Nowadays, it’s pretty common for established companies to have a dedicated in-house SEO team. Even those with a small website and limited Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs tend to have one or two marketing team members overseeing paid, organic and email marketing initiatives.
Typically, these insightful individuals focus their day-to-day on things like optimizing your website’s site speed, fine-tuning your SSL, perform keyword research and keyword mapping and optimize your site’s title tags, track down 404s, and oversee the back-end of content optimization.
If they really know their stuff, they’ll also be able to help you escape from link penalties, build powerful backlinks, and curate a perfectly optimized link profile. All with the goal of helping your site rank competitively among search engines and driving more traffic to your site.
Today’s marketing reality is that standard search engine optimization is no longer a secretive art that’s been mastered only by a few marketing gurus. Far from it. Most online marketers know the basics of SEO. What’s more is that it’s not uncommon for people in an SEO-related job to have only 1-2 years of experience.
So if they have in-house SEO, why do so many companies also hire an agency to help with their SEO?
- Bandwidth – SEO industry trends change quite frequently and when your work day is focused on all the typical nuances of SEO (keyword searches, assigning meta data to pages, tracking page rankings, etc.), there’s often no time to read blog posts and articles about updates, keep up with industry trends, attend industry events and webinars, follow SEO forums, etc. An agency’s SEO team does (or should) do this and shares that information with their clients.
- Strategy – It’s incredibly difficult for the one or two people responsible for in-house SEO to also find the time and resources to establish a broad, higher-level SEO strategy for the company. Not only is their time limited, but their knowledge and expertise usually is too. For example, staying on top of the developments in mobile, AMP, voice search, etc. and how they are going to affect digital marketing requires a significant amount of time and due diligence. Agency SEO teams can stay abreast of those trends and create high-level strategies around them.
- Technology limitations – In-house SEOs typically have access to the basic resources they need to oversee a site’s SEO needs – and many of these resources are free. However, to obtain higher-level insights, more advanced, wide-ranging software is necessary, as is the knowledge of how to use it. Examples include Moz’s suite of software, SEMrush, DashThis, and BrightEdge. A qualified, experienced SEO team within an agency will have access to this technology and be well-versed in how to use it.
- Agility – While the in-house SEO team might be a well-oiled machine, new projects and issues come up that require a helping hand to address. Agency support can step in whenever and wherever needed for projects such as copywriting, writing meta descriptions, link building, etc.
- Resources – Agencies that provide SEO expertise often provide paid search expertise as well. Because SEO and paid search is usually a simpatico relationship, an agency’s SEO team can often collaborate with their paid search team on ideas and tactics that will cost-effectively benefit both channels.
From our experience, internal SEO teams, are quite resourceful and effective in keeping their company’s website optimized. With that said, there’s often so much to do just in the day-to-day that it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees.
When there’s a year-over-year drop in organic traffic, drops in organic leads, a website migration, etc. it can be overwhelming for a one- or two-person team to take a step back, figure out what’s going on and tackle it.
Digital marketing agencies with extensive SEO expertise can lend a helping hand to in-house teams. They can not only provide high-level strategy and keep companies up-to-date on industry trends, they can also step in to the minutiae of SEO and take tasks off the team’s overloaded plate.
Whatever the need, agencies and in-house SEO teams can work cohesively and collaboratively together to elevate your site’s rankings, drive more traffic to your site and generate more conversions.
To learn more, reach out to our SEO & Digital Strategy team.