Whether you should hire an SEO agency versus and in-house SEO expert to help your company optimize for Google (and of course for readers), has been an age-old debate. Ultimately the decision is going to depend upon your type of businesses and your needs and goals, but as always it helps to know a little bit about each approach before you can really make the right decision.

What’s interesting about this debate is that some of the pros and cons to each strategy have changed over the years. Google continues to grow their algorithm and put more weight on certain SEO aspects as opposed to others, and for some these changes may actually alter what you previously thought about who to hire (or who you’re currently working with). Long story short, it’s no longer good enough to simply know a little bit about each different SEO approach—you now have to know how each fits into the larger and very fluid SEO picture.

Where to Focus Your SEO Energy into the New Year: In-House or with an SEO Agency?

It’s important to remember that constantly reevaluating your SEO strategy is important, and the New Year is the perfect time to make changes as your company grows and SEO best practices change. Below are a few things that we have seen change in the industry just over the last year:

  • It’s about quality over quantity and variety of links.
  • Natural anchor text is better than keyword-rich anchor text.
  • Google dropped authorship markup.
  • HTTPS is now considered a ranking factor, so there are benefits to switching.

Below are some of the pros and cons to hiring an SEO agency versus an in-house expert:

In-House Expert

  • Pro: You have more control over what goes on in your SEO department. If you change your mind or something needs to change instantly, someone will be right there ready to make it happen.
  • Pro: An expert will have your company to worry about and your company only. This can help keep focus and make sure that you’re getting the best attention possible.
  • Con: It’s easy to make mistakes in SEO, so when your expert isn’t working in an environment of other SEOs, mistakes can go unseen. Even the smallest SEO mistake can take a long time to fix, so this can be risky.
  • Con: You have to pay for the tools that your SEO expert would need to work, so it can be just as expensive (if not more) than an agency.

SEO Agency

  • Pro: Things generally get done faster. Because you have more people working on your case and because an SEO agency is ready to go with reports and templates, all you will have to do is look over results and get briefed every few days or weeks.
  • Pro: You can focus on other aspects of your business because you will not need to pay for SEO resources or training for an employee. The agency work is done elsewhere, so it doesn’t disrupt your day-to-day tasks.
  • Con: It’s easy to fall into miscommunication. You will let them know your goals and what you want to see, but because you’re not monitoring them 24/7 it’s easy for something to go wrong, which could set you back.

Once again, there is no right or wrong answer. What you decide to do will depend on your company goals. If you have any personal experiences or thoughts on which approach worked best for you, let us know in the comment section below.