We are often asked if professional SEO (search engine optimization) can be done effectively utilizing in-house talent. Despite our obvious self-interests on the subject, our answer is always a qualified "yes"– you can achieve professional SEO results using existing talent. However, for every company we have known that has met with great in-house SEO success, we know of many more that have seen their in-house efforts fail. We have also discovered the companies that have succeeded share some common traits.
If your company is considering doing SEO in-house, there are some critical questions that you should address before you proceed.
Do I have the proper resources at my disposal to achieve professional SEO results?
Search engine optimization takes time, and your internal SEO expert will need to have a great deal of it at his or her disposal – especially at the project's outset when target audiences, keyphrases, and optimization schemes are first being established. Even after the initial optimization effort, the nature of SEO will require this person to spend ample time keeping up with industry trends, monitoring campaign progress, performing A/B testing, and expanding the campaign as new products and service areas are added.
Perhaps even more important than time, achieving professional SEO results requires a unique set of aptitudes. The person responsible for your internal SEO initiative must possess the ability to learn quickly and to look at your website from a macro-perspective, marrying together the needs of sales, marketing, and IT. He or she can not be an aggressive risk taker, as this is often a surefire way to get your website penalized and potentially removed from the major search engines. These gifted people exist in many companies, but given the unique attributes that these individuals possess, their time is often already spent in other crucial areas of the business.