There are many differing opinions on whether or not you need to hire an outside SEO agency to help you with your SEO, but ultimately it all boils down to timing. There are times in a company’s life that an SEO agency isn’t necessary, and in fact it could do more harm than good. It’s all about being able to recognize the warning signs that now is the time you might need help, and maybe in-house work just isn’t cutting it. Consider some of these warning signs below.

Some obvious signs it’s time to hire an SEO agency

1. You’re considering a redesign.

If you have an already established website and are thinking about a redesign, it’s important you consider SEO right away. There are several navigation issues and different layouts/ formats that are better for SEO than others, so it’s best you get this right during your initial redesign. Even if you just want to hire an SEO agency to help you with your redesign, it is crucial to make sure you don’t skip any steps when it comes to keeping SEO in mind.

2. You don’t know why your rankings are dropping.

This is probably one of the biggest reasons it’s time to work with someone or a team of people. If your rankings keep dropping (even if it’s just for one keyword or category), the sooner you can figure it out the better. If you can’t figure it out on your own, an SEO agency can help make sure you solve the problem before it gets worse.

3. Your in-house team can’t keep up.

If you have a lot of tasks you need done and quickly, sometimes an in-house employee or team isn’t going to be able to cut it. You don’t necessarily need to replace your in-house team with an agency, but consider hiring an agency for certain tasks or having them work together so that everything can get done when and how it needs to get done.

4. Your efforts are booming and you can’t handle the demand.

This goes right along with the last point, except instead of just thinking about your in-house SEO team you are thinking about your entire company (especially for those who don’t have an in-house team). If your SEO is so successful, you might find that managing your campaigns or your blog is too much work happening too fast.

Some not so obvious signs it’s time to hire an SEO agency

5. You read about SEO news from last week and had no idea.

SEO moves fast, so you have to move fast with it. Reading about the latest SEO news and Google announcements is crucial to make sure that you’re A). Getting a well-rounded picture of what’s to come in the SEO industry, and B). That you don’t miss something important you need to do to stay white-hat. You would be surprised at just how often Google adds a new feature or gives advice about an old one that would help you immediately.

In short, if you learn about something major that actually happened last week and you didn’t even know about it, it might be time to hire an agency. SEO agencies will make sure that you don’t miss any opportunities because you waited too long to realize there was an opportunity in the first place.

6. You making sacrifices because you can’t quite figure out how something works.

Oftentimes company owners look this point over because one or two things you can’t figure out isn’t a big deal. You aren’t going to be able to know everything, so if something has to get pushed to the side because you can’t figure it out it doesn’t mean your SEO is going to fail. However, if you find that this keeps happening time and time again, your SEO could suffer. As I once mentioned in an SEMRush post, “This can refer to anything SEO related—a landing page you wanted, a cool video you wanted to embed, a great navigation idea you have, etc. Remember, you can bring your own thoughts to an SEO agency if you just can’t seem to figure them out on your own.”

7. You’re becoming a jack-of-all-trades.

This is an idea I got from HubSpot to round out the top 10 signs. If you’re finding that you’re the person who does it all but you’re not actually the master at one thing, it could mean that you’re spread too thin. It’s great to have a handle on multiple departments or initiatives, but it’s best if each person has one area of expertise. This will help make sure that each aspect of your business is getting the full and correct amount of attention and that each department is growing and getting advanced. If you’re a jack-of-all-trades, this kind of detail just isn’t happening, and that goes for your SEO efforts.

So when should you not seek help? Of course, if you don’t find that your company falls into any of the issues mentioned above you probably don’t need SEO help right now. Aside from only this, you also have to make sure you have your goals in order and you have a solid team in place. If you aren’t sure what you want your company to accomplish, optimization will be very difficult and expensive (in fact, it’s not recommended you even worry about SEO until you know your company goals). At the start, an SEO agency simply won’t be worth it for a lot of companies.

If you do ultimately decide that you’re ready to hire an agency, you’re in for a world of research. Hiring the right agency can be tough, especially if you don’t know much about SEO yourself. This makes asking the right questions and doing the right research crucial. Visit this article to learn more about how to hire a successful agency or this article to learn about when an in-house expert might be a better option than an agency altogether.

Anything you think we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.