In-House vs Agency SEO: Which One is Better for You?


Finally, you have chosen SEO as your marketing strategy. The next step is to choose the right SEO partner.  

You have two options to choose from. You can either go with building your own in-house SEO team or you can hire an SEO agency.

But which one would be the most viable option?

In this article we compare the pros and cons of in-house vs agency SEO to help make the right decision. 

What Is In-House SEO?

In-house SEO is when you build your own team of SEO specialists to optimize your website for search engines. They handle everything from keyword research and content creation to technical tweaks and link building. 

Basically, it’s like having your own personal SEO department working just for your website.

What Is Agency SEO?

Agency SEO is where you outsource your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to a dedicated SEO agency. These agencies have expertise in working with different industries and have a team of experts who can handle all the SEO tasks.

These tasks include researching, strategizing, content creation, reporting, and more. 

In-House vs Agency SEO: Key Differences

So, before we help you figure out which type of SEO is best for your needs, let’s check out the key differences between in-house and agency SEO.

Experience and ExpertiseComparatively less than an agency.More experience and expertise.
DedicationDedicated only to your project.Works on multiple projects at once.
QualityMay provide lower quality.Higher quality service.
ControlEasier to control and manage.Less control but you don’t have to worry about management.
ScalabilityNot easily scalable.Highly scalable with the opportunity to use other marketing channels.
ToolsYou have to buy tools and other software.You don’t need to worry about tools or other expenses.
TrainingMay have to train them.Won’t have to train.
TimeMay have a slower turnaround time.Faster turnaround time.

Now, let’s talk more about the differences between agency and in-house SEO.

01. You Get More Experience and Expertise With Agency Than In-House

If you hire a decent SEO agency, chances are that the agency has an impressive and versatile portfolio. This means they have worked for a long time in different industries, achieving different goals. 

That means you will be hiring people with the necessary real-life experience to handle your marketing.

On the other hand, finding and bringing together a group of SEO experts with the necessary experience takes a lot of work. You may find some great employees, but some may need more skills or motivation.

To get the best outcome from a newly formed team, you will have to give them some time. Or, you may have to re-hire for some positions. That means you are not getting the experience and expertise right off the bat.

Winner: SEO Agency   

02. In-House Is Focused On You While an Agency Juggles Clients

The number one benefit of building an in-house SEO team is that they focus 100% on your project. You get a team full of experts that will work on optimizng your websites 40 hours a week. 

However, agencies work with multiple clients, which means your project might receive less attention. This is especially true for popular agencies with a growing client base. 

While their expertise is undeniable, their resources might be stretched thin, which may impact the quality of the service you will get. 

However, some client-focused SEO agencies, aware of this issue, hire dedicated SEO managers for each client to ensure the quality of their services.

Winner: In-house SEO 

03. Agency Can Provide Better Quality Than In-House

Even though there’s a risk of quality control with popular SEO agencies, you can’t doubt their expertise and with great expertise comes higher quality.

As we have said before, SEO agencies usually have a long-time experience working together for a number of clients from different industries. So, they understand the industry better and you get a ready-made collective experience of a team.

That’s why you get the best possible quality for your business.

However, for the in-house team, it will take some time to get the best quality from them, no matter how many years they have been working in the industry. As a new team working together for the first time, they will need time to adjust to each other, your company culture, etc.

So, you won’t get the best from your in-house team as soon as you hire them.    

Winner: SEO Agency

04. In-House Is Easier to Control and Manage

Another important benefit that building an in-house SEO team gives you is complete control over them. 

You can handpick your employees who have the skills, attitude, and motivation to do well. You can also hold offline meetings, where you directly communicate with them to assign tasks, manage deadlines, get feedback and suggestions, etc.  

Another benefit is that you can see first-hand how they research, strategize, and optimize your website. You can provide your feedback on their work, which will help create a better strategy for your website.

On the other hand, you have way less control over your SEO agency. 

While you define the project’s goals and scope, you don’t have any authority over how they work. You are also entitled to regular reporting, but that’s about it. 

But we think it’s not really bad because it frees up time, which you can spend on other aspects of your business. 

With an agency, you just leave all your marketing needs to them.

Winner: Tie 

05. SEO Agencies Are Scalable and More Versatile Than In-House Team

To survive as an SEO agency in this competitive market, you must be versatile and scalable. You need to have all the manpower and resources you can avail to serve different clients with different needs. 

Right now, your business may have certain SEO needs that require a specific strategy. However, as your company grows, you will have to adapt to a wider range of tactics. 

An SEO agency that is versatile can keep up with your increased needs. However, if you have an in-house team, you may have to hire more people or restructure your entire team to scale up. 

Hiring more people or restructuring your team is a hassle that will use up a chunk of your resources and time.

Winner: SEO Agency 

06. An Agency Has Access to Professional Tools While In-House Do Not

As we just mentioned, with an agency, you let them worry about your marketing strategy while you work on other important stuff including the essential SEO tools.

SEO takes a lot of work, and to make these tasks smoother, SEOs use many tools for research and data collection. When you hire an agency, you don’t need to worry about or pay for these tools because they already have them.

But when you build an in-house team, you will have to pay for these tools. 

To be honest, these tools are expensive, and the cheaper versions have certain limitations that may not be appropriate for your needs. Also, most of these tools have to be renewed every year, which adds to the cost.

Winner: SEO Agency

07. You May Have to Train an In-House Team While You Don’t Need to Train an Agency

A good SEO agency has all the experience and expertise they need to work on your project. In case they don’t have any experience in your industry, it’s not your headache. That’s because it is not your responsibility to train them.

But it’s the opposite when you hire for your in-house team. Although you can find some employees who have the necessary experience in your niche, some of them won’t have it. In that case, it’s your responsibility to train them. 

Now, training one or multiple employees can be tricky because it needs time and resources. Also, even after training, employees may perform differently than expected. In that case, you may have to re-hire for that position.

Winner: SEO Agency 

08. An Agency Have a Faster Turnaround Time Than an In-House Team

With everything we have talked about so far, one thing is clear: building an in-house team takes time and it may even take more time to get the desired result from them. While an SEO agency can give you the outcome you need much faster.

Other than the time needed to build and train your in-house team, an SEO agency already has enough dedicated manpower to tackle all the aspects of SEO. For example, they have a dedicated team for research and strategy, one team for content, one team for technical SEO, and so on. 

With this availability of manpower and resources, an SEO agency can work on all aspects of SEO simultaneously. As a result, they work much faster than an in-house team and hand the project over to you. 

Winner: SEO Agency

09. An In-House Team Costs More Than an Agency

When you decide to build an in-house team for SEO, you must:

  • Spend time and resources for hiring them.
  • Pay their salaries with other benefits.
  • Spend time and resources for training.
  • Give them time to adjust to your company culture.
  • Pay for SEO tools. 

So, building the SEO dream team requires a lot of time, money, and resources.

On the other hand, when you hire an agency, you only pay for the specific SEO service you are getting. You are not responsible for anything other than getting the result you want from them.

While the service you are paying for may be expensive, it’s nothing compared to the expenses and the hassle of building your own in-house SEO team. 

That means, with an SEO agency, you are getting your desired outcome faster without any of the responsibilities or hassles.

Winner: SEO Agency

Final Verdict: Building an In-House Team Is a Lot Harder and More Expensive

So, after considering all the major factors, it’s clear that it’s better to hire an SEO agency than to build an in-house team. Building an in-house team requires more money, more time, and more resources that could’ve been used somewhere else. 

However, for long-term SEO goals, investing in an in-house SEO team may be worthwhile. If all goes well, having an in-house SEO team means your company has a dedicated SEO agency, which brings in more value than an agency.

Also, hiring an SEO agency will only work if you manage to find the right one for your business, which is not easy either.

Get the Best of In-House and Agency With VizibleSEO

Now you know all about the benefits and drawbacks of hiring an in-house SEO team vs hiring an SEO agency. While they both have their differences, SEO agencies are better for faster and hassle-free organic growth and in-house teams are good for long-term gains. 

However, with VizibleSEO, you can get the best of both worlds.

Once you start with us, we will assign a dedicated SEO manager for the project who will ensure you get the best possible results. 

We are also fully transparent about our process, so you will have a clear understanding of what we will be doing and how we will be doing it.

Give us a call to learn why we are the best SEO agency in Bangladesh.

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