If your brand isn’t investing and thinking seriously about SEO in 2024, then you’re going to fall behind. It’s simple. SEO is super important for getting eyes on your brand and dominating your niche.
With SEO-first social becoming a rising trend and changes coming to the way Google searches will be displayed with SGE, it’s a rapidly adapting field and it’s important to stay up to date.
But the question is should you be outsourcing your company’s SEO strategy, or would investing in an in-house team be better? Punch breaks it down for you here.
What is SEO?
To put it simply, SEO is search engine optimisation. To make it even simpler, it’s how you get found online. Google and other search engines crawl sites, find information, and rank it based on several factors, giving you a page ranking when certain terms are searched.
SEO is about optimising that so you can increase both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search results. Google looks for high-quality, relevant content to answer searches.
This means they’re looking at the quality and uniqueness of content, keywords, quality links to and from your site, how people engage with it, loading speed, mobile friendliness, and accessibility (amongst other considerations.)
Pros of Outsourcing your SEO
As a business owner or marketing manager you’re not likely to have the time to focus on an SEO campaign yourself. That leaves either hiring an SEO specialist for your department to create, launch, and manage your campaign, training your staff and allocating time for them to get to grips with all things SEO, or outsourcing to an agency or freelancer.
Your initial thought might be to keep everything in-house, but there are a lot of pros to outsourcing your SEO.
Expertise in spades
When it comes to SEO it’s an ever-changing field, especially with the rise of AI, voice search, and the introduction of SGE. It means that it takes a lot of knowledge to craft a successful SEO strategy that will lead to the strongest results.
When you outsource to an SEO agency or an SEO expert you’re going to get what you pay for – people who dedicate themselves to this field and have the training and education to follow trends and updates.
With years of expert understanding in the field and the invaluable experience of working in a number of industries across their client base, they offer something entirely unique that you’re unlikely to encounter with an in-house SEO approach.
Better bang for your buck
While it may be a larger upfront cost to outsource your business’ SEO practices, think about the time and money saved by not having to do it in-house. Hiring a dedicated employee like an SEO content expert or an SEO strategist will usually be far more expensive.
When it comes to training to ensure they understand not only the technical aspects of SEO but the brand itself, you’re thinking of months of work just to get to a space where you can work fluidly. Additionally, with an in-house SEO specialist, you’ll be lacking a diverse range of skills and tools that an agency could provide you with – for far less.
An SEO agency should come equipped with specialists who live and breathe onsite content as well as employees who find the fun in link building. Think about the value they would provide you with, as well as a bit of extra pocket money to invest in other parts of your business.
They’ve got the tools of the trade
An integrated marketing agency is equipped with the top tools of the industry like subscriptions to sites like SEMRush, MOZ, and more, as well as the budget to experiment with new development.
You’d have to invest in expensive SEO software and tools independently with in-house SEO, which means more expenditure and hassle for your company. Cut the stress and sit back with an SEO agency.
Keep your dream team winning
Many small companies have limited resources and operate in an intimate team. If you don’t have space within your marketing department to retain a separate employee, then you might end up allocating the jobs to your existing employees. Why burden workers further?
Burnout is real – especially when it comes to sometimes monotonous work of SEO that takes them away from other tasks. Let your marketing team focus on the task at hand, and supplement them with a great SEO plan from an outsourced expert.
You can count on an SEO agency
When it comes to in-house versus outsourced SEO, it’s hard to compare results due to the differences in the scale and type of projects. However, in terms of reliability, working with an established SEO agency who have a proven track record of delivering successful campaigns and optimising SEO for companies will often be your best bet.
An integrated marketing agency can work with you to create an approach that best meets your business goals and works with you in terms of budget and timeframe.
Pros of an in-house team
But not everyone should outsource if it’s not the right fit for their brand. Some businesses prefer to understand all the aspects that make a company successful and want to keep a hands-on approach.
Better control over who works for you
When it comes to outsourcing, most great agencies will provide a level of transparency so you know that your work is being taken seriously and undertaken by the best there is. However, it’s not a guarantee.
If you want to make sure you can trust someone to get the job done then you need them on your own team. It’ll give you an insight into what the deal is with your personal SEO strategy and how it’s being implemented.
It’ll also allow you more flexibility to collaborate with the rest of your team, like working with social media specialists to make sure their content is optimised. When everyone’s on the same page, marketing can be a breeze.
They’ll know you inside and out
With SEO, the best practices mean a full understanding of your brand, your goals, your personality, and your focus. When the SEO specialist is undertaking keyword research they need to know what your brand is all about.
When they’re looking for keywords, creating strategy, and producing content you want them to be able to represent your brand in its entirety. You need consistency across departments and across all output. With an SEO specialist on board, it’s a part of the package.
You’re in the spotlight
While an agency might be dealing with many clients at once, an in-house SEO team is only focused on you. That means they’re able to invest all their working hours into your brand and fully get to grips with it. They’re not spreading knowledge over different clients and accounts, and they’re not limited in their time by other pressing projects. An in-house SEO team has an advantage in terms of focusing and prioritising your brand’s growth.
Don’t play it risky
While usually, you can completely trust an agency to deliver results, it does mean a level of trust between you and the business. To get the results you need there needs to be a sharing of data which can be a secret risk. It also means you may be on different wavelengths in terms of what you consider to be successful.
KPIs need to be set and expectations need to be managed or you can end up with an outcome you’re not happy with. If you have a specific goal and methodology in mind and want to ensure the least risk then you need to keep it in-house.
The big question
To outsource or not to outsource? That’s the question. While there are many advantages to both outsourcing to an SEO agency or working on building a successful in-house team, it really depends on your needs, your resources, and your brand.
An in-house team can have its benefits from making sure everyone is on board with the brand, to better control over who gets the jobs done. If you have the funds to create your own department you can produce incredible results.
But, if you’re not occupied with trying to ensure a lot of oversight and transparency over the SEO services your company is being provided with, and you don’t have the space on your team to bring in a specialist, then an SEO agency can allow you the expertise to really let your SEO strategy fly. You have guaranteed expertise and all the support you could need. Partnering with an SEO agency can be the most cost-effective approach to optimising your content and marketing.
It’s time to consider your needs as a business and what your SEO goals are. Are you more concerned with driving more organic traffic to your site or building up your site’s authority? Would you like to experiment with backlinks or do you just need support with technical SEO? This will help you decide what will be your best move going forward.
It’s also worth doing your research on the marketing agencies you might be partnering with. Looking at their specialities, whether they align with your needs, and whether they’ve had clients like yours before so you can look at results or reviews. Understanding exactly what the marketing agency is like to work with will make any future business collaborations much smoother and knowing what services they offer will help manage expectations.
To outsource or not to outsource can be a tricky decision for any business but there are pros and cons to both approaches. Finding the solution that works best with your brand is the priority but it’s time to take action now!
If you want to talk more about the nitty-gritty of SEO, get in touch with our marketing team at Punch. We’re digital marketing experts in every way and we’re here to find the right fix for you!