Having been involved with SEO in various roles over the last 10 or more years, I’ve had my fair share of conversations dealing with a wide variety of theories and hypothesis concerning the best approach to a company’s SEO efforts.

From in-house SEO to outsourced SEO, I’ve seen SEO efforts range from being planned, implemented, executed, measured and sustained flawlessly to those SEO efforts that were DOA or dead on arrival once the SEO efforts were executed. I’ve also seen and experienced mediocre SEO efforts.

My point is, there is no one-size fits all SEO effort. Whether in-house or outsourced, consider your SEO effort to be unique in its own right.

That’s not to say you should not focus on SEO fundamentals, but it is to say that you should always enter SEO knowing that there is no guarantee either way.

The mystery of in-house SEO efforts is not black box magic

For instance, a company deciding to go with in-house SEO efforts should really understand their decision and what it entails.

I’ve experienced many companies making this decision solely based on the fact of saving money. In short, wrong place to start an in-house SEO effort from.

Only once the company has wasted time, effort and money trying to take a do-it-yourself SEO approach do they realize that 1) they did not save money, 2) their efforts were less than stellar and 3) they must now go and hire professionals to re-do and perform the job they were not qualified or properly resource to do in the first place.

Most importantly, I find that most companies with failed in-house SEO efforts did not do their homework or due diligence to align their SEO effort to their business plan.

In short, they simply boarded a plane with a best guess of varied employee skillsets and flew to Vegas to play a game of SEO roulette in hopes of getting on a hot streak.

Only amateurs would do such a thing and expect to become millionaires. Obviously, the odds are against companies in the dark playing SEO roulette and in a big way.

This is not to say that it is impossible to achieve success and profitable results with an in-house SEO effort.

However, in short, I think it is important that you’re signing up your company and making a commitment to have people well-versed in SEO.

Just as outsourced SEO companies staff well-versed SEO professionals, your company also needs the following SEO professionals: web architect, web developer, web designer, writer, and SEO specialist or liaison.

If you don’t have the resources to hire the right people, then your company is starting their SEO efforts off on the wrong foot, an expensive and laborious one.

Not to mention that if your SEO efforts are not aligned to your business plan, then however will you know how successful, more importantly, how profitable you SEO effort is in terms of your overall business plan?

Let me help you answer: you won’t know!

Outsourced SEO efforts cost an arm and a leg and provide little to no results

Of course this is the first and most common excuse I hear in terms of outsourcing a company’s SEO effort. In reality, the terms expensive or cost too much is relative.

I mean, you could spend $5,000 dollars and it be perceived to be inexpensive, whereas you could spend $500 and it be perceived expensive. The better area to focus on is value and not the cost.

The question to honestly answer is: How much value are you gaining in return based on what you are spending?

Much like in-house SEO efforts, you have to perform the same amount of due diligence and vetting when selecting a SEO company to outsource your SEO efforts. You must thoroughly understand the SEO company and its people and processes.

If you do not thoroughly understand in full transparency their people and processes, then expect the worst on all fronts for your SEO efforts.

Just as outsourced SEO efforts can lead to failure, they can ultimately lead to success, profitable success. But it is imperative to determine the value in direct relationship to the investment.

Don’t be afraid of the pricing or sticker shock of the investment you’ll need to make. Just be sure you align SEO efforts to your business plan, and measure and make changes based on a timeline and measured results.

Other tidbits to consider when outsourcing SEO efforts: Read all contracts thoroughly, including the fine print. Try not to sign long-term contracts and be wary of page one ranking guarantees that seem too good to be true.

Align your SEO efforts with your business plan

Regardless of choosing in-house or outsourced SEO efforts, you must intimately educate yourself on all the facets of sound, proven SEO principles.

But before you make and take the time to do so, you must understand your business, how your business makes money, and the SEO landscape for your industry.

Once you understand each, then you’ll be able to determine and align your SEO efforts to your business plan and increase the probability of success and profitability for your SEO efforts.

We want to hear from you, what has been your SEO experience when determining to use in-house SEO efforts or outsourcing your SEO efforts?


Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.