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5 Signs That It's Time to Outsource Your Marketing

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For many business owners, it’s easy to try to shoulder a lot when it comes to running a business. But you may face certain challenges you can’t solve on your own -- or realize that you’d rather pay someone else to handle certain aspects so you can focus on the things you do best or enjoy most.

Related: 4 Great Tools for Making the Most of Local SEO for Your Business 

Knowing when and how to hire smart and outsource strategically is an important part of building a successful business -- and still enjoying your work as a business owner. So, when it comes to the marketing aspect of your business, here are five signs that you may need a digital marketing expert so you can achieve these goals.

1. You can’t recall the last time you made an update to your website.

Today, there are lots of tools for building websites and blogs -- but maintaining an accurate, updated, compelling, mobile-friendly and search-optimized site requires more than a landing page, with your logo and a few words and images. Even the most user-friendly DIY tools produce headaches and cause coding, design or functional hang-ups requiring professional help to fix it.

A great website today also needs to do more than look presentable -- it must be optimized to drive conversions like calls, emails, leads and customers. For searchers to find your website, you need to invest in SEO content, site structure and metadata. So, if you’re struggling to stay on top of all this while providing a compelling, effective website that's driving prospects to your business, it may be time to consider bringing in an experienced team.

2. You’d rather not spend time keeping up with the constantly changing rules of SEO.

Staying up with the pace of near-constant changes in search engine optimization is among the most complex, evolving aspects of online marketing. From keeping tabs on which search engines people are using most; to understanding the basics of algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird; to ensuring that your website and web presence perform well on search-engine results pages after these updates: There's a lot to master and implement here.

Thankfully, this is an area to which online marketing experts devote their time, energy, and effort, to help you efficiently market your business online. SEO, because of its constant changes and natural complexities, is an area where outsourcing can really help build your online traffic from consumers searching for local businesses like yours.

Related: How to Master the Two Key Parts of Your Online Presence

3. You aren’t getting results from your search advertising.

When used optimally, search-engine advertising is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to generate new prospects. But managing it on your own can be time-consuming and not always yield great results. Search-engine advertising is about more than than just signing up, setting up a text ad and waiting for results.

You need effective, compelling text that drives searchers to an optimized, relevant landing page. You need to target the right audience so you’re spending your money on driving visitors likely to buy from you.  To design your campaign to drive you more of what you want (not just clicks, but calls, emails, form requests from your website, etc.), you need to be looking at that campaign daily to understand how each aspect of it -- from bids to keywords to sites -- can be refined to deliver more results.

This is where a marketing expert backed by powerful technology can give you the upper hand. And even though you will dedicate some of your budget to have that expert leverage his or her expertise, your overall ROI will be greater, by getting better results out of the same budget. You should look for a partner who does more than show you metrics like cost per click and traffic driven to your site: These just show that people clicked on your ads.

Instead, opt for professionals who will paint "the whole picture" for you, who leverage technology and tracking, to tell you exactly what phone calls, emails -- and even customers -- your search ads drove to your business.

4. Your social media fan base is not necessarily your target audience.

You may have invested in a social media presence for your small business; it’s relatively simple to establish Facebook and Twitter accounts. But if you’re only concerned with vanity numbers instead of exactly who your community is made up of, it’s probably time to trust your social presence to the experts.

How often are you looking at important factors such as, how many of your fans and followers are even in your immediate service area? How regularly are you updating your sites with relevant, interesting content that engages followers? How are you leveraging paid advertising opportunities on these sites?

Social media marketing is about more than creating accounts and posting sporadic updates: It can be a powerful way to generate word of mouth and site traffic and to boost your website SEO. Find a partner who'll really get to know your business and target audience, and manage your blog and content marketing so you can target the right audience and build your brand online.

5) You don’t know your marketing ROI.

Is your marketing generating a good return on investment? Like many business owners, you may lack an easy way to answer this question. But because you invest a lot of marketing in your business, it’s important to measure and see the results that marketing is driving. You need to measure the traffic, calls, forms, emails, leads and even customers you are getting from your marketing, as well as determine what marketing sources are getting you the best results.

Sure, you have lots of reports, website analytics and other metrics that attempt to show the success of your marketing efforts. But how well are you able to translate those numbers into clear ROI? With technologies like lead conversion software, you can now not only see the results and ROI of your marketing, you can see exactly what leads are coming from what sources, and which ones you were able to convert into customers.

So, now do you recognize any of these signs that it's time to outsource your marketing? Do you already work with a marketing expert for some of these areas or manage this all yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what marketing (and other business aspects) you’ve found valuable to outsource.

Related: 7 Creative Link-Building Techniques to Improve Your Website SEO