How to Properly Outsource SEO

Kate Churkina

Mar 29, 20236 min read
Outsource SEO


Thinking about outsourcing your SEO but don’t know if it’s the right choice for your organization? Not sure what to consider before you take the plunge? Here, we answer all your questions about outsourcing SEO so you can make an informed decision for your business.

What Is SEO Outsourcing?

SEO outsourcing is when a company hires a person or external agency to optimize its website for search engines. The hired help might handle a range of activities, such as: 

How to outsource SEO

If your business doesn’t have the time or expertise to tackle SEO in-house, or if you’re looking to improve your website’s visibility and search ranking, outsourcing can give you the boost you need. 

Why Outsource SEO?

Put simply, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Effective SEO requires bad-to-the-bone knowledge and skills to attract organic traffic and rank higher on Google SERPs (search engine results pages).

So, why should you outsource SEO? 

Outsourcing SEO can help you attract a wider audience to your site, allowing you to focus your time and energy on growing other aspects of your business.

Let’s consider a small business scenario as an example. 

A local coffee shop, Brewed Awakening, has been in operation for a few years. They have a website, but it's not getting much traffic. They’re struggling to attract new customers to buy bags of roasted coffee online. They've tried some basic SEO tactics in-house, but they haven't seen significant results, and their competition is outranking them in search results.

In this situation, outsourcing SEO may be a smart move for Brewed Awakening. Here are a few reasons:

  • Expertise: The owners of Brewed Awakening may not have the in-house expertise to optimize their website for search engines. SEO experts have a deep understanding of search engine algorithms and can develop strategies that deliver measurable results. 
  • Time: The owners are busy running their business and don’t have the time necessary to dedicate to executing SEO effectively. Outsourcing allows them to focus on other vital business activities while the expert handles their SEO needs.
  • Cost: Hiring an employee to tackle SEO may not be feasible for a small business. Outsourcing is a cost-effective option to get the expertise they need without the expense of hiring someone to work in-house.
  • Scalability: Outsourcing SEO allows businesses to scale their SEO efforts up or down as needed, depending on their business goals and budget.
  • Access to tools and technology: SEO requires access to specialized tools and technology that can be costly to acquire and maintain. Outsourcing SEO allows a business to reap the benefits that data and research tools provide without having to invest in them directly.
  • Results: The owners of Brewed Awakening aren’t seeing results from their in-house SEO efforts. By outsourcing to an SEO provider with a proven track record of delivering results, they can improve their search engine rankings, increase organic traffic to their website, attract more customers online, and improve conversion rates. 

Outsourcing SEO can help the owners of Brewed Awakening improve their online visibility, attract more customers, and ultimately increase their revenue. In collaboration with a reputable SEO provider, the owners of Brewed Awakening can create a customized SEO strategy that meets their business goals and budget.

SEO outsourcing: Pros and Cons

Is It Possible to Outsource SEO?

Yes, companies of all sizes choose to outsource SEO, from large enterprises to small businesses to nonprofits. Outsourcing SEO allows businesses to access the skills and resources they need without investing in expensive in-house SEO teams or tools. 

How to Properly Outsource SEO

Ever have a buddy tell you, “if you’re gonna do something, do it right”? Well, if you’re going to outsource SEO, the advice holds true—your time and money depend on it. 

Be sure to follow these steps when outsourcing your SEO. Being thorough will help ensure you are choosing the right partner for your business and that you’ll get a return on your investment.

1. Consider Your Specific Needs and SEO Goals

First, determine what your needs are based on your business goals. Are you a local business that needs to broaden your customer base? Are you a web-based business looking to drive more organic traffic to your site? Or do you want to improve your site content so that it’s more attractive to potential customers?

Also, take a look at your current numbers like sales and web traffic. Determine the areas where you’d like to grow, and set some realistic goals. This will help you figure out your needs from an SEO partner. You can use these numbers later to benchmark your results and determine if the partnership has been successful and worth the investment.

Determining your specific needs will help guide your search for the right SEO partner. 

Read more: What Is an SEO Company? What Do SEO Agencies Do?

2. Do Your Research 

Once you have figured out the goals you want an SEO agency to help you achieve, take the necessary time to explore your outsourcing options. Ask other businesses what SEO agencies they use and if they’d recommend them. You can also read reviews on sites like G2.

3. Discuss Agency’s Process and How They Measure Success

Once you’ve found a few agencies you’re interested in, start the process of reaching out to see which one is the best fit. 

Not sure what to ask? Here are a few questions to get you started: 

  • What do you specialize in?
  • What are your costs and fees?
  • Have you helped a business like mine before?
  • Can you share client reviews?
  • Can you provide results-driven data?
  • How will you communicate progress and results?

Don’t be bashful when it comes to getting to know a company or a freelancer. After all, when you find the right company, you may be spending quite a bit of time catching up on all the magic that’s happening with your growing business. 

Keep in mind that outsourcing SEO comes with risks, like choosing an unreliable or inexperienced provider. It's important to do your research and choose a reputable provider with a proven track record of delivering results.

When you find a few agencies or freelancers worth getting to know, ask about their approach to leveling up a business’s SEO and how that approach may help your business achieve your specific goals. 

4. Other Details to Consider When Outsourcing SEO

Before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure are clearly laid out. Make sure these things are laid out in a contract: 

  • The exact services they’ll be providing
  • How often they’ll be reporting results
  • How frequently they’ll be communicating with you
  • Who will perform specific SEO-related tasks and website updates (you or the agency)
  • Length of time for contracted work
  • Cost and frequency of payment
  • Any other contingencies you want to be included

With these details worked out and included in the scope of work, you’ll be ready to go. 

How to hire the right SEO agency

How Much Does SEO Outsourcing Cost?

Outsourcing SEO is not a one-size-fits-all tab. Cost depends on the agency you choose and on what services you’ll have them provide. The price varies quite a bit, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars a month. 

While it may be tempting to choose the least expensive option, keep in mind that SEO is not your run-of-the-mill work. It requires expertise and a lot of technical skills. 

“You get what you pay for” still applies in the world of SEO outsourcing. Businesses and freelancers will often provide packages that might be more affordable and easier to price. The downside to special package offers is that not all your needs may be met. A custom plan may be a better investment for your business.

Making the Choice: Outsource Your SEO or Not?

Deciding whether to outsource your SEO efforts depends on several factors, such as your: 

  • Business goals and needs
  • Budget
  • Level of in-house expertise

You’ll need to weigh all of these factors before making a decision about outsourcing your SEO. Maybe you have the expertise in-house, but you don’t have the capacity. Or perhaps you don’t have the budget for an expert who can actually meet your true needs and goals. 

As a rule of thumb, it’s probably best not to make hasty decisions when it comes to your website’s SEO. Outsourcing your SEO can be a great option if you don't have the in-house expertise, time, or resources to optimize your website for search engines. Just be sure to take time to evaluate your options and choose a provider that aligns with your business goals and budget.

Overall, outsourcing SEO can be a cost-effective and efficient way for businesses to improve their online visibility, drive traffic to their website, and achieve their digital marketing goals.

Author Photo
Kate Churkina is a content strategist at Semrush. With years of experience in social media, content strategy, SEO, PR, and more, she curates and crafts content to help digital agencies grow and succeed.
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