In-House vs. Hiring an SEO Professional: Which Path Should You Choose?

In-House vs. Hiring an SEO Professional: Which Path Should You Choose? written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Search Engine Optimization is an essential part of the marketing mix today – few businesses can afford to ignore or abdicate this tactic. If you have a well-optimized website, and a content-driven SEO strategy, you are guaranteed to improve your rankings. Yes, guaranteed. 

Implementing a sound SEO strategy isn’t tough, but you need to do it right, which begs the question, “who should run and manage the SEO side of your business?”

Staying In-House vs. Choosing a Professional

It all comes down to the needs of your company. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s likely that one of your biggest pain points is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. There are few business owners who have the time to create content consistently while keeping up with day-to-day tasks of the company. It’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to kick off and manage an in-house SEO program.

While ongoing SEO tasks should be in every entrepreneur’s wheelhouse, it’s likely they’ll require outside professional help as well to ensure the program is successful.

Don’t believe me? Here is just a handful of the many tasks that should be considered for an effective SEO plan:

  • Blog posts – at least two/month, but ideal 4-8/month
  • Social media posts – 50-200 posts/month across major social media platforms
  • Guest blog posts – Occasional for relevant third-party sites
  • Ongoing reputation and citation management
  • Ongoing backlink analysis
  • Email marketing
  • PPC advertising
  • Marketing automation for lead capture and remarketing

That’s just the tip of the iceberg for the numerous tasks that need to be taken care of for an impactful SEO strategy.

Ignoring Google altogether is no longer an option. Business owners need to sit down with the people in their organization and decide if they are going to take on these tasks themselves, hire a permanent role in-house to dedicate to this or seek help from an agency.

This isn’t always an easy decision. As a first step, I’d recommend identifying your website goals and SEO budget. Consider meeting with an SEO expert to weigh in on what is possible within your budget so that you can properly set expectations. Keep in mind, the dollars you allocate to SEO are an investment, not an expense.

Once you have a good understanding of your budget and goals, you need to decide between staying in-house and going with an agency.

Why I’d recommend agency over in-house

For small businesses, I recommend going with an agency.because you don’t have any training or management responsibilities, and it is often the most cost-effective option, provided you find an agency that follows best practices and delivers consistent results. Business owners must do their due diligence to find the right SEO partner.

There are many reasons why I think going with an agency is the best option, but one is that when you hire an agency, you’ll have an SEO expert who will outline his process and strategy. He’ll have experience working with other companies and dealing with challenges in real-time. These experts are forced to stay on top of their game by monitoring SEO and Google updates on a daily basis. If you hire a person in-house, you’ll never know if they’re doing what they’re supposed to do, because SEO isn’t your area of expertise, it’s there’s.

Additionally, agencies take a team-based approach and are able to help you with a variety of things including content generation (which isn’t always in an in-house person’s wheelhouse). Working with an agency will also give you access to premium SEO, social media, and tracking tools that you would likely not justify spending money on if it was out of your own business’s pockets.

How to choose the right agency

There are many ways to screen an SEO agency before engaging with one. It’s important to ask for proof. Unfortunately, many companies misrepresent and their achievements and don’t practice what they preach. To make sure you’re getting the answers you need, below is a list of common SEO questions you should be asking:

  • Have you done SEO for a business like mine before?
  • What references can you provide?
  • Can I see your recent case studies?
  • What is the primary metric on which you focus your SEO? – Look for customer leads, sales, and conversions.
  • What can you tell me about your approach to link building? – Look for quality over quantity.
  • When will I begin to see results? – SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Expect initial results within 4-6 months.
  • What type of marketing or SEO-related certifications do you have?
  • How much does SEO cost? Expect to spend a minimum of $ 1000/month for basic local SEO services. Most legitimate SEO companies will charge between $ 2000-$ 5000/month.

That’s my two cents. You can absolutely find quality SEO professionals to hire in-house, but over the years, I’ve seen small businesses find much greater success going the agency route.

If you’re implementing an SEO program in your small business, did you hire in-house or hire an agency? Why?

Duct Tape Marketing

Joubert Guest Post: Joubert manual: a path to textiles comprehension

This week’s blogpost is from another participant of the workshop – Moira Dato, who is a graduate of Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and is currently studying at the University of Glasgow.

I discovered Joubert in the first year of my masters, through my research in secondary sources in which he was quoted numerous times: he was referred to as an author, a designer, but as an ‘inventor’ (for the moire).  He appeared therefore, as quite an important person to look at!

I had the opportunity during the workshop in London to share my experience with Joubert’s manual: having previously written two master dissertations about French silks of the eighteenth century, the Dessinateur gave me access to both general knowledge and specific aspects of the subject.


Dress fabric, 1765-1780, French, 1267-1877. Victoria and Albert Museum

It provided me with precious information on design, but also, in a broader respect, on the creation process through commission and commercialisation: Joubert does not only give names of silk shops in eighteenth-century Paris, but also emphasises the relationship and communication between designers, merchants and customers.


The Patridges, Brocaded silk panel, Philippe Lasalle, c.1770, T.187-1931, Victoria and Albert Museum


For instance, he quotes mercers such as Barbier, Nau or Buffault, whose shops gather the best and most fashionable production of Lyon, a great source of inspiration for the designer and a means to not replicate what has already been done in the past; but he also recalls, in the damask’s chapter, that a drawing must above all be made according to the commissioner’s will and taste.

Therefore, the translation of this manual is a wonderful project offering numerous possibilities. For example, images of surviving textiles supporting the text could be used as one of the various methods that will bring it to life.


Silk Sack Back Gown, 1755-60, Lyon, T.235&A-1953, Victoria and Albert Museum


Version française:

J’ai eu l’opportunité lors du workshop organisé à Londres de partager mon expérience avec le traité de Joubert : lors de l’écriture de deux mémoires de master portant sur les soieries françaises au XVIIIe siècle, consulter Le Dessinateur m’apporta à la fois des connaissances générales et des informations plus précises sur le sujet. Celui-ci me procura de précieux renseignements sur le dessin, mais aussi plus largement sur le processus de création à travers la question des commandes et de la commercialisation : Joubert nous donne non seulement les noms de marchands de soieries dans le Paris du dix-huitième siècle, mais il porte également l’accent sur les échanges entre dessinateurs, marchands et acheteurs. Il cite notamment des marchands tels que Barbier, Nau ou Buffault, dont les boutiques rassemblent ce qui se fait de mieux à Lyon, et qui se révèlent être un lieu idéal pour trouver l’inspiration et éviter de reprendre ce qui a déjà été fait ; mais il rappelle également, dans le chapitre sur le damas, que la réalisation d’un dessin tient avant tout du désir du client auquel le dessinateur doit répondre. La traduction de ce traité est donc un excellent projet qui amène de nombreuses possibilités. Ainsi, l’usage d’images de fragments de soieries pourrait être l’un des procédés qui sauront mettre en valeur ce texte remarquable.


Motion along path in CSS

From the “I barely knew this was a thing and you can already play with it in browsers” files:

Motion paths allow authors to animate any graphical object along an author-specified path.

I suspect Chrome jumped on this because it’s something that was only otherwise doable in SMIL, which they are ditching. I believe this is the first time the full path syntax has made it into CSS? (e.g. motion-path: path('M100,250 C 100,50 400,50 400,250');).

There are some demos on CodePen.

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Motion along path in CSS is a post from CSS-Tricks