Are Outside SEO Firms Worth the Investment?

Staff Writer: Nancy Mann

Date: 7.31.2012


Search marketing campaigns can be a challenge, but in today’s world, they’re nothing short of a requirement.  Business owners need to know that it’s only a matter of time before they have to make a decision: whether to explore hiring outside SEO firms to take on the task, or try doing it themselves in-house.  Also, it’s important, particularly for small or independent business owners, to find good, affordable SEO that gets results without breaking the bank.


A lot of what goes into the decision to run a paid search campaign is two-fold: one, a company must establish whether it makes financial sense to hire an outside service; and two, it needs to identify just how many keywords it wants to target.


For small and even medium sized companies seeking a new search campaign, either option would probably work fine.  If they have the budget available and want to save some time and effort, these companies can go ahead and partner with reputable SEO firms; however, these same companies generally only need to identify a few good, solid and effective keywords to get a modestly scaled marketing campaign on its feet, so keeping things in-house is certainly viable, too.  As long as someone on staff is ready to be tasked with running the show, they can easily be set up with the appropriate accounts and left to handle the details.  Let’s face it: there’s a lot to be said for on-the-job training.  In fact, it is sometimes the best way to really learn the demands and challenges of a particular industry, and the world of SEO campaigns is no different.  So in truth, campaigns of a smaller scope can likely be handled with a great level of success in-house.   It’s when things start to escalate that the situation gets a little more tricky.

As a search engine optimization campaign grows, its needs become more complex.  More and more keywords are collected, but they still have to be tweaked and translated into successful results amidst highly competitive markets.  Relevancy is key, and sometimes the ability to decipher just what constitutes the best, most effective components, such as copy, content and more, is better left to a professional SEO firm that does this kind of implementation full time.  Yes, it means a greater financial investment, but the expertise you’re buying will help bring your site to new heights.  In other words, it not only gets done, it gets done correctly.

Developing an in-house SEO effort has merit.  Oftentimes, having someone on the “inside” handle these responsibilities is a good idea, as they have a vested interest in its success.  Plus, it’s almost always a money-saver.  On the other hand, as campaigns require more and more expert attention, hiring a top-notch, experienced SEO team might be the better option.  It saves time, which means it likely saves money, and it drives creative strategies without running the risk of trial and error.  You can’t really put a price on this kind of quality.

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