Signposts: In-House SEO vs Outsourcing: What is Better for Your Business?

In-House SEO vs Outsourcing: What is Better for Your Business?

sbg favicon
By SilverBell Group
SBG Knowledge hub, knowledge is power and we are sharing it with you

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, businesses, from small startups to large corporations, are constantly faced with a crucial decision: should they cultivate their SEO strategies in-house or outsource to specialized agencies? 

Let’s dive into a comprehensive exploration of in-house SEO versus outsourcing, providing insights to guide companies toward the most effective solutions for enhancing their web presence. If you want to find out more, you can read our blog on how to outsource digital marketing. To maximize online visibility and drive quality traffic, businesses must weigh the benefits and challenges of each approach carefully. Managing SEO in-house may offer a team the advantage of having full control and alignment with the company’s broader marketing goals, but in that case, it requires a significant investment in terms of money, time, and resources. 

Partnering with an external SEO agency can grant access to a diverse pool of expertise and advanced solutions, often for lower pay than maintaining a full team internally. Any company or small business owner who finds themselves pondering how to allocate their SEO budget effectively, whether by investing internally or seeking external support, will get the help they need on this page.

Through detailed analysis and practical advice, including insights gathered from industry blogs and expert opinions, readers will gain a clearer understanding of which strategy might work best for their unique situation.

Table of Contents

  1. What exactly is SEO Optimization?
  2. What is In-House SEO?
  3. What is Outsourced SEO?
  4. Which SEO Services Are Often Outsourced?
  5. Things to Consider Between In-House and Outsourced SEO Services?
  6. Is It Possible to Mix In-House SEO and Outsourcing?
  7. Conclusion
  8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What exactly is SEO Optimization?

SEO optimization is an essential strategy for any company aiming to improve its visibility in search engine results, essentially serving as the cornerstone of digital marketing efforts. This process involves a comprehensive set of actions and ongoing adjustments, meticulously designed by SEO experts, to ensure a website not only ranks well but also attracts quality, actionable traffic.

On one hand, mastering SEO optimization demands an in-depth understanding of constantly evolving search engine algorithms, requiring businesses to continuously adapt and refine their strategies over time. On the other hand, it involves tailoring a website’s content and structure to meet the specific needs and search behaviors of its target audience, emphasizing the importance of expert insights and dedicated work.

As such, companies are often faced with the decision to either develop this expertise in-house vs outsourcing digital marketing to specialized agencies. Investing in SEO optimization is not merely a tactical choice but a strategic necessity for companies looking to secure a prominent digital presence and drive long-term growth in an increasingly competitive online landscape.

What is In-House SEO?

Definition and Scope

In-house SEO involves managing search engine optimization activities within the company, leveraging the organization’s resources and workforce to devise and execute effective SEO strategies. This approach enables a company to utilize its in-house talent to directly work on improving its digital footprint. By keeping these activities internal, it’s possible to make sure that every aspect of the SEO work is in harmony with the company’s broader digital marketing objectives, helping to create a cohesive online presence that accurately reflects the brand’s values and goals.


One of the key advantages of in-house SEO is the complete control it offers over SEO strategies, allowing for real-time adjustments and customization to yield the best possible search results. This control ensures that the SEO work is perfectly aligned with the company’s overall marketing goals, making it easier to integrate SEO with other marketing initiatives.

Furthermore, having immediate access to the SEO team fosters a collaborative environment where quick feedback and iterative improvements can help refine strategies and tactics on the go.


However, opting to manage SEO internally requires a significant investment in training and tools to ensure the team is equipped with the latest SEO knowledge and digital tools. This can make it challenging for companies that decide not to outsource these services, as staying abreast of the constantly evolving digital landscape demands continuous learning and adaptation.

Additionally, there are limitations in scalability and expertise when relying solely on an in-house team. As the company grows, its SEO needs may outpace the capacity of the internal team, and finding employees with the necessary specialized expertise becomes increasingly difficult, highlighting scenarios where outsourcing might complement in-house efforts.

What is Outsourced SEO?

Definition and Scope

Outsourced SEO refers to the strategy of engaging external agencies or consultants to manage a company’s SEO requirements, capitalizing on their specialized experience and resources. This approach allows companies to harness a broad spectrum of SEO knowledge and sophisticated tools that might not be available in-house. By outsourcing, businesses can benefit from new insights and methodologies applied to their website’s design and optimization, ensuring that their digital presence is both competitive and current with the latest SEO trends. You can also find out more how much does it cost to outsource marketing services.


One significant advantage of an agency for SEO is the access it provides to specialized knowledge and advanced tools, which are essential for developing effective SEO strategies. Agencies and consultants bring a wealth of experience from working across various industries, offering insights that can be instrumental in identifying opportunities for improvement and innovation in a company’s website design and overall SEO approach.

Furthermore, having immediate access to the SEO team fosters a collaborative environment where quick feedback and iterative improvements can help refine strategies and tactics on the go. Benefits of outsourcing digital marketing can be numerous and have a lot of advantages, not just for SEO, but in general.


The need to outsource SEO can lead to challenges, notably in terms of control over the SEO process. Companies might find it difficult to maintain the same level of oversight and direction that they would have with an in-house team, potentially leading to discrepancies between the company’s vision and the executed strategy.

Working with external agencies or consultants can introduce communication and alignment issues, especially if the outsourced partner is not fully attuned to the company’s culture or long-term digital marketing goals. These challenges underscore the importance of selecting an SEO partner with a proven track record of effective communication and alignment with their clients’ objectives to ensure a successful and harmonious working relationship. You can read about it in details in our blog on main reasons why outsource digital marketing?

What is Outsourced SEO?

Which SEO Services Are Often Outsourced?

Businesses often turn to outsourcing for specific SEO services that require highly specialized skills and resources, making it more efficient to seek an agency assistance. Services such as link-building, SEO audits, influencer outreach, and optimizing Google Business Profiles are commonly entrusted to agencies with the expertise necessary to effectively manage these tasks.

Hiring an SEO agency can help a business enhance its online visibility and search engine rankings by leveraging proven strategies and insights that internal teams may lack. Agencies possess the tools and know-how to conduct comprehensive SEO audits, identifying areas for improvement that can significantly impact a website’s performance. Furthermore, when businesses want to expand their reach and authority through link-building or influencer outreach, agencies can provide the connections and strategies needed to make these efforts successful.

Optimizing Google Business Profiles is a critical task for local SEO success, and an agency can ensure that these profiles are set up to maximize visibility and attract more customers. Outsourcing these services allows businesses to focus on their core operations while benefiting from the specialized support that can drive their SEO efforts forward.

Things to Consider Between In-House and Outsourced SEO Services?

Cost and Budget Consideration

When assessing cost and budget considerations for SEO in 2024, businesses need to carefully evaluate whether hiring an in-house team aligns with their financial capabilities or if outsourcing to an agency presents a more cost-effective solution.

Companies want to ensure they are getting the most value for their investment, requiring a thorough understanding of the long-term costs associated with building and maintaining an internal team versus the potential savings outsourcing can offer. This decision can significantly impact a business’s ability to allocate resources effectively and maintain a competitive edge in the digital landscape.


Determining the right level of SEO expertise available within a company is crucial for crafting effective strategies. If in-house resources lack the necessary knowledge or experience, turning to external specialists or agencies might be the solution businesses need.

As we move into 2024, staying ahead in SEO requires understanding the latest trends and algorithm changes, making it essential to know when agency help is required to complement existing skills or to provide the specialized expertise needed to achieve SEO success.


The ability to quickly respond to SEO trends and algorithm changes is vital, making team responsiveness a key consideration. Businesses need to decide if their current setup allows for the agility required to make timely adjustments to their SEO strategies.

In many cases, the agency will offer the advantage of dedicated resources focused on monitoring the SEO landscape, ensuring that businesses can swiftly adapt their tactics to maintain optimal performance.


Evaluating the desired level of control over SEO strategies and execution can influence the decision between keeping SEO in-house or outsourcing. Companies that prioritize having complete oversight might lean towards building an internal team. However, a company willing to entrust this aspect to a third party may find that hiring the right agency can still offer substantial input and alignment with their overall marketing vision while benefiting from external expertise.

Scalability and Business Size

For businesses planning for growth in 2024, scalability becomes a significant factor in the in-house versus outsourcing decision. Larger companies or those with aggressive expansion plans might find that outsourcing provides the flexibility needed to scale SEO efforts up or down without the constraints of hiring and training new employees. Conversely, smaller businesses or those with steady growth may prefer the consistency and team integration an in-house approach offers.

Business Niche

The specific niche a business operates in can greatly influence its SEO needs. Companies in highly specialized or competitive niches might benefit more from the targeted expertise that SEO agencies can provide. These agencies often have experience crafting bespoke strategies that help businesses stand out in their particular market, offering insights and tactics that in-house teams might not possess.

Your Marketing Goals

Aligning SEO efforts with broader marketing objectives is essential, regardless of whether strategies are executed in-house or through an external partnership. Businesses must ensure that their SEO initiatives support and enhance their overall marketing goals, requiring a clear understanding of how in-house capabilities or agency partnerships can contribute to these aims. Knowing what you want to achieve and getting the right support to reach those goals is paramount for SEO success in 2024 and beyond.

Is It Possible to Mix In-House SEO and Outsourcing?

Adopting a hybrid approach by combining in-house SEO with outsourcing can create a powerful synergy for businesses, effectively balancing budget constraints with the need for specialized expertise. This strategy enables organizations to capitalize on the deep industry knowledge held by their internal team while also leveraging the broad skill set and scalability that external agencies bring to the table.

Businesses can allocate their budget more efficiently by building an in-house team focused on core SEO activities that require intimate knowledge of their market and operations, and then complementing this team by hiring external experts for more specialized tasks, such as technical SEO or content creation that aligns with the latest search engine algorithms.

Utilizing platforms like LinkedIn to contact and vet potential agencies or consultants ensures that businesses can find partners who truly understand the nuances of their industry and have a proven track record of driving results in search engines. This blended approach not only optimizes resource allocation but also ensures that SEO efforts are both comprehensive and targeted, maximizing the return on investment in SEO initiatives.


The decision to opt for in-house SEO or to outsource hinges on a multitude of considerations, such as budget constraints, the level of expertise available, and overarching business objectives. For businesses contemplating this choice, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Hiring an in-house team means committing to the development and continuous education of staff to keep pace with the ever-evolving SEO landscape, which might not always align with the budget or resource capabilities of every business. On the flip side, outsourcing SEO tasks to a specialized service provider can offer access to a wide range of expertise and tools that may not be available internally, without the long-term commitment of hiring full-time employees.

Businesses shouldn’t feel compelled to choose strictly one path or the other. A hybrid approach can serve as a good middle ground, allowing companies to leverage the best of both worlds. This means maintaining a core in-house team that understands the every need and goal of the business and its clients, while also outsourcing specific tasks or projects that require specialized skills or additional resources.

For instance, a company might keep content creation and basic SEO tasks in-house but outsource technical SEO audits or link-building campaigns to external agencies. This approach also enables businesses to maintain a presence across various platforms, from their blog to Facebook, ensuring their SEO strategy is comprehensive and well-coordinated. Ultimately, the hybrid model can provide a flexible and cost-effective solution, perfectly tailored to meet the unique demands and aspirations of your business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The optimal choice between outsourcing or in-house SEO strategies hinges on the unique requirements, available resources, and overarching ambitions of your business. If time and budget constraints are pressing, and you want immediate results without the extensive process of hiring and training, an agency might offer the best solution. Conversely, if you need tighter control over your SEO and wish to ensure it’s perfectly aligned with your website’s long-term development on Google, in-house could be the better path.

Outsourcing SEO can be highly beneficial, in a lot of cases, especially if your current team lacks the necessary SEO expertise or if you’re looking to scale your efforts on Google more swiftly than your in-house resourtces allow. Agencies provide specialized services that can significantly elevate your website’s performance in a short time, making them an attractive option for businesses that want rapid improvement in their online visibility.

In-house SEO uses your own employees and resources, offering a more integrated and controlled approach to aligning SEO with your website’s and company’s broader marketing goals. In contrast, hiring an SEO agency brings in external expertise and advanced tools, potentially accelerating your website’s performance on platforms like Google, but with less direct oversight.

The benefits of in-house SEO include a greater degree of control over your SEO strategies, ensuring they’re in complete harmony with your company’s marketing objectives. It also facilitates better team access and communication, making it easier to adapt and respond to changes in real-time, which can be crucial for maintaining a competitive edge on platforms like Google.

Key differences between in-house SEO and outsourcing encompass control over the SEO process, implications on costs, and the level of specialized expertise accessible. While in-house SEO may offer a closer alignment with your company’s culture and a more detailed approach to achieving results, agencies can provide a broader range of services and the flexibility to scale efforts as needed.

A business can determine the most suitable approach for their SEO needs by carefully evaluating their budget, assessing the level of SEO expertise already present within the team, and considering their long-term marketing goals.

It’s about deciding what you need most: the comprehensive control and cultural fit of in-house SEO, or the specialized services and scalability that agencies offer.

Primary advantages of in-house SEO include the ability to closely monitor and control SEO strategies, ensuring they seamlessly integrate with the company’s broader goals and culture. This approach is best for businesses that prioritize maintaining a consistent brand voice across all platforms, including Google, and who want the flexibility to adapt their strategies quickly.

Outsourcing SEO presents several key benefits, such as access to a wide array of specialized skills and the ability to scale SEO efforts efficiently to meet demand. For businesses looking to improve their website’s performance on Google quickly and without having to hire more employees, hiring an agency can offer a cost-effective and results-driven solution.

Contact Us

Enjoyed reading this? Subscribe to our newsletter!