The decision to hire internal talent in search engine optimization or to contract with an agency is not easy. Consider these points when deciding for your business.
The internal benefits derive mainly from control, collaboration and cost.
If you like to keep your team close to you, the choice of internal talents will seem more attractive. You can manage them more closely and know that they are responsible.
Because it's their livelihood, internal SEO managers are 100% invested in the success of your business. They are also 100% focused on your work and your priorities, while a person assigned by an agency can have multiple clients to manage.
Priorities change quickly and an internal SEO manager can easily stay abreast of these changes. She will be closer to the other members of the team, which will allow for more transparent collaboration and stronger working relationships. Since SEO is mainly accomplished through other disciplines such as user experience, development, writing and creating, the ability to work directly with the team is a key factor.
Finally, cost is something that people cite when they hire internally. You do not have to pay for multiple levels of strategic oversight. In addition, you can hire someone a junior and develop it internally for cost savings.
The benefits of working with an SEO agency rely on expertise, experience and external attention.
The main benefit of an SEO agency is its expertise. The experts are hiring. The experts manage and monitor the SEO strategy. Experts develop a standardized methodology and set of tools that they believe are most effective.
The expertise of the agency can also facilitate decision-making. Even when the agency recommends the same as an employee, the agency's recommendations are often more likely to be accepted.
It is sometimes easier in the context of budgets and internal processes to contract an agency than to hire a full-time SEO employee.
Since the agency team usually consists of several people in separate roles, you get the right level of experience on the right tasks. A senior member will develop an annual SEO strategy while a junior member will produce reports. This, again, translates into better efficiency and a stronger result.
In addition, an SEO agency has access to a wide variety of experiences and skills. If something appears unusual or not directly related to SEO, an agency probably has diverse staff to bring its expertise.
Finally, the external orientation of an organism is an often overlooked benefit. When an internal team is overwhelmed during the holiday season and too busy to plan the next year, an agency can avoid this whirlwind and focus on the strategy.
The same goes for competing projects: the time contracted by an agency is dedicated to SEO and not to additional internal tasks.
The best of both
If you or someone from your team is already an SEO expert and can handle hiring, management and strategy, or if you can afford to hire this expert, SEO internal is a strong option. But if you do not have this hiring expertise, you could end up with an SEO program that does not have the growth strategy or hurts growth.
Because that's all they do, SEO agencies are skilled at building strong teams with the right levels of expertise and experience.
But it is not necessarily one or the other.
An internal employee can manage the agency on a day-to-day basis. It could be a bright new star that can learn quickly. Ask the agency to develop that person's SEO skills while providing SEO recommendations, to transfer the expertise. Finally, you may not need the agency.
Many companies do both, however. They have a manager or an internal SEO team and they also contract with an agency. For these companies, it's a cost to do business in a competitive search environment. Traffic from natural search is usually the main channel of customer acquisition.
Remember, SEO is not free. There is no advertising or delivery cost associated with SEO, but you get what you pay for. Staff accordingly. Hire as many SEO experts as you can afford, whether in-house or with an agency.