In-house SEO – Should you keep your SEO in-house or use an SEO Company?

Your SEO – should you keep it in-house? There’s a few factors to consider in deciding whether to do your SEO in-house or to use an SEO agency:

1.Do you need a full time SEO?
Usually you’ll find large companies with big websites or many online sales initiates will have an in-house SEO person. This would make sense in that they will get a return on what they are spending for that person and there is a lot of work to do and maintenance to be kept up with.
For small companies it usually doesn’t make sense. A company with a 5-page website for example may only need 3-7 hours of work done on it per month to stay competitive. In this scenario, it would be overkill to hire an internal SEO person.

2.The Cost of an SEO person.
Salaries of SEO people vary greatly. Kids coming out of college usually will start around roughly $35k per year while experienced professionals range from about $75k to $125k per year. The highest I’ve ever personally seen was $210k at a very large agency. The name of the game in marketing is always return on investment. So you have to ask, “will I get that investment back?” For most companies, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Using an agency who does this day in and out, has streamlined processes and specialized staff can usually do for a company on an annual basis what an in-house person can do at fraction of the cost. The monthly costs of SEO can range from $250 per month to $2500 per month and sometimes higher depending on the size of the project. Your cost and the return of that cost of using an agency vs. an in-house person must be considered to maximize your return.

3.Where is your time better spent as the business owner?
If you’re like most business owners, your time is better spent running your company. The successful owner knows how to hire, train and fill his company with solid staff & vendors. He doesn’t do everything. He should build and run the machine – not be the machine forever. Plus, with an industry such as SEO, can you or your in-house person dedicate the time to the frequent changes of the industry and technology? Personally, I like accounting and think it’s interesting. But I have a great accountant as I don’t have the time nor patience to specialize in accounting and to be able to keep up with the changes the IRS makes every year – my accountant does. If my car breaks, I don’t go out and “tinker.” I leave it to pros. I would rather make sales calls for 3 hours than fix my car. I get more of a return out of that.

These are just a couple of points for now, but you get the idea. I watch my ROI. If I invest a dime, I want that dime back plus another one. We outsource certain aspects of our business to experts where we are not. Hiring a firm who has a team ready to deliver usually is better and cheaper than hiring someone you’ll find in most cases. If the cost is justified, then do it and do it well.

Dan York, Founder 
Stellar-eMarketing, Inc. 

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