Search engine optimization for a large e-store is a massive task, which only a team of SEO specialists should handle. But which solution is better – to employ an in-house team or to contract an agency? Let’s consider the options.
Marketing directors of online stores could largely benefit from an in-house team. The team will be working ideally in the same office, which will allow for daily if not regular updates on activities needed to be covered within SEO and other marketing strategies. What other advantages does an internal SEO team have?
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Full immersion into the one project. The employees spend all their time and efforts on your project only, and they understand all intricacies of your business. For instance, they understand which products they should turn their focus toward, what changes are expected to make in the lineup and what the niche-specific nuances for for SEO optimisation the project has.
Interaction. Your specialists can gather all the information they need from within the same office as you. For instance, what promotions on search engine will be next, when new supplies are expected to be received, or the historic forecast of how the demand in your product range will change in different seasons. Such information permits to be ahead of the game: create new landing pages, receive URLs, and compile the required text content.
Good solutions are all yours. If you elaborate an effective SEO solution – it will remain inside the company. Your rivals will not get a hold of your know-how, so you are able to milk your ideas for all they are worth.
Disadvantages of in-house SEO team
Every solution has its disadvantages. Let us review what difficulties can arise when hiring an in-house team?
Time and money. Building a professional SEO team takes time and financial muscle. To find the desired specialists is never an easy task, as well as organizing the effective teamwork needed. Not all companies possess the required time or assets, or both.
Maintaining motivation. If you have an internal SEO team, you will have to keep the right level of motivation all the time. Sometimes, the loss of one key employee can disrupt the work of the entire team for several months which becomes a serious setback for any strategy.
An in-house SEO team is one of the best solutions for a large ecommerce project if you have time and a realistic financial budget to find qualified people.
The story of a lone expert
Happens that hiring a single competent SEO expert who will outsource a part of the work is enough to meet the needs of an online store. Let’s look at this option in more detail.
For a person who is able to take care of all the SEO tasks for your e-store could be enough to gain knowledge from conferences or individual training and research. Moreover, if this SEO expert is a good manager, they can control copywriters work and arrange the search for affiliate platforms. Later, a good specialist will be able to outsource various SEO tasks such as research and implementation of a semantic core.
One expert will always follow new SEO trends and stay focused on the project. Sounds good? But do not jump to conclusions – this solution has its downsides.
Reaching the limit of expertise. SEO specialist may achieve outstanding results and apply all available knowledge for your project. Then, learn something new and implement it into practice. Any new marketing strategies will need to be tested which can cause problems if not correctly executed.
Your employee can lack the motivation, competence, and understanding of the latest trends in the market. And they may stop self-growing, thereby, halt the growth of your project.
The motivation issue. Professionals can tire of the project they are working on for long periods of time. And if your employee is not motivated – they will begin to simulate the work. Especially since business owners or marketers do not always dig deep into the SEO activities that have been made or regularly updated. As a result, website positions may grow, but your business will develop slowly and not to the potential it could be.
A story of a freelance expert
Sometimes online store owners prefer to hire a freelance SEO expert to deal with specific issues, to present a new project vision or to find solutions to complex problems that are otherwise intractable because of insufficient expertise. This is a sound method if you have enough time for regular online communication which is necessary to allow a freelancer to keep up with the project.
Another reason why an external SEO consultant is good – is the possibility to distribute tasks to your in-house team. A freelancer can come up with a good solution so that your employees with less experience and skills can split this into simple tasks and complete these within a prompt timescale.
Now, we finally got to SEO agency solution. Let’s check the advantages of collaboration with outsource specialists.
Responsibility for the outcome. An agency bears responsibility for the final result of their work: their reputation is an important thing.
An established team. When you pay for the agency services, you buy a working team. If any specialist faces a difficult task, they will come to their colleagues and find solutions with multiple options and recommendations.
Transparency of the work. An agency will show you the expenses and the work results. Besides, a specialist working in an agency will be hard to dupe or lie. For instance, to hire a copywriter for $5 and to resell their work for $10.
Adjusted processes. The processes needed for the effective work are typically regulated in an agency – payment, service delivery, reports and communications with a client’s team.
Expertise. Employees of an agency work on many projects and constantly study the experience of other agencies and receive constant industry updates. The expertise is always up-to-date as there is no other way to compete in this market.
As we can see, working with an agency is beneficial in many cases. But what are the disadvantages?
Inability to immerse completely. An in-house team has a deeper awareness of the product, the business, and the target audience as well. An agency cannot afford the same amount of time to know your business in and out. Thus, an agency can develop a perfect solution without taking business limitations and market peculiarities into account. Implementation of such solutions may turn out to be too difficult or an impractical process.
An in-house SEO team organically awareness of business limitations, and are able to see the owner’s, marketing director or sales managers’ reaction immediately. They know what ideas are acceptable and what are not. These help them develop solutions leading to the best possible outcome within the existing limitations.
Cost of services. Indeed, a good agency costs more than employees.
In-house + agency
Some businesses often hire an agency even if they have an in-house team. Why do they do this? Let’s think of the benefits of such a solution.
Access to expertise. An outsource team can bring extra knowledge and experience to your in-house team. In essence, this is a very practical way to train your employees.
Competitive spirit. You can set similar objectives for each team and keep watch over which results will be greater. Ideally, this will boost the productivity of both.
A split between strategy and realization. You can entrust an agency with the strategy development, and charge your own SEO team with the fulfilment. Or the other way around, ask an agency to implement the strategy which was developed by your team.
Though, there are certain downsides.
The conflict of interests. An in-house team and an agency may come into conflict rather than collaboration. An agency may think this because of the internal team they could then refuse to cooperate on the project. An in-house team may worry that they could lose their employment in favour of an agency team. These may result in an unnecessary tussle.
There are many different tactics in building a team for an effective promotion in ecommerce. The decision of what option is the best to choose for your business is dependent on the project characteristics, tasks, available resources, expertise and style of management.