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In-House SEO vs. Agency SEO: Which is Right for Your Business?

SEO Agency


An effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy created by professionals can be highly beneficial for businesses, particularly small ones. In the current landscape, the internet has revolutionized how businesses market to their desired audience. 

Through well-planned SEO and digital marketing tactics, even the smallest enterprises can gain global visibility among relevant consumers, leveling the playing field with more prominent brands. However, achieving this requires the expertise of seasoned SEO specialists or teams.

For small business proprietors, a decision needs to be made between hiring an SEO expert or enlisting the services of a local SEO marketing firm. Each option comes with its own set of SEO pros and cons. 

These encompass factors like having dedicated expertise when going the in-house route or leveraging the expertise of the top SEO agency for small businesses. Now, let’s examine SEO agencies’ and internal teams’ merits and demerits.

Understanding SEO

SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, involves enhancing various website elements to enhance its visibility on search engines like Google and Bing. 

When users search online, they tend to click on the top results, making it crucial for websites to appear in those positions. SEO encompasses various services aimed at improving a website’s quality and relevance for search engine rankings:

  • Keyword and Research Strategy: Identifying essential keywords relevant to a business, aiming to rank well for these terms to attract targeted users and high-quality leads.
  • Link Building: Creating backlinks that signal the website’s authority as an information source to search engines within its industry.
  • Technical SEO: Addressing technical aspects that impact user experience, including user interface, loading speed, and other backend elements considered by search engines.
  • Local SEO: Optimizing a website for location-specific searches, targeting users seeking products or services within a particular area.
  • On-Page SEO: Fine-tuning website content according to relevant keywords, optimizing product pages, category pages, homepage, and meta descriptions.
  • Off-Page SEO: Utilizing content marketing tactics such as guest posts and social media engagement to enhance industry and domain authority.
  • Franchise SEO: Managing SEO for multiple franchise locations, ensuring all branches are visible in search engine results.
  • eCommerce SEO: Implementing specialized strategies to boost online sales, whether on websites or platforms like Amazon.

SEO specialists often focus on specific areas and collaborate with other experts to optimize websites for search engine algorithms and user experience.

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Pros and Cons of a Hired In-House SEO Professional


Hiring an in-house SEO professional involves recruiting candidates for dedicated SEO roles within your company. This option offers several advantages:

Quick Strategy Changes

In-house SEO specialists facilitate swift adjustments to your SEO strategy due to their exclusive focus on your business. This results in faster implementation and reflection of changes.

Dedicated Team 

Unlike SEO agencies with multiple clients, an in-house team’s sole focus is your business. This reduces the risk of your SEO strategy being overlooked due to agency workload.

Enhanced Collaboration

 In-house teams allow for transparent collaboration towards shared goals. This transparency may be lacking with external agencies, where their process might not be obvious.

Hiring an in-house SEO team can offer quicker adaptation, focused attention, and improved collaboration compared to external agencies.


Expensive Recruitment Process for an Entire SEO Team

When opting to outsource an SEO team, you only pay for their service, while as an employer, you bear the costs of hiring skilled staff.

According to Glassdoor, the average employer spends $4,000 and about 24 days to hire a new employee. The various costs, time, and effort involved in this process include:

  •     Sourcing job candidates
  •     Pre-hiring assessments
  •     Background checks
  •     Recruitment agency expenses
  •     Fees for job boards
  •     Marketing expenditures
  •     Employee referral rewards
  •     Sign-on bonuses

After successfully hiring an SEO specialist or team, there are both ongoing and one-time expenses to consider:

  •     Salaries
  •     Benefits (such as 401k, allowances, monthly incentives, etc.)
  •     Mandatory benefits (like insurance, paid sick leave, Social Security, etc.)
  •     Equipment costs
  •     Payments for SEO tools and other office software

Furthermore, there’s a risk of incurring costs due to hiring the wrong person. These individuals might seem promising initially but fail to meet performance and quality standards, resulting in expenses for their recruitment and subsequent replacement.

Diverse Roles for Your SEO Specialist

The decision lies between hiring a single SEO specialist or an entire team. While hiring more employees involves onboarding costs, having just one or two employees means they must handle various SEO aspects.

Instead of collaborating with specialized SEO experts, you’re working with a team that juggles numerous responsibilities.

Slower Work Progress Due to Multifaceted Roles

The pace of your SEO strategy relies on your employees’ capabilities. Given the multiple components of a successful SEO marketing approach, your team’s progress might be constrained by their duties and available tools.

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This could put you at a disadvantage, as your team must prioritize specific tasks. While the advantage of an in-house team is the ability to swiftly adjust the SEO strategy, it also means some jobs might be delayed in favor of others.

Pros and Cons of Hiring an SEO Agency


By hiring an SEO Agency, businesses can benefit from the expertise of experienced professionals without the cost and effort of maintaining an in-house team. The advantages of hiring an SEO agency are outlined.

Pay for Service, Not Team 

Hiring an agency allows businesses to access a skilled and knowledgeable team without bearing the costs of hiring and retaining in-house staff. Payment is made for the services rendered, making it a cost-effective solution.

Dedicated Industry Knowledge

Outsourcing to an agency provides access to a diverse team of experts with specialized knowledge in different areas of SEO. This is in contrast to relying on a single individual who might not excel in all aspects of SEO. Agencies offer a reliable and multifaceted approach to strategy execution.

Faster Turnaround

Agencies can provide efficient and timely results due to their experienced team’s ability to deliver high-quality work within specified timeframes. This is compared to in-house teams, where limited resources might lead to slower output.

Hiring an SEO agency allows businesses to leverage a skilled and diverse team, resulting in effective SEO strategies, cost savings, and faster deliverables.


Dealing with External Teams

The SEO strategy’s influence on online presence makes business owners wary of granting agencies control. Some agencies communicate and address concerns well, while others demand blind acceptance.

To prevent such a situation, working with an agency that focuses on measurable results and is transparent about their SEO approach is recommended. Regular communication from the agency builds trust and ensures you’re getting the most value from the collaboration.

Identifying a Dependable SEO Agency

While internal issues within an agency, such as staff problems and high turnover rates, may not immediately seem problematic, they could signal potential setbacks that might impact the agency’s performance in the future. Several warning signs warrant consideration when selecting an SEO agency:

Divergent Outcomes Among SEO Agencies

Any SEO agency can’t assure definitive outcomes. Simultaneously, not all agencies can deliver optimal results. Their employed strategies, available resources, and adherence to industry best practices can differ significantly, making one agency’s “best” results distinct from another.

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As a business owner, exercising caution when hiring an SEO firm is paramount. To identify the most suitable SEO agency for small businesses like yours, key considerations encompass client testimonials, case studies, pricing, customized packages, and other variables that could influence the results.


Hiring an In-House SEO Team and Partnering With an SEO Company

Deciding between hiring an in-house SEO team and partnering with an SEO company involves considering several factors:

  • Budget: Opting for an in-house team involves a higher initial investment but can yield returns over time. Conversely, collaborating with an SEO company is more budget-friendly, as you pay solely for their services.
  • Expertise: SEO agencies boast specialized professionals covering diverse digital marketing aspects. Their staff possesses proficiency in various SEO tools and industries. This comprehensiveness simplifies matters compared to assembling an internal team or outsourcing specific services.
  • Scalability: Growing businesses require escalating SEO efforts. Agencies facilitate easy scalability through package upgrades. They handle the necessary scaling within their organization to meet your evolving requirements.
  • Responsiveness and Turnaround Time: In-house teams exclusively focus on your company, while agencies manage multiple clients. Responsiveness hinges on the chosen agency’s efficiency.
  • Training: Given the dynamic nature of effective SEO strategies, continual learning is crucial. In-house teams necessitate consistent training to stay updated. Alternatively, partnering with agencies grants access to industry experts who receive regular training.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your needs, priorities, and the resources at your disposal.

Web Welder Delivers Results

If you decide to partner with an agency and are in the process of hiring an SEO firm, it’s essential to recognize that not all agencies are the same. When you select an SEO digital marketing agency such as Web Welder, you benefit from cost-efficient service.

Web Welder is a performance-oriented SEO digital marketing agency. We excel as the top SEO company for small businesses. 

We have assisted numerous enterprises in establishing their online footprint through pragmatic solutions and offerings like localized SEO services, technical SEO, and other strategies within the realm of digital marketing. 

Through our array of SEO services, we aim to enhance the value of your investment by delivering exceptional outcomes that result in heightened visibility, high-quality leads, and increased conversions.

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