Mad Men (Marketing Agency) vs Consultant (Independent SEO)

SEO Consultant or Agency?When you want to boost the traffic to your website, the most reliable way of doing this is by hiring an SEO expert. You have two main options as far as this is concerned – You can either use the services of an SEO and marketing agency, or you can hire a freelancers.

Each option has its pros and cons so it’s important to know how the two compare before making a decision. With this in mind, let’s look at how marketing agencies and independent SEO consultants compare in key areas.

  • Experience – When it comes to how experience an agency has vs a freelancer then it will of course depend on which agency/SEO consultant you hire. While it seems logical that a team of SEO experts would have more combined experience than and independent SEO consultant, this is not always the case. The digital marketing industry has a very high rate of employee turnover. SEO is an ever-changing industry and can be very daunting to stay in. I’ve found and worked for several agencies personally and found that there is a high rate of new/junior interns that tend to flow in and out of companies. Most of these employees are the primary account managers, relaying information they truly do not have the technical aptitude to complete independently. There are plenty of SEO consultants out there who have a decade or more of experience working in the field.
  • Cost – Cost will of course vary but generally you’ll get lower costs with an agency. That said, there are plenty of SEO agencies out there who charge a lot with very little return. Consultants are the most value for your marketing dollars as you have more customization and strategy that a large agency lacks. Larger agencies have to scale a process which is a one-size fits all approach. Digital Marketing strategies vary significantly from say a service based website with lead acquisition versus a ecommerce platform selling goods. It’s always important to find out the cost upfront as well as staying clear of any companies providing 100% guarantees, etc.
  • Control – When it comes to having control over a project then independent SEO is a clear winner. While a good SEO agency will always take your input into consideration, it can be a lot tougher to communicate when there’s a team working on the project. Often times you can deal with internal politics or the sales department not communicating with production and the list continues. With an independent SEO consultant, you know that the person you’re talking to is the one who’s making the key decisions. Although, agencies have more streams of communication I believe this tends to get more sticky and the process sometimes can suffer do to inexperienced employees not relaying accurate data.


Both agencies and independent SEO consultants can provide excellent results for website owners who want to increase their traffic. SEO agencies come with the bonus of combined experience and generally lower costs. However if you want to have more control over your marketing efforts and be able to communicate effectively throughout the entire project then independent SEO is the way to go.


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