Most people face a lot of difficulty in hiring SEO’s, especially ones that deliver.
And the problem is even more when it comes to small businesses and startups as they can’t do it in-house and have to outsource the matter to a third-party consultant.
We, at WinSavvy, are a startup consultancy and do offer our clients SEO services. In many of our meets, we found out that clients were usually disappointed by previous hires. We believed that this was primarily because of lack of data-backed deliverables and guaranteed results.
However we wanted a fuller picture. And that’s why we asked several small businesses who were looking to outsource their SEO work, the following questions-
- Why are you looking to outsource your SEO?
- What are your greatest challenges in the process?
- What are your main frustrations?
- What are you afraid of?
- What’s most important to you?
- What do you spend money on?
- What results are you looking for?
- How to find a good SEO consultant or Search Engine Optimization Agency?
Hiring SEOs in the Real Estate Industry
However, his greatest challenge is finding extensive talent. Martin alerts that while there is much talent out there, there are also many frauds amongst the SEO service providers.
In fact, he is most afraid of hiring someone who may ruin his reputation. According to him while many people claim they can do SEO, sometimes they can harm the reputation of the business instead of internet marketing.
This is very true in SEO. Often SEOs take part in getting their clients quick and easy links, most of which are not relevant and can even be from shady sites with content that you have no intention to be linked with your brand. This can even get you penalized by Google’s ranking algorithms.
An SEO with online reputation management (ORM) skills is highly recommended for this reason.
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Martin hires SEOs directly from reputable websites as well as from UpWork (which is not that great, in my opinion).
In the real estate industry, the ROI in sale can afford to more than pay for your SEO services. However, getting a client in a real estate can be much tougher as there is more cost involved. As such, this is a more sales-oriented industry.
As such, for your SEO priorities you need to focus more on PR and branding so that the rest of the sales procedure become more easier. Although lead generation can be a similar process as in other industries, the process in converting the leads to clients is more important.
This is because the average lead value in a real estate industry is more than other competitors.
As such, most businesses would be wise to invest in SEOs who have sales experience rather than just going ahead with “get me more links!”
“My main frustration is the lack of nuance. There’s no such thing as one-size-fit-all SEO – yet many agencies treat their work as though this is a thing. If I am to outsource SEO, I would want the SEO professionals to have a solid grasp on the nuances of my domain – and understand its core strengths and weaknesses. This level of understanding can help to inform all aspects of their work on my domain.
I’m afraid of SEO specialists trying to apply a “one-size-fits-all” strategy to my domain. Understanding and considering the nuances of each domain is critical to making strong SEO progress. If I am to outsource my SEO, I would want the opportunity to discuss the nuances of my domain with the agency. It would be encouraging for me to see that they’ve proactively researched my domain and pulled data from tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs.”
In fact he shares that his greatest challenge was that for him, it was having a shared understanding of what makes an SEO opportunity great. For instance, Andrew was always looking for keywords with high search volume and low competition in my niche, while other professionals may be drawn to other types of keywords.
Andrew feels that the strategy is contextual to the strength of your domain – and ensuring the SEO professional understands this is essential.
So, is Andrew outsourcing his SEO work?
According to him – “I think having a second pair of eyes on SEO is incredibly important. Identifying new keyword and backlink opportunities is critical to staying ahead of the game – and this takes time and effort. Without dedicating enough time to this, you can easily miss out on big opportunities – which is where outsourcing comes in.”
Hiring an SEO Company in the Startup Sector
Investing in SEO’s in the Media Industry
Here’s her experience in her words –
“…we have been open to freelancers/independent contractors since we began this venture. However, during this pandemic, we have shifted to a fully remote work setup which means we are opening more doors to freelancers and independent contractors wherever they are in the world.
During the course of this pandemic, SEOs have been an in-demand skill that talents also come and go from one company to the other.
While some people/company leaders see it as a disadvantage, in our case and experience we don’t see it as a problem at all.
In fact, opening our doors to SEO professionals from all over the world gave us new insights, viewpoints, and opinions on how we do the job. It gave us new ways to look at challenges faced by our clients and the foreign SEO professionals also have different ways to handle things which made our company even more resilient during an economically turbulent time.
Also, many SEO professionals based out of the UK are also cost-effective and at par with those based in the US and Europe which means we were able to save on costs while providing jobs and continuing our operations during the pandemic.
Some of the greatest challenges in outsourcing an SEO are work culture and time zone differences, language/communication barriers, cultural/behavioral differences that are often prevalent in many outsourced SEOs.
Also, issues on contractual obligations (freelancers being AWOL, absent, unable to submit projects), privacy and security of data passed on to freelancers have also sprung up when we started opening up our doors to foreign SEOs. But despite all this setback, these practices also happen with workers in the U.S. and U.K. too.
Our fear now is that this outsourcing trend will become quite common as we open more doors to outsourced SEOs. But despite these challenges, the majority of the output and work of outsourced SEOs are at par or even more unbelievably amazing than the work of the most veteran and experienced SEOs based in the country.
At the end of the day, it’s not the nationality of the employee but the quality and the amount of time they spend to come up with something beautiful and useful for our website will eventually matter.”
Optimizing the SEO Consultancy that you receive can get easier if you know some SEO yourself
Since Victoria’s already in the media business, she must have some experience in SEO herself as does most other media businesses. This helps in making the SEO hire as you can better vet the work that is being done as well as direct the Search Engine Optimizer to work in ways that have a better impact for your brand.
If you are new in the media business and don’t have a team working with you, I’d suggest you manage your SEO yourself. As it is, Search Engine Optimization will be fundamental to your work.
However, once you are able to grow your business, you can afford to spend much more on SEO than most other industries. Working with an SEO vet will help your team learn more regarding the industry while simultaneously boost your site’s ranking and branding as well.
How a Business in the Event Planning Industry is thinking about Hiring SEO’s
Alexa McNish is the owner of Monarch Creative Events, a full service event planning company.
The main reason why Alexa wants to outsource SEO is because she doesn’t have the time to focus on this niche. Of course, she does understand the importance of having a digital presence. But, she doesn’t have the budget yet to hire someone to do SEO in-house.
Don’t hire an SEO in-house
Not hiring an SEO agency or online marketer in-house is however a smart decision as unless you know it yourself, the hire can just turn into a waste.
Someone who is really good at SEO usually doesn’t want to work solo for a salary when they can offer their service to several businesses and earn more.
Similarly, if someone’s willing to work in-house, maybe they need training before they are able to add requisite value for your business.
This means, you as an owner need to be well-versed in SEO (which is usually the case in a media business wherein almost every member has SEO knowledge), or you are big enough to afford executives who will train new hires.
Alexa, however knows what she wants – an SEO who will do the research, audit their current plan / process and give her business the tools to execute.
Working with SEO’s in the Automotive Industry
Farhan Advani, Director of Marketing at Buy Here Pay Here shares what he wants when he hires a Search Engine Optimizer.
In his words –
“I’m looking to outsource my SEO because it’s a very complicated process and a lot of work. My greatest challenges in the process are that the results won’t be as promised or expected, it’s not going to bring enough results fast enough.”
“The most important thing for me is to have great SEO results from the beginning, not after 3 months. I need my website to rank at least on page 2 in Google within 3 months.”
Now while it is understandable how most businesses want to see a quick ROI, the fact of the matter is that SEO takes time. First, an SEO needs to get an understanding of how the industry works and it is only then can he / she begin the outreach for gaining more links and improving the site’s SEO.
However most SEO’s often abuse the statement – SEO takes time – to defraud business owners. The fact of the matter is that most SEOs fail in gaining ranks and getting in links, which is why, this excuse is so prevalent!
Farhan, however provides a large timeline of 3 months so as to enable SEO’s to get some ranking.
“The results that I’m looking for are 1-2 keywords ranking on page 1 in Google within 3 months and me getting enough customers from the website to make it worth paying for this service.” – Farhan.
3 months is more than enough to target the low-hanging keywords and get some ranking especially if the domain has already got some domain authority to itself.
How an IT business is Outsourcing its SEO
“We are looking to outsource our SEO in a hybrid capacity. We do have one resource in house that manages certain aspects of SEO but there’s only so many hours in the day. We believe finding an SEO agency that can manage specific time-consuming tasks such as organic outreach or content writing. While our in-house employee can focus on web design, internal links, graphic design, etc.”
“The most important thing to our company is results. We focus on new leads, form fills, appointments set, etc. Therefore an SEO agency that is considered “full service” is important to us. We want an agency that can do outreach, KPIs, a CRO (conversion rate optimization) specialist, content writers, etc. We want it all in one place.”
- Side Note: Businesses should keep CRO as one of its main SEO goals. Getting more visitors does not matter if the visitors do not convert. As such, always try to get your visitors’ emails and build your list.
“Ascendant spends money primarily on content. We focus on delivering real value to our visitors. This contributes to Ascendant establishing ourselves as market leaders and a vital source of information in the IT field.”
“Our main frustration is attributed towards content. We recognize the value that original quality content brings to a website, but it sure is time consuming. It’s difficult to find an industry expert that is willing to dedicate their time towards ghostwriting a blog.”
“Our greatest challenge in finding the right SEO agency is having an agency that can deliver real measurable results. We focus on new clients. We appreciate the effort that was put to increase our domain rating, drive more traffic, etc. At the end of the day we care more about new opportunities and how many turned into clients. “
“The results we look for new clients obtained. We have specific business goals wrapped around every dollar spent. If we aren’t seeing ROI (return on investment) on our marketing spend, we must look elsewhere.”
“We are afraid that choosing the wrong SEO agency could set us back in our SEO goals. In addition to missing our goals, we could potentially risk our time and money.”
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How an Insurance Advisory Business is Trying to Ensure that it Receives the Best SEO Services
Tim Connon, is the founder of ParamountQuote Insurance Advisors. He is looking to outsource his SEO because the time it takes to dedicate to SEO takes him away from other responsibilities like overseeing his sales force.
He is trying to get 100% of his clients to be from organic website traffic and to make his company a household name in the next 10 years. While focusing on any one channel for your digital marketing needs may not be a good idea, branding is a very important goal to pursue.
Tim wants his articles on page 1 of Google so as to increase the number of clients for his company. However he is frustrated regarding the amount of time it takes to rank for keywords. This is a fear among most individuals trying to hire SEO’s and it is rightly so because most SEO’s exploit this as an excuse for their own failure.
As such, Tim is worried of the wasted time and effort that may occur by having to write 100’s of articles just to not see any of them on page 1 of Google.
In cases like these, I would suggest going the Backlinko way. Target the most profitable segment of your niche. Basically turn that into a micro-niche and publish a small quantity of high quality articles on that topic.
Then try to get links to those few select pages. Ensure your conversion rate optimization is on point so that you can make the most out of each visitor.
Outsourcing SEO in the Hypercompetitive Lending Industry – How One Business is Approaching It
Mike Thompson, founder and finance writer at Hyperlend.com is also looking to hire an SEO, but, it has to be someone from outside the US, because, according to him, the cost for SEO services in the US is prohibitively expensive and there are people with similar skillsets working abroad that are ready and willing to work for his business.
Mike’s afraid that he may not find the right person, that is, someone who just “clicks” and is able to work seamlessly with our existing staff on day to day projects.
This is a major problem that happens when you outsource your SEO work. Since people are from different time zones, they may not be able to work seamlessly with your staff.
However, there is of course 2-3 hours in a day, when both you as well as your hired SEO consultant or SEO agency can meet up and share work reports and plans. Ensure that your meeting requirements are provided for, in the contract itself. That puts an impetus on your Search Engine Optimizer to follow along the rules.
But that’s not Mike’s greatest challenge when it comes to hiring from the SEO market.
He is frustrated that finding qualified SEO marketing services or marketing agents is quite difficult.
This is because many people these days “bend the truth” when it comes to their experience and expertise, especially when it comes to technical SEO.
There is however a quick hack to avoid this issue as well. Try to get a customized payment plan. Instead of paying all up-front, you may want to bargain to pay half in the beginning of the month and half in the middle of the month.
This is not much of a big deal! Heck, we openly showcase our customized SEO payment plans!
If your Search Engine Optimization service provider is confident of his / her services, they will accept the payment plan. This helps you prevent unnecessary expenditure as well as ensure you get the quality of service that you are promised.
Also, check the guest posts that the SEO service provider has under his belt. If the guest posts are not in reputable websites, it means that the SEO can’t get your brand anywhere. Guest posts are one of the strongest indicators of SEO expertise!
Wrapping it Up
That’s all. Make sure to pay attention to all of these points when you go for your SEO hire.
If you need any help in guiding you in hiring an SEO, feel free to consult with us. We’ll guide you through the process of hiring even another business at no cost whatsoever! It’s just good karma to us!