Should We Bring SEO In-House Or Hire A Freelance SEO Specialist?

If you are thinking about hiring an SEO agency to handle website optimization, there are generally two types services available today – freelance or bringing it in-house.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the many services in a digital marketing team or agency. SEO is a specialized role for digital marketers in-charge of optimizing websites in terms of search engine ranking factors.

Their tasks include website element optimization like meta data, code optimization, page loading speeds, and content. Other tasks can include link acquisition, content marketing, and lead generation.

SEO terminology might be too technical for some people to understand. SEO specialists are essential personnel for e-commerce companies that hope to gain awareness and drive sales using search engines like Google and Bing. If you are thinking about hiring an SEO agency to handle website optimization, there are generally two types services available today – freelance or bringing it in-house.


Freelance vs. In-House SEO

Let us begin with defining freelance and In-house SEO services. Freelance SEO specialists are freelance professionals who work “by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.” They often offer cost-effective services as they are mostly working at home.

As for in-house SEO services, they can be hired as an in-house agency or as a full-time employee. Since they are in-house, an SEO specialist is part of a larger digital marketing team team and marketing strategy. However, there are pros and cons to each.


Pros and Cons of Freelance SEO

The advantages of hiring Freelance SEO service are focused on practicality and convenience. It is practical because freelancers often offer cost-effective services depending on their level of expertise and the type of SEO services you need. You can often outsource SEO tasks at a nominal hourly rate. It is convenient because you do not have to deal with hiring a full-time employee.

The disadvantages of hiring freelance SEO services include less accountability, quality of service gaps, and communication. Hiring freelancers often mean there is less accountability. Hiring an unaccountable freelancer will highlight this disadvantage and can derail a promising online marketing campaign.

It is difficult to determine a freelancer’s quality of work these days, especially if you are not well-versed with industry terminology and fundamental best practices. Most freelancers provide information based on their expertise, while others mislead companies just to get hired. When hiring a freelancer, include a stringent evaluation and defined selection process. Choose freelancers based on their actual skills and not what you hear from a referral.

Meanwhile, with all the technologies that we have, communication is an issue because physical presence is not required for most freelancers as they are working at home.

To preclude these issues you may decide to hire a freelance SEO specialist.


Pros and Cons Of Bringing SEO In-House

Bringing SEO in-house will provide a heightened level of accountability and communication. When you hire an SEO specialist, by default, they will be liable and solely committed to the progress of your website presence and SEO activities.

To ensure accountability, a contract should be in place. The contract should include expressly set goals that can measure the progress of work. These metrics can motivate and provide context for a new hire. Also, bringing SEO in-house will allow for improved communication.

However, the realities (and consequently disadvantages) of hiring SEO professionals include budget constraints and staffing difficulties. Hiring an in-house SEO professional can range from $30,000-$50,000 per year, which is nowhere near freelance rates.

Another issue is finding talented SEO specialists that are willing to work fromt he constraints of an office. Home-based SEO jobs, and the flexibility that comes with it, will always be the preferred work setting within the SEO industry. More and more digital marketing roles, like SEO specialists, are now offered as home-based jobs.


To identify the best approach for your business, consider your budget, SEO services needed, and the availability of SEO talent in your market. Chiefly, know your company goals and this will guide hiring decisions and align the various roles within your marketing department.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Elizar Caraecle is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Digital Room – an online printing service provider. He is also an advocate of Education through online learning. He is an occasional author of Digital Marketing articles. You can reach him through his social media profile. Connect with @elizarcaraecle on Twitter.


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