Truth about your “Local SEO Agency”

Most likely, you’re overpaying for SEO services without even realising it. Here is how to fix it and stop paying for white labels.

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard — 11 minute read.

The working dynamics of your local SEO company is that it’s probably not who you think it is.

You, as customers, may choose the wrong package and end up overpaying for your search engine optimisation without even realising it.

Disclaimer: We’re not here to bash or belittle agencies who do this. We’re here to expose the truth, the facts to build trust and the information local business owners need to know.

Forming a partnership with us allows you to effectively outsource a company offering a wide range of SEO products with a focus to boost your SEO campaigns. We offer local SEO services for other agencies and report directly to them. Most in-house specialists will offer something along these lines and apply a slight discount.

White Label Seo

Let’s face it; local SEO efforts are a high-ticket item service that bring value that scale with your business; as a local business owner, you pay an agency a “service fee” to maintain and service your ranking within search engines and boost your SERPs.

With a number of packages starting from $1,699 per month, you gain access to our local SEO services. Offering local seo services will vary depending on various factors, including the size of your local business, the industry you are in and the keywords you are looking to focus on.

Like many other industries, high-ticket services offer local businesses a Considerable profit for users. So, as you can imagine, providing these services can be very profitable for a web design or marketing company.

To track progress, we use our resources at the beginning of each month; your agency should send you Regular updates in a review email aligned with your goals or a report. Constant communication is essential to achieve results to ensure they’re meeting targets and providing results.

Ensuring regular communication, you can also keep track of your rankings and conversions. You may also have the opportunity to suggest keywords you wish to focus on.

Today, it’s seemingly implausible that your local SEO agency fails to deliver what it promises will take your money and sit on it. However, if you believe they aren’t doing the work, there might be happening. More likely, they are taking your fee for our white-label SEO service and paying what is known as a “white label” or “private label” agency to do the work on their behalf for a much lower price.

The easiest way to explaing the success of our methods this is to look at it comparatively with your site’s power bill. Technically, it doesn’t matter who your bill is with. The power all comes from the same place.

In this case, the white label. The company that sends you the invoice or bill is simply a pretty logo on an invoice header. They typically don’t give you the authority to handle the billing and report.

So What Can People Find Wrong With White Labelling?

As far as we know, there is nothing wrong with white labelling. However, as a small or medium-sized business, you may be overpaying for a service you can get for a far lower cost, much like your energy bill. You’re essentially paying a middleman instead of going direct.

We are not advising going direct to the white label agency either; there are many reasons why we tend to advise against this.

  1. They Don’t Understand Your Business: They work in bulk, so you lose out on niche relative marketing and quality. Whether you’re an electrician or a café owner, you’re treated the same, typically having a very different local SEO strategy. An electrical SEO strategy is focused more on emergency response, suburbs and services, whereas a café is focused on proximity and desire.
  2. There Is Little Communication Between You And Them: With a discount often comes loss. You’re paying them to do a fundamental task. Customisation, negotiation and understanding don’t exist because you didn’t pay for them.
  3. Notorious PBNs (Private Blog Networks): These are blog-based websites owned internally and made up of hundreds of blogs built for hundreds of industries to build “niche backlinks”. This means you and all your competition (within the same industry) get the same or similar links, ultimately valueless.
  4. Reporting Is Either Nonexistent Or Limited: Unless you have given clear and precise instructions, it’s important to understand that you won’t know if work is being done and will have no record of your results.

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How do white-label local SEO agencies work?

White-label local SEO agencies work on a B2B basis. A middleman will order backlinks and content in bulk and distribute them across various clients.

Let’s learn through an example: As an example approach, let’s pretend I’m a florist. My marketing company is 009Marketing, and the private label doing the work is ABCDigital (All hypotheticals).

I, like the florist, pay $1,000 to my marketing company, which sends $400 to ABCDigital, and for that $400, I get two links and 1 article. 009Marketing pockets the remaining $600 as profit.

When an order for using tools like two links and 1 article comes in at ABCDigital, the expertise of the team comes into play. The required account manager will manage keyword research, look at the industry, in this case, flowers and assign the order to an “expert”. This “expert” is sitting behind their desk waiting for new orders.

Packed Offices

Once a new order comes in, they will write and submit a small 400–600 word article about flowers. They then look at their database for relative niche websites such as home decor and relationship advice. To complete the task, they then publish that 400-600 word article linked to your local business on both websites, and it’s done.

Once the order is completed, an email goes to the account manager, who Emails 009Marketing and then reports to the client’s team.

Disclaimer: They’re not all like this. But for the most part, it is what we have seen. This is what happens for the majority.

Outsourcing For Link Building and content Creation

Outsourcing, based on our experience, is entirely separate and is used to send speciality work out with clear, precise instructions.

This is far less common and used by local search engine marketing companies who want more control over the results, content and link-building strategies.

Outsourcing Content Creation

Contact sitecentre®, we use content writers who are outsourced. We then have a team of content writers and editors who write speciality pieces and edit all the outsourced agencies’ content.

The main reasoning behind this is that if there was only one in-house writer, there is a risk of them experiencing “burnout”. Burnout is when the writer has written about the same topic many times and is now repetitive because the writer has written about a subject so much that the ideas have all been used.

Content Creation

Here is an example: A writer writes weekly for three plumbing businesses in 3 states around Australia. That’s three articles per week about various plumbing-related topics.

There are only so many things you can write about before you circle back, and it becomes repetitive. The content has been done, and it’s starting to match the content on the other sites.

Using another writer becomes valuable because new writers offer new ideas, styles, wordings and variations.

Hiring a full-time employee wouldn’t make sense because we cannot look for another once this burnout happens.

Outsourcing content creation can be valuable, but allowing the local search engine marketing company control over the content can help your business grow. Here are some great places to find quality writers:

Outsourcing Backlinks

Outsourcing backlinks is not precisely ordering 20 links and distributing them like white-label link building. It’s not a bulk purchase. It’s a speciality order.

Occasionally, a client will come along in a small niche or a new, not yet established niche where finding relevant links is few and far between.

The process of outreach linking these backlinks can be a tough task but valuable in the end. But it’s precious because although it’s a small or underdeveloped niche, you’re not the only one struggling to get new quality links.

Link Building

You can significantly benefit from hiring someone far cheaper to increase your link-building efforts, which, in this case, is essential. We can spend 40–60 hours attempting one link for a tough industry or pay someone 40–60 hours and get the same link but far cheaper.

We still control the link, what it points to, its anchor text, and what content it’s in, but we acquired it far cheaper and within budget.

Search Engine Optimisation Profit and Margins

Now, let’s unveil the benefits, a section that most don’t want to discuss.

How much money do we make selling the local SEO service or white-label seo services? We’re happy to discuss it because this is one of our key points of difference.

Taking steps toward white-label local SEO services aside, as a web designer, graphic designer, or digital marketing agency, selling themselves as a local SEO expert is easy whether they do the hard work or use a white-label SEO company to undertake the work.

You’re ready for the potential huge margins when outsourcing to a white-label seo agency.

Put this into perspective: Your budget of $1,000 can be sent to a third party for $400, and it’s a 60% profit for being the name on the invoice. Or they can do the work themselves and spend 2–3 hours billed at $300 an hour to write an article or two, create two average links and call it a month.

On the other hand, you could get an agency passionate about business growth. We are always in touch with you and your brand and work for a far lower profit margin, allowing you to expand your online presence more cost-effectively.


Knowing your rights is important; ultimately, all Local SEO companies will assure you that they can drive significant traffic to your site by getting you first-page results. There is a maximum of 10 results in Google Organic Search. Not everyone can be on the first page.

The issue is that you don’t know what you’re getting for your money. It’s even more complicated when looking for a company to take on the marketing efforts. One company offers it for $799 and another for $1,499, and they both tell you that you will get the first page.

Here is the truth

To improve your outcomes, remember the price has nothing to do with your results. That’s a fact.

The $799 company could spend $600 on good content and get some great links for you. A talented team could back them. The $1,499 company could spend 3 hours of work or use a white-label service and make a significant margin.

This is where margins come under analysis and can work to your advantage.

Ask questions about what that money ACTUALLY gets you, and work out the maths yourself. If they tell you two articles, three backlinks, and some on-page SEO for $1,499, that’s some expensive content!

If they’re unwilling to disclose this information, odds are they don’t do the work and don’t know, and you should keep looking. If they disclose, but the maths doesn’t add up, question it.

That’s why we’re different.

As part of your comprehensive SEO development strategy, when we order content for your website, it’s logged, recorded, and reported when we spend time on your local SEO campaign. Your invoice is itemised with labour, technical seo work, and other costs associated and justified each month. This includes our hourly rate and who worked on your campaign.

We work on low-profit margins, and as seo experts, we know that SEO requires countless hours. Your investment needs to optimise and drive results, and our results will ALWAYS hold the line of excellence and dominate our competition. Not only because we’re passionate and data-driven with a very talented team but because your budget goes a lot further.

So, who are these white-label sellers?

Suppose you’re still interested in these online marketing, link-building, and private-label SEO companies. We have a list for you.

Disclaimer: We don’t use nor recommend any of the following. However, we’re not here to dictate your choices; we’re here to advise you. We recommend doing your research before using any of the following.

  1. The Hoth
  2. SEO Reseller Hub
  3. Rankpay
  4. Fatjoe

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Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey is the CEO of sitecentre®, leading his distinguished Australian digital marketing agency using data analytics and Artificial Intelligence in SEO and Paid Advertising. His adept use of machine learning and AI has gained industry-wide recognition, Brodey has received several industry awards for SEO, Web Design and business, including the Young Small Business Champion Entrepreneur 2023 award. With 15 years under his belt, Brodey is amongst Australia’s most influential digital marketers.

Find them on their website: sitecentre®.

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