SEO is a field where it’s very hard to hire competent virtual assistants. Part of the problem is that the SEO field is rapidly evolving and it changes every time Google issues another update. You’ve probably heard of the Google Penguin and Panda updates and there’s been many more after those. The problem with hiring an SEO virtual assistant from the Philippines is that often you’ll get someone who’s basically a link spammer. They load up their favorite link building tool with your links (whether it’s SENuke or GSA Search Engine Ranker) and fire away. These linking techniques often use spun content, keyword stuffing, and are considered “black-hat” in terms of gaming the search engines for higher rankings. These are obviously in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and will eventually get your site penalized.
I would use caution during the hiring process to make sure you only partner with an SEO virtual assistant who can implement the most current strategies in an ethical manner without taking shortcuts. For example, mention that you want an SENuke expert in your job posting and only look to hire those who protest at using that blackhat tool.
An important part of SEO is getting your onsite SEO proper, and working with a virtual assistant who just does onsite SEO with the occasional guest blog post / forum post could be an excellent low-risk seo strategy.
SEO Internet Marketing Virtual Assistant Pay Scale
(US dollars, Filipino pay scale): $250 to $1,000 per month. Link building can be glorified data entry, or it can be a skillful activity. Pay accordingly.
Examples of Typical SEO Outsourcer Duties
• Optimizing page titles, bold / italics, SEO optimizing meta descriptions, and keywords.
• Optimize the flow of links through your site. For example, in WordPress tags are used to interlink content throughout your site in a SEO-friendly manner.
• Engage in off-site SEO tactics (basically link building).
• Research keywords by searching for and making lists of common search terms in your niche that will help you focus more on your content creation. This is a periodic task that should be referenced against your Google Analytics account to see which keywords are bringing you traffic.
Working with an SEO/Internet Marketing Virtual Assistant
• Before you hire your SEO virtual assistant, ask them what their SEO strategy is. Make sure it fits with your own strategy and isn’t indulgent in automated tools that are basically ethically questionable link spamming techniques.
• Map out a keyword strategy for your website. You want to research the keywords that your customers / desired demographic are going to use to find your site. You don’t want to rank for superfluous keywords that don’t bring you buyers and other desired traffic.
• An SEO virtual assistant is only doing their job when you can see a verifiable rise in your website’s traffic. Make sure you give them enough time to implement the strategy as it could take a month or longer to see tangible results. Keep an eye on your Google Analytics account and post weekly traffic numbers to your shared Google Docs or Basecamp account so you both can track progress.
• Ask your SEO virtual assistant if they stay up to date with Google algorithm changes. Ask them how they dealt with the last algorithm change before you hire them.
Tools and Resources for SEO
• Have a way to track your backlinks. Verify your site with AHREFs and/or MajesticSEO to see all your backlinks and how powerful they are.
• I’ve mentioned Google Analytics, but there are plenty of other analytics packages for tracking your website visitors. Piwik is free and open-source, while Woopra and MixPanel are great for funnel analysis.
• A great keyword tool is NicheReaper. It’s a paid service that harvests the most promising keywords from all across the web right into one unified web panel. The Google Keyword Planner is a free alternative.