What kind of SEO is right for your business?
Niche SEO, General Agency or a Freelancer? Finding the right person or agency to run your SEO can be stressful. Search Engine Optimization is a constantly evolving industry. SEO is a very lucrative business to get into if you know what you are doing, and a nightmare if you don’t. As someone who has worked as a freelancer, worked with multiple agencies, and has worked exclusively with specific niches, I hope to shed some light on the differences between the three.
Understanding who you’re hiring and what they are good at is the same as choosing the right electrician to wire your house. A good one might cost a little more, but they went through years of training to be certified, insured and licensed. A cheap handyman might seem like a good deal at the time, but can they be held responsible if something goes wrong? Are they qualified to just fix some lights or do you trust them to rewire your whole house?
I got started as a freelancer. It’s a great way to gain some work experience while you build out your client list. SEO freelancers learn early on that there are all sorts of clients out there and not all of them are good ones. Most people looking to hire a freelancer want to get agency results with a limited budget. While you can get great results from an experienced freelancer, it’s hard to tell who knows what they are actually doing VS who just knows how to make promises for results.
Too many cooks in the kitchen
I have heard horror stories from clients about hiring the wrong person(s) to work on their site. A lot of the work that I took on as a freelancer was fixing the mistakes that other freelancers caused. I have seen sites lose over 80% of their traffic and leads because the owner of the site believed that they were working with an expert, only to find out that they had ZERO understanding of how search engines work.
If you choose to hire a freelancer, make sure they have a solid portfolio and can prove results from the work that they have done. Also, make sure that they are proficient in the platform that you are using. Freelancers can be really good at a lot of different things or just great at one thing. I know quite a few than only do one specific thing, and they rock at that one thing. If you ask them to do anything else, they suck.
WordPress sites are way different than WIX, Squarespace and Shopify sites. Even in WordPress, there are many different theme/ builder options to choose from. Hiring a freelancer to work on a custom coded site vs an Elementor, Divi, WP-Bakery site can cause some massive headaches if they are not skilled at coding.
As a rule, we work only on WordPress sites. WIX and Squarespace may seem easy to build on, but they are pain in the butt to rank. In regards to E-commerce sites, we can handle both Big Commerce and Shopify, but the results will take longer than other platforms.
Digital Marketing Agencies
DMA’s can be just about anything right now in regards to the services that they offer. With the high demand for digital marketing services in the last few years, starting an agency is relatively simple. You can get some great results if you find a good agency that knows what it’s doing. An agency will cost more than just a freelancer since there is a team of people working on a project.
Finding the right DMA can be tricky. Digital Marketing Agencies can be a highly focused team, or a “we work with everyone that want to pay us” hodge podge. The most common industries that agencies market to are local businesses & ecommerce. While those seem like simple audiences to work with, there are hundreds of niches and sub niches in both local and ecommerce. An agency that works with everyone may be able to serve businesses in less competitive niches, but will struggle with more competitive niches.
Before you hire an agency, you should be clear on what your goals are. Ask the agency rep if they have experience in your industry specifically, and what kind of results they have gotten.
Social Media Agencies offering SEO
Many agencies start off as social media media marketing and paid ads and hire on freelancers to fill roles. Social media agencies don’t understand SEO at all and often overpromise and undercharge for SEO services. I know this because we get contacted a few times a month by an agency that is looking for someone to do all their SEO for them because they don’t know how, or don’t have anyone to do it… but they’ve been charging their clients for SEO services. If you are happy with your social media agency, it might be better to simply hire on an outside SEO agency that actually does SEO.
Niche SEO and Digital Marketing
A Niche SEO agency is a group that only focuses on working within a specific industry. Hiring an a niche agency is like going to a specialist who dedicates all their time and energy in understanding and mastering one thing. Any mechanic can change oil, but a master technician is certified in working on specific cars. Your primary doctor doesn’t perform brain surgery; you to a neurosurgeon for that. Your cannabis business shouldn’t hire on a DMA that primarily works with car dealerships.
Each industry requires extensive research and understanding. General agencies and freelancers have to restart the process each time they take on a new client in a new niche. Niche SEO agencies have already done the research and have put together a process that they know works.
Would you trust a car salesman to manage your greenhouse? Probably not. You took the time to find a qualified cannabis grower to grow. Hire a niche seo agency to manage your website.
Cannabiz Marketing Solutions has years of experience helping cannabis businesses grow online. Let us show you how we can help yours.