One of the greatest challenges for small businesses and startups is determining how to scale. It’s a good problem to have because success precedes growth. The presence of the problem means you have experienced success and now need to figure out how to grow your business while continuing your success.
Certainly, there is no shortage of content across the web suggesting that you stay clear of outsourcing your SEO needs and generally, but not always, these warnings are based on an expired tendency for foreign SEOs to offer questionable services for cheap prices.
However, the tendency reflected an overall trend in the industry rather than something specific to foreign SEOs. At any rate, in the post-Penguin era, the tactics that gave SEOs everywhere a bad name are largely useless.
Therefore, any significant amount of mistrust leveled at the quality of outsourced SEO would be misplaced.
However, it’s worth mentioning that outsourcing SEO doesn’t come without its caveats, which we will dive into later. First, let’s find out why the Philippines is the best place to outsource your SEO.
WHY YOU SHOULD OUTSOURCE SEO TO THE PHILIPPINES
A great characteristic about SEO is the fact that it is location-agnostic. Meaning, the tactics used by an SEO should not vary by location.
In fact, some of the best-known SEOs are scattered across the globe in countries like the United States, the UK, India, Russia and even in the Philippines.
The key to scaling successfully is maximizing your potential and minimizing your costs. Outsourcing your SEO is a much cheaper alternative to hiring in-house and if done properly, there will be no sacrifices made to accomplish the lower price – certainly not in terms of quality.
Due to a low cost of living, salaries in the Philippines are much lower than their western counterparts. Though this is true for the vast majority of countries which you might outsource to, I would suggest that there are sacrifices made in the cases of the other countries – specifically the last item in this section.
The second most common reason to outsource SEO, behind only the fact that it can save money, is that it saves time. This is particularly true of the more tedious SEO-related tasks, like link building and cleanup as well as citations; though there are some well-documented dangers associated with link building and cleanup, such as mistakenly removing a quality backlink. You should ensure that whoever you choose to outsource to has the necessary expertise.
Depending on the size of your business, outsourcing your SEO can either free up yourself or your team to work on other aspects of your business, hopefully winning more customers, or can free up your HR team to find candidates for aspects of your business that you are not outsourcing.
Technology has played a direct role in globalization, something the companies that choose to outsource have greatly benefited from. However, the countries to which these companies are outsourcing also benefit from the role technology plays in the process. Exposure to technology has allowed people to develop many different expertises.It’s true that the Philippines has lagged behind other popular outsourcing destinations in terms of technological expertise, such as India, but the gap is closing quickly.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, “technology-enabled services are the backbone of this industry [in the Philippines], and the fastest growing sectors have demand for high-end skills, such as mobile app development and data analytics, as well as middle-level skills, such as video production, copywriting, and financial analysis.”
Ease of Communication
If your business is an English-speaking business, or more specifically, if you and your customers are American English-speaking, then outsourcing to the Philippines offers another huge plus in the version of the English spoken locally.
The Philippines has neither the largest percentage of English-speakers in Asia nor the largest outright number of English-speakers in Asia, those spots are taken by Pakistan and India respectively, but it does offer one thing that Pakistan and India do not offer – the English spoken in the Philippines is remarkably similar to the English spoken in the United States.
This is only a surprise if you need a quick history lesson – the United States acquired the Philippines from Spain in 1898 and it remained a US colony until 1946. Since then, there has been a large US military and civilian presence in the country.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFOREHAND
Now that you understand that outsourcing to the Philippines can be a great way to help you scale your business, it’s time to discuss those caveats mentioned in the first section.
While it can be fairly easy to learn about SEO, that does not mean it’s easy to be an expert at SEO. That requires years of experience. That experience and expertise are two things you want in your future SEO. Here are some tips for finding the right SEO for your business.
Have the Right Goal
It’s important to determine what you want to get out of the partnership, specifically in terms of the actual SEO performed. You also want to ensure that the SEO, whether it’s an individual or a company, has the same mindset.
Is your goal to climb the rankings and take over the number one spot? That certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing to happen but it should be the effect of a properly executed strategy accomplished by creating a fantastic place on the internet for your customers or potential customers to learn about your business and how you can help them. It should not be the primary goal.
The availability of information relating to the SEO and their work is the primary reason why an established agency or company is the preferred option for many businesses looking to outsource their SEO. Regardless of whether you choose a company or a freelancer, scour the web for reviews, both good and bad.
Additionally, when having any sort of preliminary conversation, ask for case studies, testimonials and success stories. This should be an easily complied with request. If not, it should raise a red flag.
Check Their Website
Once you established communication with an SEO, be sure to spend a great deal of time on their website. Find out which keywords they are targeting and see how well they rank for those keywords. If they can’t rank their own website, you shouldn’t expect that they can rank your website.
Check the content of their website. This is of particular importance if the tasks you are considering to outsource include content creation. Because you are outsourcing to a foreign country, check for perfect or near-perfect English. The quality of the content seen on the SEO’s website is the best indicator of the quality of content they will develop for your business.
Find An SEO Willing To Educate
SEO has a bad reputation of being secretive. The truth is that there aren’t many secrets when it comes to doing SEO properly and because this is true, the SEO you hire shouldn’t have anything to hide in terms of how they are going to help you.
Furthermore, in order to establish a well-founded business relationship, your SEO will want you to have a fairly developed understanding of SEO. Neither of you will have the time for one-on-one lessons but expecting in-depth explanations and subsequent website suggestions, at a minimum, is reasonable.
No Guarantees and No Deals
Google explicitly warns against guarantees as it is impossible to guarantee a spot in the rankings. There are 200 different signs that Google’s algorithm takes into consideration when determining the ranking. Not to mention that the algorithm itself is incredibly difficult to understand because, well, because it’s an algorithm.
On a related note, it’s recommended that you eliminate the cheapest options from your list of possible SEO outsourcing partners. Like many things, you get what you pay for. The implications of poorly executed SEO are dangerous and expensive.
Insist on Transparency
There should be a great deal of transparency between the SEO and their client. As a business, you should insist on this early in the relationship, not only because you want to be involved in the decision-making but also because you want to ensure that the tactics used are appropriate. Anything less than ethical SEO strategies could result in penalties from Google that can be extremely difficult to overcome.
However, as a business owner, you will need to accept a limited role. While this might seem like something to worry about, it’s exactly why you decided to outsource your SEO in the first place – to free yourself and your team from worrying about that aspect of your business. If you follow the guidelines in this post, you likely made the right decision and have nothing to worry about. Best of luck with your new scalable operation!
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