Search Engine Optimization can be a demanding task – SEO is essential to help your business thrive in this digitally-driven world. So, will you be better off hiring an SEO agency or doing the process on your own? Well, both courses of action have their pros and cons, but the mission is the same: to leverage SEO to help your business get more visibility, traffic, and conversion online.
But here’s a quick answer: if you have too much time to spend on learning the complexity of SEO and perform many of its tedious tasks, then we suggest that you start doing your own SEO and expect some hiccups along the way because it’s all part of mastering the craft. Also, you can’t expect to see results fast.
However, if you don’t have the luxury of time to learn and fail on SEO, and you know that you can contribute more to your business’ success by doing what you’re good at, then we strongly recommend that you hire an SEO expert agency. After all, hiring agencies who are experts in what they do will save you more time and money in the long run.
Today, we will tell you about the pros and cons of each course of action, and you decide which one benefits you more. But before that, let’s make sure that we are on the same page. So, we will answer a couple of the most frequently asked questions:
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and each of your web pages to rank higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
SEO is comprised of methods responsible for making your web pages more visible and “clickable” to your target audience or users. The aim is to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website and eventually increase your conversions-it could be leads, subscriptions, inquiries, most importantly, sales.
Now, there are two major areas in SEO: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO. The former refers to all the best practices that you need to do inside your website, while the latter refers to all the off-site activities that are affecting your website.
On-Page SEO Includes:
- Keyword research
- The content structure of each web page
- Page URL Structure
- Title Tag
- Image Optimization
- Technical SEO
- SSL Certificate
- Canonical URL
- XML Sitemap
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- Search Engines Indexing
- Internal and External Links on the Page
- Page Load Speed
- Page Metadata
- Structured Data or Schema.org Markup
Off-Page SEO Includes:
- Social Media Marketing
- Guest Blogging
- Linked and unlinked brand mentions
- Influencer marketing
Take note that the components of on-site and off-site SEO mentioned above are not everything, but they are the most common areas you should look at when starting your SEO game.
What is an SEO Agency?
An SEO agency is composed of a team of competent SEO specialists, from content writers to SEO web developers. An excellent SEO agency will help you improve your organic rankings and increase relevant traffic or visitors to your website.
The processes these SEO experts take are usually improving your website code and design, and web page content to refine your marketing performance, especially the users’ experience when navigating your site.
Also, your SEO agency should be able to tackle your technical SEO needs and demands, such as adding a structured data markup and building relevant links to your website from authoritative or relevant third-party websites.
Now, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of hiring an expert SEO agency.
The Pros of Hiring an SEO Agency
You’ll Get Extensive Amount of Knowledge
An experienced SEO agency will bring more than just your desired results—they will also share their extensive knowledge and expertise in the complex sphere of digital marketing as they strengthen your business campaigns online.
Expect that these SEO experts will help you achieve your business goals, exceed your standards, and even create opportunities for your business’ growth as they use their substantial familiarity with general technology and algorithm news as well as mobile and digital advertising.
Also, a great SEO agency have valuable experience optimizing websites and campaigns of businesses from different industries. Thus, this vast knowledge and experience will help your chosen agency acquire the right and unique perspective that they need to apply strategic SEO methods to your business.
You Are Always Updated of the Latest Changes in Algorithms
Your team of SEO experts from a full-service SEO agency can consist of account managers, web developers, content writers, link builders, social media managers, and many more, who are all equipped with the practical working knowledge to enhance your SEO campaigns based on the latest algorithm updates.
Google and other search engines are continually updating their algorithms. So, you can rest assured that your website can withstand sudden changes as long as you hire the experts from an SEO agency.
Hiring an SEO Agency is Cheaper than Hiring an SEO Expert In-House
What most business owners don’t know, hiring an in-house SEO expert can cost more than hiring an SEO agency because you have to scale up the individual’s pay according to his or her experience or expected salary just to keep the person in the job. Not to mention the anticipated pay raises annually, benefits, and bonuses.
On the other hand, if you hire an agency, you will only have to pay for the SEO services, which are often a monthly fee.
You Have the Right Chain of Command to Escalate Your Issues
In case problems arise while working with your team of experts such as confusion in the contract or your person of contact is not responsive to your emails and calls, your SEO campaign will not be compromised because you can easily let the head of the SEO agency know.
So, if the account manager is not reporting about any progress, you can contact the senior account manager or keep going up the chain of command until you get what you need.
If Your Agency Fails to Deliver, You Can Easily Fire Them
Firing someone in-house might still make you feel unreasonable, and you often have to consider the welfare of the individual before cutting him or her off from your business. But with an SEO agency, you don’t have to feel bad. If the team fails to deliver the promised results, or deadlines are often missed, or the quality of work is getting unacceptable, or you really can’t get along, you can simply fire them off.
The Cons of Hiring an SEO Agency
You’re Not the Only Client
You can’t expect to always have your agency’s full undivided attention because they are also dealing with other clients from different industries, and you’re one of the many clients they have to juggle. So, don’t expect some sort of VIP treatment all the time. If you do, you will get disappointed.
But you can always expect that your SEO agency will make time for you because you are paying them, after all. So, set your proper expectations when communicating with your SEO agency-they may not always have enough time to answer all of your questions every time you ask them.
Often, you have to build a strong sense of trust that your agency can adhere to your contract and are professional enough to perform what they are expected to do. So, you might need to leave them alone enough for them to do what they are good at and do their job satisfactorily.
You Might Only Have a Virtual Relationship
Oftentimes, you can’t meet your team in person, so your correspondence will be through phone calls and emails. This often siloed way of communication can be challenging to implement sudden changes or brainstorm ideas together unless you find a local SEO agency near you who can set up a scheduled face-to-face meeting with you.
However, if you only seek for a local agency, you are limiting yourself to what’s available near you and might be closing your opportunities for your business to quantum leap to success. Remember that not all agencies have the same amount of expertise and knowledge. So, before settling with any digital marketing agency, make sure to find out if the team can meet your business needs and demands.
The Pros of Doing SEO on Your Own
Focused SEO on Your Website
Hiring an in-house SEO expert or learning the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization so you can do it on your own, can let you have some exclusive laser-focus work on your website unlike hiring an SEO agency that can’t always give you their full undivided attention because they cannot just devote all of their time for your website’s SEO campaigns.
If you do SEO on your own, you can spend more time experimenting with long-tail keywords or digging into your website analytics to perform the best possible SEO strategy for your business.
You’ll Get a Better Understanding of Your Business Needs
Digital marketing is a pretty huge challenge to take on and ensures a lot of tweaking and learning. So, if you spend time doing your own SEO, you’ll get a better understanding of your company’s needs in the online world. Over time, you will become more invested in your business and will get more familiar with your company’s social interactions daily as well as get the chance to redefine your short-term and long-term goals.
The Cons of Doing SEO on Your Own
It Might Cost You More Than Hiring an SEO Agency
Learning SEO and doing it on your own… or even hiring an in-house SEO expert can cost you more money than hiring an entire SEO agency. You see, when doing something on your own for the first time, as complicated and broad as Search Engine Optimization, you are expected to spend more time and money, and to commit some mistakes until you get things right.
Not to mention the cost of hiring an in-house SEO expert who will expect you to pay a lot for all the knowledge and experience as well as the essential SEO tools.
Your SEO Success Depends Entirely on the Skills & Knowledge You Acquire
Several factors contribute to the success of your SEO campaigns for your business. If your SEO skills can’t compete with your competitors yet, you might not get the outcome you’re have been expecting to achieve. Remember, two heads are better than one. So, if you’re not confident with your SEO knowledge, you might need the combined years of expertise of an SEO agency.
It is important to make an informed decision of whether doing SEO on your own or hiring an expert SEO agency in today’s tech-obsessed and fast-paced world. We hope that this blog post will help you decide which course of action to take in terms of strengthening your SEO campaigns.
Also, remember that your business success ultimately relies on your target audience choosing your company over your competitors, and SEO is a relatively cheaper process to help you turn your website users into your customers.
So, identify your website’s SEO and financial needs first before doing SEO on your own or hiring an expert SEO team.
If you have some money to spare and some valuable time to spend on learning Search Engine Optimization and Marketing, then do it on your own. But if you want some high-caliber hired guns who can help you rank higher on the Search Engine Results Pages and sweep off your competitors, hire an SEO agency.