October 28, 2013
“When should I hire an SEO agency?” is a question that a number of friends with small/medium-sized businesses ask me all the time, and I find that I usually focus on 4 main factors for them to weigh in to their decision:
Workforce utilization is an element that most all small businesses are looking to manage more efficiently. How hard are you working your current work force, and is there extra bandwidth to absorb additional work to support your SEO efforts at this time? Also, SEO is not a one-time burst of energy – it is a commitment that reaps rewards through dedicated efforts over time. This makes it not only important that your people have time now, but will have time in the future to maintain the effort as they begin moving your SEO efforts ahead.
Quality of Services
So you may have employees with some available bandwidth, but do they have a sufficient level of knowledge that there time and effort dedicated to SEO activity is going to reap the results that will make the investment worthwhile? While there are many employees out there who have a cursory knowledge of SEO, with the pace that the market is moving, it is often beneficial to at least have a professional consult on your site prior to deciding whether or not to move forward with an on-going arrangement with an agency. The industry is moving quickly, and best practices continue to evolve.
Cost & Savings
Hiring an outside SEO agency has an obvious impact on your immediate resources at hand and working capital. To get started, these funds need to be available and, of course, you need to weigh the benefits of the investment and what you expect on the return. It will take hundreds of man-hours to train an internal resource to begin to understand the SEO world and be able to effectively manage campaigns for your site, whereas agencies and specialists will have many clients they’ve worked on in the past that can help you navigate the mind field of mistakes that can be made.
What will really matter in the end are the results that will become the fruits of the invested labor. It is in an agency’s best interest to ensure that their campaigns have positive results, while training or relying on internal resources may be a long shot more often than not. Regardless of who is implementing, or creating your SEO strategy, you should have a solid platform from which to measure the output of your investment. And at the end of the day those results will help you realize the best place to invest your time, effort, and money.
In practice, more than likely the best scenario for you and your company will be a mixture of both – an agency, with a part-/full-time internal resource. Depending on the size of your company the balance between the levels of effort each puts towards the strategy vs. implementation will vary greatly.
For a quick evaluation of your SEO efforts feel free to call Chris Bretschger at Integrated MarketingWorks – 714.557.7100 ext. 231.
Search Engine Marketing