March 29, 2017 by Diana Bocco

In-House VS. Outsourced SEO

In a world where online presence dictates the successfulness of your business, digital marketing is everything.

In-House VS. Outsourced SEO

[guest post by Amir Noghani]

A popular joke claims that the best place to hide the dead body is page two of Google search results, now imagine your website being positioned on fourth or fifth page. The quality of your content means nothing if people can’t find you even with the best effort, which is where the SEO services come in handy. This abbreviation stands for search engine optimization, and its goal is to make your website appear more search engine-friendly and help you become easily discovered.

It goes without saying that your business needs SEO, but how to get it is the next big question. When it comes to this, there are two popular ways of handling this problem. You can either outsource these services or make your own in-house team. Seeing how most of these things are situational, it would be absurd to claim one is superior to the other. Still, here are few things you should consider before making this decision.

What kind of experience do your employees have?

If you already have some people on your staff who have done this kind of job before, it might be worth your while to consider making an in-house team. On the other hand, training for this can take months on its own, not to mention how much time would it take for your team to become experienced enough to operate autonomously. Next, you also need to think about the network of contacts your employees will have, which is another thing that goes in favor of outsourcing.

Speaking numbers

Another thing you need to consider is your budget. You see while your employees may already have great salaries for an entry level-job, when making an SEO department in your company, you will have to allocate a team leader. The average salary of an online marketing manager goes around $65,000 per year, which is on its own a substantial amount. Sure, you can decide to pay them less, but then don’t act surprised when they get poached by your competitors. Still, keep in mind that this is not the only expense you will have with your marketing team.

Every trade has its tools and you will have to pay a small fortune in software licenses alone, just to get your department off-ground. On the other hand, with outsourcing, you are only required to pay the fee you already agreed upon.

How complex is the issue?

If all you want is to improve your Google rank a bit and make your website appear more professional, this is something your crew could deal with on their own. On the other hand, if your audience has a keen eye and understanding for what you do, it is much more likely that they will see through these cheap marketing tricks. In this case, you will need professional aid and it is much more effective to use an outside company as your ace in the hole. This will give you satisfying temporary results in situations where you have no luxury of time.

Fresh perspective

Most people with experience in this matter will agree that the greatest advantage of outsourcing lies in getting a fresh perspective. No matter how great at their job, your own SEO people will always look your company from the viewpoint of an insider. However, company you outsource this job to will see you from the outside, same as your clients do. This will make it easier to them to appeal to your target demographic in the most efficient way.

Long-term goals

Your budget, number of employees and similar matters are not the only thing you should be preoccupied with. Sometimes, your long term goals will be so modest that you will be able to achieve them even with team composed of semi-laymen and with a moderate budget. On the other hand, if you are shooting for the stars, you will probably need the best, which means hiring top-dogs of the SEO industry.

Keeping up with trends

Finally, you need to keep in mind that the world of SEO changes by the minute. New trends emerge on a monthly basis and in order to remain at the top of your game you need to learn how to catch up. This means being on Google’s mailing list and vigorously following any announced update so that you can prepare for them ahead of time. This takes a lot of initiative, which is something your employees won’t be showing if there is no chance for vertical mobility. Seeing how your SEO department would be a dead-end in your company, this kind of advancement is probably out of question.

Another way out

At the very end, it is vital to mention that doing SEO yourself or outsourcing it to an agency are not your only two options. You could also look for a freelancer to do this job for you. While a lot of people are skeptical about this particular solution, this doesn’t have to be that bad after all.

You see, freelancers are often people with experience in this industry, who had already worked for the aforementioned companies, but then (for some reason) decided to fly solo. This would mean that they already have the experience, contacts and tools to grapple this situation and to do so at the lower price. Unfortunately, (for obvious reasons) they are usually terribly understaffed and thus unable to handle larger (or even medium) projects.


To make a long story short, if you are planning for the long run, have a substantial portion of budget designated for digital marketing and want to become more autonomous then by all means go with in-house team. However, if this is something you cannot afford (in time or money) or need only some SEO services, it might be better for you to simply outsource it. As you can see, startups or SMBs usually have no privilege of going with the first option, which makes outsourcing the only viable solution.
** About the Author: Amir Noghani is the General Manager at Green SEO Agency Sydney. He has a MS degree in engineering and has spent more than seven years in marketing and communications.

Image by Freepik

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