Are you getting that sinking feeling that your in-house SEO just isn’t cutting it anymore? Or maybe you’re just starting out on the road to optimizing your website and are wondering if it’s worth hiring an agency or if you should just handle things yourself. The truth is: if you want your business to remain competitive and get the search engine results that make a difference, you are going to be much better off hiring an agency to handle all of your SEO needs. And I’ll explain why.
As the co-owner of a company that offers SEO strategy and services, you may think I’m a little biased in suggesting that you outsource your search engine optimization. So, to help you see the benefits of hiring an agency beyond my humble opinion, I’ve highlighted some of the key elements of what makes an agency better than in-house.
Access to more clients means more knowledge
While having an in-house SEO team or individual may seem to offer a more individualized approach and intimate company knowledge, their perspective can also be extremely hindered and limited from their perspective. It can be difficult to see the broader picture when you’re working internally and you are likely to miss out on SEO innovations and developments that could be benefiting your competition.
Alternatively, by virtue of having access to more clients, an agency gains more knowledge and insight to SEO strategy and implementation. A firm is able to dedicate more resources and time to knowing the latest trends and techniques to provide the best SEO for all of their clients, across all business models. This broader and deeper knowledge base translates to a more nuanced and comprehensive SEO strategy for you.
More resources for SEO only
Some business owners think that by having an in-house staffer or team handle SEO they can devote a greater focus to the work. When in reality, someone working internally can often get bogged down in other company-related responsibilities or may be overburdened by handling other marketing duties.
On the other hand, an agency can dedicate far more resources to SEO exclusively. By utilizing the specialized skills and resources of an agency, your company will benefit from a more focused SEO strategy and implementation.
More people to work with who really know their stuff
If a company relies solely on an internal employee to handle their SEO, their extremely limited by not only the amount of work that individual can handle, but also their level of expertise and skill. Often times the company at large is not particularly focused on SEO best practices, so they can hardly be expected to keep an in-house employee occupied with maintaining high quality SEO.
With an agency, you have an entire team of experts dedicated to covering all aspects of SEO. They also are likely to have individuals or entire teams devoted to specific components of SEO and online marketing, such as social media, analytics, local SEO, rep management, PPC and more. What’s more, they can collaborate as a team to find more comprehensive solutions that work concurrently to improve your company’s visibility. With so many more experts to talk to, bounce ideas off of and innovate with, it really helps.
Access to more tools and reporting
An in-house SEO provider will likely be limited with the resources they have to provide accurate reporting on SEO results. Whether they’re using Google Analytics or other basic reporting tools, they won’t be able to provide as thorough of an overview of your SEO status and progress.
A firm has access to a wide variety of tools and reporting methods as their entire livelihood depends on using the best and most current evaluations. Many programs are too costly to be afforded for an in-house approach, but a firm needs these tools for all of their clients. We for example have subscriptions to thousands of dollars in software and tools. We also have some tools of our own.
Company-wide SEO training sessions
The skills of an in-house SEO team are likely to become stagnant very quickly, which in the fast-changing world of SEO, can be a major deal breaker. Firms, however, provide company-wide SEO training sessions to keep their team up to date on the current best practices. They will also frequently attend conferences and industry events that would be unavailable or inaccessible to an in-house employee.
Great SEO requires a constant honing of the tools and resources that you have at your disposal. Staying on top of evolving trends is a key to success.
Better understanding of the lifecycle of the SEO process
An in-house employee might utilize important SEO techniques at the outset, but it’s the follow through that really counts for ranking and conversions. A firm has a much better understanding of the bigger picture and the overall lifecycle of the SEO process. They are able to monitor your company’s progress on a broader scale and know when and where to tweak your strategy over time. Every website is different. After doing this for over a decade I can look at a site and know exactly the state that it is in. What it is holding it back and where it needs to go.
More variety keeps things exciting
Because in-house SEO focuses solely on one company, there’s a tendency to fall into the lull of a routine. The position can become “just a job” and in turn their approach to SEO stagnates. Alternatively, by virtue of working with many different clients across a spectrum of industries, a firm is able to keep things exciting and fresh.
A firm is able to learn new approaches to one business by gaining perspective from working with another one. While different techniques are often applied to different types of businesses, sometimes applying a unique approach to a different field can yield exciting and fruitful results.
Costs can be better budgeted
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits for some companies is the potential to save money by hiring a firm. Some may think that by using someone in-house they’re actually cutting costs, but interviewing and hiring someone full time can be a much more costly process than just hiring a firm for the specific services you need. Firms dramatically cut overhead.
While each company has a specific set of needs when it comes to SEO, generally speaking they will position themselves much better with respect to improved SEO results by hiring a firm. There can be some benefits to working with someone in-house. For example, when we work with companies that have hundreds of thousands of employees, there is generally one or more in-house SEO people and an agency. But no matter what, your company will see better results by having a good agency involved.
What has your experience been? Have you worked with an SEO firm or in-house? Let us know your experience in the comment section below.
- “Agency vs. In-house vs. Freelance SEO” (Moz)
- “In-house SEO, SEO Agency or Both” (Search Engine Watch)
- “Weighing In-house vs. Agency SEO) (Search Engine Land)
- “Online Marketing: In-house or Agency” (Drum Beat Marketing)