[SEO 101] Topic 7: SEO Agency vs. In-house: Which One is Better?

A well-optimized website ranks organically for high-value keywords, enjoys organic traffic, and generates sales leads that convert to clients. It is evident that SEO is a marketing strategy to be reckoned with, but who is going to do all that work? The competitor analysis, SEO audits, technical optimization, keyword research, content creation, link building, etc.? You have two options: do SEO in-house, or hire an SEO agency.


Pros of Doing SEO In-house

  • An in-house member knows your company like the back of her/ his hand, from brand personality to business objectives. Having a good grasp of the brand makes keyword research and content creation seemingly unforced and effortless. As the insider, they also conveniently identify internal roadblocks to SEO success.


  • SEO usually entails cross-functional collaboration, where you’d see SEO specialists working closely with content creators, front-end developers, marketing strategists, etc. Colleagues easily communicate and collaborate when SEO is done in-house.

Cons of Doing SEO In-house

  • From recruiting and training expenses to salary and benefits, hiring an SEO specialist/ building an SEO team can get expensive. Not to mention the monthly subscription fee you’d have to pay for site audit tools, keyword databases, content explorers, rank trackers, etc.


  • Since it can be costly to hire an SEO specialist, SEO work is oftentimes assigned to a marketer instead, who already is wearing several hats. It can be difficult for her/ him to commit enough time for SEO and closely monitor the SEO campaign performance.

Pros of Hiring an SEO Agency

  • It is highly cost-effective. You’ll save time and money building a team and subscribing to SEO tools. Simply share your thoughts and collaborate with the agency, you’ll see significant improvements in your ranking on Google.


  • With years of experience working with clients across industries and handling Google’s algorithm updates/ penalties, an SEO agency is expected to have the expertise an in-house team might not otherwise have.

Cons of Hiring an SEO Agency

  • Since an outsider is unlikely to know about the brand as much as an insider does, the turnaround time may take a little longer and content creation may require a few rounds of revisions.


  • Although a good SEO agency maintains open communication and collaborative relationship with clients through conference calls, emails, meetings, etc., it can sometimes be faster and easier to communicate internally.

SEO Agency or In-house?

In fact, whether to do SEO in-house or hire an SEO agency largely depends on the amount and difficulty of the SEO work that needs to be done. If you’re not sure about that yet, consider a free SEO consultation with a reputable digital marketing agency like New iMedia. It’ll give you a better idea of your website’s overall health and SEO performance so far, which leads you to a more educated decision.