Choosing whether to perform an SEO strategy in-house vs outsourcing for an agency can be a difficult decision for a business. Is one better than the other? Which one makes sense financially? Will one help me reach my goal faster? Before you make a commitment to one, there are many questions that need answering first. In this article, we are going to break down the main differences and pros and cons of in-house and outsourcing SEO.

Key points in this article:

  • SEO in-house vs outsourcing both provide SEO services to an agency or business. However, they both provide these services through different methods.
  • In-house SEO gives you full control over customizing campaign details, and more reliability on having an SEO employee on your team.
  • In-house SEO can be a more expensive option with hiring an SEO expert and can sometimes limit the availability of resources.
  • Outsourcing SEO can be a less expensive option with a guarantee of having quality SEO services available for your business.
  • Outsourcing SEO can limit communication and having ultimate control over your SEO campaign.

What’s the Difference Between In-House and Outsourcing SEO?

SEO in-house vs outsourcing both provide SEO services to an agency or business. However, they both provide these services through different methods.

In-house SEO revolves around hiring one, or multiple, SEO experts as an employee within your business lineup. Because they would be an employee, they would take care of all of your SEO needs and responsibilities. 

Outsourcing SEO services comes from purchasing services from an agency or reseller who will run, provide, and conduct these services for you. You pay and give ideas and direction you’re envisioning, and they do all the work for you under your business name. This option helps enlist experienced help from outside organizations to complete specific SEO tasks your business has no experience or direction in.

Both methods have multiple pros and cons. One option should never seem like the obvious choice over the other for all businesses to use. Choosing the right option mainly revolves around your business needs, finances, and how much time you’re able to give towards these efforts.

Pros and Cons of In-House SEO

Every business has different priorities to consider so it’s important to consider them all. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of in-house SEO:

Pros

Unlimited Control

One of the biggest pros of utilizing in-house SEO is having full control over all of the campaign details. Rather than paying for services and seeing the results, you can customize all of the specifics along the way. You can require meetings, strategizing, and guidance to help make your SEO what you want it to be.

More Time

When you hire a new employee, depending on their schedule, most full time employees will have to work 40 hours a week. This means someone will be working on your SEO strategy 40 hours a week rather than outsourcing companies working on it a small amount of time during the week. In-house SEO specialists can also so multiple aspects of your SEO in a day rather than outsourcing giving you a few each month. Overall, in-house SEO can give more time to your SEO campaigns.

Reliability

When you hire an in-house SEO expert, you’re going to have a closer relationship with them. Having them a part of your team helps the expert understand your vision more fully and help communicate with others in the company better. They also can bring a resume of past employees to help add value to certain future projects. Overall, you’re more likely to have a more reliable connection and understanding of your SEO campaigns through in-house SEO.

Cons

Expensive

With in-house SEO, while you have the advantage of having an SEO person on your team, that comes with the disadvantage of consistently paying them a regular salary. With this, you will be paying a monthly salary plus benefits instead of paying a monthly fee that would be cheaper for your business overall. If you’re looking for an experienced SEO employee, you’re also looking at the reality that they won’t come cheap. While having an experienced SEO employee on your team has it’s benefits, the cost for that most likely won’t be in your favor.

Being Fully Knowledgeable

When it comes to hiring an in-house SEO, while they may be experienced for the job at hand, they might not know your industry right off the bat. You can’t expect every SEO employee to be experienced in a variety of industries. While they may have some experience in a few fields, it’s not common to have them be fully experienced in all of them. While they’re learning a new field, it could result in them becoming overwhelmed with learning new tasks or projects along the way. It’s important to be mindful that when you hire in-house SEO they will be experienced in a lot of different areas of SEO. But maybe not all that you may think.

Limited Resources

One downside to in-house SEO is only having a limited amount of resources and time. They only have so much manpower on their own and sometimes only are limited to their own skillsets. It can also be hard for them to learn more skills when they have to get done their prior tasks first. When they have bigger tasks assigned to them, it might require more of a bigger team for larger scaled projects. This might also mean that they need to experiment and test out certain projects longer before earning higher ROI. Overall, depending on the business and available resources available, in-house SEO may not be as successful over time.

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing SEO

There are many benefits to outsourcing your SEO strategy, but it’s important to disclose the things that may also be considered a disadvantage to businesses. We’ll cover the main items below:

Pros

Lower Cost

When it comes to the cost of outsourcing SEO, the benefit is going to be greater when you contract this function to an outsourced marketing agency. As opposed to paying salaries for in-house SEO specialists, all you would need to pay is a monthly payment for these services. You can negotiate prices with different agencies. However, just be sure to know how to choose a good SEO company for your specific business. Investing in these services can be a large investment for your business and it’s important to invest in the right agencies. 

Access to Resources

Outsourcing your SEO to a reputable marketing agency means that you get access to a company with the resources necessary to adequately research, strategize, and deliver results to an organic campaign. Outsourcing companies have tried-and-true methods to hit your goals for content, technical seo, and more. With efficiency, they lay out their processes and protocols for the fastest best-quality results. With a variety of resources available, they can get stuff done quickly with a team of experts rather than just a one man team. 

SEO Knowledge

One of the most important resources available to a well-established SEO company is the ability to track and analyze search engine algorithm updates.Outsourcing SEO companies must stay up-to-date if they want to help their clients succeed. Individuals working in an in-house setting might be able to get a general sense of algorithm update phenomena, but large SEO companies own vast amounts of historical data. With the help of various analytics tools, companies can analyze the historical performance of a large group of their own customers in order to track the effects of algorithm updates in real time. Keeping abreast of algorithm changes allows a company to quickly adapt so that your rankings continue to improve.

Industry Knowledge and Know-How

Experienced SEO professionals make up the outsourcing teams and they work day in and day out on SEO exclusively. Therefore, their collective knowledge, experience, and understanding of the landscape is more robust than that of one SEO specialist. They also diversify in specializing in not just SEO, but other aspects such as web design, copywriting, and more. With these various skill sets, SEO outsourcing agencies are able to handle a diverse range of clients that know your industry. Overall, outsourcing SEO will more likely have an understanding of your industry and how to further succeed.

More Room to Grow

Established SEO companies have large groups of skilled workers dedicated to specific SEO tasks. This allows for more quality SEO work done in your time frame and budget. Which translates into getting higher rankings more quickly and consistently. Even when you finish a specific SEO campaign, there are always more opportunities to grow with an outsourcing SEO company. They can almost always offer you more services if you need help with it. With the opportunity for your business to become more scalable, this gives your business more room to grow your online presence.

Cons

Less Control

When you partner with an outsourcing company, you may not get as customized of an SEO campaign as you would like. You will always get to have your input and ideas implemented into the SEO campaign. However compared to in-house SEO, you won’t always be there for every detail or step in your SEO campaign. You’re more likely to see the results when you pay for outsourcing services.

With Outsourcing SEO, you most likely have a contract set for a certain amount of time. If you were ever wanting to leave this contract, some companies may have penalties or fees for breaking or leaving the contract. It’s important when outsourcing SEO to find the right SEO company or agency that has the same values, direction, and goals that align with your business.

Limited Communication

With outsourced SEO, you’re more likely to expect a meeting to discuss your campaign once a month. This is not to say that you can’t meet more. However, when you’re paying a monthly payment for services, it’s more prevalent to have a review once a month on the progress of your SEO campaign. Outsourcing SEO agencies do listen to what you have to say. However, you’re not communicating as much as you would every day with an in-house SEO specialist. 

Set Amount of Time

When you pay for outsourcing SEO services, you’re ultimately paying for a certain amount of time for an agency to work on your campaign. With an in-house SEO specialist, you’re able to have them 40 hours a week to work on your campaign. When you pay for services, you’re more likely to pay for the amount of time you want an outsourced agency to work on a specific task of your campaign. They only dedicate a set amount of time to your site per week.

What Does Outsourced SEO Look Like with Boostability?

At Boostability, we want our outsourced SEO partners and their clients to succeed. There are lots of white label SEO services that Boostability can help your business with: 

  • Dedicated team of SEO professionals that will deliver on a data-driven strategy to provide results and growth for your clients’ websites.
  • Ongoing training and updates about the industry, algorithm updates, and changing trends.
  • Proprietary technology and task management software that provides transparent reporting, project fulfillment, and complete visibility to track the progress of your client campaigns.
  • Sales Support team that’s ready to take you across the finish line and secure deals.

These are just a few examples along with more services that can help your business grow. We’re the #1 White-Label SEO Provider for small businesses in the world. We do the work behind the scenes and your business takes credit for it.

Outsourcing Marketing SEO Services

Like we’ve mentioned before, choosing the right option for your business mainly revolves around specific factors. This could focus around your business needs, finances, and how much time you’re available to give towards these efforts. Before you commit, go over these needs and think of what’s important to ask SEO outsourcing companies. Be prepared to ask the outsourcing SEO company a list of questions!

Boostability can help white label SEO resellers deliver quality SEO strategies to their clients. Along with access to proprietary technology, an experienced team of SEO professionals, and Sales Support to help elevate your sales initiatives. Talk to an SEO Partner Success Team Member today to learn more!

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Ansley is a Content Marketing Specialist at Boostability. Since graduating from Utah State University with two degrees in Communication Studies and Journalism: Public Relations, Ansley specializes in creating engaging and informative SEO content for readers, customers, and partners through different marketing channels. Along with creating new content, Ansley works to keep content organized and repurposed on the Boost Blog to remain relevant and up-to-date with accurate information. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, visit National Parks, and loves all things Disney.

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