Should I Outsource My SEO or Create an In-House Team?

Three employees working in front of a computer in an office

American online retail sales will reach $1 trillion by 2025. As consumers increasingly move online for their purchases, businesses will need to consolidate and enhance their internet presence to grow their enterprises. One of the most effective digital marketing strategies to boost your online presence is search engine optimization (SEO). Roughly 64% of marketers actively invest time in SEO because a well-planned SEO strategy can help you promote brand visibility, acquire more customers, and increase revenue generation.

While a well-planned SEO strategy can boost your competitive edge, you need to consider the costs. Whether outsourcing SEO or creating an in-house team of experts, you should expect to pay a significant portion of your marketing budget to acquire the high-converting traffic you seek. If you are a business owner or marketing manager, you might be wondering which SEO strategy, outsourcing, or in-house team, will best fulfill your business’s needs.

Should you outsource SEO or develop an in-house team of specialists? Below, we will explain the differences between outsourcing and in-house SEO to help you decide which strategy is best for growing your business.

Outsourced vs. In-House SEO

Outsourcing SEO is when a business contracts a digital marketing agency or another third-party to fulfill their company’s SEO needs. The third-party offers on-page and off-page SEO services to drive more traffic to your site and increase your conversions. Partnering with an SEO company can help you get professional online marketing services while you focus on maximizing your business profits. Outsourcing SEO is increasing in popularity as they offer expert skills for lower costs.

In-house SEO, on the other hand, is creating a team of SEO experts within your business to develop and manage your SEO strategy. Businesses that choose to have an in-house SEO team must conduct all the hiring, onboarding, and training tasks themselves. While time-consuming and costly, some businesses prefer an in-house team as their proximity gives them more control over the company’s online marketing strategy.

We’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your SEO vs developing an in-house team from scratch to help you determine which approach generates the highest return on your investment.

Advantages of Outsourcing SEO 

Many companies choose to outsource their SEO needs as this approach provides many benefits. According to a 2019 Clutch report, 52% of small businesses planned to outsource business processes. The biggest benefits of outsourcing SEO are explained below:

Lower Costs

At the time of this writing, hiring an SEO specialist will cost your business at least $68,272 a year in salary. On top of their salary, paying benefits, compensation, and insurance will add another 25% to an employee’s cost to a business. On average, you will pay at least $85,000 a year to retain an in-house SEO specialist. 

As SEO projects are not a one-person task, you will need more than one search engine expert to run a successful online marketing campaign. Consequently, you should expect to pay at least $300,000 a year for a small in-house SEO team. Your business can acquire higher-quality services for a fraction of in-house costs when you outsource SEO to an outside agency, generating a higher ROI. 

Better Talent and Expertise

SEO agencies must deliver tangible results to their clients to be able to sustain their businesses. To deliver results-driven services, SEO agencies use rigorous procedures to employ and retain the best talent in the industry. These companies have the resources to train their staff regularly on the latest trends and developments in SEO to help them deliver innovative solutions to their clients. Outsourcing SEO to an agency also gives you access to professional copywriters and other digital marketing talents, helping you build a robust online presence.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing SEO

Outsourcing your SEO needs to a third-party agency can come with its own set of problems. For instance, some SEO agencies offer manipulative contracts to get the most money they can out of their clients.

If you are planning to outsource SEO to a third-party agency, study their contracts meticulously. Stay away from SEO companies that only offer long-term contracts, as they might be delaying their results to shortchange you or hide ineffectiveness. Outsource your SEO needs to a company that is willing to offer month-to-month contracts, as these agencies are confident enough in their ability to deliver tangible results that they don’t need to resort to manipulative contracts.

Advantages of In-House SEO

While many companies choose to outsource their SEO needs to an outside agency for the reasons specified above, some companies prefer having their own SEO team. Creating an in-house team of SEO experts has its benefits. The most beneficial aspects of an in-house SEO team are described below:

Personalized Results

Being part of your own business, an in-house team of SEO specialists may have a better understanding of your goals and vision. Unlike an outside agency that provides services to dozens of clients, your team works exclusively for you to build and manage an SEO campaign that is in-line with your brand’s voice and image, helping your business build a unique identity. An in-house SEO team will work closely with your digital marketing professionals to deliver a more personalized result.

More Control and Oversight

Having your very own SEO team gives you more control and oversight over your online marketing strategy. The proximity of your in-house SEO team enables you to manage the minuscule details of your campaign, helping you identify issues early on in the project. The sooner you identify problems in your online marketing strategy, the faster you will be able to resolve them. Detecting and resolving problems early will minimize resource waste later on in the project, promoting efficiency and productivity at your business.

Disadvantages of In-House SEO

Creating and maintaining a team of SEO specialists at your business also has its disadvantages. The two most undesirable aspects of having an in-house team are its high maintenance costs and inferior expertise compared to SEO agencies. You should expect to pay at least $25,000 a month to maintain an in-house SEO team, while you can acquire superior SEO services from an agency for an average of $5,000 per month.

Other than maintenance costs, you should train your specialists frequently to keep them up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the industry. Many companies don’t have the resources to educate their SEO professionals consistently, leading to in-house SEO teams that are less knowledgeable in their field than their SEO agency counterparts.

Outsource SEO or Get an In-House Team?

As we discussed above, there are pros and cons to both outsourcing SEO and developing an in-house team of specialists. Analyze both options thoroughly so you can decide which approach delivers the highest return on your investment. Many companies prefer to outsource SEO to an outside agency to acquire superior services for a lower cost.

If you want to stay up to date on the latest developments in SEO, we can help. Best SEO Service Companies is an expert in the field, and our blog should be your first stop to stay abreast of new ideas and strategies in digital marketing. Follow our blog for all our best tips, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask Best SEO Service Companies!