Today, most people are aware that it is no longer enough to just have a corporate website, but that it must also be maintained and optimised for search engines. Those who are still at the very beginning of their SEO journey are often faced with the decision of whether cooperation with external service providers is the right thing to do or whether to go the extra mile and hire a permanent SEO manager.
Just like the selection of qualified employees, the search for a suitable agency is no easy task. SEO agencies are a dime a dozen. Once you have found the right partner, however, there are many advantages.
Advantages of an SEO Agency
- Know-How and Further Training: SEO agencies already bring pooled expertise. In addition, the agency itself is responsible for the further training of its employees.
- Exchange: Search engine optimisation is dynamic and its success largely depends on knowledge transfer. In an SEO agency, many experts work together, who not only exchange views with each other, but usually also attend many conferences.
- Tools: Unlike most companies, agencies have the budget to work with different SEO tools.
- Broad Expertise: SEO has many facets – content, link building, technical SEO and many more. While a single employee cannot cover all niches equally, many differently specialised SEOs work together in agencies.
- Time Budget: Not always are the SEO tasks that arise sufficient for a permanent position. An SEO agency can also work with small time budgets and ramp them up as needed.
- Thinking Outside the Box: Agencies support many different clients from various industries. Learnings from one industry can often be transferred to others and can lead to new ideas.
Challenges of Working with an SEO Agency
- More Complex Communication Channels: Agencies are sometimes harder to reach than employees directly in the company. In some cases, agencies only have one specific contact who has to pass on important concerns and questions internally first.
- Market Knowledge: Although there are many agencies that specialise in certain industries, they may not have the same comprehensive knowledge of a company’s products and customers as a permanent SEO employee. To compensate for this, a close exchange between the agency and relevant industry experts is recommended.
Finding a well-trained SEO professional with the necessary expertise is not easy. Not only do in-house SEOs have to have industry and expert knowledge, but they must also be able to coordinate different departments.
Advantages of In-House SEO
- Short Communication Channels: An in-house SEO can usually be reached relatively quickly so that questions can often be answered directly. Moreover, an in-house SEO knows exactly who in the company to contact for what topics. This allows for close collaboration with product, development and communication teams.
- Focus: Permanent SEOs exclusively take care of the website and keep a close eye on it. They are also very familiar with the corporate culture, products and customers.
Challenges of Working with In-House SEO
- Strategy: With an in-house SEO, you make yourself dependent on a single person in the long run. If the SEO expert chooses a wrong or bad SEO strategy, it negatively affects Google rankings. You lose time and money.
- Further Training: SEO is subject to permanent change and SEO experts therefore have to keep up to date with the latest developments. When working with in-house SEOs, you are responsible for providing the necessary financial and time resources.
- Tunnel Vision: On the one hand, it is an advantage that an in-house SEO takes care of everything alone; on the other hand, this can lead to tunnel vision after some time. You lack insights into other industries from which you could learn important practices.
- Staff Changes: If your SEO expert leaves the company and you need to hire a new one, a detailed and structured handover is necessary. This means that processes and projects that have already been initiated may come to a standstill if the successor has to get used to the new position.
- Time Budget: In-house SEOs often only have a limited time budget. For large pages, an employee also has to monitor link building activities and the creation of content and landing pages. The quality of work can suffer as a result, especially since it is not possible to work overtime on a permanent basis. For smaller pages, the problem is reversed: as a full-time employee, the in-house SEO usually does not work to capacity, which ultimately means that you are wasting money.
The decision whether to use an SEO agency or in-house SEO also largely depends on the company’s resources and the range of services required. The question of how important SEO is to the company also significantly influences the decision.
Recent studies prove: when doing a Google search, the probability of clicking on a search result is directly linked to its position on the search engine’s results page. About 98 per cent of all user clicks are distributed among positions 1 to 10 of the organic search results. Because search engines are the first choice for most users when doing online research, the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO) is obvious – and choosing an SEO agency is just as important.
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