3 Things to Consider When Outsourcing Your Company’s SEO
When it comes to growing a company in today’s noisy business climate, you must adopt a diverse approach that allows you to take advantage of a variety of strategies and techniques for generating targeted exposure with the audiences that matter most. And though there are dozens of effective techniques, search engine optimization (SEO) remains one of the highest returning investments.
Having said that, it’s also one of the more time-consuming and technical strategies small businesses implement. This begs the question: Is outsourcing a good option?
When Should You Outsource SEO?
Outsourcing is time-consuming, technical, and – to most people – not the most stimulating of tasks. It requires you to pore over spreadsheets, stay abreast of new algorithmic changes in the search engines, and make regular, steady investments that may not generate returns for several months.
If you have a large, successful business with a high six- or seven-figure marketing budget, then perhaps hiring an in-house SEO specialist is an option. But for most small businesses, hiring a full-time SEO expert isn’t realistic. Thus, it comes down to two main options: DIY or outsource.
A DIY approach to SEO can work if you’re just trying to do some basic technical optimization and very simple keyword strategy. But if you’re serious about ranking for high-value search terms and generating backlinks at scale, you don’t have the time or internal resources to move the needle on your own.
By outsourcing your SEO, you’ll enjoy benefits such as:
- More time to focus on growing core areas of your business
- Less time spent studying SEO and staying in tune with evolving strategies
- Access to more talented SEO experts
- A scalable SEO strategy that you can dial up or down depending on needs
- Access to strategic business partners who can connect you with other professionals
Though you’ll have to be careful with the agency or professional you choose, making the decision to outsource could be one of the wisest moves you make all year.
3 Tips for Successfully Outsourcing SEO
The key to successfully outsourcing SEO is to be meticulous in selecting an agency that meets your needs. With that being said, here are a few tips:
- Think Big Picture
Be wary of working with an SEO company that’s focused on improved search rankings at the expense of everything else. When rankings are the gold standard, it’s easy to initiate a hollow strategy that fails under pressure.
Do rankings matter? Yes.
Should they be the only measurement for success? No.
A good SEO strategy emphasizes quality content, natural keywords, proper technical optimization, and other white hat elements that will generate long-term value (not just a short burst of traffic). Make sure your SEO partner has the big picture in mind!
- Consider SEO Pricing
Let’s not pretend like pricing isn’t a major factor. If you’re reading this article, then the chances are good that pricing is one of the most important factors in your decision to hire an SEO agency.
Here’s what we’ll say about this: SEO pricing can vary rather dramatically from one agency to the next. And while you certainly shouldn’t put yourself in a situation that strains your budget, avoid going with the cheapest option. This is an industry where pricing and quality tend to go hand in hand.
- Ask the Right Questions
As part of the due diligence process, always ask questions of any potential SEO partner. This will give you some insights into how they think, what their expectations are for your campaign, and why they’re different from the rest of their competitors. Good questions include:
- How will you measure the success of my campaign?
- What’s the biggest key to generating results? (keywords, content, technical optimization, etc.)
- When can I expect to see results?
- Will you be handling my account in-house?
When asking questions like these, be on the lookout for any red flags that indicate spammy and blackhat practices, unreasonable and unsubstantiated claims, and/or a lack of proficiency. This will help ensure you don’t align your business with a snake-oil company that’s good at marketing but has very little to offer in terms of value.
Putting it All Together
The SEO industry is crowded, and you’ll have to be meticulous in your due diligence. Having said that, there are plenty of good SEO companies and experts to choose from. By focusing on the right metrics and measures, you can align with a partner that will move the needle for your business over the coming months.