Should you outsource your SEO tasks in 2017?

The new year has just started, and it’s time to start rethinking your SEO strategies and considering what you need to do differently.

Do you feel like you have achieved enough this year? Have you used your time efficiently? Maybe you’ve wasted time on tasks you could have had someone else do for you.

As 2017 approaches, there’s no better time to consider whether you should start outsourcing some of your SEO tasks.

Why outsource?

Source: BrightLocal

BrightLocal surveys have shown 60% of SEOs and marketers are outsourcing more and more each each year.

SEO managers will most commonly outsource tasks which are too difficult, time consuming and dull, or if it is financially beneficial to do so. The reality is that businesses are leading extremely busy and fast-paced lives, and they have less time to do work that they could be passing on to someone else.

There are some questions you should ask yourself before you outsource any SEO tasks:

Will it boost your productivity?

For a task you know how to do, and have the time to do, first ask yourself whether or not that time could be spent doing something a bit more important. Although some tasks may take the same amount of time, there should always one that is prioritised above the other. Some tasks are repetitive, time consuming and tedious, however they still need to get done. Compare this to a task which requires the same amount of time, but require a little bit more creativity and commitment.

The main question you need to consider: is your productivity and focus being hindered by this particular task, and would you benefit from someone else doing it for you?

If the answer is yes, then you probably should consider outsourcing.  

BrightLocal ranked citation cleanup/building as the most commonly outsourced SEO task. This is due to its tedious and time-consuming nature. Often businesses will outsource this task in order to focus on other aspects of SEO, and therefore being able to boost their productivity.

Source: BrightLocal

Is it worth the money?

You have to consider whether you should hire a new staff member, or simply outsource the SEO tasks you need completed. However, recruitment can be expensive.

Bersin by Deloitte found that in 2014, it was costing companies in the United States nearly $4,000 per hire. It’s not surprising that “providing the ROI of our marketing activities” is listed as the top challenges for companies, with securing enough budget coming in second.

Source: Marketing Results

With these challenges in in mind, it seems sometimes, the more cost effective option is to consider outsourcing these tasks.

When you’re running low on time, you can also start to consider whether spending a little extra is going to benefit you a great deal in the long run. Some will be tempted towards offshore outsourcing for higher cost-effectiveness, however this could run a higher risk of poor work quality. As a small business owner, it is important to take this point into consideration. Thinking about outsourcing when you have a smaller budget can be challenging.

With onshore outsourcing in mind, you will obviously be looking to pay a bit more, but if the cost is worth the boost in productivity, then you can consider outsourcing the task as a good investment. Sometimes it will make sense to spend money in order to make more.

Low quality link building is a major issue when it comes to the decision to outsource overseas. You may be paying less, however no amount of savings will justify the resulting link spam and damage to your website’s SEO.

Do you have the adequate skills?

Some SEO tasks are highly specialised, and (again, especially if you are a smaller business) not all businesses will have the capacity to have an in-house expert. Wasting hours of your time trying to complete a task you are not well-equipped to tackle can be a hindrance to your productivity. In this case, it would make a lot more sense to outsource the work to an expert. This will ensure that you are not only making the most productive use of your time, but you are also ensuring that the work is being done to the best standard.

In fact, MarketingLand found that 96% of marketers feel the breadth of marketing skills needed for team success has increased dramatically. It also showed 51% of inbound teams have fewer than six people. With a majority of companies having such small teams, it makes sense to outsource crucial SEO tasks to digital marketing specialists.

Source: MarketingLand

Businesses won’t always have the necessary skills in-house to perform technical tasks such as video creation and web design to a high quality standard. In this instance, the best option is to hire a trusted outsourcee to do it for you.

Could it pose a risk to your reputation?

One of the most important considerations when it comes to outsourcing SEO is ensuring that your reputation remains undamaged. Placing work that is too important into the hands of an outsourcee that may not be extremely trustworthy could cause irreparable damage to your businesses reputation. You need to be able to identify whether a job, no matter how simple, might be a bit too important to outsource.

More importantly, your outsourcee may not have have the same knowledge and passion regarding your brand as you might. A major risk factor is that your brand voice will not be evident in their work. It is important to outline your expectations and communicate your brand’s message to the outsourcee prior to the start of the contract.

Content marketing is something that often gets outsourced by businesses, as it is a necessary but time consuming activity. However, there is a risk to a brand’s reputation can be ruined by factors such as plagiarism. Consider who you are outsourcing to carefully before engaging them in order to avoid damaging your reputation.  

Outsourcing in 2017

Outsourcing can be a great tool to assist in ensuring high productivity, enabling you to focus on developing and growing your business. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to specific tasks, and don’t have the technical skills, then it may be cost-effective to outsource your SEO tasks. However, if you don’t want to risk the reputation of your business, and you have the appropriate resources to complete tasks, then consider completing these tasks in-house without needing to outsource.