Moving In-House? Find Out If In-House Life Is For You
In the next few years the demand for in house SEOs will increase. Greatly.
But don’t get me wrong, I do not prophecise an SEO agency doom or anything of that kind. Far from it. Having said that, I believe that more and more companies will realize the benefit of having their own SEO specialist onboard and rely on external vendors only for specific tasks.
In fact, you can see the signs of this happening already. Just look at the job ads, how many even smaller companies today decide to advertise for an inhouse SEO? Or how many former agency folk move to in house positions (at least where I live).
And even if some of these companies might not be fully conscious of the role of SEO in their overall marketing mix or have too high expectations for this channel, it doesn’t change the fact that they see organic search specialist as a must have on their team.
But, is the in-house life really for you?
Moving In-House? Find Out If In-House Life Is For You
I am sure you know the basic differences between working at an agency and being an in-house SEO. You work on more projects at an agency, you have more clients and the pressure is definitely higher. But what about the way you work? Or the politics you have to endure with?
Well, if you are considering moving in-house, read on. What follows is a slightly more alternative look at working both at an agency and in-house.
Time You Can Dedicate to Projects
To start with the time you spend on each project. In an agency setting more often than not you haven’t got enough of it. In fact, quite often you have to work on few tasks at the same time, juggling tasks to deliver both projects on time (and to your clients expectations).
In-house however, things move more slowly. You get to really focus on a particular project you are working on and unless it is a big launch that has to happen on a specific day, you can take your time and be quite precise in your work. As a result, you get to do things on a much higher level, try more new approaches (not to mention innitiate them) and spend more time measuring their impact on your work and the organization.
Knowledge You Can Gain
We all love to learn, in fact, gaining more knowledge should be a tenet of the profession. And that’s so easy to do in an agency. You are surrounded by people who live and breathe SEO and digital marketing all day long. You can bounce ideas off each other all the time. You get to work on a variety of projects, each with its own challenges that develop your skills. It would actually be impossible not to learn new stuff this way.
The situation is different in-house. There you are quite often the sole SEO with no one else understanding what you really do. You work on one website and face quite similar challenges with it. It’s much harder to learn new things and it takes a lot of discipline and hard work to constantly stay ahead of the new trends in our industry.
Relationships with Co-Workers
The way you feel at work, the relationships you have with your co-workers and the general atmosphere in the workplace can greatly affect the way you work, fact. From personal experience I found agencies to have more relaxed atmosphere. Since most agencies are relatively new enterprises, they do pay attention to keeping employees happy. Also the fact that quite often you just work on your own clients and don’t clash with anyone else helps a lot to maintain a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
In-house however, you can land in the middle of some department war right from the day one and have to put up with a lot of office politics every day. In fact, you might be directly involved in many conflicts while trying to win over an argument with another department relating to a project that you currently work on.
Where Your Projects Come From
Where you get work matters. Not everyone is a self starter and thus needs some work to be handed over. This happens largely at agencies, where you often find projects landing on your desk (sometimes at an alarming rate) from client reps and sales people.
In-house you need to come up and innitiate your own projects. Unless you work as a part of a larger team, you might be the only one to look after the SEO and it is up to you to plan your work ahead. You must be a self starter and someone who can see those projects from start to finish.
Your Working Hours
OK, it’s not a secret that most of us have a life outside work. We have families, hobbies, personal projects and so on. And the hours you spend at work matter. Again, speaking from a personal experience, working in a service based business like an agency often requires you to put in a lot of extra hours to complete all projects on time.
Contrary to that, in-house folk usually get to work a set of hours a day, that’s it. With no real deadlines and projects moving along at a much slower pace, it is hard to even imagine a need to stay back (although it happened to me few times, usually during some major project launch, like a website rebrand).
Making an Impact
This is an important one for me. I love being involved in many aspects of the company’s operation apart from SEO. However, in my service days, all I could do was make recommendations relating to my area of expertise.
In-house, you are right in the center of the company and often can influence other teams to make changes you believe are good for the company. You can take active part in many decisions within the company and have an impact on how the business operates.
Over to You
Are you considering moving in-house? What attracts you to working as an in-house SEO?