How to Outsource SEO: Step-by-Step Success Guide


How to outsource seo

SEO is often seen as a cornerstone for online success, essential for anyone who wants to get a leg up on the competition. In simple terms, outsourcing SEO means hiring external professionals to handle your search optimization needs.

I get it, outsourcing SEO isn’t a walk in the park. You’re concerned about finding the right talent, quality of work, and whether this move will actually deliver ROI. As a professional digital marketer and blogger, I’ve tackled these SEO outsourcing issues head-on. Rest easy, we’re going to break down how to make this process as smooth as possible while maximizing your results.

So why should you pay attention to outsourcing SEO? For starters, it can significantly elevate your digital marketing strategy, freeing you to focus on other core business tasks. Let’s get into the nuts and bolts, shall we?

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the importance of aligning outsourced SEO with client goals for effective strategy development, ensuring mutual objectives and successful outcomes.
  • Discover the advantages of outsourcing SEO, such as cost-efficiency and access to specialized expertise, for enhanced business strategies and operational savings.
  • Identify the right tasks to outsource in your SEO campaign, including keyword research and link building, to optimize efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Learn about common pitfalls in SEO outsourcing, such as unclear project requirements and language barriers, and how to avoid them for a smoother process.
  • Master the art of selecting the best SEO agency by considering their track record, industry expertise, and commitment to transparent reporting, for a reliable and scalable partnership.

Understanding Client Goals and Benefits of Outsourcing

To successfully outsource SEO, it is crucial to understand the client’s goals. This understanding forms the foundation for developing an effective outsourcing strategy. By aligning the outsourced SEO efforts with the client’s goals, businesses can maximize their chances of achieving desired outcomes.

Importance of understanding client goals in SEO outsourcing

Understanding client goals in SEO outsourcing is essential because it allows businesses to tailor their strategies accordingly.

Service providers can develop a customized approach that addresses those specific objectives by comprehending what the client wants to achieve through SEO. This alignment ensures that both parties are on the same page and working towards a common goal.

Advantages of outsourcing SEO

Outsourcing SEO offers several advantages for businesses, especially regarding cost savings and access to expertise. Here are some key benefits:

  • Cost savings: Outsourcing SEO can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house team or investing in training and resources. Businesses can save on recruitment costs, employee salaries, benefits, and infrastructure expenses.
  • Access to expertise: By partnering with professional SEO service providers, businesses gain access to a team of experts specializing in search engine optimization. These professionals have extensive knowledge and experience in implementing effective strategies that drive results.

Aligning client goals with the outsourced SEO strategy

To ensure successful outcomes from outsourced SEO projects, aligning client goals with the overall strategy is vital. Here’s how this alignment can be achieved:

  1. Thorough planning: Conduct thorough discussions with clients to identify their specific business goals and objectives related to SEO. This will help create a roadmap for achieving those targets.
  2. Regular communication: Maintain open lines of communication with clients throughout the project lifecycle. Regular updates and progress reports allow for adjustments, ensuring that actions remain aligned with desired outcomes.
  3. Collaborative approach: Foster collaboration between the business and the outsourced SEO provider. By involving the client in decision-making, both parties can work together to achieve the desired results.

How outsourcing can help businesses focus on core competencies

Outsourcing SEO allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and key areas of expertise. Here’s how this benefit manifests:

  • Time-saving: Businesses can free up valuable time and resources by delegating SEO responsibilities to external experts. This enables them to concentrate on their primary business operations, such as product development, customer service, or marketing.
  • Specialized skills: Outsourcing SEO ensures that professionals with specialized skills handle the optimization process. This allows businesses to leverage the expertise of these specialists while staying focused on what they do best.

Maximizing ROI through effective goal setting in outsourced SEO projects

Effective goal setting is crucial to maximize return on investment (ROI) in outsourced SEO projects. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Setting measurable goals: Establish clear and measurable goals at the outset of an outsourced SEO project. These marketing goals should be specific, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  2. Tracking progress: Regularly monitor and track progress towards achieving these goals using relevant metrics and analytics tools. This helps identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments.
  3. Continuous optimization: Implement a continuous optimization approach by analyzing data and making data-driven decisions based on performance indicators. This ensures that efforts remain aligned with business objectives.

By understanding client goals, leveraging the benefits of outsourcing SEO services, aligning strategies with these goals, focusing on core competencies through outsourcing, and maximizing ROI through effective goal setting, businesses can reap significant rewards from their outsourced SEO initiatives.

Steps to Successfully Outsource SEO

Outsourcing certain tasks in an SEO campaign can be a strategic move to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. However, it is crucial to follow specific steps to ensure the process goes smoothly and achieves desired results. Here are the key steps to successfully outsource SEO:

Identifying Specific Tasks Suitable for Outsourcing in an SEO Campaign

To begin, it is essential to identify which tasks within your SEO strategy are suitable for outsourcing. While some aspects may require in-house expertise, others can be effectively handled by external professionals or agencies.

Consider tasks such as keyword research, content creation, link building, technical optimization, and analytics reporting that could benefit from outsourcing.


  • Access to specialized skills and expertise
  • Cost-effective solution compared to hiring full-time employees
  • Enables focus on core business activities


  • Requires proper coordination and communication with the outsourced team
  • Potential risks of quality control if not managed effectively

Conducting Thorough Research and Due Diligence When Selecting an Agency or Freelancer

Once you have identified the tasks suitable for outsourcing, it is crucial to conduct thorough research when selecting an agency or freelancer.

Take time to evaluate their experience, reputation, portfolio of work, client testimonials, and industry knowledge. Request references and inquire about their approach toward effective SEO strategies.


  • Ensures working with reliable and competent professionals
  • Increases the likelihood of achieving desired results
  • Reduces the risk of potential scams or subpar work


  • Time-consuming process due to the extensive research required
  • This may involve additional costs for background checks or consultations

Setting Clear Expectations and Deliverables for the Outsourced Project

Clear communication plays a pivotal role in successful outsourcing. It is essential to set clear expectations regarding project goals, timelines, deliverables, and performance metrics upfront. Provide detailed briefs and guidelines to ensure the outsourced team understands your objectives and requirements.


  • Avoids misunderstandings and misalignment of goals
  • Enables the outsourced team to deliver precise results
  • Facilitates a smooth workflow and timely completion of tasks


  • Requires thorough documentation and briefing preparation
  • May involve additional time for clarifications or revisions

Establishing Effective Communication Channels with the Outsourced Team or Individual

Effective communication channels are crucial for seamless collaboration with the outsourced team or individual. Determine preferred methods of communication, such as email, video calls, project management tools, or instant messaging platforms. Regularly schedule check-ins to discuss progress, address queries, provide feedback, and make necessary adjustments.


  • Promotes transparency and accountability in the outsourcing process
  • Allows for timely updates on project status and milestones
  • Facilitates quick resolution of issues or concerns


  • Potential challenges due to time zone differences or language barriers
  • Requires consistent availability for communication purposes

Regularly Reviewing Progress and Making Necessary Adjustments during the Outsourcing Process

Regularly reviewing progress ensures that the outsourced SEO tasks align with your overall strategy.

Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), track rankings, analyze website traffic, and evaluate content quality. Make necessary adjustments if certain aspects are not meeting expectations or if there are opportunities for improvement.


  • Enables proactive optimization based on real-time data insights
  • Maximizes the effectiveness of outsourced SEO efforts
  • Enhances overall campaign performance


  • Requires dedicated time for analysis and evaluation
  • Potential need for revision of initial plans or strategies

By following these steps diligently, you can successfully outsource SEO tasks while maintaining control over your overall strategy. Effective SEO requires a comprehensive approach, and outsourcing can be a valuable tool to leverage specialized skills and expertise.

Avoiding Common Mistakes in SEO Outsourcing

Outsourcing SEO can be a game-changer for online business owners. It allows them to focus on core activities while experts handle their search engine optimization needs.

However, there are pitfalls to avoid when outsourcing SEO to ensure the best results. Let’s explore some common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Not Clearly Defining Project Requirements

One of the most significant mistakes in SEO outsourcing is not clearly defining project requirements before starting the process. Without a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, it becomes challenging for both parties to align their efforts effectively. To avoid this pitfall:

  • Take time to outline your goals and objectives.
  • Specify the desired outcomes, such as increased organic traffic or higher search rankings.
  • Clearly communicate your target audience and keywords.

By providing a detailed project brief, you set expectations from the start and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Choosing Based Solely on Price

Choosing an agency solely based on price can lead to disappointment. While budget considerations are essential, quality and experience should also be essential in your decision-making process. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Evaluate agencies based on their expertise and track record.
  • Look for case studies or examples of successful campaigns they have executed.
  • Consider client reviews and testimonials to gauge customer satisfaction.

Investing in quality services will yield better long-term results for your online business.

Failing to Establish a Strong Working Relationship

Building a strong working relationship with your outsourced team is vital for successful SEO outsourcing. Communication, trust, and collaboration are key factors contributing to effective teamwork. Here’s how you can establish a strong working relationship:

  • Set up regular communication channels such as video calls or email updates.
  • Foster open and transparent communication with your outsourced team.
  • Provide timely feedback and address any concerns promptly.

By nurturing a positive working relationship, you can ensure that your outsourced team understands and works towards achieving your business goals effectively.

Neglecting Regular Monitoring and Evaluation

Outsourcing SEO doesn’t mean you can completely hand off the responsibility. Regular monitoring and evaluation are crucial to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that tasks are being executed as planned. Here’s what you should do:

  • Set up regular reporting intervals to receive updates on key metrics.
  • Evaluate the performance of your outsourced team against predefined targets.
  • Make adjustments or provide guidance based on the insights gained from monitoring.

By actively monitoring the progress of your SEO outsourcing efforts, you can make informed decisions and optimize results.

Overlooking Language or Cultural Barriers

Language or cultural barriers can impact effective communication with your outsourced team. It is essential to consider these factors to avoid misunderstandings and ensure smooth collaboration. Here are some tips:

  • Choose an agency whose team members have proficiency in your language.
  • Clarify any potential language-related challenges upfront.
  • Foster an inclusive work environment that embraces diversity.

By proactively addressing language or cultural barriers, you can enhance communication and build stronger relationships with your outsourced team.

Evaluating and Choosing the Right SEO Agency

Finding the right agency is crucial for the success of your online presence. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to make a decision.

Track Record, Portfolio, and Client Testimonials

Assessing an agency’s track record is essential in determining their expertise and ability to deliver results. Look for agencies that have a proven history of successful SEO campaigns. A reputable agency should be able to provide you with case studies or examples of their work.

  • Look for an agency with experience working with clients in your industry or niche.
  • Consider the size and scope of their previous projects to ensure they can handle your specific needs.
  • Read client testimonials or reviews to get insights into their level of satisfaction with the agency’s services.

Expertise in Specific Industries or Niches

An experienced SEO company should deeply understand various industries and niches. They should be able to tailor their strategies based on your specific requirements.

  • Look for agencies that have worked with clients similar to your business.
  • Ask about their knowledge of industry-specific keywords and trends.
  • Consider whether they have experience optimizing websites in your target market.

A reliable SEO agency should have a well-defined approach to optimization, link building, and other important aspects of search engine optimization.

  • Inquire about their keyword research process and how they identify relevant keywords for your business.
  • Ask about their content optimization strategies, including on-page optimization techniques like meta tags, headings, and keyword placement.
  • Evaluate their link building strategies and ensure they adhere to ethical practices ie, no link farms, link wheels, private blog networks (PBN), or questionable rank and rent websites.

Transparency Regarding Reporting, Analytics, and Performance Metrics

Transparency is key when working with an SEO agency. You should have access to detailed reports, analytics, and performance metrics that demonstrate the effectiveness of their strategies.

  • Ask about the frequency and format of their reporting.
  • Inquire about the tools they use to track progress and measure success.
  • Ensure they provide clear insights into your website’s search rankings, organic traffic, and other relevant metrics.

Pricing Models, Contract Terms, and Scalability Options

Comparing pricing models, contract terms, and scalability options among different agencies will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and goals.

  • Consider whether the agency offers fixed pricing or customized packages based on your specific needs.
  • Evaluate the length of the contract and any termination clauses.
  • Inquire about their ability to scale their services as your business grows.

Managing and Monitoring Outsourced SEO Tasks

Establishing clear project milestones and deadlines for outsourced tasks

When outsourcing SEO tasks, it is crucial to establish clear project milestones and deadlines. This helps ensure that you and the outsourced team are on the same page regarding the timeline and deliverables. Setting specific goals and timeframes allows you to track progress effectively and keep the project on track.

Some key benefits of establishing clear project milestones and deadlines include:

  • Improved accountability: When everyone involved knows what needs to be accomplished within a certain timeframe, it becomes easier to hold each other accountable for meeting those expectations.
  • Efficient resource allocation: Clear milestones allow you to allocate resources effectively, ensuring that tasks are completed promptly without any unnecessary delays.
  • Enhanced communication: Having well-defined milestones provides a framework for regular communication between you and the outsourced team. It allows you to discuss progress, address challenges, and make necessary adjustments.

Utilizing project management tools to track progress and ensure accountability

Utilizing project management tools can be immensely beneficial to manage outsourced SEO tasks effectively. These tools provide a centralized platform where you can track progress, assign tasks, set deadlines, and communicate with your outsourced team.

Here are some popular project management tools that can streamline your outsourcing process:

  • ClickUp: A cloud-based project management and productivity tool designed for both individual and team use. It offers task management, time tracking, and goal setting features. With customizable dashboards and workflow automation, ClickUp aims to centralize project data and improve efficiency.
  • Trello: A simple yet powerful tool that allows you to organize your projects by creating boards, lists, and cards. You can easily assign tasks to team members, set due dates, add comments or attachments, and visualize the overall progress of each task.
  • Asana: A comprehensive project management tool with features like task tracking, deadline management, file sharing, and collaboration. It provides an intuitive interface where you can create projects, assign tasks with due dates, monitor their status in real time, and communicate with your team members.
  • Basecamp: A versatile tool that combines task management with communication features. It allows you to create to-do lists, assign tasks, set deadlines, share files, and have discussions within the platform. Basecamp also offers a calendar view to help you visualize project timelines.

Project management tools can enhance transparency, streamline communication, and ensure accountability throughout the outsourcing process.

Regularly communicating with the outsourced team to address any issues or concerns

Effective communication is crucial when outsourcing SEO tasks. Regularly checking in with your outsourced team helps build rapport and ensures everyone is aligned toward achieving the desired outcomes.

Here are some best practices for communicating with your outsourced team:

  • Schedule regular meetings: Set up weekly or bi-weekly meetings to discuss progress, address concerns or questions, and provide feedback on completed tasks.
  • Utilize collaboration platforms: Use tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to facilitate real-time communication. These platforms allow for instant messaging, file sharing, and video conferencing.
  • Clear instructions: Communicate your expectations regarding deliverables, quality standards, and deadlines. This helps minimize misunderstandings and ensures the outsourced team understands what needs to be done.
  • Encourage open dialogue: Create an environment where the outsourced team feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Encouraging open dialogue fosters collaboration and can lead to innovative solutions.

Regular communication keeps everyone informed and helps identify potential issues early on so they can be addressed promptly.

Monitoring key SEO metrics is essential when outsourcing SEO tasks. By regularly tracking these metrics, you can assess the effectiveness of the outsourced work and make data-driven decisions to improve online visibility.

Some important SEO metrics to monitor include:

  • Organic traffic: Measure the traffic coming from search engines like Google. An increase in organic traffic indicates improved visibility in search results.
  • Keyword rankings: Track how well your website ranks for specific keywords. Monitoring keyword rankings helps identify areas where optimization efforts are paying off and areas that require improvement.

Scaling SEO Projects: Smart Outsourcing Decisions

I’ll guide you through choosing the best moment and method to outsource SEO, a vital step to grow your project effectively. You’ll learn how to maintain quality while managing resources, making your SEO efforts more successful and efficient.

Increased Workload and Limited Resources

As your business grows, so does the demand for SEO. If you find yourself overwhelmed with the increasing workload and limited internal resources, it may be a clear sign that it’s time to consider outsourcing. Doing so allows you to tap into external expertise and expand your capabilities without straining your existing team.

Lack of Specialized Skills

SEO is a specialized field that requires in-depth knowledge and expertise. Outsourcing can be a valuable solution if your team lacks the necessary skills or experience to handle certain aspects of SEO. By partnering with an experienced SEO agency or freelancer, you can leverage their expertise in technical SEO, content creation, link building, or keyword research.

Strategies for effectively managing larger-scale SEO projects with external resources:

Clear Communication and Expectations

When outsourcing SEO projects, effective communication is crucial. Clearly communicate your goals, objectives, timelines, and expectations to the external resources you are working with.

Provide them with all the necessary information to understand your business and target audience. Regularly check progress and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

To ensure accountability and measure success when working with external resources, establish key performance indicators (KPIs).

These metrics will help track progress toward your goals and evaluate the effectiveness of the outsourced SEO efforts. Examples of KPIs include organic traffic growth, keyword rankings improvement, conversion rate optimization (CRO), or backlink acquisition.

Balancing in-house and outsourced tasks for optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness:

Identify Core Competencies

Determine which aspects of SEO are best handled by your in-house team based on their strengths and expertise. Focus on retaining control over core competencies that align with your business goals and values. Outsourcing time-consuming tasks require specialized skills or can be more efficiently handled by external resources.

Regular Collaboration and Feedback

Maintaining a collaborative relationship with your outsourced SEO team is essential for optimal efficiency. Schedule regular meetings to discuss progress, provide feedback, and address questions or concerns. Foster open communication channels to integrate in-house and outsourced efforts seamlessly.

Leveraging outsourcing to expand into new markets or target different demographics:

Localized SEO Expertise

Outsourcing can provide access to localized SEO expertise to expand into new markets or target specific demographics.

Local SEO requires understanding regional search trends, language nuances, cultural differences, and location-specific optimization strategies. Partnering with experts with experience in these areas can help you effectively reach your target audience in new markets.

Multilingual Content Creation

Expanding into international markets often involves creating content in multiple languages. Outsourcing content creation to native speakers can ensure high-quality translations that resonate with the local audience.

This approach helps maintain consistency across different language versions of your website while catering to the unique preferences of each market.

Scalable Partnerships

Choose outsourcing partners who can scale their services along with your business growth. Look for agencies or freelancers with experience working with businesses of similar size and industry.

Scalable partnerships allow you to seamlessly adjust the level of outsourced support as needed without disrupting workflow or compromising quality.

Continuous Evaluation and Optimization

Regularly evaluate the performance of your outsourced SEO efforts by reviewing key metrics and analyzing results against set goals and objectives. Identify areas for improvement and optimization based on data-driven insights.

Adapt your outsourcing strategy accordingly, whether it involves refining processes, reallocating resources, or seeking additional external support where necessary.

Over to You

We’ve covered the ins and outs of how to outsource SEO. If you’ve been paying attention, you know it’s not just about handing off work. It’s about strategic choices. I’ve personally managed these kinds of decisions and can tell you they’re crucial for online success.

What should you do now? Stay in the loop with SEO updates and ensure your chosen agency is up to speed on things like E-E-A-T— that’s experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. That way, you’re not just outsourcing; you’re making a smart investment.


What is SEO outsourcing?

SEO outsourcing involves delegating search engine optimization tasks to a specialized third-party agency or freelancer. This allows businesses to focus on core operations while benefiting from the expertise of SEO professionals. Services commonly outsourced include keyword research, content creation, and technical audits.

Is it possible to outsource SEO?

Outsourcing SEO is a common practice, enabling businesses to delegate search engine optimization tasks to specialized agencies or freelancers. This approach offers access to expert knowledge and tools, often resulting in more efficient and effective SEO strategy implementation.

Why should I outsource my SEO?

Outsourcing SEO allows businesses to leverage specialized expertise and tools for optimizing search engine performance. This approach can result in more efficient strategy execution, higher search rankings, and increased organic traffic. It also enables in-house teams to focus on core business activities.

How much does it cost to outsource SEO?

The cost to outsource SEO varies significantly based on the agency, geographical location, and project scope. In the United States, SEO agencies typically charge between $100-$250 per hour or offer monthly plans ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Overseas companies may offer rates as low as $10-$50 per hour. The average monthly SEO plan costs around $2,819, according to Ahrefs data. Project-specific pricing is also common. Additional costs may involve keyword research tools, priced at $99–$500 per month.

How long does it take to see results from outsourced SEO?

The time to see results from outsourced SEO varies based on factors like website age, competition, and the scope of the SEO strategy. Generally, initial improvements may be visible within 2-3 months, while substantial results often take 6-12 months. Continuous optimization is crucial for sustained success.

Can I outsource only specific aspects of SEO?

Outsourcing specific aspects of SEO is entirely feasible. Many agencies and freelancers offer specialized services in areas such as link building, content creation, or technical SEO. This targeted approach allows you to complement in-house capabilities and address gaps in your SEO strategy efficiently.

What should I look for when evaluating an SEO agency?

When evaluating an SEO agency, consider their expertise in your industry, a demonstrated history of measurable results, and their use of ethical, white-hat SEO tactics. Transparency in reporting and clear communication are also critical. Validate these elements through case studies, client testimonials, and direct interviews.

How can I ensure effective communication with the outsourced SEO agency?

To ensure effective communication with an outsourced SEO agency, establish clear channels and frequency of updates. Utilize project management tools like ClickUp for task tracking and insist on regular reporting that includes key performance indicators. Transparency in changes and results is essential for mutual accountability.

Is it possible to switch SEO agencies if I’m not satisfied?

Switching SEO agencies is possible if you’re dissatisfied with performance or service. Termination clauses in the contract should specify the conditions and steps for ending the partnership. Ensure a smooth transition by obtaining all account access and data before making the switch.

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Eric Melillo is a HubSpot-certified digital marketer with over 25 years of experience and a co-founder of an international digital agency that has amassed $100MM in revenue across hundreds of brands. Recognized in Entrepreneur and Forbes, he's a respected industry leader. Eric is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs to build financial security through blogging and affiliate marketing.