Can you really outsource SEO?

Adam McFarland of Faceup-Sites did an excellent article about The Case Against Outsourced SEO, and I got that article through today’s SEO News mailing.

He explains:

Most of the time when companies outsource SEO they do it with the mentality of “here you go, you handle it, we expect results.” They view it as an entirely separate entity and not as a core value that needs to be instilled in their organization to be successful. That’s why outsourced SEO just doesn’t work: your organization still makes decisions the old way.

And I think that is so true. Thinking of search optimization as a totally outsourced project will not work, and in my own opinion, the best way towards SEO is this – learn the principles, and let YOUR OWN web designers (who’ve already known at their fingertips what your company is about), do the optimization.

To be frank, SEO principles aren’t tough. In fact, I’d say that SEO is not so much about “doing special things” to your site, but more “not doing the wrong things”. One of the softer aspects of SEO, however, is really understanding your potential customers and guessing what they will be typing in into the search box (and then using that as a base for keyword research to verify that your guesstimates are correct).

External consultants can’t do that… or at least, not as effectively as the people in your business. The role of the consultant is to make sure that you take the right steps, and make sure you don’t do the wrong things, and get on the wrong site of the search robot’s eyes.

So if you are still thinking of SEO as a totally outsourced activity – think again. And if someone comes to you and say “Give me your website, and I’ll get you to #1.” Think again too. Yes, you might get a #1 ranking, but are these in the keywords that will show you the money?

My recommendation? Learn the SEO principles yourself first, and then if necessary, hire the consultant to make sure you are always on track.


  1. Agreed is some points but I do think many business owner can be “Jack in All Trade” 🙂 At least as a business owner the times they should prioritize is their daily business process than wasted too much of their time doing other profession work 🙂