Where to Work as an SEO Consultant? (Advertiser, Agency, Freelance)


When working or wanting to work in the world of natural referencing, 3 options are available to us:

  • work in an SEO agency
  • work for the advertiser
  • work freelance

In this guide, you will discover my opinion on these 3 options, knowing that I am both an agency SEO consultant and a freelancer.

As far as my perception of SEO for advertisers is concerned, it comes to me from the various feedback from relatives that I have had over the past few years.

PS: if you are looking for an SEO freelancer to accompany you, visit my site.

Work in an SEO agency

work in seo agency

The advantages of working in an agency

Working in an agency specializing in natural referencing has one main advantage: the fact of training quickly by being confronted with different sites and SEO use cases. Also, it is thanks to the different experienced profiles that you will meet in the agency that your vision and your SEO skills will improve.

In short ? A superb playground in which you should quickly obtain responsibilities and thus flourish.

The disadvantages of working in an agency

However, working for an SEO agency can have its downsides. For example, constantly having to juggle between different client projects can be difficult and requires real project management skills.

Also, you should know that at the start of your career, being an SEO consultant in a specialized agency is not necessarily what pays the best of all the options available.

How to choose your SEO agency?

As you can imagine, the advantages and disadvantages listed depend on each agency, so it is essential to select the one in which you want to work for an optimal experience.

Among the verifiable criteria, I recommend that you pay attention to:

  • the age of the agency
  • the experience of its consultants
  • the agency’s client references and their SEO results
  • the SEO performance of its own site
  • the proposed salary
  • telework policy

Work at the advertiser

work at the advertiser in seo

The advantages of working with the advertiser

On the other hand, working for an advertiser also has many advantages. The first is the salary, often higher than in a hiring agency, for an equivalent level of experience.

Then work as as an SEO employee at an advertiser allows you to follow a single site for months or even years. Naturally, this implies a more than precise follow-up of the SEO evolutions of the site, as well as detailed and deep actions within the site.

Compared to working in an agency, it goes without saying that most aspects of SEO optimization are more in-depth.

The disadvantages of working with the advertiser

Many “agency consultants” do not want to switch to the advertiser for one and only reason: fear of boredom. Indeed, the fact of working every day on one and the same site can be not very stimulating in the long term.

On the other hand, we also find the fact that with some large advertisers, the production of SEO recommendations can take a long time (meetings, multiple agreements required, dialogues with developers, etc.).

Finally, with some small advertisers, an SEO consultant may find himself alone on this part of the site, and therefore greatly limit his progress compared to a consultant of the same level working in an agency.

How to choose your advertiser?

If I had to give you a few points of vigilance to choose the best SEO advertisers, it would be:

  • the number of SEO professionals
  • the prioritization of SEO within the objectives of the company
  • the proposed salary
  • the SEO difficulty of the advertiser’s domain VS the means deployed
  • the total budget allocated to SEO (linking, tools, etc.)
  • telework policy

Work as a freelancer

freelance seo

The benefits of freelancing

Like many digital professions, SEO consulting allows you to work remotely and independently. Working as an SEO freelancer therefore offers many clear advantages such as:

  • freedom on schedules,
  • freedom of work processes
  • geographic freedom
  • choice of tools used
  • choice of clients supported

Paradise isn’t it? Well, not quite…

The disadvantages of freelancing

Freelancing is no small feat. Indeed, there are many constraints that we are not confronted with as an employee:

  • need to find customers
  • having to keep accounts / do administrative work
  • having to pay for their tools and work equipment

Also, it is important to note that in general, you progress less quickly by being a freelancer than by working with other SEO experts, whether in an agency or with the advertiser. This is in my opinion the main disadvantage to take into account, because it is often better to have a real SEO salary experience before starting a freelance.

How to start freelancing?

If you want to start freelancing, nothing could be simpler! You can start by creating a micro-enterprise via this page. Then, the challenge will be to attract enough customers to be able to make a decent living from it.

To find clients, I advise you first to register on platforms like Malt, FreelanceRepublik or creme de la creme.

SEO employee: face-to-face or full remote?

If your choice tends more towards salaried employment (advertiser or agency), a question arises: that of face-to-face or remote work. Indeed, as said above, this type of job offers the possibility of exercising remotely.

My answer is simple: although it always depends on the personalities of each one, I would always advise a beginner to work face-to-face, in order to learn as much as possible from his more experienced colleagues.

Conversely, if you are a confirmed / senior consultant, do as you see fit! The important thing is to bring value to the end customer (client of the agency or advertiser directly).

What career paths for an SEO consultant?

It doesn’t matter whether you worked in an agency, with an advertiser or as a freelancer, an SEO consultant is a job offering great professional opportunities.

To stay in the nested field of natural referencing, you can in particular access the professions of:

  • SEO team leader (manager)
  • head of SEO (director)

But if you want to globalize, you can become:

  • traffic manager
  • growth hacker
  • head of digital



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