12 Reasons Why You Might Never (Ever) Want to Hire an In-House SEO

Here are a several reasons to consider one perspective nothiring an in-house SEO.

What is an In-House SEO?

According to DigitalMarketing-Glossary, In-house SEO refers commonly to SEO operations which are achieved within a company by a dedicated team or specialist. In-house SEO may also referto the employee in charge of internal SEO.

There are good (and bad) arguments for and against in-house SEOs. There are plenty of hybrid approaches that may be ideally suited to your specific needs.

There are three main categories of skills SEOs have. Each of these may have several narrower niches within it.

Technical SEO:This brand of SEO takes a highly technical view and is able to optimize the most advanced features of site speed, optimize code-to-text ratios, and fine-tune your SSL.Onsite SEO:The onsite SEO is especially skilled at the features of content that boost rankings. From optimizing title tags to tracking down 404s, they have total domination over the back-end of content optimization. Plus, theyre able to perform keyword research and keyword mapping with an astonishing level of mastery.Link SEO:Every SEO will admit that backlinks have a significant impact on search rankings. This SEO is a link genie, helping sites escape from link penalties, building powerful backlinks, and curating a perfectly optimized link profile.

Its rare to find a single SEO who can fill all three roles. Agencies usually hire enough SEOs to make sure all these categories are covered.

3. Your Site Might Not Need a Full-Time SEO

If you have a website that consists of just a few pages, you might not need a full-time SEO.

For most businesses today, SEO is the highest ROI marketing effort. The benefits it provides exceed the value of other marketing approaches.

One of the values of agencies or consultants is that they can reset and define a businesss search strategy.

Theres more at stake than just SEO success. There are employee/employer contracts, manager relationships, internal warring factions, and the shifting winds of office issues.

This may sound like an enormous sum, especially when youre factoring in the year-over-year payroll costs plusthe extra cost required to keep an employee (taxes, healthcare, etc.). However, the cost is only part of the decision. What truly matters are the results.

If you are facing a hairy SEO problem, you may want to get the opinion of more than just your in-house SEO.

9. You Might Not Get Instant Results

In-house SEOs have a limited amount of time just like anyone else on your team.

In organic search, strategyis extremely important. The strategy must be flexible, however, because search trends are constantly in flux. As you make your decision, be sure to.


https://secure.assets.tumblr.com/post.jskeep strategy, continuity, and flexibility in mind.

7. Your In-House SEO Needs a Fresh Perspective

Some SEOs can get locked into a certain way of doing things. In SEO, such tunnel vision can be harmful.

I want to be clear, though. Dont make the decision on cost alone. To quote DeMers:

In-house SEOs dont work from the same template or audit-driven strategy as an agency or consultant.


I can see some convincing reasons not to hire in-house SEOs. But to be completely fair, I can walk across the aisle and make a forceful set of observations to the contrary.

SEO requires more than just a perfunctory performance of duties. SEO requires a comprehensive marketing strategy. Its a rare SEO who is able to not only optimize pages and keywords, but also fit SEO within the marketing approach of the entire business.

Which route do you prefer agency, in-house, or hybrid?

And, like doctors, they dont always agree on the diagnosis or the prescription.

When an agency goes through these audits, they can uncover massive shortcomings in a businesss SEO.

This means quicker results. Any SEO in-house or agency can get results. In-house SEOs, however, may not be able to achieve results in the same amount of time.

10. Its Tough to Work Through Internal Politics

Lets not forget the whole dynamic of office politics. Its sometimes hard for someone who works forthe business to work onthe business.

If you have a single SEO on staff, but an SEO to-do list the length of War & Peace, then you may have more work than a single mortal can accomplish in a lifetime.

When you hire an agency, youre hiring more than one person to do human resources qualifications the work. If you have a major strategy in management task that needs accomplishing, you may be able to muster large forces within the agency to help you out.

6. The Search Strategy May be in Shambles

As competent as a single SEO is, he may not be able to create a comprehensive SEO strategy.

There are a long list of pros and cons on either side of this debate. In the end, you have to do what best meets your needs and achieves your goals.

Hiring decisions are always tough. Making hiring decisions about SEOs are especially challenging. Deciding between an in-house SEO and an agency is tougher still.

Rand Fishkins article (published in 2011) puts the range at $45,000-$100,000.

Why You Might Never Want to Hire an In-House SEO | SEJ

It may take an outside force to clear the political rubble and make changes. Many times, its the devil-may-care SEO consultant who is best able to implement sweeping changes that really get results.

11. The In-House SEO May Not have a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

In-house SEOs are often great technicians, but inexperienced strategists.

Dont let someone decide this issue for software consulting services you. Decide for yourself by analyzing your resources, your strategy, your approach, and your goals.

If youre trying to make the decision for your business, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. An In-House SEO Might be Too Expensive

According to Indeed.com, the average SEO salary is $76,000.

They want to do audits. Although it sounds boring or even superfluous, audits are really powerful. Audits can cover the gamut of search features such as mobile optimization, content optimization, social media optimization, technical SEO, site speed, etc.

Point well taken.

But lets not neglect that single strategy component. If you choose to hire an in-house SEO, make sure you have a clear vision of your search strategy firmly in place.

12. Your Site May Not Receive a Series of Audits

What does an SEO agency typically do when you hire them?

If you have a small website with limited SEO needs, you might already have someone on staff who has the SEO skills to help you rank.

5. An In-House SEO Cant Fix the Bigger Time-Consuming SEO Problems

SEO problems range from the tiny (add a consulting fees rel=canonical tag to the page) to the massive (complete content audit).

Thats where you may get better results from an agency, while paying equal or lower fees. Agency SEO fees vary widely. According to Jayson DeMers, the typical retainer cost for agency services is $2,500-$5,000 (in late 2013), which comes out to a lot less than a standard SEO hire.

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This isnt to say that SEO is any less important. SEO is still critical, but it takes less time to optimize and maintain the optimization of a smaller website.

SEOs spend their day in a myriad of small details, which is absolutely critical. As Aaron Bradley wrote, I have long observed that success is search optimization is not typically the result of a single strategy, but of continuous attention to numerous small details.

Cost is one factor among many that you should consider.

2. The In-House SEO Doesnt Have a Broad Enough Skillset

SEO temporary work agencies today encompasses a lot of things. Its unlikely that a single SEO has all the skills necessary to take a comprehensive approach to your businesss search marketing strategy.

Agencies benefit from the perspectives of multiple SEOs from various backgrounds. The result is a well-rounded perspective that rarely suffers from being stale.

8. Sometimes, You Need a Second Opinion

SEOs are like doctors. They diagnose problems and prescribe remedies.

Featured Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Screenshot by Neil Patel. Taken September 2015.

Its an endless and sometimes silly debate. The fact is, you can have an in-house SEO and an SEO agency. Its not always an either/or issue.

Some websites, for example, are in need of a totally new keyword strategy. Plus, allthe pages (say, 45,890 of them) need new title tags. Is this a one-man job? Hardly.