Are you considering outsourcing your business’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts? If so, you’re not alone.
Only about 44 percent of businesses currently handle their SEO in-house.
Outsourcing your SEO can give you more time to address other aspects of your business and help it to grow and become more profitable.
If you’re getting ready to outsource SEO for your business, it’s important to remember that not all SEO firms are created equal.
Read on to learn about seven common mistakes you ought to avoid.
Benefits of Choosing to Outsource SEO
Why are so many businesses choosing to outsource SEO instead of handling it in-house? There are lots of benefits that come with outsourcing, including the following:
- Save time
- Save money, especially on human resource costs
- Gain access to the latest SEO tools and information
- Gain access to additional digital marketing services like web design and social media management
- Improve the quality of the content on your site
- See improvement in search engine rankings more quickly
Clearly, there’s a lot to be gained from outsourcing your SEO. But, how do you find the right SEO firm? How do you ensure you actually get to experience these benefits.
Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing SEO
When you’re searching for the right SEO firm, there are some key mistakes you need to avoid.
Lots of businesses end up disappointed in the firm they hire because they make one of these seven mistakes:
1. Not Preparing for Interviews
Yes, you need to conduct interviews when trying to find the right SEO company.
Think about it. You’re essentially bringing another employee on to your team. You ought to have a plan in place to make sure they’re the right person (or people) for the job.
A strategic interview process will help you differentiate between different firms and find the one that’s most likely going to benefit your business.
Think about the types of questions you want to ask and the minimum requirements they need to meet.
Be sure to create a list of immediate disqualifications, too. Examples of disqualifications might include being slow to return messages (or not returning messages at all) or having a lot of negative online reviews.
2. Looking for the Firm with the Cheapest Prices
It’s tempting to go with the SEO firm with the cheapest prices, especially if yours is a small business or one that’s struggling with cash flow.
Keep in mind, though, that SEO is like just about every other service out there. You get what you pay for.
If you don’t invest a lot of money in your business’s SEO strategy, you shouldn’t be surprised when you get subpar results.
That doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg, of course. But, you should still be willing to pay a decent amount if you want to see great results.
3. Not Setting Clear Expectations
Many business owners get frustrated when they outsource their SEO efforts because they don’t get back the exact product they’re looking for.
What these people don’t always take into account, though, is the fact that they may not have left very clear instructions or made their expectations known.
If you want a specific result or specific type of content from the SEO firm you hire, you need to make sure they’re aware of that.
Set clear expectations and provide plenty of details so the firm’s employees can provide you with a good product the first time around.
4. Not Listening to Suggestions or Feedback
There’s nothing wrong with being clear about what you want (in fact, it’s encouraged). But, it’s also important to avoid being so set in your ways that you won’t listen to feedback or suggestions.
Remember, these people are experts in SEO. If they think there’s something they could do to help your business grow, you ought to at least hear them out.
5. Neglecting to Track Your Website’s Progress
How do you tell whether or not your investment in outsourcing SEO is paying off? The first step you ought to take is to carefully track your website’s progress.
You can do some basic searching on your own to see how your website is performing and determine whether or not the SEO firm’s efforts are helping.
You also ought to find out what kind of programs they use to track progress and figure out where improvements need to be made.
6. Not Doing Basic Research
Make sure you do some basic research on the firm you’re considering hiring before you pull the trigger.
Check out their website to see if it’s nicely laid out and organized, like the website for this company. Check their online reviews, too, to make sure there aren’t any red flags.
If they have a portfolio available on their website, look through it carefully to see the kind of work they do and the type of businesses they typically work with.
This will help you decide if they’re the right fit for you before you even begin the interview process.
7. Falling Victim to Marketing Claims
Finally, avoid falling victim to clever marketing claims.
No SEO firm has figured out “the secret” to higher search engine rankings, nor can they guarantee you a number one spot within a certain period of time.
Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Keep in mind, too, that if a company is really worth hiring, they won’t need to rely on gimmicks and claims like this. The proof will be in the work they do and the results they get for their clients.
Looking for More SEO Advice?
Choosing to outsource SEO can be great for your business’s long-term success.
But, in order to experience the benefits of outsourcing, you need to avoid these common mistakes and do your research to find a reliable, credible SEO business.
Are you interested in learning more about SEO and online marketing for your business? If so, we can help.
We’ve got tons of SEO-related blog posts that will help you become a marketing master. This article on some of the world’s top SEO experts is a great starting point.