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Outsourcing SEO - Web Designers Take Note!

Aug 17, 2007
Web design and search engine optimisation are two quite different disciplines, and usually people specialise in either one or the other, but rarely in both.

However, there are synergies and consequent opportunities for strategic partnerships and alliances...

A great many web sites are launched every year, and during site creation, SEO requires extra effort and consequent additional costs. For that reason, many site owners opt to not do SEO at the outset, but will find it necessary to address SEO later - when site traffic and sales revenues do not match initial expectations.

The SEO Outsourcing Option
Web design companies lacking in-house SEO skills should seriously consider outsourcing professional SEO services to offer to their existing clients. Forming an alliance with a reputable SEO practitioner is a sound decision for multiple reasons;
- Gain client respect by guiding your clients to a good service provider
- Facilitate implementation of the required site amendments with least risk to site integrity
- Gain some additional billable hours inserting changes
- Generate additional commission income on SEO work done on the site

Many SEO firms have already developed and offer an incremental range of competitively-priced SEO services, and actively market their SEO outsourcing service on a commission basis e.g.;
- You quote the SEO companies price to your clients and you bill the client once work is completed
- SEO company supplies the webmaster (usually you) with the SEO amendments to insert
- On completion, the SEO company bills you the previously quoted amount, less the commission.

Most professional SEO practitioners are willing and able to work cooperatively with any web designer or web site developer seeking to outsource SEO reseller services for their clients.

Their general preference to offer SEO services on a fixed price basis. This presents clients with a known quantity for budgetary purposes.

The SEO Imperative...
To any business enterprise hoping for significant Internet-based sales, it's imperative that prospective clients can actually find the web site. Many business / client relationships commence through contact established via search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN.

The prospective client seeks a product by searching for a specific keyword or phrase. If the site doesn't rank in the Top 30 results, it has minimal chance of achieving success as barely 10% of searchers will go to (or past) the 3rd page of results. If they don't find what they want on the 1st or 2nd page, the majority will either refine their search term, or go to a different search engine.

Search Engine Optimisation is all about marketing a web site more effectively, with the goal of improving the site's exposure to customers and clients on the Internet.

I've been practicing SEO since bG (before Google); back when Alta Vista, Excite, Hotbot and Northern Light ruled the search engine world. There have been many changes in that time - in fact, the only thing that is constant is change!

SEO Return On Investment...
In terms of the potential results for your clients, reflect a moment on the fact that there is a great deal of competition for rankings on the search engines. Not ensuring that a site is properly optimised dooms to mediocrity. The "return on investment" for SEO is usually very good indeed.

No-Risk Test of SEO Services
If you are considering outsourcing SEO services, here's a suggestion. Ask each of the companies you contact if they are prepared to put their money where their mouth is... by doing a Basic SEO project for one of your clients on a "no cure, no pay" basis. Tell them you'd like a demonstration of their ability to deliver results, on one of your client's sites. Pick a "normal" site whose owner thinks it needs a rankings boost, and provide the SEO company with the required details.

Ask them to provide a Search Engine ranking report before commencing the job, and again after completion - if there is not a demonstrable improvement in Top 30 rankings in 6 weeks, the job would be free!

I think that a reputable and professional SEO practitioner, confident in his or her ability, will cheerfully agree to this test of their services. The potential opportunities inherent in forging a long-term business alliance with you will outweigh any minor irritation at being required to prove their abilities.

As an additional benefit to both you and the SEO company, you could document the entire project and include all the details in your next monthly newsletters! This would not only give you additional credibility for actively seeking solutions to offer clients, but also solve the problem of what on earth you were going to write up in that next newsletter!
About the Author
Ben Kemp is a free-lance IT consultant and one of NZ's longest serving SEO practitioners.

The SEO Guy (NZ)
Email: mailto:bjk@TheSeoGuy.co.nz
Web: http://www.comauth.co.nz
Phone: (+64) 09 9743553
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