As you scale your SEO agency, you need all hands-on deck. But, what if your team lacks the extra pair of hands to get the work done?
The answer – SEO outsourcing.
Outsourcing SEO services takes away the extra burden that comes with fulfillment. This gives your agency more time and effort to focus on selling, improving operations, and most importantly, growing relationships with current and future clients.
There’s a catch, though.
To make sure every SEO campaign is successful, you need a reliable provider. Some SEO providers out there will promise you the moon and stars but end up giving you dust. That’s the last thing you want—and certainly something you don’t want for your clients.
What are the qualities you need to look for in an outsource SEO provider? Start with the following:
- Provides Real Value to Your Client’s Business
Do you know why agencies lose clients? The number one reason is some of them don’t provide value.
If your current provider is unable to deliver results that matter to your clients, it’s time to cut ties with them. As someone who does SEO myself, I know the frustration of setbacks because of broken promises. Not only is it a waste of time and money, it also costs business.
To avoid this situation now and in the future, ask for the following during your initial conversation with an SEO provider:
- SEO methodology – You don’t want to work with someone using half-baked strategies; that defeats the purpose of getting an expert to work on your client’s SEO. Don’t hesitate to ask about their processes before you talk about onboarding.
- Website audits – Most providers will send an in-depth assessment of a website and include their recommendations. It’s proof that they have a process in place, and they don’t just optimize a website without analyzing it thoroughly. Be cautious of providers who don’t supply agencies with website audits.
- Monthly reporting – It’s important to have documentation on metrics that you’re tracking, and this is what monthly reporting fills in. A reliable SEO outsource service can provide reports that you can use as tangible proof on how your SEO service helps your client’s business.
Remember, an efficient SEO outsource provider is able to meet the needs of your clients – and go beyond.
- Communicates Smoothly with Your Agency
Gaps in communication can lead to delays. Delays can make unsatisfied clients. Unsatisfied clients can bring loss of business for your agency. This creates a cycle—one that you don’t want to happen.
Consistent communication is an indication that your SEO provider cares for your agency’s and client’s success. If they can’t pick up the phone or even drop an email about the campaigns you’re running, theirs is a relationship you can do without.
Here are a few pointers that you can raise when you talk to your outsource provider:
- Frequency of receiving reports
- Dedicated personnel or project manager handling your campaigns
- Mode of communication (phone, email, or chat)
- Time and date to touch base with the provider
- Provides the Technology for Scaling
Not all outsource SEO providers have the technological capability to help digital marketing agencies grow their business. That can make the difference for your agency’s success.
Find an outsource SEO company that can provide your agency with the resources and tools to sell your solutions and get projects rolling. What tools do they use to track keyword rankings? How do they streamline deployment of tasks? Working with a provider that can provide these tools makes it easier for your agency to send deliverables and create opportunities to improve your processes in the long run.
What You Should Watch Out For
It happens – you signed up with a provider, only for them to turn their back on your agency. How do you prevent this? Look for these red flags:
- SEO providers that guarantee top ranking positions – If this is the first thing that your provider says, abandon ship immediately. There’s no sure thing when it comes to SEO; everything depends on the algorithms.
- No transparency in their SEO process – Legitimate SEO providers have nothing to hide, especially when it comes to how they optimize websites and run campaigns. If a provider is being dodgy with your questions about their SEO process, be wary.
- No clear strategy against Google penalties – Providers who disregard Google’s guidelines are off-limits. You want an SEO outsource company that knows what they’re doing, not one that can get your clients in trouble because of their black hat tricks.
- Haven’t utilized their own strategies – Isn’t it strange if your provider doesn’t utilize their strategy on their own assets? The most important step for SEO professionals is to practice what they preach. If they don’t, there’s something amiss with them.
- No thorough analysis and testing prior to implementation of SEO strategy – No legitimate SEO provider will dive into implementation without testing their strategies. How else will they know if their methodology is working? This goes back to a reliable SEO provider being to provide website audits as basis of how their process works.
Agencies are often too busy closing clients and scaling their businesses that they forget the small details when it’s time to outsource the work. At the end of the day, you’re not just looking for someone to fill in the gaps and assist with fulfillment, but someone you can build a long-term relationship with.
My final advice is simple – don’t settle for less. Your clients certainly won’t.
Itamar Gero is the founder and CEO of SEOReseller.com, a white label SEO services and digital marketing solutions provider that empowers agencies—and their local business clientele—all over the world. When he isn’t working, he’s traveling the world, meditating, or dreaming (in code).
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