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Outsourcing SEO Services: When and How to Outsource Your SEO

By | March 15, 2022

Search engine optimization is constantly changing due to running updates to Google’s algorithms and ever-increasing competition.

If you truly want to stay on top of the game, you need to spend dozens of hours every month on your own research, experiments, and more.

As a small business or agency owner, you probably don’t have the time to invest in becoming a true SEO expert. You’re busy with sales calls, client onboarding, and doing things that directly pad your bottom line.

But you still want the benefits of SEO — like ranking on the first page for your main keywords or consistently providing those results for your clients.

That’s where SEO outsourcing comes in. You can hire experienced SEO experts to take care of your own (or client’s) websites, including on-page optimization, creating content, and building backlinks.

Why invest in outsourcing SEO?

SEO is great at driving traffic, leads, and sales. In 2020, 49% of marketers highlighted SEO as the most effective digital marketing channel.

But unfortunately, it’s not easy to master and is constantly changing, which can lead to inconsistent results. In 2021, 62% of content marketers highlighted changes to search algorithms and SEO as a top concern.

Areas of importance in content marketing

To get results from your content, you need to master SEO, and the constant changes make it hard to keep up. And hiring in-house SEO experts full-time isn’t cheap either. The median salary of an SEO consultant in the US is $85,240. Now imagine the cost of building a whole SEO team from scratch.

Unless you’re the head of a large company, that price point is a bit steep for SEO alone. And if you try to save money by hiring an entry-level SEO (or even an intern), their inexperienced efforts could hurt your search rankings instead of improving them.

If you want to get the same level of quality, as well as access to services beyond SEO like content creation, partnering with a proven SEO agency is your best bet.

If you find the right partner, you can save time and money, as well as get better rankings consistently for your own website — or your clients’.

For example, Yes Career coaching came to The HOTH to build an organic search presence from scratch. At the time, their entire marketing strategy was focused on Yelp.

With our strategy and content, the website went from under 150 monthly visits to over 2,000 laser-targeted bottom-of-the-funnel visitors every month.

Organic traffic & keywords from case study

The new content also led to a massive jump in ranking organic keywords, from under 500 to 2,268.

That provided a significant boost in sales, growing the company’s total revenue by 45% in 2020 alone. That’s an over 5X improvement on the previous average growth rate of 8% per year. Effective SEO is a powerful growth hack.

More traffic, conversions, and sales are the main benefits of outsourcing SEO — if you do it right.

If you’re looking for these kinds of results from SEO, but you’re struggling to get them on your own, it’s time to find the right partner.

But enough about the why, let’s dive into how you can effectively outsource your SEO campaigns.

How do I outsource my SEO?

Outsourcing your SEO efforts might seem as easy as just hiring the top result on Google — but not so fast. To find the right partner, you first have to understand your goals, needs, and budget.

Review your goals, budget, and needs

  • What do you want to achieve with your SEO campaigns?
  • How much can you afford to spend?
  • What can you do in-house? (Writing content, designing pages, taking product photos, etc.)

Any self-respecting SEO firm will ask you these questions, so you need to have concrete answers before starting this journey.

A good way to estimate your budget is to look at what you’re spending on PPC and other paid advertising.

You need to be honest with yourself when considering what you can do in-house. Content and visuals must be professional if you want to strike a chord with your prospects.

You wouldn’t want your storefront to be marred by a horrible paint job or a hand-drawn sales sign with typos. Your website and blog is your digital storefront, and it leaves an impression on every potential customer.

If you’re an agency looking to resell SEO services, you should consider the same things but from both your clients’ perspectives and your own company’s.

Find an SEO agency that offers the SEO services you need

Based on what you can do in-house, figure out the actual SEO services that you need. For example:

(If you’re not sure what’s included in these services, we cover them in more detail in the section below.)

Then you just need to find an SEO company that offers all of these services — a package is usually more affordable and effective than getting separate services from multiple companies.

If you’re wondering how to check if the company offers the services you need, most SEO firms will have a section like “products” or “services” on their website, where they break down what they offer.

The HOTH's homepage services section

If you’re a marketing agency or consultant, make sure that the SEO agency offers reseller/white label SEO services (we do).

Diagram of how white label SEO works

Not every SEO company will let you take credit for their work. If that’s the case, you would have to openly partner with them and introduce them to your clients rather than silently being the middleman.

Review case studies and reviews to make sure they’re legit

An essential part of reviewing potential agency partners is to figure out if they actually know anything about SEO.

Because it’s so complex, some agencies get away with doing the bare minimum and having minimal technical expertise because their clients don’t know what to look for.

The best indicator here is a wealth of recent case studies and customer testimonials that back up real results delivered by the company’s SEO campaigns.

You also want to see real performance screenshots from Google Analytics or professional SEO tools like Ahrefs.

At The HOTH, we’re proud of the results we deliver for our clients and showcase 30+ comprehensive case studies (including the client’s budget, contract duration, and before-after data on organic traffic, keyword rankings, and revenue).

The Hoth case studies page

That’s the type of transparency you want to see from an SEO agency. If you don’t see any case studies, you have no proof that they can actually walk the walk.

You should also read some client reviews on sites like Trustpilot to get a feel for what it’s like to work with a company.

Find the right partner for your business

When going through the process, keep in mind that the best thing for your company is to find a reliable partner for the long term.

Treat it like hiring a new employee — evaluate your options carefully, and test the waters by talking to the agency first before signing any contract.

What SEO services can you outsource?

If you’re wondering what you can outsource, the short answer is everything SEO-related — from research and strategy to link building, content creation, and more. If it has anything to do with SEO, there’s a company out there selling it as a service.

But let’s take a closer look at five of the main pillars of SEO services:

1. Keyword research and SEO strategy

If you’re happy to create content — and confident in its quality — but don’t know what keywords to target, you can outsource the keyword research and overall SEO strategy.

This typically involves using a keyword planner tool to explore potential keyword ideas, identify search intent, and single out search phrases with low competition and high potential value.

Keyword research tool results

You also need to explore your competitors and what keywords they use.

If you don’t have the experience, it can be hard to find the right keywords and easy to get hung up on search volume rather than intent and competition. Most agencies offer this service built into other plans.

2. Technical SEO audit & optimization

An SEO website audit used to cost hundreds of dollars and take weeks, but now you can easily use free online tools to get an evaluation in seconds.

It will highlight issues like missing meta tags, slow loading times, no keywords in headers, and more.

The HOTH's SEO audit results

The problem lies in fixing issues like page loading speed, redirects, lacking tags, and more on potentially hundreds of pages.

3. Backlink building

One of the most challenging parts of SEO is to get other websites to link to your content. It’s not enough to just create high-quality content and share it on social media if you have no followers.

You need an outreach strategy, guest posts, and other tactics to start building your organic presence.

If you want a shortcut, you can outsource backlink building to a company like The HOTH.

For example, our Foundations packages focus on high-quality in-content links from sites relevant to your business.

The HOTH link building packages

4. Content planning and creation

Do you struggle with producing the necessary quantity of content to establish your website as an authority in your niche with your in-house team?

In that case, you can outsource your content creation to an SEO or content marketing agency.

With HOTH Web Copy, you can get content written by topical experts and optimized for SEO at scale.

Hoth Web Copy writing service page

5. Local SEO

Local SEO is actually a completely different ball game from standard or “global” SEO. The focus is on building a solid Google My Business profile and online reputation management to attract positive reviews.

Local SEO graphic

Again, The HOTH does offer local SEO services, but if you need everything on this list, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Having to shop and consider alternatives for five different categories of services is a challenge. Instead, you can look for an all-inclusive managed SEO service like HOTH X.

Our team of experts starts with an audit, keyword research, and strategy. The package includes backlink building and content creation as well. It’s a one-stop solution for businesses that need help with SEO.

Challenges and concerns when outsourcing SEO

Finding the right SEO outsourcing company isn’t an easy task. You have to look past fancy landing pages and lofty promises and find the true essence of each company.

Let’s take a closer look at some common challenges and concerns.

Finding a reliable partner

Digital marketing and SEO are industries where you can’t touch or test a physical product to evaluate quality. Instead, you need to vet potential agencies carefully by going through their case studies and customer reputation.

Every digital marketing agency has a great-looking landing page — but that doesn’t mean they can deliver results. Take a close look at previous examples of their SEO work, including the content on their clients’ sites.

Getting good value for your money

Some agencies have a business strategy where they try to simply onboard as many clients as possible, even for plans starting at $199 per month that only include vague strategy.

Instead of trying to find the cheapest deal, go for the best value. Look for agencies with the experience to deliver results and plans that match your needs. That’s the best path to a good return on investment (ROI) from your SEO.

Avoiding black hat SEO providers

Many companies are scared of “black hat” SEO providers that try to exploit loopholes in Google’s ranking algorithm.

The risk is that Google may actually penalize or even remove your site completely from the rankings if you engage in this kind of activity.

Since many regular black hat tactics like bulk buying low-quality links have stopped being effective, most agencies today stick to white hat SEO — but that doesn’t mean they’ll deliver results.

The best way to avoid black hats and find an SEO firm that knows what they’re doing is to carefully examine their previous work and the content on their site.

Not seeing immediate results

Unlike PPC and paid advertising in general, SEO takes time. That’s because Google needs to reevaluate and reposition your pages in the search rankings. Over 90% of new pages take over two months to start ranking for a relevant keyword.

The time to significant results depends on the competitiveness of your industry, your keywords, and the scale of your campaign.

For a small business, you should expect around three to six months before seeing significant increases in rankings and traffic.

Even the best SEO professionals can’t deliver immediate results. If someone promises you instant rankings, you should run in the other direction.

Grow your online presence with our SEO outsourcing services

If you’re looking for a reliable SEO outsourcing partner, look no further. We’ve got you covered on everything from keyword research and strategy to creating the actual content that goes on your site.

If you want a great deal on great SEO, the HOTH X package includes all our SEO services at a manageable cost for small businesses. We can scale and pace the campaign to match your needs and budget. Schedule a call today to get started.


Director of Brand Strategy

Rachel is The HOTH’s Director of Brand Strategy. In 2016, she launched The HOTH’s content department, including HOTH Blogger. Rachel speaks at 1-2 industry conferences per month while overseeing The HOTH’s organic content and brand strategy. To book some time to chat about content creation, SEO, and SEM, click here.

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