Considering SEO outsourcing?
You are making a good decision!
I’m going to show you what my agency has learned after spending over ~$300,000 on SEO outsourcing.
Let’s jump in.
1. Don’t Wait to Outsource
You should begin the process of outsourcing as soon as you launch your business.
Your time is so incredibly important.
That’s why you cannot waste it on “busy” work or work that you could give to someone else.
I’m not going to get into the many reasons why you should outsource because that’s covered.
There is one point I’ll make:
Your business will 10x when you start outsourcing work that is stealing your time. You can then reallocate your time back to important tasks.
Important tasks that are essential to growing your revenue.
2. Avoid Outsourcing “Creative” Tasks
There are some tasks that you should avoid trying to outsource.
You should never outsource blog content, product development, or anything that requires high levels of creativity.
These types of tasks should stay in-house.
The reason why is because you can’t teach creativity. Nor is it worth your time to try.
Effective outsourcing is all about being explicit with directions.
3. Take a 30,000 Foot View of Your Business
Examine your business and identify every task you do on a daily basis.
Ask yourself: “Do I REALLY need to be doing this task?”
It’s easy to get caught in the weeds and focus on “busy” work. That’s why you must analyze your daily activity to avoid this.
Outsource everything that isn’t helping your business grow.
4. Try Several Vendors at the Same Time
It’s best to test out a few vendors who deliver the same service.
That reason for doing this is to test the quality of service.
For example, I would order the same service from three different vendors on the same exact day.
There are three things you are testing:
- Delivery time
- Quality of service.
For this to be successful you need to track everything.
5. Track Everything
Tracking your outsourcing activity is critical. It will prevent you from getting scammed and it will also help you identify what vendors are the best.
We use a Google Sheet to track activity, but an Excel file will work just as well.
There are five things we track when outsourcing:
1. Type of Service: this is future reference if you find a good vendor. Add good vendors to your “Approved Vendors” section within your business’s operations manual. If you don’t have an operations manual or don’t know what it is, then you need to read The E-Myth Revisited.
2. Date Ordered: this is the most important part. Unfortunately, there are many scammers online and you could be victim.
We have been scammed before.
Last year, we gave someone $800 to secure us a link on a authoritative website. He kept stringing us along and then fell of the face of the planet.
Of course, at the time, we didn’t realize that he was stringing us out past the PayPal dispute deadline.
That means, we couldn’t recover the funds.
In hindsight, it was obvious what he was doing.
With that said, always track the date you ordered a service AND the TAT that the seller promises.
If it starts getting close to the 45 day deadline for a PayPal dispute, then you should get suspicious.
3. Link Data: we track target URLs and anchor text because most of our outsourcing is for link acquisition.
4. Vendor Website: track the website where you bought the service.
5. Vendor Score: upon completion, you should score the vendor on a scale of 1-5.
6. Test Before Going “All-In”
If you are outsourcing link acquisition, then you need to test.
Analyze the results and see the impact of the service you used.
Avoid going “all-in” before you know for sure that a link type or service works well.
Of course, getting SEO results takes time, so you will need to be patient.
7. Watch Out for Fake Reviews
Fake reviews are rampant on forums and SEO marketplaces.
The good news is that most fake reviews are easy to identify.
Here are a few examples of fake reviews:
“Great service! Would use again.” or “This is an awesome service and highly recommend everyone uses it.”
As you can see, these reviews are overly positive and do not name any specifics.
Real reviews will have specifics about the service like this one from our retired Blogger Outreach Service:
“I picked up an editorial link package from Gotch SEO for a client of mine. It’s a local business, in one of the biggest cities in North America. The metrics were outstanding, for the price I paid I expected the links to be so-so. I ordered 5 DA 10+ links, the sites I ended up landing links on had an average DA of 19. Permanent, safe links on real websites. Pretty damn hard to beat for $97/link. The package took our client from #8 to #5 for target keyword. – Daniel”
8. Build Relationships With Good Vendors
It’s rare to find reliable services and vendors in the SEO world.
That’s why when you do, you need to hang on to them.
Building relationships with good vendors will lead to better responsiveness, discounts, and even exclusive offers.
9. Always Use PayPal
It can be dangerous to step outside of using PayPal.
Sure, there are people who think PayPal is the devil.
For the most part, PayPal is the safest way to buy products and services online.
The reason for this is because of their dispute system. PayPal’s dispute system keeps both the buyer and seller safe from getting scammed.
10. Pick Companies Over Random Solo Artists
There are many amazing freelancers out there, BUT I still believe companies are better.
The truth is, freelancers are less reliable and much harder to trust.
They can be the most awesome asset for your business and two seconds later you will never hear from them again.
This doesn’t usually happen with companies.
If a company doesn’t do what it promises, you can hold them accountable.
If a freelancer steals your money AND the live outside of the U.S., you are SOL.
11. Find Your “Rock”
Although I just bashed freelancers, I do recommend that you find your “rock” of a freelancer.
What do I mean?
Your “rock” is your most reliable freelancer.
You have built a relationship with this person and trust them to do the work well AND on-time.
Finding your “rock” will take lots of trial and error. But, once you do find one, your business will improve.
12. Be Explicit
If you decide to work with individual freelancers/VAs, then you must be explicit.
Being explicit means that you explain every task down to the last detail.
The best way to do this is to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
An SOP is an organic training mechanism that shows freelancers or employees how to perform a task.
The reason why SOPs are “organic” is because you should always update them.
A stale SOP leads to confusion. Confusion leads to wasted management time or cleaning up incorrect work.
Be explicit with your SOPs.
Think about your business right now.
What processes within your business can you explain in an SOP?
List everything and start drafting SOPs.
Remember: they don’t have to be perfect because you are going to update them on a frequent basis.
I recommend you begin creating SOPs right away. Even if you don’t have employees or freelancers.
You are now equipped to outsource SEO tasks. Do your due-diligence, start outsourcing, and watch your business grow.
Thank you for reading!