As an industry, SEO is in a better shape than it has ever been before. As the latest Borrell Associates study claims, this industry is now worth an impressive 65 billion dollars, and according to their predictions, it will continue to grow to an estimated 72 billion dollars during the course of the next twelve months.
Despite Google's frequent algorithm changes and all the "SEO is dying'' paranoia - the industry is still rapidly growing.
Thanks to the Penguin and Panda updates in particular, SEO practitioners now have to work twice as hard to generate some significant ROI from their efforts and investments. The techniques and practices used today are different and far more complex than the ones that were used only two years ago.
But despite all the changes and complexities that come with doing SEO today, people still see search engine optimization as the ultimate tool for driving traffic and building a noticeable presence online.
The study has pointed out that a significant percent of currently active digital marketing professionals think that search engine optimization is becoming more effective. More than three-quarters of them have said that they will continue to advise their clients to allocate even bigger pieces of their overall marketing budgets for this form of marketing.
Thanks to that, more companies are starting to see the value of properly optimizing their site for search.
But, despite all the praise, one question still remains unanswered:
Is it better for companies to outsource their SEO or handle it on their own?
In the following segments of this article, I'm going to focus on that matter. I'm going to list all the pros and cons that come with hiring an entire in-house team to do your SEO from your office as opposed to allocating it to a company that specializes in that kind of work:
Doing it on Your Own
As you probably know by now, SEO is a complex concept, made up of a lot of technical and modern marketing aspects, that aren't really all that easy for inexperienced business owners and web admins to handle.
If you're deciding whether or not to outsource your SEO, you should approach the decision as a math problem:
Write down all the variables (like money, time, capabilities) and divide them by your resources.
SEO is a practice that demands a lot of your time and resources. It certainly cannot be done by a single person, in their spare time. Since it's an investment of time, business owners need to decide what their time is worth and if they can actually afford to allocate it to things like learning and doing SEO.
If you want to handle your SEO on your own, you'll have to find room in your busy schedule to master everything concerning search engine optimization. Doing things the wrong way or pursuing questionable practices that are no longer effective can harm your business in a number of ways.
For most entrepreneurs who already run profitable businesses, the time for learning and practicing SEO might be better off spent on work that actually keeps their business afloat. So, for medium to small business (who don't have a lot of employees) - doing SEO on their own isn't quite profitable, because it distracts them from the things that pay the bills.
If you're considering hiring your own SEO team to do everything SEO-related for you from your office - it's imperative to know the costs of developing an in-house SEO department. Once again, you should approach this conundrum as a math problem. If you run the numbers and compare their monthly salaries with how much an agency would charge you for the same amount of work your team would be doing - you'll see that this is also not quite profitable for most businesses.
Especially if you don't have the funds to get actual experts, with significant experience in doing SEO, to join your company.
Ideally, having your in-house SEO team is the best option out there, but finding the funds to develop one and getting the right type of people to join your company is never an easy task.
Working with an SEO Agency
Believe it or not, but working with an SEO agency is the most cost-effective option out there. It's certainly a lot cheaper than building and running your own in-house team, and it doesn't really cost you as much of your valuable time and resource as mastering and practicing the entire thing on your own.
The thing that makes SEO agencies appealing to most businesses is the fact that they already have a lot of experienced SEO practitioners on their payroll. Every good SEO agency has their own senior marketers, account manages, content writers, strategists, link builders and project managers who work in the same office. They can focus on improving every SEO-related aspect of your brand and business.
Agencies can provide the client with effective strategies and the necessary manpower to put almost all SEO-related plans into action. Outsourcing your SEO to an agency is the best way of ensuring your efforts in this department are taken care of by people who have some genuine experience in this field.
The only downside to working with an SEO agency is that there are just too many of them to choose from, and they all vary when it comes to quality of service.
Before choosing a particular agency, you should always do the following:
Check out their blog and portfolio. If you look at a particular agency's website and you see no case studies, blog posts, or basically anything that proves the quality of their work - take your business somewhere else.
Examine and develop your goal. Before partnering up with a particular agency, make sure to first disclose why you're investing in SEO in the first place. Be transparent about what you want to achieve and make sure that the agency can help you make your mark in a prearranged period of time. Only then will you be able to set realistic goals and calculate the ROI of their SEO campaigns.
Do a solid background check. Looking at the testimonials on a certain agency's site is not good enough. If you want to learn more about the people you'll be working with, you should always do a bit of digging online in SEO circles to see what kind of rap your potential agency has in the community.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article from top to bottom. As you can see from everything written above, outsourcing your SEO to an agency is certainly a more cost-effective solution than doing it yourself. Even though ideally, it would be great to have your own in-house SEO team, a lot of company can't really swing it, because building that team would demand a lot of your time and resources. If you're looking for fast wins, flexibility, or just a chance to get ahead of your rivals - hiring an SEO agency should be at the top of your to-do list.
About the Author:Dan Radak is a marketing professional with 11 years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of ecommerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and a regular contributor to Technivorz.