Doing SEO In-House Vs. Hiring An SEO Consultant

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Making the decision between doing SEO in-house and hiring an SEO consultant is a difficult decision to make. You’re in a good position if you get to make it though, as lots of businesses don’t have either option. They don’t have the resources to do SEO in-house and they don’t have the funds available to pay for SEO services and packages.

If you’re in a position to make the decision, you should bear in mind that good results can be achieved with whichever option you choose. There are essentially four options available to you – full-time in-house SEO, part-time in-house SEO, an SEO consultant and part-time in-house SEO with guidance and assistance from an SEO consultant. These are the pros and cons of each.

Full-Time In-House SEO – An employee with SEO experience working only on SEO.

Pros

  • Can start delivering results in weeks rather than months.
  • Able to compete for competitive keywords.
  • Good knowledge of products/services/customers/partners.

Cons

  • Average salaries are around £30,000.
  • More positions available than there are suitable people to fill them.
  • Requires a long-term commitment.

Part-Time In-House SEO – An employee with no SEO experience working on SEO for less than 10 hours per week.

Pros

  • Little additional expenditure.
  • Good knowledge of products/services/customers/partners.
  • Unlikely to use risky and manipulative methods.

Cons

  • May take months before any results are seen.
  • Unable to compete for competitive keywords.
  • Lack of employees with suitable abilities and enthusiasm.

SEO Consultant – A professional hired for an hourly, monthly or one-time fee.

Pros

  • Can start delivering results in weeks rather than months.
  • Able to compete for competitive keywords.
  • Short-term or no commitment required.

Cons

  • Poor knowledge of products/services/customers/partners.
  • Difficult to build and develop relationships.
  • Average hourly rates are around £50.

SEO Consultant & In-House SEO – Part-time in-house SEO with guidance and assistance from an SEO consultant.

Pros

  • Combines SEO expertise with knowledge of the business.
  • Able to compete for reasonably competitive keywords.
  • Unlikely to use risky and manipulative methods.

Cons

  • Reliant on an excellent working relationship.
  • Shortage of willing SEO consultants.
  • Reduced efficiency.

Which option is best for your business primarily depends on these factors:

  • The industry you operate in.
  • The type of results you expect.
  • The timeframe for results.
  • The amount you want to spend.

If you want to rank well for competitive keywords in a reasonable timeframe, then part-time in-house SEO won’t be sufficient. However, it will be sufficient if you’re happy to either target low competition keywords or to wait a long time for results. Most businesses will no doubt fall somewhere in between – wanting good results in a reasonable timeframe without spending a fortune – in which case part-time in-house SEO with guidance and assistance from an SEO consultant is recommended. Doing full-time in-house SEO is only really necessary if there’s a lot of online activity (searches and social media) in your industry. If there is, a full-time in-house SEO is the best option if you can afford it and are prepared to make a long-term commitment.

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