Let me first say that this is exactly the type of question you should be asking with regards to your website. The fact that you recognize SEO as a vital component to your site, and not an unnecessary add-on or luxury, already puts you ahead of much of the crowd. Typically, the main question we hear regarding SEO outsourcing isn’t “how much can we do in house?” but rather (in so many words) “should we outsource or just ignore it and hope for the best?” As you can imagine, that last option isn’t going to work out too well.
You’ve already invested a lot of money, time and resources into your website and it’s important that you don’t let these efforts go to waste by neglecting your SEO. This would be like buying a brand new car and never changing the oil, rotating the tires, or taking it in for general maintenance. That car is not going to perform as well or last as long as you need it to.
And just like maintaining a car, there are some aspects like washing and filling the wiper fluid that you can handle yourself, but plenty more that will require the assistance of a trusted and knowledgeable mechanic (or SEO agency, in this case).
Handling SEO In House
As far as handling SEO 100 percent in house, it’s not impossible. But be aware of all that entails before you commit to it. This is not a throwaway task you can pass off to an intern or tack onto the already full plate of your website administrator or marketing coordinator. SEO is a full-time job and unless your team has the availability and the expertise to handle it, your best bet is finding a reputable SEO agency to take the reins.
Remember, SEO is not a “set it and forget it” task. There are no deadlines and no ending points. It’s not something you’ll ever check off of your to-do list. And if you treat it as though it was, your competition is going to reap the benefits. SEO is an ongoing challenge that requires constant monitoring, research, and revision.
All that being said, if your company has the means to hire a full-time department of SEO specialists who are equipped to take on your SEO responsibilities, who are we to stop you? Also, consider yourself very lucky, as this is extremely rare.
Working With an Agency
There are many advantages to working with a reputable SEO agency, just as there are many advantages to taking your car to a qualified mechanic and not just typing “how to rebuild a transmission” into YouTube.
An agency will spearhead the gritty, behind-the-scenes components to your SEO strategy including keyword research, link acquisition techniques, on-page optimization, and competitor analysis. Your agency should examine what tactics are working and to what degree with regular SEO audits and provide their findings in regular detailed rankings reports. A qualified SEO agency will keep an eye out for aspects you might otherwise miss and constantly be looking for new or underdeveloped ranking opportunities for your brand.
Mind you, even the most experienced agencies will want to begin the partnership by setting realistic and measurable goals. It’s during this process where many of our clients get their first taste as to what their brand is actually capable of in terms of organic rankings. And remember, SEO is a long and calculated process. It’s not your job to find an agency that promises overnight results (it doesn’t work this way). But it is up to you to ask the right questions to choose an agency that is willing to put in the work on your behalf to enhance your site and get your brand in front of the right audiences.
So What CAN I Do In House?
Look, we are a full-service SEO agency which means that OF COURSE we’d love to just handle everything on your behalf (and we can!) but we know there are a few SEO components that clients have successfully managed on their own. For instance, you might go through an SEO agency to scope out keywords, build a content strategy, and outline a content marketing plan, but then handle the blogs and content yourself. If you have a writer or several on staff who might be up to this challenge, this could be a good opportunity to showcase their work. And even in these instances, we still run through your content with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that it’s optimized and aligns with your SEO strategy.
How much of your SEO can you handle on your own? I have no idea. All I know is that when I have car trouble, I go to the mechanic. When my toilet doesn’t flush, I call a plumber. And when I need a root canal, I see my dentist. These people are the experts and I trust the services they offer. We can’t say for sure how much of your SEO you and your team can manage without additional resources, but we can stress the importance of not letting your SEO strategies grow stale or fall by the wayside. How you ultimately choose to approach it is your call, just know that there are experts out there that can make the process much easier and much more beneficial.