Exactly how to rank your local SEO clients only using off-the-shelf white label SEO packages


What are you trying to achieve?

Many agencies in the UK prefer to go it alone and use off-the-shelf packages to services their clients SEO needs, rather than going down the traditional white label route.

For some, it works better that way.

You keep an element of control in-house and as long as you have the knowledge to make the right decisions at the right time it can be incredibly fruitful.

Choosing exactly when and where to spend your clients budget can often be a minefield though.

Should you outsource all of it?

Maybe do the content yourself?

Find someone to take care of the links?

There are loads of options.

It’s a battle to understand what the best result will be for the client, if that’s your goal of course. Your KPI might be more about profit margins or efficiency, we’re all different.

Whatever your end goal, you’ll need to get the client some rankings first, so in this article we’re going to take you through exactly how to get a new client ranking for a fairly competitive local term.

But first, let’s run through a few assumptions.

We’re going to assume that:

  • You’re a one-man-band or have no internal resource dedicated to SEO.
  • Your main goal is to get the client ranking and make a small profit over a long and fruitful relationship.
  • Your clients budget is £500 per month and you charge £50ph.
  • Your client is an accountant looking for rankings in their local towns and county searches.

First fight: Onsite basics

I’m not going to dwell on SEO-politics but I believe that onsite SEO is only 5% of what actually gets you ranking on Google (if you want to discuss theory on why that is, drop a comment in below).

None-the-less, an important first step.

As with any SEO campaign, a white label campaign has to start with a thorough onsite audit and keyword research.

Understanding the good, the bad and the ugly of the website will give you a true representation of what tasks are needed to get you on to the 95%.

Some of you will be prepared and have done the audit and research when you first opened up dialogue with the client, kudos to you. For those that haven’t, I’d suggest getting on to SEMRush for the onsite audits and Ahrefs for the offsite, which we’ll talk more about later.

Open up dialogue with your client to understand their stance on keyword targets.

You need to balance what will convert in to customers with keywords that have some volume.

We’re not going to dwell on keyword research as it’s been covered here, anyway, we’ve already told you what keywords our accountant is going to target.

Next step is to actually do the audit and start fixing the errors.

We’ve used Semrush, a great resource for onsite errors.

You’ll see something like the below, and luckily for you this list of warnings and errors gives you a task list.

white label SEO semrush

And here’s your task list:

white label seo task list semrush

Break each of those down, you can even send it straight to your task manager if you get it set up to sync properly (and have a partnered tool).

heading 1 white label seo task

So you now have your task list, some may be longer than others.

You can outsource these using Upwork, People Per Hour or a local dev.

I suggest that you’ll need to set aside a LOT of time on your hands to work through these if you’re dealing with an ecommerce site which hasn’t been looked at from an SEO point of view before. Perhaps 10 hours or more, so you’ll need to allow for that in your client’s budget.

But, in our scenario (and similar clients) you’ll probably not need more than 2/3 hours to work through these.

That’ll be £100-£150 of your budget gone already in month one.

An important thing about onsite SEO is that errors will keep happening. You should allow 1 hour each month for creating, checking and updating based on onsite audits.

I’m no technical genius, so don’t ask me why they keep popping up like spots on a teenager. All I know is that it’s a constant battle to stay on top of, so don’t worry about it, everyone has the same fight for perfection on their hands.

Make sure the client is aware that although these errors are important to fix, they will not drastically impact the campaign, remember that 5%?

Your next fight though is a whole new kettle of fish; you’re moving up from fighting Ricky Hatton out of the ring for 7-years to taking on 18 stone Anthony Joshua in his prime.


What would you do with too many leads?

Second fight: Content is (almost) king

We’ve all heard the infamous “content is king” saying right?

Think about it, content in whatever form it comes, be it video, graphics, words or anything else that captures a users attention is the only reason you and I are online right now.

If the internet didn’t have content, we wouldn’t use it.

So it makes complete sense that if you create great content, search engines would try and push that to as many people that may be interested in it as possible.

It is Googles only job to ensure the user finds what they need, as fast as possible.

Creating ‘great’ content though has had many connotations over the years of SEO.

So let’s just for this fictional client, assume that great content is the stuff that’s going to get them ranking. Otherwise we’ll end up in a twisted and convoluted story about how stuffing keywords is ‘great’ content, or at least it used to be.

I’d completely push the need for content back to the client where possible, they will know the business better than you, that won’t change.

You want to control all the offsite content (to maximise profits) and throw the onsite content back to them.

If you really do have to create the content yourself, don’t. Use an external resource like Fatjoe.co to create the content for your links.

Are landing pages needed?

The first and probably the most important part of your content project is whether landing pages are needed or not. We’re not talking conversion focused pages here, we’re talking content to get the website ranking landing pages.

There’s a few steps to delivering these and all fairly simple:

  1. Identify if and what landing pages are required.
  2. Design/build/write them.
  3. Put them live and make sure Google can find them.

So, firstly you need to identify if landing pages are needed.

The simple way to do this is take your keywords and see what URL’s currently rank on Google for those terms, the actual position it ranks doesn’t matter, just that Google identifies the URL it relates to the keyword at this stage.

Here’s the keywords our fictional client wants to rank for:

  • Darlington Accountants
  • Darlington Accountancy
  • Tax Accountants in Darlington
  • Tax Accountancy in Darlington
  • Go to Google and search one of these keywords.

Scroll down (set to 100 per page to speed this up) until you find the clients website.

Take note of the URL and repeat for the other keywords.

Generally, with a client new to SEO you’ll find that it’s the homepage that ranks for all of these keywords, sometimes a services page.

Ideally, what you want to achieve is that each keyword ranks for a specific page, for example:



The principal is simple too.

Imagine you’re buying a TV, you’ve searched for a ‘Sony 55 inch 4k TV’ and you’ve landed on the Argos homepage. How annoyed are you?

It’s not only good for customer service that the user lands on the page they require but also good for Google that each of the pages you’re trying to rank for has its own personality and talks specifically about the products it is trying to rank for.

You want 1 keyword group per page.

So if your client doesn’t currently have a similar set up, you should create one.

You can do this using some software, Unbounce is great for this. But creating these pages will cost you some £.

I’d suggest just providing the advice or sitting within their current templates, especially if they’re using WordPress or similar.

You don’t want to get drawn on creating these pages, it’s a very emotive subject that can cause some long term issues with updating pages long term that will be a big drain on your budget.

What should those landing pages look like?

The look and feel of the pages themselves depends largely on the client.

Generally, your client will have a page template already set up and sometimes that will be good enough, but we’ll assume it isn’t and you need to start from scratch.

Firstly, research some good templates, here’s one we use regularly.

But there’s plenty of other formats that work, it’s a really subjective matter that will be down to client desires.

Your goal with the landing page is to get it ranking and to either sign up/convert them as quickly as possible, or to send them to other pages on your website that work harder at conversion.

Personally I’d advocate having a top, above the fold, section that has all of your conversion-ability in it, then content below that is going to deliver the rankings, here’s an example of one I created.

The look and feel doesn’t really matter, as long as it gets you ranking and generates leads.

Now you need to tell Google they exist.

Your last step with the pages is to get Google to find and index them.

Now you’ve created it properly, it will have all the right keywords, URL’s etc. meaning Google will already know what you want it to rank for.

But, you want to get it found quickly.

I’d advocate two easy steps.

Put a nice link to your new landing page(s) in the footer or main nav of your website.

If the page can’t be found within 2 clicks of the homepage, Google assumes that you don’t believe it should be found. If that is the case, why should Google promote it for you?

Secondly, add it to your XML sitemap and resubmit it. If you don’t have one, you can create them easily. You’ll also need a webmaster tools account.

Third step: Link building

You’ve done all your audits, created the content and the lovely new pages, but what about the 95% you’re missing?

You already know it, link building. The Mecca of SEO.

Often described as an art and often disrespected as manipulation, link building is without doubt the one thing you can use to get ranking over any other method.

I’ve personally ranked blank pages (no words, pictures or code) for fairly competitive keywords with only link building, so have others.

Before I get started on the nitty-gritty I want to highlight something that I repeat at least once a week.

Link building will not get you banned.

Many people and agencies alike are scared of link building, to the point where some do not even include it in their packages, or at least feel the need to hide it from their potential customers.

I can proudly and honestly say I’ve done everything from the whitest hat to beyond black hat SEO.

If you’ve heard of it, I’ve done it.

During that process I’d like to think that I know what works and what doesn’t.

The major learning from all of that is if you don’t want to get banned, you won’t.

But, putting that in plain actionable English, do not automate anything and you will not get banned.

Manually create all of your links.

Now, I only build links that I have tested extensively. I use things that others would tell you don’t work or that will get you a penalty from Google.

Usually that comes just before they tell you how much they will charge for doing your SEO ‘rightly’.

Scare tactics.

Case in point, comment links, we’ll talk about those later.

Back to the case of the accountancy in Darlington.

Your challenge isn’t to build links willy-nilly or to only build high quality links. Your challenge is to build links that will get you ranking. That’s what you’re here for right.

The method that I can tell you works every single time is similar to others have discussed at length, many years ago, it’s nothing new, but with my own small twist.

Steal your competitor’s links.

Follow how Matthew describes it if you’d like a tutorial, far better than I could do.

Then segment the links your competitors have in to buckets.

The way I do this is two-fold, categorise the links in to low, medium and high grades.

If you’re struggling on how to judge the quality of the links you’ve found, use Moz’s DA/PA checks. Or you could us the DR & UR from the Ahrefs backlink check, though it’s not quite as reliable.

I usually run down the list manually and judge the quality and type on domain name, URL and visual checks.  This isn’t fool-proof, but it enables you to quickly gauge what they’re doing and what to keep or discard.

For example, is it a guest post, press release, forum, directory. You can also pick up things in domain names to gauge quality like if it is linkdirectorywebsite.co.uk it’s probably poor.

white label link building

Finally, before making any assumptions on strategy I would take out all the links that are very poor. For example, link farms, non-relevant directories, foreign scraper websites etc.

Once I have my list in order of quality, I’ll segment them in to link-types, like the above until I have something like this:

Link TypeTotalsAvg DA/PA
Guest Posts12365
Press Releases13365


This will give you a good guide as to how the competition is ranking well.

Outsource all this through Upwork, you’ll have all the data within a day or two.

In a market like our Darlington accountants you might need to check multiple websites and take an overall view of all the websites that are ranking, as I imagine (unless Darlington is the accountancy hotspot of the UK) that they won’t be doing too much link building, but you get my point.

Now, you know what it takes to get ranking for your keywords.

Copy all the good links from all of your competitors that are ranking.

Then, my little twist is to focus on the link-type they do not do much of.

The theory here is that I believe Google will see your backlink structure is similar to the rest, but as you do something no one else is, you’ll stand out.

Typical examples of this, especially in a market like this, would be localised comments.

I absolutely love this link building method.

When trying to rank for localised keywords, it isn’t the ‘accountants’ part of the phrase that Google homes in on, it’s the locale.

So, by building hugely relevant links that focus on the location, will add some great value to your page.white label link building services

In our example, search for pages, websites, forums etc. that contain the word Darlington. There are some cracking search operators that help you achieve this, but I’d use something basic like:

inurl:darlington “comments below”

inurl:darlington + “powered by disqus”

The aim is simple, find pages that you can leave a comment on that contain the word Darlington in prominent locations that Google will see as hugely relevant.

Once you’ve copied as many of the links as you can from your competitors and supplemented with the location based comment links, I’d be shocked if our accountants in Darlington don’t jump up to the first page within a month or two and continue to grow to the top.

You can’t get these types of links built through off the shelf packages, at least not with anyone I’ve found. I’d suggest caution while using those online consultants with this, generally those comments are moderated and so will need to be tightly monitored.

Especially as they will directly be pointing to your client.


What would you do with too many leads?

Fourth step: Schedule, rinse and repeat.

You all know SEO isn’t an overnight process and the last thing you want to do is create hundreds of links over a short period of time.

Schedule your link building over 3-months and supplement with the comments at the start and then spend a few hours per month topping it up.

Your (fully white labelled) SEO package

So let’s assume you’re going to go with everything I’ve said, I reckon there’s £150-£250 profit for you each month.

Not a lot, but completely scalable and you’ll get some great client retention through it too.

I know some of you will think £150 isn’t a lot of money to make each month, but think about the margin you’re making from the initial £500. Most of the high end agencies in the country are making 9-10% margins, you’re dwarfing those.

You just need more clients.

Your monthly package will be:

  • Onsite audits and actions: £50
  • Link building (copying): £150
  • Comment links: £50
  • Content creation (for links): £100

You’ve got it all now, content, links and landing pages.

That’s literally all you need to rank for localised keywords of this complexity and using the processes I’ve discussed above, you’ll be as hands-off as you can get.

Some would tell you that SEO is a very complicated process.

Some would tell you SEO is very technical.

It isn’t either of those things.

SEO is largely based on theory and experience, which can be drawn upon to utilise some basic resources in the correct way.

SEO is perfectly suited to a white label relationship, and we hope this has helped you understand a little more about how to make it effective.

I’d love to hear some of your questions in the comments below.

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