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In-house vs. Outsourcing SEO for Marketing Agencies

SEO is no longer a “nice to have”; it’s a foundational staple of your business. From local search to driving foot traffic in your store, every one of your clients will benefit from SEO.

As an agency, you likely get questions about SEO from clients that range from baffling simple to exceedingly complex. The ability to answer those questions (and more importantly, act on them in a meaningful way) comes down to whether or not you have expertise in-house or the ability to outsource it.

But how do you know when to do it?

Let’s dive in.
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What should you outsource in terms of SEO?

In order to understand what to outsource, you have to first understand how outsourcing can benefit your agency. There are three clear (but not comprehensive) benefits: saving time, saving money, and no need to train (and hire) internally.

1. Saves time

You’re running a business, so cost savings are paramount. The simple fact is that optimizing websites (whether yours or a client’s) is time-consuming, and thus cost-intensive. Outsourcing allows you to invest that extra cost and personnel into business operations that improve your margins.

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2. Saves money

Beyond the opportunity cost mentioned above, the reality is that if you do decide to do SEO in-house, then you are going to have increased salary, benefits costs, training costs, and other administrative costs. A profitable agency burdened with extra costs means that you will have to raise your prices to accommodate all of the new expenses associated with competently providing SEO to your clients. The average cost of hiring, training, and retaining one SEO professional is $71,644. Outsourcing is a fraction of this price.

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3. No training required

Marketing agencies use SEO as a part of strategy and execution; however, being able to prioritize SEO requires dedicated personnel. Whether you specialize in SEO or provide SEO as an add-on service, you have employees whose entire days are consumed with SEO activities. Unless you only provide SEO as a service, your personnel are probably not being utilized optimally. Outsourcing SEO to experts saves you the time you’d spend on training and retaining top talent.

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SEO services to outsource

There are a lot of services that you can outsource. Selecting the right outsourcing agency to work with means understanding where you need help.

Off-page SEO

These are the activities outside of a website that improves its ranking (like link building). Backlinks come from another website, and the more backlinks a page has from quality domains, the higher its organic ranking. Google recognizes that page as more relevant to a certain search term, thus having more authority.

Quality links are the focus, especially those from websites in your niche. The most common way to accomplish this is through creating shareable content, guest posting on other websites, and doing link reclamation. Unsurprisingly, these tactics are time-consuming but are essential to improving your search rankings quickly.

On-page SEO

These are improvements you implement on your website directly to improve experience and search engines’ ability to correctly index your site.

  • User experience: These activities help attract and retain visitors to your website. These include improving site speed, design, and user interface.
  • Content audit: This helps you identify content that needs updating or deleting. In short, you get to know which content works for you.
  • Content optimization: This is improving your content for better SEO results. It can include optimizing the title tags, meta descriptions, images, and others. This can be very time-intensive.
  • SEO writing: SEO writing allows you to create content ideal for readers and search engines. A benefit of outsourcing SEO for marketing agencies is you tap into talent, which enables you to create content that will rank well.

But how do you know when to do it?

Let’s dive in.

What should you do in-house?

Outsourcing SEO for marketing agencies comes with many benefits; however, the same can be said for in-house services. There is one aspect that needs to be kept in-house: the customer relationship.

Creating trust with your clients should be a top priority.

A good outsourced SEO program will provide your marketing managers with all the tools they need (reports, case studies, tips, etc.) to service their clients at a high level. Arming your account team with another tool to help your clients grow their business puts you on the fast track to explosive revenue growth.

Ready for the next step?

As an agency, outsourcing your SEO comes with many benefits. From saving time to saving money, it enables you to tap into another agency’s core expertise quickly and easily. It grows the scope of work that you can offer your clients and build a more robust service stack.

More money.

More time.

Happier clients.

What are you waiting for?

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