Should You Outsource Your SEO or Keep It In-House?
Most businesses today have at least a basic understanding of what SEO means and why it is important. As marketing budgets increasingly shift from traditional to digital avenues, more companies are recognising the importance of setting aside a budget for SEO.
But is it better to use your SEO budget to run a campaign in-house, or outsource it to a professional agency?
While there are advantages to keeping your SEO in-house (after all, you know the most about your business and your industry) we feel that in most situations it is better for a company to hire an agency. Here are a few of the reasons why.
Outsourcing is often cheaper
SEO agencies don’t come cheap – at least, the good ones don’t. But when you compare it with the cost of keeping your SEO in-house, outsourcing is often cheaper. If you’re planning on running an SEO campaign in-house, you basically have two options:
Train your existing staff how to perform SEO.
Hire an in-house SEO professional.
It may seem like the first option is the more affordable one, but if you have existing staff members work on your SEO, you will be taking them away from the jobs they were trained to do – which will require bringing on more resources to get those jobs done. Moreover, who is going to do the training? And keep in mind that everyone learns at a different rate, so you cannot accurately predict the amount of time it will take to train everyone up to the level you need them at. All of this training costs time and money, without a guarantee of high-quality work.
And if you plan on hiring an SEO expert to work in-house, keep in mind that most will come with a substantial price tag – typically more than you would pay to hire an agency.
SEO is difficult to learn
There’s a reason why SEO agencies exist. SEO is a specialised skill – one that is difficult for many businesses and novices to wrap their heads around. Google’s former head of web spam, Matt Cutts, has said publicly that Google’s algorithm relies on over 200 ranking factors. That’s a lot of different factors to learn about and understand.
It takes a while to understand the basics of SEO and years to master it. SEO agencies have already invested that time – does your business have enough resources to make that time investment in-house?
An outsider perspective can be just what you need
The main advantage of keeping SEO in-house is that no one knows more about your business and your industry than you do. However, sometimes an outsider perspective can be valuable by helping you think about your business in ways you never have before.
SEO agencies have typically worked with hundreds of different clients and thus have a unique perspective on common business problems, especially as they relate to digital marketing. Moreover, any good SEO agency will ask you lots of questions about your industry in order to gain as thorough a perspective as possible. These questions may help you think about things in new ways and generate ideas on how to better distinguish yourself from your competition.
You don’t have to pay for the tools
The entire SEO industry relies on a variety of tools to perform their duties and accurately measure results. These tools typically come with a hefty monthly subscription fee. In order to access all the tools you need to run an SEO campaign, you could be looking at an extra investment of many hundreds of dollars per month. Training is another concern here since it takes a good deal of time to learn how to use these tools properly – another cost.
A better solution is to hand over the responsibility for your SEO efforts to an agency that has already invested in these specialised tools and that has experts that use them on a daily basis.
It will give you time to focus on what you do best
Nobody is an expert in everything. That’s why we hire specialists to take care of things that are beyond our skill level – so we can focus on the things we are experts in.
When you want to install a new oven, you hire an electrician. When you have legal issues, you hire a lawyer. So when you want to increase your organic visibility, it makes sense to hire an SEO agency.
SEO agencies are made up of experts that have dedicated their professional lives to the study of this skill. It is unlikely that you will be able to match this level of expertise in-house. Let us focus on what we do best – helping websites rank better in the organic search space – so you can focus more on what you do best.
Rachel is a Filipino Kiwi with a passion for the arts. Having graduated with an Arts Degree in English from UoA, she found writing work at PureSEO as a Junior Copywriter and quickly moved on to the role of Editor. In her spare time, she reads Austen and teaches dance classes in the weekend.
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