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In-House SEO vs Agency Outsourced SEO

SEO 14th Jan 2015

Should I recruit, or should I outsource my digital marketing for my company?

Having worked in digital marketing for over six years, this is a question that I’m asked every single week by many companies that have started up a business and have grown a business to a level whereby they now need to consider using an external agency, or they may be looking at recruitment options.

Now, just before we actually have a look at outsourcing, with recruitment, just consider that the average salary for a good, and I mean not someone who has just come out of college and just read a few books on digital marketing, but someone who has got good experience in digital marketing, average salary is around £30,000. Now, if you’re going to recruit, you’ve also got to consider that you need to probably pay agency fees, or there’s your time as well that you need to spend recruiting that person. So it could be anywhere from £35,000, significantly more than that as well.

So, can your business really afford to risk between £600 to £700 per week on digital marketing? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons.

Time. Have you considered how much time it will take, your own personal time and company time, to recruit someone? You’ve got to go through the process of creating the ads. What information do you put in those ads? You’ve then got people that are going to respond to those ads, and you’ve got to go through the mountain of CVs that you’re going to get on your desk. Which CVs do you choose? Do you understand digital marketing enough to see the difference between a good person and someone who is probably just writing things on the CV that portrays them as knowing how to do SEO but not really the right way.

You’ve also then got to consider the actual recruitment process. In an interview, now considering you’re actually in the process of actually recruiting someone to do the digital marketing at a better level than yourself, they’re likely to know significantly more about digital marketing than yourself. But how do really know that they know that? How do you know how to test them? How do you know that the answers that they’re going to give to your questions are the right answers?

You’ve also got to consider risk. What are the risks involved in recruiting? Well, the risks are, one, you may get the wrong person. What if that person that you take on understands an element of SEO but doesn’t keep up to date with the algorithm updates, may do something that is unethical? Now, not only have you got the cost implication of their cost. You’ve also got the cost that you may have to work them out of the business and the fact that you’ve got to redo the work that they’ve undertaken because you’ve had negative influences on Google search. You’ve also seen a drop in rankings, and now you’ve lost the revenue that you would have achieved through your website or the conversions.

So there is an element of risk involved when you look at going through recruitment and also the cost. We’ve already explored the cost options of salaries, your time, the lack of sales generated through the site if the performance is not where you wanted it to be. So there’s quite a few things there to think about when you are going through the process of recruitment.

Now let’s have a look at outsourcing. What’s the difference between recruitment versus outsourcing?

Well, we talked about an applicant, a job, creating an advert, recruiting. Well, if you choose an agency, then they have already done that. The risk is gone from there. So one thing that you probably need to look at is if they’ve gone through that process and they’ve chosen the right people to work within their company, then this is probably the area of minimising your risk. Minimising your risk would probably be things like:  Who are they as agency ? Who do they work with?

Think about your company as well. If you own a small company and you want to grow and move to the next level, then let’s have a look at what their expertise is, what brands do they work with, and all their experience that they can pass on to you that you can benefit from. Are they likely to be the agency that can move you to that next level?

As far as cost, when you weigh the difference between the cost of an agency and the cost of recruitment, you will probably find that it’s more cost effective to outsource. Obviously, it depends on the agency that you use, and obviously cost wise, it could be any agency that could be pay on performance, pay next to nothing, all the way through to many thousands of pounds. So it’s a really a case of what would you be happy to pay to an agency, ultimately minimising your risk and getting that return of investment.

So there’s quite a few things to consider when you’re choosing between recruitment and doing it internally and also outsourcing to an agency. Hopefully, I’ve given you a bit of food for thought there of things you can think about when you’re going through that process.

I’ve been Andrew Curtis. If you would like to discuss the pros and cons or you would like to explore the opportunities of using an agency or the difference between an agency and doing it internally, then give me a call. Visit the Koozai website, and I look forward to speaking to you later.

Andrew Curtis
About the author

Andrew Curtis

Andrew plays by his own rules, he eats breakfast food for lunch every day and we dig that about him. He’s played guitar for 25 years but we don’t think he looks old enough. He’s also admitted that it’s possible to get him up singing by the end of a night out. Challenge accepted, Andrew.

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