In-house vs. Outsourced SEO

In-house SEO vs. Outsourced SEO

With internet marketing growing by the day, it is not enough for a company to have just a website to represent its business online. Since there are so many companies offering the same products, services or information, it is important that your website is visible. As a result, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is becoming more and more important. Companies are beginning to incorporate SEO in their marketing mix because they see the importance of ranking better in search results.

However, you need to ask yourself is it better for SEO to be done in-house or should companies outsource SEO? What are the pros and cons of hiring in-house SEO experts opposed to outsourcing to an SEO agency? Both in-house SEO and outsourcing SEO have their pros and cons. Each company needs to weigh the pros and cons of both models before taking a decision on the SEO for their site.

  1. The in-house SEO expert will know the market that your business caters to well, and hence will know your business inside out. An in-house SEO expert will also understand the nuances of how the company works as well as the market and its challenges.
  2. In-house SEO gives you full control over the SEO strategies and execution. Since the in-house SEO expert sits in the same premises as the other members of the company, the in-house person can be easily contacted for any changes that need to be made and can be implemented immediately.
  3. The in-house SEO expert will work only on your website and will not take on multiple clients. This means that the person's complete focus is on your website and he/she can work better at improving the rankings of your site.
  4. Sometimes, in-house SEO may be less expensive when compared to outsourcing SEO services.
  1. SEO is a rapidly changing landscape. Search engine algorithms constantly keep changing. The skills and nuances of SEO also need to evolve and change. If you decide to do the SEO of your website in-house, you will have  to either take time to learn and master these skills or opt for hiring SEO experts to manage the SEO in-house.
  2. If you are doing the SEO of your site in-house, it may be extremely time consuming to keep up to the trends in the business and implement them on your site. You business and overall marketing focus may demand your time and energy, and this can result in dated SEO practices being implemented on your website.
  3. SEO requires a number of tools, which can be quite expensive. Doing the SEO of your website in-house will mean buying these tools and mastering their use to get good results for your site. This will again be time consuming and may turn out to be more expensive than outsourcing to an agency. 
  4. SEO involves a lot of technical elements, content and link building activities. An individual working in-house on the SEO of your website may not be equally skilled in all aspects of SEO. This either would necessitate the need for an in-house SEO team with diverse skills or can affect the rankings of your website in the search results.
  5. When done in-house, the SEO practices implemented on your site would be limited to the knowledge, expertise and ability of your in-house expert.

  1. One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing the SEO of your website to an agency is that you get a team of experienced SEO professionals, with diverse skills, who work on your website to improve its search engine rankings. Since the team only concentrates on SEO, they will keep themselves updated with the latest trends and changes in the industry and share it with each other. They will come up with SEO strategies keeping these trends in mind.
  2. Since SEO firms work with a large number of clients with diverse needs, they will have the experience of dealing with different kinds of businesses, SEO situations and market dynamics. This wider perspective can be invaluable while competing for visibility against other websites.
  3. Outsourcing SEO to an agency means you do not have to spend time and money on an in-house team, purchasing new tools and / or learning. The value of time and effort saved can far outweigh the cost of outsourcing SEO.
  4. Since the SEO of your website is handled by an outsourced SEO firm, they will not be affected by the pressures and pulls of other marketing requirements. Your SEO will continue to get concerted attention that may get compromised by other marketing requirements with an in-house SEO team.
  5. By outsourcing SEO, you would get a team of SEO professionals to work on your website. This means that tasks that would have taken longer to be completed by one or two individuals will be done faster, leading to quicker results.
  6. The business focus of any SEO firm is SEO whereas your business focus would be the overall marketing of your business and not SEO. By outsourcing SEO, you would get the expertise of professionals whose business focus is SEO.
  1. Outsourcing SEO can sometimes mean investing a little more money than you would if you were doing SEO yourself, since you would have to pay for the time and effort deployed by the outsourced SEO agency. You need to weigh this cost against the cost of an in-house team’s time, hiring and training needs.
  2. Outsourcing SEO would bring an agency that has never worked with you earlier into the marketing mix. This would require a little time to understand your market better and get to know the nuances of you business. You would have to weigh this time against the time it would require you to acquire SEO skills in-house.
  3. Since the agency will be handling more clients than one, you cannot always be sure of the focus and time deployed on your SEO needs. You should constantly do a reality-check on the work done, insist on detailed reports and ensure that you are getting the time, effort and focus you are paying for.
  4. Not all SEO agencies practice ethical SEO. Sometimes cheap outsourced services can mean tool-based SEO that seldom works or black-hat SEO practices that can hurt you in the end. You need to be involved in the SEO practices of your SEO agency to ensure that you are not compromising SEO best practices while trying to save costs.

To Outsource SEO or Not?

There is no one answer to the question. Each business and market has its own dynamics and needs. The scale of your operations can have a bearing on the course you should take. Even the outsourced SEO agency you choose and the practices they follow and the level of engagement they offer you can have an impact on the pros and cons of outsourcing SEO. At VTech SEO, we offer our clients the option of having dedicated SEO team members working on their project. This means that clients get the benefits of an in-house SEO resource for a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house SEO. Read more about outsourcing SEO and our dedicated SEO resource offering.

Raghupati is the COO and Director of Operations at VTech SEO. VTech SEO provides high quality outsourced SEO services, web design services and content services to growing businesses around the world. We also offer white label SEO services to web design firms, digital marketing firms and advertising agencies.

VTech SEO is among India's leading SEO firms for growing businesses from around the world. VTech SEO offers outsourced SEO services, HTML based web design services, content services, and other outsourced services from our offices in India and USA.


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