Outsourced vs. Freelance SEO Specialist for Search Engine Optimization

Navigating the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be daunting, especially when deciding who should handle your company’s SEO efforts. It’s a critical decision, as 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

This article will offer clarity on whether hiring an in-house team, outsourcing to an agency or employing a freelance specialist is best for optimizing your website’s performance.

Key Takeaways of Outsourced SEO Specialist

  • SEO work can be done by in-house staff, outsourced agencies, or freelance experts.
  • An in-house team gives you more control and knows your company’s goals well.
  • SEO agencies offer a wide range of services but picking the right one needs careful thought.
  • Freelance SEO specialists work on contract basis and could cost less than an agency. They may not always be available for urgent tasks.
  • Tasks like keyword research, content creation, link building can be handled by all three options.
  • Choosing who handles your SEO depends on factors like skills needed, costs involved and how much control you want to have.

Understanding In-House SEO

In-house SEO refers to employing a full-time, dedicated professional or team within your organization to manage and execute search engine optimization tasks such as keyword research, site speed optimization, and website architecture.

Keeping SEO in-house provides benefits like having control over every aspect of your strategy, direct communication with the team working on it, quick changes if necessary, and the assurance that all efforts are specifically tailored for your business unique needs and goals.


In-house SEO is when a company has its own skilled team or person. This team or person knows all about on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. They work using the culture of the company.

The choice to use in-house SEO depends on what the company needs and wants.

What tasks can be in-house

Companies seeking to hire a SEO specialist should know that some tasks can be done in-house.

  1. Keyword research: This helps your website to show up in search results.
  2. Website optimization: This makes your site faster and easier to use.
  3. Content creation and optimization: Good content brings people to your site and keeps them there.
  4. On-page Optimization: This helps search engines understand what your page is about.
  5. Off-page optimization: This means getting other websites to link to you.
  6. SEO strategies planning: Plans give direction for all the work done on your site.
  7. Link building: Links from other sites show search engines that your site matters.
  8. Monitoring organic search traffic: This shows how many people find your site without paid ads.
  9. Use of SEO techniques: These methods help boost your rank in search results.

Benefits of keeping SEO in-house

In-house SEO offers many rewards for your company. Here are key reasons why you should ponder about this choice:

  1. Your firm gets more control over its SEO plans. You decide what goes in and what stays out.
  2. You form a strong bond with decision-makers in the firm. This helps make choices faster.
  3. Your in-house SEO group knows your company’s goals well. They work to meet those goals every day.
  4. Having an SEO team within your firm can give them a sense of backup and aid them perform better.
  5. With an in-house team, your web pages will show up high on search results more often and load quicker too.

Outsourcing SEO: What to Consider

When considering outsourcing SEO, factors such as costs, the level of expertise required, confidentiality concerns, and reporting structures should be carefully evaluated.

Costs and budget

Money matters when picking SEO service options. Hiring an in-house team can eat up funds fast. An outsourced SEO provider is often less pricey, with costs from $3,000 to $7,500 each month.

SEO tools also have a cost to think about; the basic plan starts at $100 per month. For more savings, companies might pick a freelance specialist over an agency. All sorts of prices exist in SEO outsourcing, so firms need to check their budget before choosing.

Required expertise

Experts decide if SEO will work well. Some companies can do all types of SEO work. These are onpage, offpage, and technical SEO. A good hire knows how to spot problems and find ways to grow.

They can help a brand talk about their products in new ways.

If your company needs help with its blogs and articles, think about hiring an expert in content marketing too. This person will know the best way to use words to attract people online.

Making sure you have someone who is good at this job is key for making outsourcing successful.


Keeping your data safe is vital. You want an SEO partner that guards your information. This means they don’t let others see it without your permission. Privacy matters a lot in the world of SEO, and picking a good team helps with this.

Make sure you check out their past work to know they are good at what they do. Their background will tell you if you can trust them with your secrets or not. Be thorough about checking them out before signing any deals.

Your company’s privacy hinges on finding a safe choice when outsourcing SEO tasks.

Reporting and responsibility

Outsourcing SEO hands off key duties to an external supplier. They take charge of search engine optimization for your firm. It’s crucial to have clear rules about reporting and responsibility.

The SEO specialist should keep you in the loop on what they’re doing for your website. This can be monthly reports or meetings, but it’s important you know how they are helping you reach your goals.

Good communication makes sure everyone knows their role and the job gets done right.

Freelance SEO Specialists

Freelance SEO specialists offer their skills on a contract basis, providing services such as keyword research, site speed optimization, and technical SEO. The benefits of hiring a freelance SEO can include flexibility, a diverse range of experiences, and potentially lower costs compared to an agency.

However, challenges may arise due to limited availability or varying levels of expertise among freelancers. As such, it’s important to thoroughly vet potential candidates before outsourcing your company’s SEO efforts to an independent freelancer.

What tasks can be outsourced to a freelance SEO

There are many tasks a company can assign to a freelance SEO specialist.

  1. Content creation is the first task. They pen down great stuff for your website.
  2. Keyword research is another job they do. They find words people use to find services like yours on the web.
  3. They also do website optimization. This makes your site run smoothly and quick.
  4. Link building is their work too. This helps raise how search engines rank your site.
  5. One more thing is SEO audits. They look at how well your current SEO plans are working.

Advantages of hiring a freelance SEO

Choosing a freelance SEO specialist brings many benefits. These specialists offer skilled services at lower rates than agencies. This can help your company save money. The use of freelance SEO services is both practical and convenient. They can work on tasks as needed rather than full time.

  1. Improved website performance: Freelance experts know how to boost your site’s rank.
  2. Access to expert knowledge: Freelancers often specialize in certain areas of SEO.
  3. Flexibility: You can hire freelancers for one-time projects or long-term tasks.
  4. Affordable expertise: Hiring a freelancer costs less than an agency but still offers the same level of skill.
  5. Enhanced visibility: A good freelancer will make your website easy to find online.
  6. Cost-effective solutions: Freelancers offer high-quality work for a lower price.

Challenges of Hiring a Freelance SEO

While hiring a freelance SEO specialist can offer numerous advantages, it also comes with certain challenges such as limited availability due to potentially handling multiple projects simultaneously, the possibility of lacking expertise across all areas of SEO, and issues related to accountability – unlike agencies or in-house teams, individual freelancers may be hard to hold accountable for results if things go awry.

Limited availability

Hiring a freelance SEO specialist might mean dealing with limited availability. Most freelancers work alone on various projects, causing resource constraints. They may not always be ready to help at once or in an emergency.

Smooth updates and fixes can get tricky too due to these freelancer limitations. So, time-sensitive tasks may face delays if your hired expert is busy with other clients.

Risk of a lack of expertise

Hiring a freelance SEO specialist may bring on challenges. One of these could be the risk of lacking expertise. SEO is a tough field that changes often. It needs special skills and deep know-how.

A freelancer might not have these traits. They might lack technical skills in website optimization or understanding how search engines work.

Also, some freelancers may find it hard to keep up with new techniques in SEO due to limited resources. As a company, you always want your website to perform best. If your freelance expert lacks this know-how, improving the website’s performance through SEO becomes tough.


Accountability can be a worry when working with a freelance SEO specialist. Freelancers often juggle multiple clients and projects at once. This might make it hard for you to get the attention your project needs.

It’s not like having an in-house team, where you have more control over what gets done and how quick tasks are finished. Outsourcing to an agency could give you more reliability. They would have responsibility for their work and meet set goals on time due to oversight from higher management levels within the agency itself.

SEO Agencies

SEO agencies are organizations that specialize in managing the SEO needs of businesses, offering a range of services such as keyword research, site speed optimization, technical SEO and content creation.

These agencies generally boast a team of SEO experts who can handle diverse aspects of search engine optimization for your website. The benefits of hiring an agency include access to specialized skills, continuous monitoring and improvements to your SEO efforts.

However, selecting an appropriate agency requires careful consideration and it should be cost effective while also fitting well with the business ethos and objectives.

What tasks can be outsourced to an SEO agency

Companies hire SEO agencies to carry out specific tasks. These tasks are often complex and need a lot of skills. SEO agencies can do the following tasks:

  1. Search engine optimization services: They make sure your website ranks high on search engines.
  2. Website optimization: They check and fix any issues on your site that could stop it from doing well in search results.
  3. Content optimization: They create or change your web content to draw more people to your site.
  4. Keyword research: They find the words and phrases that people use when looking for things online, then use these in your web content.
  5. Link building: They get other websites to link back to yours, which can help your site appear more useful and relevant.
  6. SEO strategy development: They plan out the best ways to improve how your site shows up in search results over time.
  7. Technical optimization: They ensure the structure of the website is clear, pages load quickly and there are no broken links or images.
  8. Image optimization: As per important facts, they make every image on your site work for you by giving them good titles and descriptions, making sure they’re the right size, and helping them show up in image searches.
  9. Local SEO services: If you have a local business, they help it show up when people nearby are searching for what you offer.
  10. SEO analysis: They keep track of how well their strategies are working and make changes if needed.
  11. Content Type creation: Writing blog posts or creating other types of media like videos or infographics based on keyword research.

Benefits of hiring an SEO agency

Hiring an SEO agency can give a company many perks. Here are some of them:

  1. One perk is getting advice from experts. These experts know a lot about SEO.
  2. An SEO agency can save a company time. They do all the work like content writing.
  3. The company does not need to hire more people for the job. This saves money.
  4. The agency has people who have studied SEO for years. They know what works and what doesn’t.
  5. An SEO agency keeps up with changes in their field, so the strategies they use will always be up-to-date.
  6. If a company hires an SEO agency, its website could perform better and get more visits.
  7. Lastly, an ongoing investment is needed, but it’s worth it in the end because of all the benefits an SEO agency offers to increase online visibility on search engines.

Challenges of Hiring an SEO Agency

One of the major challenges when hiring an SEO agency is finding a suitable fit for your specific business needs and goals. Another significant obstacle could be the high costs that come with hiring professional agencies, which might not align with your allocated budget for search engine optimization efforts.

Finding the right fit

Picking the perfect SEO agency can be tough. Not all agencies will match your needs. Some may offer services you don’t need. Others might not have what you want. It’s important to ask questions about their skills and plans for your website optimization.

Talk about costs too, as some agencies charge more than others do. Also, check if they want a long term deal with you, remember that it could be hard for some businesses. Be clear about your goals before making a choice.

This way, the right agency can help boost your online visibility and organic search results in the best possible way.


SEO agencies can be pricey. They often charge more than freelance SEO workers. The price for an hour of their work is between $75 and $150 on average. A full month of service costs from $500 to as high as $8000 in some cases.

When hiring them for a year, it may cost up to $70,000 or even more. Keep in mind that the fees can go up if your business plays in a very competitive market. So check these facts before you make your choice.

Factors to Consider When Choosing SEO Services

When choosing SEO services, crucial factors such as your specific business goals and budget should be at the forefront of the decision-making process. Identifying where your brand currently stands in terms of online presence can guide you towards what type of SEO service is needed whether it’s improving organic search rankings or implementing a more focused keyword strategy.

It’s also essential to thoroughly examine potential options to ensure they have proven experience in link building, optimized content creation, and technical aspects like site speed optimization and website architecture.

Understanding an SEO consultant or agency’s approach to these elements will enable you to select a service that aligns with your brand’s objectives without compromising on quality or cost-efficiency.

Business goals

Making clear business goals is key for picking SEO services. Every company needs to think about what they want from an SEO strategy. Some firms may seek online visibility, while others might aim for better reputation management.

These objectives can shape the choice between a freelance specialist or outsourcing to an agency. To reach those goals, companies should also weigh their budget constraints and in-house abilities.

The right decision will depend on these factors and the specific needs of each business.


Money is a big part of picking SEO services. First, you will need to make an SEO budget plan. You should know how much you will spend every month. Some firms pay $2500 to $7500 per month for these services.

Yet, small businesses might only pay from $500 to $2000 monthly. Affordable SEO services can be good for your wallet but bad for your company’s name and money made. So don’t fall into the cheap SEO pitfalls. Be sure about what you want out of the service before picking a provider and rate package.

This way, you get cost-effective SEO solutions that meet your needs without breaking the bank.

The Pros and Cons of Each Option

This section aims to provide a detailed analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of each option; including in-house SEO which provides full control but may strain resources, freelance SEO that offers flexibility but bears risk due to limited accountability, and lastly, an SEO agency that ensures expertise at higher costs.

In-house SEO

In-house SEO means you have your own SEO expert. This person works for you full time. They know a lot about many things, like sales, marketing, and customer success. Having an in-house SEO can cost over $36,000 each year.

But the money is worth it if your company supports this role. If your business buys into the idea of using SEO to help reach its goals, then having an in-house expert makes sense. Your in-house content writer can create stuff that suits your brand well because they understand what your business needs.

Freelance SEO

Freelance SEO experts can change your website for the better. They work to bring more people to it and move it up in search results. An expert freelance person often knows a lot about tech, software, start-ups, and similar topics.

This is good if that’s what your company does or sells. But there are downsides too. A freelance worker might not be as reliable as a company staff member would be. They may have gaps in their skills or service quality.

You also may find it hard to talk to them when needed because they’re not right there with you at the office all day long.

SEO Agency

An SEO agency has a lot to offer. It can bring in sales, help with marketing and make sure customers are happy. Hiring an agency could be the best choice for you. Unlike a freelancer, it offers many services all at once.

These agencies are good at their job and work hard to give you what you need. They keep an eye on how your website is doing and use this info to get even better results. But finding the right one might take time and cost more than hiring a freelancer or doing it yourself.

Finding the Right SEO Outsourcing Partner

Outsourcing your SEO can be a great way for businesses to improve their search engine rankings and overall search engine optimization process. Partnering with experienced SEO professionals allows you to outsource your SEO to dedicated SEO companies that have the expertise to execute effective SEO campaigns.

When researching potential SEO outsourcing partners, look for an established SEO company with a proven track record of success. They should understand the latest search engine algorithms and have comprehensive SEO services including keyword research, content creation, technical optimization, and link building.

The right SEO outsourcing company will act as an extension of your team, providing frequent reporting and insights into their SEO process and campaigns. While you outsource SEO tasks and projects, they will keep your business objectives and brand voice in mind.

Partnering with a reputable SEO provider means gaining an experienced SEO partner that can increase your organic traffic through ethical white hat SEO techniques. They will set clear SEO goals aligned with your overall digital marketing goals to support your marketing strategies.

Look at their past SEO campaigns and client testimonials to assess their expertise. An SEO audit of your current website can identify opportunities related to keyword rankings, page speed, and more. From there, a customized SEO plan can be built to boost your primary keyword rankings and digital marketing.

The right SEO outsourcing partner will act as an extension of your team, providing strategic guidance while delivering results. They will help you achieve your business objectives and get more traffic to your site through ongoing optimization and high quality content creation. With an outsourced team of SEO professionals on your side, your website and brand are sure to thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions about Outsourced SEO Specialist

1. What’s the Difference Between an Outsourced and Freelance SEO Specialist?

An outsourced SEO specialist is from a company, while a freelance SEO specialist works alone.

2. Is it Better to Hire an Outsourced or Freelance SEO Specialist?

It depends on your needs, if you need more expertise and resources go for outsourcing, but for budget-friendly options choose a freelancer.

3. How do I Know if My Business Needs an SEO Specialist?

If your website isn’t showing up in search results or getting much traffic, you might need an SEO specialist.

4. Can a Freelance or Outsourced SEO Expert Make My Website Rank Higher in Web Searches?

Yes, both can improve your website’s ranking with proper strategies like using the right keywords and quality content.

5. How Long Does Search Engine Optimization Take to Work?

Search engine optimization may show improvement after four to six months, but the full effect often takes one year.

Conclusion and Summary of Outsourced vs. Freelance SEO Specialist for Search Engine Optimization

Choosing between an outsourced or freelance SEO specialist depends on your needs. Take into account the cost, time, and level of expertise needed for your project. Both options can help grow your business online.

Your choice will shape how you improve your website’s ranking in search results.

Deciding between an outsourced or freelance SEO specialist requires weighing your specific business needs. Factors like budget, required expertise, and desired oversight should guide you.

Both options offer benefits – outsourced teams provide robust services and accountability while freelancers enable flexibility and potential cost savings. Consider your search engine optimization goals and current website performance.

An SEO audit can reveal opportunities to boost organic traffic and keyword rankings. From there, the right SEO partner can execute an effective strategy, whether a dedicated SEO company or skilled freelance professional.

With the proper focus on ethical white hat SEO techniques and custom-tailored solutions, your ideal SEO outsourcing partner will optimize your site as an extension of your team. They will combine technical expertise and business acumen to fit your brand voice and objectives.

The key is choosing the right fit at the right price to elevate your digital presence. With an optimized SEO campaign, you will gain more qualified traffic and better search engine visibility over time.

Marty Stewart