Compare in-house SEO versus agency. Which is better for your business

Published on - November 30, 2020 by hesk-digital

When it comes to making business decisions, you might ask “who will do our online marketing?”. Do you do it in-house or do you hire an agency to do your marketing for you? This dictates the shape of your marketing efforts, so it’s no surprise that many businesses have some difficulty deciding.

There are some strengths and weaknesses in each method. At HESK Digital, we’ve researched both methods of online marketing and have compiled an honest breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of both agency and in-house online marketing.

Having a Broad Skill Set

Online marketers can specialise as paid search, SEO, social media, content marketing, or conversion rate specialists, and these are only the most common. Online Marketing is an extensive field, and many areas require expert knowledge.

So, if you hire a paid search specialist to do work in-house, you can expect a great job in paid search. However, what if your business requires social media work or content marketing? They might be able to do this work, but they’ll be far from a specialist.

Hiring each type of online marketing expert in-house is very cost-inefficient for SMB. On the other hand, a very large ad campaign might justify the use of a full-time specialist, which an online agency might not provide at a comparable price point.

When it comes to hiring a reputable digital marketing agency, you are provided with a wide range of skills and options to choose from regarding online marketing. This is ultimately cheaper than hiring each type of expert in-house. So, when it comes to comparing the skill set of an online marketing agency and hiring an inhouse online marketer; unless you have a large company which can afford to employ each type of expert, it may be a better option to hire an agency.


Being a great online marketer requires creativity, and an In-house marketer can gain the long term experience with a business needed to produce amazing, on-brand content.

Unfortunately, working in one industry can also lead many marketers to become bored with doing the same marketing job over and over. Many marketers change jobs within 2-3 years of being hired. While that may benefit the marketer in the long term, the business has to hire a new online marketing expert in-house every few years, which can cause significant issues.

Agencies specialise in online marketing for a number of clients, meaning that their employees are constantly thrust into new challenges.

While digital marketing agencies don’t have a perfect retention rate, it may be a better idea for your business to outsource your online marketing to an agency as opposed to bearing the cost of hiring and training expert online marketers to work within your business. 

Ultimately, it depends on the size of your business. Smaller companies may have less to offer when it comes to the variety of online marketing topics, and may not be able to react comfortably to employee turnover. However, a large business with more resources can offer more variety and can deal with the turnover risk.

Agency Perks 

It is no surprise that digital marketing firms work with Google daily, managing and creating content and advertisements for clients. This means that agencies are usually afforded special perks which aren’t available to most businesses. These perks will often be used by digital marketing agencies to yield better results for their client’s content and ads.

So what sort of perks are digital marketing firms receiving that others don’t? Some include

  • Special attention on a client’s ads 
  • Quick Response from Advertising platform support
  • Access to Betas and educational materials
  • More powerful tools
  • Access to the enterprise versions of many products and services


Whilst hiring an in house expert can be great in terms of focus and brand consistency, it is often not cost-effective for smaller businesses. While a larger business can handle the cost of hiring multiple marketing experts, for smaller to mid-sized businesses; it is more beneficial and cost-effective to hire an agency to carry out all aspects of online marketing. 

It’s always important to research the digital marketing agency you may be thinking of hiring and asking to see sample work. Hiring an agency with a bad reputation which may exercise bad SEO strategies may be more harmful to your business. Finding an agency with a good reputation who are honest and transparent, can improve your business’ online marketing and Google rankings naturally and drive future growth.

About Us

HESK Digital is a Sydney based digital marketing agency specialised in business growth. Take your business to the next level with our customised digital marketing solutions and innovative methodology. We are experts in SEO, Pay Per Click and Social Media Advertising, and Analytics. Our experts have over three decades of digital marketing experience in converting traffic into real sales through customised strategies.

Grow your business with HESK Digital.

Get in touch for a free SEO strategy session with our digital experts. 

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