It’s a question that comes up at annual business budget meetings: should we hire an in-house SEO team or outsource our efforts to an agency? There is no right answer – each company has its own priorities, budgets, and culture to consider to aid in the decision making process. For some large-scale enterprises, an in-house SEO team is the only viable option. At the same time, it doesn’t make sense to pay an in-house team for some small to medium-sized businesses. To make the decision easier, we are laying out the pros and cons of having an in-house tea for your SEO efforts.
Pros of In House SEO
Having an SEO person in house can have a few distinct advantages. When weighing the pros and cons for hiring a person internally, consider their following benefits.
They Can Bring About a Much-Needed Cultural Change
Search Engine Optimization experts can be a total game changer for your organization. For your efforts to succeed, the SEO team needs a spot at your proverbial company table. As an internal stakeholder, an SEO expert can help drive some much-needed change for your company.
This, however, can also be a con. To act as a change agent, the expert you choose needs to be assertive. When hiring an SEO expert yourself, you will need to have some working knowledge of your expected process, deliverables, and more. Sowing change with an internal SEO person is possible, but it requires foundational knowledge of what you’re looking to accomplish.
They Can Instill a Sense of Ownership Regarding Your SEO Process
Another, and perhaps most obvious, pro, is that you have a sense of ownership over your own SEO practices when you hire an in-house person. Additionally, the person you hire may have an increased sense of ownership over their own work. Working together for a common cause creates a sense of camaraderie and accomplishment over the SEO process as a whole.
Keep in mind that you can also find this feeling with an agency, as long as it is the right cultural fit. A smaller level firm, for example, can provide the same level of service as having an in-house person. Since they have fewer clients, they can get to know each one personally and align efforts with each company’s culture and mission.
They Can Encourage Collaboration
Finally, one of the principal advantages of using an in-house SEO person is the amount of collaboration that can occur every day. By getting everyone involved in the process, you can generate a sense of excitement when it comes to creating workable business solutions.
Cons of Hiring In House SEO
At the same time, an internal SEO hire can have several disadvantages. Here are some of the cons to internal SEO processes.
You Lose the Benefit of Outside Expertise
When you have an internal SEO person, you are limited to the expertise that your internal hire has at the moment. Since SEO is a constantly evolving practice, you are bound to run into major challenges along the way. In these cases – which can occur often – outside expertise is helpful. Bouncing ideas off another similarly experienced person can help solve even the most troubling of SEO problems. In fact, even in-house SEO people turn to outside help from agencies or consultants when they run into problems they cannot solve. In this case, it seems more cost-effective to cut out the middle person and take advantage of a group of highly-trained minds.
You Lose Link-Building Opportunities
Since link-building is notoriously resource and time-intensive, it often does not take front and center stage for an in-house employee. Additionally, management often finds it difficult to justify another internal hire just for the sake of building internal links. An agency can help you with a results-driven link building campaign, which is an essential part of a well-rounded SEO strategy.
You Risk “Knowledge Decay”
It is a well-established fact of in-house employment. When working in the same sphere, in-house employees can get pigeon-holed and be subject to knowledge decay – work becoming so specific that it excludes outside learning. An outside search engine optimization company, on the other hand, can work to keep their working knowledge of best practices fresh by sending their employees to trainings, conferences, and problem solving on a wide variety of projects.
In-House Or Outsourced: Which Is Best For Me?
Ultimately, the choice of hiring an SEO person in-house or deferring to an agency is a matter of budget and personal preference. In some cases, like working for a large-scale enterprise, handing SEO in-house makes sense. These companies have the resources to pay salary, benefits, and consultant fees for an entire SEO team. For small to medium-sized businesses, an in-house person comes with both benefits and risks. A sense of ownership over their work is a perceived benefit; at the same time, you run the serious risk of encountering an SEO problem that your one internal problem-solver can’t tackle. With an agency, you have the opportunity to work with several highly trained individuals who will collaborate to solve your trickiest SEO hurdles.
Vizion Interactive collaborates with companies of all sizes and puts an emphasis on personalized service. For more information about our SEO services, please contact us.