SES NYC – The Pros and Cons of In-house SEO

Joe Laratro is up and talking about the 1st thing you need when you start doing SEO in-house. He goes on to explain that you begin with hiring an Online marketing team leader who would be in charge of hiring the 1st dedicated SEO person. From this point they would need to develop a marketing plan both internally and with other agencies working on the brand. He says there are 3 main aspects of SEO: Architecture, Content, Linkbuilding.

One thing I’m not liking about the presentation so far is that nobody seems to be talking about the Pros and Cons. The main focus so far has been: who’s offering training, where to look to get started, why it’s good to do it, how to retain your people & not have them move to a competitor or start their own project in your industry, etc. Not a single Pro & Con and it’s been about 45 minutes into the presentation and 3 speakers have presented.

Here is what the panel thinks (I also added myself as a virtual panelist to add my thoughts) in terms of Pros / Cons:

Pros

  • Helps accumulate SEO-related knowledge internally
  • An internal team already has a deep understanding of the organization and its customers
  • Having internal people owning SEO helps large companies to deploy what is proposed by the agency
  • Force departments to work together and be sensitive to SEO concepts within their field of expertise

Cons

    • Hard to keep employees as they will go into business for themselves or switch to a competitor
    • Contained within 1 industry, which limits experimentation and experience outside the field
    • Momentum is hard to keep if SEO is not a core part of the company business (especially in recession time)
    • Still need outside expertise to remain up to date and accurate

Conclusion

The conclusion is simple: the agency has to evolve and be more knowledge centric and develop tools to transfer that knowledge. Tomorrow’s world of advertising will be more about team work and less about the “do-it-all-and-share-nothing” formula. Times are changing…

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