This article was first published on March 8, 2021, and was last updated April 2022.
Today, it’s impossible to run a successful marketing campaign without some kind of search engine optimization. If you’re not optimizing, you’re letting one of your greatest resources go to waste. So how do you make the most of your online presence? While you may consider creating an in-house position, there are many benefits of outsourcing SEO, especially for small businesses.
The idea behind outsourcing SEO services can sometimes come off as confusing to some people. However, all it does is represent a partnership between your business and another SEO company. While the other SEO company does the SEO work for you, your company gets all the credit for doing it. In this way, when a client communicates individually with your business, they won’t be overwhelmed with knowing the partnerships your business has.
Learning the benefits of outsourcing SEO helps your business provide integrated and trustworthy services for your clients without jeopardizing their satisfaction. SEO is a key service that many marketing agencies, internet companies, and countless other digital companies actually outsource. Don’t let your business fall behind by not utilizing these services. In this article we will discuss what SEO outsourcing is, signs on whether or not you should outsource SEO, learn about the benefits of white label SEO services, and determine whether or not you should outsource SEO services for your company! Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Should You Outsource SEO or Keep it In-House?
4 Signs Your Agency Should Outsource SEO
What are the Benefits of Outsourcing SEO?
5) Staying Up-to-Date Within Your Industry
Questions to Ask an Outsourcing SEO Company Before You Commit to a Partnership
What is SEO Outsourcing?
SEO outsourcing is when an agency seeks assistance in completing and delivering upon an SEO strategy for their own clients from a dedicated SEO provider. It’s common for agencies to outsource SEO services for a few reasons:
- The agency lacks bandwidth, resources, and tools to complete the services on their own.
- Lacking the knowledge and experience on more advanced SEO strategies.
- Needs additional assistance to help complete more tasks efficiently.
- The agency is interested in becoming a white label SEO reseller and can integrate a new revenue stream without the risk and overhead costs commonly seen with in-house services.
SEO outsourcing processes and services can be categorized into on-site and off-site optimizations. On-site SEO focuses on areas such as keywords, meta descriptions, content optimization, etc. Off-site SEO focuses on areas such as link building, business listings, guest posting, etc. Both types of optimizations help benefit outsourcing SEO, but just in different areas and ways.
Should You Outsource SEO or Keep it In-House?
Overall, you want to make sure that your customers are taken care of. It’s important to make sure they have the best possible experience with your company and that their website gets optimized with more traffic, higher engagement, and ultimately more business revenue. If you’re considering bringing on SEO as a product, then there are two ways to go about it. You can either hire an in-house SEO expert or team of experts, or you can outsource SEO services and become an SEO reseller:
In-House SEO Team
It can be overwhelming and costly to sustain an in-house SEO team that provides effective and quality services that benefit every client. Especially as your client list starts to grow. It’s hard to maintain enough staff without overwhelming overhead costs like salaries, software subscriptions, and bandwidth. That’s why scalability with SEO is key. Hiring an in–house team can work if you know your client list won’t grow, or you have a very specific clientele. You ultimately want to make sure that your in-house team has enough bandwidth and knowledge to provide high-level SEO tasks for each client.
Outsource SEO Services
Outsourcing SEO to a third-party company is sometimes the more financially sustainable solution because dedicated agencies that have a proven and trusted track record already have those resources and large teams whose main focus is on SEO, tracking algorithm updates, and driving organic growth for businesses. You drop those high overhead costs by outsourcing your SEO services. These agencies, like Boostability, have all the tools and software needed to track SEO campaigns. They already have the expertise and the people in place to do all the campaign work. And they’re likely built with scalability in mind, so they can take on all your clients and any new ones you add without having to worry about additional hiring. SEO outsourcing companies are built to handle all your clients and help them succeed at every level.
Both of these options are great for you to choose from. Ultimately, you need to analyze what’s best for your company and its needs.
4 Signs Your Agency Should Outsource SEO
There are numerous benefits of outsourcing SEO to a dedicated company. If you’re unsure whether or not you should outsource SEO services or keep it in-house, here are four key signs agencies should be on the lookout for that could signal the need to outsource with an SEO company.
1. You Need More Expertise
Sometimes your agency may reach a stopping point where you need more assistance or expertise than you thought you originally had. Any SEO or digital marketing platform could tell you that aspects, rules, and processes constantly change. Google constantly evolves and it’s never easy for anyone to be fully up-to-date with them. With overwhelming amounts of algorithm updates, it can be hard to keep up with the changing ranking factors, what Google likes, what it no longer values, and much more. When you find that you’ve fallen far behind the updates and don’t know how to fix or improve them, this might be a sign that you should work with an SEO outsourcing company. When you do so, you can always stay current and ahead of the next change with the assistance of an outsourcing SEO company.
2. Needing Extra Hands to Help Complete the Work
Sometimes when your agency takes on more clients, while it can be successful in revenue, it can also create an issue in service and demand. Your business and teams may be stretched too thin and need more assistance to complete all the work that needs to be done. That’s where an outsourcing SEO company comes in to help. Outsourcing SEO work to a dedicated and experienced agency can help alleviate some stress and help you meet your deadlines in time. Even if you want to make edits to what they have done, it still eliminates the majority amount of time it would have taken for your business to create it. The more hands that contribute to your business tasks, the more opportunities you have to complete additional tasks that benefit your business.
3. You are Looking to Scale
When your agency starts growing exponentially, it’s important for you to always be one step ahead of it. When you start to become overbooked or struggling to complete a deadline, instead of falling behind you could advance with the help of SEO outsourcing companies.
Outsourcing SEO services to a dedicated company can help your business take on more clients without skipping a beat. You wouldn’t have to compromise your current bandwidth, time, or resources. When your business is looking into taking the next steps of focusing on business growth, outsourcing is a great advantage to help you stay consistent or even ahead of your daily tasks.
4. You are Interested in Expanding your Service Offerings
When you feel like your business is ready to expand or add something new, this could be a great opportunity to work with an outsourcing SEO company and become an SEO reseller. By doing so, you can add a new revenue stream to your existing business service or product lineup. All without the risk and overhead costs commonly seen with in-house services. For example, let’s say you were already a PPC agency or social media agency. Adding an additional service, such as SEO, could be a great opportunity for your existing clients. It helps them trust and find more value in your business.
What are the Benefits of Outsourcing SEO?
1) SEO Expertise
Outsourcing SEO doesn’t just give you access to resources, such as content writing and link building. It connects you with knowledgeable professionals as well. This means you don’t have to build your strategy alone or in the dark. In fact, most white label partners prefer to nurture long-term relationships with clients.
Relying on a business partner for SEO expertise allows you to play on both of your strengths. As the SEO reseller, you know your customers and your product; the white label SEO provider knows how to increase your online visibility. When you choose a firm to work with, you should communicate the following about your business’ priorities:
- Long-term company goals
- Short-term goals
- Brand features such as tone and mission
- Keywords and phrases you want your enterprise associated with
- Improving the quality and authority of your website
- Additional questions to ask an outsourcing SEO company before you commit to a partnership
Skilled SEO professionals can take this information and turn it into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Who doesn’t love help that could be a huge success for your business? Having professional SEO expertise could be the greatest benefit of outsourcing SEO you never knew you needed!
2) Expanding Your Client Base
Another benefit of outsourcing SEO is expanding your client base. This opens another avenue in generating recurring revenue by offering SEO services. Especially with more businesses switching their focuses on establishing an online platform, every business needs and can benefit from utilizing SEO. By expanding your client base, you can pass it off to actual experts that would provide the service on your behalf. All while under your own branding. This is one of the many benefits of outsourcing to utilize for your business.
3) Consistent Staffing
In-house teams are typically made up of a few team members (depending on how large the company is). So if someone decides to leave that position, a large burden falls on the remaining employees to complete the work. If this kind of stressful atmosphere isn’t resolved quickly, it can create more of a snowball effect with your other employees or even your SEO strategy.
Having an in-house position for SEO is never a bad idea for a business to use. However, aligning your business’ available resources to your business goals may change whether or not it’s a good idea to add an in-house position. Let’s say your business may only be able to open one or a few spots. While you might not want more, this means your SEO relies solely on those few individuals. If we’ve learned anything from small businesses and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never knowing what’s coming next for your business. If an SEO specialist decided to leave, or had to be let go, you lose all of your knowledge and resources in advancing your organic strategy. SEO is a process that takes time and effort and losing that could set your business back.
Looking at the other side of not adding an in-house position, there are multiple benefits of outsourcing SEO. This can include increasing productivity and time management for your business by having a larger staff. SEO agencies typically have a larger staff and when someone is cut, there’s no need to worry about falling behind on the campaign progress.
4) Saves you Money
In the long term, one of the best benefits of white label SEO services is helping your business save money. When your business implements an SEO strategy into your business plan, you want the best ROI over time. When considering if you should outsource SEO, think of the value and ways you could save money through doing so. Here are a few benefits of outsourcing white label SEO services in ways to save your business money:
- Trained staff: When you hire an in-house SEO position, you never know how skillful or experienced their contribution may be to the success of your business. When you utilize white label SEO services, you’re guaranteed to hire professionals who constantly update and refine their skills. In this sense, you’re saving money on acquiring skills that other individuals might not have experience in.
- Buying appropriate tools: When your business uses white label SEO services, most companies are up to date and equipped with the tools your business needs to succeed. Lets say your business is at the starting line of learning about search engine optimization. You’re new to the competition against you in the race and have no direction or tools to help you take the first leap forward. SEO tools are vitally important in ranking and being recognized in your industry. Opting for a white label SEO service can benefit your business by saving money on tools you wouldn’t need to buy if your partner already has it for you.
All of this adds up, especially if you want to hire experienced professionals. High turnover can also exacerbate costs if you have to constantly train new people. When you partner with a dedicated agency, on the other hand, you only pay for services rendered. This gives you more control over expenses, which can drastically reduce your marketing costs.
5) Staying Up-to-Date Within Your Industry
An essential part of creating effective SEO is staying on top of online marketing developments. For example, the SEO world gets a shake-up every time Google updates its algorithm because these updates affect SERPs. When your business outsources SEO, you can rely on your white label SEO partners to be up-to-date and knowledgeable about these types of updates. They will know how to prepare, handle, and situate your business in the right position it needs to be in.
When you have a smaller team and fewer resources, it’s easy for something to be missed or ignored when an update happens. Keeping track of marketing news is a core part of an SEO firm’s business model. When your business isn’t knowledgeable about these types of areas, you want the benefits of white label SEO services to have your back. With more employees, the partnering agency can designate more personnel to optimize processes and strategies so you don’t have to. This approach can boost overall quality and efficiency for your business.
6) Comprehensive Reports
How can you tell if your campaign is effective? If you try to determine this on your own, you have to invest time and money into generating regular reports. Understanding your campaign’s effectiveness is essential to properly allocating your resources. Pouring energy into a strategy that doesn’t show an increase in key metrics is basically throwing money away. White label SEO companies already invest in the technology and labor needed to create reports, thereby saving you the trouble. This is a great benefit of white label SEO services for a business with no standings, understanding, or rankings within their industry.
Did you know that only 37% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy? The reason for this comes from those businesses wanting to use their time and efforts towards a different task or effort. Not documenting your SEO strategy can really set your business back. Documenting helps keep track of what strategies are being implemented, what SEO tasks team members are working on, and what problems need to be looked back on in order to move forward.
Should you outsource SEO, you can ensure your marketing strategy is documented and is easy to reference for current strategies. Documentation is vital from an SEO perspective and helps provide context and detail for when information needs to be transferred or passed down. Having a partnering agency who documents the right information for your business is a great benefit of white label SEO services.
8) Industry Connections
A white label partner likely has industry contacts who can provide additional value to services, such as advertising, branding and logo design, and lead generation. It might also connect you to influencers and vendors who can promote your products. If you go the in-house route, you have to build this professional network yourself. Having an outlet to resources that could help promote, share, or even produce content for your website could help strengthen your rankings. These types of advantages can boost your SEO strategy more than you know.
9) Establishes Set Procedures
Sometimes it’s hard for an agency to keep track of all of the information in a client’s account. With all of the different services, updates, and changes over time, some things can become disorganized and not have a set procedure for them to keep it all on track. If your agency is in need of assistance, outsourcing SEO can help establish a better process for your client’s SEO campaign. An established outsourcing SEO company should have a set procedure already put into place to help keep your clients organized and on track. That way processes and strategies can run smoothly for your agency and clients.
Questions to Ask an Outsourcing SEO Company Before You Commit to a Partnership
Before you commit to any partnership, there are a lot of questions that you probably have and should consider. Your business should always ask the following questions (in addition to your own list) and gauge the response of the prospective outsourcing SEO companies you’re considering doing business with.
1. What are the goals for the client? (Get as specific as possible)
This is a key question to ask early on in the process. You want to know what their ultimate goal is for every client’s SEO campaign. When you outsource, ultimately that company’s performance reflects on your business. You want to make sure that your goals are aligned. Are they trying to achieve page one rankings? Are they trying to improve ROI? Bring in more traffic? There can be multiple reasons. However, you need to make sure you and your outsourcing SEO partner are on the same page.
2. What kind of results have they been able to generate for other businesses?
Ask about their success stories and case studies! Even ask about scenarios or times when things didn’t go as planned and what their actions were. You need to know that your SEO partnership will get results for their clients and how they will respond to certain situations. And this isn’t an easy thing to ask. You want to make sure they can get results for your clients as well. So, don’t feel guilty about asking these kinds of in depth questions.
3. Have they worked with a business in the same industry your client works in?
This is somewhat related to the previous question. But make sure to ask if your SEO outsourcing agency focuses on any specialties or particular clients. See if they have worked with clients in the same industries you typically work with and what kind of results they were able to produce for them. You could even ask for case studies for specific client industries. Doing this can really help you know if the outsourcing SEO agency will work out for your business in the long run.
4. What is their approach to creating an SEO strategy?
Here’s another key point. Ask about their SEO process! This is one of the most important questions you can ask. Every agency does things a little differently, so it’s important to see how they’re different from the rest. A boutique SEO agency is different from an enterprise agency, which is different from one that focuses specifically on small businesses. The strategy is different for each type of campaign, so know what your approach would be before outsourcing SEO to someone else.
It’s important to know the kind of tasks and processes the agency will do. Is it an a la carte model or full service? Ask about their SEO process and approaches and how it will translate over for every single one of your customers.
5. What is their role in implementing the strategy?
Another key piece when you outsource SEO services is knowing what the agency will do and what your business will need to do. Find out if you will need to implement all the work, or if they do it for your client. Do you need to be involved in customer service or fulfillment of tasks? Find out how much the outsourcing SEO agency is involved in implementing the strategy. And if you want to be involved, make sure you let them know. It might not be the right partnership if they want to keep you more or less involved than you would like to be.
6. What is the timeline of when you can expect to see results?
Here’s another crucial question to ask. Normally ethical SEO practices take approximately 6 months to reach the first page of Google. But it can be longer with more competitive keywords, or in more competitive markets/industries. Be extremely wary of any agency that promises faster results than these ones. Faster results than 6 months could mean they’re possibly using unethical practices that will hurt your clients in the long run. Make sure you understand their process well enough that you also know when their customers and clients generally find success in SEO campaigns.
7. How transparent is the strategy and communication between the two agencies?
The answer to this question can set the tone for an entire business partnership. Sometimes companies prefer a hands off approach and just let the outsourcing SEO agency handle everything. But others like to be more involved in the client management and other aspects of a campaign. That being said, however involved you want to be, you should still be able to check in at any time.
The SEO process for all your clients should be fully transparent. They should make it so you can track the progress of your customer’s campaigns at any time. A good outsourcing agency will set you up with a partner growth manager that will speak with you at least monthly, if not more often. This way you’re able to discuss the progress of campaigns and any new developments. You should know the progress of your clients’ campaigns. And know that the outsourcing SEO company you’ve partnered with are on top of the latest search news and developments.
8. Are they able to provide full SEO services or do they prefer to focus on specific areas?
Some companies just work on onsite optimizations. Some companies only work on offsite optimizations. However, there are companies that do completely full service with both optimizations. If you’re only looking for only off-site effort optimizations, don’t focus on outsourcing companies who do both or the other. You might not need extensive tasks for every client, but it’s important to know the business model of your outsourced SEO agency. Ask the company what their strengths are in each optimization and to expand on the services they offer for each of them. This helps give a better understanding of what you could be offering your clients.
9. Are a-la-carte services available?
This is related to the previous couple of questions. Maybe you only need a few services like blog writing or link building. Some outsourcing SEO agencies only offer full service packages. While others specialize in these a la carte options. Know what you need and your options if you decide to change it up and go another route, or if your partner is flexible depending on what their clients need. Discussing these factors could be to your advantage.
10. What do the packages and pricing options look like? And how does billing work?
Some agencies bill by the hour. Some bill by amount of tasks completed and the type of tasks. Others bill on a monthly basis, or by how many hours of work are done in a month. And sometimes it’s a package model. The pricing model can affect your partnership. You need to understand how you make money and how your clients will be billed from the partnership. Do not underestimate this question. Make sure you fully understand how billing and revenue will work within the partnership. You never want to be scammed or taken advantage of in the long run because of this.
11. Is this a month-to-month partnership or do they require a specific time commitment? (i.e. 3-9 months, 1 year, etc.)
This goes into the packages and pricing model. Know if your clients will need to sign up for a specific contract or if they go month to month. When selling SEO, it’s important to help your clients understand that it does take time for some results. So, even if it is monthly, it’s important to stick it out for some time to get the results they want.
12. Who will be working on my customer’s campaigns?
Some larger SEO outsourcing companies have big fulfillment teams that perform different specialized tasks for clients so it keeps costs down and productivity high. Almost an assembly line approach. Others have SEO specialists who dedicate their time to an entire campaign. But ask how the work will be done and what their process looks like.
Here are some additional articles that go over more questions:
Is Outsourcing SEO Services Right for You?
As we’ve discussed, there are multiple benefits of outsourcing SEO to help boost your agency in a variety of ways. While it’s important for you to focus on what’s best for your company, consider Boostability as your white label SEO provider! Not only can we provide the expertise and fulfillment for your business and clients, our Sales Support team can help you learn to sell SEO more effectively. Learn more about our SEO Partner Program today!