Last week we did a follow up blog post to our interview with Tim Ferris asking whether you could outsource your SEO in the manner of 4 Hour Work Week which make a good companion read to this interview we carried out Abhishek Rungta of Indus Net Technologies, a top Indian SEO company.
In the run up to SES London, we’ve been fortunate enough to interview several of the speakers ahead of the event. Abhishek is talking on Best Practices in Offshore Outsourcing for Digital Marketing which promises to be one of the most interesting panels of the event.
I asked him about the practicalities of outsourcing and how to avoid getting your fingers burnt.
In your panel at SES London you’ll be talking about outsourcing in SEO, why would someone want to outsource their search marketing?
People outsource for various reasons:
- Unavailability of in-house resource / talent / capabilities
- Scaling a business model without worrying about delivery
- Cost-cutting / cost-rationalization / profit optimization
- Temporary staffing needs / seasonal peaks in work
Search marketing is a fast changing field. Techniques and best practices are changing all the times and therefore it needs specialized hands i.e. a search marketing company to do justice to the job.
Besides, some simple tasks in a search marketing project are highly manpower intensive. Therefore there is an opportunity to optimize the process through an outsourcing company and reduce the cost to increase operating margins.
Last, but not the least, it will become a necessity in days to come. We are living in a flat world and competition will use outsourcing as a competitive tool to outsmart their peers. It is always good to be an early adopter and gain competitive advantage.
A lot of people who have outsourced their SEO have had their fingers burnt, what’s the best way to avoid wasting your money?
Very good question. Some ways to avoid disappointment are:
1. Ask for references.
2. Check out their expertise and experience by checking their past results
3. Verify the infrastructure and manpower claim that the company makes
4. Verify their financial stability. Ask for credit report and audited financial statements.
5. Check out their social media presence. Are their top management accessible through social media?
6. Start small, get compatible, spend time in building relationship and then scale up
7. Avoid outsourcing ‘rush projects’ or ‘projects past their deadline’
One more thing (specially for search marketing outsourcing) –
8. Discuss (in detail) the process / procedure that they will be following (avoid black-hat)
Do you think agencies or individuals should disclose to their customers that they are using an overseas resource?
This is a personal choice. If an agency is offering lower rates and want to convince their customer of their sound business model, they may like to disclose the fact that they have optimized their cost by outsourcing. In my experience, most of the agencies prefer ‘not to disclose’ the outsourcing relationship because:
1. They do not want their customer to get anxious
2. There is a lot of negative sentiments about ‘outsourcing’ in general
3. They do not want their competitors to get a hint of their strategic move
Outsourcing is something that mankind has been doing for years now. When we walk into a restaurant, we are outsourcing our food! When we can outsource things as critical as our food, what is wrong in outsourcing a simple project or a business process? And, with the flatter world, the sourcing can be done from any corner of the world. I presume, it will take some time for all of us to get comfortable with the changes that has surfaced due to this flat world order. And it is understandable.
How has the problems with the economy effected the Indian SEO out-sourcing industry?
The economy has not been a major dampener in search marketing outsourcing industry. The industry is in its nascent stage and is yet to achieve a critical mass. Therefore, the economic downturn has not impacted the industry in terms of order volumes. In fact it has benefited the outsourcing industry by providing option for better processes and lower costs model.
With the talent at India’s disposal do you think the next Google/Twitter/Facebook etc could be launched their and achieve the same success in the western world?
It is very much possible. In fact Slideshare is partially Indian. ZOHO is 100% Indian.
Besides this, there are several ventures which uses India as its back office. This results in practical learning for the technology community, and eventually it will result in several ventures to bloom in days to come.
I, along with Pallav Nadhani, have launched a seed fund called Seeders (www.seeders.in) to incubate and fund such ventures. We are clearly seeing the shift. I can confidently tell you that it is just a matter of time.