Is Outsourcing SEO the Right Solution for your Business?
Search engines drive 93% of online experiences –meaning that they are still the major source of web traffic.
However, the way they work is constantly changing, setting the bar high. Users have become more demanding in their requirements and 75% of them would never scroll past the first page of Google. To drive more traffic to your site, you need to boost your rankings in the SERPs and that’s when SEO shines.
Unfortunately, optimizing your site for search engines is easier said than done. There is a myriad of factors, tools, and metrics coming into play and if you don’t know which ones to stick to, you may end up holding a can of worms. So, similarly to any other service you know nothing about, you might need to leave your site optimization to pros.
Let’s see whether outsourcing SEO is the right option for you.
Pro #1: Doing SEO is harder than it looks
If you search for a “comprehensive guide to SEO,” you will see that there are tens of thousands of so-called SEO experts telling you that optimizing your site for search engines can be done in a few weeks, driving instant results. All you need to do is target the most popular keywords in your niche, create some quality content around them, do a little bit of on-page SEO, and build a few off-page links every once in a while. Now, it’s just a matter of time before your website jumps to the first page in the SERPs, right?
For experienced digital marketers, statements like that feel like a dagger in the heart. What you need to know is that SEO is damn hard and the tutorials mentioned above don’t even scratch its surface. Doing your SEO properly means improving your skills constantly, keeping track of the latest industry trends, and analyzing your overall online performance on a daily basis. Most importantly, it may take you weeks or even months of hard work to reach your goals.
Pro #2: You won’t have to hire an in-house SEO team
Don’t get me wrong. Hiring an in-house SEO team may be a great solution for your company if you can afford it. First, there would be no miscommunication problems, time-consuming video conferences, and lengthy client reports you would have to read each month. Second, these guys work just for you, meaning that they have all the time in the world to work on boosting your rankings. Most importantly, once even the slightest SEO-related problem occurs, they will be able to fix it instantly.
So, what’s the problem?
As you can imagine, you cannot simply recruit just a couple of people and ask them to do all the work on their own. You need to hire an entire team of experienced SEO professionals, which may be pretty expensive. That’s where SEO agencies step in. Because they have their own teams of SEO experts, strategists, content developers, and link builders, these agencies have the manpower needed to meet all your needs at a much lower price.
Pro #3: You won’t have to invest in SEO tools
To get your job done right, you need to invest in SEO tools that can actually meet your needs. That means doing proper research and investing in a whole set of specialized tools, from keyword research software to social media analytics tools, which will cover every aspect of your SEO campaign. To get started, you can take advantage of free plans the majority of those tools provide you with. But to harness their full power, you will need to go with their paid versions, which may cost you a pretty penny.
This is something you won’t have to think about is you decide to hire an SEO agency. Being in the industry for a while, they’ve probably tried out hundreds of different tools and stick to the ones that help them achieve the ultimate functionality. For you, this means that you will not only be achieving the results you wouldn’t be able to get on your own, but also saving a lot of time and money.
Con #1: The rising risks of outsourcing
This one is pretty obvious. You hire an SEO outsourcing agency you know nothing about and you hope for the best. Even though the studies show that the majority of businesses are satisfied with the SEO companies they hire, the risk is still big.
Con #2: The lack of direct contact with your online community
One of the most important SEO practices is link building and it is based on creating strong relationships with bloggers and influencers in your niche. However, when you’re outsourcing your SEO, these interactions are done by the agency you hire. This simply means that, if you decide to lay off your SEO company, hundreds of your existing contacts will simply slip through your fingers. Given the fact that you would have no idea what they were previously talking about or what kind of deals they made, it would be extremely difficult for you to renew communication with these contacts.
Con #3: Insufficient quality
Link building and content development are two inseparable and probably the most significant elements of your SEO campaign. However, as they vary in quality, not every link you earn or article you write is valued the same way by search engines. There are agencies that focus on quantity rather than on quality, selling you snake oil without you even knowing that. Consequently, every spammy link leading to your site may get you penalized and labeled as untrustworthy by Google.
Outsourcing SEO may be risky, but optimizing your site on your own may be even riskier if you don’t have an experienced team, the right tools and, of course, cash. Always keep in mind that your obligations don’t end with hiring a reputable SEO agency. On the contrary, you need to have trust in them and work closely with them toward reaching better results.
** About the Author: Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.