Doing SEO In-House Vs. Outsourcing How To Decide

Doing SEO In-House Vs. Outsourcing How To Decide

Agencies outsourcing SEO services is not new.  As remote work becomes more widespread agencies outsourcing SEO may have even increased. Outsourcing SEO has its pluses and minuses for any agency.  Let’s run through the pluses and minuses of SEO in-house Vs. outsourcing so you can understand and make an educated decision about whether or not to outsource search engine optimization for your agency.

Outsourcing SEO For Agencies Is Cheaper, Or Is It?

Say you’ve found an amazing outsource SEO company or even a single SEO expert who will do the SEO work and set the strategy and even meet with your clients.  All you have to do is sell the SEO services.  Sounds great, and it can be.  But it’s not going to be cheap.

Your outsource SEO company charges you $1,500 per month and you can charge your client $2,500 for SEO services for a nice profit of $1,000 for your agency.

But if you have an in-house SEO person, they can probably manage about 10 SEO clients. If your outsource SEO company handled those 10 clients, you’d be paying them 10 x $1,500 or $15,000 per month or $180,000 per year.  A really good SEO person can be hired by your agency for under $100,000 or about half of what outsourcing search engine optimization would cost.

Outsource SEO Companies Don’t Always Have Unlimited Bandwidth

When comparing SEO in-house vs. outsourcing there’s one issue that usually doesn’t rear its ugly head until it’s too late and that’s bandwidth.  Most SEO outsourcing is done by freelancers.  There are some outsource SEO companies out there, but most times it’s a single person doing the actual work.  That person is likely working with multiple agencies.  Since there are only so many hours in the day that person has limits to what amount of work they can do and do well.

Odds are that your SEO freelancer isn’t going to tell you they can’t take on your next client until you’ve already sold the SEO services.  That’s going to be frustrating.

When you have in-house SEO, you are aware of that employee’s entire workload and it makes managing tasks and adding new clients easy.  It just boils down to the math of hours worked per client.  We always advise agencies to track employees’ time.  That way every business decision about what to charge, when to add new clients, or add new employees just comes down to math.  

With in-house SEO you don’t have unlimited bandwidth but you can control the bandwidth.  There’s nothing worse than blind spots in your agency’s profit model. Remove the unknowns and be more successful.

SEO In-House Vs. Outsourcing: Which Is More Dependable?

If you’ve been running an agency you know that sometimes freelancers can disappear.  Ever been ghosted by a freelancer?  It happens and it’s not fun.

The value of being part of a team is something that is very important to a lot of people.  Being a member of a team makes a person feel like a real part of a community with a common goal. It also makes it much harder for them to walk away and go to a new job.

Of course, you will always have employee turnover, but doing what you can to minimize it will make those team members feel like part of something and they’ll be more likely to stay.

Having people in your in-house SEO department will give you a bit more peace of mind as you grow your SEO services and drive more revenue to your agency’s bottom line.

SEO In-House Vs. Outsourcing: The Decision

Agencies have been looking at SEO in-house vs. outsourcing for a long time.  Since SEO can generate substantial monthly recurring revenue I think it’s crucial to keep it in-house for the three reasons stated above. ?