Should You Outsource SEO or Keep It In-House?

By Paolo Tanjuatco

The decision between outsourcing employees or keeping tasks in-house is not an easy task for businesses. Firms must decide by weighing the pros and cons, aligned with their business needs and objectives.

With the efforts of increasing online visibility, reach, and high search ranking results, managing Search Engine Optimization is vital. For this reason, there has to be someone who specializes in this aspect and will manage the SEO performance of the company. Given this, let us first differentiate outsourcing and in-housing. 

Outsourcing and In-Housing  

Outsourcing, by its name, is hiring an agency or contractor outside the company to perform services and other job functions. On the other hand, In-Housing refers to assigning the task to the existing workforce within the company.

The pros and cons of these must be weighed in order to arrive at a decision that is best aligned with your company’s needs and objectives. 

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing SEO

Pros of Outsourcing SEO

  1. Specialization and Expert Insights: Outsourcing SEO enables your company to have a specialized expert who brings professional qualifications and a specific skill set related to SEO. Additionally, this external perspective offers unbiased assessments and innovative solutions, drawing from diverse industry experience.
  2. Balanced and Well-Assigned Tasks: The expert is in-charge of handling all SEO-related tasks which enables the company’s existing employees to have balanced tasks that are based from their initial job description.
  3. Access and Adapt to Resources: Your company gains access to advanced marketing tools, technologies, and resources since the outsourced SEO is an expert who is knowledgeable about all necessities for an effective SEO performance. Aside from this, your company is able to adapt to market trends and evolving technologies while customizing packages and tools to fit your specific needs and budget accordingly.
  4. Faster results: With an employee who is a dedicated SEO professional, rest assured that your company will be able to see faster outcomes of your SEO performance.

Outsourcing SEO is beneficial for your company given the mentioned pros. An expert in the field would really help to boost your SEO performance faster as you have access and are able to use the necessary tools to achieve best results. However, the are some cons that your company shall consider.

Cons of Outsourcing SEO

  1. Lack of Control in Process Decisions: The SEO expert may have different views and ways of performing tasks which can cause debates when coming up with decisions. Consequently, you may not have the final word to decide regarding your SEO efforts. Basically, the SEO expert may be in control of those decisions. 
  2. Cost-Efficiency: For smaller businesses with limited budgets, outsourcing SEO can be expensive.
  3. Dependency: Your company may become increasingly reliant on external agencies for SEO management, posing a challenge when the contract with the expert expires, as your company may have already developed a dependency.

Despite these cons, your company and the outsourced SEO must come to an agreement regarding workflow and ethics. Clear communication is essential for decision-making and executing solutions to boost SEO performance. Outsourcing SEO may incur costs, so your business must consider the duration of collaboration with the expert and specific areas for improvement. To mitigate dependency, your business must learn from the outsourced SEO, enabling adaptation to advanced tools, technologies, and strategies to maintain and enhance performance.

Pros and Cons of Keeping SEO In-House

Pros of Keeping SEO In-House

  1. Integration with Other Departments: In-house SEO spurs collaboration with different departments such as digital marketing, creatives, and IT departments. This also increases work dynamics and teamwork in the company. 
  2. Cost Savings: Outsourcing fees are avoided. Hence, there is cost savings for your business. 
  3. Control in Process Decisions: The assigned SEO already knows the workflow and ethics of the company as well as in making decisions. Hence, your business has the control in making SEO decisions. 
  4. Knowledge Retention: The knowledge and skills learned by the employees remain within the company. For this reason, it can help when the company has future SEO projects which can result in better outcomes. 

Cons of Keeping SEO In-House

  1. Limited Expertise: Keeping SEO in-house may lack the professional background and expertise within the field.
  2. Resource Limitations: Assigning SEOs in-house may have limited access to advanced SEO tools, resources and technologies.
  3. Slower Results: In-house SEO efforts may take longer given the integration of works within departments and training needed.

Although in-house SEO may take significant time and effort, your business can invest in the training and development of the employees. Through different courses and skills training, they will be able to gain and improve the necessary knowledge and skills in performing SEO-related tasks that are aligned with your overall business needs and objectives.Furthermore, your business can also invest in researching the needed resources to achieve best SEO performance. 


In conclusion, both options have advantages and disadvantages. However, the decision between outsourcing and in-house SEO depends on the specific needs, resources, and objectives of your company. Hence, choose which best aligns with these and you will be able to know where to start and the best possible ways to achieve better SEO performance results.

Got questions? Let’s talk!

About the Author

Paolo Tanjuatco is a Brand and Marketing Strategist who has over 17 years of experience. Currently the head of FortifySEO with more than a decade of experience working in brand marketing for industry leading companies in the Philippines and multinationals.

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