Seo agency

5 Reasons Why You May Not Need an SEO Agency

Outsource your SEO to an agency? Think again. Eli Schwartz offers five reasons why you should keep your SEO in-house.

Posted: April 28, 2022

(Image credit: Firmbee/Pixabay)

As technology and the ways customers discover and make purchases evolve, executives and marketers find themselves managing an ever-increasing number of customer acquisition channels.

Therefore, modern marketing requires larger teams than ever to manage these different channels. It’s a nearly impossible task in our current environment of low unemployment and fierce competition for marketing hires.

The shortcut to overcoming this hiring shortfall is to outsource marketing efforts to an agency – which I’m a big proponent of for some channels, but not SEO.

I’m a big proponent of product-focused SEO. Great SEO is an essential part of a product that requires the utmost empathy for customers and shouldn’t just be outsourced to an external party. However, this is not the only reason why you may not need an SEO agency and you should consider getting your SEO in-house.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you might not need an SEO agency:

1. At its core, SEO is a strategic effort. However, it is difficult for an agency that does not have the cachet of a big brand to sell itself as a strategic partner. To compensate for this, most agencies sell deliverables, most of which you don’t need. The most popular among these deliverables is an SEO audit.

2. One deliverable you might need help with is content, but agencies do it from a keyword perspective. They will turn to a keyword research tool like Semrush or Ahrefs and then simply produce content formulated around those words. These words may be popular search terms according to a tool, but they may not be the words your actual customers might be using.

3. Used correctly, SEO agencies should be an extension of your SEO strategy, and without a strategy, agency efforts are unlikely to be successful. If you take the time to develop a strategy, you might very well find that you can do everything SEO related to your strategy in-house.

4. While many marketers see SEO as a channel they should invest in, it’s also quite possible that you don’t need to do SEO at all. I have discovered in my consulting practice that there are many businesses that are not discovered through search engines and therefore an SEO effort is unlikely to be successful.

5. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, built correctly, SEO is a key part of your product and it’s not just a collection of keyword-targeted blog posts. As a product, it incorporates your key value proposition, your brand message, and it has a place in your acquisition funnel. In the same way that very few companies would ever outsource their sales or cultural development to an outside agency, neither should SEO necessarily have to be outsourced to an agency.

SEO agencies are effective when they are an extension of a company’s internal SEO efforts. Some teams may need help doing digital PR or developing content ideas, but the primary drivers for those efforts should all be internal. You might not need an in-house SEO expert if you could rely on an external SEO expert to help you with ideas, but questions to those experts should come internally, rather than ideas. pushed by an agency.

If you choose to work with an SEO agency, start by knowing exactly what you want that agency to do for you rather than for the purpose of an agency telling you what to do. Many of the most successful SEO strategies on the internet have come from in-house teams, not agencies, and you’ll be in great company if you choose to go it alone.

Eli Schwartz is an SEO expert and consultant to leading B2B and B2C companies whose ability to demystify and navigate SEO has generated billions of dollars for some of the internet’s top websites. As head of SurveyMonkey’s SEO team, he helped launch the first office in Asia Pacific and grew the company’s organic search from 1% of revenue to a key revenue driver. global business. This column is based on topics covered in his book, Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy.