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Do’s and Don’ts of Outsourcing for SEO


Your SEO process is jammed. You want to speed things up, get things moving down the pipeline, and delegate the grunt-work that’s gobbling up your time. Outsourcing can obviously leverage your resources/budget — if you do it correctly, that is.

Pitfalls abound. Outsource to the wrong party or parties, and you could wind up in legal hot water, get lassoed by tax problems, or inadvertently torpedo your whole SEO project.

So how do you steer between Scylla and Charybdis? Here are broad principles to abide by.

1. You get what you pay for.

If a company promises you superb web content at one dime per page of 500 words, do you really think you’ll get top-notch work? (If so, perhaps you should pick another business!) This isn’t to say that ALL cheap content is bad or that ALL overpriced content is good. A range exists, obviously. But cut too many corners, and you’ll cut off your nose to spite your face (or, insert a more elegant metaphor here).

2. Experiment before going whole hog.

Even if you’ve found “the perfect company” to outsource your SEO to, you MUST work out kinks before embarking on massive projects involving thousands of dollars or hundreds of man-hours. Test your process, then test it again.

3. As Steven Covey put it, “begin with the end in mind.”

Visualize the optimal outsourcing experience for your SEO. What does the relationship with your outsourcing partner look like from beyond the point of completion and from a vantage of great success? Start by imagining “what if” scenarios in which your SEO outsourcing dreams have completely come true. Don’t restrict yourself. Dream the dream, and then work backwards to make it a reality.

4. Write down a list of all potential problems that your SEO outsourcing endeavor could encounter.

Imagine handing the process over to a third party whom you don’t know. What instructions would you give that person? What should that person NOT do? What should that person look out for? What should that person focus on, goal-wise? These instructions to your imaginative third party comprise your principles for your outsourcing program. These are often unstated assumptions. Write them all out on a paper you review often. Refer to them as you sort through outsourcing opportunities.

5. Get references.

Find peer reviewed, highly regarded, transparent firms to work with. There are plenty of good players out there. Do due diligence, and you’ll be rewarded. 

6. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Don’t fall into “analyses paralysis.” As long as you have your principles and your vision spelled out in some concrete, written form, you should be pretty safe. Take a step. Trial and error. Too much planning discourages the creativity and adventurism necessary for entrepreneurial success. So line up your ducks and get to shooting. Good luck to you!

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