SEMRush has an interesting post on the cost and effectiveness of trying to run SEO in-house. They focus on Enterprise SEO where the in-house team will be costing over $500k per year, which is a bit beyond the size and scope of Dolphin Promotions. However, we feel that the points can be scaled to an SEO team of any size.
They have both specialists and copywriters salaried at $45k which is around £35k or nearly £3k per month, and they point out that a copywriter on this wage will be pretty green.
There is also the cost of tools and training to take into account. One report suggests that’s the cost of a member of staff is actually 78% greater than their salary due to benefits, overhead and administrative fees. So that £35k is closer to £62k.
That figure is probably not unreasonable either when you take into account the cost of SEO tools. The cheapest package by Moz is $99/mo. SEMRush themselves also charge $99.95. If you are spending £3k a month on a member of staff you really need to be investing in these premium tools tool.
Then there is the issue with staff turnover. 91% of millennials expect to keep their current job for 3 years or less. So that nice new SEO specialist you have spent 12 months training, may only be justifying his/her cost for an additional 24 months before moving onto bigger and better things.
Lastly, there is the awkward situation of the in-house team not being very effective. SEO is a fickle job at the best of times, we have seen much bigger agencies than ourselves not perform for clients, and unfortunately, we have a few disappointing projects too. It is easy to sack off an Agency though and hire a new one. Doing the same with a member of staff is far more awkward. If you have spent £60+k in the first year do you just completely ditch you in-house efforts or do you double down and keep your existing employee or take an even bigger risk on someone new?
So, if you are a growing online business that is thinking about taking on an online marketing/SEO specialist to help develop your business further then we not try out a small agency such as ourselves. We can help show you the effectiveness of SEO and Pay Per Click without the commitment of employing a full-time member of staff. Being a small agency ourselves we can take on projects of all sizes too, we handle very small clients with a £250pcm budget, to larger clients spending thousands per month on on-line marketing.