What happens when your website isn’t ranking? Your customers find your competitors first, meaning you’re losing out revenue-shifting opportunity. Putting off SEO simply isn’t an option for today’s organisations of any size.
Prioritising SEO puts your business on the digital map, ensuring you’re building a presence where it counts.
Question is, what’s the best way of investing in your overall marketing? Is hiring in house or outsourcing the best option for your SEO?
Truth is, every business will differ. Choosing in house, outsourcing or a combination of both will depend on several factors. As always, there are pros and cons for everything.
Below we’ve outlined several considerations to help you weigh up which options is best for your business — so you can secure those smashing revenue results.
What SEO solution will get you the revenue results?
1. Bringing on the right expertise
At the end of the day, driving serious revenue will need teams of experts to make it happen.
When it comes to expertise, SEO agencies typically blow in-house teams out of the water. Here’s the thing: these guys are experts at what they do, and they’ve worked on a wide range of client accounts across different industries.
This means that they have a pretty good idea on what works and what doesn’t; they’re also clued in on how to fine-tune strategies for maximum impact.
Specialists vs generalists
On top of that, SEO agencies employ a range of specialists, including copywriters, web developers, analysts, and more. Because each of these team members take care of a specific part of a larger campaign, they get to hone their skills more effectively with every project they take on.
In essence: team members in an SEO agency bring more expertise and precision to the table than a generalist (who’s working for you in-house) can ever hope to do!
Keeping abreast of the latest updates
SEO agencies make it a point to keep abreast of the latest SEO news, and when Google changes its algorithm, they’re typically the first to know. (After all, they can’t risk being at a loss for words when their clients call them up and demand to know why their traffic has increased or decreased drastically overnight!)
As opposed to that, in-house team tends to be more focused on specific outcomes (campaign results, etc), and might neglect to keep an eye on macro trends and updates.
2. Striking the right balance
There’s no clear winner when it comes to how fast in-house teams and agencies can deliver SEO services. On one hand, agencies come with pre-assembled high quality teams, so you might think that they’d be able to get you results in a shorter period of time.
But here’s something you have to consider: if you want an agency to prioritise your project ahead of their other clients’, you’ll either have to commit to spending more on said project, or settling for lower quality.
Some agencies dub this the Impossible Trifecta. Basically, you can’t have it good, cheap, and fast – something’s got to give.
Image from Dribbble.com.
If you don’t want to pay through the nose for your SEO project, and you don’t want to compromise on quality, then you’ll just have to settle for a longer timeline.
Remember, your SEO agency is juggling multiple clients at a time, and it’s unrealistic to expect them to constantly be at your beck and call, and answer your queries instantaneously.
3. Focusing your efforts
In this particular respect, in-house marketing teams trump agencies, every single time. Because agencies are spread across various clients, it’s tough for them to achieve the same depth of knowledge about a company that an in-house team possesses.
Because in-house teams are more in-tune with their company’s (and competitors’) strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, this gives rise to more nuanced and tailored SEO strategies. On top of that, in-house teams also find it easier to work with internal stakeholders and collaborate on different aspects of an SEO project.
Last but not least, there’s also the fact that you won’t need to educate an in-house team about your company culture and processes. Your team will already be aligned, and on the same page… which means that they’ll be able to hit the ground running!
4. Maximising ROI for your digital marketing investment
At the end of the day, the option that you choose has to make financial sense for the company (and not make your CFO burst an artery). Let’s lay it all out:
If you hire an SEO specialist to work for you in-house, their salary will cost you approximately $76,000 per year. After you add employee benefits, office overheads, administrative fees, and training and on boarding, you’re looking at over $100,000 per year. But we’re not done yet – you’ll also have to fork out extra for SEO tools.
There are tools which help you look for backlink opportunities, tools which help you with keyword analysis, tools which help you optimise headlines… all in all, you’re probably slapping on a few more thousand dollars per year.
If you outsource your SEO work to an external agency, an engagement which gives you a tech audit, keyword strategy, ongoing link building campaigns and reporting might cost you $4000 to $6000 per month. Multiply that by 12, and you’ll arrive at $72,000 per year. Your agency will already have all the tools it needs at its disposal, so you don’t have to take this into consideration.
The bottom line: is in-house or agency better?
If you’re a small business which is working with a limited budget, we recommend outsourcing your SEO efforts to an external agency. Some business owners try to cut corners by hiring an entry-level employee and training them, but this comes with plenty of challenges.
Yes, you’ll find plenty of resources if you Google “SEO strategies 2018”, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the articles available online, especially since some of them are contradictory!
If you’re a larger outfit, and you can afford to invest more heavily in SEO, then go ahead and manage your SEO in-house. The good thing about this is that you’ll be owning your talent (instead of renting it); ideally, you’ll be able to build up a strong team which can take the best SEO practices and apply these in a way that makes the most sense for your company.
With an in-house team, you can also be more responsive, and implement tweaks to your campaigns more quickly.
Choosing the right SEO agency
Before you commit to working with an SEO agency, you’ll want to screen them thoroughly, and make sure that they’re a good fit. Here are a few questions that will get you started:
- Do you have any recent recent case studies?
- Have you worked on any projects which are similar to mine?
- What were the biggest challenges you faced in these projects, and how did you overcome them?
- What key metrics do you look at when it comes to SEO?
- What SEO tools do you use?
- How does your internal training process work? Do your team members have any sort of certification or accreditation?
- When will I begin to see results?
- Can you guarantee that I’ll rank on the first page of Google? (For reference, the right answer to this is “no” – given that Google constantly updates its algorithm, no legitimate SEO agency will promise you first page results!)
Skyrocketing revenue starts today
Imagine your website winning your customers, every single day of the year. Revenue goals are in reach with digital marketing done well.
Having worked with 1000+ thriving companies all over the world, our expert team have figured out what works. Getting ahead of Google guarantees you're ahead of the competition. Invest your money where it counts.
If you're ready for digital marketing that works, get in touch today! You can claim your free complimentary digital audit, worth $2,000. We’ll audit your website, tell you how you’re performing in comparison with your competitors, and come up with a 12-month SEO success plan for you.