Citation cleanup & citation building are the tasks most commonly outsourced by Local SEOs. In a new feature at BrightLocal, we are running weekly site polls to gather insights into how agencies and consultants tackle and think about local search practices.
Last week we put the simple question to our users; ‘Which SEO tasks do you outsource?‘
We compiled results from 190 BrightLocal users over the last week. All individual responses are anonymous, but our typical users are SEO agencies and consultants who provide local search services. Users were able to select as many of the SEO tasks as were applicable to them.
Of the responses 78% came from the US, 9% from the UK, 6% from Canada, 3% from Australia, and 4% from the rest of the world.
Most Outsourced Tasks by Local SEOs
- Citation Cleanup / Building is the most outsourced task (25%)
- Content Creation (16%) & Link Building (15%) are commonly outsourced tasks
Overall, it is the most time consuming SEO tasks that are outsourced the most. Time equals money, and if a taxing task can be outsourced at a reasonable cost then it makes financial & logistical sense.
Outsourcing Citation Management
In the recent Expert Citation Survey, 55% of experts said accurate business listings are ‘critical’ to local search ranking. Yet the cleaning up of data is a much maligned task and it’s of little surprise that so many SEOs choose to outsource it.
In a recent webinar on Multi-location optimization, Brian Anderson (Mediamash.com) suggested that “40/50% of local seo is handling the citations correctly”, whilst Gib Olander (Simpartners.com) said that “citation building, or local data management, is the foundation layer” for Local Search.
The building & cleanup of citations is not only an important task but also a time consuming one – and to many SEO’s a fairly boring one too! Tools like CitationBurst & CitationTracker at BrightLocal can help to alleviate this burden from the day to day running of an agency.
Outsourcing Content Creation
Content creation is undoubtedly one of the most important SEO tasks, but also takes up a lot of time. Outsourcing is particularly useful if a client operates in a fairly niche industry, or the subject matter requires specialist expertise.
For local businesses, the importance of ‘hyper-localized’ content means that a truly local perspective is advantageous. For this reason, the best option is often for the client / business to write the content themselves. In a recent webinar on Content Creation for Local Businesses, Susan Hallam (Hallaminternet) suggested that by definition, the highest quality content “has to come from the client”, and in the same webinar, Greg Gifford (Autorevo) pointed out that business owners have an intimate understanding of what they do, and it therefore makes sense that they should create their own content.
Of course, time restraints often mean that this is not always possible.
Welcoming Outside Expertise
Further down the scale, there are those SEO tasks that simply require a different area or level of expertise; one that a typical SEO consultant or an agency may not have in-house. Web design / Build & Video Creation are tasks which come under this bracket.
Most SEO agencies will have a strong understanding of these tasks but it often makes sense to outsource them to a specialist third-party.
In Social Media, there are a large number of affordable tools which make the necessary day-to-day tasks more manageable in-house. This is perhaps why it is less outsourced than other SEO tasks. Additionally, whilst Social Media is universally accepted as good practice for SEOs, its direct effect on local or organic rankings is marginal compared to content, or link / citation building. For this reason, it can often take a lower priority.
Following a flurry of critical Google updates in recent years, there has been a surge of link cleanup services, either forming or coming to the fore. The practice of maintaining a clean link profile is often recommended as a regular task, and link cleanup after a Google penalty is obviously of critical importance.
However, there is so much information and online tools available, as well as numerous penalty recovery guides (like this one), that it is generally manageable in-house. Most SEO agencies or consultants have the expertise in-house. Similarly, reputation management is an ongoing task and one most Local SEOs have the expertise – and most importantly time – to deal with.
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