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Pros and Cons of Out-sourcing SEO work

Pros and Cons of Out-sourcing SEO work

     
12:01 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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We are an internet marketing company based in Southern California that works one-on-one with our clients to provide PPC management and SEO services.

We perform the PPC in-house and the SEO is out-sourced. We are not happy with the work ethic of the company we are currently using. They constantly have an excuse for why we cannot get a report on where our client's rankings are - we have no way to manage the development of each client account - and feel as though we are at their mercy. We already have received payment and signed contracts on each client and have put alot of effort into building the relationship we have with the other company. Yet, we have no control.

I don't think we have the right SEO professional working with us. But how much of these problems are from out-sourcing the SEO work compared to just the work ethic of this particular company?

Our company operates as a front-end, client relation, sales and marketing arm - we need a strong SEO fulfillment department to make this a happy marriage.

What are the pros and cons of outsourcing SEO - where are the independent SEO professionals?

What are we doing wrong?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

5:10 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sounds very much as if the SEO company is simply tyreating you as they would any other client, and that doesn't say much about their customer support. Perhaps they should give it a little more thought, If they provide you with a high quality service, then you will send more work their way.

Perhaps what you could do is continue to outsource, but not just to one SEO company, use a few, and compare them. Perhaps that will make them more likely to compete for your business.

Mack.

9:21 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WW!

I suggest that going to the next Pubcon in Florida would be a great way to meet many SEOs who will be among the attendees and you can size them up.

Ash

10:56 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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hire someone to do it in-house.
11:59 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Theoretically you can do in inhouse. Realistically you won't. Most companies choose to outsource because too much time and attention is required to excel in this dynamic environment. In addition, the expenses of adding new personnel and resources quickly outweigh the cost of outsourcing.
1:48 pm on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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As the others said before me, it sounds like the problem you are having is with that specific SEO company. It is just a matter of finding a company that will give you the results you need along with the customer service that you demand.
10:02 pm on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Mack - that's good advice - we have already started recruiting for another company to work with - it will be an effort but worth the time.

Anallawalla - what is Pubcon? I know I have heard of it before - can you point me to a thread or site that talks about Pubcon?

Shaadi - you are correct - we do not have the capital to add personnel nor resources to bring it in-house. However, I think we will start laying out plans to bring it in house in the next 12 months. If we are going to stay in this business and be profitable, we need to have our hands around the throat of this beast.

We are also trying to implement a database where we mark each stepping stone of the way with each client - so we can all track the progress on each account. I think this will keep us all on the 'straight and narrow' - and keep us all accountable for each task.

I just didn't know how many folks are outsources verses bringing it in-house. I would like to hear more personal experiences on this topic.

I have other questions too..... do you pay them 50% now, and 50% when the listings go live? Is there a reasonable wholesale cost to SEO and does that cost depend on what technique they are using? For all I know, we could be sitting here waiting with our clients for 4 months and STILL not have a thing to show for it all. I need a way to measure this waiting game - to see some sort of progress - any advice?

Thanks for all the feedback so far!

10:13 pm on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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what is Pubcon?

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4:31 am on Dec 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I just didn't know how many folks are outsources verses bringing it in-house. I would like to hear more personal experiences on this topic.

I don't think anyone knows. Sometimes a web design firm outsources the SEM and therefore the client is two hops away. Sometimes the client reads about SEM and goes looking. I suspect that very few companies hire a pure SEM specialist, but it is more likely to send their web person to a SEM training course and let them learn on the job.

I have other questions too..... do you pay them 50% now, and 50% when the listings go live? Is there a reasonable wholesale cost to SEO and does that cost depend on what technique they are using? For all I know, we could be sitting here waiting with our clients for 4 months and STILL not have a thing to show for it all. I need a way to measure this waiting game - to see some sort of progress - any advice?

You have had a good set of responses in the Supporters forum (free plug for non-subscribers).

You negotiate how to pay them. I always charge a new but small client 50% in advance. If it were a large, well-known company, I'd be happy to negotiate the billing process, probably as progress payments.

What do you mean "wholesale costs"? If you outsource to places like India, you can make a killing on the resale value.

Condition the customers not to see major improvements until 3 months. While the SEO is taking shape, do your stuff with PPC and PFI.

Ash