Whether you work for an SEO agency or with the in-house SEO team at a company, you need to be able to persuade executives that SEO is important enough to deserve a generous budget. Here’s how you can help executives understand.
Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals deal with specialized knowledge. When they try to talk to “regular” people about industry terms such as backlinks, algorithms, and indexing, they often get blank looks. It’s understandable because most people have no need for SEO—or to understand how it works.
It can be a problem, however, when you get blank looks as you try to explain your company’s SEO needs to your CEO. It’s important to the success of a business that management be fully behind its SEO. It isn’t enough for them to simply go along with it because they’ve heard that it’s supposed to be important.
Help Them Become Familiar with the Terminology
When you introduce the decision-makers at a company to SEO terminology, you can help them understand how optimization works and why it’s important. When you explain different SEO metrics to your bosses, it can’t fail to impress them how precise these measurements can be and how deep a look into your company’s search engine performance SEO provides.
Explain to Them Why You Choose a Particular Path
A lot of the work that goes into SEO has no immediate results. Executives who don’t understand it may have a hard time believing that it actually works. It can help to explain the exact logic that you follow to arrive at a particular decision or course of action. During your explanation of each step and action you take, make sure you connect it to the big picture and how it helps reach the end goal.
As an example, if you found duplicate content on the company website, you would need to rewrite the content, which would be a significant expense. If your boss wants to know why the investment is necessary, explain that duplicate content lowers the value the site has to the end user and often results in your website competing with itself rather than simply saying that Google disapproves of duplicate content. Your bosses will have fewer questions when you help them understand a few basics.
Cater to Your Audience with Customized Explanations
Depending on how large an organization you work for, you may need to explain SEO to people from marketing, IT, and higher management. They will all want to know why SEO matters but in different ways.
The IT workers are likely to be interested in the technical side of SEO, such as bugs that can be fixed. When talking to a marketing team, you’re likely to see interest in SEO’s ability to bring an audience to the company website, while executives are likely to be interested in how SEO helps the company’s profitability.
It’s important to be able to address the specific areas your listeners are interested in if you want their buy-in. When you talk to senior executives, for instance, you should have statistics on how much SEO is known to help boost profitability at different companies. Marketers would want to hear about numbers on how SEO helps with conversions.
Gather as Much Data as Possible
With SEO, it’s easy to generate reports and metrics. With everything you do in the course of your SEO efforts, think about how likely each action and result will be of interest to different departments or levels of management, and save data that are likely to help them understand.
It can help to record numbers that show how organic search traffic improves conversions for your company and how your company is beating competitors for the best keywords by appearing higher than they do for various searches. You can show executives how the competition does better than you with some keywords and how you need to correct the situation.
Build a Reputation
SEO can be so unfamiliar to executives that they may simply have a hard time taking SEO professionals seriously. It can help build up your credibility by writing on behalf of the company in various search engine journals and to become a known and respected source of information in your industry.
When you talk to executives who don’t have a background in SEO, don’t dive too deeply. You should certainly help them understand some of the jargon, but most of your explanations should be in simple language. The more your audience understands your explanations, the more enthusiastic they will be in supporting your activities.