In business, there are some things that you can take care of, and other things that you’ll want to leave to the professionals. SEO is one of those things that is always up for debate. Experts, for obvious reasons, swear by outsourcing and want people to make sure that they are getting the best solutions available.
There are some people who will advocate for DIY optimization efforts, touting that it’s cheap and easy to do SEO as long as you do some reading and get to know the process first.
While this isn’t entirely wrong, it’s certainly not the best option by any means. Outsourcing has a number of benefits if you do it correctly. In this guide, we’ll help you understand just what the process of outsourcing entails, how you can find the best services, and what you need to think about when choosing your provider.
Hopefully, by the time you reach the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to find your SEO partner and get moving on getting your online presence optimized. Let’s start by digging a little deeper into what outsourcing actually entails when it comes to search engine optimization.
What Does it Mean to Outsource SEO?
People have been outsourcing things for years. Outsourcing your SEO campaigns just means that you’re letting someone else handle the search engine optimization efforts that your brand needs.
You could choose to hire an SEO agency or even just enlist the assistance of a freelance SEO expert. Of course, agencies are always a better choice if you want more dedicated attention, but again this is a personal preference. The point is that when you outsource SEO, you’re letting someone else handle the process entirely so that you can get the best results.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than just picking a company and putting them to work. Read on to learn everything you need to know about outsourcing, from the cost to the considerations and even the benefits of hiring the pros.
DIY vs. Outsourced SEO
As we briefly mentioned in the beginning, a lot of people start out with SEO with the idea that they’re going to be able to handle the process on their own. They feel like they’ll be able to figure it out since there’s so much information out there about how to optimize websites and what tools to use.
As professionals, we can tell you this is a double-edged sword when it comes to marketing and educating people about SEO. It’s important for people to understand how the process works, and there are certainly some efforts that you can take on by yourself. However, most of the information is designed to inform you about what to expect when you hire someone else to do the work.
DIY SEO is a great concept, but in practice, it can get messy. For starters, do you have a dedicated team to focus on optimization? Are you able to stop what you’re doing in day-to-day business and focus on this campaign until it’s implemented? Even then, you’ll need someone to monitor and manage it, unless again you’re going to give up your valuable time.
Ultimately, most companies outsource SEO for the same reason that people hire professional services for home repairs– because even if they might be able to figure it out on their own, they know the pros will do the job right, right away, and will be there in the future if they need further assistance.
How to Outsource SEO
Here’s another area where there is a lot of confusion. You can’t just look up “cheap SEO services” and hire the first company you find, for example. Well, you could, but that goes back to the whole discussion of getting what you pay for.
The correct way to outsource SEO is to find an agency that is experienced and reputable. They should have some experience in your industry or type of services, because they’ll be meddling with your content and because SEO can be different for different industries or niches.
Do your homework so that you know what to expect from professional SEO services, and then go out and find that. Look for a company that is focused on building your reputation and brand authority, not just on helping you stuff some keywords in your content. After all, today’s SEO campaigns are about so much more than just the keywords that you use. Those are almost an afterthought at this point.
Consider the perks of working with a smaller SEO firm, too. When you outsource SEO to a large corporation, you become just another number and another job they need to get through. Because they have so much on their plate, they don’t have the time or resources to give you the dedicated attention that you deserve.
With a boutique company, you’ll have a team of SEO experts working on your campaign and giving you the personalized touch you need every step of the way. Later on, we’ll get a little more into the specific questions you should be asking and other tips for choosing your solution to outsource SEO.
Benefits of Outsourcing SEO
When you outsource your SEO, you’re giving your business a few different perks:
- Outsourcing is more affordable than hiring an in-house marketing team
- You will have much more control over specific details and aspects of campaigns
- Less time will be spent on marketing, which means you can spend more time on your business
- Outsourcing allows you to work with the experts who understand SEO and how to capitalize on it to get the best results
- This is an ongoing process and outsourcing allows you to also find someone to monitor and maintain your optimization efforts over time
This is just a glimpse, but as you can see, there’s a lot to gain from outsourcing. Not only will you save money compared to in-house marketing, but you will have access to some of the best experts in the industry to ensure that your SEO is on point at all times. Plus, you’ll be able to spend your time and energy where it should be — on your business.
SEO is not a “one and done” project. It’s an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and updating because the search engines and the way people search for things online are always changing. If you want to keep up, you need a dedicated team on the job. That’s why it’s always best to outsource SEO to a dedicated agency.
Considerations for Outsourcing SEO
Now that you know a little more about the “why” of outsourcing, let’s dig into the “how”.
There are a number of considerations that go into choosing the best SEO provider and finding the right way for your company to outsource its SEO efforts. You’ll need to think about the expense involved, as well as how you can find the right people that fit your budget and your marketing needs.
How Much Does it Cost to Outsource SEO?
Everyone wants to know about the money involved in search engine optimization and marketing. After all, you’ve probably got a limited marketing budget to work with. There’s nothing wrong with that.
The problem comes when you focus on cost alone. Yes, SEO services are expensive. However, they’re an investment and they’re one that is worth making. Instead of asking how much SEO services are going to cost, consider what it will cost your business not to invest in professional optimization efforts.
Some companies have plans and pre-packed SEO solutions that are priced to go. These are sometimes also called “off the shelf” solutions because they require no customization. Typically, these will be the most affordable route, but they may not always be the best choice.
Custom SEO solutions are going to get the best results. However, they may also be costlier than plans and package deals that some agencies offer. Can you really put a price on success, though?
If you really want numbers, here is an example of some national averages just to show you how wide-reaching the “range” of SEO costs can be:
- Hourly consultants typically charge $100-$400 per hour
- Single projects can range anywhere from $5,000 to over $40,000 or more
- Monthly plans typically cost companies $1,500 to $10,000 per month
Now you can understand why so many SEO providers are hesitant to generically discuss pricing– it’s all over the place and it’s very different depending on what you need and which agency you choose to work with.
Tips for Choosing Outsourced SEO Services
The best thing to do when you outsource your SEO is to choose a company based on its merits first and then discuss pricing. The best companies will understand that you have a budget and even when they present their suggested strategy, they will work with you to determine which elements are most important and where your marketing dollars should be focused.
Look to outsource SEO to agencies that have dedicated experience. Find a small firm, because they will typically have the best time and resources to dedicate. Boutique agencies only work with a few clients at a time, giving them the chance to spend more attention and effort on your campaigns.
It might seem like a larger company would have more resources, but here you’ll probably just get lost among a sea of clients and not get that dedicated attention and support.
We mentioned that you can’t focus on cost too much when it comes to outsourcing your optimization campaigns and other marketing needs. What, then, should you focus on? Well, aside from the expertise and dedication that we’ve mentioned, you also want an agency that can prove their results and showcase what they have done in the past to convince you that they may be able to do the same for you.
Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation. If someone really wants (and deserves) your business, they’ll be more than willing to have a transparent discussion about what their SEO team can do for your brand.
Why is SEO So Expensive?
This is the million-dollar question in search engine optimization. Many agencies used to balk at advertising their pricing for the sheer fact that people didn’t understand and were therefore scared off by the higher rates. However, as demand increases, companies have had to react.
As such, more companies are advertising plan rates, base pricing, and other actual numbers to help people learn about SEO pricing and plans. While this is good for people who want to get an idea of what they’re about to get into, it can also be somewhat intimidating.
So, why is SEO so seemingly expensive? Well, the fact of the matter is that the work that you are getting is worth every penny. Companies are going to dedicate hours of their time to optimizing your brand’s online presence. They are going to use their resources to get your website higher in the search rankings and improve your overall online presence, both on the website and off. Plus, they’re going to do it all with industry knowledge and expertise that only comes from firsthand experience.
SEO seems expensive because it’s a big process and involves a lot of people and projects. It’s not a single ad or ad campaign. It’s a large-scale branding and traffic generation effort that is going to change the future success for your business when you do it right. However, even the highest-priced SEO campaigns will typically earn a return on their investment within the first year.
That kind of return is almost unheard of, and especially in the world of marketing. Between that and the fact that SEO is an investment, not an expense, we’re going to encourage you to stop questioning the costs and start questioning the cost of missing out on this marketing tool.
Custom SEO Solutions
Since you’re already outsourcing your SEO, it makes sense to get the best possible solution available. If you want to see premium results, you need a custom SEO plan. Fortunately, there are a number of agencies that will only provide custom SEO strategies and pricing for clients, giving you the peace of mind that you are getting what you need.
Some companies are still advertising prepackaged SEO solutions and seeking different ways to reach out and give people more options that are “off-the-shelf”, but that’s just not effective like it used to be.
You might be able to do decently with a pre-planned SEO solution, but if you want to optimize for the best, it needs to be a custom strategy that was designed specifically based on your goals and optimization needs.
How Outsourced SEO Services Deliver Results
When you outsource SEO, you are working with people who know how to deliver exceptional results. It’s a fairly simple process, but one that takes dedication and experience.
It all starts with a website and off-page audit that will reveal every online presence that your business has and how its current optimization efforts stack up.
Once they have this information, the firm will work with you to develop a solid strategy for optimization that includes website and off-page efforts and walk you through the process as they go. SEO agencies know what it takes to get ranked.
They know things like how to capitalize on lesser-searched keywords, why long-tail keywords work, and how important local optimization is for local companies.
Search engine optimization services spend their entire focus on improving SEO for various websites and businesses to help their search engine rankings, sense of authority, and brand reputation.
Why wouldn’t you work with them if you want to get the best results from your SEO campaigns?
Important Questions to Ask Service Providers
Now that we’re on the same page about working with SEO services, here are some questions that you need to make sure that you’re asking before you hire anyone:
- What is your process for search engine optimization?
- How many clients do you work with at a time?
- Can you show us examples of past successful campaigns?
- What metrics do you use to measure “success”?
- How do you optimize for mobile?
- How will you assist in incorporating SEO with the overall marketing strategy?
- How will you keep everyone informed of changes made and optimization updates?
- Do you know, understand, and follow Google’s best practices?
- Do you offer pre-packaged solutions or custom plans?
- Can you guarantee specific results or how long they will take?
- Which tools do you use?
- Do you have your own platform or do you use an existing one?
- Do you handle all aspects of SEO or just some of them?
- How often do you monitor and update your campaigns?
- Are there any early termination fees in the contract?
- Have you ever worked with penalized or poorly ranked sites? If so, how have you helped?
- Is your team up to date with Google’s latest algorithm changes?
- How can you adapt your marketing efforts to my industry specifically?
- What are your benchmarks or indicators of success?
- How can we contact you and how readily available is your team?
There are literally hundreds of possible questions you could ask an SEO agency before you hire them for the job. However, these are some of the most important ones that should be on your list.
Plus, these questions should help you come up with some of your own that you’ll want to ask before you make a decision as to where you outsource your SEO.
Build Your Online Visibility with Professional SEO Outsourcing
When you are ready to improve your online visibility and increase your search rankings, professional SEO services are available and waiting to help. The choice to outsource SEO may be challenging when you’re used to taking care of your own business, but this is one area where the experts are always the better option.
It’s an investment that’s worth making if for no other reason than that the experts know the SEO game and how to play it to win.
Your business exists because people need a product or service that you offer. SEO agencies follow the same premise. People need search engine optimization solutions and they need people who are dedicated to that cause specifically. You have a business to run.
Let the professionals handle the search optimization efforts. It won’t just improve your keywords.
It will help you build or improve your entire online presence, including your brand reputation, sense of authority, and image as a business entity. That kind of power from a single marketing strategy is definitely something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
At Ranq, we’ve been helping provide outsourced SEO solutions to companies for a number of years. We’re familiar with all of the best practices of search engine optimization and have the tools to help nearly any brand succeed.
Give us a call today to discuss your needs for search engine optimization and find out how we can help you get that first-page listing and more.