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As an agency, you’re always on the hunt for new revenue streams and ways to deliver better results for your clients. If you offer website design, social media management, PPC, or other digital marketing, you’ve probably had plenty of clients inquire about SEO services or considered how to resell SEO at your agency. If you haven’t considered reselling SEO, you’ll want to rethink.
Why Your Agency Should Sell SEO
SEO is one of the most effective marketing strategies, especially as search engines become the primary source of information for more and more consumers. Nearly everyone uses Google or other search engines to find information, products, and services. When your clients rank at the top of the search and/or in maps, their brand is instantly in front of people looking for exactly what the business offers.
That’s why SEO converts better than nearly every other form of marketing – the searcher is already looking for services the client offers. When you rank at the top of the search, your clients are in front of warm leads, so it’s easier to make the sale. Businesses that invest in and optimize their online presence are increasing website traffic, lead flow, and revenue
You can see in the graph below that SEO has the highest sales conversions and one of the lowest time allocations…
SEO also expands your client’s reach to a larger audience. Every marketing channel reaches a different audience, so the more integrated approach you have to marketing, the better results your clients will see. For example, if you provide web design services, SEO can rank your beautifully designed website at the top, taking your client’s results to the next level. It’s the perfect compliment to what your agency is already doing…
When you combine search optimization with other forms of marketing, your clients expand their reach and you become more valuable as their marketing partner. However, bringing SEO services in-house is expensive and time consuming.
Money is walking out the door every time you have to turn down a request for SEO or refer your clients to another agency. You’re also not helping your client achieve better results, if you don’t offer SEO services.
What can you do about it?
You could grow your own agency by hiring experienced SEOs who can fulfill optimization services. However, this is often an expensive option that is out of reach for small agencies. But there are other ways to seamlessly grow your business while fulfilling more services.
That’s where white label SEO comes in…
Working with a white label SEO company can open a lot of doors for a small agency by helping them fulfill the SEO needs of their clients, generate additional revenue, and get better results for clients without the huge investment of building a team. The best part is, there’s almost nothing you need to do to get started as an SEO reseller.
What is White Label SEO (SEO Reselling/SEO Reseller)?
White label SEO, also known as SEO reselling, allows you to offer SEO services without building an in-house team. You sell SEO to your clients under your agency’s brand, but another SEO agency actually does the fulfillment work. This takes most of the burden off your plate, so you can focus on other tasks like closing more sales and client management.
How Do You Resell SEO? 6 Easy Steps:
1. Educate Yourself
If you’re considering becoming an SEO reseller, the first thing you need to do is educate yourself on SEO. The more knowledge you have, the better you can sell. Just because you’re outsourcing SEO doesn’t mean you don’t need to understand it. In fact, you do.
You’re the one selling it. You’re ultimately going to be servicing these clients and explain the progress. Your brand and reputation are at stake. Education is key.
Not only do you need to explain SEO when selling to leads and managing client expectations, but you also need to have enough understanding to determine which SEO resellers are best. If you do not have SEO knowledge, it can be hard to gauge the quality of work and results. It’s crucial you set yourself up for success.
As you research and evaluate white label SEO partners, we highly recommend working with a company that publishes a lot of training resources and materials. You want an SEO partner that is invested in educating and providing value to their partners.
Some resources we provide include:
- Our Knowledge Base – filled with helpful guides, resources, and other blogs. Some of our favorites are:
- The SEO Mad Scientist SEO Testing (weekly)
- The SEO Vault Podcast
The ideal white label SEO partner is willing to educate you and help you really understand this product so when you bring it out to your clients you’ll have a great outcome.
In addition to training and resources, you’ll also want a company that provides demos and/or recommendations – not all white label companies do this. When you’re first starting out, it can be hard to identify which type of SEO or which services the client needs. You don’t want to waste money on the wrong type of SEO…
That’s why we offer free, custom campaign recommendations! You can be sure you’re purchasing the right services for that specific client. We are also launching can free link recommendations soon to identify the exact links your clients need to rank higher.
2. Find an SEO Reseller Who Follows Google Guidelines
Before you begin selling SEO, we strongly recommend you read the Google Webmaster guidelines. Any high quality white label SEO company, will have a very clear alignment with what Google’s says is okay and how that SEO company approaches optimization. Make sure you educate yourself and understand type of SEO you want to offer your clients and what shortcuts you want (or don’t want) to take.. Make sure you do some education, read those Webmaster guidelines and then talk to your SEO outsourcing company.
Remember, there are different types of SEO – white hat, gray hat, and black hat. White hat SEO follows all of Google’s guidelines to a “t”. Black hat SEO exploits search engines to rank higher more quickly. While you can get results faster, it is much more risky. Gray hat SEO is a combination of both of these types.
3. Establish Your Pricing & Service Structure
One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make when setting up SEO services is how to practice your packages. If you price your SEO services too low, there’s not enough profit margin for you. You’re not going to be excited about selling it. If you price it too high, your clients won’t buy the services. They could even seek services somewhere else where they get a better deal.
With white label SEO, you get the wholesale price. Then, you markup the services to give you a profit margin. But knowing what to charge your clients can be challenging. How much should you markup SEO? You want to find that perfect sweet spot where you aren’t charging too much but there’s still money to be made…but that can be difficult to determine.
Generally SEO markup is anywhere between 70% and 120%. The “correct” markup will depend greatly on how much the SEO reseller is charging. That’s why we built our own Pricing Calculator Tool. You can get an accurate pricing estimate that takes into account our actual prices, as well as your client’s niche, population size (competitiveness), and number of listings.
You also need to determine how you will structure your SEO services. Are you going to sell a la carte, or are you going to sell only pre-packaged campaigns? Will there be custom campaign offerings? Are you going to bundle SEO with other marketing services you offer? There are great opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, and bring added value to your clients. You just have to determine your service structure and pricing.
Ultimately you know your clients best. You understand their budget constraints, pain points, and end goals. Only you can know what will work best for your client base. Be sure to keep them in mind when creating your packages and pricing to maximize sales.
4. Establish Customer Service & Workflow Guidelines
This is critical when you’re reselling SEO. Regardless of the white label partner you select, you’ll still be responsible for selling SEO services, client communication, and reporting (among other things). You need to map out standard processes for customer service and workflows to set yourself up for success.
Having consistent customer service guidelines ensures every lead and client has the best experience. You’ll be able to reduce friction with clients, address issues better, and retain more clients, It also allows you to bring on additional client support as your SEO client base grows.
You’ll also need clear workflows for SEO fulfillment. Make sure you understand what work your SEO partner will handle and what they will not. How often do they report to you? What types of reports do they provide? What reports will actually be sent to the client? Having a standard workflow allows you to streamline reporting and meet client expectations. You also need to know the workflow of the SEO company to expedite results. What information do you need to provide? How quick are the turn around times (TAT)? Where you can get questions answered about various projects?
Be sure to ask yourself all these questions when creating your standard practices.
5. Monitor & Track Campaigns
Many think they can just sell it, set it, and forget it when it comes to SEO. However, that’s not really how the white label business works. You still have to maintain customer relationships, manage communication, and keep clients updated on campaign performance.
If you’re not monitoring and tracking your campaigns, it’s hard to keep clients updated and show them ranking improvements. You need to know where each campaign stands. Remember, this can be a valuable revenue stream for years to come if you do it right, so don’t slack on tracking campaigns.
While most white label SEO companies have their own campaign tracking, we recommend setting up your own SEO monitoring to ensure you have all the information you need. Most SEO companies will not monitor every single KPI. Generally, there will be standard campaign tracking setup for every campaign, which may not capture all the data your clients need.
You also need to have a strategy in place for reporting what you see. You want to report wins and improvements, but not too frequently that it eats up your time. There also needs to be a process for reporting campaigns progressing slower than we’d like. This ties into the expectations you set with the customer and talking them down off the ledge if they call in 60 days and say, “Oh I’m not on page 1 yet, I want to cancel.” Hopefully, you’ve done a good job up front and you didn’t set that expectation, but if you did, you need data to back up the performance progress thus far…
Remember, SEO is a long term strategy. You’re going to need strategies in place to show the work is getting done and the progress made so far. For example, you could highlight we’ve moved from page 88 to 15. No, the phone’s not ringing yet, but foundation is being built and we see strong movement. The process is working.
6. Be Ready to Communicate
When you’re reselling SEO, it’s even more important to manage client communications. There’s going to be a lot of communication – both with the white label SEO company and your clients. Again, think about what you want to do from a client standpoint. Are you going to have a monthly meeting? Are you going to have a monthly report that goes out?
Ask the company you’re interviewing to understand what types of support they can provide in communication. Do they provide campaign review calls? Do they send out an automatic report or you have to compile the report? Are there other correspondence that can go out throughout the month?
You need a clear communication plan with your clients so they know what to expect. You will also need standardized reporting and communication in order to scale.
Clear communication with your white label partner is also important. What happens when there is a client question you can’t answer? Are you going to have a direct contact with that company? Is that a pooled support group? What are the hours of operation? Is it in your time zone or not? What are the response times? How confident are you that the response you’re going to get is something you can turn around and give back to your client?
These are all things you really want to consider, because once you have clients and you’re working with a white label SEO company, there will be questions that need to get answered. You will need support at some point. You want to make sure you have a team that’s going to be able to support that.
How to Approach Clients When Selling SEO Services
Many businesses needing SEO services have no idea how it all works. Some assume SEO is easy, while others think it’s smoke and mirrors. Some of your clients might even be skeptical about whether these strategies drive more traffic to their site and increase revenue. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on SEO. You need to accurately convey the benefits to leads and properly clarify any questions your clients have.
Audit the Online Brand
Before approaching your clients, we recommend conducting an audit. You need to understand their current situation to identify the opportunities SEO can capture. This includes:
- Checking if any previous SEO work resulted in penalties or issues that need to be resolved.
- Current keyword rankings – look at volume & highest value (high cpc)
- Content gaps – missing content that competitors have
- Link gaps – what are the common links among competitors that your client is missing
- Current local rankings (Google listing)
- Technical issues – use our free 30 Point Technical SEO Audit or click here if you want us to perform a more in-depth audit for you.
- Citations – how many does the client have? What is missing?
- Website experience, structure, and quality
The good news is, our custom campaign recommendations analyze nearly all of the above items. You can get these recs for free and use them as the base of your audit.
You can also use tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush to audit. Both SEO tools have pretty much all you need to complete an audit and understand the current situation. Keep in mind, don’t restrict yourself to only the items above. You may also find additional data you want to include.
Explain the Issues & Opportunities
Once you’ve completed the audit and understand the opportunities and issues that need fixed, you need to convey this to your client in language they can understand. Remember, you don’t need to go too in-depth with your clients and confuse them. Use simple, easy-to-understand ideas when showing them opportunities.
Organic keyword rankings and local GeoGrids are usually the easiest way to convey a client’s current situation, but we also recommend getting more specific on why the rankings are what they are. For example, you can show the lack of keyword usage and variations in their content and headings. Client content gaps that are commonly covered by top ranking competitors are another great way to show your client’s opportunities in a way they can understand. Content gaps represent a huge missed opportunity to expand keyword rankings and visibility. You can also show them link deficits by comparing the number of links your clients have against competitors.
It is also important to address the ideal customers and business goals as it relates to SEO. For example, if your client is an E-commerce or an online store, then you might need to take a different approach. These types of sites usually lack content on their product/service pages, so you could add a blog to create content silos and expand keyword rankings.
If there’s a pricing problem and your customer is skeptical about closing the deal, you could always offer them a discount. However, the better option is to overcome objections. You can explain to them why cheap SEO services actually bring more problems and eventually end up costing more. For example, cheaper SEO services might underoptimize or not perform enough work to get the results needed. This leads to a waste of money. Conversely, cheap SEOs could also over-optimize resulting in penalties and failure to reach the desired goals.
Another way to overcome objections is to highlight the benefits of managed SEO and the problems it solves. First, your clients can focus on running their business and selling more instead of taking time away from their business to work on the website and online brand. Ranking higher also gets in front of significantly more searchers. This increase in online visibility will bring in more leads and revenue, which can offset the costs of SEO. Even though they will be spending money on SEO services, it will bring in more revenue to grow the business.
It’s important to not only focus on selling the service, but also connect the customer with the solution. Remind them that if they do nothing, rankings could further decline as other competitors invest in SEO and overtake them. How you overcome objections will depend on what that client values most. Ask questions about their current issues, desired outcomes, and expectations, then find SEO solutions that address each.
If need help selling more SEO services, we have an in-depth guide with specific strategies. You can find where to get more leads, tips to close the sales, and everything in between.
After you have overcome the objections and closed the sale, the last piece to successfully selling SEO is setting expectations. If you don’t set proper expectations from the beginning, you open yourself up to unhappy clients.
It is important to stress that SEO requires a lot of work and isn’t an overnight process. Some more competitive niches could take a year or longer to rank at the top. This is why it’s important to not make any promises or guarantees on ranking #1 for specific keywords. You will have significant wins to report throughout the campaign, but it’s unrealistic to expect page 1 rankings in 30 days when the client started on page 8, for example.
Get Started Selling SEO Now
Selling SEO can be easy as long as you understand the essential components, set up good pricing and packages, stay up to date with algo updates, and choose a quality white label SEO company to partner with.
We’re less focused on the hype of the sale and just closing. We don’t believe in set it and forget it, as you heard. We’re much more into the long term relationship that grows real businesses and agency partnerships to provide a revenue stream that will last for years.
If you already have clients in mind, get free, custom campaign recommendations to see what we can do for them! You’ll get a custom report that shows how your client performs currently – many agencies use these as initial proposals for leads! If you’re interested in partnering with us and want to learn more, schedule a demo. You can also explore our training resources to get started on your SEO education. No matter what you need, the Web 20 team is always here to help!