Whether you’re growing a startup or nurturing an ecommerce site, the value of SEO is immeasurable. It is, as many call it, “the gift that keeps on giving.” Unlike ads, it doesn’t require constant payments to keep running. And unlike other marketing tactics, SEO has the benefit of being highly targeted—yet far-reaching, both now and in the years to come.
Read Also: A Guide to SEO for Early-Stage Startups
At the same time, SEO does come with a learning curve. If you’re not familiar with the practice or don’t have the time to handle all parts of an SEO strategy, then it would be wise to outsource SEO to a trusted agency.
In this article, we’ll cover what this type of arrangement could look like and what tasks you should consider outsourcing. As you read, note any questions or thoughts that come to mind that you could pose to a potential partner.
Top benefits of outsourcing SEO to an agency
While you could outsource to a freelancer or a consultant, there are unique perks to working with an established SEO agency.
Work with a large, multidisciplinary team
A solid SEO strategy requires far more than good writing. It requires deep keyword research, consistent content creation, active content promotion, and the occasional site audit (among other things).
You’ll have to pull in writers, designers, developers, and other team members to maximize your SEO ROI. And while some consultants may flaunt the ability to wear multiple hats, it’s nearly impossible to find one person who’s truly an expert in all of these disciplines. Consultants will most likely loop in other freelancers or employees when the time comes.
However, with an SEO agency, you can gain access to a large, diverse team right off the bat. These agencies have already combed through the talent pool to find those who have an SEO mindset. Not to mention that through working with many different businesses, they’ve likely developed teams that specialize in different niches.
As an example, at RankScience, we understand that SaaS SEO requires a different approach than cannabis SEO. We’ve therefore trained our team and customized our approaches accordingly, rather than taking a blanket approach to every business.
Implement SEO right away
SEO agencies know that hiring the right talent is only half the battle. Like with any new hire, you must…
- Onboard talent – Get them familiar with your current digital marketing efforts, tools, and site performance. You’ll also need to equip them with the right software and resources so that they can get their job done efficiently.
- Establish processes – It may be tempting to hire an SEO expert and have him/her simply work his/her magic. But the best SEO strategies are well-documented, collaborative, and organized. You’ll therefore need to establish the right processes to ensure that your experts don’t work in a black box. The strongest strategies additionally consider all the facets of SEO—on-page, off-page, and technical—so you’ll need to ensure that your team has a plan for each of these.
- Define KPIs – As you employ new tactics, you need to know which SEO KPIs to keep an eye on. It’s entirely possible to get struck with a case of analysis paralysis. However, by defining clear goals—alongside clear roles per team member—you can hone in on the right performance metrics.
- Offer ongoing support and training – Search engine algorithms are always changing, making it paramount for your team to stay in the know of the latest trends. The best SEO teams are constantly researching and testing new hypotheses, plus keeping each other in check and making sure things aren’t done merely out of habit.
The bottom line: even though SEO may be accessible to you with or without an agency, an agency offers the experience and processes for keeping your team marching in the right direction. You’ll not only be able to get started with SEO—but get started in the right way.
When they embark on an SEO strategy, most small businesses can only afford to tackle one thing at a time. For instance, many teams start off by launching a blog.
They’ll commit to writing blogs two or three times a week, hoping to make a dent in their organic rankings. However, the truth is, there’s a lot that needs to happen in order for your site to rank highly on search engines. It’s not enough to simply target the right keywords.
With an agency, you adopt an entire team that can tackle multiple facets of your strategy at once. While you’re publishing blogs, your SEO partner could be making technical improvements to your site and/or experimenting with different ways to earn more backlinks to your content.
In the long run, you get more manpower at a smaller price tag. Rather than hiring one employee for $70,000+ a year, you could get a full-stack SEO team for a few thousand dollars a month.
Read Also: The Real Cost of SEO
It’s worth noting that by teaming up with an agency, you benefit from their software. RankScience, for example, uses our proprietary A/B testing software and multiple keyword research tools, including ContentEdge. These would ordinarily require individual subscription fees—but we already have access to these and use them to fine tune your strategies.
3 SEO tasks that you can outsource
What, exactly, should you outsource to an agency? Here are several high-demand (and critically important) things to consider.
1) Site audit and technical SEO
This is one area of SEO that rarely gets the attention it deserves, if only because it’s not well understood. Technical SEO involves the backend gears of your site. Google, for instance, wants to see that your site loads quickly and works seamlessly on mobile. It ultimately wants to recommend sites with the best user experience, so it’ll suppress sites that don’t perform up to par.
Technical SEO refinements are often preceded by an in-depth site audit, which require time and a seasoned eye for catching technical gaps. At this point, you’re not only searching for broken links or site speed, but also duplicate content and proper site architecture.
Ask your potential agency what their approach to technical SEO is. Check that they handle this, in addition to on-page SEO. (Some agencies only specialize in the latter, aka content creation.)
2) Content strategy
Outside of finding writers to create new content, you’ll need a solid content calendar and keyword map to follow. Otherwise you’ll be left spinning your wheels and trying to decide which topics to target on the spot (which is equivalent to having no strategy at all).
Hire a team that can analyze your keyword opportunities based on your growth goals, plus deep competitive analysis. Experienced SEOs know that the key to a good keyword strategy is good targeting, informed by search intent, content relevance, and a good grasp of the user journey. They additionally know that you’ll need to build up your domain authority (DA) over time—a factor that requires external validation.
Find a team that can provide this perspective and research for you using the expertise and tools at their disposal.
3) A/B testing and optimization
This is another oft-overlooked part of SEO, though its benefits are clear. It’s not uncommon for site owners to get stuck following rote SEO beliefs. This is why many SEO myths persist today. Site owners don’t take the time to put new theories to the test—missing out on opportunities that could make a big difference in their site visibility and, in turn, lead generation.
For example, in one split test, we found that a simple tweak to the title tags of a group of pages could increase traffic by 59%. Partnering with a team that can run SEO experiments for you is a huge plus, granted that they know how to do so responsibly.
Don’t shy away from outsourcing SEO
Whether you have zero experience in search engine optimization, or have some experience but just aren’t seeing results—outsourcing can help take your SEO to the next level. The beauty of working with an agency is that you get the team, resources, and flexibility to pivot your plans as needed. Just make sure you work with an agency that you fully trust.
Come grill our team with your questions by scheduling a free discovery call. See if RankScience could be the perfect match for you.