SEO is a tricky concept to grasp, there’s a steep learning curve and with Google continually increasing the number of algorithm updates each year, it’s becoming increasingly hard to follow all the latest developments.
This is especially true if you’re working on other aspects of your business. Perhaps, you’re the owner or marketing manager of a company and you’re currently implementing all of the SEO changes yourself – it’s hard to find the time to make sure your SEO efforts are having an impact on your organic growth.
In this instance, you may be looking to outsource your search engine optimisation, in order that you can focus on the other areas of the business that require your attention.
This is a perfectly natural progression which makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint. There are costs involved with outsourcing your SEO, but the long term benefits of having a dedicated team to focus on growing the business far outweigh the downsides.
In this article, we’re going to explore the best way to outsource your SEO to ensure you get the best ROI on your SEO investment.
Typically, there are two main people you can outsource your SEO to; Freelancers or Agencies. There are pros and cons to both, but it will depend on several factors as to which one will suit you and your business better.
For example, if you have a small business with turbulent busy and slow periods you might prefer the flexibility of having a freelancer who can quickly adapt to the ever-changing business. Whereas, an agency will need to schedule time into their workload so the work gets planned for a few months in advance. That’s not to say that agencies can’t be flexible too though, it just makes it harder to make large last-minute changes to your campaign.
Freelancers typically have a lower daily rate too, since they don’t have the large overhead costs associated with a large team of specialists. There’s a reason for this though, SEO experts working at an agency typically go through an extensive interview process, whereas a freelancer can start with little to no experience.
There are some definite red flags to avoid when looking at an SEO freelancer or SEO agency, these include:
No company has a direct influence over the ranking algorithm other than Google. Sometimes, you can do everything right SEO-wise and it just takes longer for results to kick in. Or, any one of the multiple Google updates can influence rankings and traffic. Therefore, if you see a company providing guaranteed results within a short timeframe then you can be pretty sure that they’re using black-hat tactics. Check out our recent blog post on why you should avoid guaranteed SEO services here.
Everyone likes a bargain, but when it comes to SEO there are some businesses that are paying far too little to have any real impact on their business. For example, if a company only charges £99/month for SEO, it’s worth thinking about how much of this can actually be re-invested back into your site. Perhaps one short blog post? One backlink? There’s only so much an agency or freelancer can do with a limited budget, which is why you should avoid cheap SEO services.
If your chosen agency or freelancer can’t provide any examples of websites they’ve worked on, with positive improvements to organic traffic as a result of their work, how do you know that they’ll be able to do the same for your website? Part of outsourcing SEO is trusting in the process and the partner you’ve chosen. If there’s an underlying doubt from the get-go that they’ll be able to get your business great results then it will inevitably be a short-lived partnership.
If you can find a company that has experience in your sector, you’ll find it a much easier experience as they’ll already understand your keywords, backlink targets, KPIs and company goals. If they also have case studies which are closely related to your industry then this is an even stronger sign that they should be able to deliver similar results for your business.
When you’re in the initial discussions with your SEO freelancer or agency, make sure to probe with questions about exactly how they will go about increasing your website traffic. Typically, they should start with a technical SEO audit, followed by keyword research, content creation and backlink building (although this will vary slightly per business). Ask if they’re willing to share how they build backlinks, do they build them manually via outreach or do they purchase them from a backlink provider? Do they write their own content in-house or do they outsource it themselves too?
One of the best ways you can find out what an agency or freelancer can do for your website is to request a proposal. This document shouldn’t be an automated report from a third-party tool, rather it should show specific findings and actions that they have found on your site that, once fixed, will improve your organic traffic.
Business-savvy SEOs will also take into consideration your return on investment (ROI). There’s no point in ranking high for keywords which are totally irrelevant to your business or they don’t drive any conversions through the website. Therefore, they should consider your budget, average order value (or conversion value), expected uplift and the return you can make on that increase.
At Koozai, we like to think we’re pretty business savvy when it comes to SEO. We’ve helped countless businesses increase their organic traffic and sales through online marketing. Get in touch today to see how we can help with your plans to outsource SEO.
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