Archiv für den Autor: Andreas

How upskilling your paid advertising skills will tackle economic downturns

30-second summary:

  • Marketing budgets are often the first to be slashed in a downturn – upskilling your existing team with digital marketing techniques can provide huge efficiencies and minimize the impact of cuts
  • Creating an upskilling program does not need to be expensive or time-consuming if a well-thought-out strategy is adopted and results are constantly measured
  • Nurturing your own in-house talent pool also increases business resilience, improves marketing innovation and creativity, and reduces reliance on third-party operators
  • Choosing the right skills for your team to acquire depends both on your immediate goals and long-term business strategy – done right you can steal a march on your competitors
  • Sarah Gilchriest, Global COO of Circus Street, discusses the key skills brands need to cultivate to stay competitive during an economic downturn

We’re entering what is likely to be a pretty tough global recession. As consumer sentiment worsens, brands will increasingly look at ways they can cut costs to protect their bottom line. Unfortunately, we all know that marketing is usually one of the first budgets to be slashed.

It is seemingly much easier to stop a campaign or give an agency notice than it is to sack a developer or reduce infrastructure costs. However, more often than not, cutting marketing is a false economy that worsens the impact of a downturn by slowing a company’s growth. So, is there a way for brands to instead maximize their digital marketing output while also freezing or reducing costs?

The answer may be found in upskilling.

Training while cutting costs?

Now, your first reaction may be that training programs are expensive luxuries that make little sense if your goal is to cut costs. There are a few things to unpack here –

  1. Size and scope of training matter. You can make an outsized impact by training one or two individuals who then share their knowledge with their wider team. The right strategy (which I’ll discuss further below) can lead to a highly targeted program that gives the most critical skills to those who will be best placed to use them immediately.
  2. Next, there are a lot of freely available supporting resources that can significantly reduce costs and help to embed learning.
  3. Finally, let’s put costs in perspective. The ROI on a well-executed training scheme pays for itself and the initial outlay pales in comparison to most other business functions. Put simply, you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Why paid advertising skills?

Paid advertising makes a lot of sense to focus on for a number of reasons. Generally, compared to other marketing fields, paid advertising is characterized by the sheer diversity of skills and techniques needed to fully execute a campaign. It is incredibly fast-moving and often requires you to leverage a number of different tech platforms. Consequently, many brands outsource this functionality to a network of agencies and freelancers. Those that don’t usually rely on one or two individual ‘power users‘ or worse, skills are haphazardly spread among a range of departments leading to bottlenecks and single points of failure.

As such, digital advertising is usually the prime area where efficiencies, greater innovation, and marketing effectiveness can occur via upskilling. It is where your business can do much more for less.

Identifying the right skills

Getting the right skill mix is where the rubber meets the road. A mixture of creativity, data analysis, platform knowledge, development techniques, and marketing expertise are all needed. To get started the best approach is to fully understand what capability your team has in-house. The crucial element is to remember that a lot of ability might be hidden because it is not used on a day-to-day basis. You would be surprised at how quickly a business ‘forgets‘ about the previous experiences of team members after they have been hired.

Auditing team skills should expand beyond the marketing department

You don’t know what gems are lurking in other areas of your business until you start to look. This is also the perfect opportunity to identify both the potential of your employees to acquire new skills and also their individual aspirations. It is much easier to upskill someone who has a professional and personal investment in learning that particular expertise. The audit itself does not need to be complex – a simple matrix that enables people to categorize their proficiency and outline the areas where they would like to develop will suffice.

When you know what you have to work with, then it’ll become much easier to define the best way forward. Deciding the best skill mix comes down to first working out how to fulfill your most immediate needs. For example, taking a costly service in-house, plugging a weakness – where a team member’s departure would severely hamper your ability to function, or obvious gaps in ability that prevent you from undertaking certain digital advertising activities.

Build on the compatibility between your employee’s aspirations and your commercial objectives

This is then overlaid by areas where your marketing output can most obviously be improved and your future aspirations in line with your commercial objectives. For example, if in the future you want to more heavily target users on particular social media platforms or ‘exotic‘ platforms like IoT devices and digital boards. Perhaps you can see the financial benefits of adopting headless CMS tech and would like to put in place the skills needed to make that transition after the recession. Maybe you want your team to have the insight to tell you whether the Metaverse has any potential for your business.

This may sound complex but once you get started the hierarchy of skills you need more often than not becomes very obvious. Remember, one of upskilling’s great strengths is its flexibility – if your needs change or you feel you have chosen the wrong skills – it’s very easy to change track.

Getting started in a cost-efficient way

How you train your team is very much up to individual preferences – everyone learns in different ways. Speaking to your employees and specialists will enable you to build a tailored teaching structure. It can be a combination of in-house learning, online tutorials, accredited programs, or book learning. You do not have to go all in on a full program straight away. Piloting can remove a lot of the risk. Start small – one team or a handful of individuals from across your company – and continually assess the impact.

A mistake to avoid

A common mistake businesses make is they wait too long to get their team to use their new knowledge. This can hold up the process and damage ROI. The best way to embed new skills is to apply them. Ensure that your team has an opportunity to practice their newfound expertise on real initiatives. Then keep a close eye on your business metrics – including team and customer feedback – to determine the impact. Unlike many other departments, digital marketing can have very clear outputs. This will let you know quite quickly if it is working. From there, you can decide on how to roll out your training scheme.

Marketing doesn’t end with the marketers

As I’ve mentioned, diversifying the skillset of your team builds resilience and promotes more innovation. The reason is simple, if you only have marketing skills in your marketing department, you are naturally limiting the number of people who can provide useful insights that fuel innovation. You reduce oversight and feedback loops, and your marketing output will suffer from a lack of outside perspectives.

By making your teams multidisciplinary and cross-functional you can spread useful skills throughout your business. Customer service teams can learn the fundamentals of digital marketing, marketers know how to do the basic dev and data work to enable their day-to-day, and your data teams can think like marketers if they need to.

Preparing for the worst doesn’t mean losing capabilities

If the worst does happen and you do need to make cuts to your team, having key skills shared across your business means that the damage to core functions will be limited.

To finish – I should highlight that much of what I’ve discussed applies equally to business owners as it does to individual freelancers. A downturn can be a daunting prospect if you are a sole trader. Upskilling can be one of the best ways to increase your value to clients now and future-proof your business.

If you have seen business drop off, the time you now have available could be best dedicated to more training. This may sound obvious, but a mistake many people make in their careers is failing to adapt to how demand for skills can quickly change or technology can come along that makes them obsolete. Adding more skill strings to you and your company’s bow is never a bad thing.

Sarah Gilchriest is the Global COO of Circus Street.

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Why Esports organizations are losing business due to lack of SEO

SEO is a standard within a number of marketing strategies through a myriad of industries, but has someone found themselves outside of the gaming and esports industries? There is a non-factor within new marketing verticals such as influencer marketing despite its immense potential to impact.

During the latest edition of the Gamactica Podcast, I got a chance to talk about the lack of SEO, or Esports SEO, that exists within the industry with Michael Ashford, CEO of The Game Awards.

In this article, I share some highlights and key insights that are affecting the fate of many Esports organizations.

What Esports can learn from sports and other industries

“I guess where Esports has been very pioneering there are also a lot of things that it can learn from other industries in the same vein,” he said.

“The big controversial one is the sports and Esports gear compared a lot. I’m a big fan of it because sports do very well with media rights and distribution deals. They do very well with sponsorships, two things that are absolutely pivotal and critical to the future of Esports. Those two things go hand-in-hand, they ensure everyone continues to be stable and everyone wins off the back of them. Esports as a term has really only been popular for 10 years. Before that you would just be OpTic gaming, people would just type in “optic” and their website would come up, their socials were there, everything was great and now there are probably 10,000 companies that all call themselves Esports something or another, and it’s a very different problem.

Doesn’t matter to OpTic, because OpTic is still a leading name and people still search for OpTic on Google. OpTic still comes up but it does matter to new businesses coming in.

“There are three waves to Esports”

You have wave one which is all the teams, the TOs, and the publishing companies.

Wave two is supporting services, people like ourselves, agencies, creative agencies, sales, and talent specialists.

Wave three is all the supplementary services under that, and that’s where that trickle-down comes down with publishers at the top and everyone in these waves underneath waiting to get paid. That is where wave three is so pivotal and why you hear stories of these companies trying to get in now that are very challenged because they’re not using proven techniques that work outside of the market to get into the market. They are trying to conform to the market that already exists, and you can’t take on an Esports Awards because we own that domain, we own that optimization, and we have seven years of history working with Google, YouTube, Amazon, we have even worked with Lexus. All these brands have given us that domain authority that is very hard to purchase now.” said, Michael Ashford, CEO of The Game Awards.

The advantage of domain authority in Esports

Ashford goes on to discuss the competitive advantage the domain authority provides them, especially as the Esports landscape continues to evolve and grow.

“So, if you were going to take us on as a competitor, you probably don’t want to go against that unless you’ve got a big, realistic search engine budget to go against us. That’s where marketing gives you that advantage, when you do marketing you put yourself in the eye of the consumer, you look at their journey, you understand their peeves, and you gain a finer understanding of what they’re doing.”

Ashford talked about the difficulties that face new entities, such as Esports teams face as they are entering a fiercely competitive space.

“If you’re a team that just got into this and you’re saying ‘I really want a big sponsorship to land on my doorstep‘ like you have to be in their consideration and that’s what it comes down to. If I’m buying for one of the biggest companies in the world and I have a budget and I type in “Esports teams” or “successful Esports teams” or “biggest Esports teams” on Google, if you’re not on that list you’re already outliers from the consideration perspective because all of those other brands have long term domain authority” he said.

“The OpTics, The FaZe, the DSMs have done it for years and they’ll be the first stable thing that people see.”

Despite the proven data, SEO remains on the peripherals of the gaming, Esports, and content creation industries.

While platforms such as Twitch struggle to effectively scale the monetization of creators and their platforms, SEO continues to be an absolute need, a critical of conversation which eludes these spaces.

The Game Awards will be taking place on December 11th-13th in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will air on platforms such as Twitch and Twitter.

Anthony DiMoro is CEO of Gamactica. He can be found on Twitter @AnthonyDiMoro.

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B2B Marketers on the Move: An Autumn Celebration of B2B Industry Marketing Leaders

Celebrating Autumn B2B marketers on the move runners in leaves image

Celebrating Autumn B2B marketers on the move runners in leaves image

2023 will be here before we know it, and with the swiftly changing B2B marketing landscape inevitably comes growth that can happen so fast that it’s difficult to fully appreciate without taking a moment to reflect on and enjoy the colorful leaves.

For more than two decades, TopRank Marketing has been honored to help a wide variety of the world’s top B2B marketers and major global brands elevate and go beyond merely being competitive, to standing out from the crowd with creative and award-winning successes. In this spirit, we like to regularly take the time to congratulate and honor business marketing leaders who have recently seen career advancement.

When B2B marketers take on new roles in leadership, it’s only natural to look for trusted resources that will help professionals in new positions hit the ground running, and TopRank Marketing is happy to have been a go-to B2B content and influencer marketing agency for so many top marketers in new leadership roles. We are also always seeking out B2B technology industry influencers advancing in their careers to partner with on unique content collaborations.

We offer hearty congratulations to the B2B marketing leaders featured in this sixth edition of B2B Marketers on the Move and our thanks for their sharing of B2B marketing advice.

B2B Marketers on the Move: Celebrating Autumn Movers and Marketing Leaders

Vasudha Badri PaulVasudha Badri-Paul is now Head of Global Marketing & Sales at Connectr

Jonathan BeatonJonathan Beaton is now Senior Vice President of Marketing at BlueVoyant

Meghan Keaney AndersonMeghan Keaney Anderson is now Vice President of Marketing at Jasper

Tequia BurtTequia Burt has been promoted to editor in chief, LinkedIn Ads blog, at LinkedIn*.

B2B Career Advice: „At a high level, the most valuable thing you can do to future-proof your career as a marketer is to build and strengthen digital skills.“

Lyndi ThompsonLyndi Thompson is now Head of Demand Generation for B2B at Calm

Campbell FosterCampbell Foster is now Vice President Marketing at Synthesis AI

 Courtney Bosch-TanguyCourtney Bosch-Tanguy is now Account Based Marketing Director at OwnBackup

Jim RuddenJim Rudden is now Chief Marketing Officer at Ontic

Imelda KhooImelda Khoo has taken a new position as vice president of marketing at Code Ocean.

B2B Career Advice: „When looking for your next move, don’t make compromises when it comes to the role, the people, or the company. Find a role where you can make the biggest difference. Work with people who share your values. Choose a company that’s doing good in the world.“

Tim BourgeoisTim Bourgeois is now Head of Demand Generation at Inrupt

Katrina NealKatrina Neal is now Campaign Strategy Manager, EMEA at Adobe

Andrew MoravickAndrew Moravick is now Senior Marketing Manager at MarketingProfs

Cindy HeidebluthCindy Heidebluth is now Senior Marketing Manager at Icon Solutions

Claire LuinstraClaire Luinstra has been promoted to associate director, client accounts, at TopRank Marketing.

B2B Career Advice: „Don’t be afraid to set big goals for your career. Talk to leaders in the future roles you want and research what it takes to get there and be successful. Once you have the data, you can engineer a path to reach your goals. Along the way, empower yourself to revisit your plan and update it as needed.“

Michelle HermanMichelle Herman is now VP of Marketing at Conviva

Jacob PomplunJacob Pomplun is now Chief Growth Officer Nerdery

Graeme McKeeGraeme McKee is now VP of Marketing at Systal Technology Solutions

Lauren MargraveLauren Margrave has been promoted to Director, Programs and Executive Marketing, Americas, at VMware.

B2B Career Advice „I have three key philosophies to my career growth:

One — Take risks and be bold. Your peers and your leaders notice individuals who step-up for the greater good; they also notice who does not. Be the one for the greater good.

Two — Remember to set healthy boundaries – your career can flourish – be smart on where you invest your time.

Three — Reach back to help those that follow you.“

Caitlin OroszCaitlin Orosz is now Marketing Director at Bungee Tech

Chris MoodyChris Moody is now Head of GTM Thought Leadership at Demandbase

Greg TuckerGreg Tucker is now Vice President of Growth Marketing at FreightWaves

Sarah LeitzSarah Leitz is now Chief Marketing Officer at SkySpecs

Ramon RayRamon Ray has taken a new position as publisher at

B2B Career Advice: „The best marketers realize that we are not ‚marketers‘ we are humans, communicating with humans. When we do our best to convey the human emotion, need, desire and connection that our products are about, we will win. Human to Human connections is what marketing is all about.“

Christine NurnbergerChristine Nurnberger is now Chief Marketing Officer at ExtraHop

Lisa Marcyes has taken a new position as head of social media at Cohesity.

Ed KellerEd Keller has taken a new position as senior advisor at Focaldata.

Debbie FriezDebbie Friez has been promoted to senior manager, social and influencer marketing, at TopRank Marketing.

B2B Career Advice: „Always be looking for opportunities and networking (virtual networking is great, too).

Share you career hopes and ideas with the leadership at your organization, so you are not overlooked because you were shy.

I recently saw a post on social media suggesting women (and really everyone) should write down their wins and milestones all year long. Then, when it comes to your review time, you have a wealth of great information to share and not just the last two weeks of accomplishments.“

Todd FriesenTodd Friesen has been promoted to vice president of SEO, marketing operations and digital experience, at Vimeo.

Clare CarrClare Carr has taken a new position as vice president of enterprise marketing at Chief.

David FisherDavid Fisher has taken a new position as global social selling lead, senior sales enablement specialist, at SAS.

Maureen JannMaureen Jann has taken a new position as senior content manager, financial services and healthcare, at Twilio.

B2B Career Advice: „Quitting can be a gift. My burnout adventure helped me see that I have the opportunity to build my career with more magic and joy at the root of it. Give yourself the opportunity to intentionally redesign the way you want work to fit into your life.“

Alison HerzogAlison J. Herzog has been promoted to head of global corporate marketing, acceptance solutions, at Visa.

Tiffany DuncanTiffany Duncan has taken a new position as senior director of corporate marketing at Solera, Inc.

Christopher WhiteChristopher White has been promoted to director, head of new to credit marketing, at Capital One.

B2B Career Advice: „Focus on driving real, measurable business results (not vanity metrics) and follow-up with clear storytelling on how you did it. Titles and higher salaries will follow.“

Tim SchmoyerTim Schmoyer has taken a new position as chief creator coach at vidIQ.

Jessica Martin
Jessica Martin has taken a new position as senior manager, growth marketing, at

B2B Career Advice: „There’s never been a better time for marketers to have their cake and eat it too. In this job market, you can be picky, find your people, and get the paycheck you deserve. Don’t settle!“

Joy KatzJoy Katz has taken a new position as partner manager, North America cloud and technology, alliances and channels, at Oracle.

Kaelin McGillKaelin McGill has been promoted to account director, Creative Studio, at LinkedIn*.

Bob SparkinsBob Sparkins has been promoted to manager of partnerships and education at Leadpages.

Monica WrightMonica Wright has taken a new position as director of global demand generation at StreamSets Inc.

B2B Career Advice: „Culture can make or break an opportunity – it attracts people and business. Trusting and valuing the teams you work with is everything, so be transparent. Surround yourself with people much smarter than you, and not only will you rise to the challenge, you’ll always be learning.“

Thanks To Each of These Inspiring Leaders For Helping Elevate the B2B Marketing Industry

We extend many thanks to each of the talented B2B marketing professionals we’ve featured here, who have all recently been promoted or taken on new industry positions. We’re certain that you’ll elevate and reach new heights when it comes to the performance and success you’ll deliver in your new roles.

You can find our previous edition of B2B Marketers on the Move here.

If you’re looking for a new change of your own, take a moment to check out our own list of current job openings at TopRank Marketing on our careers page.

*LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

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How LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Uses Blogging to Power Its Growth Engine

Tequia Burt Steve Kearns LinkedIn

Tequia Burt Steve Kearns LinkedIn

It was with great pleasure for me to wrap up my 2022 Content Marketing World experience with a session featuring two exceptional marketers that I’ve known for many years*: Steve Kearns (LinkedIn Senior Manager, Content Marketing and Social Media) and Tequia Burt (Editor in Chief LinkedIn Ads Blog) with a topic that is near and dear: How LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is Using the Blog to Power its Growth Engine

In an age of social media with Instagram, TikTok and even LinkedIn, does blogging still matter? For LinkedIn, the answer is absolutely yes.

The LinkedIn Marketing Blog acts as the external ‚voice‘ of the Marketing Solutions business and is a critical education and conversion vehicle for B2B marketers looking to excel with LinkedIn advertising. Publishing content five times a week, the blog comprises more than 175,000 global subscribers and 2.5 million annual page views. It also serves as a key campaign activation tool for LMS marketing, sales and product organizations, spotlighting business news, LinkedIn advertising best practices and more.

Sitting at the center of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions content marketing operations, the blog has sourced millions of dollars in bookings in FY21, up 80% over FY20.

Reaching mostly senior marketing executives, the LinkedIn Marketing Blog has experienced phenomenal growth over the past 5 years. Six years ago LinkedIn had about 100k followers on overall social channels and 1,000 on the blog. Today LinkedIn has 4.7m followers and 175k on the blog.

With Steve and Tequia coming from the media world, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions runs their team like a media company. Steve is the publisher making sure business objectives are achieved, Tequia is the Editor in Chief making sure the content is top quality. And Alex Morales is the Distribution Lead making sure blog reach is achieved. Each of those responsibilities creates a point of tension, but they work together to create a really productive growth engine.

As part of their customer-centric strategy, LinkedIn decided to get content that was helpful and non-promotional to their audience and an effective way to do that was through the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog.

The key to success for the blog has been a focus on data-driven insights. An example is a jobs report to help the LinkedIn community with questions as well as making sure that content was inclusive. The ads industry took note of the approach and the report achieved 2X page views compared to other content.

So, what’s the secret to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions‘ blog success? The LinkedIn Marketing Blog strives to be a good B2B marketing resource for people with content that is rooted in data insights and prioritizes inclusivity. After they launched the first data insights report, they launched others including one on Gen Z to help them feel included in the conversation.

While LinkedIn has substantial resources, this approach is relevant for businesses of any size. If you have something you really stand for, you can double down on it and focus, lean-in. Inclusivity is key – make sure the content you’re producing is going to resonate with the people that represent your business. Make it easy for people to see themselves in the content.

Pro tip: If you’re going to publish content for a particular audience, like people of color, it’s useful to run that content by someone that represents that audience first or even have someone on your staff that represents that audience.

So what’s next? Building upon the success of the blog, the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team received additional investment to expand production of insights driven content.

LinkedIn is reimagining how they turn up in the marketplace with their customers, their partners, their agencies and to the industry more broadly by leaning into their core differentiator – data.

All B2B marketers need to consider: What can we offer that nobody else can?

For the objective of growing LinkedIn’s own presence on the Linkedin platform, they asked themselves that question: What can we offer that no one else can? In the case of LinkedIn it was data and insights.

A big part of this data- informed effort for LinkedIn has been the launch of Linkedin Collective, which is a content franchise featuring insights into what being a great B2B marketer can be with the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog serving as a blueprint.

LinkedIn Collective is a place for the B2B marketing community – to move the industry forward. It features big data reports and contributors to talk about issues that are important to the B2B marketing community.

Quarterly themes drive narratives. Most recently it’s about creativity and B2B. Most B2B brands are about performance marketing and not brand. The reality is, creativity can drive great results. With this theme, LinkedIn has invited industry experts and CMOs to share their perspective on creativity in B2B.

To be sure, LinkedIn Collective is not a sales pitch, but about how marketing is connected to the bottom line and focused on helping B2B brands be more successful on linkedin, broadly in B2B and how to make decisions that connect to value that buyers appreciate.

As a complement to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog and the LinkedIn Collective, social messaging helps connect the dots in their overall narrative story. If you want to know what works on LinkedIn for marketing and advertising, you can find out through the LinkedIn Collective .

While the blog has been a success story for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, every business has an opportunity to uplevel their marketing on LinkedIn and there is no doubt that the B2B marketing category is ripe for innovation.

For more LinkedIn Marketing resources, be sure to check out LinkedIn Ads, Linkedin Marketing Ads Blog, Linkedin Collective and The B2B Institute.

Also, be sure to find and follow Steve and Tequia on Linkedin.

Lee Odden Tequia Burt Steve Kearns CMWorld*LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is a client of TopRank Marketing.

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In-house SEO vs outsourced agency talent: Who wins the debate?

In-house SEO vs outsourced agency talent Who wins the debate

30-second summary:

  • SEO involves a lot of tasks, processes, and technicalities that are hard to master and manage
  • Investing in an in-house team can have lots of advantages, like building specialized talent, greater control over performance, productivity, brand and process alignment
  • However, outsourcing to an SEO agency may not deliver the above-mentioned benefits but can be easier on your marketing budget and overheads
  • So, how do you identify the right fit for your business?

There are too many parts of SEO and many of those parts are constantly moving and changing. The more a site grows, the more challenging SEO is going to be. So what’s a better approach: to start building your own in-house SEO team or rely on an agency or freelancers?

Let’s see…

Pros and cons of building your own team

Pro #1: You build your own internal talent and knowledge

Your team is your biggest asset. Your company is only as good as the people behind it. These are all cliches but they hold true.

Having an in-house team to rely on makes your SEO strategy more consistent and aligned with your company’s culture and your product positioning strategy. Plus, there is a smoother flow of ideas and communication that leads to better results. You also stand to gain from the cross-pollination of talent that feeds into innovation and greater problem-solving.

Con #1: Talents tend to move on

There’s one huge issue with talented people: They tend to overgrow their employing businesses, and they do that pretty quickly.

It often becomes hard (and expensive) to keep the talent, even if your organization was the one that grew it.

Pro #2: You hold someone responsible

If you are good at hiring, you will likely find someone responsible who will take their training and tasks seriously. The person will have clear ownership which makes everyone’s lives easier and your business more effective.

Any business initiative is going to be successful only if there’s someone inside the company to “own” it.

In-house teams are easier to control, you can ask for and obtain reports within a day. You can ask for clarifications without running out of your billable hours.

Con #2: It is expensive

Not many businesses can afford to have an internal SEO that has nothing but SEO… Apart from regular and inevitable payroll, there are also HR processes that contribute to the overall expenses. And let’s not forget about employee insurance and other benefits.

Yes, growing your own team is generally a great investment but only if your budget allows it. Plus, there’s always a risk your investment will simply leave your company one day (see above).

Pro #3: You own your data

Privacy is a big issue when it comes to letting anyone do marketing for you. On the other hand, you can also control the technology and privacy much more efficiently ensuring that your data is accessible to your internal team only.

Additionally, when you outsource anything, you will inevitably miss lots of data, like contacts that were acquired, templates that worked better, and other assets.

When you have the work done internally, you end up accumulating contacts you can rely on going forward. You also eventually build your own data and find innovative ways to build it into your search marketing strategy.

Con #4: It is slower

Unless you have a huge team, SEO tasks will pile up. They are very hard to organize and scale without outside help because there are too many variables and most of them are done on a continuous and regular basis.

Relying on freelancers to outsource SEO tasks is often the only way to get things done and free some time for looking into analytics to align your SEO strategy better.

Pro #5: The process can be better integrated

SEO is no longer an island. It can only be really effective if it is well-integrated into all processes within an organization, including product development, IT, sales, and customer support.

The intersection of digital and physical consumer experiences is also a strong reason as to why SEO needs to have strong integration with digital marketing, martech, and sales. Your business can achieve its goals only if it has a unified footprint.

Con #5: You cannot build a team that is good at everything

The biggest problem with SEO is that there are several moving parts that require absolutely different training and skill sets.

Remember the graph?

SEO graph and relativitySource: Anthony Palomarez

SEO always includes content creation and optimization, technical support, and link building (which normally includes email outreach, relationship building, and linkable asset creation which, in turn, involves graphic design or video production tasks).

If you need to understand all of these moving parts better, I have a simplified flow chart for you:

the scope of SEO

Let’s not forget that many of those parts will have to evolve based on ever-changing Google guidelines and ever-developing search algorithms that are hard to keep up with.

With such a variety of skills required, building a team that would handle almost everything is next to impossible, even for corporate entities.

Of course, today’s technology makes it much easier. You don’t have a web developer to build a landing page, or handle on-page SEO essentials. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create visuals, or even put together an effective lead magnet.

But even with smart technology, to handle all the parts of an SEO strategy you will need a pretty huge team, which is – again – expensive.

The truth is somewhere in the middle

The takeaway from the above is somewhat of a dilemma: You want a team to control something that you may never be able to control.

The best solution is usually in the middle:

  • Hire an SEO manager who has thorough SEO knowledge
  • Let that SEO manager find companies and freelancers to outsource different moving parts to

This means having an SEO manager who is brilliant at both SEO and project management.

Yes, it will take time to find the right person but finding the right person is never easy.

It is well worth your time though:

  • Your in-house person will be able to “translate” any SEO jargon to you whenever you need to understand what is going on
  • You will have someone owning the strategy and process
  • There will be a person who will be inside your company to ensure your SEO strategy is aligned with your overall product positioning strategy and include other teams in the SEO processes

In reality, if you want your SEO strategy to deliver results, you need both: An internal person (or a team) and someone outside your company to rely on. This is not a question of choosing one.


Managing SEO is hard. Don’t feel discouraged. There’s no valid alternative to organic search traffic. Find the right person who will be able to manage the process for you and find reliable partners to outsource different SEO tasks to. This way you will keep the strategy under control while still being able to afford it. Good luck!

Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

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