Savvy Business Owners Know SEO Plays a Major Role in the Long Term Digital Strategy of Their Brand.

There are phrases your customers type into Google to find your products or services, and potentially your competitors. You know that it’s important to show up in search results related to your product. What you might not know is how you should develop your SEO strategy, and whether it should be done in-house or outsourced.

There are instances where it’s logical to have an in-house team, but sometimes it’s a better strategy to outsource the work. The decision to use an agency essentially comes down to how large your need is and your budget.

1. Your Business Doesn’t Rely on Digital Marketing
If digital marketing is an essential part of your business model, like an e-commerce brand, then you’re more likely to require some sort of in-house SEO expertise. However, if your business model is not  dependent on digital marketing and your brand’s digital presence, then you will likely be better off outsourcing.

2. You Can’t Afford In-House SEO 
This is where budget comes into play, as hiring in-house can be expensive. A tested in-house SEO resource will cost on average $65k/year, and when you add benefits that number could rise to about $80k. Can your company afford this? With an agency, the average retainer for SEO is $5-6k per month. Agencies can often be a much more affordable option, particularly for small and medium sized companies that do not have as many resources. Ideally, you want to use a freelancer, because agencies have to pay rent and and employee benefits, freelancers do not. 

3. You Want the Best SEO Talent
One of the biggest benefits to outsourcing SEO to an agency or freelancer is the skill and expertise you receive. The digital marketing world changes quickly and search algorithms are continuing to evolve so keeping up with those changes is critical. Agencies typically have a larger team of SEO specialists and firms that specialize in SEO usually have a more diverse set of talent and skills. This gives companies the flexibility to utilize more or less resources as required over time, and with the increased variety in skills, different resources can be assigned to different projects that align with their expertise.

SEO talent tends to skew toward freelancers and agencies because of the breadth of the type of work offered. Agencies typically already have considerable experience in the industry, so they have become adept at finding the right employees at the right skill level to successfully implement SEO strategy across different industries. 

4. You Already Use an Agency or Freelancer for Digital
If your business already relies on an agency, or a freelancer to support content creation on digital, SEO could be a great fit to add to their scope of work, with little increased investment. SEO goes hand in hand with the creation of the content you put on your website. If you have a blog or social presence, you can utilize those channels to drive traffic and increase your brand’s search rankings, as long as the content you are putting out is providing value to your customer. Remember that Google prioritizes quality and usefulness when considering search rank, so ensure the investment in content creation is part of your SEO strategy, which may be an area you need to outsource help. 

The decision of whether to build an in-house SEO team or outsource is dependent on many variables, and very reliant on how important organic search is to your business model and overall business objective.