

As we discussed earlier, you’re less likely to find a single individual who has all of the skills required to conduct a full SEO campaign. SEO involves analytical work, thorough research, content writing, link building, outreach, graphic design, and potentially even coding. You could find yourself in a situation where the freelancer you’ve hired doesn’t have the skills that you need, forcing you to take on another, and then another. In the worst-case scenario, you could wind up building a de facto SEO agency comprised of random freelancers all over the web.

There’s also a degree of risk involved with hiring a freelancer. You’re putting a lot of faith in a single person. If they are ill, there’s nobody to pick up the slack.

Lastly, you could find yourself suffering in the customer service department. Freelancers might not provide in-depth reports on work they’ve done, or they may fail to provide adequate customer service and communication. You could find yourself in a position at the end of a campaign where you don’t know if it was successful or not.

So, Which Should You Choose: An SEO Agency Or Freelancer?

If you only have a small project with minimal requirements, then a freelancer is probably your best option. However, if you require many elements of SEO, from programming to outreach, then going with an agency might be a better deal.

Whichever route you take, ensure that the individual or business that you opt for is experienced and qualified to work on your project. Check that they are communicative by emailing and calling, and ask for verified results from previous projects so that you can fairly and reasonably judge their work before investing in their services. SEO services can be extremely beneficial to a business, but they can also be money down the drain if you don’t choose wisely.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how Nigel Adams Digital can help you with SEO in Bedford, give Nigel a call on 07930 533394.

🚨 SEO Update! 🚨 Google Images Rolls Out New Layout

Google has begun rolling out a new update to the layout of it’s image search feature. 

Check it out here.

With the new format, clicking on an image results in the picture staying enlarged in a side pane to the right of your screen whilst you browse through other images.

You can also view previous photosby hitting the back button in the side pane. Pictures also have much more detailed information than ever before about their source pages, so you can avoid clicking on dodgy links.

Google Image SEO Update

As you might have guessed, the redesign will also put an emphasis on Google Shopping.

If you click on an image of a product, it will show you information on brand, price, reviews and availability. 

This new look comes to no surprise for PPC’ers, who have become accustomed to Google constantly broadening the reach of it’s paid results. 

Who knows… Maybe users will be able to purchase directly from an image search in the near future! 👀… I called it first!!

More SEO & PPC Advice

Here at Nigel Adams Digital, I help businesses of all shapes and sizes with digital marketing, PPC and SEO Services in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, London & beyond. For more PPC & SEO advice, Get in touch for a free digital marketing audit!

The Biggest PPC Mistake You Can Ever Make

PPC Hertfordshire Blog Article - The Biggest PPC Mistake You're Making (1)

Being a PPC specialist, naturally, I’ve reviewed lots of different Google AdWords accounts. Some of those I’ve ended up managing as a part of my PPC services, others businesses have taken on the advice I’ve given and implemented the changes themselves.

Over the course of my career in digital marketing, I’ve discovered that there is a common trend amongst PPC accounts who are moving from in-house management to outsourced… Amongst all of the accounts I review, over 50% of these accounts share the same fatal flaw that is damaging their PPC efforts, harming their ROI, and ultimately resulting in budget being wasted on unprofitable ads.

So… What is this disastrous mistake which more than 5 in 10 small business PPC advertisers are making?

Drum roll please…

🥁 🥁 🥁 🥁 🥁

Over 50% of PPC accounts I review are NOT tracking conversions correctly!

There, I said it. 50% of the self-managed, small business PPC accounts that I look at, are either not tracking conversions at all ( yup, scary stuff! 😳), or they have a problem with their conversion tracking that they’re not aware of.

What Is a PPC Conversion?

Here’s WordStream’s definition of a conversion:

“A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website completes a desired goal, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.

Simply put, a conversion is an action that a user takes on your website, which you consider to be valuable to your business. Examples of “top level” conversions can include; making a purchase, or filling out a form.

Why Is It So Important To Track PPC Conversions?

Without tracking PPC conversions in your Google Ads account, you are essentially spending your money blindly. Unfortunately, that’s the truth!

Unlike traditional advertising, the beauty of digital marketing is that you have all the tools at your disposal to fully understand and measure your return on investment… So, it’s time to use them!

With proper conversion tracking in place within your Google Ads account, some of the information you’ll be able to understand includes; how many conversions your ads have achieved, how many conversions have been a result of a particular keyword, how much you pay for every conversion, and most importantly, whether you are achieving a return on your PPC investment as a whole.

How To Track Conversions In Your Google Ads Account

In order to track conversions in your Google Ads account, there are a few different methods. The most common is to import your conversions from Google Analytics.

Here’s a quick run down of how to import a basic contact form submission into your Google Ads account.

Need PPC Management Help?

I work with ambitious small businesses owners who are looking to get more out of their PPC and SEO in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and London, UK. If your PPC campaigns have got you pulling your hair out, and you’re concerned that you aren’t making a return on investment – Ask me for a free digital marketing review!

Free PPC Audit

1 Killer Local SEO Tip You Need To Start Ranking

local SEO Bedford | SEO Hertfordshire

The objective of local SEO is to get your website seen by people within your business’ service area – and when it comes to getting those first page rankings, every guide you read will tell you that you need to claim your Google Business Listing, submit to a tonne of other business directory sites, and collect those reviews!

Whilst this is absolutely sound advice, and there is no better initial starting place with local SEO, there’s another important tip that you might be missing out on… One that a lot of the other “beginner” guides won’t tell you. This tip is plain and simple, but is the number one “needle moving” piece of advice I could possibly have to give you about getting your website to the top of Google within your area.

So, here it is:

Create Local SEO Pages.

That’s right. It’s so simple… but when you’ve submitted to as many directories as possible, you’ve badgered people for more reviews than you count, and your NAP (name, address, phone number) is more consistent than you can comprehend – it’s easy to forget the fact that you simply haven’t got enough content on your website around your target location. It’s cringy to say, but content really is king with this, so you need to write about the area you want to rank for.

However, this doesn’t mean just keyword stuffing everywhere, remember not to cop out on user experience!

If you let your users know the extent of your service reach, Google will pick up on it too. I can’t stress this enough, though… DO NOT go crazy and start spamming your website full of location content all over the shop! Keep things logical.

How to organise this:

Create a “sub category” on your website to include a list of the areas you cover. This could perhaps be a branch of your about us page/s, or a list in your footer. Internal linking where appropriate will enhance the weight of these pages. But just as is the case with anything SEO wise, be sure you’re mindful of not overdoing it.

Bonus tip: Consider embedding a Google Map of the location you are targeting on this page.

I’m a freelance digital marketing expert and I help lots of local businesses to get more out of their online presence. For more help & advice on Local SEO in Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire, get in touch!

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