SEO Agency: All about the advantages and disadvantages of internalizing or outsourcing your SEO
Is it necessary to outsource its Google referencing strategy? This is a question that is often asked by e-merchants for whom SEO is the main acquisition channel. The success of your marketing strategy depends on it!
Your digital marketing team is performing well but needs a boost? Maybe it's time to call in a specialist SEO agency. In this guide we answer your questions.
Expertise in business sectors (diversity of its clientele) and referencing techniques (technology watch)
Any new agency you decide to work with will start by doing a SEO audit in order to detect all blocking points and provide detailed recommendations to correct these points and optimize your website to the maximum on search engines. As an option, some agencies offer to implement the improvements to your website for you in the event that you do not have the necessary internal resources.
In any case, you are responsible for the smooth running of the SEO actions and must guide your SEO agency in the progress of the tasks to be accomplished. This is why it is imperative that you develop your skills and those of your teams in SEO by taking part in SEO training courses, organised either by your agency or by third party organisations.
The impact of Google's algorithm on SEO agencies
Each time Google updates its algorithm, it changes the rules of the game a little bit, forcing your SEO agency to adapt its recommendations. Until the update PandaThe majority of SEO outsourcing was standardised, making it a common practice.
After Panda, the Google algorithm is now looking closely at the quality of the content of your pages and user behavior. It is no longer enough to propose standard optimizations, and on the contrary, your SEO agency now needs to understand and know the business issues of your company, a task that is more complex and more opaque as an external service provider.
Which websites use an SEO agency?
The purpose and size of your website are taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to outsource your SEO.
TPE : site of some web pages
Your website is a showcase site, intended to give you an online presence but whose web traffic is not a vital issue. You produce little or no content and your SEO needs are simple: make sure that good practices are in place and correct possible technical errors. For you, using a web agency is a very good solution.
SME: e-commerce site with a hundred or so web pages
You are an e-merchant, you have several hundred product pages on your site, and your sales depend mainly on your online presence. For you, SEO is a vital issue. You have a small in-house team that writes product sheets and website content. Your best choice is to hire an in-house SEO expert, and possibly use an SEO agency for specific actions such as netlinking and annual SEO audit.
Large company: e-commerce site with several thousand web pages
You are an e-merchant, you have several thousand pages on your site, and SEO is your main acquisition channel. For you, internalizing your SEO skills is very advantageous.
A pre-requisite (all the same): you must absolutely have access to all the links in the technical chain, i.e. you must be able to make the modifications directly on your site and manage the creation of content yourself. When you have complete control over your site, then internalizing your SEO skills makes sense and even allows you to be much more effective in your SEO and positioning.
Using an external agency or service provider to handle your SEO when the content and communication is done in-house is a bit counterproductive. You write your content, you choose your editorial line, you know who you're talking to. So you are in the best position to determine the keywords you need to be positioned on and the on-page SEO and netlinking strategies to adopt.
So why not measure the fruits of your SEO optimization efforts yourself? Today, there are a plethora of tools on the market to help you optimize your SEO and measure your performance. Some of them are very advanced, others are specialists, but you are guaranteed to find something that will meet your expectations and help you determine an effective strategy according to your needs.
Privateaser, you know? The leader in the booking of bars and rooms in Paris. Several hundred product sheets, new articles every week... In short, a lot of work! Well, for them, the question of outsourcing their SEO did not arise for a single second. And with good reason: no external SEO in-house, and the desire to learn.
After studying several SEO tools, they chose SmartKeyword because it was the one best suited to their needs: a tool that detects the most profitable keywords for their business and offers an analysis of the competition, but above all, it offers personalised support to help them implement their strategy.
What should be outsourced to a SEO agency?
The SEO agency helps you to carry out tasks that you cannot do or for which you do not have the necessary resources in-house.
A bad SEO agency can harm your SEO!
You need to know the basics of Google SEO and Google's instructions to webmasters. You must be able to detect errors and stop bad ideas before they are put on your roadmap. And you need to be able to measure the scope of current and future tasks in order to steer the project correctly. You're also responsible for ensuring that the agency is well integrated with your business and its business issues so that you can get the maximum benefit from it.
So while an SEO agency is a cheaper choice than hiring an SEO expert in-house, you need to keep some "business" tasks in-house no matter what.
We believe that the division of labour between your team and your agency should be project-based:
SEO training: you should always be trained in the basics of SEO, but for more specialized concepts, we advise you to use the expertise of an agency.
Keyword research: you have the business expertise and know better than anyone else who your website is aimed at, on the other hand, use an agency to discover more keyword detection tools.
Technical: do you have access to your website's CMS? Do the on-page optimizations yourself, however, call on an agency for large-scale modification projects.
The natural search engine optimization (SEO) agency is your best ally for your large-scale projects.
The expertise of an SEO agency will be very useful for large scale projects, which not only affect SEO, but also have an impact on the referencing of your website.
You are launching your website, so this is the best time to start on a good basis and have an optimized website from the start. The role of an SEO agency will be to advise you on an optimized structure of your web pages (the so-called On-page SEO), on technical elements such as programming language, architecture and domain name.
Your website is getting a makeover, and your goal is to generate more visits, more conversions and therefore more turnover. The role of an SEO agency will be to advise you on the best way to keep your positions and SEO traffic.
The risks of redesigning a website are very real. We have observed that even with excellent preparation, it can happen that the redesign of a website causes a loss of 10 to 20% of traffic. Imagine the loss in turnover!
That's why the agency's expertise will be crucial in minimizing this risk. It will then be a question of indicating to Google where the new pages of the site are located and thus to preserve the positioning and reputation of the site.
New domain name
Your company name is changing, or you would like to improve your URL so that people can find you better? There is a risk of losing traffic and positions on Google. The role of an SEO agency will be to advise you on the best approach to URL structure and help you manage the issues of redirections 301. The ultimate goal is to maintain your positions, and to make sure that Internet users recognize your website and come back.
How to choose your SEO agency?
You have a project to submit to an SEO agency, but which agency to choose? What questions to ask? What questions should they ask you as well? And what are the pitfalls to avoid?
What questions to ask your potential agency?
Start with your project and the service you would like the agency to provide:
Is it an audit? advice on the duration? a project set in time?
Ask him or her any questions you may have about whether the agency can meet your needs. Optionally, if you want the agency to put in place the advice and recommendations you are looking for, ask them as soon as possible. Many agencies do not wish to "touch" their clients' websites.
Then check that the agency has good references, in your field or in absolute terms, and ask for case studies with concrete results obtained with other clients and the role the agency played in achieving these results.
Finally, and this goes without saying, talk together about the agency's approach, whether it follows Google's Webmasters' instructions, and so on. It's a matter of being on the same wavelength and agreeing on the method used.
What questions should the agency ask you?
When you meet with the agency, listen to the questions they will ask you. These questions, or the lack of them, will give you an insight into the way the agency works and whether or not it is involved with its clients.
A good SEO agency will be concerned about your needs and will seek to understand your objectives, your business issues, in order to become as familiar as possible with your company and its business sector and thus propose the best offer to meet your expectations.
If you hear the following questions, you are in front of a quality agency, that's a good sign!
What are your target keywords?
Who are your direct or indirect competitors, online or offline?
How do you manage the content on the website (CMS, team, internal or external)?
What is your SEO strategy to date?
What is your ASP strategy?
What team structure (marketing, technical, content writing) do you have or plan to set up?
What is your overall marketing strategy?
What other websites do you manage?
What analysis tools do you use for your website data?
Pitfalls to avoid
Watch out for scams! No SEO provider can guarantee a given position for a keyword on a search engine. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous SEO providers that you must learn to unmask before they do damage to your SEO and jeopardize your reputation with Google.
How do you measure your agency's performance?
You have chosen your partner SEO agency. We now advise you to set up performance criteria in order to measure the quality of the service provided in relation to your objectives.
The result objective can be measured in terms of :
improvement in average position
improvement of traffic quality (conversion rate, bounce rate)
increase in revenue
increased profitability of the acquisition channel
Choosing the SmartKeyword solution
At SmartKeyword, our vocation is to make your team autonomous in the implementation and management of your SEO strategy.
We have found that there are no suitable tools for digital marketing professionals who are not SEO experts but have to manage e-commerce or marketplace sites with hundreds or even thousands of pages and for which SEO is the main acquisition channel.
That's why we created SmartKeyword: the winning combination of a complete online SEO tool and personalized coaching. We pass on our know-how to you, your dedicated coach guides you through the key steps of SEO, you take the reins of your strategy from the start and you lead your SEO actions and analyze your reports on a daily basis in your SmartKeyword account.
More than an SEO tool, more than an SEO agency, SmartKeyword is the SEO solution that e-merchants have been waiting for a long time!
The SEO agency is therefore a strategic partner that can be particularly crucial in your large-scale projects such as website redesign or the launch of a new site.
Since Panda's update of Google's algorithm focuses on the content of your website, SEO agencies are no longer able to offer a standardised SEO package and have their offer customised to your business issues. In this context, you are responsible for steering the SEO projects and for the proper integration of the agency in your company in order to get the best results. This requires you to have at least one resource in-house, whether you choose to outsource or internalize your SEO, totally or partially.
This is why SmartKeyword focuses on increasing the skills of your teams while offering a simple and powerful tool that prioritizes for you the keywords to target and precisely measures the gains in position, traffic and turnover by keyword group. We therefore offer you the essential solution for the success of your SEO strategy!