SEO agency or inhouse – what to choose for a small company?
Do you run a small business and want to start acquiring customers from organic search engine results from Google? An investment in SEO can support the development of your online business, but you have to decide who to trust. Is it a better solution for such a business to employ an inhouse SEO or use the services of an agency?
Inhouse SEO in a small business
At first glance, employing an SEO specialist in your company may seem like the best solution. You always have him at hand, you can see what he is doing and he is at your disposal all the time during working hours. It focuses only on your website, so it can be devoted to it and theoretically – achieve excellent results. It is a beautiful vision, but its implementation is not easy. Why? For many reasons. Here’s the path to it:
Employment inhouse SEO
You probably don’t have someone who knows the industry in your company. Meanwhile, finding a good SEO specialist is very difficult. Ideally, you should have the help of someone who knows the stuff. We have devoted a separate article to the issues related to inhouse SEO employment: How to recruit inhouse SEO?
Provision of tools
When you manage to hire a specialist who has the appropriate knowledge, it is only the beginning of the road to success. The fact that it turns out to be a good SEO worker does not mean that skills alone are enough to achieve your goals. A specialist needs the tools he needs, and at the same time they cost a lot. What kind?
Let’s start with solutions for analyzing the competition in terms of, among others keywords. It can use e.g. Senuto or SemStorm. In the first case, the basic package costs PLN 300, but the higher one, which should be sufficient, requires three times as much. When it comes to SemStorm, here you should be prepared for a fee of PLN 99 to PLN 499 per month. Unfortunately, the cheapest package in this case is unlikely to be enough.
Another necessary tool concerns the analysis of the competition in terms of links. Noteworthy solutions include com and MajesticSEO. The cheapest variant of the first proposal costs as much as $ 990 a year. The second option is cheaper, but still costs a lot of money – $ 470, if we choose to pay for the full year in advance. A specialist must also have a program for analyzing on-site factors of the site, eg Screaming Frog. Its free version is available, but it is limited only to the analysis of 500 subpages of the website. The unlimited solution costs $ 149 per year.
SEO tools cost
Salary for a specialist
To hire a good SEO specialist, you first need to have the right salary budget for them. If you want to hire someone with many years of experience, then you need to be prepared for an expensive position on the payroll. How much you will have to pay depends, among other things from the city where you are looking for an employee. What financial expectations will the specialist have? The Work in SEO 2020 report may provide a hint. Earnings of SEO specialists.
Budget for activities
Tool costs seem high? Unfortunately, this is not the end of the expenses related to running SEO activities. In addition – the vast majority of them cannot be avoided if you want to achieve excellent results. Let’s start with on-site optimization.
SEO should know HTML, CSS, but often it won’t be enough to implement all the changes. Some modifications will have to be made by the developer. In this case, however, the cost of his employment will not be so high, because he will receive a one-time order, or – the cooperation will repeat itself if the SEO-so comes up with the idea of other modifications that may bring an effect. Other expenses will be greater.
It may be necessary to hire a copywriter who will write articles for your company blog, descriptions of services, products, and content for sponsored articles. This is an essential part of the activities that cannot be avoided if you want to achieve good results.
Another issue is link building. It’s hard to say what your page’s linking needs will be, but most often you’ll need to get links from sponsored articles, guest blog posts, forums, comments, announcements, and more. How much will all these activities require? It is impossible to clearly define it. It is possible that it will be PLN 1000, but just as well – many times more. It all depends on the competitiveness of a given industry or what activities your website will require.
The task of an SEO specialist is to carry out activities aimed at achieving the highest possible visibility on Google. The problem is that the algorithm of this search engine is still being modified (read: What are the Google algorithms and what are the latest updates like?). Even if inhouse SEO generates very good results, it may turn out that changes in the algorithm will reduce the visibility of the website. In this case, specialists begin to analyze what modifications were made. An SEO who works alone has a difficult task. It has to draw conclusions on the basis of the few pages it maintains most often or wait for the analysis of the agencies to publish it on their blogs. Why Make SEO Companies Easier? Since they usually manage even hundreds of websites and employ many specialists, they are able to determine which changes have been made much faster. Inhouse SEO may take longer to restore the page to the expected position. The constant changes that Google introduces in its algorithm also require continuous development. The company should find funds for the SEO specialist to participate in the most important trainings and conferences. It is not always about the speakers’ presentations. Often times, simply talking to people in the industry is invaluable.
Inhouse SEO work verification
Employment in inhouse SEO involves the risk of finding a person who made a great impression on you during the interview, showed great knowledge, but their work does not bring the expected results. You invest in actions, but that doesn’t translate into increasing visibility. Does this mean you have come across the wrong person? Not necessarily.
It is very important to be aware of when and what results can be expected. There are websites that, after just a few weeks of implementing modifications, will gain more and more visibility in Google results, but there are also those that will take months to introduce necessary changes to them, eliminate duplicate content, optimize metadata or improve linking. The task of the SEO specialist must include present the situation and describe the action plan to the employer. You should find out from a specialist when more or less and what results you can expect. Also remember about competitiveness. There are key phrases that you can position in a few weeks, but also those that may require many months of action.
It may also turn out that you have come across a person who, however, does not have enough knowledge and this is the reason for the lack of results. This problem may be especially true for those business owners who have chosen to recruit inhouse SEO without the support of someone with expertise in the field. It is important to establish a plan in advance – if it is not implemented, the best solution is often to end the cooperation and look for a new specialist. The problem is, you can waste a lot of time and money without getting any benefit. So, was it profitable to hire a specialist for a small company in such a situation? Probably not, and the money could have been spent better.
You can use, for example, Google Search Console to verify the effects of SEO work. You should especially be interested in the total number of clicks.
Visiting the website is one thing, but your goal is most often to sell products or services. If the traffic is growing, and it does not translate into better sales results, it may mean that the keywords were wrongly selected. However, the reasons for this state of affairs may also be different, e.g. too high price in relation to the competition.
Google Search Console for SEO activities
A SEO Agency a Better Option for a Small Business?
As you already know, hiring an inhouse SEO can be very costly for your business. If you want to acquire customers from organic Google search results, you should check in advance whether entering into a contract with an agency is a better choice in a given case. Take into account:
SEO inhouse hiring cost, tool expenses, outsourced services, training provision and more.
The monthly cost of working with an SEO agency. After starting the talks, the company should propose an action plan and determine what amount will be sufficient to achieve the expected results.
It is very likely that the monthly SEO maintenance cost will be several times higher than the agency’s salary. How it’s possible? Let’s start with the fact that your website may not require a full-time specialist to deal with it.