This is a continuing series of questions that you need to ask yourself before you engage in SEO strategies or services. Part I started off with Questions that need to be answered if you in-source your SEO campaigns. We specifically addressed questions regarding attempting to perform SEO yourself. Here we'll discuss questions related to splitting the work between yourself, as the business owner, and another party, whether in-sourced or out-sourced.

Question 12: Do I sub out part of it and do the rest myself? If you've determined that doing the SEO yourself, in addition to your other duties, will be too much of a burden, you might consider splitting the duties between yourself and someone else. The benefit here is that you're not taking on the full work-load yourself, you can delegate what you don't want, or even get outside professional advice.

Question 13: Do I delegate in-House or use sub-contractors? If you have a team of people already it could be to your benefit to assign one or more of them partial SEO duties. Of course the workload of each employee must be considered as well so as not to give them more work than they can handle effectively. You also have the option of using sub-contractors and outside experts which can keep your team free to do their primary jobs.

Question 14: What parts do I do myself? When delegating partial SEO duties it will be important to have a full understanding ahead of time how much work you'll retain for yourself and how much will be subbed out. Depending on your own level of experience you may want to do most of the research while leaving the implementation to a web developer. Or you might want to hire some experts to do the detail research and provide you a list of recommendations. Just be sure to know what type of work you can or cannot handle for yourself.

Question 15: What work can be given to the other person(s)? If you're maintaining most of the control over the SEO then its simply a matter of determining what parts to delegate out to whoever. With SEO there are many small pieces to the whole. One person can do copywriting, another editing the pages, another keyword research, and yet another link building. With proper delegation you can find several people to each handle one area or find one person that can do it all. This would also lend to deciding whether to use your own team or outsourcing it to sub-contractors.

Question 16: How do I ensure that all the sub-contractors are working in unison together? When managing your SEO while delegating various aspects to other individuals, you'll need to develop a way to make sure that everyone is working together, as needed. You want to make sure your copywriter uses keywords that were researched and that your SEO reviews what the copywriter has written, and your webmaster implements it on the page properly. This isn't as difficult as it sounds, but it is a matter of establishing a system that works for everyone.

Question 17: How do I know who to blame if my search marketing or optimization doesn't work? When implementing an SEO campaign we don't always get the results we think we should. When you have multiple people working on different aspects of the campaign it's often difficult to figure out when area is causing the campaign to fail. Is the SEO bad or does the site need more links? Is the copywriting not giving users what they want or are the keywords poorly targeted. While there is benefits to having a group work on a single project, the drawback is figuring out who's responsible for what failures.

For the small business owner who can't afford to sub-out the entire SEO campaign, maintaining control while sub-ing out small pieces can be a way to accomplish what needs to be done while keeping a better handle on costs. While you lighten your load and reduce costs, you still retain the burden of making sure the campaign is successful. While that may be worth it to some, it may not be the best route for everyone. In Part III we'll look at questions related to hiring in-house in order to maintain control of your SEO while having a single person maintain responsibility for it's success or failure.

See Questions 1-11
See Questions 18-24
See Questions 25-32
See Questions 33-40
See Questions 41-47
See Questions 48-54
See Questions 55-61

March 5, 2009

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


It's really hard to decide what to do yourself. In the beginning it's good to be in on most of the work, to get a general understanding of the work.

When you now the drills then you can outsource some of the work as linkbuilding and other workintensive tasks.

When you use an expert - always try to get as much knowledge as possible from him/her.

Steen Ohman
SEO Check - online marketing

In fact such lists are the clones of GTD. The game is to ask your clients to create it

@ SEO Freelancer - I have no idea what GTD is, or what it means to have your clients create it.

nice follow up Stoney.

no doubt for the small biz person, it's helpful to sub certain tasks out and try to accomplish some on their own. a good starting point for this is to get a high-quality audit of the site first and use that as a starting point and assessment for strategic direction.

I think having an SEO manager is important, someone who can manage all the other SEO specialists and make sure that everyone is working in unison together.

- Lauren
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I agree with many points that you raised. Having SEO manager is crucial, the key is finding the right one to work within the goals and parameters you have set.

-William Hudley
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I don't know how you can have a person engaged in full time keyword search and the other duties you mention, unless it's a SEO shop doing it.

@ Paul R - I never suggested any of those were full time jobs. Quite the opposite. Much of SEO is a conglomeration of small jobs. The problem is that every one of them requires quite a bit of skill and expertise, which is the point I was making.

I do find that much of the SEO could take a full time job. There are so many things to think about and DO - just look at the list here :-) I believe the best way is to outsource, but first you have to find someone you trust. After having tried 3 times, I have an issue in that department, so I am doing it myself now.

I think the job of an SEO is comparable to many others, where there are a lot of small tasks that need to be completed at the same time, or in order for the next task to be done and a lot of overlapping. It can be quite complex but for the most part of it I think people need to undestand that the organisation of all these tasks is equally as important.

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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > The Big, Bad List of Pre-SEO Questions You Need to Answer, Part II