Search engine optimization (SEO) can be complicated. Even if you come up with a sound strategy, the actual work that awaits you will drive you insane. It’s one mundane task after another. But with SEO outsourcing, you can build a team that would do all that for you.
Sometimes call offshoring, outsourcing is a term that may sound foreign to some. Here we discuss what it is and how it can improve your business.
What is SEO outsourcing?
Outsourcing is paying for services from foreign sources. It’s a business concept that’s been around for some time. In fact, some businesses rely on outsourcing because it allows them to stay competitive.
The internet ties the world together now and managing people from across the globe is as easy as sending an email. And contrary to what some would think, even third-world countries are now developed enough to compete on a global scale. The combination of these two factors makes SEO outsourcing a breeze.
Why should I outsource my SEO tasks?
As well-seasoned businessmen would tell you, delegation is key to becoming successful. One man cannot run an entire operation, especially if one wants to scale the business. Building a team is tough when you’re in the early stages. You’ll need to decide which jobs to fill out first. SEO outsourcing gives you an option to hire an online marketing team for less than what it would normally cost.
Here are other reasons you should consider outsourcing your SEO.
SEO strategies update constantly
You can’t set-and-forget search engine optimization; it’s an ongoing process. As Google makes changes to its algorithm, you’ll experience changes in your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. All of a sudden, your pages are no longer receiving visits like they used to do. Now you’re experiencing linking issues, 404 errors — you get the idea.
Those with little to no experience will find themselves in deep waters before they know it. The more your website grows, the more pages you’ll have to manage. SEO is not something you want to be doing on top of running your business.
Lucky for you, there are talented people around the world who’d be willing to go through all that for a fee. These people are paid to anticipate every update Google wants to throw at entrepreneurs like you.
Not only can they anticipate what’s coming, they have also seen what went wrong in the past. More than manpower, you’re paying for their experience. Their ability to handle some technical issue you’ve never heard before. The assurance that every SEO conundrum will be dealt with swiftly as you go on with your day.
A structure is already in place
Different people do different things in SEO. Some have spent a good chunk of their career doing nothing but link building. Others specialize in handling on-site issues. Hiring an SEO company gives you access to their infrastructure. A project manager will review your site and assign tasks to the right employee.
When forming an online marketing team from scratch, you run the risk of hiring the wrong person for the job at hand. By outsourcing your SEO to a reputable company, you can rest assured that there’s someone there who knows what he’s doing.
Takes boring tasks off your plate
SEO is not a glamorous job but someone has to do it. As mentioned earlier, some of the tasks that await you are just boring. Nobody wants to sift through lines of text in Excel but that’s how it’s usually done. Sure, there are tools designed to make these types of tasks go faster. In the end, you’d have to get your hands dirty.
That’s unless you outsource your SEO, of course. By offloading some of the more mind-numbing tasks, you and your people can move on to other things.
Which SEO tasks should I outsource?
Not all SEO tasks need to be outsourced. If the goal is to save money, you could take part in the process. Let’s list down some common SEO tasks so you can decide for yourself which ones you could handle on your own.
You’re going to need to populate your site with high-quality content. Usually, these are outsourced as this process can be time-consuming. But anyone with a knack for writing can do this with relative ease. You should consider outsourcing if you’re pressed for time and overwhelmed by the number of articles that need to be done.
There are many sites that can help you find writers. They can come in teams or you can hire freelance writers individually. You can use find writers on Fiverr or use sites like Upwork. Both are popular destinations for writing gigs but there are more out there for sure.
Images bring a ton of SEO value but optimizing images is an afterthought for some. Updating the metadata of images is easy. It’s even easier when you’re running your site on a content management system like WordPress. There are plugins you could install that allows you to update the metadata quickly.
While not directly related to SEO, you’d also want to use non-copyrighted images. Using stock photos like the ones in Shutterstock is a good workaround. Using copyrighted images will allow owners to pursue legal action which is a real headache.
But again, if the task sucks too much of your time, you can have SEO experts do it for you.
Keyword research is one of the most basic SEO tasks. Performing keyword research would be a great way for you to dive deeper into SEO. Most SEO tasks branch out from this one making it an ideal stepping stone for beginners.
Link building is a task aimed at having your site linked back to you from a reputable and established site. Google takes this into consideration when ranking you in the SERPs. Online marketers have found effective ways to do this. One of which is by doing a blog post outreach.
This is something you could do on your own. All you have to do is contact blog owners and ask if you could write content for them. In exchange, you want to have your link present in the content itself or in the author bio. There are bloggers out there who are open to this because it gives them new content to publish.
You can give this a try but if it doesn’t work out, you can always outsource!
This is something you wouldn’t want to tackle on your own. Entrepreneurs should leave this to the professionals. The process helps determine any problem area you may have and what needs to be done.
Outsourcing this part would be a wise move. Here, SEO experts change metadata, optimizes your sitemap, and checks your robots.txt. Through this, they’re able to see if URLs need to be rewritten or if there are broken links that need fixing. They can also install Google Analytics for you if you’re not sure how.
The advantages of SEO outsourcing
Aside from bringing labor costs down, outsourcing has other benefits. With SEO outsourcing, you can:
Be competitive right off the bat
By outsourcing tasks, it would take less time to get up and running. The infrastructure is already there. As soon as both parties agree on terms, your team can start working right away. You don’t want to spend weeks interviewing, hiring, and training new people. Not when there’s a team already available that are just as capable.
Determine who you need to hire
Some entrepreneurs are well-aware that as they grow, they will need to hire their own in-house team. Outsourcing is a way for them to assess who they need to hire down the road. It gives them an idea what skill set to look for when interviewing candidates.
Stop worrying about paying for benefits
In most cases, clients don’t have to pay for healthcare or other benefits. It would be shouldered by the SEO company you hire or by the individual itself, whichever applies in your case. Of course, you can always opt to set that up as an incentive but is not required.
Have staffing flexibility
You can pay people per project or have a full-time staff on call. You can structure your team in a way that makes the most sense to you financially.
The disadvantages of SEO outsourcing
Along with the good comes the bad. Outsourcing is not a perfect solution. There are some challenges that come with hiring people outside the company. Here are some common ones:
Risk of losing control
When you let third-party companies take over your SEO, you’re putting them in the driver’s seat. You’re merely along for the ride. That can be a scary proposition especially if you’re not all too familiar with SEO.
When working with bigger outsourcing companies, you may end up disagreeing over personnel changes. There are also instances when companies fold for whatever reason, putting all the progress you’ve made into question.
Exposing sensitive data
When you outsource your SEO, you will have to share information that can be considered confidential. Giving people access to your Google Analytics, for example, will also give them access to financial data. If you have an e-commerce site, they will see how much money you’re making at a given time.
Some companies and freelancers are just there to make a quick buck. They care little about the overall quality of their work. That’s why you have to clearly define your expectations from the team.
Language and cultural barrier
Working with people overseas, you need to adjust to how they do things elsewhere. Not all cultures are the same. And while go-to countries for outsourcing can understand and speak English, not every call will go as smooth as you’d like.
A different approach to SEO
SEO strategies fall into one of three categories: white hat, gray hat, and black hat. In a nutshell, white hat strategies are practices that Google encourages. Gray hat strategies will push the limits of what Google deems acceptable. Black hat strategies are frowned upon and will likely have you banned from Google if caught.
Some companies will employ black hat solutions to deliver you results. You should be clear right at the beginning what strategies are acceptable for you.
One thing to take note of. As long as you find reputable partners, the disadvantages listed above will not be an issue.
Some people not open to outsourcing
Some Americans feel that outsourcing is bad for the economy. That’s why some businesses are proud of the fact that they are 100% American. Criticisms can be thrown your way if people were to find out that you outsource jobs. But SEO tasks are usually an exemption since these jobs rarely require direct interaction with consumers.
Best places to outsource my SEO
As far as countries go, India and the Philippines are ahead in the game. Many of its respective citizens are already adept at SEO outsourcing. They are open to adjusting their work hours so they can work alongside you.
Some countries are opening up to outsourcing. These include Bulgaria, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, and Vietnam.
But more than the country, you should look for companies that have the experience to take on your requirements. Ask them how they plan on measuring the success of your SEO campaigns. Don’t just ask them what keywords they plan to optimize; have them tell you their testing terms.
You should also let these companies tell you how they plan to create content for search optimization. Ask them to provide previous works just so you could check if the quality is up to your standards.
SEO should go hand-in-hand with social media and public relations. Find out how that company can integrate your efforts with theirs. See if they have flexible plans. Not having a lock-in period is a plus. Ask what long-term plans they have for your business. You want to avoid companies with a short-sighted vision for what they want to accomplish.
A company who would be able to address these concerns is the best place to outsource your SEO.