When you're looking to outsource SEO, it is very helpful to know some of the challenges upfront, before selecting an SEO reseller! We wanted to take the time to break down and share our insights on outsourcing SEO, which can definitely help you overcome some of the challenges that may come your way. Watch our Daily Brown Bag to learn about the 4 big challenges of outsourcing SEO and what you can do to overcome them.

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Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we're going to be talking about the four challenges of outsourcing SEO, and how to overcome them. I'm Chad Hill, and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Good morning, Chad. It's a great Brown Bag here. A lot of people exploring SEO reseller programs are looking for a white label SEO partner. They want to outsource, and we're going to cover today those four big challenges you're going to hit as you wade into the outsourcing process.

4 Challenges of Outsourcing SEO & How to Overcome Them:

1. Communication.

So any time you outsource any sort of business process, this is not specific to SEO. Communication is going to be critical, and people say that all the time but, Chad, I fear they don't really understand it if they haven't been through an outsourcing process. This business process is no longer under your roof, and that has tremendous advantages which is why you're looking at a white label SEO program in the first place. But it also makes things a little complicated just a give and take as is everything in life. So you have to stay on top of this. You have to have a good communication approach, and you have to recognize you may need to over communicate. So what are the fixes here for this challenge?

One is regular meetings with your partner. You need to make sure that the people coordinating the work, the outsourcing team and you are talking regularly. You have to have clear expectations. One of the biggest mistakes I see here, Chad, is that people think well, there's no problem so we don't need to talk. A huge mistake in communication, just huge. You need to have communication even when things are going well, especially when they're going well, to make sure everything continues to go well and make sure the relationship is strong.

2. Trust & Transparency.

The second one here is trust and transparency. So there was actually recently a study that Linkbird put out that said that 10% of companies listed lack of transparency as one of the reasons that they don't want to outsource.


And basically, outsourcing SEO does require successfully building a relationship and, of course, that's a two-way street.

You were just talking about communication that flows right into trust and transparency. So I think the fix for this is to do your research, make sure you ask the right questions. We've actually put together some questions we think anyone looking to outsource SEO should ask. So here’s a link to the questions that you should ask before you even hire a white label seo reseller.

Be wary of any sort of guarantee because that's the number one thing that Google suggests and has in their webmaster guidelines is to avoid anything with a guarantee, especially when it comes to rankings. Maybe a delivery of work is okay, but certainly when it comes to rankings stay away.

You want to make sure that you ask questions about Google, the firm's guidelines...their stance on Google's guidelines because there isn't really...everyone thinks there's this real exact line between what's white hat and what's black hat, if you even want to use those words. But the reality is that a lot of people interpret things differently, and certainly you want to look at what's effective and what's not effective.

So get into the discussions and make sure, if you find a person you're talking to, is not answering your questions and seems to be hiding things, that's definitely a red flag early in the process.

When you actually get into the campaign, you want to make sure that you have a way of seeing what work is actually happening so if people say, "We're just doing work, we're not telling what we're doing." Just watch the rankings. Again, a warning sign, you want to see deliverables, where things are happening, what site things are going on on the websites, on your own website. And then, of course, check out any other communications to understand what is that...what is your reseller partner doing to stay up with the trends.

3. Workflow Management.

Number three on our list of the four challenges of outsourcing SEO, workflow management. And this one touches a little bit on the first one I hit, Chad, which is about communication. But really it is, it's distinct and deserves its own discussion. It's workflow management. Well, SEO campaigns are notorious for having tons of tiny little pieces. There's just so many activities. You're talking about just all the activities that go into a SEO campaign. There's all this onsite work that has to be done. It's very, very technical. Of course, we know 70% of the effort is going to be on offsite and promotion and earning backlinks and promoting this stuff out in social media. It's just a lot of work, and keeping track of that is really, really difficult.

So when you're looking at a white label SEO program, you need to make sure that they've got their workflow strategy together, and that means they're gonna have a system. They need to have some tried and true system for keeping track of all these little tasks, and they should be able to demonstrate that to you. So as you're out interviewing potential partners, you should ask them, "Well, how many campaigns have you run through? And we're just getting started, we're starting to understand this," they probably don't have a good handle on workflow management. You want enterprise workflow management tools that are going to make sure your SEO campaigns run like clockwork.

Now, mistakes that people make here, and things to watch out. You think, "Well, I won't have to get involved in that process." That's just not true. It relates to the communication issue.

You have certain information that the delivery team's going to need. They're going to need to escalate things up to you. Every team requires that there's a give and take on certain workflow items, but you should work out ahead of time the expectations of how that'll work, when will you have your meetings, how will you communicate it, who will look at the system, who will respond to what? You'll find that this team can work very, very effectively together.

4. Setting Expectations.

Last but certainly not least, is setting expectations. I think that, again, expectations especially when it comes to SEO, are one of the most important things that you're going to do when you're looking at working with a partner. Again, expectations are important, regardless of whether it's pay per click or social media. But when it comes to SEO, because of the input to the amount of time it takes to see the results, it's really critical. So the thing that you want to make sure that you do to set appropriate expectations up front is, again, really look at that first meeting with not only your own client but also with your SEO outsourcer.

Understand what expectations are they talking about. Are they talking about page one rankings in a month? That's pretty unlikely. Are they really setting an expectation based on the data they have that shows how long it usually takes for people to move up in the rankings which leads to more traffic. Understand that early.

Get everything in writing, and this goes for both sides, right? You want to make sure that if someone's committing to do something for you, you want to make sure that that's written down somewhere. And the same is true for any business person you're working with if you're asking for things and what they're saying that they'll do is not written down.

That's an early sign that perhaps things aren't quite as tight in their business process and workflow isn't going to be as tight as you'd like. Make sure that what you're going to be able to get for your budget. So ask questions about what plans and what prices and what deliverables are available. And then understand also how often you'll meet.

Adam, you talked about this earlier and also the timeframe that we've spoken about many times here for what's gonna happen in the first 30 days. For example, if that one going to be the onsite implementation -- the onsite work and then do you start your offsite after the second 30 days, or are you doing both in the first 30 days? So there's a lot of questions you need to answer and get answers to in order to help move your campaign forward.

Tips and Takeaways: 4 Challenges of Outsourcing SEO & How to Overcome Them

Excellent. Well, if you decided to look for a SEO reseller program, that's an excellent strategy. We've seen a lot of firms be very successful, increase their profits, drive excellent customer satisfaction and retention. But there are going to be some challenges so you're doing your due diligence. That's a great first step.

These are our outline of the four challenges when outsourcing SEO, and more importantly how to overcome them. We hope they've been helpful for you, and as always we appreciate your coming to our Brown Bag series. We ask you to hit that subscribe button, and we'll see you back here real soon.