Comparing Freelance SEO Consultants and Agencies

What’s the difference between freelance SEO consultants and agencies?

The main difference is obvious, freelancers work as independent consultants. They’re usually self-employed and their client base is often localised, although in theory freelance SEO’s can work from anywhere with clients from anywhere.

SEO agencies offer similar consultancy services but they have a large team. The size of an SEO agency will range from anything from a couple of people to hundreds. SEO agencies often offer other internet marketing services like web design, pay per click advertising or display advertising as well as SEO.


As with other service based industries typically freelance SEO’s are cheaper than SEO agencies. Agencies have higher overheads like offices and sales teams, finance departments and account managers. Most freelancers work independently from home offices making their overheads significantly lower.

Most agencies an freelance SEO’s price their work hourly or on a day rate.


The actual SEO process which agencies and freelance consultants follow is usually quite similar. There’s a fairly well developed best practice process for optimising a website which usually looks something like:

Keyword research
Technical optimisation
On site optimisation
Link building
Terminology and the details of each part of the process will vary from agency to agency and consultant to consultant but most will follow this formula by and large. Some freelancers may focus on a particular part of the SEO process like link building but most are all rounders who can complete all parts of the process.

The biggest difference with an agency is probably the level of account management involvement which can be useful for larger campaigns with big brands.


The quality of SEO work delivered by agencies and freelancers varies greatly so no real comparison can be drawn and as a business considering working with either a consultant or a consultancy it is your responsibility to seek assurances about the reliability, credibility and performance of who you hire to do your SEO.

Seek references from other customers about the experience of working with the agency or the freelancer and check their clients results in Google search results.

Agency’s often sell themselves on the benefit of having a multi-disciplinary team at their disposal made up of departmental specialists like link builders and copywriters. This can certainly be an advantage but just as often freelancers can offer a better quality of service and results by having more personal experience on your project.


Having a team may give agencies an advantage in this respect but often freelancers are ex-agency employees who have been in the SEO business longer and are at the top of their game. When working with an agency be sure to seek assurances about the experience of the team members working on your project. Sloppy SEO work conducted by under qualified consultants can in some cases damage your websites search rankings more than it helps.

Sector specialists

Managing an SEO campaign has different challenges in different industries and often specialist experience working in a certain sector can be a big advantage. Some freelance SEO consultants will specialise in a sector like travel, retail or finance or in a certain geographical area like local businesses in London. Most SEO agencies don’t specialise in a sector because they would soon run out of potential clients (as an agency should only work with one site in a particular niche to avoid conflict between clients) this means they may be more generalists however they will often be able to draw on knowledge from other campaigns in the same niche.


Some larger SEO agencies have developed bespoke tools to manage their clients campaigns and generate reports. Technology is certainly an important part of SEO however for the most part the best SEO tools are available to everyone (at a price). Most agency tools are designed to create reports and streamline parts of their SEO process. They can certainly help but be aware that there’s no secret tool or piece of technology that will deliver you higher search rankings- only good solid SEO work will do that and it always involves the human touch.

There’s certainly no one size fits all answer for whether a freelancer or agency will be a better fit for your SEO project. When you’re seeking proposals I’d recommend talking to both, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each and ultimately choose based on the quality of their proposed solution and integrity of personal references.

Consultative Selling Explained

Consultative selling is, by nature, exactly as it sounds. Instead of selling to a client, a sales professional uncovers the needs of the prospect through asking various questions and then tailoring their product or service accordingly. There is no better way to go about it. The old way of selling which is quite outdated involved the sales representative giving a presentation to their target market and hoping it hits a sweet spot. This type of selling was perfectly shown in the media through the David Mamet play Glenngary Glen Ross. Throughout the story, we see desperate sales professionals pitching potential investors and attempting to convince them to sign off on a significant purchase. This type of selling does not work anymore. Companies such as Miller-Heiman have changed the sales ballgame and our sales headhunters and sales recruiters couldn’t be more thankful for it. There is also a medium between consultative and aggressive selling that our sales employment experts also frown upon (though not as much as pure, old-style, aggressive selling). Our sales headhunters call this middle ground “reading off the PowerPoint.” We agree that all sales professionals should come equipped with a presentation, however a bullet-pointed PowerPoint never got somebody really excited about the product or service they were being offered.

The best way to sell, in the opinion of our sales headhunters, is to have a basic conversation. You learn more by asking questions and decision makers enjoy the meeting more. Nobody likes to be talked at; it is boring and sometimes makes the target client feel as if you don’t value his opinion. Consultative selling also teaches us not to make assumptions as to what the client wants. In sales, assumptions get you into trouble. This goes back to the question and answer process that is central to consultative selling. Additionally, consultative selling involves doing a basic “needs and wants” analysis. Again, like consultative selling, “needs and wants” are quite simplistic and are exactly what they sound like. Essentially, needs are the basic requirements of the prospective client. Let’s say that you are a sales rep for Apple Computer in the business to business space (B2B).

As a consultative selling expert, you understand that the client with whom you are meeting needs a computer. But then the “wants” come into play. If someone needs a computer, they will probably buy a Dell or other inexpensive PC, if left to their own devices. But if someone wants a very sleek, functional computer which also serves as a lifestyle choice, they are probably going to want a Mac. Therefore, the consultative selling expert will determine – again, through a pleasant conversation with a back and forth question and answer session – how the client could use the Apple computers and how it may make their life easier. To give an example of aggressive selling using the same scenario, a sales person would immediately tell the client that Macs have much better design functions than many PCs without first waiting to hear if this was something the client was even concerned with. As you have probably already deduced, our sales headhunters strongly recommend using a consultative selling style.

Why Do You Need a Good SEO Consultant?

Of course you can do without a good SEO consultant. That is what your enterprising guts tell you. After a lot of thought you decide on opening up channels of Internet marketing too, to reach your customers and clients in a better way. You expect your presence on the web to be noticed but once you are on it you feel lost in the amount of content and data that is available. Your voice through your website seems to get buried in the noise and the amount of traffic, leads and queries you expected, is nowhere to be seen. Precisely that is why you need an SEO consultant or a SEO firm or agency, who can bring you and your customers together, who can guide you in optimizing your presence on web so that your voice is heard above the clutter.

So what can a good SEO consultant do for your business? SEO consultants optimize your content by using right keywords in such a way that instead of being buried at the third page of the results after a search on the search engine, you are able to see your website and your web presence listed on the first page. We generally look carefully at the search results present on the first page and are too lazy to go to the third or fourth page to check out the precuts and services listed there. Hence from business point of view it certainly makes sense for you to be on the first page of search engines result. It increases visibility, more people click on it and the traffic increases.

It is very important for you to find the right SEO consultant or SEO firm. There have been SEO consultants who have taken their clients business to top most ranks by shady means only to be blacklisted and blocked by all the search engines later. So there is a need for some due diligence before hiring SEO consultants. Ask them some honest questions. Will they provide weekly updates on the rankings and related analytic s? Can they guarantee that your site can be on the first page on at least a couple of keywords? You cant expect to be on first page with all your keywords. A good SEO consultant will provide a complete list of deliverable s and the pricing model. Some companies and professionals will only provide you SEO services while others include email marketing, blog, podcasts, video links etc.

A SEO consultant will start with making changes to your website content. He will try to make it more search engine friendly so that the spiders or trackers of search engines are able to access the site and content with more ease. He will study and adjust the site architecture. HTML validation process will follow, and he could change the URLS, source codes, the Meta tags, etc. He will ensure that you have a good strategy as far as link programs are concerned. A comprehensive web page analysis will then follow which would be followed by a baseline report of the website. The Baseline report will provide the analysis of the keywords needed to drive the traffic. He will ensure that your presence and brand gets visibility and traffic.

Meeting Business Goals With a Marketing Consultant

A marketing consultant can help your business create marketing plans and marketing strategies. A plan and strategy are two different things, although some people use the terms interchangeably. The marketing plan is the roadmap of the marketing strategy. Your business needs one to make the other successful.

A marketing professional will help you create objectives and outline the steps needed to meet the goals of the objectives. It’s often hard for business people to remember that their marketing and business goals are an ever- changing aspect of business. They can not be written down and filed away for future reference. They must be reviewed weekly to ensure the goals are being met and that the strategies outlined are still feasible.

The Marketing Process

A marketing consultant will use a step-by-step process to help create an effective marketing plan. The first step is to define the marketing and business project and detail the wants and needs of the company. The marketer may want to include all levels of management in the process to determine how the company is viewed by its administrators. Management can share what they think works and doesn’t with the current business strategies.

After dealing with people on the inside, the consultant may choose to take surveys or talk with current clients of the business. Customer feedback is one of the top ways to determine if your current business strategies are successful and provided satisfactorily. After determining customer and employee satisfaction and considering all voiced opinions about proposed changes, the consultant will draw up a plan of action.

Branding and Marketing

One of the main goals of many consultants is to help improve the company’s brand. After the strategies and action plan are created, the consultant will work to create better brand recognition. It’s through brand recognition that companies become known to consumers and improve sales. In fact, brand recognition involves more than just marketing the business to consumers. It involves creating positive emotions within the consumers so that they build brand loyalty.

Product Strategy

Once the strategies and plans are in place and consumers are aware of your business, the consultant will work on marketing new and existing products. The marketing strategies for new products will include determining the best time to launch a new line, expanding a current product, and performing analyses and reports on budgets and advertising. By utilising a marketing consultant, you can ensure that your company will have a presence in the business world.

Marketing Consultants – The Latest 3 Big Secrets to Find the Best Marketing Consultants Online

If you are one of those business owners who could use a hand to make your marketing strategies more effective, you may consider hiring marketing consultants who can surely help you out. Here’s how you can find the best ones in the online arena:

1. Do your research. Enter the key phrase “marketing consultant” on search engines like Google. You’ll be presented with thousands of results. I suggest that you take a look at the top 10-20 websites as they are most likely to be the best in this particular field. Read and learn as much as you can about the type of service they provide. Also, get information as to how long they have been in the business, the number of their satisfied employees, and if they are recommended by industry leaders. You can do this by taking a peek on their online portfolio.

2. Call them up. Call the 5 marketing consultants that you think are the right fit to your needs and demands. You can inquire about their rates, about the strategies that they are using, and ask for a brief background as to how they plan to help you out. Go with the one who listens to you intently and strike you as trustworthy and reliable.

3. Ask for free consultations. To make sure that you will get great value for your money, ask your prospective marketing consultant for a free consultation. You can either meet up or do it over the internet or by using phone. What you can do is talk about one of your problems or one of your goals and ask for expert advice. If this person gives you something pretty impressive, you can tell him “he’s hired!”

The AdSense Consultant

Before knowing about the AdSense Consultant, it is very important to know about AdSense as it will help you in exploring things better. So let us see what AdSense is all about. AdSense is an application program that helps you to run the ads on your website. This was initially brought out to the people by Google.

How AdSense starts is, you need to have a website of your own with some good and valid content in it. So once you are ready with your website, the Google AdSense account needs to be created. This step is done in order to publish ads by Google in your own site. While registering with the Google AdSense you have to provide your website link in a column so that the Google AdSense will review your website completely and then decide whether to approve your request or not.

So once Google approves your website for placing its ads, you are now one among the Google service gainer who earns money through Google. Once everything is done Google places the ads in your website. The ads that are placed on Google will be relevant to your website content. However, sometimes the ads may not be relevant and hence it will not give you profit unless a user clicks on that link.

What goes behind the working of your AdSense is that, whenever a user views your website you get paid for it and also whenever the user clicks on the ads that are placed by Google in your site you get paid for it. Basically, you earn for every click on your website and monthly you get the payment from Google for the number of clicks you have earned. So, that is the essence of Google AdSense and how you can use it to your gains.

Now let’s get into a hypothetical situation where Google does not approve your site for placing its ads. In that case approaching an AdSense consultant will be your next step. These consultants in turn will guide you to know more about AdSense and help you with tips to accomplish your goal of getting your site approved by Google. Even otherwise, it is smart work for you if you approach an AdSense consultant and engage him or hire him for your job.

The AdSense Consultant will then review your website thoroughly and this will include checking for the appropriate keyword which will fetch more hits, proof reading your entire website for the content value and also advise you on where and how to place the ads in your site, so that it catches the eye of the viewer.

You might have to pay your AdSense consultant anything around fifty dollars for their service – but you might want to look at it as an investment for you to get more from your website as you are seeking professional help to get it up and running successfully. Optimizing your website content for the search engine is a tedious job which you cannot do by yourself unless you are technically strong in this AdSense field.

Making the Best Use of Process Improvement Consulting

One reason for this is that an outside perspective on the problem is sometimes better to speed up the process of change and ensure success. There are some situations as well, where management may feel that the consultant or the methodology expert has not been up to their expectations.

Companies may also consider the option of hiring an internal business consultant.

External Consultants or Methodology Experts

Methodology experts are hired by managers who feel that they are unable to undertake improvements for various reasons, and may sometimes even blame their colleagues or other management members of being uncooperative.

They hire methodology experts, as the feeling is that an external person has no misconceptions about internal matters, can reach out to project members quickly and move the improvement project faster. These managers seem to be more involved in internal problem resolution rather than taking the project forward.

Sometimes, there are some issues with these experts as well. They are also seen to be stuck on methodologies and tools. Sometimes, employees that are newly trained by these methodology experts tend to be bogged down with the newly learned concepts, and often do not think in simpler terms and obvious solutions.

Sometimes the methodology experts consider their responsibility to be only in facilitation and have a hands-off approach. They do not get involved in the day-to-day working of the project, which is necessary for its success.

However, the advantages of external experts cannot be ignored. They are effective, as they have complete expertise in their methodologies and also have hands-on experience in dealing with various situations.

They are better at explaining matters and have no biases towards anyone or anything in the company.

A Model for Internal Business Consulting

Another option to have better consulting is to use internal business consulting. There should be some senior managers in the organization who are trained in DMAIC, DFSS and similar technologies. With junior Black Belts and Green Belts, they can start on the projects. According to the requirements of the company, the external manager and consultants can also be roped in to undertake any additional projects.

Having this model has some obvious advantages. The resources are available in terms of optimal costs for the organization, as well as the consultants. The accountability and control over the quality of the external consultant can be increased to achieve quality results.

As the internal resources are working with the external expertise, they can ensure the removal of roadblocks and barriers that may delay or hinder the project. This helps the consultant’s team build trust with upper management to create a win-win solution for the organization as a whole.

The intelligent usage of consulting resources will bring about the best result from process improvement efforts that management or organizational heads are aiming to achieve.

Before Selecting a Social Media Consulting Expert, Read This

Seems like social media consulting companies are a dime a dozen these days. They’re popping-up all over the place like crazy. How can you tell who’s real, experienced, and has the results to ensure your success, though? It can be very tricky, especially with all of the fake social proof flying left and right. Here are some tips that will guide you on your search for the best.

Find video testimonials (real case-studies).

If a coach is worth anything, they’ll have real testimonials online. They won’t sound scripted either. Be careful, though, as some agencies have been busted by the FTC for false testimonials. You can usually tell since they sound very scripted and unbelievable.

Get proof of results.

If a social media consulting guy’s trying to sell you on search engine optimization (SEO), look at his own website SEO. Does he rank well? You’d be shocked to know how many teach SEO but their website is nowhere near the first page of Google.

How can they possibly teach SEO if they’re not successfully doing it? The reality is, they can’t.

See if they have another business other than social media consulting.

This is a BIG one. You find many social media consultants online marketing to local businesses and how they can get them more customers, traffic, and leads. However, most of these consulting coaches have never had their own brick and mortar small business.

Again, that’s like going to a gynecologist for a brain tumor. You just wouldn’t do that so be careful!

Google the person or company you’re thinking about hiring.

This is pretty straight forward. You want to check their reviews and get a good sense of their reputation. You also want to see how much content they have online and what the search results populate.

If you want to hire a social media guru, they better have an enormous presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and they should have tens of thousands of listings on Google when you search their name.

So many times business owners fall into the trap of hiring companies that they see on TV. Little do consumers know, many of these companies simply have venture capitalist funding, that’s why they’re in the public eye. It doesn’t have anything to do if they’re actually good, experienced and can get you the results you’re seeking.

The bottom line is to do your due diligence on whatever social media consulting agency or coach you’re looking to hire. The above points will help you make the best educated decision.

Consulting Jobs – How to Find Jobs in Consulting

So, you would like to become a consultant but simply don’t know where to start. Here’s what you need to do to find the best consulting jobs today:

1. Search online. Most consulting firms who are looking for consultants are placing their ads online. Do a Google search and simply type in “consulting jobs.” You can also be more specific by indicating the type of consulting job that you are looking for. For example, you can key in internet marketing consulting jobs, business consulting jobs, etc.

2. Check websites. Check the top 10 websites that came up on the search page results. See if you have the qualification that they are looking for in a consultant. While you are at it, research the consulting firm that you would want to apply to. Are they offering just compensation and benefit package? Would they want you to report to their office everyday? Do they have great reputation in the business world?

3. Create a powerful resume. You would want your potential employers to pay attention to your resume. This will happen if you make your resume attention-grabbing. List down all your skills that might help in performing a consulting job. Indicate relevant educational background, training, and experiences.

4. Prepare for an interview. If you are successful in capturing the attention of your target market through your resume, you can be assured that you’ll be called in for an interview. Increase your chances of getting hire by simply planning ahead. Anticipate all the questions that might be thrown at you and prepare for them. Also, dress for the occasion and make sure that you create great first impression.

Why Business Consulting Is So Important

There are talented and learned people who run and work in consulting firms who make it their business to help others understand what they need to do to make better profits. This is especially true nowadays since there are so many means of conducting a business and the internet even lets us sell our products online to a global market!

Both well-established and new businesses just starting out have a lot to learn from consulting firms. They may know much about their own businesses and how to run them, but they need to know a lot more about the other aspects of the market in order to become completely successful. A fresh look/start from a third party without emotions tied into the business is always beneficial.

Learning new ways of marketing your product and selling it to your customers and advertising it to gain more customers is important for all business people. Consulting agencies analyze the market and devise the kind of plans that will help with growth, especially with the fierce competition nowadays. It may even be necessary to change or add in new goals to make the business more efficient.

There are many ways that a business consultant can help you learn more. First of all, they can help you find out what market you are in and who you need to sell to, in other words, who your target market is. They can help survey potential customers and find out what they want and what they would buy, so that you can find a way to gain the most number of customers for your businesses.

It is also important for your business itself to be analyzed well. Your strengths and weaknesses need to be known so that your strengths can be improved and your weaknesses can be turned into strengths because no one is perfect. Also, you need to know what opportunities you have as a business owner, and which ones would be the best to take advantage of to further the business as a whole.

Your brand needs to be well known so that your potential customers will find out more about you and figure out whether or not to do business with you. In order to do this, you need to market well and market in places that potential and current customers and clients would be able to see the advertisements. You can market online as well as in your area to broaden your customers globally!

Even the best businesses sometimes need a consult in order to make them better and adapt with the times. A corporation that does not adapt will not be able to sell to the modern market, no matter how good their product is. So if you have a business, old or new, it is a good idea to find a business consulting firm you trust.