The prevalent concept of outsourcing in the corporate sector in the last couple of decades has helped in the overall growth of the landscape. On one hand, it allows businesses to benefit from the expertise that might not be their forte and part of core competencies. On the other hand, it allows those third-party entities that undertake outsourced projects to perfect the services they render.
In the digital marketing domain, outsourcing is quite common, especially when it comes to SEO. Outsourcing SEO services means you have experts taking care of link building, content production, its optimization and technical management without expanding your in-house team.
It is important to mention that the mantra of outsourcing SEO services does not follow the traditional rule that says: “if you are a small-to-medium enterprise then go for outsourcing”. Even if you are a large organization with a separate market division, you will still need external SEO specialists that understand and can harness the dynamic nature of this non-traditional marketing tool.
In this piece, we are going to discuss in great detail how to outsource SEO and how to decide when you need it. We will also shed light possible concerns while outsourcing SEO to any agency.
1- Determining If You Need to Outsource SEO
Just because we are an SEO company ourselves, it doesn’t mean we will advocate for its outsourcing in each and every case. Nonetheless, there are many instances where it will be better to outsource your SEO work. From having a new website to launching a product, your business will encounter many situations where the expertise of third-party SEO professionals can help you maximize the marketing gains you want.
Since every business has a different nature and therefore requires SEO services in line with its unique requirements and circumstances, we can’t discuss and outline every such scenario. Instead, we will try to sum up how you can determine if you need to outsource SEO in a flowchart.
As you can see, we have indicated all the scenarios that can pan out when you need SEO in this flowchart. Let’s breakdown and discuss the salient parts of it.
In case you are required to take care of SEO and you have an in-house expert team for that, it is simple, just add this outstanding task to your work calendar.
If you don’t have a team to take care of optimization requirements, you need to assess if the SEO activity in question will have any positive effect on revenue and scaling up. If yes, then you can proceed to outsource it. Otherwise, discard it from your to-do list as long as it is not your promised obligation towards any client.
The flowchart also contains a hypothetical section that highlights the importance of outsourcing SEO.
If there is no way to get around SEO and you can’t outsource it either, you will have to add it to your to-do list. You end up in this part of the flowchart because you don’t have an in-house team to take care of your SEO. This means you will have to first put up a team, train it in your work environment to manage your customized SEO requirements.
This will not just demand a lot of resource spending. There is also a strong chance that you may not require that particular SEO activity by the time you are done with hiring and training your in-house SEO experts. Since you have third-party SEO service providers to bank on, you can count this binding scenario as a hypothetical example.
2- The Advantages and Downsides of Outsourcing SEO
To remain impartial in our discussion, we will discuss both benefits and downsides of outsourcing SEO for your business.
2.1- Benefits of Outsourcing SEO
There is a host of benefits that you can enjoy as a business that outsources its SEO work.
2.1.1- It Is Financially Sound for Business
SEO involves a lot of technical details that are constantly changing and evolving. SEO practices that are all the rage one year might get obsolete in the next. This fast-paced SEO landscape makes it difficult for a regular marketing team to get any fruitful results with their efforts. In other words, you can’t rely on your existing marketing workforce to take care of your search engine optimization as well.
This means you will have to hire full-time SEO experts that can take care of your search engine visibility with their customized optimization expertise. While hiring new people is good and adds up to the scaling up efforts, many times it overwhelms an organization and affects its bottom line. Besides bearing an extra overhead, you will also have to take of the insurances and benefits of new employees.
By provisionally hiring third-party SEO experts, you can protect yourself from all this overwork and financial burden. For all those businesses that need SEO expertise from project to project, outsourcing this job is the right way to move forward.
2.1.2- No Downtime Involved
Establishing an in-house SEO team is not just about direct financial strains. You will also need to be patient and forgiving of the time that it will consume. From the initial decision-making to conducting tests and interviews, and then going through orientation and training phase, we are talking about several months or even a year here that you will need to set up an SEO division from scratch.
This can create downtime and you may lose out on many opportunities in this period. In contrast, an outsourcer SEO team is just one mail/call away from getting your work done. With current project management tools and software, it has become extremely easy for businesses to coordinate on SEO services while sitting thousands of miles apart.
A business operating in India can outsource its SEO work to a Canadian SEO firm without facing any hitches.
2.1.3- You Can Get a Lot of Work Done
When you are working with an SEO company that offers a range of services in its outsourcing program, you can amp up or rather get more aggressive in picking up orders from your clientele. For instance, the white label SEO services by outsourcers help you in providing your existing clientele holistic marketing services. You can fulfill any of their SEO demand with a quick turnaround, given that you are working with a seasoned SEO reseller company.
Moreover, you can scale up and reach out to more clients without worrying about workload management when you partner with a third-party SEO service provider. It has been noticed that many ventures remain stuck to their existing clientele just because their small in-house SEO teams can’t match up with the mounting workflow.
SEO outsourcers constantly work on their capacity building to make sure they never say no to their clients. Their outstanding work capacity can help all those businesses that want to scale up without holding back.
2.1.4- Focus on Core Competencies and Get Better Control
Every business has a different core competency. Some enterprises have more than one. We have seen it many times that a business offers a range of services but still, more than 90% of its clientele comes to it for one or two services. Today, when niche-based expertise is in more demand, it has become important for every business to focus on their core competencies instead of becoming the jack of all trades.
If you don’t have SEO experts in your workforce, then it is certainly not your core competency. Instead of making it part of your business portfolio just for the sake of it, try to focus on what you do the best and leave it to the ones for whom SEO is the core competency. This decision will give you peace of mind and carve out more time for you to focus on your core business values.
Besides allowing you to focus on your main work, outsourcing SEO will also give you better control of your projects. When you receive an end-month SEO report with all the numbers and hard facts, you can decide without any hesitation and doubt and can base your judgments on the output of those SEO efforts.
2.1.5- Learning Experience and Creation of Professional Network
For all the new ventures and SMEs who don’t have a strong digital marketing division, working with third-party SEO service providers proves to be a great learning experience. Besides helping them with their SEO, outsourcers can also help with PPC, social media advertisement, back linking and many other sub-components of digital marketing.
They can also advise and suggest actions and tips that can help these businesses in closing more deals, generating more leads, and retaining their existing clientele. Also, working with seasoned SEO reseller will help you in building up a network of professionals and becoming visible on the corporate map you are serving in.
2.2- Downsides of Outsourcing SEO
It will be wrong to say that going with outsourced SEO services is an unconditionally advantageous move. It also has some downsides in some cases. Let’s also look at those shortcomings as well.
2.2.1- Long-Drawn-out Initial Research
If you don’t have any idea about what optimization is, how it is important for the digital presence of your business and how to outsource SEO, you will need to conduct a lot of research in the beginning. Then settling on a single company for your SEO work is also a time-consuming process. You need to make sure that the third-party entity you are going to work with has a good market reputation and already has a considerable base of satisfied clients.
If you already know what SEO is, how to take care of its outsourcing and also know the service provider you will work with, you can certainly avoid all this long-drawn-out research.
2.2.2- Trust Issues
Whether the outsourcer is using the ethical and legitimate (White Hat) ways to improve your SEO or using black hat techniques— this is a major cause of concern and apprehension for many people who remain hesitant in outsourcing their optimization work. Also, meeting deadlines is another concern for business about third-party SEO service providers.
You can resolve this issue by hiring established SEO companies with years of work experience instead of going to rookie freelancers. A company with a good market reputation can’t afford to use unethical ways to deliver its SEO services. Similarly, they deliver within the promised deadlines. And if they couldn’t, they make up for it.
The above section is a clear indication that there are more benefits than downsides of outsourcing SEO. Also, the downsides of outsourcing are mostly related to instances when you work with an unknown company with no experience or a freelancer.
3- What You Get When You Outsource SEO Services?
So, what actually happens when you outsource your SEO work? Does your page ranking improve overnight and become a top entry of the SERP? Or do traction, impressions and hits on your page increase exponentially? These are the ideal results of consolidated SEO efforts that a company tries to bring in for you by taking these measures.
Even if you don’t have an existing SEO strategy, your outsourcer will audit your website from an SEO perspective to give you an insight into how your business is doing on the web at the moment. This initial SEO audit doesn’t just help the experts to devise their customized strategies but it can also be used as a reference point in the future to see how newly implemented SEO practices have improved your online presence.
3.2- Review of Competitor’s Strategy
As a business, you serve a market with several competitors and to know how good or bad you are doing, it is also important to take their performance into account. Therefore, a seasoned SEO company will also run an analysis of your offline and online competitors. This review and analysis of competitors’ strategy don’t just let you benefit from their winning strategies and to avoid mistakes they are doing. Competitor analyses also help in unearthing the weak points of competitors.
3.3- Customized SEO Strategy
It is the core competency of an SEO outsourcer. After analyzing a venture’s existing state of optimization and how its competitors are doing, they create customized strategies for the business to improve its search engine visibility. Customized SEO strategies include tangible results, which mean a visible increase in impressions, queries, calls, and conversions. In short, a customized SEO strategy involves an ROI and a good SEO company can deliver you that estimated return with its expertise.
These customized SEO strategies are often carried out in two sections: on-page and off-page optimization.
3.4- Performance Reports
A reputable SEO outsourcer will always be transparent about its services. Regular performance reports are important to maintain this transparency. These reports give businesses an insight into how they have fared on the internet since hiring professionals to take of their optimization. These reports outline conversion rate, figures on the website’s organic traffic and how ranking in search results have changed over time for different keywords. These reports often feature a Q/A extension as well where people from the SEO outsourcer will answer your queries about the numbers and inferences furnished in the report.
4- How to Find the Right SEO Company for the Job?
After determining that you need outsourced SEO service and finding out its benefits and what it generally offers, it is time to find the right SEO company for your optimization requirements. Like searching for any product or service online, finding a firm to outsource your SEO work should also start from Google. There are two ways to pick an SEO company you want to work with.
- Run general search queries. For instance, type terms like “SEO outsourcing in the Philippines”, “SEO outsourcing in the USA” in the search bar and go through the review and listicle articles you will find on the first page regarding the top SEO service providers in the searched region. You will find several common entries in those articles. Make a list of them and then go and see their websites and compare their services and pricing plans. Also, look at their customer ratings on Google My Business and their social media accounts.
Finding a company for outsourcing SEO this way is a time-consuming process. The other method to find an SEO outsourcer is relatively easy, given that you already know about their names and someone has referred them. When you already have some SEO firms’ titles with you, run a search with their names, and look at how they have managed themselves on the web.
- The first thing you can immediately notice is the customer rating of the SEO company on Google. Make sure the firm has more than 4+ star rating there. However, if a company boasts a perfect 5-star rating, there are strong chances that it has manipulated those reviews. A good way to know if the reviews are organic is to have a quick look at the activity of the profiles that are leaving the reviews. If their activity only entails leaving good reviews on different business pages, they are not real, honest reviews.
After reviewing the Google reviews, visit the company’s website. You will find all the required and relevant information on the homepage. You can, however, search further and visit other pages to find out more about the business, its pricing and other services.
4.1- Red Flags to Watch Out For
It is no brainer that any SEO firm won’t say that it delivers mediocre work or use unethical means to boost SEO. Its websites with an agile interface will always boast about how good they are and how they are serving a host of satisfied clients. Those friendly interfaces, easy-on-the-eyes color scheme and designs marinated with hyperbolic claims is a part of marketing and SEO service providers have every right to carry it out.
However, it is your job as a client to make sure you are not getting conned. To make sure you are funneling your money in the right SEO services, take these factors into account.
4.1.1- No Sample of Work/Case Studies
If an SEO firm can’t show you a sample of its work that outlines how it has helped an enterprise in improving its online visibility, click-through rates and SERP rankings, you may need to look elsewhere. The non-availability of these reports indicates that they don’t have any proof of what is their methodology and how it works.
These reports can also confirm if they are following the Google guidelines, which is the most essential part of the job of any SEO service provider.
4.1.2- Offers a General SEO Strategy
SEO strategies don’t work like master keys that can open all locks. If you are being promised a universal all-encompassing SEO strategy for your business, this means the outsourcer company can’t devise and render customized SEO strategies. As mentioned earlier, every business has different SEO requirements that are in line with its unique business proposition, geography, etc and a generic, one-dimensional SEO strategy won’t cut it for a website’s optimization and backlink strategy.
4.1.3- Guaranteed and Quick Results
There is no way to improve your SERP overnight and exponentially increase traffic volume. Experts think that a good regimen of SEO efforts takes up to three months to set off the improvement in the search ranking and ending up among the first page entries can take up to eight months.
So, if an SEO service provider is making promises like “get top-ranking in one month” or “rack 100 ROI on your first SEO investment”, you need to revise your decision to work with them. Keep in mind that SEO improvements take time (months) whether you are doing it yourself or taking the help of experts.
4.1.4- No Regular Performance Reports
What’s the point of outsourcing your SEO work if you can’t see its progress in numbers? Make sure that the company you are hiring delivers regular (preferably monthly) reports about the SEO stats.
4.2- Ask Away Everything that You Need to Know
You are going to pay money to avail service of an SEO firm. So, it is your right to ask all the pressing questions to be sure about its services and to satisfy your clients. Here, we are going to put down some questions that you should ask its representatives.
Which team or person will attend my business?
You should be aware of the account/project manager that will attend you through the course of campaigns and to help you in assessing the performance reports and final results.
What tools you are using?
You can ask about the SEO tools that the company is using. It is another way to tell if it means business and can deliver you the desired optimization and visibility results.
What’s about the ownership of the optimized content?
It is a crucial query and should be settled beforehand. Ask who will be the intellectual owner of the content created and optimized by the SEO firm and how mutual ownership will unfold in any case of contract termination.
How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?
Different SEO service providers have different criteria for declaring an SEO campaign successful. Some just focus on improving the ranking while others make sure visibility also comes with lesser bounce-off and higher click-through ratios. Any reputable SEO outsources will use more than one element to determine the success of an SEO campaign and strategy.
How you synergize SEO with other digital marketing strategies?
SEO is not the sole atom of digital marketing. If you want to fully cover your digital marketing front, you will also need to work on PPC management, social media advertising, web designing, etc. So, ask the firm you want to work with as how they integrate their SEO strategies with the rest of those digital marketing elements and if they offer their expertise in them as well.
5- Consider Outsourcing Other Elements of Digital Marketing
The last question in the above section shows that many things collectively work in making any sense of digital marketing. Therefore, you can search for companies that you can hire to outsource PPC management or Facebook advertising or web designing. This lump-sum outsourcing of various digital marketing is a good option for all those ventures who are working without any dedicated marketing department or desk.
6- Elements of Outsourced SEO Offers
A service package you get by outsourcing your SEO work can comprise of different items. Let’s see what are the common elements of those third-party SEO services.
- Month-to-month services that ensue on-going creation and supervision of different SEO campaigns for your business.
- White Label SEO services that you can allow you to offer customized service to your clients
- Customer support that makes sure your queries and complaints are attended and taken care of in an agile manner.
- Some companies also give you access to some software and tools for SEO and digital marketing.
- Some SEO packages also include the training manual, sales material and other helpful content that can help you in many areas of marketing.
7- Benefits of Working with an Onshore/Canadian Company
Many businesses are tempted by the extremely cheap price plans a lot of offshore SEO companies offer them. However, money is not the only factor to determine if you have made the right decision regarding outsourcing SEO. We have seen many cases where businesses regret signing up an offshore company due to their substandard services and difficult-to-access customer support.
An onshore/Canadian company may charge you more than those offshore companies. However, its high fee will be worth it for these reasons.
- You get to work with experts who are trained for North American link building. This means content optimization with local back linking.
- You have to pay in the Canadian dollar instead of the US ones and this will reduce your overall cost if you are outsourcing your SEO requirements to the north of the border.
- You work in the same time zone and as a result can have more real-time correspondences and can get answers to your emails and queries within the same business day.
- You will work with North American content writers and editors that are well-versed in the content creation and management you are looking for.
- They are in a loop of what new is happening in the North American digital marketing landscape. They adapt to all the new SEO tools and strategies to ensure your optimization remains up-to-date.
SEO Resellers Canada has all these characteristics of an onshore company that makes it an ideal business partner for local as well as international clients who are looking to access the North American digital market.
When you outsource your SEO work to an experienced team of optimization experts, you will make sure you eventually start ranking among the top players of your niche on the web. The integration of an outsourced SEO job into the rest of your marketing landscape demands you to amp up your efforts in other digital domains as well.
For instance, an optimized site must be accompanied by a good and highly responsive web design and social media accounts that receive a lot of traction and are managed by a team of dedicated professionals. The above-detailed discussion has also made it clear that outsourcing SEO is not just for SMEs. Large organizations and enterprises even with separate marketing divisions can also hire the expertise of third-party SEO experts.