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Outsourcing SEO Program to Agency vs Building In-House Team

Managing Resources

One of the most obvious considerations when choosing between in-house and agency, is management of resources. The ability to effectively hire and manage qualified SEO talent is critical to the success of your program. 

Starting the Team 

In-house – Assembling a team of SEO professionals can be a challenge. It is difficult to find people that are really qualified at “reverse engineering” the search algorithm in order to allow them to fully understand the appropriate strategy to adopt.

Who will be the person qualified to interview and select the very first member of your SEO team? Will they know the right questions to ask in order to adequately assess candidates?

As you know, there are an infinite number of industry resources and blogs online today – suggesting that just about anyone with some free time and a curious nature can quickly learn the basics of strategy – and can communicate all of the right answers in an interview. However, when you actually get them on staff, this may not be the case. Most people who work in IT or web design already think they can “do SEO.” And it’s usually not discovered until they are on board and you are deep into the process. Unless you are able find a candidate with the right mix of experience, temperament, and personality to take on the challenge, and ability to replicate that as they build your team, your program may not be successful.

Most people claim they ‘do #SEO.’ But do they really? Be careful when hiring. Click To Tweet

There is often a temptation to underinvest on SEO staff. Often, a company may try to make do with a lesser experienced person. If your key SEO person is in over their head, it could stunt the growth of your program by months or years.

In a big company, a smart strategy for building an in-house team usually starts first with investing in a Director level position, who has been given the appropriate internal authority, and can build the team while setting the appropriate strategy in motion – and has the willingness to be hands on until there is a team in place. If you hire the wrong Director, a six-month plan can take much longer to be fully realized. It also has a tendency to leave a bad impression on the organization of the SEO industry as a whole.

Agency – The biggest advantage of engaging with an agency is that hiring and firing becomes their risk, not yours. Because agencies already have considerable experience in the industry, they have become adept at finding the right team members at the right skill level to successfully implement all strategy.

Scaling Resources

In-house – Another big challenge with managing SEO in-house is that the number of projects that you are able to develop and implement will likely be limited by the size of your team. If you have one Director/Manager, it is very likely that the majority of their time will be spent on internal education and extoling the virtues of SEO in order to build momentum for the program.

However, they may not have the bandwidth to actually get much accomplished. Your investment should include a plan to develop a team big enough to meet all of your goals within the desired timeframe. It also takes time to build a team. If you have allocated headcount for a team of 5-6, it could take several months before that entire team is in place – and an additional several months to develop a strategy and execute the roadmap.

#SEO in-house or work with agency? Agency +1: resources are more flexible. Click To Tweet

Agency – Agencies are more flexible. One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing to an agency is its ability to assign additional resources as needed to complete all projects within the desired timeframe. If you have entered into a long-term agreement, 12 months or more, your agency will have the financial flexibility to add team members as needed to accomplish your goals.

Often there is a decent sized pool of talent with a wide range of skills and experience that can be re-assigned as needed based on the requirement for each project. If a team member is not a good fit with a particular client, they can easily be reassigned. This may not be possible in-house. Also, an agency can absorb the impact of a bad hire – often more effectively than an in-house team can.

Article source: http://www.verticalmeasures.com/search-optimization/benefits-of-outsourcing-seo-program-to-agency-vs-building-in-house-team/

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