Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best services a 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 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.
SEO reseller programs exist to help you solve these problems—or at least mitigate them. But how exactly do SEO reseller programs work, and is it worth being part of one?
Let’s start with the basics. What is an SEO reseller program?
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 SEO services. The SEO reseller contracts with the SEO agency, 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 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 reseller programs 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 programs you might encounter, and how to best use one for your own agency.
When talking about an SEO reseller 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 labeling 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 an SEO reseller program, the term is more figurative.
Your SEO agency may provide you with materials like keyword research, onsite SEO audits, and monthly reports on ranking progress; you can label 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 SEO agency will likely offer some kind of non-compete agreement as well; they won’t be able to reach out to your clients without your permission.
Within the realm of SEO reseller programs, there are many types of services that could be included.
For example, you may resell and/or rebrand SEO services like:
Why would you become an SEO reseller?
It’s possible to become an SEO reseller whether you’re just starting a marketing agency of your own or you’re already in operation with dozens of marketing experts at your disposal. Wherever you are currently, you’ll stand to see several benefits, including:
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 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.
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.
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:
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 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.
If you decide to work as an SEO reseller, there are some key tips you should follow to maximize your potential results.
Being an 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 has all the services, experts, and credentials you need.
We strive to be that partner. If you’re an SEO agency that has historically struggled to bring your clients results, or you’re a marketing agency who wants to expand their service offerings, or if you’re just interested in learning more about the possibilities of an SEO reseller program, contact us today for a free consultation!