SEO is critical to the
success of every Web
enterprise. It’s also one of
the most time-consuming
tasks that any Web
professional can undertake.
Small business owners
are often left wearing
many hats — leaving their
focus spread dangerously
thin. This edition of SEO
Corner provides insights
into what elements of a
SEO campaign can be
outsourced, and a framework
to understand those projects that are better left to
someone with more expertise.
Outsource or In-House?
Outsourcing everything in SEO may not be feasible for many
enterprises, but doing so for certain projects can save time,
money and ease complexity. First, you need to determine at
the outset where your expertise resides. If you are highly
skilled at copywriting, keep the content creation in-house.
Should relationship-building be where you need the most
help, outsource link building. If research bores you, outsource
your initial and ongoing keyword research. By outsourcing all
or certain elements of a SEO campaign, you can save the most
important commodity of your business — your time.
Let’s look at a few important SEO-related tasks that are
commonly outsourced to help determine, based on your
own expertise, whether it’s a fit for your business.
Keyword Research, Analysis and Selection:With so many
free keyword research tools available it’s easy to do your own
research. After all, you know more about your products and
services than anyone else, right?
What outsourcing often provides is perspective — that
keyword you spent the last six months optimizing might not
be the best fit (read more on this topic in Heather Lutze’s
Findability Makeover article). Removing yourself
from this vital part of the overall campaign enables you to
rethink existing efforts and even explore untapped markets.
SEOs are well suited to find the best possible set of keywords
for your website and find those that are less competitive but
still receive a large amount of traffic. For this reason, keyword
research might be the first element of an SEO campaign
to consider outsourcing.
On-Page Optimization: By reading this column, it is likely
you’re already familiar with the necessary elements your pages
require to get ranked on search engines: Title/Meta tags, keyword
usage, optimized content for targeted keywords, internal
link structure, etc. On-page optimization is often an area
where an SEO firm will charge a majority of its fee. You might
be better off doing your own on-page optimization and investing
your budget to a link building campaign(s) which can be
much more time consuming. However, if you have any doubt
in your abilities to effectively optimize your pages, find someone
with the necessary expertise to do so because this SEO
strategy is absolutely essential.
Content Development: It is not uncommon to outsource the
development of content when new products or services are
added, or if analytics or additional keyword research indicates
that an optimization opportunity exists. Since website
owners usually know their audience best, content development
might be best suited to keep in-house, unless your
strength does not reside in these areas or it’s simply too time
consuming. If you do fit in that mold, consider reputation,
experience, and subject familiarity when making your choice
of a content development team. You might also consider testing
several content writers to identify those who will deliver
the best possible product (whether it results in social engagement
or greater conversion).
Clearly, many SEO projects can be outsourced. On-page
optimization, content development and keyword research are
only a few of the possible outsourcing opportunities. Everything
from domain registration, hosting and analytics, to Web design,
public relations and social media marketing have at least some
synergy with SEO. This means that while outsourcing does
carry the potential to save time, money and ease complexity,
every website project you undertake — in-house or outsource
— should be sensitive to its impact on SEO campaigns.
Understanding your own skill-set and your company’s business
objectives will reveal if outsourcing is appropriate for you.
About the Author:
Dante A. Monteverde is a Search Strategist specializing in Search Engine
Spider Bait SEO in 1996 and has over 10 years of SEO experience