Many companies have websites and are now wise to the importance of SEO and the careful attention it demands. Small firms may feel that outsourcing their SEO to an agency is too big a financial commitment, and with some basic know-how and a bit of spare time can manage their own SEO well enough. But as your company develops, with all the added responsibilities and the constant evolution of the SEO industry, it will become much harder for you to handle effective SEO alongside all the other day-to-day decisions, meetings and management. This is when the need arises for you to hire specialist SEO services, to keep your website ranking in a strong position against tough competition.
There are two approaches to SEO; either you can hire an external SEO agency or use in-house SEO resources. In deciding which approach may suit your business the best, involves a number of crucial considerations. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each method so you can get a deeper insight, and figure out which would be the most beneficial for your business.
The In-house SEO Expert or Team
This basically means that the people working on SEO for your company website will be your employees, working solely for your site and part of your larger team of staff dedicated to making your business successful. Larger organisations may have a Marketing team which is where the SEO work is most closely related, since it complements a range of other online marketing methods to build your company’s brand and increase awareness and interest in what you have to offer your target market. There are several benefits of maintaining SEO in-house:
- You’ll know the people – Since you’ll be employing them, you’ll have the freedom to call the shots as to who gets hired. Hiring an agency will not give you the privilege of selecting or getting to know the individuals who’ll be handling your SEO. With in-house SEO you are at liberty to assess the work progress and quality throughout the campaigns. You’ll also get to manage and motivate your employees in your own way to get maximum productivity and results from a cohesive workforce.
- Full control – Formulation of strategy and changing business goals can be directly conveyed to the SEO department. An in-house team can quickly adapt to new business strategies and rapidly implement the necessary changes.
Let’s look at some pitfalls of in-house SEO:
- The risk of recruitment – Unless you’re an SEO expert, there’s always a risk of hiring the wrong person. Finding the right candidate can be pretty tricky and the people who claim to be experts may not actually have as much specialist knowledge and experience as they claim they do.
- Weak strategy and execution – SEO can take months to show results and if the in-house SEO is planned poorly and executed with errors, you’ll either be waiting forever for your rankings to improve, or potentially lose high rankings you’ve previously worked hard to achieve. It could be a terrible waste of time, money and effort and you may suffer serious consequences with a loss of sales and brand reputation.
Hiring an External SEO Agency
Hiring an outside agency also has it’s plus and minus points. The main difference is that an agency will be working for many different company websites at the same time. Firstly we’ll take a look at the challenges you may face with an SEO agency:
- Expense – Depending on the scale of your SEO campaign, hiring an agency can work out more expensive per month when compared with hiring a full time, in-house specialist. The price however will vary according to the type and volume of work you would want the agency to perform. Campaign costs can vary from as little as £400 to over £4000 per month, however, bear in mind that an agency is likely to have a large team of experts working together towards your SEO success, compared with the individual or small in-house team you may choose to undertake the work.
- Communication – Communicating your requirements effectively may be more difficult with an SEO agency since negotiations will primarily take place over the phone and via email. There’s little chance you’ll have the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting or be able to drop by when it suits you to see how work is progressing.
An SEO Agency can also bring some significant benefits:
- Less hassle – the effort of hiring, monitoring and managing burdens are no more. You won’t be troubled finding new office space for an in-house SEO team or accommodating their needs. The SEO agency will be answerable to all your SEO related problems.
- Efficiency – SEO agencies hire and develop SEO experts. Their experience, best practice techniques and proven strategies offer you a highly efficient approach to getting the desired rankings and positive effects you should be rewarded with from quality SEO.
We appreciate that every business is different so there’s no clear-cut right or wrong choice to make. Get quotes, seek advice and compare all your options before confidently making an informed and committed choice for the future of your company’s website success.