Agency vs Freelancer vs In-House SEO: Which One Fits Your eCommerce business?

The world of SEO is complex and fast-changing. The number of agencies and freelancers promising outstanding SEO results is growing day by day, which concerns the quality of service – it highly differs. Therefore it is of great importance to choose a qualified SEO service provider that is ready to communicate and understand your business needs and goals.

Posted on 19.06.2020 | by Silvi | Content Writer


It’s not a secret that search engine optimization has become crucial in the development of every business that desires to reach continuous targeted traffic, to improve marketing efforts, boost sales and achieve overall business goals. Every business’s primary goal nowadays is to rank higher on search engines to attract more and more potential customers. However, the road to guaranteed SEO results is not an easy one, it requires time, energy, and, of course, a rightly chosen individual or an agency for implementation of search engine optimization. And here comes the most complicated question – which one to choose? Should you hire a freelance SEO specialist, do in-house SEO or hire an agency?

Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of every single option to find the best one for your growing business.

Hiring Freelancer SEO Specialists

The number of freelancers in this field has highly increased during recent years. Being a freelancer does not mean that you are not experienced enough to work in a company, and it is proven by the fact that more and more qualified specialists choose to work as a freelancer and manage their time rather than sit at an office desk and work with the clients chosen by others.

Hiring a freelancer to implement the search engine optimization of your company’s website has several very important advantages:

  1. Affordable pricing: Freelancers usually charge less than agencies, as in fact they have no other expenses to cover except their payment, making freelance SEO affordable.
  2. Flexibility: Most of the freelancers are ready to build their schedule to match your needs. They have flexible hours and are always ready to take a new project. So if you hire SEO freelancer, the job will be done faster.
    Reporting and responsibility: Very often freelancers’ future work depends on the past/current projects and feedback they get from it. So, most probably, your freelancer will not try to procrastinate, obviously, because, yes, deadlines! You’ll get periodic reports and frequent updates of the work progress and results, making hiring SEO specialist a great option if you want to be in the loop of their work.

Choosing an In-House SEO

In-House SEO is another option to consider when you need an expert to do your company’s SEO. However, your in-house SEO manager needs to be a really good professional and experienced one and fully understand your business aspects, operations, requirements, and goals to develop a good SEO strategy exclusively for your business.

The pros and cons of In-House SEO

  1. Confidentiality: In-house SEO managers concentrate mainly on one project and develop a unique strategy for your business. It guarantees that the information concerning your business is kept confidential, making it one of the crucial in-house SEO benefits.
  2. Expertise: The majority of in-house SEO managers have access to company resources and have a full understanding of the company’s business needs and goals.

However, you need to consider the possibility of downsides when choosing an in-house SEO, and, in that case, you’ll come across the following:

  • risk of getting penalised,
  • insufficient training for managers,
  • high investments.

Hiring an eCommerce SEO Agency

Agencies are really cool. There are hundreds of good SEO agencies that have gained the trust of millions of businessmen all over the world by providing quality service and showing awesome results. But why hire an SEO company you ask? Well, let’s see how you can benefit from that.

What do SEO companies really do? They help businesses to be easily found by search engines, increase targeted traffic and boost conversions. But there is still another question – how to choose the best one and be sure that your company’s SEO needs will be totally satisfied? This is a complicated issue, especially for eCommerce marketing agencies as higher rankings and traffic to the website is equal to gaining new customers and increasing sales. So let’s see what does an SEO agency do and how they can help you maximize your profits.

The pros of agencies providing SEO services

  1. Professional and Experienced Staff
    Marketing agencies, especially the ones concentrated mainly on search engine optimization try to hire the best specialists in the field and provide constant training for them to develop skills and learn the newest techniques. Why? The higher is the number of professionals working with you, the higher are your chances to outstand in the industry and compete with major companies providing excellent service.
  2. Teamwork, Timing, and Strategy
    Even the newest and smallest agencies have several employees to organize the work more effectively – project managers, content writers and managers, customer support specialists, marketing and SEO specialists and so on. This helps to have flexible workflow solutions and develop a specific strategy for every client, have a clearer understanding of the timeframes and work more efficiently. When complicated tasks are ahead, teamwork is the key to success!
  3. Reporting and Analytics
    SEO is all about analyzing the data and reporting it. Without measuring your rankings and having an understanding of your results, you can never improve them. Therefore it is of crucial importance to deal with a good agency that has all innovative reporting and analysis tools to help you improve rankings and aim for higher ones.
  4. Complying to Unique Business Needs
    Every business is unique, the needs, requirements, and aims also differ. Be sure that every agency will fully get acquainted with your business type, needs, and goals before starting the search engine optimization process. As mentioned above, businesses highly differ and their SEO goals differ too.

    For example, if you need an SEO for your eCommerce website, the processes, tools, and techniques will greatly differ from the ones used to drive traffic to a photographer’s blog or a development company website.

    Best eCommerce digital marketing agencies know that quality and useful content and innovative SEO techniques, trends, and tools designed for eCommerce companies will increase client retention rates, produce positive ROI (return on investment) and boost sales. What else do you need for success?!
  5. Pricing
    We can discuss financial matters for hours, but when it comes to SEO services, the pricing depends on your business needs and the service provider you choose. The truth is that with such a high number of agencies you can definitely find a good one within your budget.

The cons of agencies providing SEO services

Yes, SEO agencies have many advantages, but here are some difficulties you may face while dealing with some of them. When you trust your search engine optimization to a specific agency you are pretty sure there is a great team of specialists concentrated mainly on your project and there is no chance of being disappointed with the final results. But agencies can have not-so-reasonable timeframes for employees, insufficient expertise, misunderstandings between departments/employees.

These lead to delays and not seeing the desired results and investment returns in time.

To sum this all up:

SEO is a crucial part of your digital marketing campaign and the main source to generate targeted traffic to your website. However, the most important step remains to choose the right way for your company’s search engine optimization. The pros and cons of each option presented in the article will give a much better insight into how you can benefit from making the right choice. One very important thing to remember in the endless dilemma agency vs freelancer vs in-house implementation is taking into account the risk of being penalized. One mistake here will make you start everything from scratch. As this industry changes super fast and seeing results takes time, you need to be sure you can count on a team of professionals. Of course, you may choose a really good freelancer or in-house SEO manager, but in the case of agencies you can be more confident and the communication will be on a more professional level.

The ways to reach your SEO goals are infinite, all you need is to devote time to research options and choose the one that best satisfies your requirements and meets your business goals.

Silvi | Content Writer

Silvi has been writing blogs at Smarketa since 2016 and is very enthusiastic about marketing and SEO. She loves nature, and takes her inspiration from the long hikes she goes on regularly.