How to Outsource SEO (Step-by-Step)6 min read
What is SEO Outsourcing?
SEO outsourcing can be defined as the act of handling search engine optimization-related services including both on-page and off-page optimization to third-party companies, agencies, or individuals to help take care of. A company may outsource SEO services to scale up its operations and rank higher in search engines.
Most marketing teams have a lot to do but no time to do those things. This is often especially true for search engine optimization (SEO). Outsourcing something as monumental as SEO can have an incredible impact on your business. Outsourcing creates time for in-house marketing teams to focus on more important things such as growing business, managing in-house employees, overseeing SEO strategy, etc.
Outsource SEO to avail these benefits for your business:
- Stronger marketing strategy
- No learning curve
- Reduced workload
- Faster results
- Easier to scale
- Less monotony
How to outsource SEO
Let’s look at a simple framework that can be used in most of the SEO outsourcing situations. The tips mentioned under this framework will show you how to outsource SEO effectively,
1. Create detailed SOPs
Standard Operating Procedure or SOPs are detailed documents that clearly explain how to carry out a task from beginning till the end. Most successful companies have detailed SOPs for their employees to ensure consistency. It takes a lot of time and effort to create an SOP, which is why the best way is to choose one facet of SEO and break it down into subtasks. Then create SOP for each of these subtasks.
Don’t try to outsource SEO in its entirety all at once. SOP can be prepared either in a written manner or in a video format. Remember that the people you are hiring have no idea about your SEO expectations. Just run through each step and mention every last detail to the point of visualization.
Here are few more benefits of creating SOP:
- Onboarding new help becomes easier. Freelancers are usually flaky and there might be a need to get a new hand onboard. Having an SOP in place makes it easier to explain the role and expectations to the new hire. It not only saves time and effort but increases efficiency.
- SOPs help keep existing freelancers on track. If the freelancer is not working for a while due to certain reasons, SOPs help them get settled back into work.
- Because of the detailed description of how things should be done, SOPs ensure that things are running in a smooth and fast manner.
- SOPs are a great way to avoid answering the same questions again and again. Include all the frequently asked questions in the SOP and save precious time.
2. Hire meticulously
Many times when businesses outsource SEO, they rely on a single person to do everything. It ends up affecting business negatively because different tasks require different kinds of skills. The best way to tackle such situations is to group tasks based on skillset and hire multiple people to take up those roles.
The way to go about it is to first take each group of tasks and think about the skills and experiences required to carry out that activity. Try to group these skills into “good to have” and “must-have” categories. The next step is to create a job listing based on these descriptions on freelancing sites like Upwork or Fiverr and start the hiring process.
Here are few tips to consider before you start to outsource SEO to freelancers,
- Test the skills of a freelancer by asking them to provide samples of their previous work or give them a paid one-off task to assess their work. Better to get the prospective hire in action rather than just taking their word for it and regretting later.
- Hire candidates for a limited trial period if they seem promising after the demo work. Be on the lookout for professional behavior and based on the performance you can decide whether you outsource SEO to them for a longer duration.
- The probability of your first hire turning out to be perfect is reasonably low. If they don’t turn out to be the right fit for your business, don’t stick with them for a long time. It’s better to terminate their services and hire someone else instead of wasting your time and compromising with the inferior work quality.
3. Keep track of activities
SEO outsourcing is a complicated business with lots of moving parts. A project management tool like Trello helps businesses keep track of everything and monitor their progress. You can not only create all the tasks in the project management tool but also add an SOP to ensure smooth workflow.
Make sure to keep in contact with your freelancers via chat, call, or emails and take inputs. They might be in need of clarifications or suggest ways to improve your existing process. Making gradual changes in SOP would make everyone in the organization more efficient. Keep track of recurring activities and outsource them to a third party if possible.
Options to outsource SEO
In terms of how you choose to outsource SEO, here are 4 different options to consider,
1. Independent SEO freelancer
Hiring an SEO freelancer is the best choice for any business with minimal SEO needs. Outsource SEO to a freelancer at your own convenience and save money. Make sure that you choose a freelancer who is up to date with the latest market trends or you’ll end up getting out-of-date work.
2. SEO contractors
The advantages of working with an SEO contractor are similar to that of working with an independent freelancer. The only difference is that you’re more likely to build a kind of relationship with the contractor due to the nature of a contractor position. Contractors are often capable of producing highly technical and extremely accurate SEO work.
3. An SEO company
The advantage of working with a search engine optimization company is that you are working with a company and not just an individual. Your campaign and business are more likely to benefit from the collective experiences and knowledge of the group. When you outsource SEO services to a company, your point of contact will be part of a larger team of SEO professionals.
4. A full-service agency
The benefit of working with a full-service agency is again that you’ll be working with a team of professionals rather than relying on the expertise and creativity of a single person. However, when you outsource SEO to a full-service agency, all your marketing needs are fulfilled under one roof. You’ll get to work with a team of digital marketing professionals and not just SEOs.
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