SEO agency vs consultant: Which generates better SEO results?

If you’re looking to drive product sign-ups, then hiring an SEO agency that takes responsibility for conversions is typically the better choice. 

They’ll handle everything needed to generate organic conversions, including drawing up a keyword strategy, writing product-based articles, tracking conversions inside Google Analytics, and building backlinks to high-converting pieces.

SEO consultants don’t actually “do” any SEO. They advise on SEO problems that you’re facing. This makes them a good choice if you need help with a very specific problem; maybe Google isn’t indexing your articles or your website is suffering from performance issues.

In this guide, we wanted to show you when you should hire an SEO agency vs consultant and the pros and cons of each.

Note: Although we’re an SEO agency, we tried to be as objective as possible so you can make the best decision for your business. That said, we pride ourselves on consistently being able to take new websites to 10K monthly traffic within 12 months. We also report on conversions, with many of our clients seeing product sign-ups within 1.5 months. So, if you’re looking to hire a SaaS SEO agency, book a call with our founder here.

Why hiring an SEO agency is better

These are some reasons why hiring an SEO agency might be better than hiring a consultant:

  • SEO agencies handle everything needed to drive traffic and conversions 
  • SEO agencies can sometimes be cheaper
  • SEO agencies remove the need to manage in-house employees and consultants

SEO agencies handle everything needed to drive traffic and conversions 

The biggest benefit of working with an SEO agency is that you access experts in every aspect of SEO.

SEO agencies have employees for technical audits, content writing/strategy, backlink building, conversion tracking, etc.

This allows you to take care of everything needed to drive traffic and conversions. The agency will develop a keyword strategy, write product-based articles that show readers how your product is better than the competition, generate backlinks to authority websites, and track conversions inside Google Analytics.

You rarely find an SEO consultant who’s an expert in all these areas. Most SEO consultants specialize in a single aspect of SEO, whether it’s backlink building or technical audits.

Again, this is perfect if you have a single SEO problem you need help with. However, if you’re looking to have SEO professionals build a SEO strategy that’ll get people to sign up for your product, then SEO agencies are your best bet.

SEO agencies can sometimes be cheaper

We can’t speak for all SEO agencies, but, at SaaSpirin, we charge $2,999 per month for our Full SEO package, which is much cheaper than hiring a consultant. 

Let’s say you pay an SEO consultant $100 per hour to advise on creating content and building backlinks. This consultant works 50 hours per month, totaling $5,000 out of your pocket.

This doesn’t even account for hiring people to build SEO strategies, run website audits, and track conversions.

Compare this to our package, where we’ll run a website audit, build a keyword strategy, track conversions, and write detailed, product-based articles.

Most of our clients start generating organic conversions within a couple of months and at around month six to 10, they’ve already made back the retainer they paid us.

We attribute this relatively quick turnaround time to our nuanced writing approach. 

We don’t just regurgitate content we find on the internet. We actually take the time to understand your value proposition, survey your customers, and sign up for your product. We then use this information to write articles that appeal to customers’ pain points and show them how your product solves their pain points better than the alternatives.

SEO agencies remove the need to manage in-house employees and consultants

SEO consultants won’t build keyword strategies and write content for you. They’ll show you (consult) how to do it. This means you’ll either have to take care of SEO yourself or hire a full-time, in-house team.

This puts a lot of internal pressure on your business because you and your team are responsible for bringing in traffic and product conversions while managing other areas of your business, such as product development.

With SEO agencies, however, you outsource the entire SEO process. You don’t have to manage a team of in-house SEO employees and consultants, giving you more time to focus on other areas of your business.

An SEO agency will probably just hop on a 30-minute to hour-long call once a week to update you on the content they published and any new organic conversions, but that’s about it. There’s no work required from your side.

When should you hire a consultant?

However, hiring an SEO agency isn’t always the best idea. Here are some situations in which it’s better to opt for an SEO consultant:

  • You have a very specific SEO problem to solve
  • You need SEO coaching

You have a very specific SEO problem to solve

If you already employ an in-house team and you have a specific SEO problem that nobody on your team can solve, then hiring a consultant is a good idea.

If Google isn’t indexing your pages for example, you could bring in a technical SEO consultant. Or, if your Google Analytics tracking is broken, you could hire a Google Analytics consultant.

This consultant will have decades of experience dealing with the exact problem you’re looking to solve. You don’t need them to be an expert in other areas of SEO; you have in-house staff and freelancers for that.

You need SEO coaching

If you’re running a small business and you're handling SEO yourself but you need some guidance, then hiring an SEO consultant for a few hours can help you understand and correct your mistakes.

We commonly see this with small business owners. They don’t have the budget to hire an SEO agency so they are doing SEO themselves. However, they aren’t bringing in conversions and traffic.

This is where hiring an SEO consultant can help. You could hire one for an hour or two, have them look at your website, and suggest areas for improvement. Maybe they’ll find some technical problem holding your website back or a reason why searches aren’t clicking on your articles.

From here, you can fix these problems and after a few months, hire them again, and ask them to find more mistakes.

As you weed out these mistakes and improve the quality of your content, you’ll naturally rank higher and increase your conversion rate.

Take your website from zero to 10K monthly traffic!

If you’re looking to take your website to 10K monthly traffic within the next 12 months while bringing in conversions, then hop on a 20-minute discovery call with us. During this chat, we’ll walk you through our SEO strategy:

  • Keyword gap analysis: Over the years, we found that this keyword gap analysis strategy is the most reliable way to take websites to 10K monthly traffic. It works by gathering the keywords your competitors are ranking for and filtering out keywords you already rank for. The result is a list of keywords you have the potential to rank for but aren’t.
  • Product-based articles: Most SEO agencies write articles by summarizing whatever’s on your product page. This ultimately results in surface-level content. Instead, we dive deep into your user's psychology, the reasons why they buy, and why they choose you over the competition. This allows us to convert customers by appealing to their pain points.
  • Conversion tracking inside Google Analytics: We’ll also set up conversion tracking inside Google Analytics so we know how many conversions our articles generate and which are generating the most conversions.
  • Backlink building: Once we know which posts generate the majority of product conversions, we’ll actively build backlinks to these posts. The logic here is that the more backlinks we build, the higher the piece will rank, the more high-buying intent traffic will click on it, and the more readers will convert.

If you are interested in learning more about how we take websites to 10K monthly traffic, book a quick call here.