In-House SEO vs SEO Agency: Who’s better for eCommerce Websites

When choosing to run your Organic Digital campaign through an in-house SEO service or in the hands of SEO Agency, it is all about returns at the end of the day. But underlying concepts and reasons that may affect the decision of your choice is what we should talk about. SEO Services are often related to generate organic traffic and revenue for any website. With the competition and expansion of digital channels, SEO now affects almost all facets of your digital marketing campaign.


Here is a list of SEO Services that are usually provided by individuals and Agencies:

  1. SEO Consultation
  2. On-Page SEO
  3. Off-Page SEO
  4. Local SEO
  5. LInk Building
  6. Social Media Promotions
  7. Content Recommendation
  8. Structured Data Optimization
  9. Search Engine Penalty Recovery


Most of these services are often provided as a package or is dependent on the needs of the client. These services can also be segmented to smaller services that is again based on the needs of the client. An example would be Local SEO. This SEO service is segmented to Local Listing submissions, Maps Optimization, Local Link Building strategy, and more. This might be a difficult concept to grasp now but knowing what SEO services bring to your business will be more than enough to push you in tapping this Digital channel.


To further explain and influence your decision, let us dig deeper into understanding what In-house SEO services and SEO Agencies are. Here are important concept to understand about these two SEO Services:


What is an In-house SEO Service?

According to DigitalMarketing-Glossary, “In-house SEO refers commonly to SEO operations which are achieved within a company by a dedicated team or specialist. In-house SEO may also refer to the employee in charge of internal SEO.” Hiring a company SEO is always a great way to get the tasks done the way you want it done. This will also help businesses provide ownership of the Marketing channel. Giving the responsibility to an employee will only yield better results as he will be aware of the goals of the company. An employee will also mantra the company values that is very critical to the success of any campaign.

Next, let us talk about the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a company SEO. This is to provide further information on the what In-house SEO services can bring to your business.


Advantages of In-house SEO Service


Initial Low Service Cost

Being an employee of the company, In-house SEOs are relatively low-cost to begin with. You can also track the growth delivered in comparison with the cost of your in-house SEO. When things are not doing well, that is where compounding costs with low ROI comes in.


Focused Assessment on SEO Skills

Hiring an employee to do your SEO will require passing a series of tests and interviews. In this procedure, you will need to have the right information and tools to clearly assess a candidate in terms of his or her SEO Skills. You can find SEO Tests online just like Moz SEO Expert Test to help you grasp the candidate’s SEO knowledge and know-how.




When you incorporate your SEO service as a permanent Job, you will be able to give accountability to the success and failure of the campaign. It’s a simple as that. Employees with a clear concept of accountability will often deliver to the best of their abilities and great results will follow. It would also be best to provide the right kind of reward for any achievement. By doing this, you can instill compounding growth to your employees.



Disadvantages of In-house SEO Service


Work Passivity

This is more common for regular employees that see job security as a means to not do their job efficiently. They also tend to be passive especially when jobs becomes a routine. You can always try to be more dynamic when doing the tasks or implementing the role-based approach like the Agile or Scrum Work system.


Tied-up with a bad SEO Person


Hiring an unfit SEO professional will surely bring about costs with little to no ROI. To protect yourself from this issue, having a non-guaranteed contract or goal based metrics will help you get the right person for the job. Trainings and constant monitoring will also help your SEO guy to do the best that he can.


What is an SEO Agency?

SEO agencies are businesses that aims at providing digital marketing campaign services to clients of specific or all types of needs. Personnel can range from single-skilled specialists to a complete digital marketing team. With the competition ramping up in this type of a business service, most SEO agencies focus on more specific SEO fields such as Local SEO, eCommerce, and International. Hiring an SEO Agency to do your organic campaigns is often relative to the needs of their clients. It is also a frequent that we see offers are relative to specific services. This is a marketing strategy on their on to either justify the pricing or give that impression that you are getting more services when subscribing for a higher price.


How to know if the SEO agency is well-equipped to handle your needs? This is probably the one question you will need be answered. Track record and previous client testimonials is one factor you focus on. Browsing through their client profiles will also give you a great idea as to what type of businesses or websites they are good at. Another thing you do to measure their capabilities is to ask for a quick audit of your website. Most SEO agencies will provide this for free and will do a thorough SEO audit on your website. They will even schedule a meeting to present the audit to you. This will be an opportunity for you to get to know them and the things they can do for your website. The better you understand the concepts they present the better the SEO Agency is.


Below are more specific advantages and disadvantages of getting an SEO Agency:

Advantages of hiring an SEO Agency

Almost Hands-free Outsourcing


When you are going to hire an SEO agency, it will be like hiring a freelancer to do the job. You will have less things to worry about the campaign itself. All you need to do is to set the goals that you want the agency to achieve or have incentives in place for milestones reach. This all depends on the level and amount of work you subscribe with. At the end of the day, hiring an SEO agency will lead to a more autonomous campaign.

High Level Entity


SEO agencies often provide recommendations that does not sit well with other adjacent business teams in your organization (Admin, Web Tech, etc). If your SEO agency has a good reputation, it would be easier to get the job done. Competence will yield respect and this is what you should expect from your SEO Agency. Approvals are easier achieve when the people requesting it are well-versed and knowledgeable about the matter. Things will get done fast and efficient when your SEO agency is good enough.


Effective and Multi-Faceted SEO Service


A trademark of any SEO Agency is effective and results-driven campaigns. Getting an SEO service of this type will not only improve your overall marketing campaign but also affect other metrics and channels in your business. Although most of the services are based on the needs of the client, SEO affects almost all facets of any eCommerce business. It would be best to approach SEO as a holistic marketing campaign and not limit it organic marketing. Hiring top-notch SEO Agencies will often suggest multiple services to have a more efficient result.

Disadvantages of hiring an SEO Agency


High Upfront and Contract Based


SEO agencies often present their services as a package with subscription of Monthly or Annual denomination. But true and effective SEO agencies will provide a clear timeline based on the current state of the website. It is a norm that for any SEO campaign to be successful the timeline would be around 6 months to 1 year depending on the size of the business. Being it a contract, things becomes nasty when the SEO agency and the client are not on the same page. Contract cancellation will often involve fees that will be lost money at the end of the day. Some SEO agencies also requires a percentage of the total pay as upfront payment and will again be problematic if things do not workout well.


Turnover Consequences


When contract expires, it is expected to that SEO agencies turnover any and all website resources to the client. This becomes a nuisance when there is a problem with the SEO campaign and you need to communicate with the agency. Since you are no longer a priority, replies to query often come in slow. This will lead to a slower resolution of your problem.


The Choice


SEO Agencies like us at always provide value to our clients through the targeted services we offer. If you have the budget to improve your organic campaigns, then hiring an SEO agency is the best course to go through. It will be a more autonomous hiring. All you need to know about are the important metrics that is affected by SEO. In addition, you can use the services of a in-house SEO professional as a maintainer after the successful work of your chosen SEO Agency.

  • 08/11/2017

About the Author

Elizar is an SEO Professional here at He handles clients in need of SEO for their Ecommerce Websites. He loves spending time with his wife and daughter. He also loves to play basketball and table tennis during his spare time.


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