Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best white label SEO services a digital marketing agency can offer their clients, but there are a few caveats that make it difficult to execute.
It’s a technically complex strategy, so if you don’t have the right SEO experts on your team, you might struggle to get results.
It’s time-intensive and hard to scale, so it’s almost impossible to control your costs as you attract new clients. And if you run into issues while providing SEO services, you’ll have no one to lean on for troubleshooting.
White label SEO reseller programs exist to help you work on your business, rather than working in your business, allowing you to scale your SEO business faster.
But how exactly do you sell SEO services packaged as your own, all without getting bogged down in the minutiae of operations?
Let’s dive in.
What Is an SEO Reseller Program?
Let’s start with the basics. Reselling SEO services.
What is an SEO reseller program and how do you resell SEO?
An SEO reseller program involves two parties: an SEO reseller and an SEO agency providing SEO services. In this relationship, the SEO reseller attracts new clients interested in digital marketing and SEO services like link building or technical on page SEO. The SEO reseller contracts with the white label SEO agency partners, usually paying a wholesale rate for SEO services, and the SEO agency provides SEO services to increase the search rankings, visibility, and traffic of those end clients.
Typically, the SEO reseller appears as the provider of SEO services; depending on the relationship, the end client may never come in contact with the SEO agency, and may never know of its existence. The SEO reseller will also typically mark up the cost of SEO white label services, resulting in a profit.
Some SEO resellers act as a kind of sales extension of the SEO agency, selling their services and acting as an account manager. Other resellers offer a suite of marketing services to a set of their own clients, and use the SEO agency as a way to complement or enhance their own offerings.
Because the range of SEO company reseller services is so diverse, and because it’s possible to use an SEO reseller program for so many different goals, there’s almost no limit to what you can do with it.
In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the types of SEO reseller services you might encounter, and how to best use one for your own SEO company.
What Is White Label SEO?
When talking about an SEO reseller services program, you might hear about “white label SEO.” This works like other white label services, but in case you aren’t familiar, we’ll explain the concept here.
White label involves one company offering services that another company can rebrand as their own. With printed or physical products, there may be a literal “white label” that can be customized or replaced with someone else’s branding. In the context of a white label SEO reseller program, the term is more figurative. You resell SEO services, not physical products.
Your white label SEO agency may provide you with materials like keyword research, link building, onsite SEO audits, SEO reseller packages and monthly SEO reports on ranking progress; you can be reselling SEO services and then brand these and send them to your clients as if they were your own. Depending on your relationship, you may also be able to put your clients in contact with an account manager who appears to be part of your own company.
In a white label agreement, your white label SEO reseller agency will likely offer some kind of private label non-compete agreement as well; they won’t be able to reach out to your clients without your permission. That is white label SEO.
Types of SEO Reseller Programs
Within the realm of white label SEO reseller programs, there are many types of SEO reseller services that could be included.
For example, you could be reselling an SEO service and/or private label SEO services like:
- SEO audits. If you’re just getting started with a new client, one of the most important services to provide is an SEO audit. This report will likely examine a variety of different website design features and offsite elements that are relevant to on-site SEO and technical SEO. For example, does this client have their page titles and descriptions optimized for search engines? How much onsite content do they have? What is their current domain authority? A proper SEO audit will explain your current starting point and provide direction on what to do next.
- Keyword research. SEO resellers can also make use of an essential SEO service like keyword research. As you’re likely aware, much of your clients’ SEO success will depend on which keywords and phrases they’re targeting. But how will you know what to target? A comprehensive keyword research report will introduce you to the high-traffic, low-competition phrases your client needs to succeed—and they may be used to direct the entire campaign.
- Onsite content. No SEO campaign can succeed without onsite content. It provides the foundation for onsite authority, helps you optimize for specific keywords and phrases, and can be used as linkable assets in your future link building. Additionally, if you employ the help of an SEO agency when developing onsite content and link building, you’ll have a consistent brand voice if you also use them for offsite content.
- Onsite optimization. Being a SEO service provider, content isn’t the only onsite factor you’ll need to consider. You may also need the help of an SEO agency for things like mobile optimization, local SEO and other forms of SEO service like technical SEO. There’s a lot that can go wrong with technical SEO, so it’s especially helpful for technical SEO resellers to have access to an SEO expert who can help troubleshoot and redirect the campaign.
- Link building and offsite content. You can only rank higher if you have a higher domain authority, and you can only consistently improve your domain authority by white hat link building from other sites to your client’s sites. Through an SEO reseller program, you should gain access to offsite content and link building. Just be careful here; there are white hat and black hat link building tactics, and you don’t want to provide your client with link building services that could hurt them in the long run. Be sure to read our link building “warning signs” section below for more information. Link building is crucial for long term success, but if done incorrectly, link building can be a struggle.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. While most SEO reseller services focus primarily on private label SEO like link building, many offer a suite of white label SEO services, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising support. If your clients are eager for quicker, more predictable results, or if you’re just looking for more white label SEO services complementary search visibility measures, this could be perfect.
- Comprehensive packages. Most SEO reseller programs are flexible and customizable. Since you resell SEO, you’ll be able to pick and choose whichever white label SEO services you feel are most appropriate for your clients, or choose different SEO reseller packages for each client in your portfolio. Additionally, you can scale to include as many or as few SEO reseller services as you currently need—which is one of the biggest benefits of becoming a private label SEO reseller services. Which leads us to…
Benefits of Becoming an SEO Reseller
Why would you become an SEO reseller? Resell SEO?
It’s possible to become an SEO reseller whether you’re just starting a digital marketing agency of your own or you’re already in operation with dozens of digital marketing SEO experts at your disposal. Wherever you are currently, you’ll stand to see several benefits when you resell SEO services, including:
- Access to experts. Working with a professional SEO agency gives you instant access to real experts. If you’re an amateur marketer, or if no one on your team specializes in SEO, this is vital. But even if you’re experienced in SEO, it pays to have a team of seasoned experts who can answer your questions, troubleshoot your campaigns, and most importantly, execute SEO services more efficiently.
- Reliable services. In a related benefit, SEO reseller programs give you access to reliable services. If you were to plan and launch your own SEO campaigns on behalf of your clients, you’d be starting from scratch and depending on yourself to provide results. Working with a dedicated white label SEO reseller agency allows you to depend on another team’s provision. As long as you work with a trustworthy partner, you can bank on getting your clients the results they need.
- Though it may seem counterintuitive, outsourcing your SEO services like link building is more affordable with white label than it is trying to manage campaigns on your own—or hire full-time link building workers to do it for you. Through an SEO reseller service, you’ll get access to a discounted rate on white label SEO services, which means you can resell SEO services for a profit.
- Options for customers. Most digital marketing agencies considering an SEO reseller program are interested in providing more white label SEO packages and options for their customers. They already offer a suite of specific products and SEO services, but want to expand to their SEO company. Resell SEO is an easy way to upgrade your agency and provide more services for your clients, without having to make a massive investment.
- Mutual growth. SEO agencies are interested in attracting more clients so they can grow, and SEO resellers help them by serving as a kind of extended sales network. Likewise, SEO white label agencies provide a foundation of expertise and reliability that SEO resellers can use to build better client relationships of their own. Accordingly, SEO reseller agreements are a path toward mutual growth.
- You could offer SEO services of your own, but one of the biggest issues is scale; if you have a fixed number of employees, there’s an upper limit to how many clients you can take on and how efficiently you can provide services. Plus, if you take on too much, you could run the risk of becoming overwhelmed. But as an SEO reseller, you’ll have practically infinite scalability; you can take on as few or as many clients as you want, and use as few or as many services as you want.
- Learning opportunities. Your relationship as an SEO reseller isn’t just about closing sales, or making a profit. This is also an important learning opportunity for you. As you speak with your SEO partner and work with a bigger range of end clients, you’ll gradually learn more about important SEO strategies, troubleshooting, and more. Over time, you could easily use this to become a better SEO expert in your own right.
What Should I Expect to Pay for SEO Reseller Services?
At this point, you may be wondering how much being an SEO reseller costs. The simple answer is nothing extra; you’ll be responsible for paying the wholesale rate for outsourcing SEO services from your SEO agency of choice, but you won’t have to pay any additional fees.
So how much does it cost to purchase SEO services? That’s a complex question, and one we’ve attempted to answer in this comprehensive guide on SEO pricing. Give it a read if you want to know more about the inner workings of SEO pricing, particularly the discount given to SEO pricing for resellers.
Essentially, the rate you pay for SEO services will vary based on a number of factors, including the nature of the agency you’re consulting with, the types of services you’ve signed up for, and the complexity and aggressiveness of the campaign. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t fixate on finding the lowest possible price or the best possible deal. Price is often reflective of quality, and low-quality SEO services can often do more harm than good.
Depending on the variables, you can expect to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars per month for high-quality, comprehensive SEO services. You can also piece together individual services a la carte to assemble a strategy that fits within your budget.
Warning Signs of Bad SEO Resellers
Unfortunately, not all SEO resellers will be able or willing to provide you with the best possible SEO services. Because your clients’ goals are your top priority, you’ll want to be proactive in working only with the most reputable SEO agencies in the business.
While there are a few “gray area” practices when it comes to SEO, for the most part, it’s easy to spot a “bad” or “black hat” SEO reseller. If you notice any of the following warning signs, you’ll want to search for a different provider:
- “Too good to be true” promises. If you find an SEO partner who’s guaranteeing anything, you should instantly be suspicious. SEO is different for every client, and Google’s ranking algorithm can be hard to definitively predict. Accordingly, it’s almost impossible to guarantee specific results, or results within a certain time period. In line with this, if their predicted results seem “too good to be true,” like predicting achieving rank one for a keyword term within a week, you might want to pass. This is usually a sign that something shady is going on.
- Suspiciously low pricing. While there are plenty of SEO providers offering affordable SEO services, you should be suspicious of abnormally low pricing. In many ways, you get what you pay for; better-quality writers, more seasoned account managers, and bigger, more robust teams will all lead to an increase in price. If an SEO agency can offer dirt cheap pricing, it’s probably because they’re cutting corners. For more information, take a look at our reseller pricing guide.
- No screening or onboarding. Most reputable SEO agencies want to make sure their work is represented fairly, and that they’re working with real professionals. Accordingly, most SEO reseller programs have some kind of screening process, or at least an onboarding process. If you don’t experience any kind of due diligence as you sign up to be an SEO reseller, it could be a bad sign—especially in combination with these other factors.
- Difficult or inconsistent communication. As with any other business relationship, one of the most important factors for success is the quality and consistency of your communication. Your SEO partner should be working with you to better understand your goals, your clients, and how you work. They should be available and responsive the majority of the time. Their reports and messages should be clear and easy to comprehend. If, in the early stages of your relationship, communication seems stilted, difficult, or inconsistent, take it as a warning sign.
- Overt link schemes. Link building is one of the most important elements of any SEO strategy, but there are right and wrong ways to go about it. If your SEO partner is participating in overt link schemes, like link exchanges or any kind of automated process, it’s a red flag. These black hat practices will do more harm than good.
- Outdated practices. SEO is a field that evolves rapidly, in response to changes in search engine algorithms as well as the development of new technologies. A good SEO agency will work actively to stay current with the latest trends; if they’re using techniques that used to be effective in 2011, they’re not worth partnering with.
- Opaque processes. Ideally, your SEO partner will offer transparency. They’ll be open and honest with you about how they operate, who they hire, and what kind of successes or failures they experience. If they seem reluctant to reveal their tactics, or if they dodge your questions frequently, you’re better off moving onto a different candidate.
- Bad reviews. As you might expect, you can learn a lot from online reviews. Assuming you can find reviews for this agency, pay attention to not only the overall quality ratings, but also the specific things reviewers are saying. Are there problems that every client seems to have in common when working with this agency? Do people tend to leave unsatisfied?
- No provable results. Your SEO partner should be able to prove their worth as an agency in one way or another. Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to prove themselves with their own results; for example, they may rank highly for terms like “SEO reseller program.” Alternatively, they may have ample case studies that show off their abilities and their results with other clients. Testimonials are also important to observe.
- A lack of reporting. Good SEO campaigns are built on data. Practitioners take the time to report on their results, study possible areas for improvement, and calculate ROI. Accordingly, your SEO company partner should have consistent reporting processes in place; for example, they should be able to send you a sample report, and commit to a weekly or monthly reporting strategy. Depending on your needs, you may request these reports to be white labeled, so you can forward them to your clients as if they were your own.
When to “Graduate” From Reseller to In-House
After working as an SEO reseller with a wide variety of clients, you may be interested in “graduating” to bring your SEO services in house. However, you should understand that this isn’t strictly necessary, nor is it necessarily an upgrade. Many marketing agencies choose to remain SEO resellers indefinitely, keeping their clients happy while making a profit along the way.
If you want to bring SEO in-house, the best course of action is to hire internal experts gradually. Choose generalists who understand the basics of SEO, and who are willing to learn from your SEO partner about better tactics and approaches. You can practice SEO for your own brand, increasing your visibility in search engines to attract more clients, then gradually perform and sell SEO services yourself for those new clients.
The great thing about transitioning to in-house SEO is that you’ll always have your SEO partner as a fallback. If you begin to attract too many clients, or if you find yourself stuck on a stubborn issue, your SEO partner can step in to complement your work.
Remember that mastering SEO is a learning process, and one that often takes many years. It’s hard to go from SEO reseller to professional SEO agency overnight.
Keys to a Successful SEO Reseller Relationship
If you decide to work as an SEO reseller, there are some key tips you should follow to maximize your potential results.
- Treat this relationship as a relationship. While it’s possible to act as an SEO reseller only as needed, and minimize your interactions, it’s usually better to build this partnership as a long-term relationship. The better you and your white label digital marketing partner understand each other’s processes, priorities, strengths, and weaknesses, the better you’ll be able to work together. Remember, this is a mutually beneficial arrangement, so the closer you work together, the more you’ll both be able to grow.
- Communicate your goals, needs, and priorities. It’s on you to be honest and forward about your goals, needs, and priorities. Most digital marketing agencies are more than willing to adjust their service offerings or accommodate your needs—but you have to communicate them proactively.
- Understand your end clients’ goals. It’s possible to forwardly blind your clients’ websites to a white label SEO reseller agency and let them work their magic, but this doesn’t typically lead to favorable results. Instead, it’s better to get to know all your clients well; gauge their familiarity with SEO, understand their brand values, and get to know how they operate (and what they’re trying to get out of this campaign). With better client understanding, you and your SEO partner can provide more targeted services—and ultimately, better results.
- Learn what you can about SEO. Even if you plan on being a relatively passive SEO reseller for the indefinite future, like link building, it’s important to learn what you can about SEO. Get involved in the SEO process, ask lots of questions, and challenge your preexisting assumptions. You should also do your own reading, and hone your skills in other ways. If nothing else, it will make you a better SEO communicator.
- Min/max your efforts. Min/maxing is a way of playing to your strengths while deliberately avoiding your areas of weakness. When working with an SEO white label agency, you should understand what you do best, what they do best, and how to balance those areas. For example, if you excel in client acquisition and keyword research, spend most of your time focusing on these components. Let your SEO white label partner step in to handle the rest. It will take some time to discover your strengths and weaknesses, and learn how your partner works best.
Finding a White Label SEO Agency With an SEO Reseller Program
Being a digital marketing SEO company and a white label SEO reseller can be highly rewarding, but your results are contingent upon your ability to find a competent SEO company. This is a relationship built on trust and respect, so it’s important to do your research and only work with a partner who is providing SEO services, has the SEO experts, and all the other industry credentials you need.
We strive to be that white label SEO partner. If you’re an SEO agency that has historically struggled to bring your clients results, or you’re a digital marketing agency who wants to expand their SEO service offerings like expert blog writing, link building, or if you’re just interested in learning more about the possibilities of a white label SEO reseller program, contact us today for a free consultation! You can get access today to our white label SEO.
Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization)
- including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing leading, building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams. When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.
Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes
, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite
and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin
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