Often people will ask “what kinds of tasks do you outsource”. Here’s a list of stuff that I’ve been outsourcing lately, and what I think works.
1) Keyword research.: If we start a new project we need to decide what keywords we are going to go after. I own a copy of Market Samurai, which I like to use to automate a lot of the information gathering on keywords. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on keyword research so I’ll ask an employee to come up with the “big giant list” of keywords, then I’ll delete anything that is obviously not useful, and run the list through market samurai. I export a CSV file and send it back to him. He can then go through it to check for the best opportunities according to some screens that I learned. One of my favorite screens is to look for keywords that get reasonable traffic, have phrase match competition (search in quotes) of under 20,000 results, and where the average PR of the top 10 results (search without quotes) is under 2.
2) Writing landing pages and product review If we have a specific product that we want to promote we might either create a series of landing pages, where one page is targeted at one keyword, or we will create a product review where we are going after keywords such as “product name review”. Either way, this is something that is easy to outsource. Make sure you outsource this to a good writer. The content needs to be high quality here.
3) Article writing. We write articles mainly for backlinks. I have never found that articles have been a good source of traffic on their own, but they do propel us in terms of off-page SEO, so we get more direct traffic for our keywords. I use a method of article marketing that John Jonas teaches inside of Replace Myself.
4) Article submission. We use EzineArticles, along with other free directories. But, the KEY to our SEO success is using Unique Article Wizard. This service does cost money but it comes back in spades. I wrote this case study in using unique article wizard, and the same thing keeps happening over and over again when we write specific product reviews and aim links at them through UAW. I don’t do any of the submission myself. It’s incredibly easy to outsource.
5) Mini-net creation. We setup a series of blogs that link to each other and to our “money sites”. We link using a mixture of anchor text. These are easy to setup and require a new blog post ever few weeks to keep them active. This is an ongoing product that I outsource. I have not ever touched it. It certainly helps us with SEO. The guy that takes care of this project also does a monthly rank-checking spreadsheet and we can see that we DO move up. One trick: Make sure to log out of your Google account before checking your rankings.
6) Blog setup and maintenance.. We run a lot of WordPress sites. The setup is now templated. We do the same thing, pretty much, for all sites. One of my guys just sets them up and he does a weekly check for comments, spam, etc. We may shift to every two weeks on this because all comments go into a moderation queue anyway.
7) Split Testing. We use Google Website Optimizer to perform A/B tests on landing pages, or on offers, etc. I simply had one of my guys learn how to install the split tests using a WordPress plugin and he runs the tests. I usually get involved only to come up with a good idea … something I think is worth testing. He does the legwork to make it happen.
8) Google Analytics. If you run websites you should be using analytics. I like to use analytics for content ideas. I can see how people are finding our sites. Say that we setup a new site and we have a product review for XYZ. Say we have VERY few links pointing to the review, and somehow we’re getting traffic for it anyway. I taught my guy to dig into this. So he can now look for sources of traffic, and then go to Google to see where we rank on these keywords. Sometimes we rank within the top 20 but not on the first page. So we write some articles to throw backlinks at these reviews using the keyword as anchor text. Within a few weeks we’re ranking better and we get MORE traffic.
It ain’t rocket science folks … but you need to be organized and execution-driven.
Important Point about Tools:
I notice a lot of people are hesitant to try out a tool that costs money. They go to forums and ask people how well they work, or they read reviews. That is DEFINITELY smart, but please do not fall into the trap of standing still because you are not sure if it works. Guess what! Pretty much every monthly-fee tool out there has a free trial period, or at the very least, allows you to cancel anytime.
Look at Unique Article Wizard as one example. It’s $67 per month. I hesitated in the beginning because I didn’t know better. I thought, “Is it really that useful”. Then I re-read something John Jonas wrote over at his blog. He said something like, “This is the way article marketing was meant to be done”. So what’s the worst case scenario? I login to the system, absolutely hate it, and ask for a refund? I know I’ll get refunded if I ask. You know it too.
So if there is a tool out there that you think might help you, GO FIND OUT. Test it.
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