In-House SEO vs Outsourced SEO: Which Approach is Best for My Business?

You’ve launched a new website, poured hours into crafting compelling content, and now you’re eagerly awaiting a flood of organic traffic. Yet, despite your best efforts, your site remains buried in the depths of search engine results pages. While frustrating, it’s not the end of the world. Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can help get your website on the right track. But how can you tell if this project is best handled by an internal team or third-party marketing agency?   

Understanding the Basics of SEO

SEO is the art and science of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs.) In a nutshell, it involves the implementation of a few best practices and strategies to improve your website’s relevance to search engine algorithms. These include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Keyword Research
  • Technical SEO
  • On-page Optimization
  • Content Development
  • Link Acquisition
  • Performance Analysis

What’s the Difference Between In-House SEO and Outsourced SEO?

In short, the main difference between an internal and external approach is who’s doing the work. With in-house SEO, overseeing these strategies are your responsibility, and you need to bring on a team of SEO specialists, content creators, web developers and data analysts. Outsourced SEO, on the other hand, means partnering with a digital marketing agency to handle it for you. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons for both approaches:   

In-House SEO

  • Pros: The primary benefit of in-house SEO can be summed up in one word—control.
    An internal, hands-on approach gives you direct oversight of every aspect of the optimization journey, from keyword selection and content creation to technical enhancements and performance tracking. 
  • Cons: While full-control over the process is nice, it comes with a hefty price tag. In 2024, the average SEO specialists salary ranges from $45,000 – $80,000 while SEO copywriters earn anywhere between $48,000 – $75,000. Most web developers and data analysts make an average of $53,000 – $91,000 and $40,000 – $70,000, respectively.  

So, at the low end, the combined salaries amount to $186,000 per year, while at the high end, they total $316,000. And, that’s not including other expenses like benefits, training, software subscriptions, and overhead costs. 

Outsourced SEO

  • Pros: Outsourcing is a popular choice for a few reasons. First off, digital marketing agencies have tons of experience dealing with SEO campaigns. They’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, so they know how to get your website noticed. But here’s the best part: hiring an agency is way cheaper than building your own in-house team. In 2024, the average cost to outsource everything SEO will be around $2,500 – $8,000 a month, or $30,000 – $96,000 annually. Partnering with a digital marketing agency gives you access to a whole squad of SEO experts. It’s a simple way to give your website the attention it deserves without costing your business an arm and a leg.
  • Cons: When you delegate SEO efforts to an external agency, your website’s fate is in their hands. Which, understandably, can be a bit nerve-wracking for some businesses. It’s important to note, however, that if you’re not well-versed in SEO or have struggled to see results in the past, this might not be much of a downside at all. In fact, outsourcing can be a plus in such cases, as you benefit from their proven campaign strategies and industry know-how (which yields better results than attempting to go at it alone.

Remember, all SEO agencies aren’t created equal. Check out their case studies, reviews, and own keyword rankings to gauge their level of expertise. 

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Is It Better to Outsource My SEO Tasks or Keep Them Internal?

Now, let’s talk about what’s best for your business. Truth is, every website starts at a different point when it comes to search engine friendliness. And, whether it makes sense to try and tackle this project yourself or pass it off to the experts depends on how you respond to the following questions:

1. Do We Have the Budget and Resources to Execute a Comprehensive SEO Strategy?

  • On top of salaries, building and managing an internal team requires an ongoing investment in training and tools to stay competitive.
  • For smaller businesses or those with limited budgets, outsourcing their SEO offers a cost-effective alternative, providing access to experienced personnel without the financial burden of maintaining an internal team.

2. Will Managing an In-House SEO Team Detract from our Core Functions?

  • Juggling SEO responsibilities alongside your everyday business functions can lead to resource strain and detract from strategic priorities.
  • Managing an in-house SEO team requires time, effort, and expertise that could be better allocated toward more mission-critical goals.
  • An outsourced approach helps you offload the management burden, freeing up time and resources better allocated on core competencies. 

3. “Do We See Enough Potential ROI to Outweigh the Costs Associated with an Internal Team?”

  • While in-house SEO gives you full control over the process, it also comes with a fair share of upfront and ongoing expenses. These added costs put extra strain on your budget, especially during early stages when your campaign is gaining traction. 
  • Outsourcing your SEO gets you access to specialized expertise and resources at a fraction of the cost of maintaining an in-house team.
  • By partnering with a proven agency, your businesses can benefit from tried-and-tested strategies, advanced tools, and industry insights—which enhances your chances of achieving tangible results.

Outsourced SEO Made Easy

With a track record of success, a comprehensive range of SEO services, and transparent pricing models, we’re here to help your business thrive in the digital landscape. Don’t let your website get lost in the vast sea of search results—partner with Timmermann Group to elevate your online presence.