When you make the decision to use an SEO reseller you must determine what the essential competencies are for the job. What is the core skill-set a reseller must offer to demonstrate proficiency and excellence? Here are what we consider to be the Top Five—and some of the important questions you want to put to your prospective reseller.

1) Technical SEO - SEO is far more than just keyword research and tagging. It involves careful analysis of front-page design for successful density, readability, layout, speed, conversion and call-to-action buttons. It also includes detailed examination of and creative solutions for metadata, HTML, url structure, and professional content. Ask your reseller to describe their process and provide some case studies.

2) Link Building and Content Marketing - 70% of Google’s ranking is based upon your off-site links! How do you get them? What are the tactics and techniques for forging new links from diverse sources? How do you generate buzz that encourages other sites to link back to you? How does syndicating integrate with links and link generation to your site?

3) Social Media Marketing - Why is a strong presence and relationship with Social Media vital to today’s internet marketing? In a word: Confidence. Customers and consumers of all stripes look to social media for validation of a company or product. It’s the yellow pages, word-of-mouth and billboard all rolled into one. Until recently there has been an almost impenetrable barrier between SEO and social media, but that’s changing fast. Regardless of the direct benefit to search engine rankings, SEO resellers need to offer social media to help customers benefit from the direct audience that can be reached. Additionally, customers should be ready in case the search engines start to weigh social signals more heavily in the future. Is your reseller prepared for these opportunities? Are they equipped to exploit them with the best available tools?

4) Email Marketing - Email is not the dinosaur some social media would like you to think. In reality, email is still the most used technology! While it might seem old fashioned, it has benefitted from some cosmetic surgery-- take a look at Groupon! How well versed is your reseller in email marketing? Do they understand the best techniques for promoting your business with this reliable method? Do they encourage email opportunities or discourage them?

5) Marketing Dashboard / Tracking - Strategies and good effort are not enough. You want to see tangible evidence of the effectiveness of your reseller’s effort. You’ll have to defend and justify your SEM services regularly to your customers, so the data must be readily accessible and easy to understand. Phone tracking, email clicks, backlinks, organic vs paid traffic, and Google Analytics are difficult to assemble and present. Effective software that analyzes, compiles and delivers this information in an efficient, clear and logical way can be your best business case for continuing the service. Make sure your reseller has Marketing Dashboard/Tracking software built into their offering. Examine it for both thoroughness and ease of comprehension…and that it looks good! People demand a lot from you. Make sure your SEO reseller provides the strategies and techniques you need and delivers the information you demand.