Deciding on how to handle your search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical decision. I would dare to say that all your potential customers are searching for the types of goods or services you offer on the internet. And keep in mind that over 13 years and over 130 clients I have heard each client say the following: “Well we are a little different than other companies, A lot of our older customers don’t even have email and definitely do not use the internet”. Google the demographics for internet usage and see for yourself.
Before deciding whether to hire in house or use an agency it’s important to know that there are different types of search engine optimization and different experiences in SEO. The most common experience in SEO is that of someone that mostly provides content. This person usually has experience in writing blogs or writing web page content and making sure that its search engine friendly.
The second type of SEO experience is that of content with some back end technical experience. This person can write the content and then edit pictures or create pictures that are SEO friendly while using heading tags within the content to enhance the SEO quality of the page.
The third type is that of an experienced SEO programmer. This person can create the content but prefers to have content written by someone else. They can then create an SEO targeted landing page using HTML, WordPress or some other content management system. This person has all the skills of the previous two but can get a little deeper into the programming side. These are usually referred to as front end developers.
The fourth type of SEO practitioner is one that has all the skills of the previous three but also has the ability to utilize data analytics. These SEO Pros can fully utilize Google Analytics or similar tools to measure the effectiveness of the SEO and then adjust to create fully optimized pages that rank higher than your competition. These SEO’s practitioners usually will not create the content but rather use content created by professional writers.
So, do you hire an employee or hire an agency? The answer is really very complicated. It depends a lot on the talent pool of SEO professionals in your area. If you can find a data experienced front end developer, they usually own a digital marketing agency. True experienced data technical SEO providers are in very high demand. So that usually leaves you to choose from junior level SEO technicians for employees. After the employee gets some good SEO experience they will become much more valuable and usually will leave to seek out greener pastors. The worst SEO strategy you can use is one in which a new junior SEO technician takes over your SEO every 6-8 months.
Hiring an agency usually proves to be the best choice. An experienced SEO agency will have professional SEO content creators, front end developers and data analytics professionals already on staff. You also get the benefit of utilizing the experience that have learned from performing SEO on other companies’ websites. Nothing better than to take advantage of 15 years of SEO experience that someone else paid for. Most of the time the cost of using an SEO agency is also much less than the cost of an employee especially when you factor in taxes and benefits.
At the end of the day it only makes sense to utilize an inhouse marketing person when your company is large enough that they need a dedicated liaison to work with the various marketing support companies that you use. The director ensures the message stays the same across all channels and that a high level of quality is maintained. Outside of that it almost never makes sense to hire inside SEO personnel unless you are a digital marketing agency.