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SEO Outsourcing – 5 Reasons You Should Stay in the USA

February 22, 2010

Five Reasons for SEO Outsourcing – Inside the USA

Almost every company seriously employing SEO Services on their website for high rankings to generate leads is considering SEO outsourcing.  Unless you are a huge company, with a massive marketing staff, you can’t afford the cost of a full timemanager.  Outsourcing to a professional firm is an obvious answer for over 95% of the companies out there.

  • India and other countries such as the Philippines have some excellent SEO companies that are very effective at managing the mechanics of SEO.
  • Setting up websites structurally, inserting meta-tags, and other such tasks are easily and cost effectively done offshore by a credible SEO Company.

For most companies, there are serious potential risks to sending their SEO effort offshore. Read on and I’ll give you some idea of the potential pitfalls.

1.  Writing in proper USA English

Language barriers and the simple, sometimes funny, mistakes they create is the single highest potential risk you will face with SEO Outsourcing, offshore. They do exist and can be a major challenge when communicating technical benefits and features.  Marketing terms are even more frequent sources of error where companies are trying to create a professional message unique to their marketplace.

For companies that have been successful with this, one tool that’s a must is a written translation document for the Offshore SEO company. Having a strong English speaking Project Manager as an intermediary can reduce, but not eliminate, the language snafus that are bound to come up.  That puts the onus on them to handle the communication issues and takes some of the language barrier issue out of the equation.

Atlanta web marketer Ed Hill said it well when talking about the similar problem in Search Engine Marketing Based on my own experience with business owners who became irritated PPC customers, I would approach using offshore copywriters for American consumers with caution. It would be wise to have the offshore writers selected based on several writing samples which show a good grasp of the US market and superb writing skills.” Check it out in his blog post on SEM Outsourcing.

2. SEO should NOT be a Commodity for Your Business

Let’s face it, most offshore SEO services companies are competing in a commodity market for your business.  They compete on cost, cost, cost with little emphasis on the business results you will create from their work. They may create rankings and they will surely increase your inbound links, but will this result in new qualified leads? Our experience is that it will not really change your lead generation unless that work is carefully integrated into your total online marketing campaign.

Based on what I see being produced, SEO Outsourcing India or in other similar countries is being treated as a commodity. SEO is so much more than just building links through a web of thousands of directories that your buddies own. Sure, that can create a short term boost, but we all know Google SEO internal teams are working hard to discourage that kind of SEO through their constant algorithm upgrades.  Your business deserves long term thinking, not a commodity answer to SEO.

3. Link Building Mentality

Many of the companies we see selling SEO marketing at the lowest possible cost are stuck trying to implement 2005 era thinking.  Most show their stripes with offers that show that links are the only Google SEO they know. Given the language barriers, it’s understandable that most offshore SEO Companies would not highlight adding great content to the site and building top quality links, because these would be so difficult to do from without the insider’s knowledge of the language.

4. Prices are Cheap because Labor is Cheap

We have all heard horror stories of companies losing face over outsourcing manufacturing to sweat shops?

  • Are you really making a wise business decision when you hire someone to do your SEO Outsourcing for $1.00 per hour?
  • What are the odds that person has your company’s reputation in mind every day when they work on your website or buy that link?
  • Made in the USA means a lot these days, not only in quality of the work but in supporting those here who need jobs in our deep recession?

5. What time is it anyway?

Time differences, usually 9 to 12 hours, can create havoc with your work schedule and efficiency. There is often a 24 hour delay in getting things done, depending on which country your Offshore SEO resides in and the type of service plan provided. When it’s Friday morning at your office in the USA, the weekend has already begun for most offshore SEO companies. Losing a day a week is standard operating procedure.

The Bottom Line

I’ve talked before about “you get what you pay for” in SEO. I have a lot of respect for my offshore peers, those who are operating as professionals and operating in the year 2010. There are companies out there like them that we see regularly, but they are “not cheap” and we can compete with them on price any day.  Far more frequently, we get great new clients who have learned the lessons of offshore SEO the hard way.  On our first contact, those prospects are usually on the defensive because they’ve been burned by an Offshore SEO and they want a long list of guarantees that we won’t be the same.

Think through your outsourcing strategy for SEO carefully.

  • If you have a strong in-house team, going offshore for some parts of link building can save you money.
  • Having your content developed offshore is getting a bit more risky; you have to be ruthless with proofreading to keep it to your high standards.
  • Sending your whole SEO Outsourcing effort offshore is a disaster waiting to happen.  It’s not whether you will have trouble, it’s when.

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