Some SEO experts would argue that the difference between a local SEO company and SEO consultant simply boils down to the number of employees; a local SEO consultant is a one-man cavalry, while an SEO company has many employees. According to this school of thought, you stand an equal chance of succeeding regardless of which choice you pick.
This proposition is true, but only on the surface. There’s indeed no general guarantee that you’ll succeed with one rather than the other, though in most cases, the specialized services of local SEO consultant (like Stuart McHenry) can materialize goals quicker than the holistic services of SEO companies. Here’s a quick breakdown of how local SEO companies compare to SEO consultants based on various aspects of SEO service delivery to help you determine which one will most likely serve you better.
One common characteristic of local SEO companies is a help-desk or call center manned by professional customer care agents or salespeople – not trained SEO experts. Unlike with a local SEO consultant, you might have to wait around for a while before you can speak directly to an SEO expert on most occasions. This makes it easier for you to get streamlined answers to your inquiries with local SEO experts compared to SEO companies.
In the same vein, with a local SEO consultant, your needs will most likely be handled by an SEO expert with at least two years of experience in the industry from the offset, compared to SEO companies who have non-SEO experts serving in various roles.
This is the area where SEO companies have a big upper hand over SEO consultants. While an SEO expert can only demonstrate expertise in so many sub-niches, SEO companies serve you with a massive army of SEO experts specialized in various aspects of SEO, from technical SEO, to link building, pay per click, online guerilla marketing, and content marketing. As such, SEO companies are a better choice if you’re oblivious of which direction to head in your SEO campaign. However, if you have most of the basics under belt, you can call in a consultant to achieve certain goals in specific areas of the campaign. Sometimes, an SEO consultant can outsource parts of an SEO project that they’re not well-versed in.
The costs of hiring either an SEO consultant or an SEO company are all over the map. Some consultants with a strong reputation can charge as high as high-end SEO companies, banking on their capacity to help customers generate leads and increase their profitability. But on average, the cost of hiring an SEO consultant is usually lower than that of an SEO agency. A typical consultant doesn’t run a large office on a high-end street with many staff running around in various departments. With a lower running cost, an SEO consultant may be able to charge you much lesser and more flexibly for the same results compared to an SEO company.
But SEO companies are more likely to serve you through the long-run compared to SEO experts, who may leave for vacation, go out of business, or move on to other things from one day to the next. Most reputable SEO companies have a track-record spanning several years, but a lot of SEO experts are just out to peddle some short-lived local SEO hacks that they probably stumbled on across the dark web. Generally, authentic SEO results take anywhere from 6 months to a year to materialize, so you might want to make sure that the SEO service you hire will be sticking around for a long time.
Still undecided about which is best for you between a local SEO company and a local SEO expert? Reach out to us today and let’s offer streamlined recommendations based on your unique needs.