Businesses have woken up to the need for search marketing. It has become an integral part of the digital efforts of small and big business alike. And why not? According to the online marketing consultant Ahrefs, 68% of online experiences are initiated through a search engine. Again, while 53.3% of all traffic comes from organic search, only 0.78% of users go to the second page of Google search results. Research only suggest that you need to spend more of your resources on enhancing your rankings for specific keywords. For this, you need the support of individuals who are trained in SEO activities. But will you carry it out in-house or do should I outsource SEO? It is a question that has been discussed in numerous senior management meetings. There is always an apprehension when bringing in outside experts onboard. A lot of sensitive information is at stake. We will look at some of the reasons why you should outsource SEO.
We will start with the monetary resources first. When you outsource SEO services, you need not have anyone on your payroll. You can save on the employment benefits that need to be meted out to your employees. Apart from the salary costs, there are various perks like insurance costs, travel allowance, etc.
Outsourcing does not require you to have anyone on your payroll. However, you can still have experienced SEO professionals working as a part of your team to improve your search engine ranking. You only need to have a retainer arrangement with them. It happens to be a win-win situation for small business and MNCs alike.
If you are starting with SEO or planning to replace your team, the chances are that there would be a time lag for the new team to get started. They would need the time to get acquainted with your solutions portfolio.
On the other hand, when you outsource SEO activities, you can already have a team who are experts in that field. They can be on the task with minimal effort from you to take them through the paces—no elaborate plans to be created. The experts know their way and the everyday challenges from the competition.
The internal marketing teams are always under a resource crunch—too many activities to cater to with minimal resources. Doing SEO in-house can result in erratic activities with the team members working on the SEO bit whenever they find time between more burning issues.
With an SEO consultant, you will be assured of constancy in the project with the activities evened out over a specific period. The team can deliver consistent results with optimized up to date content. And search engines prefer fresh and engaging content while ranking sites.
Your in-house team will need to cater to various aspects of marketing – both online and offline. It will be difficult for them to have a dedicated resource who will be handling SEO activities. Unless someone is handling only SEO, it will be difficult for you to be aware of the latest SEO trends. And your competition can beat you to the search rankings.
SEO also requires utilizing various tools for help. With such a multitude of activities involved with SEO, only a specialized agency can help you. How do you select which SEO tools to use? How do you stay up to date with the Google algorithm changes? When these queries come to your mind, you tend to ask yourself – should I outsource SEO. Yes, an external consultant will help you with white-hat SEO techniques in line with the latest algorithmic changes and industry best practices.
Your SEO needs continuous improvement. As the positions on the search engine rankings are in a constant state of flux, your organization too must be nimble-footed to adapt to the changing Google algorithms to stay up in the rankings. It requires an optimal and joint effort from the SEO consultant and your team. In the process, it needs continuous measurement and testing of the SEO efforts. It would be difficult without a seasoned SEO consultant to finalize the KPIs and measure them against pre-defined benchmarks.
Once you have decided to deploy an external agency for your SEO activities, you need to know how to outsource SEO activities. The contract needs to be handed to a trustworthy company as, above all, sensitive information is going to be shared. And, you need quick results too.
You must find a competent organization who is reputed in the SEO field. Most companies opt for the cheapest option without doing any background checks. When choosing a company, ask for their references and details of prior work. While looking out for options, you must also enquire whether they could help you with other aspects of digital marketing, like Social Media engagement, blogs, etc.
There is no need to hurry through the contract. Instead, you must finalize the deliverables and set down the KPIs for each. Always have a clause in the contract detailing these and the possible penalty for not meeting any of them. You must not set targets that cannot be measured.
Before handing over the work, always talk to the agency about the prior work done on the SEO front and share reports of the prevalent rankings. Also, provide them with the keywords that were being used. It will act as the starting point for the consultant. It would allow them to come up with better ideas about how the work can be carried forward.
Again, SEO is an ongoing activity, and the progress needs to be tracked periodically. Reports must be used to measure the current situation against the set KPIs. You need to set up periodic meetings with the consultant and track progress.
The in-house marketing team usually have too much on their plate. Burdening them with SEO work could take the sheen away from the general marketing activities. Also, SEO needs an ongoing and intensive effort to ensure better results. We have outlined some of the points that will help you decide when you wish to outsource SEO activities.