In the ever-evolving digital landscape, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a vital component of any successful marketing strategy. As businesses strive to improve their online presence and increase organic visibility, the question arises: Should you hire an internal SEO team or entrust the task to an external agency? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of both options, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals.
The Pros of Hiring an Internal SEO Team
In-depth Knowledge and Understanding
An internal SEO team works exclusively for your business, allowing them to gain an in-depth understanding of your brand, its objectives, and target audience. This familiarity enables them to develop a tailored SEO strategy that aligns with your unique business needs.
Immediate Access and Collaboration
Having an internal team means having direct access to SEO expertise on a day-to-day basis. This level of immediate collaboration fosters seamless communication, enabling your team to adapt quickly to new products on the shelf.
When companies have sensitive and fragile information, a trained internal SEO team will be able to safekeep it. This will provide tighter security of your most private information without revealing it to the outside world. The only exception would be to hire an agency currently working alongside large corporations with a track record of protecting sensitive information on a grand scale.
The Cons of Hiring an Internal SEO Team
Recruitment and Training
Building a proficient SEO team from scratch can be time-consuming and challenging. It involves sourcing and hiring experienced professionals, training them, and providing ongoing professional development, which can divert resources and attention from core business activities. Usually, what happens is that companies or their HR team doesn’t have the capability to assess who is an expert, therefore they pick out the employee through past experiences which doesn’t necessarily reflect their potential of success in company projects. To truly understand SEO, an employee has to have at least 10 years of experience under their belt to reflect their expertise accurately.
Limited Skill Set
An internal team cannot dedicate enough time in order to learn algorithm changes and Google updates which are coming out every other week, they don’t have time to deal with development nor data engineering, with a serious lack of access to tools. When the focus is both on implementation and recommendation, there is also little to no time left to build a strategy for success.
Risk of Burnout and Tunnel Vision
Internal teams are susceptible to burnout due to the constant pressure of managing SEO alongside other responsibilities. Additionally, working solely within the confines of your company’s culture and perspective may limit creativity and hinder fresh ideas in SEO campaigns.
The Pros of Hiring an SEO Agency
While to hire a Junior SEO Consultant on average costs between $65k – $120k yearly (Excluding benefits and bonuses, which are equal to about 25% of their salary), SEO Agencies can offer a Senior SEO Specialist to do your on page and off page optimization for as low as $3k – $8k monthly. That is a huge advantage to your manpower in the business.
Extensive Expertise and Specialization
SEO agencies typically employ professionals with diverse skill sets and extensive experience across different industries. They are up-to-date with the latest SEO trends, tools, and strategies, allowing them to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to your SEO campaigns. In some cases, an SEO agency will have a separate department of R&D in order to be up to date, while creating solutions to grow in a competitive environment.
Scalability and Flexibility
Agencies are equipped to handle projects of various sizes and can adapt quickly to meet your changing business needs. Whether you need to ramp up or downsize your SEO efforts, agencies can provide the necessary resources and expertise on-demand.
Access to Cutting-Edge Tools and Technology
SEO agencies invest in state-of-the-art tools and technologies, giving them a competitive edge in analyzing data, tracking performance, and optimizing your website. Leveraging these resources can significantly enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of your SEO campaigns.
Taking into consideration that SEO is a game of an endless amount of players running towards the same goal, only a few companies are able to reach the end goal to rank organically for positions 1-3, which receive 90% of the organic clicks.
This game is not a game of quantity, but rather a game of quality. Cheap tools which can use Chat GPT, or alternatively, any other easily accessible tool on the internet would not give you any advantage versus your competitors.
The Cons of Hiring an SEO Agency
Communication and Alignment
Working with an external agency requires effective communication and alignment of goals and expectations. There may be a learning curve for agencies to fully understand your business, resulting in potential delays or misinterpretations during the initial stages of collaboration. Also in some cases, the agency may be working in a different time zone which may cause some delays.
Why SEO Optimization is Crucial for Business Success
User Experience and Credibility
Client journeys vary, some begin their search on Google, others may discover your brand through directories or social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and so on. After users discover your company, in most cases they will visit your website. If the website does not qualify as a trustful authority or if the website is too slow, or too difficult to maneuver in order to reach certain pages, it might directly affect the decision of such visitors. This will be the main and final deciding factor of whether you’ve earned their trust and are approached by them, or not.
In many cases, clients look at Google as a trustworthy source and want to verify that you’re appearing organically. Such appearance is reflected as a vote of confidence and will make such users trust your company more than others.
The Ultimate Growth Channel
The website’s organic growth on Google is the only channel which is stable and the achievements on it last for a prolonged period of time. This is in contrast to paid ads where one would be essentially “renting” space, without growing their own business directly. In turn, if a competitor who decides to invest more appears, they will be the ones appearing first since they are able to pay more money.
In contrast to other marketing channels, the organic growth channel is the only one which acts as your own asset. Other marketing channels act as a model of renting, and as soon as you decide to stop investing in those, or the campaigns become too expensive to continue, the generation of new business will be put to a halt and your business will go back to the starting point (Back to zero).
Maximize the ROI
Campaigns in other marketing channels take 2 – 3 months to optimize and reach the maximum ROI on those channels. This ROI cannot be high, since such campaigns include competition with other companies who have a similar mission. As long as there is enough profit, these companies will be willing to increase their bids which in turn will have a direct impact on your campaigns.
SEO optimization has the ability to consistently grow the ROI month over month which will initially deliver a lower ROI compared to ads. However, being far sighted and looking several months or years forward, the ROI will be multiple times better than other marketing channels.
The internal SEO team would only be efficient if they have RND or if they have access to a technology which is unique to the company they’re employed by. If neither of these are accessible, an internal SEO team should be reconsidered.
For large websites and corporations it is recommended to have an internal SEO employee to work with an SEO Agency in order to come up with the best strategy and have a maximum amount of help and support in order to compete with industry giants.
Needless to mention, the maximized growth will be achieved only through the hiring of an SEO Agency which can provide tools for success and utilize their technology for your benefit.