Picking an SEO Reseller is not a decision that most people want to make more than once! It's well-known that people are searching Google for SEO reseller reviews (if you are looking for Semify reseller reviews go here), so we wanted to share insights to facilitate the decision. Each SEO reseller is unique and selecting the right reseller from the get go can make all the difference. In this Daily Brown Bag, we point out what criteria to look for and weigh before deciding upon an SEO reseller partner. We also created a great resource, a decision matrix, to simplify the process of selecting the right SEO reseller.

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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be talking about SEO reseller reviews. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Hey, good morning, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. This is a really cool topic. People are searching for SEO reseller reviews. That means -- you know, you’re a small agency or you’re a Web design shop and you’ve decided you want to outsource SEO, which can be a very smart decision, particularly if your competency is not SEO, it’s Web dev or it’s consulting. But then you’re faced, Chad, with this big conundrum: How do I pick a partner who’s going to be reliable, who’s going to help my business grow, and who’s going to be a good decision? How do I pick a partner that, two years later, I’m going to look back and say, “That was the best business move I ever made. My revenue is up. My customer satisfaction is up, and I’m getting great results for my small business clients”? And that’s what we want to talk about today.

So people looking for reviews -- searching Google for SEO reseller reviews -- they want to know who’s the best, and I think there’s a lot out there, Chad. There’s a lot for people to digest. What we want to help you do today is have a framework for making a decision. We’ve got large, corporate Fortune 100 backgrounds. We’ve been through procurement quite a bit, and I think the key approach to not making a mistake selecting a vendor when you go to outsource SEO is having a very good due diligence process. And that’s what we want to cover today. Hopefully these materials -- if you scroll down on this screen you’ll also see some other helpful information that will just guide you through what questions to ask, what you need to consider, how to pick an excellent vendor.

Aside from the reviews that you read that may or may not be credible, and to make sure you outsource to the right seo reseller. Chad, I’m going to go through the first four of these, and then I’m going to turn it over to you for the others and we’ll try to wrap it up.

1. Identify Decision Criteria & Weight The Criteria That Are Important You. Criteria:

Keyword Methodology

The first one is take a look at the keyword methodology. Does the vendor you’re considering selecting as your outsource partner -- when they do SEO -- does the SEO reseller have a methodology for what keywords are going to fit into what packages? This is really important. We see a lot of cautionary tales, Chad, about, “Well, they have a 50 keyword package, and that’s cheaper than this other guy’s 30 keyword package.” If you’re just starting in SEO, I can see why you might go for the higher number of keywords, but it’s really buyer beware on some of those things. As you get experienced with SEO, you realize not all keywords are created equal.

What you want to look for, and you want to see evidence in the reviews of this - that someone is very thoughtful about what keywords they’ll take on and mindful about setting your expectations, so when you go to set your customers’ expectations, they’re really buying something that’s going to work for them.

Onsite SEO

Next, you want to look at onsite SEO. So how much onsite SEO does the reseller really do? Are there extra charges per page? Are you getting what you need to really get your client launched well in that first month or two? Onsite SEO is incredibly important. If you look at the Moz statistics, it weights offsite more importantly than onsite, but that doesn’t mean it’s really important. We say it’s necessary, but not sufficient, and it’s just that. It’s necessary, so you want to make sure you see a good onsite SEO practice. You understand what the list of things are going to do for this website is. Are they real things, or are they just window dressing?

Content Creation

Third, Chad, look at the quality of the content creation. Look at the quality of the writing. We think this is really, really important. Particularly, as Google rolls out Panda updates and Phantom 2 quality updates, we don’t see this slowing down anytime soon, so you want to ask a lot of questions about where exactly does this content come from? Is it written offshore? Or is it written onshore? Or, worse, is it written by a human at all? Is it re-used content? Are they taking someone else’s content and rewriting it? Do you have possible copyright issues? Or do you have a team of dedicated writers who you can actually talk to to create the level of content that your clients are really going to want and are going to propel your SEO to get those results you really want.

Onsite Content

Finally, look at the onsite content that they’re going to be providing. Is this something that your clients are really going to be pleased with? Is there news? Is there something you would want to tweet? Is your client going to want to tweet it? Is it supported with a visual asset? Is it supported with graphics? Are there videos? Is this really good stuff? Picture, when you’re going through this due diligence and you’re reading these reviews and you’re looking at these SEO resellers, I know it’s very confusing and a lot of data, but you have to picture 30, 60, 90 days down the road, talking to your client. They have now seen three months of deliverables, and you’re looking at a page you put on their website. Are they pleased with it? Does it have a great looking field? Content supported by videos? Those are my first four, Chad. What do you got?

Quality & Quantity of Links Earned or Built

The next two, I’m just going to group together, it’s really the quantity of links being earned and the quality of links being built or earned. The reason I’m saying built or earned is because, you know, at the end of the day, you do need to build links to your client’s website in order to build its domain authority, to get the rankings.

You can look at any of the different studies out there on search engine ranking factors. All of them, in some way, shape, or form, usually say a fairly big percentage of what drives rankings comes down to earning backlinks. So you want to understand: What is your SEO partner going to do there?

There really are two differences, Adam. There are still a lot of people out there that are just going after “How many bad links can I get you?” They’re going to do a lot of directory submissions or new names for essentially directory submissions versus other partners out there who are spending a lot more time thinking about how to get you the highest quality placements. Again, when you’re going for quality, a lot of times, you’re going to have to sacrifice some of the quantity. So you need to decide.

Again, look at the data out there, I think we would certainly caution you. You mentioned some of the algorithm updates -- a lot of the algorithm updates are moving more towards quality, looking for those authoritative signals, so we would certainly recommend that you focus more on quality than quantity. But you need to make that call. When you’re comparing different providers, you will see that, in many of their plans -- while one partner may have lower quality content and higher quantity, lower quality links, that’s their go to market plan. If you’re looking at that, you might want to say, “Hey, that’s attractive because my cost per thing is very low,” but the quality of that is not good. So we always recommend knowing where you want to be there.

Social Signals

The other one that’s increasingly important is to look at what’s going on from a social media signal standpoint. Because, all of the content, everything you’re doing from an SEO standpoint, should have an audience value, and you should feel proud of the content and information you’re creating and want to share that not only with your client’s audience, but what is that SEO reseller doing to actually help promote your content on Twitter and other social media platforms? Look at that, and understand what they’re doing. Again, back to your point earlier, is this re-written or rehashed content? Is this something where, as part of their process, they’re actually thinking ahead, “How will we share this? What kinds of headlines do we want to use?” Are they giving you multiple headlines? Those are all things that are really important.

Creating & Posting Alternative Content Types

The last one I think is to, again, when you look across the Web, it’s more important to try to find all of the placements out there where you can stake your claim on the Web. You want to have a video because there are a lot of video sites out there where you can go claim your channel on YouTube, Vimeo, and there are lots of other ones out there where you can go claim your channel and actually post your video on them. Same thing for infographics or powerpoint slides. What is your SEO reseller partner doing to get you some of these alternative content formats so you can go out and share them?

Now, those are eight factors that we’ve given you. These are all the features that you need to understand. You have to weigh these and say what’s more important to you.

Use the following scale:

Then what you can do is you can then take the weight of each of these and plug them into the matrix. (Again, if you scroll down this page, we’ve given you a nice little format for doing this.) If you go through and then weight each of these factors, and then for each of the vendors you’re talking to, each of the SEO resellers you’re talking to, get an answer, and then score them objectively on each of these factors. What you can do is you can multiply the weight times each vendor’s score there and then you’ll end up with an overall score for each vendor.

Of course, you’re going to want to look at compared to price. I think that’s a good way to take more of a measured, disciplined approach to picking your SEO reseller partner because this is a decision that you’re ideally going to want to make once because the switching costs are high. You have to relearn systems. You have to port people from one platform to another. So, ideally, if you go into this and you really think it through, you’ll make a better decision.

Excellent, Chad. So, again, we know you’re here because you’re looking for SEO reseller reviews. We know you’re here because you’re trying to make this decision and you want to make a good decision, and you’re doing your research. And that’s awesome. But one of the things you’re probably looking for is what other people are say about the product. We think you should read those, but we also think you need to take them with a grain of salt because you don’t really know who those people are. You don’t know if the SEO reseller you’re reviewing actually astroturfed those reviews, or compensated someone in some way to say something, or if that guy that you’re reading the review from is at all credible for the business and size of business you want to be.

What Chad just went through -- having a disciplined approach, going through these questions, weighting them, putting together the numbers -- this is how big businesses make seo outsourcing decisions. Chad and I both worked with them. When I look back at my time working with General Electric, AT&T, and Chevron Texaco, this is what they did, guys. Sure, they read some of these reviews, but they also did their own detailed analysis, came up with what was important for them, and then did a very objective assessment on these criteria. The reason big businesses do that is that they want to make this decision once, and not have to revisit it between two and five years, and know that they’re the right seo reseller partner that’s going to make them more profitable.

2. Utilize Our Decision Matrix.