Did you know that 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, but not even 1% of all Google searchers will visit a website beyond the first page of search results?

These two stats alone highlight how critical it is for any business to rank well online, and by well, we really mean in the first 10 organic search results. Without great organic rankings, you’re left to rely on paid traffic, partnerships and social media to drive online traffic and sales. 

An increasing number of small business owners, start-ups and even very traditional ‘offline’ organisations are now focusing more on their organic rankings. But the big question is, should you manage your SEO in-house, or outsource it to a specialist SEO consultancy?

Here are some of the pros and cons of each. 

In-house SEO

In-house SEO means managing your organic rankings yourself. 

Benefits of in-house SEO

  • You can focus more hours on SEO than if you were paying an agency’s day rate
  • You can write more authoritatively about your niche for blog content and web copy
  • Full transparency over linkbuilding and partnership work
  • Gain easier buy-in from leadership
  • Easier to more seamlessly integrate SEO with other digital marketing efforts 

Disadvantages of in-house SEO

  • SEO tasks like blog writing are often sacrificed for other jobs
  • SEO takes ongoing commitment and, ideally, a team of technical and outreach search specialists
  • SEO for larger websites, including e-commerce stores, need large teams to manage
  • Salaries are often more expensive than an agency fee
  • Covering the costs of expensive SEO software 

Outsourced SEO

Outsourced SEO means paying a freelancer or SEO agency to manage your organic keyword rankings and look to place your website as high as possible. 

Benefits of outsourced SEO

  • Hire a team of technical and outreach specialists to work on your brand for one fee
  • If an agency stops performing, it can be easier to replace than a team of employees
  • Tap into their experience of running hundreds of campaigns across industries 
  • Results can be quicker with an experienced agency vs an inexperienced in-house team
  • They pay to access the best-in-class SEO tools available 

Disadvantages of outsourced SEO

  • Relinquishing a bit of control 
  • SEO agencies still need guidance on sector knowledge 
  • As with all sectors, there are good and bad agents. A great SEO agency will want to show its workings and results. A bad SEO agency can be pretty secretive. Transparency is key. 
  • You’re only one of many clients, and probably not the ‘main’ client 

Which SEO approach will you take? Good luck and happy marketing either way!