• http://www.actwebconsulting.com Amy C. Teeple

    I agree that there are definitely things you can bring in-house IF you have a team that has the time and expertise to complete the tasks.

    I also agree that there are many SEO firms who overcharge their clients. However, there needs to be a measure of understanding when it comes to implementing SEO-related tactics. For example, if you are going to bring your content creation in-house, you should at least educate yourself (or your staff) on the best practices. For this I recommend one of the reputable content creation training programs available. Personally, I recommend Heather Lloyd-Martin’s SEO Copywriting certification (or customized training for larger companies). AWAI and Nick Usborne also offer good training options too.

    Don’t just jump into “fixing” your SEO without some knowledge of how to properly do it.

  • http://foreignthinker.wordpress.com F.T.

    It can be argued that all SEO activities could be handled internally, not just the five you have identified. However, the five you have outlined are precisely the sort of activities that organizations come to me for help, and the reason they are willing to pay my modest fees (not all SEO firms are expensive) is that these are not core competencies for a company unless they have a dedicated content team.

    Unless your business is content development, it is going to be the Achilles heel in the completion of your on-page SEO or the launching of a website 99% of the time. And given the cost of idled resources and missed deadlines this is perhaps the most important activity to outsource. Invariably, in the last 16 years of working with clients to develop sites, when content development has been tackled internally, it has been assigned to individuals who are already overloaded with activities the organization feels are of higher priority. The result of this approach has most often been, rehashed or cobbled together copy from sales material that is written with the company’s agenda top most and shoehorned into best-fit pages at the very last minute. Most are lucky if they have managed to get a likely customer query term in the body copy let alone a subhead.

    Until an organization staffs their marketing or web department with an individual whose primary responsibility is writing content (something I fully support) I just cannot agree this is a measure that will produce either result of saving money or improved site optimization.

  • http://www.empirecovers.com Jake Goldblum

    I appreciate your comments and agree. However when i first started i was a power of one and i was able to look at many forums and read a lot of books and get a head start into seo. It took a year of hard work and trial and error and we were able to get some great results from it. The point is SEO firms charge soo much for stuff that if you look at the google webmaster guide you would know what to do. Also i got pissed when they charged me 100 dollars an article when they were paying 15 dollars an article on some site with content writers. My next article will probably be “interesting seo tactics that work because we are inhouse” or if you can suggest what you find interesting i will be happy to write about it. I was told to write about my inhouse experience and i hope i accomplished that. Let me know your thoughts. My email is jake@empirecovers.com. Thank you so much for your feadback

  • reheen

    Having worked as in-House Online Marketing expert and now in a Digital Agency I have seen both sides. Personally I say there is 1 thing missing in the article when you work inhouse you dont get a Third party perspective, everyone within the company follows certain set guidelines and procedures, the degree of experimentation is not high.
    Also 1 counter argument that I would like to put up is – think SEO as Taxes – would you consider doing Taxes in-house or hire an accounting firm (who never come cheap). You can read about Taxes and laws and accounting and do it in-house – but the question to ask it – Is it worth the time and effort and what happens if you go wrong?
    Would like to hear other people’s thoughts.

  • http://www.empirecovers.com Jake Goldblum

    i think there are more than 5 areas of seo that you need to improve. I probably could have written a novel on how to do seo inhouse. I’ve read enough books. One of the things i was to share and hope i shared is even if you are inhouse which is very lonely there are still millions of communities out there that you can keep you in the loop or teach you how to do more link building. Watching seer interactive or distilled videos, watching matt cutts, talking on seo moz or high ranking forums, or even going to meetup.com where it is all about seo. I found an incredible meetup that has some top people from the industry. Isn’t this why were are on the site to learn more about how to link build and get ideas? I personally think you can do a lot of things in house before you go to an seo firm and save a lot of money. I will try to make the articles as interesting as possible and please continue the dialogue because it helps me write better articles. Look i paid a lot of money to people who have helped me with seo. I just think i can save a lot of people money. I wont tell the story of a disaster of an seo firm that i hired that ripped me off but it is one of the best firms in the east coast.

  • http://www.empirecovers.com Jake Goldblum

    sorry i wrote the last thing on my phone

  • http://nicopretorius.wordpress.com/ Nico Pretorius

    Great post, thx. I do think it depends on the size of your company though. What I found worked well for me in the past is to make the website the responsibility of the company doing my marketing. They are therefore responsible not only for SEO, but for the whole website, the content on the website and the look & feel. I use one company for this, and they grow with the business. But your article can also be used as a checklist to make sure they did what they were suppose to do (e.g. link building and doing it right), and that they did not overcharge you, as per you paying $100 per article.

  • http://www.enovabiz.in E.B.

    Yes, every aspect of SEO can be done in-house. But is it advisable? Does everyone have enough time to learn and keep up with SEO industry?

    Car manufacturers don’t make nuts or bolts. Not every car company makes even engines. They do what they are best at and outsource others. If you start doing it yourself then why stop at just SEO?

    As for the expenses. Not every SEO company is expensive & not everyone is equally good. As for hiring an inhouse SEO. Won’t he be more expensive?

    One benefit of hiring a SEO company is that when a big screwup like JC Penney’s happens you can dump the blame on your SEO company and claim you’re innocent! :)

  • http://www.empirecovers.com Jake Goldblum

    just to go back to the point yes you have to be an expert in everything but for small companies and medium size companies it is not that expensive to hire an inhouse person. Read some books and get some information to make the content relevant to your keywords. Honestly putting your keywords two or three times in the content of your page and in the title and than paying someone to do link building is a good start to seo. I’ve seen some of the seo firms and most of the big ones i have seen have 10 dollar an hour people doing linking building. For a medium firm you can honestly pay someone 12 bucks an hour and give them a 1000 dollars a month to get links or make them do give aways. You would save a ton of money. SEO is tough in a large scale but in a short scale it is very do able. I am not trying to be insulting i know and admire a lot of seo firms. Honestly like you guys say it is all about effort. It is easier to outsource

  • http://www.seocopywriting.com Heather Lloyd-Martin

    Hi, Jake-

    Great post! I’m a big fan of companies handling their SEO in-house. For many companies, it’s the smartest way to go.

    I read your comments about content creation, and saw that you were angry when a SEO content provider charged you $100 for an article, and outsourced it to a $15/post writer. Yeah, that kind of stuff drives me crazy too. :) I’ve written a number of articles about how to find an SEO copywriter – and one of the questions I encourage folks to ask is, Who is the person who will be writing the content? Outsourcing isn’t necessarily bad – what’s bad when a company is expecting quality…and the final result is keyphrase-stuffed drivel.

    Please know that not every small business owner (or in-house team) is equipped to write their own content. They may not have time. English may not be their first language. They don’t know how to write to sell – which is an incredibly important skill set. Or heck -they may be oo close to their business to write good copy. In that case, keeping the SEO content in-house is actually detrimental. Companies in this position would benefit from outsourcing it – or at least bringing someone in to train them on content generation. Sure, that means spending some money (and that may very well be over $100 a page.) At the same time, if that content drives qualified traffic and makes sales (which a savvy SEO copywriter can provide,) the expense is well worth it.


  • http://www.empirecovers.com Jake Goldblum

    Thank you for all of the nice comments I absolutely agree with everything you said heather and there are ways to find inexpensive good copy writers that will not over charge you. I still love the site http://www.textbroker.com/ . I literally found someone with a masters degree who writes beautifully. When I started the business I was all about the teach the man to fish theory. I would pay for any information or books that would help me achieve the results that I wanted. You brought up some great points and I appreciate it. It is 100 times better to pay someone for info rather than outsource if you can prevent it. My next article will be the perks that people do not even realize exist if you do it inhouse and the successful campaigns that I was able to accomplish because it was inhouse. I have some awesome videos on my site that my seo/pr guy got because he was working 24/7 to get them.

  • http://www.getfoundfirst.com Stu Draper

    Paying $100 for an article that cost them $15 seems unreasonable, but the time and energy to get a kid that can write a GOOD article for just $15 is not taken into consideration. Neither is proof reading and improving the article. A plumber costs $100/hour. Paying $100 for a GOOD SEO article that has the potential of building inbound links is DIRT CHEAP!

  • http://www.orangewhale.co.uk S.B.

    I totally agree with you on the content point Jake. And of course it is an argument that flows on to Social Media accounts, and again, the best people to handle them are in-house.

    But I think you paint a slightly simplistic picture overall picture of SEO. The tactics you suggest should get good stable rankings, but they may not cut the mustard and get you right to the top. That is why people employ SEO Companies.

    I could probably design a house, but when you get down to the finer details, I’d probably put the electrics in the wrong place and kill someone.

    Our Company works on the basis that seo is just one aspect of marketing anyhow.

    There are a lot of different elements involved in a marketing strategy, but I’d have no problems telling a client to install a blog, and get writing, if i thought that was their best approach.

    Regarding the 600% markup….it’s a moot point. It’s end results that matter. You could say a meal in a good restaurant is a rip-off because the food itself costs £10, and the meal costs £60…but that doesn’t take into account a lot of other factors…

  • http://www.empirecovers.com Jake Goldblum

    Absolutely I agree with you it is all about the return on investment. This article is about saving money and not trying bad mouth the seo firms. Some things with seo are very simplistic and some things are very complicated. I would like for some seo firms to admit that they do have a rolodex of clients when they want to get links and once that rolodex runs out they are not sure what to do. Hopefully some small and medium firms who are just starting out do not over charge for seo services. I think the hardest part of seo is link building and site hierarchy. I still have to do url rewriting on my site. The point is if you put a little bit more effort you can get good results. I sound like a weight loss video now but it is possible. I feel bad for people who go so blindly into seo company and do not research how to do the small things and then they wonder why they did not get the ROI they wanted. It is both of their faults. I do not think seo or copy writing is easy. I am just saying there are ways to make it easier and save money

  • Fafi Kajenian

    Great tips. I have been facing some difficulties in link building but i guess now following your guidelines will help me out.