We talk to many people each day who are considering launching an SEO campaign. One of the big decisions is if they should build the capability internally or turn to an external provider. This naturally begs the question: What is the business case to outsource SEO services?
There are several factors to consider. Here is my top 10 list of why you should outsource SEO services.
1) It is very hard to hire someone who is good at SEO. Why? Because if they are really good at it, then they probably love it and already work at an SEO firm or are in business for themselves.
2) SEO is much much harder than you think. There are still people running around thinking that SEO is just a change of your title tag. After only 60 minutes of research in reputable places, and you'll know it's not.
3) Only 30% of SEO is on-site. That alone convinces most people they should outsource SEO services because they don't even understand what I just said. What is off-site SEO anyway? If you need to ask, you need to get serious help (like 70%). How, exactly, will you hire an internet resource to do 70% of something you understand 0% of?
4) It is very hard for most people to evaluate an SEO resource. I think this is funny because SEO is so objective. Either the ranking is there in Google or it isn't. But still, many people find it hard to evaluate what is good SEO and what is bad SEO.
5) There is a ton of bad information about SEO on the Internet. There is so much bad information about SEO, you really need a seasoned team to take your website to the right place. This means, appropriate expectations and appropriate execution. Both are hard to find, period. But people who are really good at it want to do SEO all day every day and probably want to make more money than you want to pay. So again, they will be a part of an SEO outsourcing company and not yours.
In summary, outsourcing SEO is a great idea. It's a tricky subject and the Internet is filled with misinformation. If you don't have a good handle on SEO, and what it means that 70% of SEO is off-site (source: SEOMoz), then you are in over your head. It's time to call in the experts. Look at their data and evaluate their previous experience with a critical ear.