SEO individual freelancers and agency provision

SEO is constantly changing.  Not exactly ground breaking news but true all the same.  This is true both of the tactics of SEO and its strategy.

I have worked as an SEO since 2000 and seen the industry change out of all recognition.  This hit home when I attended BrightonSEO last April – I highly recommend it by the way.  Comparing the people there with the attendees of similar conferences a few years back was striking.  When I first attended conferences it was all people like me – individual freelancers, working on their own usually from a home based office.  I recall an exhibition associated with a conference in London about seven years ago where there were lots of agency stands offering PPC but none offering natural search services.  When I asked why, the answer was a combination of lack of demand but mainly that they couldn’t see a way of making it pay.   But then there used to be questions about Google would ever make any money.

Fast forward five years or so and almost everyone at Brighton was from an agency and there were not many sole trader SEOs.  In fact, the agency staff seemed a bit in awe of anyone going it  alone – not sure that was the self employment bit or the SEO!

But it has got me thinking.  We all know that SEO has expanded its reach and there is so much more now to it than in the good old days of keyword density and web position gold.  One of the big challenges that an SEO working on their own now faces is having time to really keep on top of the strategy that is best for a client’s search visibility.  With a multi person set up it is so much easier to allocate keeping up with the overall pattern of SEO and how best to utilise time and resources to one person and the actual implementation of that strategy to another.  Quite often this means of course allocating the implementation of social search to one person and social media for search to another etc, etc..

Self employment is all about wearing many hats – being the salesman, the bookkeeper, the marketer as well as the service provider – and this is just another hat.    But a very important one.

There is no right or wrong or best when comparing the self employer SEO with an agency.  One will be right for one client, the other better for another. Generally the self employed SEO will be able to provide a more affordable service for smaller clients, and provide a much more holistic approach on  a  budget.  Large organisation will simply need more SEO input than one person can provide.

But whichever an organisation employs, or even if they keep their SEO provision in house, planning is key to ensuring the best return on investment.  80% of time spent on planning and 20% on implementation often has more effect than 20% on planning and 80% on implementation.  It can sometimes be a hard sell but the results speak for themselves in the long run.

Article Name
Individual SEOs need to plan just as much as those in agencies
Planning is key successful SEO whether you are working in a large agency or as a individual freelancer.

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