in house SEO manager vs. agency In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency: Which is the Best Option for Your Business?

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency: Which is the Best Option for Your Business?

To shed light on the ongoing debate of hiring an in-house SEO manager vs. agency, we’ve gathered insights from fifteen SEO Managers and Digital Marketing Managers. From the intimate understanding offered by an in-house SEO manager to the role of organic search in determining your SEO decision, explore the diverse perspectives shared by these industry experts.

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In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency: In-House SEO Manager for Intimate Understanding

In my opinion, hiring an In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency is a good move for businesses. Their intimate understanding of the company and consistent focus is invaluable. 

A unique aspect of SEO professionals is their ability to showcase personal projects as a testament to their expertise. For example, my site can serve as a tangible demonstration of an SEO’s capabilities and experience. It’s great in SEO that our work and the traffic, which is viewable on most SEO tools, speak for themselves.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Tom Riley

Tom Riley, Senior SEO Manager, Zego

Assemble an Entire In-House SEO Team

Between In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency, businesses should not only consider employing an SEO Manager, but also assembling an entire SEO team comprising content writers, designers, and web developers. This recommendation stems from the fact that agencies often engage with numerous diverse businesses, potentially possessing limited exposure to specific business niches. 

Conversely, having a dedicated team with prior niche experience equips them with the ability to figure out the opportunities and comprehend challenges more efficiently.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Fahar Ps

Fahar Ps, SEO Manager, Syed Fahar

SEO Agency for Diverse Experience and Resources

In my opinion, I believe hiring an in-house SEO manager vs. agency is the better choice. The main focus of a good SEO agency is to help increase your marketing ROI, which aligns perfectly with what a business is aiming for. This way, while the agency handles the SEO aspect, you can concentrate on other business areas that contribute to growth.

A top-quality SEO agency is staffed with specialists in different areas of SEO, like web design, technical SEO analysis, content marketing, and web development. These individuals are not only experts in their fields but also come with industry certification and a successful track record. You get an all-in-one package, which means you also reduce expenses on your business end.

Moreover, these professionals have diverse experience across numerous industries, equipping them with skills to tackle a range of challenges efficiently. This broad exposure means they can quickly identify SEO problems and devise appropriate, effective solutions.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Patrick Campos

Patrick Campos, Digital Marketing Manager, Ardoz Digital

Business Size Determines SEO Strategy

When it comes to hiring in-house SEO manager vs. agency I think it depends on the business size. Small businesses should hire an agency with the necessary knowledge and resources to navigate the SEO world. However, I would recommend considering agencies with a holistic approach that integrates different methods into their SEO strategy: link building, content creation, citation building, SEM, etc., in order to obtain long-term results.

Midsize businesses would benefit more from an in-house SEO manager who is dedicated full-time to improving the website’s ranking and the brand’s online visibility. It must be someone who knows how to integrate their SEO efforts with other marketing endeavors of the company.

For larger businesses, I would highly recommend adopting a hybrid strategy. This involves bringing in an in-house SEO manager to craft a comprehensive plan and collaborating with multiple specialized agencies (link building, content, technical SEO, etc.) to carry out that approach.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Mayli Acevedo

Mayli Acevedo, Digital Marketing Manager, Dharma Corp Store

SEO Agency for SMEs Bring Expertise and Adaptability

In my professional perspective, the majority of businesses, especially small- to medium-sized enterprises, would find more value in partnering with an SEO agency.

The primary reasons for this recommendation lie in the collective expertise, technological resources, and adaptive strategies that agencies like Digital Darts bring to the table. 

An in-house SEO manager is a valuable asset, but they are often restricted by the limitation of their singular perspective and the immediate resources of the business. On the other hand, an agency can leverage a broader pool of expertise, apply cross-industry insights, and utilize advanced tools that many businesses wouldn’t have access to independently. Moreover, an agency’s dynamic environment fosters continuous learning and adaptation, which is crucial given the frequency of algorithm updates and market shifts.

The decision, of course, is nuanced and must align with a business’s specific needs, culture, and long-term vision.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Matt Uebergang

Matt Uebergang, SEO Manager, Digital Darts

Budget Determines SEO Strategy

Having worked both as a Director of SEO in-house and at agencies, it definitely is tied to how much budget you have to dedicate to SEO. You need to have a pretty sizable budget to afford the salary of an in-house SEO manager, and to also be able to give that person enough SEO budget to spend and manage. Maybe the in-house person manages an agency that you work with? That is the first step, and then as you grow, you can start to build a team in-house around that person while you off-load work from your agency partner.

For most businesses, it makes more sense to work with an agency. But you will still need someone in-house who knows enough about SEO to both manage and work with the agency, and to also be an internal advocate for SEO. This is typically a CMO or Director of Marketing, or even a CEO in smaller businesses. 

Working with an agency gives you the flexibility to scale SEO both up and down without having to manage internal teams.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Miguel Salcido

Miguel Salcido, CEO, Founder, Organic Media Group

Small Companies to Agencies, SEO-Heavy to In-House

Agencies are great for when you don’t have in-house expertise, or you’re looking to get a fresh look or outsource. 

Agencies are better suited for smaller companies that only have generalist marketers on their payrolls. These would be companies with up to 100 employees and small marketing departments who want to keep it small. You can explore the channel, see if it’s working for you, and decide whether you want to invest in an in-house hire.

An in-house SEO manager is a good choice if that’s an important channel for your company and you want to keep investing in it. An SEO manager could outsource part of the work to agencies or freelancers.

Last, big companies (enterprises) may decide to hire an agency despite having an internal role, to bring fresh new expertise on a topic they don’t already have.

In short, if you are unsure whether SEO is a good fit, hire an agency and test the waters. If it’s a channel you really want to go deep into, get an in-house person!

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Nick Malekos

Nick Malekos, SEO Manager, LearnWorlds

Needs, Size, Budget Influence SEO Decision

Whether a business should hire anin-house SEO manager vs. agency depends on its specific needs, size, and budget. 

An in-house SEO manager offers deep, consistent understanding and integration with the business, ensuring cohesive strategies across all marketing efforts. However, they might have limitations in terms of broader experience and resources. On the other hand, an agency brings a wide range of experience and specialized resources, often staying more up-to-date with the latest trends and algorithm changes. 

This can be more cost-effective for smaller businesses or those needing a broad range of expertise. Ultimately, the choice hinges on the specific goals, resources, and scale of the business.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with John Cammidge

John Cammidge, Google Ads Expert, John Cammidge Consultants

Combine In-House and Agency for Optimal SEO

For effective backlinking, an agency’s broader network and established relationships can be invaluable. Meanwhile, an in-house SEO manager, with a deep understanding of the company’s website and goals, is ideal for on-page and technical SEO optimizations. In essence, agencies excel in outreach, while in-house expertise ensures tailored on-site strategies.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Faisal Zaman

Faisal Zaman, Content Manager, Venturz

In-House SEO Manager for Best Results

For the biggest bang for their buck, a company should hire an in-house SEO manager, but should be prepared that it will cost a lot of money for the software and tools needed to do the best job. 

SEO is absolutely a full-time job for a business with a website, but not every business has the budget to hire full-time. If that’s the case, then outsourcing to an agent with the expectation of getting part-time work should work. The results will come slower (over two years), but you will still likely see the changes you are looking for in terms of organic traffic.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Lora Bovie

Lora Bovie, Sr. SEO Strategist, Revelo

Dedicated Focus with In-House SEO  

Hiring an in-house SEO manager can be beneficial for businesses seeking dedicated focus on their SEO efforts. An in-house specialist will have a deeper understanding of the company’s unique selling points, goals, and challenges. They can align SEO strategies closely with the business’s evolving needs and ensure a consistent brand message. 

Additionally, having someone on the inside fosters better integration with other departments, leading to a more cohesive approach to marketing and communications.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Harry Boxhall

Harry Boxhall, Shopify SEO Expert, Swirl SEO

Tailored, Real-Time Strategy with In-House SEO

For SEO, the decision between hiring an in-house SEO manager vs. agency really comes down to the specific situation of each business. From experience, a medium-sized e-commerce business I worked with faced the dilemma of choosing between an in-house SEO manager and an agency. They opted for an in-house manager, valuing the consistent focus on their niche market and the ability to swiftly implement changes aligned with their fast-paced promotions and product updates. 

While agencies offer broader expertise, the in-house approach provided this particular business with the tailored, real-time strategy execution crucial for its competitive online environment. The direct result was a more cohesive SEO campaign that reflected the brand’s unique voice and objectives.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Adam Berry

Adam Berry, Founder / SEO Consultant, Adam Berry SEO

SEO Agency for Keeping Up with Changes

In choosing between in-house SEO manager vs. agency the answer to this depends on a number of variables. However, I would often recommend using an agency. The reason being, SEO is constantly changing, and within an agency, the amount of knowledge can grow significantly, which can then help your strategy. However, with an in-house manager, keeping on top of the game alongside daily tasks can be difficult in most company environments.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Peter Selmeczy

Peter Selmeczy, Head of Growth and Co-Founder, AutoSEO

More Value for Most Offered by SEO Agencies

As someone who has worked both in-house and in an agency, I think businesses that hire an SEO agency will get more bang for their buck. Not every business owner will need 20-40 hours of SEO management per month. Hiring an SEO agency that has shown proven results within your niche is going to go a lot further than the headaches of having an in-house SEO marketer.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Beau Bawab

Beau Bawab, Director of Marketing, Beau B Content

Reliance on Organic Search Determines SEO Decision

The value of having an in-house SEO manager vs. agency largely hinges on a business’s reliance on organic search for revenue. An in-house SEO manager, being closer to the company’s market dynamics and technical specifics, can potentially execute SEO strategies more effectively. 

However, for smaller businesses or those where organic search is not a significant revenue driver, leveraging an agency might be more sensible. Agencies can also be handy for executing specific projects or establishing an SEO baseline, especially in cases like certain B2B companies, where organic search offers limited revenue potential.

In-House SEO Manager vs. Agency with Philip Murphy

Philip Murphy, SEO Manager, CGC Cards

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