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SEO Consultant vs. SEO Agency: Which Should You Choose?

Forbes recently published that $1,000 spent on old and outdated SEO strategies won’t get you far. On the other hand, spending $1,000 on a well thought out piece of content or other SEO puzzle piece could allow you to earn a good ROI.

As you are deciding on hiring an SEO consultant vs. SEO agency, keeping quality and strategy at the forefront of your decision is a must. If you aren’t familiar with SEO and what the best strategies are when you outsource SEO, you have to have trust in the company you are working with.

Choosing the right SEO team in Canada to help you means the difference between a successful campaign and a flop. Read this article to understand how an SEO agency in Canada is different than SEO consultants in Canada.

The Difference: SEO Consultant Vs. SEO Agency

If you’re new to the industry, it is easy to get lost in the digital marketing jargon. The way SEOs and marketers talk to each other sounds similar to the inside of a courtroom. The terms and rules are almost as complicated and sometimes more complicated than what you’d hear in a courtroom.

We are here to help you increase your understanding to allow you to choose the right company for your business’ marketing efforts.

SEO Consultant:

An SEO consultant is one person that knows (and is usually an expert in) SEO. When you retain SEO consultants in Toronto, they work with your specific business by first auditing your current strategies. Once they have audited your current strategies, they devise a specific plan for your company’s SEO.

After your SEO consultant has devised a plan for your company’s SEO, it is time to get the decision makers together. Before the plan is implemented, your company has to sign off on it. Not only do you have to sign off on it, but if you don’t have a trained SEO staff, your team needs to be trained.

SEO consultants don’t usually implement the strategies they put together. Their job is primarily to tell you what needs to be done and possibly train your team on how to do it.

SEO Agency:

There are a couple of types of SEO agencies. One type of SEO agency is the small SEO agency, and the other is a full-service SEO agency. When working with a small SEO agency, they sometimes don’t offer services outside of SEO. Full-service agencies, however, usually offer many or all necessary parts of your digital marketing strategy in their services section.

SEO agencies are expert teams that combine their knowledge to not only advise on SEO strategy but also implement it. Depending on the desired involvement of your company, you may not want to be involved in the specifics of day-to-day SEO strategy implementation which is very different than recruiting, hiring, and using an in-house SEO team.

Pros of Working with an SEO Consultant

Consultants bring a one-to-one focus

When you want to grow your online business, SEO consultants could be top of mind and for good reason. Here are the pros of working with an SEO consultant.

  • In-depth one-on-one advice is one of the pros of working with SEO consultants in Toronto. Since you will be working with one person, you will be able to ask in-depth questions without having to fill them in on what you said to someone else. You will have their undivided attention and no other confusing opinions.
  • A personal approach is an important benefit you get when you work with a consultant. They take their work to heart since it is all on them. There is no “fall guy” if there is a mistake made.
  • It’s easier to negotiate a lower rate when you are only dealing with one person. You know they have minimal overhead, and they don’t have employees to pay, and this makes it easier for you to bargain if you want to.

These are the main pros of working with an SEO consultant. You may find others of your own as you are reviewing how consultants do their work.

Cons of Working with an SEO Consultant

While the above pros are very true, there are plenty of cons to working with consultants for your SEO strategies.

  • You’re stuck with who you have when you use a consultant. You can’t request a different account manager because they are the only person you have access to. If you don’t get along with or you don’t like them, you’ll have to fire them and find another consultant.
  • They may not see all of the angles to your project when they are working alone. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. Unless the consultant you are working with has worked through many scenarios that are the same as yours, there could be things that fall between the cracks.
  • Limited time and ability is a downfall of working with a consultant. If you need a lot of help, you only have one person to give you attention. Even if your consultant pledges all of their time to your company, if you have a large project, it could take a while to get done.
  • They rarely perform necessary tasks to implement the strategy. Since they don’t do the actual SEO work, your company will have to take care of it on their own.

As you can see, there are some serious points to think about before you move forward and use a consultant for your SEO needs.

Pros of Working with an SEO Agency

An SEO agency brings a broader skill set than an individual consultant

Working with an SEO agency might seem like more of an undertaking than working with a consultant. There are plenty of pros to pay attention to when working with an SEO agency in Toronto.

  • Having more people and more knowledge is a pro to note for SEO agencies. Instead of only having one person and their experience, you have the collective knowledge of the entire agency. Having access to more knowledge and talent can help you see results in your SEO efforts faster.
  • Stability and reliability are important benefits of working with an agency. If you need help with a question, you are more likely to receive a timely answer. You’ll have access to more people which means you won’t have to worry about whether someone will be around to help.
  • Fast response times are another pro for agencies. With more people at your disposal, you’ll be able to get answers to your questions when you need them.
  • High-quality relationships are often formed between SEO agencies and other large companies. Since these companies are associated, they share important information that can allow you to get an edge before the competition.

As you can see, an SEO agency can be a powerful ally.

Cons of Working with an SEO Agency

Now that we know all of the pros of working with an SEO agency, what are the cons?

  • Working with a lot of people might be stressful for some people. It might be difficult to follow or understand who all the players are and which team members are responsible for particular factors. With some SEO agencies, you rarely work directly with the company owner and are usually working with an account manager. (However, this isn’t the case with a boutique agency such as our own.)
  • Possible higher fees are one of the downfalls of SEO agencies. Even if SEO agency fees are higher than that of consultants, you should look at the quality of work to translate the fees into value vs. cost.
  • Lack of personal responsibility can be a problem in some agencies. Unless you work with a company that instills value for customer service, you might not enjoy your experience.

Now that you know the pros and cons of working with an SEO agency or a consultant, you can make a decision on which is best for you. As an SEO agency, we strive to have no “cons” or drawbacks to working with us. We view every client as a team member, working with us to get the best results for them. It’s a partnership.

History of SEO

SEO relies on multiple factors

While it is hard to pinpoint the exact birthplace of SEO, it is believed to be around 1991. SEO came on the scene not long after Archie the search engine came to be and well before the Google we know today.

The early stages of SEO were similar to that of the Wild Wild West. Even after the creation of Google which was first known as BackRub, there were countless ways to game the system. One of the most popular ways to game the search engines was by “keyword stuffing.”

Keyword stuffing occurred when webmasters would put the keywords on the page as many times as possible. Sometimes the keywords were even stuffed into the background of the website and hidden by same color text on background.

Google soon became the go-to search engine with Yahoo and Bing attempting to take them out of the running. Google was tired of seeing low-quality content in the search engines. They worked, and continue to work, to rank quality results at the top of the search engines.

Many animal updates rolled out starting with the Panda roll out in 2011. The Panda update targeted sites with low-value content with high ad ratio. Almost all content farm sites dropped out of Google search completely. Soon after, penguins and pigeons made their appearance and shook up the search game even further. SEO experts scrambled to figure out what Google wanted, but Google didn’t share many details.

A proper SEO approach is a structured campaign

When you look at the latest updates in search, the biggest changes that are happening are in mobile and local. The mobile and local updates have impacted search engine results immensely, and if your SEO strategies aren’t ready, your site may fall in the rankings.

Now with mobile first indexing, if your site isn’t responsive and mobile-friendly, you won’t show up in the first pages of Google search. No matter what platform your website uses, there are plenty of options for ensuring your site is mobile-friendly.

The local search updates are still rolling out. If you are a local business that isn’t properly optimized for local search, you are missing out on customers that are searching for your business. Instead of big sites showing up in search for local queries more small business sites are coming to the top.

While some webmasters might be making a fuss about their rankings falling, other sites are experiencing major bumps in search. For every website that falls out of search, there is a website that takes their place.

As we go into 2019 and beyond, we will continue to see more updates from Google. Having a team of experts to work with you and make sure your website is on track will allow you to be on the positive end of these updates.

What You Should Know About Local SEO Search (LSS)

Local SEO Search is proudly Canadian

As a proud Canadian SEO company, we have been in business since 2013. We have been proven and tested throughout the years, and we only hire the best people to work in our agency. Our teams that work at LSS love what they do, and it shows in their work. We customize all of our strategies to our clientele’s needs, which allows you to get the best results.

When working with LSS, we help you set proper expectations. When you have an understanding of the length of time it takes to start seeing results (SEO is a “long game”), and the efficacy of our content and blogs, you’ll never be let down with inflated claims and half-truths.

We are honored to be the recipients of awards such as the Clutch top SEO firms award for 2018. Our focus on excellence, results, and customer service continues to aid us in our mission to provide our clients with the best digital marketing services in the nation.

Put Our Expertise to Work for You

Now that you have seen the benefits, pros and cons and the truth about hiring an SEO consultant vs. SEO agency, we would be glad to help your company. We take time to understand your needs, and with our years of experience and track record, we know we can help. Contact us today to see how we can assist your company in achieving its SEO goals.

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