Local SEO: DIY vs Hiring an Agency vs Hiring In-house

Option 3: Hiring an In-house SEO Specialist

Hiring an in-house SEO specialist is often done by larger companies who have budget for added staff, and looking for the full time dedication of an in-office employee. With that bieng said, I believe that hiring an agency is almost always a better decision than hiring an in-house SEO. I may be biased as I work in an agency, but in-house hires rarely have the experience and knowledge that would equal all of the talent you get from hiring an agency, for the same price. Look at it like this, you can have one in-house person to work on your account for a roughly $60-100K salary per year, OR for the same price you could have an agency team of content writers, web designers, SEOs, and strategists, all to work on your account. The one exception I would make to this rule is for very large corporate companies that have entire SEO teams internally. In those cases, I would say that bringing on an employee that specializes in local SEO would be a smart move to add to your team.

The Work:

When hiring an in-house local SEO specialist, you’ll get many of the same things that you get by hiring an agency (see above), but with 2 major limitations:

  1. Limited Resources: there are only so many hours in the day, and for large companies with hundreds or thousands of locations, the workload can be large to manage so many campaigns.
  2. Lack of Specialization: Local SEO is an expansive industry, and expecting one employee to be a master at all areas of it is unreasonable. If you hire a local SEO specialist that is talented at local citation campaigns, they may not be highly skilled in coding.

An in-house SEO hire can be beneficial to a small or medium sized business if the hire is very talented, but in most cases I would stay away from in-house and go the agency route.

The Costs:

When hiring an in-house specialist, you will be responsible for all of the tools and costs mentioned in the DIY section (SEO software, web design costs, etc), but the major cost to hire an in-house SEO is the employee’s salary. You can expect to pay around a $45,000 salary for an entry level SEO in house, and up to $125,000 for a veteran. Other costs that you will incur like health insurance and other employee benefits can also add up.

The Results:

If you hire an employee to work in-office on your local SEO, the results will vary greatly depending on their work experience and knowledge. Make sure to use due diligence in vetting out your hire, and make sure to get specific examples of work that they have done. When hiring an agency, it is easy to get work references, but when hiring an in-house employee it can be more difficult.

The one major advantage that in-house SEO teams have over agencies, is access to the day-to-day knowledge and inner workings of the company. SEO can be difficult with limited information from the client, so in-house workers have a big advantage being in the office with their client (the employer) every day.

SOURCE: https://www.geekpoweredstudios.com/local-seo-diy-hiring-or-in-house/