Outsourced SEO: Benefits, Challenges, and How to Choose the Right Agency

Explore the risks and rewards of outsourced SEO and learn how to choose the right SEO agency with our in-depth guide, giving you a better ROI.

Business owner optimising SEO on computer in modern office

Handling the industry of outsourced SEO can feel like a minefield, especially when you’re investing thousands of pounds with uncertain outcomes.

Many business owners, just like you, have found themselves frustrated by vague promises and subpar results.

It’s not uncommon to worry about spending £3,000-£10,000+ only to discover months later that the efforts were ineffective or, worse, damaging to your online presence.

In this guide, we’ll investigate into the intricacies of outsourced SEO, drawing from industry insights and real-industry experiences to arm you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions.

By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what to look for in a reliable SEO partner and whether it’s worth considering handling SEO in-house.

What is SEO outsourcing?

SEO outsourcing involves hiring an external agency or freelancer to manage search engine optimisation for your business.

This strategy can include various tasks like:

  • Keyword research
  • Link building
  • Content creation
  • Technical SEO
  • Analytics reporting

Leveraging outsourced SEO services allows your business to access specialised expertise and resources, often at a lower cost and with greater efficiency compared to keeping an in-house SEO team.

Many small businesses find outsourcing particularly beneficial. You can focus your efforts on core operations while a professional SEO agency optimises your online presence.

Hiring an SEO agency optimises your resource utilisation. You gain access to seasoned professionals who stay updated on the latest SEO trends and best practices. Your business can achieve better search engine rankings and increased online visibility without the need to train an in-house team.

What SEO tasks can you outsource?

Outsourcing SEO involves delegating exact tasks to external experts to boost your website’s search engine ranking and online visibility. Here’s how you can benefit:

Keyword Research

Identifying relevant keywords with the right search volume and intent takes time. You’ll find it beneficial to outsource this task to ensure a strong SEO foundation. Experts use advanced tools to find high-value keywords efficiently.

Content Planning

Developing a structured content strategy is critical. By outsourcing content planning, you can focus on other core business activities. External professionals will create a detailed plan to align with your SEO goals.

Content Writing

High-quality content is essential for establishing topical authority. Outsourcing content writing to specialised agencies guarantees well-researched, captivating material at a lower cost and quicker turnaround.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO ensures your website meets all technical requirements for a high ranking. This aspect involves improving site speed, mobile-friendliness, and overall user experience.

Link Building

Building high-quality backlinks is crucial. Outsourcing link-building tasks to SEO services guarantees organic and authoritative links, improving your site’s ranking and domain authority.

Internal and External Linking

Effective linking strategies enhance user experience and search visibility. External experts can ensure optimal internal and external linking structures, which improve navigation and SEO performance.

Competitor Analysis

Understanding your competitors’ strategies is vital. Outsourcing competitor analysis provides you with detailed insights into their strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to adapt your SEO strategies accordingly.

Fixing Bugs and Glitches

Technical issues can negatively impact user experience and rankings. Outsourcing the task of fixing bugs and glitches ensures that your website operates smoothly and remains compliant with SEO best practices.

Outsourcing these SEO tasks to an experienced SEO agency can optimise resource utilisation, enhance search engine rankings, and drive better results for your small business.

Advantages of Outsourcing SEO

Man facing vibrant cosmic swirl of colors

Outsourcing search engine optimisation (SEO) provides many benefits. For UK-based businesses, these advantages can be particularly impactful on performance and growth.

Direct Access to Experienced SEO Experts

Outsourcing connects you with experts specialising in search engine optimisation. These professionals stay updated on the latest SEO trends, algorithms, and best practices. They bring a wealth of knowledge, ensuring your website employs the most effective strategies.

Cheaper than Hiring In-House

SEO outsourcing significantly reduces costs. Employing an in-house SEO team requires salaries, benefits, and ongoing training. Outsourcing eliminates these expenses, providing access to a dedicated team of experts at a fraction of the cost.

Easier to Scale

Scaling SEO efforts becomes straightforward when you outsource. You can adjust the level of SEO services based on your business needs. Whether you’re launching a new product or want to improve local SEO, outsourcing offers the flexibility to scale up or down efficiently.

Spend More Time on Building Your Business

Entrusting SEO to a reliable agency lets you focus on your business’s core activities. You won’t need to worry about the intricacies of SEO strategies. Instead, you can dedicate your time to scaling your business, confident that professionals handle your search engine optimisation needs.

Downsides of Outsourcing SEO

Outsourcing SEO has its benefits, yet several drawbacks must be considered by businesses.

Less Control Over Deliverables

Outsourcing SEO often means losing some control over the deliverables. Your SEO agency handles the process, and inconsistencies in strategy and implementation may emerge.

An example includes waiting over a month without seeing substantial on-page optimisations. This lack of visibility into actions, such as bought backlinks, can feel like fraud.

Communication Challenges

Communication is crucial for success in outsourcing SEO.

But, differences in time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences can complicate it.

Misunderstandings and delays could disrupt the implementation of your SEO strategy.

Businesses face difficulties tracking the SEO agency’s activities, adding to the frustration.

Less Market Knowledge

External agencies might lack the local market knowledge that an in-house team possesses.

This gap can lead to less effective strategies, especially for small business and local SEO.

Agencies may not understand the nuances of the market, impacting the overall effectiveness of SEO services.

Consider these downsides alongside the benefits to make an well-informed choice about outsourcing SEO.

Steps to outsourcing SEO

Small business owner sitting down to discuss outsourcing SEO to an agency

Outsourcing SEO can help your small business improve search engine optimisation without overwhelming your resources.

Here’s how to do it effectively:

1. Determine the SEO Services You Want to Outsource

Identify the exact SEO services you need.

Decide whether you require on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, international SEO, local SEO, or content SEO.

Clarify your requirements to streamline your search for the right SEO agency.

2. Outline the Goals You Want to Reach

Define what you want to achieve with your SEO efforts.

Maybe you’re looking to increase brand visibility, improve search engine rankings, or drive more organic traffic.

Clear goals help focus your strategy and measure success.

3. Research and Vet SEO Agencies

Search for SEO agencies with a proven track record. Look for positive reviews, efficiency, and relevant expertise.

Check testimonials, case studies, and reviews to ensure the agency aligns with your business goals.

Evaluate factors like cost, service range, and customer satisfaction to make an well-informed choice.

4. Define Your Strategy with the SEO Agency

Collaborate with your chosen SEO agency to create a customised strategy.

Align this plan with your goals and objectives for optimal results.

Keep communication open to refine strategies and adapt to any changes in your business needs.

5. Track Progress with Monthly Reporting and Meetings

Monitor your SEO progress with regular reports and meetings.

Monthly updates allow you to track improvements, make necessary adjustments, and ensure your SEO strategy remains aligned with your objectives.

Consistent communication prevents missteps and maximises the impact of your investment.

By understanding and implementing these steps, your small business can navigate the complexities of search engine optimisation, focusing on local SEO or other specialised areas to boost your online presence effectively.

Avoid THESE mistakes when outsourcing SEO

Outsourcing SEO requires careful consideration. Mistakes can lead to wasted resources and poor results.

Investing Too Little

Paying for ultra-low-cost SEO services rarely pays off.

These services often lack the quality needed for effective search engine optimisation. Inadequate resources can result in using black-hat tactics, risking penalties from search engines.

Consider investing more in reputable agencies that provide comprehensive, high-quality SEO services.

Inexperienced Agencies

Choose your SEO agency wisely.

Agencies with limited experience might carry out ineffective strategies. A proven track record and relevant skills are essential for managing your SEO needs.

Validate the agency’s experience by reviewing case studies and client testimonials.

Focusing Too Hard on Vanity Metrics

Prioritising only the keyword rankings might not lead to success.

It’s vital to track more encompassing metrics, such as traffic, leads, and conversion rates.

Agencies that focus solely on vanity metrics can often miss the bigger picture. Seek agencies that measure overall business growth along with search engine rankings.

Agencies That Guarantee Position 1

Be wary of agencies promising the top spot on search engines.

No one can guarantee rankings due to the unpredictable nature of search engine algorithms.

Instead, find agencies committed to improving your website’s overall visibility and performance.

SEO Agency Who Fail to Communicate

Effective communication is key when outsourcing SEO.

Agencies that don’t keep you informed can create gaps in strategy execution.

Regular updates and transparent reporting are crucial for ensuring your SEO objectives are met.

Opt for agencies that prioritise constant communication.

At Hatch + Vox, you can expect:

  • Monthly video reports with PDF
  • Monthly catchups
  • Regular emails with updates and questions

Ready to Outsource?

Outsourcing SEO can be a game-changer for your business if done correctly.

By partnering with the right agency, you can leverage their expertise to boost your online presence and achieve better search engine rankings.

All great partnerships start with a conversation.

And that’s why I’m inviting you to a 30-minute chat.

In this call, we’ll:

  • Discuss your current performance
  • Understand where you want to take your business
  • Explore how SEO can help you get there
  • Evaluate if we’re a right fit


Book my 30-minute chat with Josh

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