Many marketing departments find themselves overwhelmed by the thought of tackling SEO inhouse. It’s such a specialised area and it requires training, contacts and resources to do at the highest level. With that in mind, many consider outsourcing.
We’ll explore what it means to outsource SEO, and how to ensure you’re doing it right.
Why Outsource SEO?
Outsourcing SEO can fill a resource gap within a complex area of business that many inhouse teams can’t acccomodate.
It can save you money, versus hiring an inhouse digital marketing employee.
Specifically, it’s usually a decision taken with the notion that better results will come from getting a dedicated team with experience, than attempting the heavy lifting with your current resources.
Especially in 2022, SEO is something you can’t do half-heartedly if you wish to see results. It needs to be done consistently, and patiently, with great attention to detail. For this reason, you’ll need to be meticulous in who you hire for the job.
Considerations for SEO Outsourcing
Before you start outsourcing SEO you need to get clear on your goals. It’s better to have a specific vision for what you want to achieve, what your budget is, and what kind of timeframe you have to achieve it in.
Preparing to take on an Outsourcing company is the same as preparing to onboard a new employee, they need to understand the vision of the company, and tailor their work to the company’s roadmap.
With countries like the Philippines and India filling a broad section of the outsourcing market, you’ll also want to make sure you can communicate easily with potential new work colleagues. Don’t accept anyone who won’t jump onto a video call and speak face to face, and confirm to you that you have a shared langugage. You will also be wise to ask for recent testimonials from former clients to ensure that the deliverables are up to the standards you expect.
How to Outsource SEO Effectively:
1: Create SOPs
2: Choose the right SEO tasks
3: Hire a Manager
4: Plan your workflow
1: Create Standard Operating Procedure Documents SOPs
Before you start engaging with an outsourcing company you should have an SOP for everything as without this the relationship will fail. If you are already doing citation building, link building, and keyword research then you should explain how you want this information delivered, the tools you use, where logins are kept, and how they retrieve client information:
Here are five types of SOPs you can create to get started:
- Client Information
2: Choose the right SEO tasks
The tasks you choose to outsource will massively depend on the success, as each task type has a skill set associated with it. As an example outsourcing keyword research, internal linking, and directory listings are great because they are repetitive tasks that are needed for the success of a campaign, but asking someone to redirect pages, change content, and amend a web page are all high-risk tasks that need a senior SEOs input. Here is a list of 30 SEO tasks you can outsource:
3: Hire a Manager
When you hire multiple marketing executives or content writers you have team leads, managers, and heads of departments overlook and comment on the work to ensure quality is met. This is exactly the same as when you hire an outsource partner, as you don’t want them to have full control over where they place links, what information they use for clients, and the keywords they choose. If you have multiple vendors then hiring a vendor manager would be a good step to manage relationships, but if you have one SEO outsource partner then they should report to an SEO executive, so the communication is clear, checks are made, and results can be delivered from the outsource partner to the internal team: Its also important that the manager has an understanding of different managing styles, as your outsourcing team could be in another country.
4: Have a Clear Workflow
A common break in communication and disruption in outsourcing tasks is not having a clear workflow. As an example, who do you contact for logins, troubleshooting, or approvals on certain tasks, and how do you know when something has been complete or is in progress.
It is good to know timeframes, expectations, and processes when a project is starting, so you can budget the workload and have an idea of what to give the client. A good outsource agency will have an existing workflow, so at the start of the relationship it is so important to have a shared workflow so all parties know where they stand:
We have built our own workflow with onboarding guides, culture, project management, and task types to help clients set up a workflow in their project management system the works for our team and their team.
How SEO Outsourcing can go wrong?
One of the reasons agencies have a bad experience of outsourcing SEO is because there is not a balance of “tasks done by the outsourcing company ” and “tasks the agency does” so the word “outsourcing” gets taken literally that they pass complete control over to the outsourcing company, when in fact this needs to be a collaboration, with regular input from the agency:
- Decision making:
Decision-making in SEO is critical to the success of any implementation and can lead to some serious errors when left to someone who is not an SEO expert – SEO experts charge a lot of money, so unless you are outsourcing every client question to an SEO consultant then I wouldn’t outsource this part of the process.
- Website Access
Giving control or access to a client’s website opens up lots of risks as it gives full control to someone who could easily “no index” a page, redirect a blog, or create more work for your developer to do. All of the onsite work can be mapped out and then given to a developer, so this doesn’t affect your outsourcing onsite SEO.
Most companies have a workflow to manage different departments internally, so everyone knows who to contact for various issues, and how to raise a ticket, but sometimes agencies can be left in the dark, as they are seen as an “external” help, so they get less information than internal workers, when in fact they need more information to help them understand your process:
How Much does it Cost to Outsource SEO?
The cost of outsourcing SEO depends on whether you purchase Whitelabel products, freelancers, or a company that has a dedicated workforce to handle the projects.
Below are a few examples of outsourcing costs:
Brigthlocal: If you want one-off directory listings then Brightlocal are fairly competitive on price and you can get a dashboard setup to monitor the listings. Here is the price list:
Upwork: If you are looking for a freelancer and want to check reputation then Upwork has some pretty good freelancers and you can set milestones and project specs at the start:
Fat Joe: If you want to purchase links for a one-off fee to build links for clients then Fat Joe works with many agency owners who need a quick solution for links.
Dream Digital: If you want co-managed, cost-effective staffing solutions to handle repetitive SEO tasks on a full-time basis then get in touch
- What do you need to think about before outsourcing?
- Why outsource SEO?
- How SEO Outsourcing can go wrong?
- How to outsource SEO Effectively:
Keyword Research: Take your top-level terms, and build out some long-tail keywords that you can optimize for, and find any gaps in keywords for content creation.
Content Grouping: Crawl your entire website and group the content and check the backlinks and clicks to get a top-level overview of site performance for each URL and content group:
Converting Keywords: Check the top converting pages on your website and find out what keywords are converting, so you can create more content that is likely to convert
Keyword Grouping: Take your keywords and group them, so you can see if you have conflicting content and you can see what keywords you can optimize for in that keyword group
Competing page checks: Using your keyword groups, check what pages are competing and list them out in a sheet for either update, merging content, or redirects.
Competitor Keyword Analysis: Check your competitor’s keywords and find any gaps or topics that you can write about.
Gap Analysis on content: Check how many supporting articles you have on each topic to make a decision on what content you need.
Thin Content Checks: Crawl your website and export all of the thin content pages, so anything with less than 300 words and check each page to see the value, and either update or remove.
Duplicate Content checks: Analyze the duplicate content and check the pages to see the trend in any duplicate content on the site
Duplicate headers & Titles: Run the site through screaming frog and export all of the titles and headers that are duplicates, check each page, and see which one needs to be changed.
Low Performing Page Checks: Check all the pages with low clicks and check the rankings, so you can what pages need to be improved:
Low CTR Checks: Check all of the low click-through pages and grab the titles and rankings to see if this is down to poor rankings or poor titles:
Topic Suggestions: Check the gaps in content and competitors rankings and create a list of topics you can write about.
orphaned page checks: Check all of the pages that have a low amount of internal links, and find a relevant page you can link to:
Indexation checks: Routine checks on pages that might have been “no indexed” so you can see if any key pages are not being indexed or have been marked as “no index:
Link Monitoring: Check for any broken links on the site or recent links that might be missing and need updating:
Competitor Links: Take your main keyword, and check a competitor’s website, and grab all of the relevant websites and emails.
Guest Post Research: Chose a topic and grab a list of websites from Google image search that have poor images or no images and create a list of prospects:
Outreach: Create a few templates and add in some snippets for personalization and outreach to 50 sites every day to get new links
Unlinked Brand Mentions: Check for any brand mentions that are not linking to your website and create a list of these sites, so you can contact them.
Build your own database: Add all of your positive contacts, paid contacts, and relationships into a master list so you can regularly get links from your database of contacts:
Broken Links: Looks for any 404 pages on your website and create a list of pages that can either be repaired or redirected.
Find local Links: Look for business associations and local sites that accept registrations and links, so you can build a list of local links and submit a profile
Research directory listings: Research a list of local directory listings that have good authority and accept placements, so you can list your business in local directories
Citation Audit: Audit your existing list of directory listing to make sure you dont submit duplicates and compare them to your new list of sites:
Fix Listings: Check all of your listings to see which ones have missing info, needs additional info or have the incorrect NAP and then fix those listings:
Research Web 2.0 Sites: Find a list of sites that accept infographics, events, podcasts, so you can submit content and get a link.
Submit Web 2.0 Sites: Submit content to your list of web 2.0 sites and check the pages that are getting indexed.
Competitor Citations: Check your competitors backlink profile to see what directory listings they have that are not on your list and add them to your ever-growing database:
Index Checks: Check all of your directory listings and ping the link to get them indexed.
Hope you enjoyed our list of 30 SEO tasks to outsource, we have built SOPs and processes for all of the techniques above, so please get in touch if you want to learn more: