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Outsource or In-house? A Guide to Getting the Most from Your SEO

Leon Edwards 1285 04-Jun-2019

Outsource or In-house? A Guide to Getting the Most from Your SEO

It is estimated that companies in the United States will spend up to $80 billion on search engine optimisation in pursuit of sustainable online visibility. The report from Borrell Associates indicates that businesses are acutely aware of the growing cost of pay per click marketing models.  

With so much money at play, there has been a sudden influx of businesses looking to improve their organic visibility. And if the data is anything to go by, the competition for organic traffic is only going to increase as more businesses pursue search engine optimisation as a way of subsidising their ongoing marketing costs.

Established businesses are pursuing search engine optimisation in one of three different ways:

  1. Hiring an in-house team of SEO experts
  2. Outsourcing to an SEO firm
  3. A combination of outsourcing & in-house upskilling

Plenty of businesses have taken the plunge and hired an in-house team of search engine optimisation professionals to handle the entire process. Many businesses still like the idea of having someone who sits within the same four walls each day so they have a direct point of contact. The truth is, hiring an SEO team is a costly exercise and will require a significant ROI to justify full-time salaries for an entire team.

If you’re currently employing an in-house team of search professionals, it could be time to start looking at external options. Having worked in client-side and client facing search engine optimisation roles, I’m going to offer two very good reasons why you should think about outsourcing your SEO to a specialist agency.

Because it’s Cost Efficient

In 2019, the average SEO Manager in the United States makes $73,000 per year. And that doesn’t include all of the tools, external resources and supporting staff that are required to help the SEO manager. Unless you can find a full stack SEO manager, you’ll also need to hire an SEO content specialist and tech specialist. In a small business, the cost of employing 3-4 people for your SEO efforts can be a huge outlay.

Experienced search professionals are far more likely to work remotely for a number of different clients because they know how to complete the job efficiently. There’s a good chance that they have worked with a business in a similar niche to yours in the past and can transfer that information across to your company. Experienced SEO professionals know how to streamline, multitask, and outsource where necessary.

Experience Matters

Hiring an in-house team of SEO professionals is often justified as a more cost-effective solution. The truth is, the hourly rate of an internal SEO professional is probably going to be considerably lower than one that you outsource to. But you should be looking at SEO as an output, not by the amount of time spent doing it.

There is a vast difference between the deliverables that can be achieved by a single SEO manager than those that can be achieved by an agency who works exclusively on search marketing. The agency has access to a greater network, more tools, and more specialists who handle different aspects of the SEO process.


The only constant aspect of search marketing is changeability. Outsourcing your search marketing to an experienced SEO professional may mean fewer people in the office, but it may also mean a far greater output for your business. Focus on the deliverables, not the number of hours that they will be working on your business.

Freelance writer

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