Which is better for your business…investing in your own in-house SEO team or entrusting the task of search engine optimisation to an external agency? There’s no definitive answer to this, because every organisation is different. To give you some insight, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of both outsourced and in-house SEO.
Keeping Marketing and SEO in-house: is it your best use of resources?
Hiring your own in-house SEO team is a sign of commitment. It shows that your company is one that sees the true value of search marketing and is prepared to get behind it both financially and ideologically, by making SEO part of the fabric of your corporate culture.
All of this means that you’re likely to get results that reflect your dedication. But, are the resources you sink into SEO best directed there – or could you achieve the same search success without such heavy investment? Here are some points to ponder:
If you hire an in-house team (let’s assume this means multiple full-time employees), that’s expensive. Not only will you be paying their salaries, but all the other costs that come with this, such as sick pay, holiday and maternity pay. In quiet periods, you’ll still have to pay their salaries even if there’s not much work coming your way – unless you choose to make them redundant.
When you take on an employee, they’re with you for the long haul. If you realise their skills are not up to scratch and change your mind about employing them, usually they will have to work a notice period of four or more weeks and go through a formal dismissal process, which can sometimes be arduous.
In-house staff require managing, and that involves quite a lot of time spent on things like one-to-one meetings, performance reviews, pay reviews and goal-setting. If they are under-performing, you’ll need to go through a performance management process. When things take time, they also take money. Resources can often be particularly scarce for SMEs, so managing an in-house team could negatively cost the company with fewer return on investment.
SEO is a fluid and fast-moving sector, so your team will need to keep up with the latest developments. SEO professionals require regular training to stay up to date – if you’re not au fait with the latest Google update or you’re still using SEO techniques that become outmoded, your work simply won’t make the grade.
Considering all of this, is there a more efficient way to succeed with search, which doesn’t require the same pressure on resources? Outsourcing your SEO could provide a solution.
Paying for professional services: the advantages of using a Marketing and SEO agency
Search engine optimisation is a big business and there are plenty of specialist agencies around that promise to do the hard work for your website, so you don’t have to. Outsourcing your SEO to an experienced contractor can be a canny idea for businesses that want insight from a range of experts on an as-needed basis.
SEO can seem daunting to those who are new to it. As well as expert, up-to-date knowledge, there are several other benefits of outsourcing your marketing and SEO, particularly for small businesses:
An SEO agency will routinely use all the latest software to ensure that your website can compete at the highest level. Tools such as SEMRush, Moz and other advanced search marketing programs are expensive, so it can make sense to let the agency absorb the cost.
In a typical SEO agency, you will have access to a multitude of different skills. Whatever your needs, between them, the team will be able to offer diverse services from technical web development to web page editing, copywriting and creative marketing ideas. You can also choose how you want to use your hours each month, whether that’s setting up an Adwords campaign or publishing new content. Whatever your goal, there will be someone on the team with the expertise to make it happen.
Outsourcing your SEO to an agency means working with experts who can take inspiration from their own depth of experience in the field. With a portfolio of clients across all manner of industries, your agency will have a head start in coming up with SEO solutions that really work. Between them, they’ll also be able to bounce ideas around the team to get input from specialists in all aspects of search and traditional marketing. Often in-house marketing is done from the perspective of the company, using an agency allows an outsider’s view, which brings the focus back to the customer.
Hiring an external agency means there is no down time on your campaigns. There will always be a team on hand to react to the latest industry changes, giving you peace of mind knowing there will always be continuity in your strategy, even when you or your staff are on holiday.
Agencies often have an extensive and expansive list of contacts, they know who to contact for the best resources and price. They will often have a good relationship with companies covering a wide range of assets – a relationship which would likely take a long time for a new business to develop.
With an agency, there’s no need for a big commitment. At Wagada, for example, there is no contract. To stop working with us, you simply let us know in writing before the end of the month in order to cancel for the following month. No strings.
Ultimately, only you can decide which SEO option is the best fit for your business. Whichever way you choose to optimise your search results, however, there’s one thing will ideally come out on top – and that’s your website.
Want to read more about Cheryl, our SEO Resident Expert, then find out more here. Don’t forget you can contact here and ask any questions!