Are you planning or upgrading an SEO strategy for your company and unsure whether to hire an in-house SEO or hire an SEO agency? It’s an excellent – and frequent – question to have. The solution is contingent on your budget and objectives.

Each choice has its own set of advantages, and in an ideal world, you’d have both. Here’s how Bruce Clay sees the situation: “It’s critical to stay up to date on the latest SEO methodology, but that takes a lot of time.” It takes several hours per day, which a single in-house SEO is unlikely to have. A consultant can be a valuable ally, mentoring and guiding an in-house SEO to fill up the gaps.”

However, if it’s a choice between the two, it’s critical to weigh the advantages of each and determine which is a better fit for your needs. Continue reading to learn more about the advantages of each approach, as well as some food for thought from our SEO manager, Robert Ramirez.

seo agency


An SEO agency is essentially a think tank of highly skilled and knowledgeable analysts. Their expertise and talent, together with unrestricted access to cutting-edge tools and huge data, make them a great asset to any company. And it’s no surprise that a strong SEO firm would be — they are, after all, obsessed with every facet of SEO on a daily basis.

“An SEO agency is well-established in the industry,” Ramirez explained. “They keep up with all algorithm updates as they occur.” Knowing everything about search engine optimization as it happens is part of an agency’s work. For example, Bruce Clay reads for two to three hours each day.”

Because SEO agencies have more experience, they usually offer faster results. They’ve worked with dozens (if not hundreds!) of clients across a wide range of sectors. Search engine optimization firms have a bird’s eye view of the search landscape.

“There’s less guesswork because they’ve presumably dealt with it previously,” Ramirez added.

Furthermore, because SEO services engage with a variety of clients, they avoid the tunnel vision that in-house SEOs are prone to.

“It’s sometimes difficult for an in-house SEO to spot a site’s flaws since they’re looking at it too closely. “An SEO agency can provide a new perspective,” Ramirez stated.

In terms of cost, an SEO agency’s hourly pricing can appear to be quite pricey at times. However, by using an SEO service, you may avoid the greater cost of hiring and keeping an in-house SEO. An in-house SEO costs more than simply a salary — you’re also liable for equipment, tools, education, and benefits, among other things. Those expenditures are not included in an SEO agency’s package; you pay for the SEO agency’s skills and effort.


An in-house SEO is completely dedicated to a company and is always focused on your brand. This SEO expert will be well-versed in your industry as well as your company’s specific requirements. He or she is a go-to source for information about search engine optimization and your company. In addition, the in-house SEO will benefit from the opportunity to collaborate with other team members on-site.

“An in-house SEO can develop relationships with different departments.” “Because they’re in the building and have a day-to-day interaction with them, they might have a bigger influence on IT or marketing, for example,” Ramirez said. “On the other hand, when teams are unresponsive, an agency often has the authority to escalate matters to the C-Suite.” If an in-house employee’s words fall on deaf ears, the agency can serve as the outside voice that their organisation will hear. The agency could play a major role in getting the higher-ups to cooperate.”

In-house SEO makes a lot of sense for organisations who are still developing their brand identification. An in-house SEO is completely immersed in your company’s messaging and methods.

“They live and breathe your brand,” Ramirez said, “so they’re inherently better qualified to convey the company’s message in marketing.”


It all comes down to your money and requirements at the end of the day. Whether you hire an SEO agency or hire an in-house SEO, make sure you do your research and get an experienced, ethical, and successful firm or individual. We recommend asking these “25 SEO Interview Questions” taken from from Bruce Clay, Inc. interviews when interviewing a prospective analyst.

If you’re trying to hire a digital marketing firm, keep in mind that a good one should have a proven track record of successful projects, be well-established in the field, have seasoned SEO experts on staff who are industry leaders, and have a solid reputation. Our How to Onboard an SEO Agency checklist covers everything you should think about during the choosing process.