Answer to a Prayer or Total Nightmare: Key Factors for Hiring Outside SEO Help
If you do not have specialist skills in your organization, outsourcing them is always a possible solution. Developing certain skills in-house can be expensive and time consuming, and often the best option is to simply outsource it.
This is especially true of skills like SEO. This is an area that is constantly changing—by the month rather than by the year—and specialist firms are often better able to stay on top of the changes in the SEO industry to ensure they provide a service that will help rather than hinder your online presence.
But there are a number of issues to consider before you outsource your SEO, and here are some of the most important.
Experience and Previous Success
Start by researching SEO providers to find out how experienced they are. There are many SEO firms offering their services, and their previous experience can be a good way to narrow down your search.
As well as their experience, look at their previous results. SEO is all about results, so you want to find out what they have achieved for previous customers. This could include how many top rankings they have, the number of leads generated, and the increase in conversions.
You may also want to read testimonials from previous clients and follow up with some of these clients. If they were really happy with the SEO outsourcer, they should be happy to provide you with a recommendation. For more information on this, here's how to outsource your SEO.
Another area to find out about is the tactics they use. Ask the firm about how they get links, which techniques they avoid, why they use the techniques they do, and more. A good SEO firm with experience will be happy to provide you with plenty of details to help you make your decision.
Determine Your Goals
Before you outsource your SEO, you should have some defined SEO goals in place. What do you want to achieve? Is it simply more traffic, or do you want to increase your conversions? While your initial goal may be more traffic, there is more chance that what you really want is more sales. If so, how will the SEO firm help you to get more sales? Do they focus on targeting keywords that convert, for example? A good SEO firm may even be able to help you come up with some goals if you are unsure.
Work Out Your Budget
Clearly, outsourcing content is going to cost money, so do you have the funds available in your budget? If you are a startup, perhaps not. However, you can always collect different quotes from various firms to help you decide. Some will cost less than others, but then you have to consider what you will be getting. Will the service be worth paying for if the results don't come in?
A skilled SEO provider that costs more could help to get you ranking sooner, and this could in turn bring in more business that pays for the money you have spent on SEO. However, don't spend more than you can afford.
Of course, you can also consider the cost of doing your SEO yourself. There are plenty of SEO tips available online provided by professionals, but results are likely to be slower, and you may need to spend time and money on training up your own staff, so take this into account.
You may want to outsource to an SEO firm that specializes in your industry. Many online marketing firms specialize in insurance, real estate, and other specific industries, and this could help because they know about your sector. A lot of SEO involves the creation of content, and it could help if the firm really knows what they are talking about in your sector.
You may also want to consider whether they specialize only in SEO, or whether they provide other services like social media, blogging, and PPC. If you are looking for more than one service, it can make sense to use the same provider.
Sign Up for a Trial Period
Perhaps one of the most important considerations when you outsource SEO is to avoid getting stuck in a long-term contract. Many SEO firms will provide a rolling contract where you pay by the month, and this can give you more confidence to try out a company. That way, if it is not working out, you can stop using them, avoiding the nightmare scenario where you are paying for a service you don't want.
Enjoy Success by Outsourcing Your SEO
SEO is one of the most popular services to outsource. Hiring an in-house team can be expensive and less effective than hiring a specialist, and when you outsource your SEO you will not have to keep up to date with all the changes in the world of SEO. However, if you do want to outsource your SEO, make sure you choose your provider with care.
While good SEO can be highly beneficial to your business, bad SEO can damage your reputation and your bottom line. It is therefore crucial that you make the right decision. So don't hire the first firm you find, or the cheapest, and instead take all of these factors into account to stand a better chance of finding a long-term partner to help give your SEO the boost it needs.
Edward Barner is a marketing consultant. He likes to write about his business experiences on the web. You can read his posts on many SEO and marketing blogs.