SEO Agency vs In-House vs Freelance


  • When it comes to establishing an online presence, simplifying lead generation, and increasing organic traffic, SEO is crucial. And when it comes to finding the right pro for your company, it's important to consider expertise, resources, and expenses.
  • An in-house SEO consultant may know your brand inside and out, but building a full team with all the necessary skills can take a lot of time and money, especially when turnover is factored in.
  • Outsourcing can be a great option for businesses looking to save time and gain access to experienced professionals.
  • Among the options, freelancers are usually the most affordable, but they might not have the ability to grow your business like an agency can.
  • Agencies, on the other hand, have teams of industry experts with loads of experience in developing brands and adapting to updates and changing business goals.
  • It's important to figure out what you want from SEO services, your budget, and your expectations for the engagement. If you're serious about growing your brand in a sustainable and efficient way, why not give Growth Trip a call for a free discovery chat to see how our SEO services might work for your biz.

How to choose an SEO professional?

Whether it's an SEO agency, a freelancer, or an in-house employee, there are a few key things to look for to ensure they fit your business objectives.

Expertise: When it comes to expertise, make sure to check if they have the right experience. Do they have evidence of working with other brands in your niche or previous success growing websites with SEO? Do they need additional training to meet your requirements? What aspects of SEO do they understand, and is it enough to achieve your goals?

Efficiency: is also an important factor to consider. The time it takes to see results will vary. But if you want results quickly, outsourcing to experts like Growth Trip is the most efficient way to grow. With over 20 years of SEO experience and multiple experts, it's easier to meet your targets. An in-house team may not have the same background experience, so it could take months (if not longer) of trial and error before they find a strategy that works.

Expense is also a key factor to consider. Understand the cost of SEO services and be realistic about what you're paying for. With that said, it's essential to manage your expectations and decide what you want from this investment. Get clear on what it takes to do SEO properly before making a decision. Let's get into it further!

Which is Right for You?

In-House SEO Specialist:

Being managed by an in-house specialist who handles your SEO efforts can be a great option for some businesses. Depending on the size of your company, some may have an entire team dedicated to this task, while others, such as startups, may only have one person.


On one hand, having someone in-house can be a pro because they will have a deeper understanding of your brand and its needs, as they are working closely with the business every day. Plus, forming a closer relationship with the team can lead to improved communication and easier problem-solving. And with an in-house employee or team, you know their focus is solely on your projects and growth.


But on the other hand, there can be cons to having an in-house team. They may have knowledge gaps when it comes to SEO implementation, which takes a lot of time and expertise to carry out all the necessary tasks.

Hiring and training more people can be costly and time-consuming. And keeping talent can be difficult, as many SEO professionals prefer to work in an agency for more diverse experience and career progression. Plus, employee turnover can increase costs and time spent hiring new talent.

SEO Freelancer:

Being considered by businesses on a contractual basis, hiring an SEO freelancer has its pros and cons.


A lot of freelancers first need to build up solid experience so that they can deliver the results that clients expect. Therefore if you consider a freelancer, always go with someone who has at least 5+ years experience. Anything less and you could be paying for them to learn. Something that someone with 5 or 10 years experience will not have to learn, which actually ends up working out costing less in the long run in terms of results and time.

On the plus side, freelancers tend to charge less than an agency because they have fewer expenses and they are typically more flexible with their availability compared to a busy agency or an in-house team. Plus, communication with a freelancer is easier since you're talking directly to the person carrying out the work.

Many freelancers obtain work from referrals, so their work tends to be first class as they put their reputation on the line.


However, not all freelancers are the same and vetting a freelancer can be time-consuming. Looking for case studies and testimonials on their website.

SEO Agency:

An SEO agency is a professional team that includes SEO consultants, writers, social media marketers, technologists, PPC experts, and more. The agency can provide a wide range of services depending on your needs, including full-stack SEO packages to scale your brand. They may perform various tasks such as Writing social media marketing and technical SEO (including basic mobile optimisation) and link building.

Below we outline the pros and cons of hiring an SEO agency.


Unrivaled expertise: When you work with a digital marketing agency, you get access to their entire team people. This includes their content experts, SEO specialists, social media marketers and technical teams. Your business benefits from their collective experience, which is reflected in the results. With so many people committed to your goals, you're likely to see dramatic results in less time. Also, at Growth Trip we have many SEO case studies showing our previous successes and how we have grown our brands in various industries.

Reporting and Analytics: If you or your team are not familiar with data analytics, you could be missing out on huge growth opportunities. an agency has Regularly updated resources and skills on website performance. They have the expertise to interpret data and determine the best steps to improve SEO or fix potential issues.

Teamwork and Strategy: Hiring an agency gives access to multiple teams of experts different fields. Not only is this cheaper than hiring or training an in-house team, but it improves SEO optimisation. A good strategy considers how multiple aspects of SEO work together to improve your website's performance. Thanks to their professional teamwork, agencies can take a holistic ways to implement an effective SEO strategy.

An SEO agency can adapt to your goals: An agency has the skills, experience and resources to adapt to your unique needs. For example, requirements will vary depending on your type of business for example, blogging versus e-commerce SEO. Growth Trip is proficient in many industries and has helped companies in different niches get on the first page of Google.

Keep up with industry changes: In the digital world, everything is constantly changing. Back in 2019, Google started rolling out its new Mobile-first algorithms to prioritise mobile users. This is a big deal for businesses that haven't yet optimised their mobile site or implemented technical SEO. Likewise, in a December 2020 update, the search engine giant updated their understanding of "YMYL" (Your Money or Your Life) pages that affect businesses as diverse as the health and wellness, finance and legal sector. An agency has the ability to weather these difficult times by drawing on its expertise and resources as these changes occur. Growth Trip has seen these challenges first-hand over the years.

Easier to scale: If you're ready to scale your business, an agency will be supporting you as they already have the resources, experience and necessary processes to manage a growing brand. While scaling internally is possible, you must have the right size team, procedures and skills in place to support your company's upcoming growth. Unfortunately building your team takes time and money. With an agency, they are ready to adapt and modify strategy to suit your changing goals and expectations.


Cost: While agencies are more cost-effective than in-house teams, they are of course more expensive than SEO freelancers. So, if your business wants to outsource SEO services, it's crucial to consider what you can really afford. SEO is an investment, and to increase your ROI, agencies are more experienced and better equipped to deliver significant results due to charging more than freelancers. They may be a better investment than in-house investments as an in-house team may lack experience growing multiple brands.

Know your brand: Agencies may not know the ins and outs of your brand compared to in-house teams. That said, at Growth Trip we know that every business is different. We do our best to understand your values your business goals and work with you to develop appropriate and effective growth strategies. With over 20 years in digital we have worked in most verticals including some of the most competitive.

Can Outsourcing SEO Services Benefit Your Business?

An endless debate on the choice between training an in-house team or hiring outside of the company remains. The decision that best fits the business must be made, with the pros and cons of an in-house marketing team, freelancer and agency having been considered. A recap of the main points to decide if outsourcing SEO is appropriate is now provided.

It's a never-ending debate on whether to train up an in-house team or bring in outside help. But, at the end of the day, it's all about finding what works best for your business. Now that we've gone over the pros and cons of having an in-house team, freelancers, and agencies, let's take a step back and think about whether outsourcing SEO is the right move for you.

Time-saving is a big factor to consider. Are you able to train up your own team and will they have the skillset you need? It takes a while to get someone up to speed, and that can hold you back from making progress. Plus, do you have the time to devote to SEO? If not, outsourcing can help take that load off your plate.

Another perk of outsourcing is having access to unique experience. SEO is a vital part of digital marketing, and if you're not on top of it, you'll fall behind the competition. By bringing in an agency, you're getting a professional with experience in growing businesses like yours. They already have the knowledge, tactics, and strategies in place to get started. Plus, Growth Trip has teams of experts, from content writers to SEO pros to tech consultants, that you can tap into.

Finally, you have to think about resources. Keyword research is a big part of any SEO strategy, but you need the right tools to do it. Outsourcing gives you access to those resources without having to spend a fortune on software. Agencies know how to use these tools to their fullest potential, so you don't have to waste time trying to figure it out yourself. All in all, outsourcing can save you time and money.

Next steps

It's important to weigh the pros and cons of each option, and figure out what works best for your business. Before making any decision, it's crucial to consider your expectations, budget, and goals for the future. Think about if you want to expand in the future and what resources you already have access to in-house. This will help you determine the level of assistance you need. For example, if you have a great SEO strategist on your team, you may just need some help with hands-on tasks like copywriting or link building. This is where outsourcing can come in handy.

Keep in mind that an in-house team is often the most costly option. If you're serious about growing your business, an SEO agency may be the way to go. At Growth Trip, we offer a range of services to fit your needs, from building high-quality backlinks to full SEO management. Every business is different, so it's important to find what works for you.

Why not book a free discovery call with the Growth Trip team and see how SEO can help your business grow?

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