In recent years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has evolved from being a mere nice-to-have project to an active and highly essential tool that comprises the digital marketing backbone of various enterprises.
There are over 2.3 trillion searches each year in Google alone, where 15% of daily searches are relatively new. This is just a testament to how consumers rely on online searches. In fact, up to 70% of these consumers will not purchase unless they’ve done their search for info online. Businesses need to maintain their relevance in such a highly competitive atmosphere or get left behind.
SEO is the tool they need to remain relevant.
That is why SEO has grown to be an integral part of the digital marketing industry that is expected to hit figures of up to $80 billion within the year 2020. 70% of digital marketers point to SEO as more effective than PPC marketing, prompting 61% of these marketers to harness SEO as a top inbound marketing priority.
Now that you’ve realized the importance of SEO, the only question remaining is this – to outsource or to do it in-house? What would be the best path to take to develop and execute an effective SEO plan?
The following provides a comprehensive overview of the pros and cons of outsourcing SEO to offer business owners a guide to help them make a decision that will be crucial to their digital marketing success.
Pro#1: Outsourcing SEO Saves Time
Outsourcing SEO to an agency means you can start implementing marketing campaigns right away. You need not go through the hassle of hiring and training people, developing strategies, and all the necessary steps to establish a functioning in-house SEO team.
Pro#2: Outsourcing SEO Reduces Multitasking
Unless you’re a large enterprise that has the resources to set up a separate SEO team, establishing an in-house would most likely involve existing staff performing SEO tasks on top of their regular workload. Outsourcing SEO reduces the need to multitask, enabling your team to achieve their core functions much more efficiently.
Pro#3: Outsourced SEO is Done by Professionals
There are more than 200 factors that Google’s search algorithm will take into consideration before it ranks a website. To execute an effective SEO campaign, one needs to establish a strong link building network and a formidable array of high-quality content in their arsenal. And that’s just scratching the surface.
So, if an inexperienced in-house team performs SEO functions without clearly understanding these factors and caveats, then don’t expect to get the results you envision. That is why SEO tasks would be better left in the hands of capable professionals who know what they are doing – and doing it best.
Pro#4: Outsourced SEO is More Cost-Effective
Hiring an SEO Agency isn’t cheap unless you go for the mediocre ones (but don’t expect to get favorable results). However, outsourcing SEO is far more cost-effective than hiring your in-house team and would give you better opportunities for an ROI.
Take this as an example. Hiring an in-house SEO specialist will set you back $72,808 each year – but that’s not all. You will need at least three full-time specialists to form a functional team, so the salary alone is tripled. On top of that, you need to provide benefits, bonuses, insurance, etc. So just imagine the accumulated cost, which is several times more expensive than outsourcing it to an SEO agency.
Pro#5: Outsourced SEO Involves a Larger Team Working on Your Campaigns
A professional SEO agency is composed of a well-oiled team of digital marketers, content creators, web designers, optimizers, and other SEO specialists that are honed to work together and deliver targeted results. You’ll get the combined prowess and hyper-efficiency of this team of professionals in a cost-effective package that won’t break the bank.
Pro#6: Outsourcing SEO Ensures You Get the Latest Strategies
Search marketing is dynamic and is continuously evolving. This is driven by the constant updates to search algorithms and various trends in the digital marketing sphere. A professional SEO agency takes all these updates into account. It makes it a point that their staff and specialists employ the latest and most effective SEO strategies that will deliver targeted results.
Con#1: Outsourcing SEO is Still an Expense
Outsourcing SEO may be cost-effective and will save you time, but it is still an expense, nonetheless. In some cases, you may have to pay a premium to ensure that you receive high-quality work and execution from a professional SEO agency. So, just make sure you get what you paid for and not accept less.
Con#2: Outsourcing SEO Means You’re Hands Off from the Processes
Hiring an SEO agency means you are giving them the leeway to run and execute marketing campaigns without the need for direct intervention on your part. You are hands-off from all the process and execution details, and just have to wait for the results.
That is why you must hire an SEO agency that you can trust, is transparent enough to let you in on all the details of the whole process and keeping you in the loop at all times.
Con#3: Outsourced SEO Means You’ll Receive Divided Attention
Selecting a particular SEO agency means that they are right and that you believe in their capabilities to deliver results – but you are not the only one who has that idea. Other businesses may have employed the same SEO agency.
This means you’re only one of their multiple and may not receive the undivided attention you expect. So, it would be best to work with SEO agencies that are capable of allocating dedicated teams that can work on your account.
Con#4: Outsourced SEO May Not be Comprehensive
SEO agencies will provide a specific scope of work, a schedule of activities, and a list of specific action items and deliverables that they will work on. Although the work presented may be extensive, you may find these not comprehensive enough to suit your specific business requirements.
That is why you should work with an agent, which makes it a point to fully understand what you need and strategize specific actions that can cater to that need. They will not insist on implementing “packaged” services but will work with you closely to develop a plan that will work.
Con#5: Outsourcing SEO Makes it Difficult to Choose the Right Firm
One of the biggest problems when outsourcing SEO is on how to decide which SEO agency to choose and work with. There are many variables to take into consideration on top of the cost factor. You should take into account their track record and what their previous and existing customers are saying about their services.
You should also put into consideration their core processes, ensuring that they are transparent enough to let you in on a detailed overview of what they do and how they will execute it. You must also ensure that you confirm that the agency only practices white hat SEO practices and strategies.
Deciding on whether to outsource SEO and deciding on which SEO agency to work with is based on several factors and considerations, but it all boils down to the business owner’s personal preference. It would be to your advantage to study all these pros and cons in greater detail and make an informed decision that is crucial to how your digital presence will fly or fry in the near future.
Download this infographic.