An interesting way to think about an SEO Reseller program is as a form of Co-operative (coop). Coops are very popular in several different businesses, from agricultural farming to local food stores. The model is not new and has benefited many different groups.
The main benefit of a coop is that members gain benefits that they would not be able to afford on their own. Yes, money is at the heart of why coops work. This is just as true for a group of farmers who build a coop to fund a large grain elevator as it is for a group of web design companies who form a coop to have an awesome search engine optimization technology platform (where could I find one of those ;-)
We often think of the HubShout SEO reseller platform as a coop. The members of our coop are web design companies and PR agencies. Any of these individual companies, just like the individual farmer, can not afford the large capital investment required to build a robust search engine optimization / search engine marketing technology platform on their own. Instead, they pull together to each have this functionality, but only pay a small fee in return.
A few natural questions come up as you think about the SEO reseller coop notion. The first one is:
1) Isn't joining an SEO Reseller program a competitive disadvantage because some of my competitors are also in the program? Potentially true. This is a possible disadvantage. It is true that if your direct competition came to HubShout, they could acquire the same technology that you have. However, let's analyze this a bit. The size of the search engine marketing market is HUGE (multi-multi billion). The question is: Do the benefits of the coop outweigh the disadvantages? When you consider the size of the market, and the slim likelihood that your competition even knows about HubShout, we think we know where you will land.
2) Doesn't this make my business too dependent on HubShout? Answer: Private label. With our white label technology, the end-customer has no idea that you are reselling SEO. We selected this approach very specifically because we understand the value of your customer relationships. You worked hard to acquire those customers. We think the private label SEO reseller approach allows you the flexibility to leave our program or pull the search engine optimization in-house at a later point if you so desire.
In summary, just as farmers have done for generations, there is a strong business case to be made for joining a SEO coop (in the form of an SEO reseller program) to acquire technology and link-building capabilities that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive for your web design company or PR agency.