SEO: In-house, or outsource?

Companies big and small know the significance of improving online visibility and reach, specifically keeping up with trends and the latest online marketing techniques. However, there is always room for improvement when it comes to setting and achieving SEO goals.

Many businesses are still unsure when deciding whether to outsource or keep services in-house. It’s a common dilemma, particularly when implementing a search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign. SEO is perceived to be complicated yet essential to the online marketing process. Sometimes it makes sense to have an in-house team, but contextually, it might be more practical to outsource the work to an agency. Running an in-house SEO team may not be practical for startups, and may only stretch resources too thinly.

Here are the major aspects in the decision making process to help you choose the best outcome for your business.

Cost

Outsourcing to an agency may appear expensive at first. Basic services can start anywhere from $263 AUD to $658 AUD, mostly limited to keyword analysis and competitive analysis reporting. Charges are likely to increase for implementation, as well as content creation costs, which are vital for successful SEO campaigns. According to Forbes, outsourcing an effective online marketing campaign will cost at least $3948 per month. That might sound out of reach, but these are agencies equipped with the tools, expertise and services you need to succeed.

On the other hand, building your in-house SEO team may look cheaper at first, with only salaries to contend with, but in a fast-changing industry, the quote “no man is an island” is still relevant. In order to run a successful online marketing campaign, a company needs to hire at least 2-3 individuals (ideally, a copywriter, web designer, and SEO practitioner).  It quickly adds up.

Expertise

Generally, agencies are perceived to have the most knowledgeable and expert SEO practitioners. They are up to date with the latest trends and tactics in the industry - what to do, what to avoid and how to apply it in the most effective way possible - as they have regular training. They refine their craft for multiple different clients and campaigns, diving head first each time. While in-house SEOs are also expected to be the best in the business, as with every hire, look into their professional background and make sure it contains the skills and attitude you’re looking for.

Of course, arguably the most passionate and dedicated practitioners would be in the company, with 100% of their attention on your campaign. They would have the time to build strong brand knowledge, giving them an intricate birds-eye view of the entire project.

Continuity

All companies who are engaging in an online marketing are after results and ROI. Companies don’t want to send money down the drain, right?

Most online marketing campaigns are for the long term, aiming to increase sales above all. With that being said, the inevitable internal difficulties within an SEO agency, wherein clients have limited control have a great impact in the quality of work and communication processes. Practitioners may come and go, thus, the one who’s handling the campaign may not be the one to finish it. Though it can also happen in an in-house team, at least the company can immediately act to address any difficulty.

There’s no right or wrong answer to whether you should outsource SEO or build an in-house team. There are SEO agencies that have different packages for small and large enterprises. Consider your company’s requirements and finances, then move forward with the choice that best fits.

by Shiena Combalicer, Digital Marketing Advisor, Isentia
In Insights.

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