Sep 16th, 2020

In-House vs. Outsourcing – Which Is Best for Your Business?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been all the rage in the online marketing world for years.

And there’s more than one good reason for the hype.

There’s no doubt that maximising your visibility on search engines like Google can work wonders for your business.

But SEO is a bit fiddly.

It involves a lot of processes that require a certain level of expertise – keyword research, content planning, link-building, on-page optimisation and guest blogging to name a few.

The complexity of SEO begs the question: should I outsource it to an online marketing agency or handle it in house?

Outsourcing can always bring doubt, but it can also pay dividends.

In-house SEO marketing puts you in full control, but also holds you accountable – and there’s a lot to learn if you want to master SEO.

Before we look at whether you should outsource SEO or hire an in house SEO team, let’s briefly discuss what it is and why it’s essential for your business.


What Is SEO?

Search engine optimisation refers to the process of maximising your search engine visibility. It largely involves targeting prospects with content containing keywords they use to find your products or services. But that’s just one of many on-page factors to consider, and there are just as many off-page factors that need tweaking as part of your SEO strategy.

Just some aspects of SEO include:

  • Page speed
  • Internal links
  • Crawl errors
  • Sitemap accessibility
  • Mobile friendliness
  • Inbound links
  • Content marketing
  • Website optimisation

You might now be realising the challenges that lie ahead if you go for the in house SEO option over choosing to outsource your SEO. Though that’s not to suggest there’s nothing to be gained from hiring an in house SEO team.


What Is SEO Outsourcing?

When you outsource to an SEO agency, you essentially task somebody else with handling SEO marketing on your behalf. While there’s usually some form of collaboration – and a reporting system in place – your SEO outsourcing company will mostly develop, execute, monitor and optimise your SEO campaigns without too much intervention from you.

Of course, you’ll always have the chance to go over strategies and sign them off before your SEO outsource provider takes any of your money. But trust is an issue. You’ll need to secure peace of mind that if you outsource SEO services, you will see a significant return.


What Is In-House SEO?

In house SEO is a task for your marketing department, which might need enlarging to cope with the extra workload if you’re new to SEO.

A typical in house SEO team structure consists of – at the minimum – copywriters, editors, strategists, researchers, IT specialists, marketing associates and SEO experts who report to a marketing manager or creative director.

Hiring new employees means committing to full-time wages. And if you don’t know what kind of skills or experience to look for in potential candidates, the financial investment can end up being a huge loss.

So far, you might think the obvious thing to do is outsource SEO. It certainly has its advantages, so what holds businesses back?


Why Don’t Some Companies Outsource SEO Projects?

Given the complexity of SEO and the limited resources of SMEs, it seems surprising that so many companies choose not to outsource SEO. Of course, there are benefits to handling SEO in-house. But often, people choose not to outsource SEO services because:

  • They have a bad previous experience

There’s no denying that SEO is hard to get your head around, especially for those new to the world of online marketing. Unfortunately, that does give the more devious SEO outsourcing agency something to exploit.

Many businesses have one negative experience and decide never to outsource SEO again. But you should remember that many SEO agencies in Australia are results-oriented rather than profits-focused.

  • They’re afraid of wasting money

Outsource to an SEO company, and you will have to spend some of your capital, which is a scary prospect if you don’t truly know what your money is being used for.

Many business owners believe that by hiring an in house SEO team instead of choosing to outsource SEO mitigates financial risks to their business. However, as we’ll discuss later, that’s often the opposite to the reality.

  • They don’t believe the returns are there

When an SEO outsourcing agency contacts a business owner, they often oversell their services or make promises that are far too good to be true. SEO shouldn’t be marketed as a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme because the truth is, maximising your search engine visibility can take time. Nevertheless, false or overhyped promises often put businesses off from SEO outsourcing in Australia.

  • SEO takes too long

As mentioned above – SEO is a process that can take time. But once the ball is rolling, a solid SEO strategy gives you a constant revenue stream. But when an SEO outsourcing agency explains that it might take months of spending before the benefits become apparent, many business owners decide to back out, often choosing more traditional but less effective – and more expensive – marketing tactics instead.

  • They don’t understand it

There’s a lot of new terms and concepts to learn when it comes to mastering SEO. Keyword research, content calendar creation, meta descriptions and responsiveness to name a few. Admittedly, cutting through the jargon can be somewhat tedious, and this is just one other reason why people choose not to outsource SEO.

The truth is – none of the above should prevent you from outsourcing SEO. The best outsourced SEO companies can bring you a significant return on investment without you having to wrap your head around a complex topic while juggling so many tasks. Instead, you should weigh the pros and cons of SEO in house vs outsourcing to decide which is the right approach for you.


Should I Outsource SEO?

Now, you have a basic idea of what SEO is, what it means to handle in-house, what SEO outsourcing involves, and what worries prevent people from pressing ahead. Now, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing SEO so that you can determine whether it’s a worthwhile investment.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing SEO

First, let’s kick off with the primary drawbacks of partnering with an SEO outsource provider:

  • Finding the best SEO outsourcing company is far from easy

Search the internet, and you’ll quickly find there are a sea of agencies claiming to be the best outsourced SEO company. But if you’re going to outsource SEO, you need to know you’re partnering with an agency comprised of genuine experts. How are you supposed to do that when SEO is a relatively new concept to you?

  • Divided attention

When you hire an in house SEO team, you can monitor everything at all times, request hourly updates if you feel so inclined, and play a key role in the development process. When you outsource SEO, your campaigns are developed remotely, which may make you feel as if you have a lack of control.

Some people also worry that their campaigns won’t receive the attention they deserve. After all, many of the best outsourced SEO companies handle strategies for hundreds of clients simultaneously. However, if they really are among the best SEO agencies, they should have more than enough resources to cope with the pressure.

  • Transparency

As mentioned above – you don’t usually get to be involved in every tiny stage of the process when you outsource SEO. Instead, you need to trust the company you choose will deliver on their promises. However, SEO agencies that lack transparency can be bad news, whether they charge hidden fees, promise results they can’t deliver, or fail to keep you updated with what’s going on.


The Benefits of Outsourcing SEO

When it really comes down to it, there are few drawbacks to outsourcing SEO provided you partner with a reputable agency. And the benefits are endless. Outsource SEO, and you can:

  • Save time

Just learning the ins and outs of SEO and everything it involves can take months or even years. And, if you have a marketing department that’s already overloaded, you’ll have to refocus their efforts on SEO, which could end up harming your bottom line. Outsource to an SEO agency, and you’ll barely need to lift a finger to get your SEO campaigns off to a flying start.

Remember that in the world of business, time is money. A team of experienced experts can likely work on your SEO strategy much more efficiently than an inexperienced in house SEO team.

  • Faster results

We’ve mentioned that it can take time to see a significant return on your SEO investment. However, it’ll take much longer to see a return if you don’t know what you’re doing. Plus, most SEO agencies also offer services such as PPC advertising and social media marketing that can be integrated into your SEO campaigns. As a result, one of the best outsourced SEO companies can get your website in front of people quickly, and transform them into leads and paying customers.

  • Better tools

SEO requires an in-depth analysis of your customers, competition, target keywords, current website performance, buyer personas, and much more. Getting access to this data is possible through the use of sophisticated SEO tools and software. But most of those analytical tools aren’t cheap – or easy to use to their full potential.

When you outsource to an SEO company, all of the best tools will be at your disposal. And, you’ll never need to keep on top of updates or industry developments; that’s what your SEO agency is for.

  • More experienced

Some of the best outsourced SEO companies in Australia have been operating for decades, back when SEO was a brand-new marketing concept. They’ve seen how the industry has changed and developed countless campaigns for businesses within almost all industries. With their skills, expertise and tools at your disposal, you can take your business to new heights online.

  • Affordability

Outsource SEO, and you won’t have to cover the wages for an entire online marketing department. Instead, you’ll only pay for what you need, and you’ll be able to scale your requirements as needed. This mitigates financial risks to your business while giving you full control over your budget. Plus, many outsource SEO services don’t tie you into long-term contracts, which means if they don’t deliver on their promises, you can always look at different options.

  • Larger teams with more specialists

As we touched on earlier – an in house SEO team generally needs to consist of copywriters, SEO specialists, analysists, AdWords experts and marketing managers at the minimum. An SEO outsourcing company already has numerous specialists within all fields of SEO under their employment. Essentially, if you outsource SEO, you can utilise the same expertise and resources as the biggest names in your industry.


SEO: In-House vs Outsourcing: The Verdict

Overall, there are advantages to both outsourcing and handling SEO in-house. But unless you run a very large company with a large marketing department comprised of a large number of SEO specialists, you’re probably better off outsourcing than hiring an in-house SEO team.

You may not be able to oversee the development of your SEO campaigns 24 hours a day, but if you outsource SEO to a team of experienced experts, there’s no reason for you to anyway. Plus, just think about the time and money you can save by outsourcing. Then, consider the potential returns, and you can see why more and more companies in Australia are choosing to outsource SEO.

If you want to learn more about SEO outsourcing in Australia and how it can work wonders for your business, we hope to hear from you.

At Smart Traffic, we’ve been one of Sydney’s best outsourced SEO companies for decades, and our results speak for themselves.

Complete our simple contact form, and we’ll perform a free SEO health check on your website while highlighting how we can help you maximise your marketing ROI.

Alternatively, give us a call, and we’ll gladly answer any questions you may have.

About the author

Stuart Pollington

Stuart has been involved in the digital marketing industry for over 20 years, working with Australian & UK businesses to accelerate their online growth. He likes to take a hands-on approach to his clients marketing strategies, launching campaigns that focus on positive ROI.