Updated: March 6, 2024.

As someone who’s seen both sides of the SEO world, I’m excited to share my insights on the topic many of you have been curious about: the differences between hiring an SEO agency and an SEO consultant.

SEO Agency vs SEO Consultant
SEO Agency vs SEO Consultant show

My Background in SEO

Before we delve into the specifics, a bit about me. I’ve had an eight-year journey in the SEO realm, starting with agencies and now as an independent SEO consultant. This experience has equipped me with a comprehensive understanding of both approaches.

If you don’t feel like reading the entire article, here is the video where I discuss exactly that.

SEO Consultant vs SEO Agency: Team Structure and Personal Attention

Agency Model: An SEO agency typically employs a team approach. Clients might work with a mix of junior and senior SEOs, and the team composition can change.

Consultant Approach: As an SEO consultant, I offer personalized, direct service. Clients work closely with me, ensuring tailored strategies and quicker responses.

SEO Consultant vs SEO Agency: Pricing Models

Agency Pricing: Agencies often offer tiered pricing, starting from lower-end plans.

Consultant Pricing: In contrast, as a consultant, my rates reflect the intensive, strategic nature of my services, starting at a higher threshold.

SEO Consultant vs SEO Agency: Depth of Service

Agency Services: Many agencies focus on efficiency, providing automated reports and standard SEO tasks.

Consultant Services: I offer in-depth SEO audits, detailed strategy development, and hands-on implementation, ensuring impactful SEO.

SEO Consultant vs SEO Agency

SEO Consultant vs SEO Agency: Flexibility and Scope of Work

Agency Scope: Some agencies have rigid service models, where additional tasks can lead to higher costs.

Consultant Flexibility: My approach is more flexible, focusing on the client’s immediate needs without extra charges for unforeseen tasks.

SEO Consultant vs SEO Agency: Expertise and Authenticity

Agency Expertise: Agencies vary in expertise levels, with some possibly overpromising and underdelivering.

Consultant Authenticity: As a consultant, I prioritize continuous learning and authentic, effective strategies.

SEO Consultant vs SEO Agency: Proactivity and Strategy Focus

Agency Reactivity: Agencies might be more reactive, focusing on routine tasks.

Consultant Proactivity: My role as a consultant allows me to be proactive and adaptive in strategy formulation.

Making Your Choice

Your choice between an SEO agency and a consultant like myself depends on your unique needs, budget, and preference for direct communication and bespoke strategies. Whichever you choose, ensure they align with your SEO objectives.

SEO consultant vs SEO agency

SEO Consultant vs SEO Agency – FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are 15 FAQs on hiring an SEO agency vs. an SEO consultant:

What’s the main difference between an SEO agency and an SEO consultant?

An SEO agency typically offers a team-based approach with a range of services at various price points, while an SEO consultant provides more personalized, in-depth services with a focus on tailored strategies.

Which is more cost-effective, an SEO agency or a consultant?

It depends on your needs. Agencies might offer more affordable entry-level packages, but a consultant’s personalized approach can be more cost-effective in the long run for complex, strategy-driven SEO needs.

Can I expect quicker results with an agency or a consultant?

Results depend more on the expertise and strategies used rather than whether you choose an agency or consultant. However, consultants often offer more direct communication, which can lead to faster implementation of strategies.

SEO consultant vs SEO agency: results

Should startups or small businesses prefer agencies or consultants?

Startups and small businesses with limited budgets may initially prefer agencies for their varied service packages. However, consultants can offer more bespoke services that can be highly beneficial as the business grows.

How do agencies and consultants differ in their approach to SEO?

Agencies often use more standardized processes and a range of staff, while consultants typically offer a more hands-on, personalized approach, focusing on specific client needs.

Is it easier to communicate with an SEO agency or a consultant?

Communication is generally more direct with a consultant, as you’re typically dealing with a single point of contact, which can lead to clearer and more consistent communication.

Do SEO consultants offer more customized strategies than agencies?

Yes, consultants often specialize in creating customized strategies tailored to individual client goals, leveraging their in-depth expertise.

Are there any industries or types of businesses that benefit more from an agency?

Larger organizations or those requiring a wide range of SEO services may find the diverse skill sets and resources of an agency more beneficial.

How do I choose between an SEO agency and a consultant?

Consider factors like your budget, the complexity of your SEO needs, the level of personalized service you prefer, and the specific expertise required for your industry.

Can an SEO consultant handle large-scale projects as effectively as an agency?

This depends on the consultant’s expertise and capacity. Some consultants are well-equipped to handle large-scale projects, often bringing in a network of professionals as needed.

SEO consultant vs SEO agency

What should I prioritize when selecting an SEO service provider?

Prioritize expertise, track record, understanding of your industry, transparency in communication, and a clear outline of the strategies they plan to use.

Are there services that an agency offers that a consultant cannot?

Some agencies offer a broader range of services, including full digital marketing, web development, and graphic design, which a solo consultant might not provide.

How do I measure the effectiveness of an agency or a consultant?

Measure effectiveness through clear KPIs like search engine rankings, website traffic, conversion rates, and the achievement of specific SEO goals.

Can I switch from an agency to a consultant (or vice versa) if I’m not satisfied?

Yes, you can switch providers if your current choice doesn’t meet your expectations. However, ensure a smooth transition by clearly communicating your goals and past strategies to your new provider.

Do agencies or consultants offer better long-term SEO strategy development?

This depends on the specific agency or consultant. A good provider, whether an agency or a consultant, should be able to develop and adapt long-term SEO strategies based on evolving trends and business goals.

Do you need help of an experienced SEO consultant? Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.