SEO · Product Marketing

Would you outsource your SEO to an overseas firm?


January 11th, 2016

Our startup is about to launch and we're looking for an SEO/SEM expert to help us market and position correctly without breaking the bank. Have any of you outsourced your SEO to an overseas firm? If so, any recommendations or tips?

Hope Gurion Chief Product Officer at

January 11th, 2016

I wouldn't recommend either for the long-term.  Once upon a time, we had outsourced our paid search to support some of our international properties, but when we brought it in house, we discovered we achieved better ROI and had more funds since a share of spend wasn't going to the agency.  More than covered the FTE required to manage.  For SEO, you could probably pay a consultant to audit and make some initial recommendations, but longer-term, you'll need SEO to be baked into the DNA of your product teams and development organization.  My two cents.

Juan Barba Director General

January 12th, 2016

In my opinion you should rethink your marketing strategy in terms of Inbound Marketing instead of SEO/SEM. Of course that SEO and SEM are key components of the strategy. However, I’ve seen that some businesses go to a cheaper service because someone else offers more visits or better ranking but sometimes without generating more sales at the end. What is required to generate more qualified leads that generate better ROI. 

For more information about Inbound Marketing:

Our blog is this one: It is also about Inbound Marketing however it is in Spanish so I recommend the HubSpot’s link.

We are an agency in Guadalajara, México. We get the best results working with customers in our city. So even when an oversees provider could work, my recommendation is that you look for one that is close to you even when it could cost more money at the beginning. Marketing is about generating more qualified leads that in turn generate more money. Cheap provider could at the end generate less money.

Raj Dhonota

January 11th, 2016

When we launch startups I invest in, we set the content strategy here and let the implementation take place offshore.  That generally has the best results.  Happy to chat it through if you would like.  I can also put you in touch with some contacts if needed.  Raj.  

Anita Cohen-Williams Experienced in SEO and Social Media Management since 1994

January 11th, 2016

I definitely agree with Simon. Outsourcing overseas leads to a number of problems, including language misunderstandings, keyword stuffing, difficulties in communication due to time zones, and other things.

You can find someone to do SEO without spraining your budget (hint, hint). Having someone inside the company is good, but then you have to have them trained.  A business-trained, experienced SEO firm can handle what you need. 

Peter Geisheker Digital Marketing Director - B2B Marketing - SaaS Marketing - Seeking a Digital Marketing Position

January 12th, 2016

Absolutely not. 

I have tried working with a couple of different SEO firms in India and every time it was a disaster that hurt my website and I lost rankings. 

My recommendation is to only work with a very reputable USA firm for SEO and make sure they are not going to do external link building using link farms, blog link networks, etc. Google has made it very clear they hate it when SEO people try to game their ranking algorithm, and if they catch you doing it, and they will, your site will be penalized. So, be very cautious with SEO as it can be a huge risk. 

Here is an article I wrote on SEO vs paid advertising that I think will be very helpful to you:

Good luck!

Peter Geisheker

Guillermo Hernandez Head at

January 12th, 2016

You need to keep the core skills within your company, and if you have an internet-based company, SEO is key skill. If you outsource, that experience will stay on the shoulders of other companies (and you will probably always pay too much for mediocre results). Hire, do it yourself or delegate it to another team member.

Dave Reimherr Founder at Magnificent Marketing LLC

January 12th, 2016

Could not agree with Juan Pablo Orozco Barba any more.  He pretty much nailed it. Any company talking about SEO/SEM etc... w/o talking about leads and sales is not going to produce the results you need as it shows their focus is off (and their tactics might not be truly geared toward results and might be geared to fooling you).  Great job answering this Juan!

Robin Pendoley Founder & CEO Thinking Beyond Borders

January 13th, 2016

I think about SEO as two separate tasks: 
  1. Optimizing your site design and structure 
  2. Creating, optimizing, and sharing content
The first is definitely something you can outsource off-shore with confidence, if you find a talented team. This is a technical process with clear and somewhat universal steps that should be taken.

The second is a much more difficult task to outsource, whether local or off-shore. Google is constantly pushing for more authentic and meaningful content, and it is seeking signs that you are sharing it with people that actually care about it (i.e. inbound links, site usage analytics, etc). While the content creation, optimization, and sharing process can be outsourced, it's crucial that this be done by someone who knows your company, your market, and your message. The day is past when SEO can be won through technical tricks. Your approach has to be authentic and high quality to win.  

William Agush Founder and CEO at Shuttersong Incorporated

January 11th, 2016

Needs a bit more detail 1) What industry are we talking to - for example heavy retail is different than B2B 2) is this web SEO or app store ASO

Simon Cocking Senior Editor at Irish Tech News

January 11th, 2016

Don't do it - you leave your self open to them just buying likes and fake followers. Far better to have someone within the company who believes and understands what you are trying to do. Too often have seen companies with unbelievable social media metrics and it's very easy to check whether they are genuine or not. You can plead ignorance - but you've now been duly warned - it's not worth it. Cheers Simon @SimonCocking