30 second summary:
- SEO involves many activities, processes and technicalities that are difficult to master and manage
- Investing in an in-house team can have many benefits, such as the creation of specialized talent, greater control over performance, productivity, brand and process alignment
- However, outsourcing to an SEO agency may not offer the benefits mentioned above, but it can be easier on your marketing budget and overhead.
- So how do you identify the right solution for your business?
There are too many parts of SEO, and many of those parts are in constant motion and change. The more a site grows, the more SEO will be challenging. So what’s a better approach: start building your own internal SEO team or rely on an agency or freelancers?
Pros and cons of creating your own team
Pro # 1: build your inner talent and knowledge
Your team is your greatest asset. Your business is only as good as the people behind it. They are all clichés but they remain true.
Having an internal team you can rely on makes your SEO strategy more consistent and aligned with your company’s culture and product positioning strategy. Additionally, there is a smoother flow of ideas and communication leading to better results. You can also benefit from cross-pollination of talent that fuels innovation and greater problem solving.
Con # 1: Talents tend to move forward
There’s a big problem with talented people – they tend to grow their businesses too much, and they do it pretty quickly.
It often becomes difficult (and costly) to retain talent, even if your organization grew it.
Pro # 2: hold someone accountable
If you are good at hiring, you will likely find someone responsible who will take their training and activities seriously. The person will have a clear ownership that will make everyone’s life easier and your business more effective.
Any business venture will only be successful if there is someone within the company to “own it”..
Internal teams are easier to control, you can request and get reports within a day. You can ask for clarification without running out of billable hours.
Con # 2: It’s expensive
Not many companies can afford to have internal SEO that has nothing but SEO … In addition to the regular and inevitable paychecks, there are also Human resource processes which contribute to the overall expenses. And let’s not forget about employee insurance and other benefits.
Yes, growing your team is generally a great investment, but only if your budget allows. Furthermore, there is always a risk that your investment will simply leave your business one day (see above).
Pro # 3: you own your data
Privacy is a big deal when it comes to letting anyone do marketing for you. On the other hand, you can also check the technology and privacy much more efficiently by ensuring that your data is only accessible to your internal team.
Also, when you outsource something, you will inevitably lose a lot of data, such as contacts acquired, models that performed best, and other resources.
When you have the work done in-house, you end up accumulating leads that you can rely on for the future. Eventually you also create your own data and find innovative ways to integrate it into your search marketing strategy.
Con # 4: It’s slower
Unless you have a huge team, SEO tasks it will accumulate. They are very difficult to organize and resize without outside help because there are too many variables and most of them are done on a continuous and regular basis.
Count on freelance to outsource SEO Tasks are often the only way to get things done and free up time to go through the analytics to better align your SEO strategy.
Pro # 5: The process can be better integrated
SEO is no longer an island. It can only be truly effective if it is well integrated into all processes within an organization, including product development, IT, sales, And Customer care.
The intersection of digital and physical consumer experiences is also a strong reason why SEO must have strong integration with digital marketing, martech, and sales. Your business can only achieve its goals if it has a unified footprint.
With # 5: you can’t build a team that is good at everything
The biggest problem with SEO is that there are different moving parts that require absolutely different training and skill sets.
Remember the chart?
Source: Antonio Palomarez
SEO always includes content creation and optimization, technical support, And building links (which normally includes the dissemination of e-mail, the creation of relationships and the creation of linkable resources which, in turn, involve graphic design or video production activities).
If you need to understand all these moving parts better, I have a simplified flow chart for you:
Let’s not forget that many of these parts will have to evolve according to Google’s changing guidelines and the ever-changing search algorithms that are difficult to keep up.
With such a variety of skills required, building a team that can handle almost anything is next to impossible, even for business entities.
Of course, today’s technology makes it a lot easier. You don’t have a web developer to do this build a landing pageor manage the on-page SEO essentials. You don’t have to be a graphic designer designer to create imagesor even put together an effective lead magnet.
But even with smart technology, to manage all parts of an SEO strategy you will need a rather large team, which is, again, expensive.
The truth is somewhere in between
The result of the above is somewhat of a dilemma: you want a team to control something you may never be able to control.
The best solution is usually in the middle:
- Hire an SEO manager who has in-depth SEO knowledge
- Let that SEO manager find companies and freelancers to outsource different moving parts to
This means having an SEO manager who is brilliant in both SEO and project management.
Yes, it will take some time to find the right person, but finding the right person is never easy.
It’s worth it though:
- Your insider will be able to “translate” any SEO jargon for you whenever you need to understand what’s going on.
- You will have someone who owns the strategy and the process
- There will be a person who will be within your company to ensure that your SEO strategy is aligned with your overall product positioning strategy and includes other teams in the SEO processes
In reality, if you want your SEO strategy to deliver results, you need both: an inside person (or a team) and someone outside your company to rely on. It’s not about picking one.
Managing SEO is difficult. Don’t be discouraged. There is no viable alternative to organic search traffic. Find the right person who will be able to handle the process for you and find reliable partners to outsource various SEO activities to. This way you will keep the strategy in check while still being able to afford it. Good luck!
Ann Smarty is the founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager of Internet Marketing Ninjas. It can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.
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