Outsourcing SEO – Yes or No?

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If you’re following business trends with any level of interest at all, you’ll have noticed how many opportunities there are to outsource your business processes. SEO is no exception. We are bombarded daily with the promise of more for less: outsource your SEO for a third of the in-house cost or even less, we are told.

But what are the pros and cons to outsourcing a critical online business process like SEO to a remote company thousands of miles away? If you can do your SEO for a third of the cost then you’re saving money. But how much are you really saving, and  what are you giving up in return?

First of all let’s take a very quick look at what’s involved in the process of SEO:

  • Competitive analysis (looking at the competition online to see how good they are, and how much work is needed to get in front of them)
  • Keyword research to ensure that you’re being searched for the most relevant keywords for your business
  • Tag and title optimization
  • SEO copywriting

If you look at the example below, which is an actual email I received from an Indian outsourcing firm offering me outsourcing services, you will notice a few things. First, the language is a little ‘archaic’ when compared to the language we use in the US and the UK. It may seem almost imperceptible, but when you’re talking about your company’s ‘Brand’ are you sure you’d want to leave the language to someone who may be missing the finer points?

Take a look at the process of SEO again. Can you see how dependent these processes are on language? It is, in my opinion, highly probable that products would use a slightly different set of keywords in India than they would in the English-speaking West for just about everything. Just as if we could roll back in time about fifty years and take the Internet with us, we’d use different keywords than we do today because our language has changed.

I was surfing through your site and can see that you are offering Web Development services to your clients.

We are an Indian Web Design and Development firm with over 6 years of experience. In these tough times, where it is hard to maintain the top line, we can help share the bottom-line for you.

We will be happy to help execute SEO & Web Design and Development projects at a much lower cost than what you have in house – No compromise on quality!

We are at present partnering with over 30 firms from US, UK, Australia and parts of Europe.

Our primary focus is:

Web DesignWeb DevelopmentGraphic Designs
Database programming Ecommerce SolutionsFlash Design
Web CopywritingSEOPPC

Do let me know if you are interested and I would be happy to share our past work details, Methodologies and client Testimonials.

If it’s more important to you in the short term to cut costs, then by all means follow the growing number of companies who have opted to outsource to a country like India where English is, after all, a second language. But if you’re committed to maintaining excellence than you may want to consider the real-time impact on your business.

So what might the live impact of outsourcing be to your business? I’ve drawn up a list of possibles just for the purpose of comparison:

  • When you deal with an SEO company (or local SEO contractor like this SEO in Oregon or similar SEO Company) that has a high-profile presence on the Web you can be sure of accountability: they have a brand to protect.
  • When you deal with a pretty-much anonymous company from the other side of the world there is always the possibility that you will have totally wasted your money because there will be no accountability if they fail.
  • Imagine if you opted to outsource while your major competitor opted for top-flight SEO services: you might just as well have saved your money.

I consider that there is a valuable opportunity opening up if you can resist the temptation to outsource, and instead to commit to passing on a higher standard to your clients. Personally, faced with the choice of saving a few bucks or improving my Brand, I’d grab at the chance to make use of language experts who understand exactly who my business is talking to, and who ‘get’ choosing the right keywords. I’d prefer to go with the consultant who isn’t going to fade away if it’s not going right: someone who cares passionately about his professional reputation and, by definition, your business.

But maybe that’s just me.

Patricia Skinner is an SEO consultant, social media coach & reputation management expert. She is also community leader at the nascent SEO Self Regulation Community. She can be reached any time through her SEO website. Why not follow her on Twitter & her LinkedIn profile.

Patricia Skinner
Patricia Skinner is co-founder and Search and Social Director at Mideast SEO, and spends her days doing what she loves best; cooking up winning strategies... Read Full Bio
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