Just like any other business partnership, forging a strong one with offshore agencies for your SEO needs is based to a very large extent on trust. It is, however, just as much based on some crucial factors such as finding and managing the best SEO experts while optimizing on cost. After all, improving your ranking and search engine traffic could translate into millions of dollars for your bottom line.
With the world becoming entirely global in its scope, several organizations are leveraging technology to expand their teams to different geographical locations and scale up business reach. The main benefits of doing so are, of course:
(1) to tap into niche expertise available across the world
(2) to make the entire task of having the best teams as economically viable as possible
Before you begin to sit down with the considerations of building those offshore business partnerships, you might want to ask yourself some questions to address the elephant in the room:
- How do you identify the teams/agencies that can best collaborate with you?
- How do you build that essence of trust?
- How do you achieve the balance between finding the best experts and making it economically feasible?
- How can you achieve scalability?
- How do you manage and maintain the business relationship?
The best way to find the answers to all these questions is to delve deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of working with offshore SEO agencies.
Advantages of working with offshore SEO agencies
Asia has been ranked high as the next goal for business development and the main reasons backing this are:
- Advanced infrastructure availability
- High standards of quality and convenience at affordable costs
- Easy availability of niche talent with expertise in diverse fields
- High proficiency in English
- Rapid technological advancements
- Young workforce
- Ability to work in multilingual domains
- Time differences between the continents of US, Europe, and Asia, making services available round the clock
It is no secret that India is the top outsourcing destination in the world today. Approximately 80% of companies based in the United States alone outsource their requirements to India, and SEO and digital marketing services comprise a huge chunk of this percentile. The winning proposition is, of course, the fact that these companies get to work with professionals with cutting edge expertise at perhaps a fraction of the cost (in comparison to having local teams) while ensuring maximum efficiency.
- Is it economical to work with an offshore SEO agency? – As per estimates, the cost of SEO can be around US$ 20,000 in the United States when done locally with the entire digital marketing budget often reaching US$ 1,45,000. In India, even the most advanced of SEO services do not cost over US$ 1400 per month. This cost differential is predominantly due to the vast difference in the salaries of the professionals as well as the cost of infrastructure.
- What is the level of expertise available? – Be it optimizing your website, content, and strategies to increase business footfall, outrank competition, and enable best return on investment, SEO professionals in India have the experience and expertise in diverse niches to get you the best traffic from search engines.
- Do you need to get involved in hiring and managing these agencies? – The basic idea of working with an offshore agency is to have your cake and eat it too! While the team of SEO experts are hired, trained, paid, and managed by the agency owners, they deliver top notch SEO consultations or project executions that help you rake in the profits for a pre-decided fee. You get the best of marketing strategies combined with effective execution.
- How do you pay for the agency services? – You get a specialized team that is going to give you a faster turnaround than an in-house team at a fraction of the cost. Apart from saving on the actual salaries or fees that are paid to these professionals, you also save on the aspect of employee benefits – insurance, bonus, etc., – as well as paying for any infrastructure-related expenditure. In turn, the agencies will charge you only as per the project signed up, freeing up your resources for building the business further.
- Can you achieve better flexibility and scalability? – With the task of micro managing in house teams taken away, you as a business can achieve far higher flexibility, enabling you to focus on your changing requirements and goals while the offshore agency continues to deliver on ways to optimize your search engine rankings. Additionally, with your time and resources being freed up, you can now focus on business goals and on scaling up the business.
- Do you have any control on the teams? – In order to stay on top of the progress of the deliverables and stay on top of it, technology has facilitated a multitude of tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Trello and more, for you to schedule regular calls and meetings with the teams whenever required. Regular meetings to monitor status and provide updates helps everyone to stay on track. Additionally, having a streamlined process documentation with predefined SLAs can help you to stay up to date on the progress.
- How is it working with multicultural teams? – Typically, all issues that initially arise out of working with different cultures are automatically resolved as you will not be involved in the day-to-day activities of the team. However, cultural differences are likely to creep in especially in content due to differing perceptions and interpretations. These can be managed easily by going over sample articles initially and working out a documentation that clearly lists out the do’s and don’ts. Having a detailed document such as an editorial guideline can also help cut down on any back and forth.
- How can I manage the time zones? – Working in different time zones with almost day and night differences would mean that you would have to schedule meetings and calls with a lot of forethought. However, in the long term, these different time zones could prove beneficial to you as work is getting done round the clock.
Managing the relationship
Managing the collaboration between you and the offshore agency is not just about having a project charter with predefined SLAs, guidelines, and parameters to manage costs and risk. It is also about creating an avenue to forge a long-term working relationship for a win-win scenario. There are a few simple and effective ways to create a smooth and seamless relationship that is based on trust:
- Treat the offshore agency as your business partner
- Give the agency their freedom and autonomy even while regularly monitoring the work in progress
- Use technologies to increase interaction
- Be perceptive of the cultural and time differences
- Discuss your business goals and vision to stay aligned
- Be consistent in your communication
With the world getting seamlessly connected and technology making it easier than ever to work with offshore teams even in the remotest of locations, almost all industries are gravitating towards reaping the benefits of offshore teams.
At the end of the day, operating a business on a competitive scale requires not just the right mindset, strategies and vision; it is also about knowing when and where to focus on your business growth and overall strategy and let experts do the task of building your brand image for you. Whether it is link building, creating branding optimized content, strategic use of keywords, or targeting the right and niche audiences, only SEO experts will know how, where, and when to project your brand and build it.