Looking to outsource your SEO services? SEO Spin has been the go-to solution for hundreds of SMBs, digital marketers and SEO agencies since 2010.
Regardless of what type of business you have, if you’re involved in digital marketing then there’s bound to be a point where outsourcing SEO services , or your entire SEO campaigns becomes a consideration.
In this post I’m going to explore SEO outsourcing, based on my personal experience of dealing with hundreds of online freelancers, SEO agencies, and backlinks companies.
I often use freelancers and most of our customer base is comprised of consultants/agencies. I understand that all types of SEO outsource provider serve their purpose and I’ll try to be as objective as possible and give you my genuine opinions and suggestions based on my 10 years of both outsourcing to freelancers and companies all over the world, and running an SEO outsourcing company myself.
We’re assuming that you’re already familiar with basic search engine optimization terms such as ‘link building’, ‘on-page’, ‘off-page’, etc. However, I will try to link to references for clarity where possible.
What is SEO Outsourcing?
Outsourcing SEO services simply means the service or product is produced outside of your business. You could be using the company in the office next door, and that would still be classed as outsourcing. SEO companies can outsource any aspect of their marketing strategy.
Here’s Investopedia’s definition of outsourcing:
“Outsourcing is a practice used by different companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers rather than completing it internally.
Outsourcing is an effective cost-saving strategy when used properly. It is sometimes more affordable to purchase a goods [or service] from companies than it is to produce the goods [or service] internally.”
What Aspects of SEO Should Be Outsourced?
Google currently use over 200 ranking factors so below I’ll break down each one – just kidding. For the sake of this guide we’ll boil it down to two groups: ‘on-page’ and ‘off page’.
In digital marketing, on-page is optimizing your content and the technical set-up of your website, off-page is the term for all of the signals that come from other websites, such as backlinks and social media signals.
If you’re already looking to outsource SEO, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve either built your own website/s, or you have a ‘web guy/s’ that’s done it for you. If this is the case, then you should really be looking to take care of your ‘on-page SEO’ yourself or with your developer. Doing your on-page in-house (or with your own dedicated freelancer) will save you a ton of cash as you only need to outsource link building, or ‘off-page SEO’.
So, to get both on-page and off-page SEO outsourced, you’d have to use an SEO agency or consultant. SEO agencies and consultants generally price based on the perceived ‘value’ of the results they deliver, i.e. they will charge different clients different rates based on how much revenue they predict their clients will generate per month from a successful SEO campaign, which they present to the client as return on investment. They may charge the client a flat ongoing rate of, say, $1000 per month retainer: but when the results are acheived they actually don’t need to do that much SEO work to retain them. The trade-off here is the consultant/agencies takes responsibility for results which, in my opinion, is pretty fair.
If you’re savvy enough on SEO basics and social media and are only outsourcing your off-page SEO then you really only need a backlink company that offers white label SEO reports, who generally price on a ‘cost plus‘ model: making them much better value. Most reputable companies will be willing to offer you free on-page advice as part of their customer service. It’s in their interest for your website to be optimized properly because if it isn’t, the links they build to your website will be less-effective and that will reflect badly on them. These companies generally do not take responsibility for results, as they do not have control over the entire SEO campaign, and the clients are usually implementing their own strategy.
How to Outsource SEO
Example 1: Small Campaigns on a Super-Tight Budget
When SEO outsourcing for very small campaigns you may be lucky enough to find a ‘jack of all trades’ freelancer who’ll do your job on a budget. Or maybe you’ll hire one on-page freelancer, a freelance writer, and a freelance link builder. In my experience though, it would be much less hassle, and more-or-less the same price, if you hire one ‘web guy’ freelancer, then use link building services from SEO Spin, or any other reliable link aquisition company.
Example 2: Small Medium-Sized Business Owner
If you’re confident that you’ve got your on-page SEO handled for your business, then the most cost-effective way to get results would be to use the kind of link building packages we offer at SEO Spin. If you don’t want the responsibility of being in charge of your SEO campaign then find an SEO outsourcing agency or consultant that specializes in your specific industry, or one that is local to your business.
Example 3: Small SEO Consultancy/Agency or Web Developer
Assuming that you know how to kill it with your on-page SEO and you either do it yourselves or already have a reliable developer or ‘on-site guy’ then I couldn’t really suggest anything other than using a company like SEO Spin for your wholesale link building. If you’re busy consulting or developing then you really don’t want the headache of trying to build a team of reliable freelancers.
Example 4: Large Marketing Agency With Big Budgets
We have plenty of pretty big agencies that use SEO Spin. When you’re getting to the size where there are investors and there’s pressure from the board to cut costs to increase margins, it’s often suggested that instead of reselling SEO link building companies (which I, of course, recommend), they employ an outsource manager who builds their own army of freelancers and helps with project management. This will absolutely cut direct costs, but you better make sure that you hire someone that not only has a lot of experience in building remote teams, but also has pre-existing contacts. You will not find reliable people overnight. Western agencies that genuinely do everything ‘in-house’ (actually in their office) usually have a much higher price-point due to the high costs of their staff.