Outsourcing SEO the Right Way: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

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best content in digital marketing
best content in digital marketing

Hiring professional SEO services means gaining expertise your team may lack. However, outsourcing SEO incorrectly can seriously damage your organic traffic and rankings.

Here are the biggest mistakes to avoid, along with guidance on finding a true SEO partner.

Pitfall #1: Picking the Wrong Provider

The most fundamental error is choosing an unqualified or unethical SEO company. Warning signs include:

  • Overpromising specific rankings – No legitimate SEO can guarantee a #1 position. If they make such claims, run.
  • Spammy link building – A good SEO optimizes organic links, not buying links or other shortcuts.
  • “SEO gurus” – Beware individuals selling themselves as masters based on tricks. Focus on data, methodology, and real results.

Thoroughly vet potential partners. Check online reviews from past clients. Verify case studies show rankings and traffic growth from their efforts.

Ask about experience optimizing sites similar to yours. Consider client retention rate over past years as a sign of satisfaction.

A reliable, knowledgeable SEO provider earns your trust through transparency and demonstrated success.

Pitfall #2: Lacking Clear Goals and Metrics

Before starting any campaign, define specific ROI goals and KPIs together with your SEO agency, e.g. increase organic traffic by 30% within 6 months.

Track progress in Google Analytics to spot any issues early. Make sure your partner updates you on rankings growth for target keywords.

Success metrics also keep your outsourced SEO accountable long-term and provide objective conversation starters for optimization.

best content in digital marketing
best content in digital marketing

Pitfall #3: Poor Communication

SEO impacts your entire business, far beyond an isolated activity. Establish open communication channels like weekly or bi-weekly calls to align efforts and discuss the latest data.

Loop in other teams like content, social media, development, and product – everyone must understand initiatives at a high level to contribute effectively according to the strategy. Siloes help no one.

Pitfall #4: One-Size-Fits-All Strategies

Every business is unique, as is their market, customers, products, and existing organic presence.

A quality SEO partner tailors recommendations and tactics to your specific needs and challenges.

Beware any cookie-cutter approaches. They may still move the needle short-term by catching low-hanging fruit.

But a tailored strategy based on your customers, brand, products, and market will prove far more valuable long term.

Pitfall #5: Tossing Them the Keys

While SEO agencies provide strategy and execution expertise, they cannot fully replace your intimate institutional knowledge.

You must still actively contribute industry and customer insights to shape strategy, provide feedback on proposed tactics, and course correct based on data.

Don’t fully outsource the keys – stay highly involved in day-to-day efforts to guide priorities and get the most value from the partnership.

SEO touches many aspects of digital marketing, so collaboration is a must.

The right SEO partner provides immense strategic and execution value to your organic marketing. But failing to manage the relationship properly undermines those benefits.

Do diligent homework by selecting a transparent, experienced provider upfront. Maintain active, metrics-driven oversight and collaboration to keep your outsourced SEO optimal.

Avoid critical mistakes through education and engagement. Prioritize organic growth as a key business goal, not a fully delegated task.