Top 5 Instances Where You Should Not Outsource Your SEO Efforts -

Top 5 Instances Where You Should Not Outsource Your SEO Efforts

It is no secret that SEO is crucial to the success of a website, so more and more businesses are beginning to outsource their SEO efforts. In most cases, this is a wise decision because it helps a new company make sure they’re getting SEO right. It isn’t easy to complete keyword research, write guest blog posts, and optimize the entire back-end of a website in addition to all of the other tasks of a business owner. Hiring a third-party SEO agency is often the easiest way to make sure it all gets done and it al gets done well.

However, hiring an agency isn’t the best move for every company, and this is often forgotten. Too many companies hear about the benefits of hiring a third party and jump to conclusions. It isn’t the right choice in all situations, so it’s important to analyze your company and decide if you’re really ready. In many cases, it is beneficial to work on your SEO in-house and have your marketing manager (or some other staff member who primarily handles your marketing) deal with the tasks that will impact your online presence. Let’s dive in to some circumstances where hiring an SEO agency isn’t the right choice.

When Hiring an SEO Agency Just Isn’t the Right Move

In most cases, it is the larger companies that can really benefit from hiring an SEO agency. Small businesses, on the other hand, have to be a little bit more careful. Below are a few instances where it might not be best to outsource your SEO efforts:

  1. If you don’t have the resources or time to work with the agency

This may seem obvious, but many first-time small businesses don’t realize that amount of communication that is needed to work with an outside agency. If something starts out incorrect, it might take a while for the numbers to really show it. This makes it important for companies to always keep a close eye on everything SEO. Further, hiring an SEO agency does take a significant marketing budget, compared to doing the work in-house, so unless you are ready to hit the ground running and accommodate for the time and budget an SEO agency takes, it may not be for you just yet.

  1. If you don’t understand SEO yourself

Going along with the last point, you have to understand a little bit about SEO to know if anything is going wrong. Many hire an agency because they know nothing about SEO, but hiring an agency doesn’t always guarantee results or things done the way you’d like to see. You should try and read about SEO and give it a try yourself so that when it comes time to monitor someone else, you have the know-how to direct. There are a couple of reasons it is critical to understand SEO yourself before considering an agency:

  • Industry Specific Knowledge. SEO is not a set of efforts that can be applied across all businesses and industries equally—there is definitely industry specific knowledge that is helpful to understand before you put in the groundwork for SEO yourself or hire an agency. What keywords should you be ranking for? Who are your local competitors? What kind of content is most effective? Understanding a little more about industry-specific SEO efforts before you hire an agency is going to be key to success.
  • SEO Terminology and Understanding. Before you consider working with an agency, you need to make sure that you at least have working knowledge of terminology and basic understanding. It is going to mean nothing if an SEO agency says you need to work on “keyword optimization” if you do not know what keyword optimization is (obviously this is a basic example, but it illustrates the kind of jargon you will need to understand).
  1. If your website isn’t ready to go

SEO is something that should start right away, but SEO with an agency—not always something that should start right away. You want to make sure that you have your website the way you want it. If there are design changes or any A/B testing that needs to be done, do that first before bringing in a third party. Any changes could confuse them.

  1. You haven’t researched all of your options

If you are at the point where you definitely want to work with an SEO agency, but you have yet to do any research on your options or what the agency stands for—think again! It is crucial to know the mission of the SEO Company you are going to work with. This means NOT working with an agency that supports keyword stuffing, black hat SEO, buying backlinks, or if they promise “fast results.” You want to work with a reputable company that clearly understands quality work (again, this is why it is incredibly important to understand SEO yourself and do your homework).

  1. You’re not sure how to monitor your website

Before you can get effectively started with an SEO agency you need to understand how to monitor your website’s backend. Not only does this help to make sure the agency is performing and effectively doing their job, but it will allow you to see when changes are being made and see when performance is truly improving. To get started make sure you have at least a foundational understanding of Google Analytics, your website hosting platform (whether it be Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, etc.) and any other monitor tools that you currently use for SEO. This will not only keep you in proactive in working with an agency, but it will also make sure that you have the foundation needed to track and measure success over time. From the time you start your website, work on SEO efforts in-house, hire an agency, or wherever your SEO progress may take you!

Have you ever hired an SEO agency too soon? What was your experience and why do you wish you had waited? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

By Amanda Disilvestro on April 25, 2017

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