Although the marketing department of a company likely understands the importance of SEO, what matters are the executives. If management underestimates the need for SEO, you will struggle to sell your services.
Beyond convincing the C-suite, you need to help executives become engaged if you are to receive the full buy-in.
Make SEO Relatable
You know that SEO is your top source for driving traffic and generating leads; you need to express this in a way that management can relate to. For instance, instead of presenting figures about how many leads convert into customers per channel, ask managers to think about their own behaviors.
Talk to the executives about how much time they spend on the Internet compared to watching TV, reading newspapers and magazines, and consuming other types of media with ads. Once they realize that they themselves spend the majority of time online, they will begin to understanding the importance of organic search.
Show Competitor Insights
One route to take is to highlight that competitors may be at the same disadvantages. Present data on how businesses are often focused on marketing activities like paid search, social media, referrals, and even outbound marketing despite the fact that SEO is more effective. A business that takes advantage of SEO services can stay one step ahead of its competitors.
One statistic you could share is the company’s website score in comparison with the scores of their competitors. Another statistic to present for this argument could be how spending is inversely related to clicks. Although 92 percent of clicks come from organic search, companies spend just 11 percent of their search budget on SEO. This means that just 8 percent of clicks come from paid search, but companies are designating 89 percent of their search budget to this area.
Present Keyword Rankings
Keywords are another aspect management can feel a connection to. A basic Google search for short-tail keywords that the business wants to rank for will show where they are succeeding and where they are failing.
Plus, this provides a benchmark for progress. If you conduct the same search after handling the company’s SEO, you can show how a previously low-ranking keyword is now ranking at the top of the SERP.
As for long-tail keywords, try exploring a few possibilities together to show management where opportunities lie. Search various terms to find where competitors are performing badly.
Cut the Jargon
When presenting your argument, make sure that management understands what you’re saying. It is common for executives to distrust marketers, especially if it seems like they are pouring money into complicated activities with no clear results. You know this is not the truth; you need to express this to the C-suite.
Remember, those who have had little exposure to marketing may be unfamiliar with terms you use on a daily basis. Some may even be unsure what SEO is. Try to gauge the executives’ current understanding and speak in a language that has meaning to them. This is no time to show off your knowledge of complex concepts.
Most of the time, it is unnecessary to get technical. You are better off sticking to easier ideas (like keywords, content, and ROI) than complex details, including anything about backlinks, website coding, and integration with Google.
Allow Executives to Be Involved
It is also possible that quite the opposite is true — some executives believe they know much more about SEO they they really do. This can be problematic, as these executives may feel they can handle SEO alone. However, by using their enthusiasm to your advantage, you can gain a greater buy-in.
Treat executives as they experts they are, but help them see that their knowledge only extends so far. On the surface, SEO can sound simple, especially when someone has the misconception that SEO is just about keywords. Show management that SEO encompasses many other areas.
Furthermore, give executives access to your data. Talk about results to ensure they know that they can participate and that their insights are valuable but, at the same time, your expertise is crucial.
Justify Your Spending
Lastly, you need to demonstrate that your efforts are contributing to higher ROI. As ROI for SEO can be complicated to calculate, it is crucial that you develop a sound formula to convince management that your strategy is leading to results. It can be a beneficial to have two formulas. This allows the executives to pick the one that means most to them.
When to Drop the Lead
If you are unable to gain full buy-in from management, it is best to drop the lead. You don’t want to work with someone who won’t be committed over the long term. SEO requires patience and support — if your client is unconvinced now, you will only suffer more problems further down the road.
Never feel disheartened if a business is unconvinced that they need your services. Sometimes, the strategy is right but the lead is wrong. Commit to finding leads who are interested in growing their business through SEO and with whom you can build good working relationships.