With a world that is increasingly reliant on the Internet, digital marketing has become critical for businesses like yours. If you are confused between outsourcing SEO services and building an in-house team, you are in the right place.
Because we understand how important this decision is, and we are here to help you make it.
Where does SEO fit into Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
Digital marketing is the form of marketing where you reach your clientele through using the Internet. Smartphones, social media sites, search engines like Google have all helped advance digital marketing.
And with digital marketing came search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is essential for any business with a website.
Since SEO is such a crucial part of an organization’s marketing strategy, you would want trained personnel to work with. Fortunately, there are now professional SEO firms that offer such services.
You can simply outsource SEO to such SEO companies.
What Are SEO Services?
SEO firms offer services that help your business carry out search engine optimization (SEO). The purpose of search engine optimization, or SEO, is to improve your website’s rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).
If your website ranks near the top on the SERPs of search engines like Google or Bing, it will get more organic traffic as most users will click on it.
On the other hand, if your site is not ranking even on the first page, know that this popular saying is true: the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google search results.
If this is happening, you need to get working on your SEO right now.
What Does Outsourcing SEO Mean?
Outsourcing SEO simply means that you are availing an external vendor’s search engine optimization services. You can still have some in-house team members stay on top of what the SEO agency is doing for your website, but it would be them who are primarily implementing the SEO strategies.
Outsourcing SEO has many benefits that make it preferable over making an in-house team for SEO.
Benefits of outsourcing
1. Lower cost
Building an in-house SEO team to perform all online marketing tasks and implement digital marketing strategies is harder than it looks. It would require training staff, investing in the necessary tools. It may even include giving the team members salary increments and offering other benefits. All this is very costly.
And it can get even worse if a team member decides to leave. All that investment in training would be lost, and more would have to be incurred to train a new employee before integrating him or her into the team.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that outsourcing to an SEO firm is usually cheaper than forming an in-house SEO team.
2. Experience and Expertise
An SEO firm should have employees who know what they are doing. They should keep themselves updated with all changes relevant to SEO. Given how algorithms change continually, they need to keep track of changes to retain all their clients.
However, your recently-trained in-house team would not have any other clients to cater to and might not be as updated as an SEO agency.
3. Procedures in Place
If you build a new team for conducting SEO campaigns, you will have to establish all the processes. This included deciding how new projects, deadlines, necessary edits, and a lot more things are communicated.
You can avoid all these hassles by outsourcing to an SEO firm. An established SEO firm would already have such procedures in place running smoothly.
4. Connections in the Industry
An experienced SEO agency would already have good contacts that you can take advantage of. It may be able to refer you to other necessary services, such as organizations offering outreach services, web design, etc.
5. Fresh, Objective Perspective
Hiring an external SEO company would help you gain a new, objective perspective that you may not be able to get from an internal employee. SEO companies will also focus on the quality of their work and ideas since their reputation depends on it.
The chances are that carrying out SEO strategies aren’t the only thing on your to-do list. Even for your marketing department, there is a lot that needs to get done other than implementing digital marketing strategies.
By outsourcing SEO, you can put resources like employee time to other good uses.
Professional SEO agencies will also know what they are doing. They can work with what you have and devise an effective digital marketing strategy, including content marketing, proper keyword research, link building, and more. So, they can get results faster than an in-house team that you would have to plan and put together.
7. Scalable Services
When your business is at its initial stage, and your website is just starting, you will need to put more effort into SEO.
When you reach a point where your website’s SEO efforts have been paying off stably for some time, you can scale back your SEO efforts. Professional SEO firms like Content Guppy would understand.
You can even scale up your services if you need to, later on.
However, if you hired full-time SEO professionals for an in-house team, cutting back their hours can damage your company’s reputation.
Things to Consider When Outsourcing SEO
You should compare the cost of outsourcing SEO to the cost of making in-house teamwork on your SEO strategy.
You may be tempted to think of outsourcing SEO to be a way to get cheap labor, but that is not how it works. Getting cheaper labor should not be your main focus when it comes to outsourcing SEO.
It is true that you will find some SEO firms that are offering astonishingly low prices- but tread carefully. You could get low effort SEO campaigns for a low cost.
Thus, look for an SEO agency that charges a fair rate. It indicates that you are looking at a professional SEO company that does quality work.
However, that does not mean that you should go for an SEO company that wants you to pay it in diamonds.
You need someone who will pay attention to your financial interests too. So, when choosing an SEO firm, do bear in mind your budget.
2. Match of needs
Before deciding on an SEO agency, ask yourself what exactly your needs are.
For example, if you already have some basic SEO strategy implemented, then there is no need to ask an SEO company to start from scratch. You can hence negotiate the fees accordingly. It will also help the SEO company decide on a proper and effective SEO strategy, keeping in mind what has already been done.
Do you want more quality backlinks? Are you worried that your social media presence is not as good as you would like? Do you want more profound keyword research?
Is there any specific part of your digital marketing strategy that you want assistance with?
Ask yourself questions like this before deciding what types of SEO services you should invest in.
3. Availability at Convenient Times
Outsourcing usually involves an overseas company. This brings along the complexity of time zones.
You don’t necessarily have to choose an SEO company that is based outside your country. Although, companies in certain countries may indeed cost a lot less than those in others.
So, if you do choose to outsource to a company beyond the borders, remember that you may not find them available at times that are convenient for you.
And this doesn’t only mean that they would be a few hours late to get back to your emails and messages. It may also mean meetings or calls at ungodly hours.
In such cases, you might benefit from having a conversation with them about time boundaries, which is basically asking them what hours of the day they will be available to attend meetings and calls in.
If you don’t want to deal with such things, choosing an SEO agency that shares the same country of origin as you is the best way to go.
4. Proficiency in English
It is very common to outsource content marketing and graphic designing tasks. Your SEO agency can also easily find freelance workers willing to do some content marketing work.
However it is done, your SEO company needs to guarantee English proficiency. If you need to do a million edits and grammar corrections before publishing a blog post, you might as well have an in-house content marketing team do all the work rather than outsourcing it.
Hiring reliable SEO companies like Content Guppy for your content marketing needs makes sure that you never have to worry about grammatical mistakes.
Outsourcing SEO should not cost you quality. Even if you have an in-house online marketing team, they can implement poor quality SEO strategies if they are not experienced enough.
There is no surefire way of knowing how good the quality of work done by your SEO company will be.
But most established SEO companies have a certain procedure, which they follow for SEO strategies. You have to depend on the procedure and, if needed, suggest a few changes before they become a regular part of the digital marketing strategies implemented for your business.
You should also do regular check-ins with your SEO agency after the outsourcing process starts to ensure that any changes needed can be enforced quickly.
Aside from previous work samples and case studies, your SEO company should also provide references to whom you can get in touch.
Talking to someone who can tell you about their firsthand experience in dealing with the SEO company in question, give you specific tips if needed, and verify if the company’s digital marketing strategies have actually been as effective and successful as they have claimed to be, is helpful.
No one is perfect, but if the SEO firm’s strengths are those that will help you gain an advantage, it is likely to be a good fit. Knowing the SEO agency’s strengths and weaknesses can help you decide if you should avail certain services from them or if you should look elsewhere.
7. Growth As a Business
Check past records of the SEO company you are considering. Have they downsized significantly or made a lot of cutbacks in the last few years?
That might not be the sign of a growing, healthy SEO agency, given how outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular nowadays.
This might sound a bit harsh, but there might be some good reason behind why the SEO agency cannot seem to keep clients.
8. Political Stability of the Country of Residence
There are some countries in the world where you are likely to find SEO companies for extremely cheap.
However, sometimes, there is a catch.
Some of these countries may not be the most politically stable countries in the world. It might not look like a very big issue at first glance, but political chaos can mean that the SEO company may not be able to contact some of their staff or suffer from lack of access to the Internet, and more.
You really don’t want that additional stress caused by unreliability. Instead, look for SEO agencies from countries that have a mostly stable political atmosphere.
9. Whether It Is Easing a Capacity Issue for Your Business
Outsourcing SEO greatly helps in solving capacity issues. If you are not facing any capacity issues and getting along well, then you might not need to outsource SEO.
10. Provides You with a Clear Contract
Dismissing legal fluff is a very convenient thing to do, true, but it can also lead to issues in the future.
Legal documents like contracts are essential to making sure that the SEO companies deliver work that meets your requirements.
If everything is laid out clearly on a contract, there is no room for ambiguity, confusion, or stress regarding the unknown.
It is not wise to rush into a deal without agreeing on clear terms beforehand.
A good SEO company will be willing to sign a clearly defined contract with you before commencing any online marketing tasks.
11. Industry Trends
Observe others in the industry to see which common areas of their online marketing activities (such as content marketing, social media management) they are outsourcing to other firms.
Also, see if the trend is shifting more towards outsourcing those particular departments or if fewer and fewer firms are outsourcing them nowadays.
This will help you get an idea of what kinds of tasks to keep in-house and which ones to outsource to get maximum benefits. Get to know the reasons so that you can make good, well thought out decisions.
12. The SEO Philosophy of the Business
There are various factors when it comes to the success of an SEO strategy, such as the focus on content, number of backlinks, and technical factors like keyword research and integration.
Different SEO firms follow different SEO philosophies when it comes to putting emphasis on a particular factor.
There are some SEO firms that tend to give the technical parts more importance. They will concentrate on the optimization, structure, and coding of your website.
Some SEO firms like to focus on producing high-quality content. High-quality, educational content can get do-follow links from other websites and grow in popularity among readers as a good source of information.
However, too much focus on the technical side of things and none on the content will not give sustainable results. If the keyword research is done very thoroughly, and the website starts to rank for the right keywords, it still needs good content to captivate the readers after they click on the website.
If they open the website, see subpar content, and leave right away, it will increase your website’s bounce rates and eventually hamper your website’s SERP rankings. Thus, the content needs to be excellent too.
13. Compliance with Google’s Regulations
This is a very important thing to consider. Before you decide on an SEO company to go with, ensure that they comply with Google’s regulations.
No matter what any company tries to convince you, Google will know and potentially penalize your website if your SEO company engages in black hat link building. Such methods exploit loopholes in search engine optimization rules that allow a site to achieve higher SERP rankings than it would have through organic traffic.
However, Google has become aware of such ill practices and now hands out penalties if such activities are recognized.
Thus, if your SEO company practices such black hat link building techniques, the chances are that they are going to get caught. But here is why that would be such a bad scenario. The website that Google will penalize is yours.
This means that your clients and investors will have a negative impression when searching for or visiting your website.
Such a hit to your company’s brand image might be difficult to recover.
However, with a professional SEO agency that knows what they are doing, like Content Guppy, you never have to worry about such risks. We always have your website’s best interests in mind, and thus, any link building we engage in is always done using white hat strategies that follow Google’s guidelines.
14. Understanding of Brand Identity
You have worked very hard on building your brand identity. You certainly don’t want your SEO company to misinterpret it and throw it away.
It might not seem like a big issue at first, but a poor understanding of your brand identity will lead to many problems after the SEO agency starts implementing marketing strategies for you.
Think about it like this. The company is going to work as a digital marketer for you. So, if the company’s employees do not have a clear understanding of what your brand’s values are, they might end up implementing a marketing strategy that will not sit well with your target audience and investors.
Thus, communicate your ideas, values, and brand vision very carefully and clearly. Perhaps arrange a few meetings on brand identity before you start working with them if possible.
15. Services Included in the Selected Package
Carefully check what services are included in the package that you have selected and in what amounts. For example, if you want content marketing services, how many blog posts are included in one month?
Be sure to check and be sure that you are being provided the services you have been promised.
Inquire about what tools and technology the SEO company is using before hiring them. Using the right tools can greatly help any online marketing strategy succeed. Try to see to it that they are using the latest technology for work.
17. Trained Personnel
It is important to know who will be working on your website’s SEO and their qualifications. Talk to them in a call and explain your needs. It will help you assess whether they seem fit to fulfill your needs and have the capabilities required to carry out the tasks you need.
If you want to implement digital marketing strategies in-house, you will need to train your employees about SEO. However, because they will likely not be very experienced in SEO strategies, it is better to find a qualified team to whom you can outsource your SEO.
18. Whether They Help with the Most Commonly Outsourced Services
Try to hire an SEO agency that can perform the tasks that are widely outsourced. Even if you do not require all those particular services right now, they will be able to help you out later down the line in case you ever do require them.
And you might end up requiring these services sooner than you think. After all, there must be a good reason behind why those particular jobs get outsourced the most.
Not having to switch SEO firms when one has already started to work on your website, or even having to hire two firms, will be an unnecessary hassle. If the SEO company offers those services, you will not need to look elsewhere.
19. Consistency in Focus
A growing company like yours might have to have its marketers focus on different things at different times.
Hence, consistency in focus is one thing you might miss out on if you keep your SEO team in-house. This is important because, in SEO, you need to keep up with updates and changes in Google’s algorithms.
Also, managing social media accounts require regular posts and engagement with customers. Inactive accounts on social media sites and poor responsiveness can hurt your brand image and make you lose sales. Thus, outsourcing can help a lot in maintaining consistency.
20. Tracks Digital Marketing Trends
Changes in SEO are nothing new. You always have to have an eye out for changes in Google’s algorithms, what kind of link building techniques are effective at present, any new addition to Google’s guidelines, and a lot more.
Thus, the SEO company should be updated about all the latest digital marketing trends.
21. Sends SEO Reports
All good relationships require regular communication. And your SEO firm should try to practice this too.
You need to be regularly updated on any ongoing projects related to your website’s search engine optimization. The SEO firm should update you by sending continual reports. Before you hire an SEO firm, ask if they usually send SEO reports to all their clients.
Prior to finalizing a deal, discuss the goals you have in mind for your website and how you would like to achieve them.
Not setting the right goals and deciding the means to achieve them beforehand can lead to problems later on.
Let your SEO agency know what you have your eyes set on. Getting more backlinks through white hat link building? More effective keyword research? Robust social media presence?
Whatever your goals are, communicate them to the SEO firm you are hiring so that they can think of marketing strategies keeping your ambitions in mind.
Best SEO Agency for Outsourcing
Now that you know all the benefits of outsourcing SEO, don’t wait.
SEO is crucial for any business to succeed, and Content Guppy is the best SEO agency to help you prosper.
Visit Content Guppy to find out more about their SEO services today.