What is White-Label SEO?

Written by
Megan Grant
Nov 10, 2023
11 min read

How are agencies able to offer so many different services? Well, sometimes, they’re not doing it all alone. Agencies occasionally bring in external contractors to help them get the job done, but these contractors work behind the scenes. Some agencies do this with SEO specifically. This is called white-label SEO.

This blog will teach you all about white-label SEO, including the benefits and drawbacks for both resellers and contractors, and how to know if white-label SEO is a good fit for you.

What is white-label SEO?

White-label SEO is also called private-label SEO and SEO reselling. This is when a company pays an outside professional (or team of professionals) to do all the heavy lifting for them. The company retains credit for this work and offers it to its own clients or customers.  

Let’s use an example to illustrate what white-label SEO is!

Let’s say you’re the owner of a small boutique SEO agency. Your team is maxed out and can’t handle a bigger workload, but there’s a new client you’re dying to onboard because it would be an amazing opportunity. So, you decide to pay an external SEO expert to handle all of the keyword research, optimization, analytics, and monthly SEO reports for you. You take their work, add your name or logo to it, and present it to your new client as your own. This practice is called white-label SEO, and in this case, you, as the agency, is acting as the SEO reseller. Essentially, you are reselling someone else’s service under your brand.

Or, maybe your SEO agency is dealing with a very specific and tricky problem. Perhaps one of your clients’ websites has pages that aren’t getting indexed, and you can’t figure out why. You might hire another SEO pro to figure it out for you. This is an opportunity to become an SEO reseller. 

The benefits of SEO reselling

If you’re an agency, you might already be grasping the benefits of white-label SEO. White-label SEO is a powerful and efficient way to expand your business opportunities.

Now, let’s look at it from both the perspectives of the agency/reseller and the SEO contractor.

Benefits for resellers

So, what are the advantages of being an SEO reseller?

1. You can offer the service with reduced risk

If you’re aiming to introduce SEO as a new service, be prepared for long-term investments. Learning a new skill isn’t a fast or simple process. This is especially true when we’re talking about something as complex and fluid as SEO.

You could either spend the time, money, and resources learning how to become an expert in SEO, hire another in-house employee, or become an SEO reseller. The third option saves you a ton of time, money, and resources. It could genuinely be worthwhile to use white-label SEO and outsource your SEO services to someone else.

Remember, when you’re not busy wearing a million hats, you can focus both on what you’re best at and what matters most to your business. This is especially important when considering how long SEO takes to start working.

Even if SEO is an existing service of yours, outsourcing the work might be cheaper than hiring another in-house employee. If you ever encounter an advanced problem that your agency can’t solve, White Label SEO gives you the opportunity to hire an outside expert to deal with it. You could even use this as a test to determine whether or not SEO reselling is more effective than hiring someone in-house.

Should this relationship not work out, the next step is as simple as cutting ties with the white-label SEO contractor. Then you can search for a better one! 

In short, White-label SEO is a fantastic way to “test the waters” without taking a dive into the deep end.

Also, consider SEO automation, which is an alternative to White-label SEO.

Agencies with extensive SEO expertise who need to somehow handle the increased workload can as well try automating the routine processes to accomplish more in less time. 
From keyword research and content audit to on-page optimization and backlink monitoring, every major SEO task can be fulfilled faster with the right set of dedicated tools. SE Ranking offers just that to SEO agencies. 

Cross-tool integrations allow SE Ranking users to quickly get the data they need so they dig deep into the issue. The AI-backed insights that the tools provide save hours of manual work. The same goes for the SE Ranking’s automated scheduled reporting feature. Also, the extra manager seats included in the platform’s Pro and Business plans simplify team collaboration.
SE Ranking is free to test out, with a 14-day trial period.

2. Create a new revenue stream

Increasing your agency’s revenue can, broadly speaking, come from two different avenues: 

  1. Charging more for what you already offer.
  2. Offering new things that you can charge for.

With White-label SEO, adding new services to your stack is a breeze. 

SEO is incredibly valuable, and every website needs it. Thanks to white-label SEO, you can unlock many more opportunities and serve way more clients.

3. Solve issues that require a very specific skillset

This has already been mentioned, but it’s worth repeating. Nobody knows everything. At some point, your SEO agency will run into a problem that you can’t solve on your own. It could be a technical SEO issue involving schema markups, and may be just outside your realm of expertise. 

But with white-label SEO, you can leverage someone else’s knowledge. This means paying a skilled professional in that field to solve complicated issues that your clients are experiencing.

Benefits for contractors

Next, let’s talk about why you might want to consider white-label SEO if you’re a contractor.

1. White-label SEO reduces your overhead costs

Think about it: If you’re selling your services to an agency, you’re spending significantly less time and money trying to acquire more clients on your own. 

It also means less work spent on managing those clients. With white-label SEO, there’s a middleman: the agency. 

2. You get to focus on honing your expertise

One of the most challenging aspects of growing a business as a contractor/freelancer is having to wear tons of different hats. White-label SEO, on the other hand, almost completely eliminates sales from your plate. This clears up a ton of room on your end so you can focus on what you do best: SEO.

3. White-label SEO could stabilize your revenue/income

One of the best parts of having agencies as clients is that they bring in a steady flow of business, reducing the financial peaks and valleys that often come with being a solopreneur.

The cons of white-label SEO

Like most things in business (and life), white-label SEO has its potential drawbacks for resellers and contractors. Let’s first take a look at what this means for resellers.

Cons for resellers

Being an SEO reseller still has its disadvantages, including

1. You might not be able to explain why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Since the “brains” behind the operation is actually coming from the contractor, you might not be able to provide a good answer right away should your client ask you to explain your actions. 

And because this is white-label SEO we’re talking about here, you will need time to consult your contractor before providing an informed answer.

2. Communication might be slower

White-label SEO is not the best choice if immediate communication between you and your clients is a top priority for you.

This can annoy clients who do not like constantly having to wait to get more information from you.

Try our Agency Pack add-on: For those who value efficient communication

If you believe that open and swift communication is the key to building lasting relationships with your agency customers, consider using SE Ranking’s White-label SEO software. By customizing your SEO tools to match your brand identity and granting your clients access to real-time data, you’ll be able to position your brand as a reliable partner that fosters open communication. With SE Ranking, you get full control over the amount of data you want to share, directing your clients’ attention to the data points that matter most.

Our White Label feature (along with 10 extra client seats) is included in SE Ranking’s Agency Pack solution. You also get unlimited automated reporting, a lead generation widget, and a complimentary spot in SE Ranking’s hand-picked Agency Catalog

3. You won’t always know if something has gone wrong

With white-label SEO, you’re paying someone else (the contractor) to be the “eyes” of your SEO efforts. They know what to look for. Since you’re the SEO reseller, you don’t. So, if something isn’t right, you just have to hope that they’ll catch it, address it, and report it back to you.

Cons for contractors

While white-label SEO is a great source of revenue for contractors, it isn’t necessarily a catch-all solution for them.

1. Communication might be strained

To the end client (in other words, your clients’ clients), you don’t exist. If you need to relay any information to them, it goes through your intermediary, which is the agency that is reselling your SEO services.

2. You might experience a lack of decision-making power

In a relationship that hinges on white-label SEO, you’re hired to do just that—SEO. This means that you have little say about virtually anything else. In the end, this could impact the results you’re able to bring as certain areas are out of your control.

3. If you lose a client, you stand to lose a lot

This is the downside of having agencies for clients. Agencies can bring you a lot of business, which means you lose tons of business if they decide that they no longer need your services.

Should you participate in private-label SEO?

You might be wondering if white-label SEO is worth trying. The answer is… it depends!

If you’re an agency, consider these questions:

  • Is your team’s workload maxed out?
  • Are you running into complex SEO challenges that you can’t solve?
  • Do you want to test SEO out without making an immediate commitment?
  • Are you working with a limited budget and need a cost-efficient way to expand?

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, white-label SEO might be a great fit for you. This is when it might be worth becoming an SEO reseller.

And if you’re a contractor thinking of providing white-label SEO, consider these questions:

  • Is SEO nearly all you focus on?
  • Would you rather not spend your time explaining to a client how SEO works?
  • Do you prefer not having to prove the value of your work? 
  • Are you okay with not having direct contact with end clients? 

If yes, then white-label SEO could be a good route for you to explore.

Wrapping up

By now, you should have a pretty clear idea of what white-label SEO is, what the pros and cons are for agencies and contractors, and how to tell if this is the right path for you.

Keep in mind that White-label SEO should be taken seriously. It’s not a “shortcut” to boosting revenue, and being careless with it could cost you valuable relationships.

But if you’re strategic in your approach and always prioritize client satisfaction and delivering amazing results, white-label SEO is the doorway to unlimited reach, revenue, and success.

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