Marketing your business through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the catch word of almost all businesses in the present times. In North America alone, a survey done by Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) found that the SEO market is over $10 billion. The million dollar question now is not whether you should keep your SEM initiatives in-house or outsource it. When reviewing your options you have to keep the following issues in mind.
SEO can be divided into four major tasks - Technical SEO, content creation and social media, link building, realignment and metrics, analytics and reporting. So you need to recruit a manager, under whom people will be working in various capacities. The first group of people will be dealing with technical aspects of SEO. The second set of people will be in content section. You have to recruit some of them who will be building links. The last bunch will be those who will be dealing with metrics, analytics and reporting. So while keeping an in-house team you should recruit professional in these capacities.
A SEO manager will be a talented search engine professional who will take the entire onus of the companyís search marketing services. He will take the initiative to increase the volume of quality referrals from search engines. He has to plan and implement the search engine optimization activities for the websites. He will be a substantial part of all ongoing research to ensure best practice search techniques. He should also look into the budgetary matter pertaining to search engine optimization.
A person who will dealing with the technicalities of search engine optimization should be able to work in tandem with the manager. He should be able to analyze new keywords and also those being used by the competitors. He should know on-page and off-page search engine optimization. He should be able to bring new ideas to the department.
You will also require a content writer who specializes in writing content that best suits the search engines. You will need people who will able to analyze the results of the search engine optimization initiative.
SEO terms and rules change with the blink of an eye. A professional firm that monitors multiple accounts and stays current with trends can remain abreast of them. An in-house resources should be allocated ample time to simply stay up-to-date. A survey carried out by MarketingSherpa showed that marketers who outsourced search engine optimization saw a 110% rise in overall site traffic within six months, whereas in-house saw a 73% rise.
Keeping an in-house arrangement can cost you around $95,000/year. Beside that there are other things like time for hiring, managing and finances for equipment and ongoing training. A SEM firms charge at most $25,000 to $70,000 for a year-long campaign depending on your needs.
Looking at the issue through above parameters, it seems that in-house arrangement requires significant investment at the initial stage while in outsource services the cost is distributed over time. Therefore before you kick off search engine marketing campaign perform a cost/benefit analysis of outsourcing versus in-house.