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.

What is Local SEO?

If like most businesses, you offer services to local customers – people in your geographic area – it doesn’t make sense to target internet users who live on the other side of the country. A mechanic in London doesn’t cater to the automotive needs of the people of Glasgow. 

Local SEO, therefore, is the process of trying to boost your website up the rankings for local search terms. It directly targets nearby people who are most likely to buy from you and ignores the rest. 

Let’s take an example. Suppose you’re a London mechanic and you want people living in London to bring their cars to you for servicing and MOT. Local SEO would focus on helping you to rank high for local keywords such as “MOT services in London” or “car servicing near London” and would ignore more generic keywords, like “cheap MOTs.” With local SEO, you’re only trying to rank high for searches made in your local area – you’re not interested in any other search terms. 

How You Appear On Google

If you type in a search like “mechanics near me” into Google, the search engine will return a page feature called the “local pack.” It looks very different from regular search results. Instead of getting a list of hyperlinks for a bunch of websites, you get a map, locations and details of three companies providing mechanic services in the London area. 

The businesses on this list aren’t there by chance. All of them have told Google that they service cars, and have handed over details about their firms, such as prices, reviews, location and opening hours. Google then serves up that information to users whenever it thinks that they type in a relevant search term. The task of local SEO is to make sure that your business shows up on on the local pack so that you can grab a big chunk of nearby organic business. 

To get onto the local pack, you have to use a service called “Google My Business.” Google doesn’t know ahead of time that you’re a real business with a valid address, so you have to tell it. To join Google My Business, you’ll need to log into your account (you can set one up quickly at google.com) and then tell Google that you’d like to register. The search giant will then send you a code in the post to the address that you provide. Once you receive this code, you enter it into your dashboard and Google will accept that your company is legitimate and has a real location. All you then need to do is fill out all of the fields that Google specifies so that when people search using related keywords, relevant information about your business shows up. 

What Are The Main Local SEO Services?

Local SEO services differ from general SEO services. Here are some of the types of services that local SEO agencies offer. 

  • Citation building. A citation is any mention on the internet of information to do with your firm, such as its name, address and phone number (NAP). Google uses this information to rank it and provide information to users. However, if information about your company doesn’t align across websites, it can push you down the rankings. Google doesn’t want to provide its users with incorrect information. Local SEO, therefore, involves tracking down all citations for your company online and ensuring that they agree. 
  • Managing reviews. Local SEO can help you manage your reviews and collect more positive ones to boost your local ranking. 
  • Acquiring natural local backlinks. The more backlinks you have from relevant local sources, the higher you’ll rank in local search. 
  • Managing your Google My Business. Setting up your Google My Business correctly can be a challenge. Local SEO agencies can set this up for you, filling out all necessary fields.

Local SEO What is it? & How Can it Help

How Can Local SEO Benefit Local Businesses?

Take a look at these local SEO benefits for local businesses. 

Build Visibility Online

It can be challenging for small businesses to get noticed online. But with local SEO, you can make it easy for local consumers to find you and begin benefiting from your services. 

Enhance Google Maps Visibility

Many of your customers, especially those on mobile devices, will want to know where they can find you. With Google My Business, you can list your firm on Google Maps. With a single click, customers can then navigate to your location. 

Manage Reputation

It’s vital that you correctly manage your reputation. The more reviews you have, the higher Google and other search engines will rank your firm. 

Generate Local Interest

If you develop the right content marketing strategy, you can create material which sparks local interest and gets people in your area more interested in what your firm has to offer. 

Increase Your Footfall

People rely on their mobile devices. Greater visibility online often leads to higher footfall in-store and more opportunity to make a sale. 

Why Invest In Local SEO? 

Check out the following reasons to invest in SEO. 

Optimise Site Traffic

The last thing you want is to spend money on digital marketing services, only to attract customers to your site who have no intention of buying. With regular SEO, this is a risk, but local SEO for small businesses diverts all your marketing funds only to activities that build local interest. 

Local SEO Has The Highest Conversion Level Of All Local Advertising

If your company has always spent its marketing budget advertising in local papers or on local radio, then it might be time for a change. Online directories like Yelp or Scoot.co.uk are some of the strongest on the web, in terms of adding weight to your website’s local SEO ranking.

Mobile Usage Continues To Grow

Local search engine optimisation is exceptionally potent in the mobile space because of the way that people use their mobile devices. Often, users will grab their phone, type in the service that they want near them, wait for it to pop up on Google maps, and then follow directions. With the right approach, your business could find its way to the top of page one for local search, increasing the likelihood that people will come to you. 

Local SEO Services

Here at Nigel Adams Digital, we provide local SEO services for businesses in Bedford, Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire. If you’d like to find out more about local SEO and how it can benefit your business, or you’re interested in a free SEO audit of your current website – Get in touch!

3 Reasons Why You Need To Invest In SEO

Everyday, more and more businesses are beginning to invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and digital marketing in 2019 – and it’s easy to understand why. The internet shapes the lives of billions of people worldwide and has become an absolute necessity for most people, so as a business, it’s vital that you adapt your offering to this upward trend in consumer behaviour.

With so much of the world spending their time online, businesses should be visible to capture this audience. SEO is the process of working to ensure that your website can be found, in the crucial moment that your customers are looking for you. Increasing your organic search presence has become one of the most important parts of any businesses marketing strategy, and if you haven’t already invested in SEO, it’s time to start considering what you may have been missing out on!

Why you need to invest in SEO Hertfordshire & Bedford

Why You Need To Invest In SEO:

1 – Search Engines Are More Popular Than Ever!

What’s the first thing you do when you don’t have the answer to a burning question? Unsurprisingly… You Google it!

Your customers are exactly the same. 

Unless you’re 100% certain of the business’ website address you’re looking for, or you have visited before – the chances are you’re going to search on Google. On average, over 3.5 billion searches occur on Google everyday… That’s 40,000 search queries per second!!

So it’s plain to see that search engines are going nowhere.

And when you consider that over 60% of clicks result from the first 3 results on Google, it definitely important to ensure you have a visible presence.

2 – SEO Offers Long-Term Results.

SEO is your best bet for longevity in growing your business. Now, it’s inevitable when working on your own SEO, or when employing an SEO agency that you have come across this question at some point: “How long will it take me to start seeing results?” 

Like anything in business, it’s important to understand that SEO takes time. It’s an investment for the long haul, and can take 3 – 4 months before you start seeing results, and even up to 6 – 12 months before you’re dominating your market. It may seem like it’s a long time to wait, but with a strong SEO presence – the ROI can be incredible. 

If you’ve been in business for a little while, you’ll know that the key to success is longevity. Investing in SEO can provide you with a long-term stream of enquiries & sales for your business.

3 – SEO Is Quantifiable.

Any SEO consultant who is worth their salt, will be able to provide you with quantifiable data and reporting on your progress with your SEO campaign. 

The benefit of all the data which SEO can provide you, is that you’ll have the intelligence to make decisions to improve your website’s conversion rates, and understand where time should be spent in optimising your site for SEO.

Nigel Adams Digital SEO Services

If you’re an ambitious business in looking for SEO services in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, or Buckinghamshire – Get in touch with Nigel for a free digital marketing 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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