How Third Party Partnerships Boost In-House SEO Teams

by | Jul 6, 2017

Dig­i­tal mar­keters con­tin­ue to expand the respon­si­bil­i­ties of their role. With­in the past cou­ple of years, we have seen mas­sive dis­rup­tions in social, paid, search, and mobile mar­ket­ing. Each one of the con­cen­tra­tions has depth and nuances that require time and ded­i­ca­tion to mas­ter. Mis­man­age­ment, under­fund­ing, or neglect­ing any one of these chan­nels will be detri­men­tal in an age of ever-ris­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Nat­u­ral­ly, this is where out­sourc­ing comes in. But out­sourc­ing can be more than just assign­ing cer­tain projects to a third par­ty part­ner. Rather, these part­ner­ships can allow your in-house teams to thrive.

The responsibility of an in-house SEO

The respon­si­bil­i­ties for search engine mar­ket­ing (SEM) man­agers have bal­looned over the years as com­pa­nies squeeze pro­duc­tiv­i­ty out their employ­ees. Iron­i­cal­ly, in 2015, Google post­ed a job list­ing for a Search Engine Opti­miza­tion (SEO) Pro­gram Man­ag­er. There are many advanced qual­i­fi­ca­tions for a typ­i­cal SEO with­in this Google job post­ing. This post­ing is becom­ing more reflec­tive of the indus­try as a whole. There are numer­ous post­ings for SEO relat­ed  posi­tions that are just as demand­ing, requir­ing exper­tise in mul­ti­ple of the fol­low­ing areas:

  • Cre­ative
  • Paid Media
  • Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Strat­e­gy
  • SEO Strat­e­gy
  • Social Media
  • Man­age­ment
  • Email
  • Web devel­op­ment
  • Report­ing, Ana­lyt­ics, and Fore­cast­ing

Find­ing peo­ple that are knowl­edge­able in many of these may be pos­si­ble and expen­sive. How­ev­er, find­ing some­one who is an expert or knowl­edge­able in ALL of these areas is syn­ony­mous with find­ing a uni­corn.

While Google’s list­ing may be on the extreme end of tech­ni­cal SEO for many orga­ni­za­tions, it does demon­strate the depth and lev­el of exper­tise SEO may require at the enter­prise lev­el.

How can you maximize the ROI of your in-house SEO or digital marketing team?

  • Assess the strengths of your in-house team
  • Obtain Strat­e­gy from an agency
  • Define clear goals and time­lines for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives ear­ly
  • Con­tin­u­al­ly assess the capac­i­ty of your in-house SEO staff

Assess the strengths of your in-house team

Every team has their strengths and chal­lenges. Part­ner­ing with the cor­rect exter­nal part­ners and agen­cies can com­ple­ment your strengths, and deliv­er results that are greater than the sum of their parts.

For exam­ple, your in-house team has years of dig­i­tal con­tent expe­ri­ence but lacks the tech­ni­cal exper­tise nec­es­sary for web­site plat­form migra­tions. A com­pa­ny has to con­sid­er spend­ing cap­i­tal or labor resources on devel­op­ing inter­nal com­pe­ten­cy or out­sourc­ing to a part­ner with web­site migra­tion exper­tise.

There are ben­e­fits to both sce­nar­ios. How­ev­er, final deci­sions rely on decid­ing on solu­tions that allow your inter­nal teams to deliv­er the most val­ue. You may assess your in-house team’s strengths and deter­mine your team doesn’t have the expe­ri­ence and capac­i­ty to com­plete cer­tain projects with­in the firm’s expec­ta­tions, time, and bud­get. When that’s the case, it’s worth con­sid­er­ing out­sourc­ing to allow your team to focus on what they do best.


Obtain Strategy from an Agency

You don’t have to sign on to a long-term part­ner­ship with an agency to reap the SEO ben­e­fits. Instead, bring a third par­ty on board for ini­tial plan­ning, strate­giz­ing, and hir­ing to ensure that your SEO goals are met. It may even spark inter­est in more cus­tomized solu­tions.

There are night­mare sto­ries of com­pa­nies not seek­ing sound SEO guid­ance and los­ing 40%+ of their organ­ic traf­fic overnight. Small errors may cost com­pa­nies mil­lions of dol­lars, so out­sourc­ing strat­e­gy can be a worth­while invest­ment in the long run that allows in-house teams to focus on flaw­less exe­cu­tion.

This is espe­cial­ly true when con­sid­er­ing an agency that under­stands your ver­ti­cal and your busi­ness; it can be the dif­fer­ence between an SEO suc­cess and a night­mare. Maybe dur­ing dis­cus­sions, you’ll learn it’s not a great idea to build your entire site with Angu­lar JS even though that is your developer’s pref­er­ence. Or pos­si­bly, the CMS you choose will nev­er allow you to alter the title tags of your pages. Obtain­ing a sec­ond opin­ion and pos­si­bly a reli­able long-term part­ner can spare you from cost­ly mis­takes down the road.

Define clear goals and timelines for digital marketing initiatives early

With­out mea­sur­able goals under an enforce­able time­line, mar­ket­ing cam­paigns can fail to deliv­er mean­ing­ful results. While this may seem obvi­ous, we see this hap­pen far too often.

A lack of well-defined goals makes the eval­u­a­tion of need resources extreme­ly dif­fi­cult and leads to sub-opti­mal return on invest­ment. Addi­tion­al­ly, not set­ting expec­ta­tions ear­ly with an agency often cre­ates unde­sired and unnec­es­sary ten­sion in the part­ner­ship.

Nobody likes being stressed out, so pri­or­i­tize set­ting clear goals. It’s easy for orga­ni­za­tions to put SEO on the back burn­er, despite its record of gen­er­at­ing traf­fic and leads. How­ev­er, when SEO has been decid­ed on as a mar­ket­ing tac­tic it requires coop­er­a­tion and buy-in from devel­op­ers, design­ers, finance, and the rest of the mar­ket­ing depart­ment. Con­se­quent­ly, invit­ing expe­ri­enced SEOs in the con­ver­sa­tion ear­ly to set well- defined goals and expec­ta­tions can save many peo­ple headaches and long nights that would occur oth­er­wise.  

Continually assess the capacity of your in-house SEO staff

Orga­ni­za­tions have ever-chang­ing needs and capac­i­ty. The deci­sion to part­ner with an agency should not be a one-time deci­sion. Reg­u­lar eval­u­a­tion is need­ed to ensure that all com­pa­ny objec­tives can be met. You may find that cer­tain out­sourced objec­tives can be brought in-house, or that new objec­tives are bet­ter off out­sourced.

For exam­ple, let’s say your com­pa­ny has mul­ti­ple web­sites, and two of them are under­go­ing aggres­sive mar­ket­ing or devel­op­ment cam­paigns. Web­site A needs some seri­ous con­tent mar­ket­ing, while Web­site B is an e-com­merce site need­ing to tran­si­tion from HTTP to HTTPS on top of day-to-day main­te­nance respon­si­bil­i­ties.

Under such a sce­nario it may not make sense to devel­op a new depart­ment or hire a few new employ­ees. It isn’t usu­al­ly nec­es­sary or cost effec­tive for most orga­ni­za­tions to devel­op and launch web­sites in-house, even in today’s high­ly dig­i­tal age. Instead, orga­ni­za­tions may be bet­ter off out­sourc­ing this web devel­op­ment project and hir­ing tech­ni­cal SEO experts to han­dle the HTTPs migra­tion (if you don’t already have tech­ni­cal SEOs on staff, of course). If you have in-house con­tent writ­ers, it may be worth­while to have them han­dle con­tent devel­op­ment. If not, hir­ing free­lancers could be more cost effec­tive.

For more on HTTPs Migra­tions, read: The Why, When, and How of HTTPs Migra­tions

Com­pa­nies have aggres­sive goals for the year, so it’s impor­tant to know ear­ly on which SEO projects may need out­sourc­ing. Keep­ing a close eye on what web­site ini­tia­tives are in the queue will ben­e­fit strate­gic plan­ning and let your in-house SEOs focus on what they do best.

We are a consultancy, so why are we vouching for in-house SEOs?

First and fore­most, our capac­i­ty-build­ing approach seeks to empow­er our clients, so we enjoy see­ing in-house teams thrive. Addi­tion­al­ly, in-house SEO teams also help exter­nal part­ner­ships be as suc­cess­ful as pos­si­ble. While we of course work with com­pa­nies lack­ing in-house SEO teams, the exis­tence of those teams helps the part­ner­ship run smoother and more effi­cient­ly in three main ways:

  1. In-house teams cham­pi­on SEO and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, enabling us to deliv­er high-qual­i­ty results on time and with­in bud­gets.
  2. They under­stand the inter­nal cul­ture from the begin­ning of an engage­ment, allow­ing for smoother com­mu­ni­ca­tion with key deci­sion mak­ers.
  3. In-house teams are instru­men­tal in help­ing deliv­er effec­tive, inno­v­a­tive, and qual­i­ty solu­tions.

In short, in-house SEO teams not only help our clients thrive on the dai­ly, but they also help clients get the most val­ue from our part­ner­ship. What’s not to love?

For more on how we can col­lab­o­rate sim­ply click here to con­tact us.

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