SEO Consultant versus an Online Marketing Firm

Do you understand the difference between hiring an Internet marketing consultant and an online marketing firm? Unfortunately, many people assume that all online marketing firms are the same — this is actually not the case. Understanding what you should expect from an online marketing consulting firm versus an online marketing company can help you make the most of your SEO strategy.

What Is the Difference Between an SEO Consultant and Online Marketing Firm?

First, it is important to differentiate between consultants and online marketing firms. While a consultant can provide personalized service, a great online marketing firm can fill the role of a marketing consultant while simultaneously providing a broad array of other resources.

When you opt for an SEO consultancy firm, you receive the expertise of a specialized marketing consultant. While that might sound great on the surface, the reality is that a consultant is likely not going to provide the results you are seeking. A SEO consultant could help you to grow your business, but there’s a good chance that your business is not actually ready for the help of a SEO consultant yet.

One of the most common reasons that many small-to-medium sized businesses seek the help of a consultant is because they are looking for fast results and miracles. Consultants are called consultants because they only specialize in one area. The reality is that consultants are not miracle workers and if you have not laid a proper search engine optimization foundation, there is little that a consultant can do to help you fix that problem.

An online marketing firm will take a holistic view to your search engine optimization strategy. By focusing on the many, varied aspects of your campaign, a great online marketing firm will be able to provide you with the greatest chances for success. You will also likely find it much easier to form a long-term relationship with an online marketing firm rather than with a consultant who usually only works with clients on a short-term basis.

Online marketing consultants also tend to be expensive. The last thing you want to do is expend a lot of your cash flow for a service that will not provide you with the results you need. Since consultants are typically paid on an hourly basis or on a monthly retainer, it can be easy to rack up a large bill without receiving a lot in return. By comparison, an online marketing firm can give you everything you need in one cost-effective package solution.

What to Expect from a Search Marketing Agency

When hiring a search marketing agency, it is important to ensure you choose the right agency because not all such agencies are created alike. While many online marketing firms are legitimate, some companies use questionable and even unethical techniques to market their services. Some firms will even charge customers for what they refer to as “secret” search engine marketing techniques. Others may purchase a large number of domains and use scraped content for the purposes of showcasing their portfolios. These types of deceptive practices should be avoided at all costs. Even if a company utilizing unethical strategies is able to help your ranking increase, you could easily find your company completely banned from the search engines almost overnight.

You may also find that an online marketing firm is far more likely to emphasize reporting analytics packages. An online marketing firm with a solid analytics program can provide you with in-depth insight into what is taking place with your campaign, telling you what is working and what is not working so that changes can be made to provide you with the greatest chances of success possible.

Your number one goal in hiring an SEO consultant or an online marketing firm is to deploy the most effective SEO campaign possible so your rankings rise and your customers/sales increase. Personal attention and service combined with the advantages of continually evolving processes offered by an online marketing firm can provide a tremendous benefit over a consultant who only specializes in one specific area and will usually not be able to work with you for the long-term.

Prior to hiring any search engine marketing consultant or firm, always take the time to make sure you have a solid understanding of the approach that will be taken with your SEO strategy, the services you will receive, and what you should expect. There is simply too much on the line to trust your brand’s SEO strategy to anything but the best.

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