When Your In-House SEO Isn’t Enough & What to Do About It 

Is there anything more frustrating than seeing your organic traffic drop off a cliff, and you don’t know why?

In-House SEO

If you’re doing any of your marketing or site optimization yourself, there’s a good chance that you have in-house SEO working on your campaigns. This could be a single person tackling everything marketing related, or it could be a twenty-person team managing specific tasks.

Either way, many small and medium sized businesses eventually hit a point where they realize that their in-house SEO just isn’t cutting it anymore.

There are a large number of reasons why many brands end up abandoning the in-house model and bringing their SEO work to agencies like ours, and we want to help you avoid some of the pitfalls. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your internal team might need a little external help from an agency.


They’re Not Getting Results

The number one reason people abandon their in-house SEO teams is because they’re just not getting the results they want, period, let alone with a positive ROI attached.

There are a number of different factors that can result in your in house team not seeing results, and we’ll look at a few of them closely in this post. Sometimes, an in-house staff just has too much to manage with other tasks, or they lack the specific specialized knowledge in SEO that you need.

And every now and then, it’s possible that you could have a team member who might be costing on the SEO part of the work on an off day, or let SEO slide because they get wrapped up in social or email marketing. It’s not the most pleasant scenario to think about, but it does happen; agencies, on the other hand, know that if we make one misstep, our clients won’t tolerate it and they’ll likely leave us for someone else, so we don’t get to have an off day waiting for that ticking clock to run out.

In-house teams with SMART goals should ideally be able to tell you what they’d like to accomplish within a set period of time, giving you specific, measurable goals and an action plan of how they’ll get there, like “Increase site traffic to 2,000 visits per month by November.” If they’re either not doing this or they’re not getting anywhere close to the results you want, it’s time to look at getting some help from an agency, even if you’re only outsourcing a few tasks.


They’re Not Up to Date with The Latest Trends

Agencies know that in order to stay relevant and to both attract and keep clients, they need to be up to date with all of the latest trends. They’ve typically got systems in place for more aggressive training, and they’ll be the first to know about any new changes to the algorithm, cutting-edge strategies, or best practices you need to know.

In-house SEO teams can struggle with this, especially since it may not be part of their typical 9-5 routine. This can make it easier for them to miss sudden changes, and since SEO is evolving constantly, that puts your entire strategy and its effectiveness at risk.

While we’re passionate about SEO, it’s our learning technology that places our company light years ahead of our competitors. We’ve invested over a quarter million dollars into leading software, and have full-time programmers on our team to improve it.  We have access to data and technology that isn’t available anywhere else.

Google is constantly updating their algorithms.  These updates can cause rankings to fluctuate rapidly. We can analyze 148 ranking signals for any keyword ranking to identify these changes and their impacts before most of our competitors. Our pattern analysis can help us detect and adapt to algorithm updates in real-time for more consistent rankings.


It Costs Too Much to Maintain

While some brands initially balk at the price of outsourcing marketing work to a qualified agency, they fail to take into account how expensive it truly is to take care of SEO work in house.

When assessing what would be most cost-effective, you need to consider the following:

  • Employees typically cost more than an agency’s fees, especially once you factor in paid time off, benefits, taxes, and more, which an agency doesn’t have.
  • You need to provide training for your employees, which is expensive and time consuming; agencies come fully trained.
  • Any tests that you run in-house to find effective strategies are done at your expense; an agency may be able to reduce costs by having experimented with their own campaigns first.

When assessing costs, consider also that the right agency has a good chance of getting you stronger results at a positive ROI, too, considering their background and the resources they have at hand.


They Lack Specialized Knowledge

It’s common for in-house SEO teams to wear a lot of hats, so to speak. They aren’t just tackling organic SEO, they’re also trying to manage PPC search campaigns, social ads, social media marketing, content, email, and more. This is a lot to keep up with, and if you have a person trying to conquer multiple tasks, something typically starts to fall between the cracks.

Agencies are going to have specialized account managers who are up to date with all the best practices and strategies in their specific areas. You won’t have a single person trying to work on so many projects they can’t keep everything straight, and they’ll work with multiple of their own team members to get the job done well if needed.

Again, that training speaks volumes here. Your in-house team might be trying to do everything, but our team members are doing the same task day in and day out, and doing it well enough to keep our clients happy.


They’re Stuck in a Rut

If you’ve ever felt like it was time to shake things up but weren’t exactly sure how, it’s time to reach out to an agency. In-house teams can sometimes get stuck in a loop, trying the same strategies they’re familiar with, which will get you the same lackluster results you’re familiar with.

Agencies know that to stay competitive, they need to be finding new ways to help their clients get that number one organic ranking, the top PPC ad position, or high lead conversion rates. This means new, exciting strategies that align with current best practices, all to help you accomplish your marketing goals.



In many cases, it’s common for small and medium sized businesses to need to outsource at least some of their SEO or marketing work to specialized, third-party agencies. It’s often much more cost-effective, even if the agency gives you a bit of sticker shock up front, and it’s more time-effective and results-oriented.

And here’s the best part: you can pick and choose what you want to outsource, so this doesn’t mean abandoning your in-house team all together. If you just need some SEO help to make your content more effective, you can still keep that content in-house. And if you want the strategies but have your own site designer, you don’t have to give them up. Agencies give you the option to pick services a la carte, giving you exactly what you need and nothing you don’t.

SEO is one of the best investments a company can make for their long-term success.  Unlike other marketing options, such as paid traffic, Search Engine Optimization builds upon itself and becomes stronger and more effective over time without further financial investment needed from you.

Need a little help with your SEO or other marketing campaigns?