SEO Agency vs. SEO Freelancer vs. In-House SEO

7 Minute Read
Written by: Milan Savov
Apr / 24 / 2019

Which Option Best Caters to Your Business Needs?

Being widely recognised and popular as a brand today is simply impossible if you are not present on the web. Even if you are, it takes lots of work, creative and inventive marketing campaigns and SEO magic that will bring you results and make you stand out from your competitors. That is not a short term task to do neither is an easy and simple process. Quite the contrary, building an SEO strategy takes time, patience, lots of professional knowledge and skilful SEO specialists that can direct traffic towards your website and make you relevant to Google. In fact, Google needs to see your significance and reliability and only then will it put you on the first page of Google results for the keywords you are ranking for.

SEO Specialists

It seems rather complicated, isn’t it? Well, yes and no, depending on which way you are looking at the matter. It might be complicated, even terrifying if you try to deal with it yourself. You already know the power of social media platforms and how people are introduced to products on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. In fact, you have probably found out about your last purchase exactly on one of these social networks.

So, you might think that you need to start posting about your business on your own without a pre-planned strategy and concept. You could, but there is a great chance it will end up being inconsistent, strange-looking and even become boring. What you should take into consideration before starting is that there is a whole science behind building a brand online. What is more, behind these social media advertising campaigns stands a whole team of SEO specialists, graphic designers, web developers, bloggers and content writers. They must all work together in order to bring results to their client.

On the other hand, it can be very easy. How? – You might wonder. Well, if you hire an SEO specialist who will do all of the work instead of you, you can say that it is a pretty simple procedure. Your job will be to hire an SEO specialist, or perhaps a whole SEO team and wait for the results. Now, this brings us to the part where you are asking yourself “What is a better option for me: to hire an SEO agency, an SEO freelancer or an SEO In-house?” Which of them will cater to my business needs in the best possible way and show results in the shortest term? Here is the lowdown on the matter, so you can decide for yourself.

Freelance SEO Specialist

SEO Freelancer

There are countless freelance SEO specialists on the market. Due to their enormous number, they might be the cheapest alternative. They work alone and take fewer projects or clients in comparison to the SEO agencies because, obviously, they do the whole job alone. And because they tackle fewer projects this might be an advantage for you – they would have more time to dedicate to your business.

Also, hiring a freelancer SEO specialist would mean that you would be involved a lot more in the process which will give you more control and even a chance to perform some of the tasks alone (tasks related to posting on social media) according to the instructions of the SEO specialist.

On the other hand, a great number of freelance SEO Specialists would only help you with consulting strategies meaning that they will design a plan for you but it is you that would have to make it work. In addition, you might need to get your own team to carry out the plan.

Furthermore, even though the SEO freelancers might be very knowledgeable in the field (because they always work on improving their skills and follow the latest SEO trends) they won’t offer you the same all-in packages the SEO agencies would. The truth is that they can’t handle all the tasks alone, because, in terms of working hours a day, it is simply impossible. If they work on one project and dedicate their whole time on it, then perhaps they can manage to deal with everything. But, they would certainly want to work on more than one project for obvious financial reasons.

To sum up, here all the responsibilities an SEO specialist has, so let’s take a look at the following points.

  • Review and analyse client sites and improve/optimize them
  • Design detailed strategy and reports
  • Find out powerful keywords that will bring the most traffic back to the client’s site
  • Run PPC campaigns
  • Create powerful calls-to-action to attract visitors
  • Improve the website content with keywords and other significant keywords
  • Write high-quality SEO content for blogs, websites and social media accounts
  • Analyse keywords and SEO techniques used by the competitors
  • Follow the latest SEO trends and keep up with both the white hat and black hat SEO strategies so that they can stay in within the recommended guidelines by Google
  • Develop link building strategies
  • Compile and present SEO guidelines

As you can see, there are a lot of responsibilities that are part of the SEO specialists’ job. If you want to be sure that everything will be done in the right way and all the responsibilities are equally paid attention to, you should consider hiring an SEO agency. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hiring a professional SEO team now.

SEO Agency

SEO Services

If you have a medium or large business and you need a bigger team, then an SEO agency is the right choice for you. It is more affordable to hire a whole team as it will definitely pay off in the long run. The team will be working together to bring results and they can complete a lot of tasks in a single day. Also, the SEO agency will be more objective and will have no pre-existing bias towards your business. In addition, they will have more knowledge of the latest SEO trends and strategies and because they will be dealing with more than one project they would consider taking different actions and experiments and still rely on each other’s skills.

The SEO agencies usually consist of project managers, content creators, link builders, and social media experts. They all take several different responsibilities and carry out the tasks individually to add to the mutual finish result.

If we want to pinpoint the cons of hiring an SEO agency, then one of them would be that finding an SEO agency that will suit your business needs might be a hard thing to do. Also, you will have less control over the strategies and less time to communicate which will lead to less flexibility if you want to change the strategy. However, keep in mind that everything depends on how big of an agency you are hiring. Perhaps, they will have enough professionals so that one of them will be your link for communication, and this will prevent you from being left in the dark.

What we can conclude about this alternative is that hiring an SEO agency will save you a lot of time you would otherwise waste on hiring, recruiting and training SEO freelancers.

In-House Model

Finally, there is another alternative, but only if you want to start with small, baby steps. It is called an in-house model and it means hiring one or two SEO specialists and keeping them in-house (in the offices of your business) while they work only on SEO strategies for your brand. This might prove as an affordable option but you should remember that building your own team might take a lot of time; time which you would better use in favour of developing and strengthening your brand recognition.

Yes, there are several pros about the in-house model including more control of your SEO plan, more control in targeting the exact audience and more flexibility to adjust your strategies. It is also more affordable than hiring a whole SEO agency. However, It is up to you to decide whether you have enough time to train your own team or you would use that period of time for getting results as soon as possible.

About the Author

Picture of Milan Savov

Milan Savov

Co-Founder and Head of growth communicate directly with our clients until he is 100% sure that we understand their goals and needs.