There are several options when it comes to finding the best search engine optimization staffing setup. One option is to hire an external SEO agency. This has the advantage that you do not have to worry about the implementation of the optimization and can fully concentrate on your core business. You can also be confident that the agency has the necessary knowledge and resources to successfully optimize your business.

Another option is to hire an in-house SEO or an SEO manager. This has the advantage that you have control over the optimization and know exactly what is being done. However, the disadvantage of an in-house SEO is that you have to take care of the implementation of the optimization and do not always have the necessary knowledge and resources.

If you need to decide which option is best for you, it depends primarily on your needs and budget. If you decide to use an external agency, make sure they have the necessary knowledge and resources to successfully optimize your business. If you decide to use an in-house SEO, you should keep in mind that you will have to take care of the implementation of the optimization.

How can you decide what is the best personal setup for search engine optimization? In the following we will give you an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of an SEO agency and an in-house SEO or SEO manager. Cost comparison included.

Wondering if an SEO agency or in-house SEO is better for you? Then the following checklist will help you:

Checklist for the decision: SEO agency or in-house SEO

Advantages of an SEO agency:
– Professional and experienced experts
– Resources and tools that would otherwise not be accessible
– Less expensive solution than building your own team
– High flexibility

Disadvantages of an SEO agency:
– If the team doesn’t function well, it can be hard to replace them
– Bad agencies can do more harm than good

Advantages of in-house SEO:
– Close cooperation with the company and other departments possible
– Own strategies can be implemented better
– Less flexibility

Disadvantages of in-house SEO:
– High initial cost for the company
– Higher dependence
– Usually more expensive than an agency

What are your SEO tasks?

Before we discuss the differences between an SEO agency and an in-house SEO, you should know what to look for.

In particular, ask the following questions:

  1. If you can spend more money on SEO – for example, on the salary of another employee or on external marketing agencies – you can achieve better results as a result. Additional costs for content and content marketing are usually worthwhile, because you can do link building, for example.
  2. In which department do you want to place an in-house SEO or who will work with the agency? Often SEO is housed in the marketing department. If you only want to build content or links, that makes sense. For larger sites, it makes more sense to embed the SEO person directly in the project management team or connect them to the IT team. This is the most effective way to implement SEO measures.
  3. How would you like to proceed? A good strategy is always necessary for successful SEO. A good agency will help you with this. But even if your company wants to do most of it itself and only needs advice now and then, an agency can be more effective. It is important that you let your agency partner in on your plans

Now that you have an overview of what aspects to look for when deciding between an SEO agency and an in-house SEO, I’ll go over the pros and cons of the two solutions.

The advantages of an SEO agency

An SEO agency bundles know-how and thus enables different SEO consultants to exchange ideas and transfer their knowledge. In addition, the agency itself is responsible for the continuing education of its employees.

By collaborating on different sites over time, consultants can benefit from a greater synergistic effect, which in turn is beneficial to clients.

The time budget of an SEO agency is negotiable. With most agencies, a minimum number of person-days must first be booked. The additional hours and days can then be adapted to the respective case – from a one-time audit to permanent support, everything is possible!

Agencies often work for many different clients, and as a result they are well versed in a wide variety of niches. They understand the constraints of diverse page types, for example, e-commerce sites, publishers, or content portals.

SEO agencies work with several SEO tools and know how to use them in practice. This enables them to carry out far-reaching and differentiated analyses and to look at things from different angles. In this way, competitors’ weaknesses are revealed and the company’s own strengths are highlighted.

The disadvantages of an SEO agency

An agency usually has many clients and customers – so it’s not all about your company. You therefore have to buy the necessary attention and that costs money. According to this, the key to success lies in effective communication and clearly defined projects. So it’s important to know what you want and communicate what makes your business tick. Only in this way can the SEO agency help you achieve your goals.

Agencies do not have any in-depth product knowledge with new customers. It is therefore all the more important to provide them with as much knowledge as possible about the company and its products and to create interfaces with important departments. For example, regarding text creation or cooperation with IT. In-house knowledge is the basis for successful cooperation. So you should not underestimate this one!

When working with multiple agencies, your lack of expertise can make decision making difficult. For example, many SMEs do not have the resources to set up their own IT department, and if the company wants to go online, an IT agency has to be hired. If this then meets the SEO agency that has also been commissioned, professional differences and conflicting recommendations can arise. How would you like to judge who is right?

Another issue is that many companies often don’t feel comfortable working with multiple agencies. Every agency, of course, wants you to focus primarily on them. Sometimes, however, this does not result in productive cooperation, but rather in a competitive struggle in which the best solutions for the company do not always emerge in the end.

There are many SEO agencies, but not all of them are trustworthy. It is difficult to find the right agency if you don’t know much about SEO. In this case, it would be advisable to involve someone who has experience in finding a good agency, thus minimizing the risk of falling for a black sheep.

The advantages of in-house SEO

A (good) in-house SEO is motivated accordingly. He or she views your website as his or her project and will work hard to improve it. Why? Because the success of your website is his or her current figurehead in the SEO community and enhances the professional career.

The in-house SEO is an employee who reports to you and whose entire working time you can use for SEO tasks that arise. The close cooperation makes it possible to focus more on the essentials than is usually the case with an agency. The in-house SEO also knows your product, your target group and all important KPIs better than external consultants.

An in-house SEO is usually more quickly tangible, so that questions can often be clarified “in the short official channels”. In addition, your own SEO also knows exactly who in the company he or she can approach on which topics. This enables close collaboration with product, development and communications teams.

The ideal SEO employee is well networked and has direct contact with his or her colleagues. He or she attends marketing meetings and should also be invited to IT sprints so that he or she can quickly identify and resolve issues. So bring your in-house SEO together with the developers and product teams! Because successful SEO work is always a team effort.

The disadvantages of an in-house SEO

Depending on a single person (or team) for in-house SEO “in perpetuity” can have negative consequences if the new hire chooses an incorrect or poor SEO strategy. You may lose time and money. It is advisable to be able to counteract a little faster in case of cooperation with an agency (or replacement of the same in case of failure).

After a few years, operational blindness sets in for many employees. And that is bad. This is because even the in-house SEO no longer has a 100% view of new opportunities and risks – and even newly emerging problems are no longer recognized in good time or to a sufficient extent. Ingrained processes and routines also block the way to creative approaches to solutions. Therefore, it is urgent to take regular breaks from work to be able to approach things fresh again!

Without regular training, the in-house SEO can no longer do his job well enough and this directly affects the website. If he or she only deals with the same, recurring problems and gets tunnel vision, sooner or later there will be big problems. In order to avoid this, targeted further training should be offered – even if the costs for this initially appear high.

In-house SEOs have a limited time budget to get their work done. For a full-time contract, this corresponds to 40 hours per week. For large sites, however, this might not be enough if the in-house SEO is also responsible for link building or content and landing page creation. Then, inevitably, the quality of the work suffers, especially since overtime cannot be worked all the time. For smaller sites, however, the problem is reversed: as a full-time employee, the in-house SEO may be underutilized, wasting money on the bottom line.

SEO agency vs. in-house SEO: costs

How much an in-house SEO earns depends heavily on the financial capabilities of the company, as well as the experience and market value of the desired employee. Usually, you can expect a gross monthly salary between 3,500 and 5,000 euros. Low-wage policies are not an option here if you want to hire good people. The SEO niche is a supply market, and any good SEO manager with experience knows its value.

Personnel costs are joined by “hidden costs” for content, SEO tools and link acquisition. You also need to consider the transformation costs for your IT department. Because one thing is clear: SEO measures consume a lot of IT resources. If these are not available to you or you do not want to or cannot afford the costs, Google offers an alternative: Google Ads.Now about the prices of an SEO agency: The price in this case is determined either by the service for a specific project (e.g. SEO audit, relaunch support, keyword analysis) or by the person days booked.

Thus, the cost depends on the requested service. For an SEO audit, for example, reputable agencies estimate between 4,000 and 7,500 euros. And a person day costs 900 to 1,500 euros, depending on the agency.

These prices are justified because agencies have to manage equally. Put them in relation to other costs, such as marketing via paid media or TV, and deal with the contribution margin of SEO channels. Then you will quickly see that SEO also makes sense in economic terms.

When should you get an agency and when should you get an in-house SEO?

SEO agency only

You should get an SEO agency first if your budget is limited. Because then an SEO employee with his several thousand euros per month is out of the question.

Even if SEO has not yet been implemented in the company at all, maczunächst at least have an SEO audit done through an agency. Because then you’ll know exactly what you need and the scope of your efforts.

SEO Agency + In-house SEO

If you can estimate that you have a great need for SEO, then you should hire several people for SEO. Many companies that start out really steep start with an agency and look for in-house SEOs in parallel. That way, SEO can get started before you know it, rather than a few months down the road. Then, once you have employees, gradually ramp down the agency’s hours. In such a model, it’s smart to still have the agency on board later. For calling on performance peaks (such as during a relaunch) or work that your in-house team simply can’t handle. And most importantly, as a sparring partner to challenge your internal team and also point out new trends.

If you need more manpower, feel free to contact us at UnitedAds. We help you advertise a new position and ensure that the search for the right personnel is as fast and effective as possible. Because our customer satisfaction is our top priority!

SEO Agency + Inhouse Marketing

From our experience, it is very common for companies to employ one person for online marketing in general, who manages various specialized agencies. This person must be very strong communicator, but can then provide the optimal combination of in-house linkage and agency knowledge. Very many of our most successful customers drive with this model.

As online marketing manager, one employee takes care of the company newsletter, Google Analytics and the company blog. Even though she herself is not an expert in these areas, she makes sure that everything runs in line with the corporate strategy. She coordinates the agencies responsible for web design, programming, SEO and Google Ads and controls their work results.


So it depends on your budget and the specific situation. If SEO is vital to your business, you need a strong in-house SEO team. Otherwise, it may be wise to hire an agency that can help through its experience. Medium-sized companies with only one or one in-house SEO have in any case an indispensable sparring partner in the form of an agency, otherwise there is a risk of operational blindness.

The in-house SEO can exchange ideas with experienced colleagues and has extended access to tools. Besides, four eyes see more than two. The agency has one or a professional contact person in the company, and both pursue the same goal: the SEO success of your company.
Both sides can agree on a professional level how other departments need to be convinced to implement the SEO requirements.

And this is where you come in: As a decision-maker, you should ask yourself what is best for you and your company. Various factors play a role, such as the amount of work or cost factor.

If you are wondering which model is right for your business or you are simply unsure, contact us. We at UnitedAds are happy to help you and support you in bringing your website to the top ranks of the search engines.

How online stores save CPC on Google Shopping s

Recent Posts