How Agency SEO Practice Differs from In-House SEOs/Consultants [Data]
Below, we break out several key survey questions on instances with substantial differences between in-house SEOs/consultants and agency responses.
Agencies Position Search in Its Own Department
Looking first at where search is positioned in the organization, we find that it is its own department over half the time for agencies (52%) compared to 16% of the time for in-house/consultants. Agencies also have far less distribution across departments in which search is positioned: 98% of agencies position search in the top two departments (‘own department’ or ‘Marketing’) compared to 62% for in-house/consultants.
Agencies Planning to Grow SEO Headcount Substantially More than In-House/Consultants
Although both agencies and in-house SEO professionals intend to grow headcount significantly in the coming year, analysis shows that agencies plan to do so even more substantially than in-house SEOs/consultants. 72% of agency respondents indicate they plan to increase headcount in the next 12 months compared to 55% of in-house SEOs/consultants.
Agency and In-House Priorities Differ
When asking respondents about their top three goals in the coming year, the difference in priorities for agencies compared to their in-house and consultant counterparts becomes apparent. In-house SEOs/consultants state improving their content development strategy as a top priority, while the top priority for agencies is to show ROI—perhaps acknowledging the agency need to continuously measure and demonstrate value to clients. Additionally, due to their need to manage multiple clients and workflows simultaneously, tracking SEO workflow/project management is another significant priority for agencies.
Conclusion: Agencies Approach to SEO Can Differ Substantially from In-House/Consultants
Our analysis of several survey questions shows there are substantial differences in how agencies approach key elements of SEO compared to in-house SEOs/consultants. From organizational structure, to headcount allocation, to top goals for the coming year, agencies have a specific way of doing things that best match the unique challenges of their business.
Author: Nathan Safran
Director of Research for Conductor, the leading enterprise SEO technology platform. Monthly columnist at Search Engine Land & Search Engine Watch.