SEO Agency vs SEO Freelancer: Which Should You Choose?

December 22, 2023

The importance of search engine optimization (SEO) can never be overstated. As businesses strive to enhance their visibility and organic traffic, a critical decision emerges between hiring an agency or specialized freelancers.

The dynamics of SEO are complex, encompassing a myriad of strategies, techniques, and ongoing efforts. Choosing the right approach for your business requires careful consideration of various factors, including budget constraints, project scope, and desired outcomes.

Doesn’t matter if you’re a small business owner seeking cost-effective solutions or a larger enterprise pursuing specialized expertise; understanding the distinctions between these options is crucial to succeed.

In-House Model: Pros and Cons

The in-house model is one of the most known and used ways to do search engine optimization work. An in-house team is part of your existing employees, including the company’s leader.

When handling tasks with an in-house team, the company must manage, assign, and deliver each project to its employees. This comes with many benefits, as well as some disadvantages:

  • Provides chances to invest in new skills: every team member has an opportunity to upgrade their abilities, and building on that foundation can lead to better results in the future. Still, focusing on unprepared areas might require more time to succeed.
  • Allows to set schedules: working from the company office or home, the company can set shared hours for everyone. This helps to make everyone available to collaborate at the same time. Meanwhile, contractors don’t have set hours.
  • Ensures flexibility: managing a project internally ensures that the team works within the company’s values since success is directly linked with their future. This means everyone is flexible enough to try things that can provide better results.
  • Might lead to higher costs: a full-time team with longer commitments is very costly to maintain for complete projects. It’s recommended to outsource work when it’s only for a couple of projects since the bills you’d spend are only based on the project.
  • Lack of expertise: an in-house team can’t be good at everything. Some areas may lack the necessary skills, meaning it’s not practical to carry out a full-fledged project without the help of a dedicated agency or freelancer agent.
  • Can lead to burnout: a team must have limited hours to work during a week. Shift priorities must make room for critical points instead of a total focus; the more the group is asked to do, the less productive it will be, hurting long-term productivity.

These pros and cons are significant to check and address for any company relying on their team to carry on with projects.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Outsourced Agencies

The method known as outsourcing services relates to when companies hire outside resources to complete specific tasks, objectives, and projects. Inside this group, freelancers and agencies are found.

Related to SEO, hiring a digital marketing agency is a way of outsourcing your website management. Just like the in-house model, this method also presents specific pros and cons when it comes to using it:

  • Cost-effective: one of the great benefits of outsourcing is that it’s way more affordable than any in-house team. Depending on the agent’s location, the costs can also be lower or higher, meaning that pay rates can vary.
  • Excellent flexibility: growing an in-house team can be very time-consuming, requiring you to go through the process of hiring each team member. Outsourced agencies are simply hired based on your requisites and leave once the project is done.
  • Provides expertise: unlike in-house teams, freelancers and agencies have the personnel with the necessary skills and specializations for everything. This means finding a competent agent that can quickly handle your project is straightforward.
  • Faster tasks: outsourcing allows businesses to complete their assignments and projects with haste. This saves money, time, and resources since a specialized team does the job.
  • Reduces team’s workload: hiring outsourced agencies can help significantly reduce the workload of your in-house team. Getting specialized people allows your employees to focus only on their areas of expertise, enhancing overall productivity.
  • Can lack communication: while you can get your projects done faster and more effectively, it is also harder to know how the task is progressing until the end of it since contractors have multiple clients and rarely provide daily check-ins.
  • Provides less control: once a project is outsourced, you’ll eventually have less control over it. This means that specifications must be done before the task to avoid any possible issue, especially since it’s hard to make constant adjustments.
  • Less commitment: one of the downsides of outsourced SEO can be the lack of long-term commitment. This means that contractors aren’t committed to your business, and you’re not to their growth, which can lead to quality loss.

Addressing these potential benefits and downsides is very important for any company looking forward to hiring an outsourced service.

Hiring Freelancers Instead of Agencies: Pros and Cons

Comparing an SEO agency vs SEO freelancer services is a prevalent thing. While both are outsourced services, agencies are full-fledged teams, and freelancers are only expert individuals who can provide various services.

Among these features, it includes work related to keyword research, content development, analysis of competitors, link building, and more. These freelancers can be hired for brief or extended periods and efficiently implemented into a team.

As well as the other teams of in-house and SEO outsourced service methods, freelancers come with their perks and disadvantages:

  • Affordable and helpful: companies with smaller budgets for SEO might find freelancers a great alternative since agencies and keeping in-house teams can be more pricey. This way, a site can pay only for their needed skills and expertise.
  • Flexible schedules: hiring a freelancer provides total flexibility regarding schedules. It’s possible to hire them for a very short period to end a project or perform different tasks with the team.
  • Lack of resources: while freelancers are very flexible and have a handful of skills, they typically don’t have access to the vast resources an agency can have. This includes experts and advanced tools for every category and need.
  • Limited experience: a freelancer may lack the necessary expertise compared to bigger teams, meaning that SEO strategies can be less effective.

All of these characteristics make freelancers an exciting option. This is focused primarily for small budget companies that cannot afford substantial SEO agencies, but still want a personalized and valuable service.

How Do You Know When You Should Opt for Outsourced Services?

The many variants and methods available can be very overwhelming for most companies, especially those lacking SEO experience. Luckily, there are many ways to know when a site needs the help of outsourced agencies or freelancers, such as:

Needing Short-Term Solutions Quickly

One of the biggest reasons businesses opt for outsourced services is because their deadlines are near, and they need help to finish it. If your company has a big project that needs to be done quickly, hiring outsourced services in the short term is the best option.

Specific Tasks Can’t Be Handled

It’s widespread for a team to lack expertise in certain areas. If your business is running tight on budget and cannot afford to hire a new member, then an SEO agency or a skilled freelancer might be a good choice to handle these tasks briefly.

High Business Demand

Expansion tends to lead to a higher demand for clients requiring more services or products and new commercial partners. Opting to outsource is vital to help avoid the struggle of filling many gaps if the team cannot cover it all.

Implementing this secures efficiency and flexibility, allowing the company to continue earning profit while providing high-quality results and user satisfaction.

Lagging Behind

In a changing and technological world, staying up-to-date is vital for companies to be competitive. If your company lags behind its closest competitors, outsourcing SEO services can help you regain visibility and acquire better software and configurations.


The decision to hire an SEO agency vs SEO freelancer services depends on various factors, each with advantages and disadvantages.

An SEO agency may be the preferred choice for businesses seeking comprehensive and multifaceted digital marketing strategies. Agencies often bring a diverse team of specialists with expertise in different facets of SEO, providing approaches to optimize performance.

On the other hand, for smaller businesses with more specific and budget-conscious needs, an SEO freelancer might be a more flexible and cost-effective option. Freelancers can offer personalized attention and quicker comms and often have lower overhead costs.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on the business’s unique requirements, goals, and budget constraints. Consider hiring specialists like our agents from Kala if you want the most personalized and skilled service to boost your SEO rankings.

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