One thing that people find out very quickly is that running an SEO business takes a lot of hands on deck, especially when the projects start rolling in. It’s a manually intensive workload to manage and not the sort of thing that can be quickly resolved with automation. That’s because many of the tasks require creativity and on the spot problem resolution, not the sort of thing a software or computer can easily resolve without a massive database of possibilities to reference with If-Then statements in its coding.
Instead, SEO writers and marketers often realize they are going to be overwhelmed quickly trying to keep up with demand. That, of course, means that more help needs to be brought in. And with outfits who don’t necessarily want to bring on employees and all that comes with them in regulatory requirements under labor law, outsourcing becomes a real consideration.
However, because the work reflects back on the SEO writer/marketer’s business and reputation, the outsourcer needs to be top quality, which can be hard to confirm just based on a phone conversation of Internet advertisements. Ideally, the outsourcer needs to be a provider who can be trusted to be reliable as well as consistent with a level of quality expected, i.e. getting the job done right every time and on time.
Here are some of the better ways to find a good outsourcer without compromising your business reputation and more importantly your customer accounts:
Avoid the Ads and Go To a Forum – SEO forums are an ideal environment in which to find bona fide real SEO writers with proven reputations. Not only do you get a chance to deal with them directly, you can see how they interact with others in the forum before making contact. This gives a hiring party two big advantages: 1) you get to see how they write and use the English language in their posts, and 2) you see their level of maturity when discussing matters. Both are big factors in the capability of an SEO writer to meet your demands.
Use Search Tools – If you’re looking to cast your net wide, then a basic, free search with Google, Yahoo or a similar search engine is going to give you a good number of potential providers and support businesses listed and available. And because there are so many, you’re going to need a set of criteria to weed out the better ones. Typical criteria can be:
Service types provided or have experience in.
Samples of work created.
References and referrals.
Objective rating systems a writer may be associated with.
The more criteria you have, the more filtering can be done, but keep in mind that too much can be a job in itself. Time matters, so you want your criteria to be effective as well as efficient in weeding out better players. For most companies that need support, the best provider will be one who can handle different types of tasks, has a good background and performance history, and can handle big and small tasks. A comprehensive package is often the way many go until better specialization is identified.
Organization Matters – If your own system is not organized, potential providers are going to sense your chaos and take advantage of your disorganization with their expertise. That could end up costing your business far more than necessary. Instead, define your work schedule and tasking with a clear work flow system. That means mapping out your projects and needs on a working calendar. Then, resources are assigned accordingly with specific deadlines for production, review and submittal. Keep in mind, you need to provide room for making changes and adapting to new demands to keep up with new customer requests. That includes training for yourself as well as your support providers. It’s rare to find a person who can just jump into any topic or project without some research involved first.
Always stay on top of your production. No matter how good an outsource provider may end up being, you are at the end of the day responsible for the final product. Always control the work flow and make sure you have a plan B when something goes haywire. Anticipating what may go wrong with a provider relationship often avoids the problem before it does really occur.
Evidence of Quality – It’s not enough to find a good service provider, you also need good evidence that the provider can actually deliver the goods desired. This includes both product delivery, performance reporting and ongoing quality review based on your customers’ feedback. By staying on top of these issues, you can realize a provider problem early and terminate the matter with a replacement before your customers get so upset they terminate you.
No matter how well you screen providers, there will be some trial and error until you find a good team support. Be patient and observant. Act quickly when you need to and stay on top of your business. Outsourcing doesn’t mean you can sit back and ignore the SEO projects distributed. Smart businesses leverage the extra help but still drive the operations directly.