When considering what to do about their SEO needs, many businesses consider hiring an SEO consultant instead of an SEO company. At the end of the day, the decision should be made based on what is cost-effective and what will bring the best results.
Hiring an SEO consultant who works from their own home is much like hiring an SEO company, because they aren’t sitting there in your office. But an external SEO consultant works with much less accountability. The most common complaint we hear about companies that tried this is “we hired an SEO guy, and then he disappeared”. These businesses learn the lesson the hard way that what they really wanted was a long term partnership with someone that could bring quality, ongoing results – which is hard to expect from someone who works for you out of their basement.
Other businesses turn to an in-house SEO person to look after their SEO needs. Typically this is a more expensive option, as full time employees aren’t cheap, but these businesses like the idea of “keeping an eye” on their SEO. Logic also suggests that the team is dedicated to their needs, so perhaps results should be better. But this isn’t necessarily the case, and here is why –
One of the major reasons we recommend against hiring an in-house SEO person is that they are an isolated resource with one set of experiences and only one website (or few websites) to work on. It is difficult for them to monitor trends or updates to the search engine algorithms (of which there have been major updates this year) other than to hear stories from other SEO people on the internet, which should always be taken with a grain of salt because there is a lot of misinformation out there. Comparatively, SEO companies have multiple SEO resources (at TrafficZoom we have a multiple full time SEO professionals, plus their assistants, plus a link building team, plus web designers and developers separate to that) and have the experience of literally hundreds and hundreds of websites. There is no text book on SEO, because it is about influencing Google and they don’t tell you how to do that – you have to learn it through experience. A single resource or small team will rarely have the same experience when compared to a company (unless you spend big money, like $500k plus, hiring the best individuals in the industry).
The above point is particularly important this year because Google have made major, major changes to the game with the Panda algorithm updates. These can be difficult to deal with and require more expertise than ever. A single SEO resource is highly unlikely to have even encountered or dealt with Panda issues yet, but for an SEO company, working on solutions is part of our daily bread.
Another reason is that effective SEO involves two important sides; updates to the website itself, and linking. There is only so much you can do with the website itself, and then that biggest SEO effort comes from the linking, and that is very tedious, time consuming, and difficult for a single resource to do. Finding sites to get links from is difficult, but to full time SEO companies, that is our life blood so we not only know every trick in the book, we already have a huge number of link resources available from Day 1.
Companies that hire an in-house SEO person virtually always get amateur results, at TrafficZoom we probably speak to 1 or 2 companies every week who are in that situation. Hiring for good SEO people is difficult, because anyone can say they know what they are doing, and you need to know more than them to prove them right or wrong.
As we’ve said before… the best indicator of future performance is to look at your past results. At TrafficZoom, we can show you example clients with top rankings – companies that are the same size as your’s, or bigger.