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So, your business has seen the value of search engine optimization and needs to get on the SEO bandwagon to increase your Internet sales. For those traditional marketing professionals that aren’t familiar with SEO, I’ve compiled five valid reasons why hiring an experienced, reputable SEO firm is generally better than building out your own in-house SEO team.

Instant Team with Real Knowledge

Quite simply, when you sign up with an SEO firm, you already have the manpower on hand. This saves you days of sorting through resumes, interviewing and the back and forth of hiring. Also, if you don’t fully understand SEO, how can you be so certain that the person you’re hiring is actually the best person for the job? A reputable SEO company has dozens of knowledgeable members to aid in setting strategy or resolving any issues.

Proven Experience, Expertise and Education

Signing on with a proven SEO company not only gets your campaign moving quickly, but they’re also there to answer questions, consult and weigh in on other online marketing techniques. A reputable SEO company typically has a track record including case studies and a decent sized SEO team.

In addition, depending on the company, they will invest thousands of dollars in keeping their employees’ knowledge up to date by allotting time to research, testing and attending SEO conferences around the nation.

Connections and Collaborative Efforts

Along the same lines of experience and expertise that an SEO firm has, your project should be seen by many professional’s eyes. As opposed to creating your own team, the decision and strategy that is behind your SEO campaign gets looked at by other managers, directors and VPs. Putting all your eggs in one basket and trusting a single individual to market your products online is risky. The truth is, without multiple experienced eyes on a campaign, bad decisions from inexperience or lack of knowledge can seriously hurt your SEO both short and long term.

Much Easier to Manage

Reputable SEO companies should always be available. You should be able to pick up a phone and call them during business hours. For many companies, SEO can be very confusing and many don’t want anything more than phone call meetings and accurate reports to show value. The truth is, leaving your SEO project in the trusted hands of proven professionals is easier to manage. It doesn’t take as much time out of your day and you still get all the value.

Performance Driven

SEO companies will do whatever it takes to keep you on as a client. This mentality encourages an increase of productivity and a higher level of performance. All SEO companies should be tracking the progress of the campaign through analytics, rankings and overall return on investment. Hiring an in-house SEO can also achieve great results, but because the working mentality is slightly different, results can seriously vary.

Case Studies and Multiple Success Clients

When shopping around for an in-house SEO or an SEO company, make sure you see their previous work. Allowing a newcomer to this industry to handle your campaign can be disastrous. A portfolio of successful clients is essential and a reputable SEO firm is going to have many case studies to prove their expertise. Should the SEO firm that you’re looking at not have any examples of a successful campaign, keep looking.

Many will argue that building out an in-house team, though more work in the beginning, will be best for the long term and more cost effective. Reputable SEO companies can easily be long-term partners. In fact, many clients that I’ve dealt with have been working with us for close to two years and counting. To figure out which is more cost effective, consider that hiring an in-house SEO with experience is going to cost $60,000-$110,000 per year depending on the demand, state and level of knowledge, and that’s just for one person too. Then there’s the cost of the additional team members, company equipment, desk space and benefits. On the other hand, hiring an SEO firm and investing $4,000-$7,000 per month ($48,000 – $84,000 per year) into your campaign would be a very healthy budget, and more cost effective.

Many companies hire an SEO firm for the reasons I have just outlined, while others build out their own in-house team. Some larger companies have an SEO team, and an SEO firm to get the advantages of both worlds. Whichever route your company takes, make sure that the person or company you hire is reputable, proven and experienced.