Following on from my last Search Muse post on why you should not use an SEO agency, I thought it only fair to balance the argument with reasons as to why you should use an Search Engine Optimisation agency
1/ Access to emerging SEO strategies
Todays hot new things of universal search, social media or local seo optimization will become yesterdays chip wrapping link farm, comment spam, competition bait or link exchange program. SEO constantly evolves and it s a full time job simply to keep up with emerging strategies, never mind doing the work for now and implementing activity for tomorrow’s hot new thing.
2/ Knowledge = Power
Linked with the strategies comment, large agencies have almost certainly worked in your vertical before and know what SEO techniques work thus saving you time, resource and money getting up to speed.
Agencies often have in house tools or access to several expensive external tools (and the brain power to use them effectively) that it would not be cost effective to research, use, monitor and report back on in house.
You do not always have to hire an SEO agency to do the actual work; you can employ them to become consultants/ trusted confidents. The importance of having a sounding board, providing you with new ideas, advising on what to do/ what not to do cannot be underestimated.
5/ Do you really have the time?
You might know how to do some or even most of what the agency can do however can you really find the time to do it?!
Outsourcing SEO takes much of the confusion out of planning, stops internal factions debating what to prioratise first, provides an owner/ scape goat if things go wrong(!) and ensures the correct SEO strategy is employed.
It can cost more cold hard cash to outsource your SEO when comparing it to an in house operation. This is not always the case though as you have to be aware of the extra time and cost it can take to do the meaningful work, keep up with training, etc. If the ends justify the means and you take in to account the opportunity cost then the expense can be easily justified.
The SEO agency should be able to achieve better results than the in house team. Period.