Integrated Partner vs Managed Service Provider SEO

Nov 13, 2023

<a href="" target="_self">Matt Bertram</a>

Matt Bertram

Matt Bertram is a award-winning marketing consultant and SEO Expert. He is the lead digital strategist at EWR Digital. Host of the Best SEO Podcast and Co-Host of the Oil and Gas sales and marketing podcast.

Integrated Partner vs. Managed Service Provider for SEO: Weighing the Pros and Cons for Your Business

Sales and Marketing Collaboration in Office

Today, businesses are continually seeking effective strategies to enhance their online presence. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial element of this effort, influencing how well a website ranks on search engine results pages. When it comes to managing your SEO, the decision often boils down to choosing between an integrated partner or a managed service provider.

Some people want a intregrated partner and only want to pay for a managed service. Then others want a managed service but the results of a intergrated partner. Many times it’s about creating a balance.

Each option comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and understanding them is essential to make an informed decision for your business.

Integrated Partner:


  1. Holistic Approach: An integrated partner brings SEO expertise into your business structure. This ensures that SEO is not treated as a separate entity but is integrated into the overall business strategy. This holistic approach can lead to better alignment with your business goals.
  2. In-House Collaboration: With an integrated partner, your team has direct access to the SEO professionals. This facilitates seamless communication, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas. The in-house relationship can foster a deeper understanding of your brand and industry.
  3. Customization: Integrated partners can tailor their strategies to suit your specific business needs. They have the flexibility to adjust their approach based on your industry, target audience, and evolving business goals.


  1. Resource Intensity: Integrating SEO into your business model might require a significant allocation of resources. This includes both time and personnel. If your business is not prepared for this commitment, it could hinder the effectiveness of the integrated approach.
  2. Limited External Perspectives: Depending solely on an integrated partner might limit exposure to external perspectives. This could result in a lack of fresh ideas and diverse strategies that an external agency might bring to the table.

Managed Service Provider:


  1. Expertise and Specialization: A managed service provider brings a wealth of expertise and specialization to the table. Their focus on SEO allows them to stay updated on the latest trends, algorithm changes, and industry best practices, ensuring your strategy is always cutting-edge.
  2. Scalability: Managed service providers are often equipped to scale their services according to your business needs. Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise, they can adjust their efforts to match your growth trajectory.
  3. Cost-Efficiency: In many cases, outsourcing SEO to a managed service provider can be cost-effective. Instead of bearing the overhead costs of hiring and training an in-house team, you pay for the services you need, making it a more economical option for some businesses.


  1. Limited Integration: The downside of outsourcing is the potential lack of integration with your internal teams. This separation might result in a less thorough understanding of your brand and industry nuances.
  2. Communication Challenges: Working with an external provider can sometimes pose communication challenges. Time zone differences, language barriers, or lack of direct interaction may hinder effective collaboration.


Ultimately, the decision between an integrated partner and a managed service provider depends on your business’s unique requirements, resources, and goals. An integrated partner offers a personalized, in-house approach but demands significant resource commitment. On the other hand, a managed service provider brings specialized expertise and scalability but may lack the depth of understanding that comes with an in-house team. Carefully weigh these pros and cons to determine the best fit for your business’s SEO needs.

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EWR Digital’s goal is to help your business attract and retain clients, build their brand, and increase their visibility in the marketplace. They work closely with their clients to create customized marketing strategies that align with their objectives and drive business growth.