Even with budgets getting tightened, your SEO program may be kicking, but the head count you requested to keep the program moving upward may not get approved. When this happens, it’s time to look at a Plan B for increasing throughput without adding staff.
Many people I talk to think a superstar in-house SEO team doesn’t need an agency, and there is some truth to this. However, when you see that more could be done, but not with your limited team that is already at capacity, it’s time to think about how you could spend a few thousand dollars a month to be more productive and move your numbers even further.
Let’s take Marsha, a current client at a Fortune 500 company. Marsha is an in-house SEO that realized she either spent most of her time on action items and not selling SEO as much as she knew was needed, or she spent most of her time selling SEO to the level that was needed, but it left no time for the action items that came out of that selling.
It’s tough to strike the balance of this double-edged sword—too much of one causes a need of too much of the other.
Over the past three months, Marsha has outsourced the creation of presentations, reviews of product release documents, wire frame reviews, and more. She’s finding that now she can do both the selling and crank out the action items, increasing her SEO throughput.
What are the things that are easiest to outsource for experienced in-house SEOs? Here’s a list to get started:
- Business case reviews for SEO
- Product release documents and tech spec reviews for SEO
- Keyword research
- Strategy development
- Site audits
- Presentations on SEO topics that you just don’t have time to devote or create. Example topics that have been outsourced to SEMinhouse.com:
- SEO copywriting
- Duplicate content issues
- SEO 101 for the engineering team
- Presentation for pitching how to incorporate SEO into the existing development process workflow
If you don’t have budget for an agency, look for things that you can outline with step-by-step instructions to get other people in the company to help out, with a “tour of duty” arrangement. When working as an in-house SEO, I was able to get non-SEOs to do keyword research, copywriting, and more, with highly detailed step-by-step instructions and rigid guidelines to follow. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than nothing, and because of the quantity of work that I was able to push through it gave a very nice lift to the SEO traffic. When time allowed, I went back and made corrections for the low hanging fruit that would create a high ROI.
Get creative and start thinking about how you could outsource the busy work to make your SEO program go even further, without adding the extra staff.
Jessica Bowman is a free agent SEO strategist available for in-house SEO training, SEO audits and helping in-house SEOs increase their throughput. The In-house column appears on Wednesdays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.