SEO Outsourcing vs. In-House: Which is Right for B2B Businesses?

SEO outsourcing has become increasingly popular among businesses, driven by the growing need for effective online marketing strategies. By outsourcing SEO, companies can focus on their core competencies while leaving the technical aspects to specialized professionals. In fact, approximately 30% of small companies rely on SEO outsourcing. However, there are still some that believes that having an in-house team is better because of the quick access to expertise.

Benefits of SEO Outsourcing

1. Cost Savings

Outsourcing your SEO can save you a lot of money compared to hiring a full-time SEO team. According to a study by Clutch, the average cost of hiring an SEO agency is around $100–$149 per hour, which is much lower than the average salary of an in-house SEO specialist. Another advantage of SEO outsourcing is that you don’t have to worry about training or managing an in-house team. The agency you hire will handle everything for you, from creating a strategy to implementing and monitoring the results. This means you also don’t have to worry about laying off employees to reduce your spending if things slow down for you.

2. Expertise

SEO agencies specialize in SEO and have the necessary expertise to optimize your website for search engines. This expertise can be particularly valuable for B2B businesses that may not have the resources to hire a full-time SEO specialist. SEO outsourcing allows you to focus on your core business activities while leaving the technical aspects of SEO to the experts. They can then implement changes to improve your website’s search ranking and help you stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and best practices.

3. Scalability

Outsourcing SEO allows you to scale your SEO efforts up or down as needed without worrying about the logistics. This is useful for B2B businesses that experience fluctuations in their marketing budget or have varying levels of demand for their products or services. For example, if your business experiences a sudden surge in demand, you can quickly scale up your SEO efforts to keep up with the increased traffic. On the other hand, if your demand slows down, you can scale back your SEO efforts to avoid unnecessary expenses in the face of fluctuating market conditions.

Disadvantages of SEO Outsourcing

1. Loss of Control

When you outsource SEO, you may have less control over the process and the decisions made by the agency. This can be a concern for B2B businesses that value transparency and control over their marketing efforts. The agency will have access to your website, content, and analytics, which can be a sensitive issue for companies that prioritize data privacy and security. But you won’t even have a direct access to the digital tools and platforms agency uses, making it difficult to monitor their work. Moreover, the agency’s decisions and strategies may not align with your business goals, leading to inconsistent branding and messaging and can be problematic for B2B businesses that rely heavily on their online presence.

2. Communication Challenges

Outsourcing SEO can also lead to communication challenges, particularly if the agency is located in a different time zone or has a different work culture. When the agency is located in a different country, they may be working while you’re sleeping. This can cause delays in getting responses to your questions or feedback on their work. You might have to wait until the next business day to get a reply, slowing down the progress of your marketing campaign.

3. Lack of Cultural Alignment

Outsourcing SEO can also lead to a lack of cultural alignment between the agency and your business. This can result in the agency not fully understanding your business goals and objectives. This is because the agency may not have the same values, work ethic, or business philosophy as your company. For example, the agency might prioritize short-term gains over long-term sustainability, which could conflict with your business’s values.

You also have to consider the potential for language barriers. If the agency is based in a different country or region, there may be differences in language, idioms, or cultural references that can lead to misunderstandings. What might be considered funny or lighthearted in one culture might be perceived as offensive or insensitive in another. This can be problematic if you’re relying on them for content marketing or to manage your online presence.

Benefits and Disadvantages of In-House SEO

Benefits of In-House SEODisadvantages of In-House
You can expect a faster turnaround: When you have an in-house SEO team, you can get things done faster. They know your business inside out, so they can act quickly to improve your website’s search rankings. You don’t have to wait for an external agency to understand your needs. Your in-house team is always ready to make changes and see results sooner. You miss out on outside perspective: Unlike SEO outsourcing to agencies, which have a deep understanding of how to tailor SEO strategies to specific industries, an in-house SEO has a more limited perspective. This leads you to overlook opportunities for growth. For example, an in-house SEO might focus solely on keywords and forget about the importance of user experience. This means that even if your website is optimized for search engines, users might still find it difficult to navigate or find what they’re looking for. As a result, users might leave your site quickly, which can negatively impact your search engine rankings.
You’ll enjoy improved accountability: With an in-house SEO team, you have more accountability for their work. They report directly to you and are invested in your company’s success. Unlike external agencies that have less accountability because they work with multiple clients, having an in-house SEO means you know who to turn to when something goes wrong. This level of oversight is particularly important for businesses that rely heavily on their website for sales and customer engagement.You need to shoulder higher overhead costs: Hiring and maintaining an in-house SEO team comes with significant overhead costs, including salaries, benefits, and training. According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for an SEO specialist is around $62,000. You’ll still have to factor in the cost of benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, increasing the overall cost of the team by tens of thousands of dollars. More importantly, turnover can also affect the cost of maintaining the team. If team members leave, you’ll need to hire and train new ones, which can be a significant expense.
You have better crisis management: Having an in-house SEO allows you to monitor your online presence closely, which helps you identify potential issues before they become major problems. For example, if a competitor spreads false information about your brand, an in-house SEO team can quickly identify the issue and develop a strategy to counter it. This might involve creating a blog post or social media campaign that sets the record straight. By taking control of the narrative, you can prevent the false information from spreading and maintain a positive reputation.You have limited access to specialized tools and software: In-house SEO teams may not have access to the latest and most advanced SEO tools and software. In-house SEO teams often rely on basic tools and software, which can be insufficient for complex SEO tasks. Basic tools often are incapable of handling a large data set or track specific metrics, making it difficult for your in-house SEO team to achieve your business goals. They might struggle to identify and fix technical issues that affect search engine rankings. Advanced SEO tools can help identify these issues and provide detailed insights for improvement, which are typically used when SEO outsourcing to a digital marketing agency.

When Should You Use SEO Outsourcing vs In-House SEO?

When deciding whether to use SEO outsourcing or in-house SEO, it’s essential to consider the unique needs and goals of your business. If you have a small to medium-sized business with limited resources, outsourcing SEO services can be a cost-effective and efficient way to improve your online presence. Let’s you have a small team or are a solo entrepreneur, so you might not have the expertise or bandwidth to handle SEO tasks like keyword research, content creation, and link building. In such cases, SEO outsourcing can help you tap into the expertise of experienced professionals who can handle these tasks efficiently.

On the other hand, when you have a large team or a significant budget, you might consider in-house SEO. This approach allows you to have more control over the SEO process and ensures that your team is fully invested in the success of your online marketing efforts. However, even with a large team, you might still need to outsource certain SEO tasks, such as technical SEO or specialized services like video marketing. For example, if you have a complex website with many pages and products, you might need to outsource technical SEO to ensure that you have a properly optimized website.

Using SEO Outsourcing vs In-House SEO Depends on Your Business Needs and Goals

Both SEO outsourcing and in-house SEO have their benefits and drawbacks. If you have a larger business with a dedicated marketing team, handling SEO in-house might be more suitable. This approach allows you to have more control over the process and make adjustments as needed. However, you’ll need to invest in training and equipment for your team. This can be a significant expense, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the latest SEO best practices.

But in most cases, SEO outsourcing is a much more cost-effective option, especially for small businesses with limited marketing budget. You pay a fixed fee for the services, and the company handles all the technical aspects. Digital Trek is a full-service digital agency that offers comprehensive SEO services. We have the expertise and tools to help you improve your website’s online visibility and generate more leads to your business. Contact us and get a free quote!

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