Strategising and Implementing SEO can be highly daunting for a lot of businesses. Especially when you do not have the team or the skillset in place. If you are a hands on business owner or a marketing manager in a company, getting good organic visitor growth on your website must be at the top of your charts. Therefore SEO becomes one of the most crucial tools in organic lead generation. Outsourcing your SEO activities to a specialized agency seems to be the best option, as you do not need to recruit and manage an SEO specialist/SEO team in-house.
SEO outsourcing activities may not solve all your problems. In fact, most of the businesses who we meet have “burnt their hands” with SEO outsourcing previously. Therefore, if you intend to outsource your SEO, here are few things you should be aware of:
SEO Outsourcing - 6 things to be aware of
1. Business understanding and alignment of SEO objectives
SEO is a marketing consulting engagement. Therefore you need an agency who takes time to understand your business objectives. It is not simply about keywords or geography. Unless you explain clearly about your business, what you plan to achieve every quarter, your current state and your competitors, an SEO agency will not be in a position to understand and devise a strategy that matches those objectives. A good agency can never promise you ranking in quick time. But they can surely understand and align their objectives keeping your business goals in mind.
2. Clarity of Process
Does your agency take efforts to create a bespoke strategy for your business? Do you see clarity in the process? Do you see a step wise breakdown of how SEO is going to be executed. Be it site audit, to keyword research to on-page SEO, every SEO assignment needs to follow a process. It is the duty of the SEO agency to make the process as transparent as possible to make it easy for you.
3. Approach to SEO
The reason most companies burn their hands with SEO, is because the parameter for SEO selection is on cost rather than the approach. Does the SEO company understand SEO enough? How do they approach an SEO assignment? Are they promising you great results upfront? Do they ask for permissions to access your website, hosting, webmasters and analytics? What kind of goals are they setting? Are they using some automated techniques which can get you blacklisted? Take time to figure this out yourself. You do not need to be an SEO expert to understand whether an SEO agency is using a proper approach.
4. Case Studies
I am not talking about testimonials here. I am talking about case studies. What kind of case studies have the SEO consulting company produced? How have they impacted a company’s growth? Case studies give a good clarity into whether the SEO company has in-depth understanding of ROI on SEO.
How do you establish whether a company is an authority in its niche? By looking at their collaterals - blogs, whitepapers, newsletter, e-books etc. Is the SEO company doing any one of these activities regularly? How often are they producing content? A company which produces great content regularly is more credible than the one who doesn’t.
6. Credibility of Team
Does the SEO company have a good team in place who can pull of your SEO? What is the founding team’s background? Do they participate actively in SEO forums? Do they contribute to industry leading publications? Have they been recognised by industry leading bodies or media houses? A more credible team inspires trust and confidence.
Defining and executing an SEO strategy requires a consultative and deep business mindset. A good SEO consultant is likely to bring in the same business skill set as a marketing consultant would do. Therefore when you choose to outsource your SEO, ensure that you focus on the 6 points listed above to ensure better results for your business.