SEO in-house, agency or do it yourself?

12. February 2020

SEO Inhouse or better the SEO Agency?

As SEO Agency we are often asked whether it makes sense to hand over the complete SEO process to an agency or whether one should provide own resources for search engine optimization. No reason to pull your hair out!


To answer this question we should first take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of agencies and in-house SEO. Even if we are a SEO agency, we will illuminate the question as neutrally as possible – but see for yourself.



Inhouse SEO – the partner with perspective


Advantages of Inhouse SEO

  • good product understanding
  • excellent control over work processing
  • generally much cheaper in price


Disadvantages of in-house SEO

  • no other projects are supervised
  • only SEO tools provided by the employer
  • Further training is often neglected
  • with one-man in-house no team with different skills
  • fiscal risk
  • corporate dependency

As we can see, an SEO in-house has several advantages.



The features again in detail

The employee can adapt excellently to your products and thus brings practical experience into the processes.


Often we see, at the Creating content, when the texts are purchased at the lowest price from a content platform, that the texts have been thoroughly checked in reading flow and spelling, but are wrong or uninformative due to lack of practical experience. This will not earn you any points with the search engine.



The specialist knowledge decides

There is no point in pointlessly filling categories and products with non-practical content and waiting for better rankings. Google has the possibility and also the task to check exactly how your readers react to your texts. If the reader jumps off and goes to the next page after reading your text, then Google does not judge this positively.


Nevertheless, you should make sure to train your in-house SEO in your products and also in your marketing strategy in detail. To ensure that SEO Inhouse does not become a flop, the texts must offer real added value for the user and also promote the products and promotions that actually bring you sales.


If, for example, keywords are optimized that bring you traffic but no financial profit, you have burned a lot of money and time in the oven.


Because the SEO Inhouse does not manage any other projects than your website, he can devote his full effort and all his time to your content. Of course the agency cannot provide this luxury.


The in-house is often said to be in danger of suffering from tunnel vision and not being able to see the forest for the trees. But that depends much more on the individual person.


If the employee is working in your company, you can follow exactly how much capacity the employee has and which work steps he or she performs. The work is not based on trust, but can be closely monitored. Also, the internal employee can quickly train his colleagues and the other departments and help on site.



The low-cost employee

The cost of letting someone run in-house the search engine optimization is usually cheaper. A SEO agency must not only pay the analyst’s salary, but also generate profit and recoup advertising expenses. This is not necessary for an internal employee.


In addition, someone who only optimizes your products or articles on a daily basis does not have to spend hours reading and probably does not have to spend that much time researching.


Nevertheless, it must also be mentioned that a permanent in-house employee is hired for several years, depending on the contract, and therefore represents a financial risk. If the “SEO expert” turns out to be a specialist idiot and does not provide the desired service, it is difficult to change him like an agency.


Furthermore, as a company, you are not only dependent on the skills of the SEO, but also run the risk of being poached by another company, which will take away their expertise.



The choice of tools – SEO Tools

Depending on the size of your capital for SEO Inhouse also decided what tools the employee has available. There are some very good paid SEO tools that are commonplace at agencies. For smaller companies that are not part of the middle class, there is often no more money than for a tool in the best case.


The best SEO tools will be presented in another blog post.


Inhouse SEO’s also often fall by the wayside when it comes to training. Sentences like “this is not necessary for me, I can do it all” should make your alarm bells ring.


Certainly there are basic components of search engine optimization which do not change constantly, but it is certain that a competent SEO analyst must keep his expertise up to date. A little net research and reading the Google News will hardly be enough.


People usually have it in themselves not to be equally good in all areas. An in-house SEO is also only human.


And this is exactly the disadvantage of a single SEO in-house employee. A good SEO agency usually has a larger team, in this team the skills and areas of expertise of the individual members complement each other.


As an individual SEO in-house employee suffers from high psychological pressure as he is often the only one responsible for good organic results. If he makes a mistake in the way he works and his search engine crashes, he can lose his job overnight.


Advantages of an SEO agency

  • a great deal of experience
  • superior resources
  • strong network
  • rapid knowledge acquisition
  • ongoing training
  • huge brainpool


Disadvantages of an SEO agency

  • higher conditions than an internal employee
  • missing transparency
  • Often less know-how on relevant technical content


Advantages and characteristics of the SEO agency explained

If you thought until a moment ago that the in-house employee would win the race, you should realize by now at the latest that the decision as to which strategy to adopt is not that easy.



A wealth of knowledge and tools

The SEO agency has extremely much experience in practice. The insights into different industries and the evaluation of various sites, can not be compensated with pure theory.


If an in-house employee is only responsible for one project and you have to wait an enormous amount of time until results are obtained, the agency has a lot of data that can be constantly evaluated.


Also with the tools the agency normally has a strong advantage. The agency has various SEO tools, which can be used without restrictions. These resources are expensive but provide a clear competitive advantage.



The teamworkers

A long established SEO agency has already had the time to build a large network, which can bring many benefits. There is not only contact to website operators with satellite pages, forum owners and eager bloggers, but also to other knowledgeable experts. There is a constant exchange of knowledge.


The large number of employees also brings good results in the end. Many brains bring more performance. Surely one or two critics can now knock on the regulars’ table and say that many cooks spoil the broth. But that is not true in this case.


Every SEO team member brings their best skills to the job. One is a born analyst, another is an unexpected creative writer, the next is a real programming freak. In the end you get the best of all talents.


the view into the crystal ball

The insight gained from the many projects enables the agency to react quickly to changes in the search engine algorithms of other clients. An update in the search criteria happens quickly and can catch you off guard.


If the in-house SEO is affected, he can kick up a fuss even if he does not know where the wind is blowing from. Here is the agency’s great moment. It will immediately recognize which customers are affected and which are not. So it is possible to act and evaluate quickly. If you know where the damage is, you can usually repair it.


Also the ongoing training gives the necessary boost that an SEO expert needs. Not only is networking and learning the latest SEO rules done here, but as a positive side effect, there is a good motivation to become even better.



A question of price

Even if the conditions for an SEO agency seem more expensive at first glance, one should take the right perspective here. What did you hire the SEO agency for? For researching texts or checking technical characteristics.


You have to pay attention to details here, how much do the individual working hours cost? Is each service charged at the same price? How flexible is the contract period? Does the agency tie me into an annual contract?


Even if you can only see from the content what the agency is producing or optimising for you, a serious agency will always give you a report about what has been done to promote your website. Even with little expertise, you can see quite clearly whether the work attitude is positive.


When choosing an SEO agency, make sure that you have a clearly defined task with the number of hours worked. Otherwise you will be annoyed afterwards if agreed goals and services are not met.


Of course nobody knows your products as well as you do. Even if you are not an ace at writing, you have acquired so much specialist knowledge in your professional career that it cannot be reproduced even through extensive research.



Our conclusion on SEO Inhouse vs. agency

Basically, you can say that if you


  1. be trained in the subject of search engine optimization
  2. have sufficient time to research content and create content, as well as provide other relevant services
  3. have talent in writing and a knack for websites
  4. have enough capital to finance a professional SEO tool

you should jump on the “do it yourself” train. We would be happy to advise you on this free of charge, just contact us.


If the above mentioned conditions are not available and only the SEO in-house or agency comes into question for you, you should consider this decision carefully.


Depending on the budget you have planned as an investment in your web project, our advice will vary as well.


The best strategy is probably to hire at least one in-house employee and consult a good SEO agency.
However, your own performance – whether you like it or not – will not be left out. Your willingness to get involved in the topic and to actively support all SEO measures is an essential component for success in the search engine.


Another reason to rely on two horses, i.e. in-house and agency, is that you have a kind of mutual control and missing knowledge can be discussed and improved immediately. You do not run the risk of stumbling blindly in one direction and ending up betting on the wrong horse.


Another important aspect of quality for in-house and agency is the team itself. If the atmosphere in the agency is not fertile, the “agency man” will not perform well. Conversely, if the internal employee is not sufficiently supported by his company and is more or less the only one who has to do pioneering work without the necessary backing from the boss and colleagues, the latter will also fail.


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