Outsourcing and SEO are two complex worlds. Combining them can be quite an intimidating prospect.
Done carelessly, outsourcing can be ethically questionable, and can lead to bad customer service and compromised quality.
With SEO, the initial learning curve is so steep that it can seem like a completely impenetrable field altogether.
So how does an agency go about outsourcing SEO work when they’re not sure how to contract short-term dependable talent and don’t know the field enough to be able to tell whether or not they’re doing a good job?
This article is here to help. Read on for our top tips below.
How do you outsource SEO?
Luckily for you, outsourcing SEO work is actually quite common.
As it’s so specialized, it really is best to have an expert at the helm of your SEO work. However, in many situations it’s not practical or necessary to have a person hired exclusively for this job. For this reason, there are many SEO professionals that are accustomed to contract work.
However, even easier and lower-risk are the many great SEO service options out there. These are companies that specialize in providing SEO services often in package deals based on the number of hours your business (or client’s business) requires.
Not only do these services allow you to optimize your own SEO, but through Vendasta, you can also offer these SEO services to your clients.
What is Outsourcing?
With a regular employee, the job may change overtime and tasks may fluctuate day-to-day, yet they will still be on your payroll and will receive a fairly consistent wage. With an outsourced employee, the scope of work tends to be much more defined, with their compensation more directly linked to their outcomes.
In other words, when outsourcing, a contract is made up between you and an individual solely for a specific outcome or set of outcomes. Those individuals may be paid either by the hour, or simply for the completion of the task.
This is not to say that outsourcing is only ever a short-term arrangement. Projects can extend for years, or you can simply repeat contracts as identical or similar projects arise.
Simply put, outsourcing is for when you don’t have the time, the people, the money, or the expertise to do the work you need to do to scale (or even maintain) your business. Outsourcing:
- Requires less immediate and long-term resources than hiring additional personnel. Therefore, it’s a great option to scale small businesses that are still developing a steady revenue stream.
- Prevents you from diverting time away from your business to develop entirely new sets of skills (such as SEO management) and instead allows you and your team to focus solely on the parts of your business that you do best.
- Is a smart way to set your business on solid footing right at the beginning by having experts set up your foundational elements.
- Increases the quality of your business and the way you do business. You might not need specialized services in all areas all the time (enough to keep them on payroll, that is). However, bringing experts in occasionally to consult on and clean up each little aspect of your business is important to stay competitive in today’s market.
- Is a way to boost your team with a bit more power in seasons where extra opportunities are available, or if you want to test a new project before investing the resources into hiring permanent employees for the task.
- Can allow you to collaborate with local and global creatives and specialists, perhaps even big-time superstars that you wouldn’t be able to pull in full-time.
- Can also be a long-term solution.
Little-known Facts about Outsourcing
1. You can outsource almost anything - including SEO!
The freelancing economy keeps growing more popular, and as a result, outsourcing is now a possibility for virtually any task your business needs to take care of.
2. Outsourcing doesn’t necessarily mean sending your work across the ocean
It’s true that there are still many opportunities to outsource work overseas. However, it’s becoming more common for outsourcing to occur with freelancers or services right within one’s own city or state.
3. Outsourcing is particularly advantageous for entrepreneurs and startups
Outsourcing is actually perhaps best-suited to the entrepreneur whose ideas are bigger than their budget. Wanna take on and build something much bigger than yourself? As in, something much bigger than the man-hours you can humanly invest in it? Don’t have the capital to hire additional employees? You’re the perfect candidate for outsourcing.
Alternatively, outsourcing can come into play when your business requires highly-specialized work that you don’t have expertise in. This is generally the case when outsourcing SEO. While larger or more tech-focused companies may bring on a full-time SEO expert, smaller businesses, agencies, and entrepreneurs may find it makes more sense for them to outsource this work.
Monitoring and Maintaining Quality Control when Outsourcing
With a bit of know-how, and the right procedures in place, quality control and monitoring don’t have to be a problem. The three things you need to consider are:
1) Who is doing your work?
2) How are you communicating your expectations?
3) What tools are you using to monitor their work?
1. Who is doing your work?
When deciding who to give your contract to, find candidates who have evidence of their work and a wealth of positive testimonials. It’s true that, the more experience a person has, generally the more expensive they will be (unless you contract overseas), but you have a better chance of getting dependable work and high-quality results. That being said, if you have a connection with someone new in the industry whose work you know you can trust, you may be able to get your work done at a lower price while also helping give someone the break they need. Know that it will always be a bit more of a risk though. Furthermore, if you don’t know the area of work well enough to accurately judge the quality, it may be safer to go with someone who has external validation.
2. How are you communicating your expectations?
Next, make sure you’ve set up very clear expectations of exactly what you want accomplished, the resources you’re willing to provide to complete the work, and the timeline you expect the work finished by. Make sure that your hire demonstrates agreement with the expectations, and feels they’re reasonable.
3. What tools are you using to monitor their work?
To make sure you’re able to communicate throughout the designated project, add the hired expert to your team’s virtual communication platform (e.g., Slack). If possible, use cloud-based services and collaborative documents so that you can monitor progress.
Though it may seem intimidating at the outset, outsourcing SEO work doesn’t have to be confusing and unpredictable. By using an established SEO service, you can count on having experienced professionals behind you, completing the work to a high standard and in a timely manner. Just one more (big) thing off your plate so you can concentrate on doing what you do best.