I had a discussion with a business owner who is in the office furniture niche yesterday if he should outsource his SEO efforts to an SEO consultant or agency. I felt that the discussion he and I had was crucial in determining if he should external hire someone for the job or train his staff on SEO.
Need for The Speed of Change: Your Type of Products
The first thing that came to his mind was his need to change, upload and take down products in days. Since the office furniture niche has a huge product range, ranging from chairs to table, he needed them to be changed quickly within days. This includes E-Commerce businesses or businesses that holds a huge range of products.
You should consider training an in house SEO team if you dealing with a huge range of products that needs to be changed instantaneously.
Staff Loyalty and Willingness to Learn
SEO training isn’t free; it can also be quite pricey in some cases. This is where staff loyalty and mindset plays a a huge part.
- How loyal is your staff to your company?
- Will they leave the company within a couple of months of training them?
- Can your in house team retain to knowledge to retrain new employees?
This is one of the upsides of hiring an external provider or a freelancer. You won’t have to worry about them leaving your company. You’re paying them on a monthly retainer basis and they’ll continue to serve you by getting your increased results month after month.
Secondly, you got to ask yourself: how willing is your staff to learn? Understanding SEO and other aspects of digital marketing isn’t a walk in the park, your staff must be willing to acquire new skillsets.
Weighing The Cost of Training
Good SEO isn’t cheap. However, if there’s a positive return on your SEO marketing efforts, there’s no reason to discontinue your service provider with your current SEO consultant or company.
However, if you want to cut cost, training an internal SEO team can be help in the long run. The Singapore government is also quite supportive of training. You can use the PIC grant to subsidize 40% of your training with external course providers.
- Your SEO Package: $900 a month for a limited set of keywords X 12 = $10800 per year
- Training Cost: One time fee of $3000 for an employee able to target unlimited number of keywords
- You Save: $7800 per annum
Communication with your Outsourced SEO Consultant
Is your external consultant able to meet your needs in a timely manner? Is communication smooth? Is your website traffic growing month after month?
Is yes, there’s no reason why you should change a working formula.
However, if not, you might want to consider training your staff on SEO.
From personal experience as an SEO consultant, there tend to be quite a bit of communication errors when I am liaising with an employee of the company. Some times, the channel of communication can go from director > employee > me > my team. Information may get messed up along the way.
The Quality of Your Outsourced Consultant
There’s a difference between good SEO and bad SEO. The SEO industry in Singapore is filled with ‘freelancers’ with no formal SEO training posing as consultants. I received emails from Indian companies pitching to me SEO services for as low as $500 a month.
Look, if you’re paying $500 a month for SEO, you’re guaranteed to not get anywhere.
The quality if your consultant matters as well. If you have currently hired one now, be sure to ask him or her for some KPIs. You should be tracking commercial keyword rankings, user acquisition and conversion rates. Oh? You mean you didn’t know that? It’s better late than never! Get on it now!
This is why I refuse to accept any clients for $500 a month. I don’t compete on price. I know that there’s quite a bit of effort and work that goes on behind the scene when executing an SEO campaign from content planning to link building.
Can You DIY Your SEO?
I know for sure that there are entrepreneurs and business owners who think that SEO can be DIY-ed. That’s true to a certain extent. I started off by learning SEO on my own, and gradually invested in multiple courses to short cut my learning curve. You can check out my DIY SEO guide here. However, if you want SEO that works, then you’ll likely have to pay a premium for it and consult someone who specializes in it.
How Reliant is Your Sales on SEO?
Some companies are hugely reliant on SEO and inbound marketing. Personally, I don’t do any other forms of marketing except SEO. Hence, I handwrite all my articles and make sure they are of the highest quality.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself:
- Does your business have a huge untapped market on Google?
- Are your sales highly reliant through your website?
- Are your competitors using SEO to compete with you?
Here’s the case study of the office furniture niche in Singapore:
You can see that there’s a huge demand from Google in Singapore, with commercial keywords, filled with potential buyers. Other companies are also paying up to $4.20 per click for pay per click.
Ultimately, I think the really good SEO companies are going to charge you a premium for their SEO services. I know I do because I know the efforts required behind a SEO campaign. You’re wasting your time if you’re going to with a $500 a month Indian SEO firm. Trust me on that.
If you aren’t willing to invest in a premium SEO company to help you with your SEO, then I recommend training an in house tea