It is no secret that SEO is crucial to the success of a small business, but what many do not realize is that there are different ways to fulfill this crucial need. Many new business owners work with SEO on their own while other, more established companies choose to use an SEO agency. Consider what makes these two approaches unique and then consider some of the positives and negatives to each:
In-House SEO Advantages and Disadvantages
When a company practices in-house SEO, they are working with SEO experts who will work with the company as part of the team. This expert or this team of experts is brought on full-time by your company and becomes part of your staff. The only SEO efforts they are concerned with are those of your company. Consider some of the advantages and disadvantages to this approach:
In-House SEO Advantages
- Control – You have complete control, so you will be able to change things instantly if you ever change your mind. It can be time consuming to create an SEO strategy and then have to go back and change it, but if you do it yourself you know you will have it the way you want it right away.
- Experts – You will be able to hire the SEO expert who you think knows your target audience and industry the best. Agencies sometimes worry about a lot of different types of companies, but bringing someone in-house will help keep him/her focused.
- Risky – There is a chance that you could get SEO wrong. Sometimes SEO can be confusing, and it takes a long time to master. If you don’t hire an expert or you hire someone without a good knowledge of the field, there are places where you can make mistakes. It’s important that your in-house SEO expert of team of experts understand HTML, keyword research tools, keyword tracking tools, and much more.
- Expensive – Some people are swayed into giving SEO a try on their own because they think it is inexpensive, but the truth is that the right tools will cost you. It is important that you have the right software to complete keyword research and tracking, and this can sometimes cost up to $1000.
- Time – It takes a great amount of time to master SEO, but it also takes a great amount of time to see results. This means that if you’re making a mistake, you probably won’t realize it until a good amount of time has passed.
SEO Agency Advantages and Disadvantages
Hiring an SEO agency to improve your company’s SEO efforts means that you are outsourcing these efforts. The agency is a third party agency that is going to help one aspect of your company. SEO agencies generally have a contract with several companies, and the SEO experts work in the agency’s office—not your office. You will typically have a team of experts working to improve your SEO, but they will not be in your office and you will not be their only client. Consider some of the advantages and disadvantages to this approach:
SEO Agency Advantages
- Fast and Simple – The agency will do all the work, so all you will need to do is look it over and make sure you agree with the approach.
- Stay Focused – If you hire a SEO agency you will not need to change the focus of your business in any way. You will not need to use any office resources for a new employee. The agency will work for you without disrupting business.
SEO Agency Disadvantages
- Cost – Although this is a disadvantage to in-house SEO as well, it’s still a part of hiring a SEO Agency. The cost of an SEO agency varies depending upon your expectations and workload, but in general it will cost approximately $200-$5,000 per month.
- Miscommunication – You run the risk of miscommunication when working with a SEO agency. You will be in charge of telling them your Internet marketing goals, objectives, budget, and giving them deadlines. Therefore, it is important that you are organized and comfortable talking with people. You need to make sure you know what you want, and then make sure that the company follows through. It’s also a good idea to do a full background check on the company to make sure that they have had success and will be offering you real experts to help your SEO efforts.
The most important thing to remember is that SEO is important—very important. You want to make sure that you know exactly what you are doing and that you are not cutting corners when it comes to SEO. If you’re starting a small business and just getting your feet wet with SEO, it is going to take some time before you see results. However, once you do start seeing results you will also likely begin seeing an increase in online traffic.
Both approaches to SEO have worked well for companies in the past. Generally larger companies opt for an SEO agency while smaller startup companies go with an in-house staff, but it’s up to the company owner to decide which strategy is right for his/her business. Talk with other companies in your industry who have experience with one or both approaches, and then decide which is best for you. It’s also important to remember that you can always change your approach if you feel something isn’t working. Once again, SEO is an area of business that should be given your full attention, so make sure you’re trying different things until you find the perfect fit.
Photo Credit: seo-watch.com
Amanda DiSilvestro originally wrote and published this article on Search Engine Optimization Journal. It was republished with permission.