3 Keys To Gaining Company-Wide SEO Support

  • ByDaniel Ducloux

  • Friday, September 18, 2015

Let’s face it- SEO still doesn’t have a great reputation. As SEO professionals, we’re still fighting the vestiges of the bad old days, when SEO meant reverse engineering and cracking algorithms or engineering blog networks and buying links to manipulate Google’s algorithms. A lot of these tactics persist today- there’s a lot of noise versus signal out there, and too many people selling SEO that don’t actually know much about it. Throw in the weird mix of art and science that defines ‘doing SEO’ and the fact that people’s eyes tend to glaze over…SEO, even though proven to be a ‘force multiplier’, can still be a tough sell. Here, we’ll discuss how to get the stakeholders to buy in, and how to counter some common arguments against an ongoing search engine optimization strategy.

It’s All About ROI – There’s an end goal in mind when you decide to optimize your site, your content and your social media channels to present yourself as a better resource for search engines. That end goal is return on investment. After a successful SEO campaign, the amount of new business or recurring sales as a trackable result of that strategy has to be greater than the cost of implementation to be considered a success- just like every other marketing channel. An SEO can’t bank on just hoisting rankings any more- what good are higher rankings if you aren’t making more sales? ROI has to be part of the discussion, whether it means a lower CPA because in the long run organic traffic is cheaper, a higher conversion rate from existing traffic, a higher average shopping cart order- all of these metrics are yardsticks that SEO gets held up to. If you’re going to ask for budget to optimize the code on a page, be prepared to translate that to some sort of return on that investment, either on its own or as some part of a larger strategy. Don’t try to appeal to authority, either, and tell people ‘we just need to do this because that’s what you do’- make sure that your suggestions are actionable and add up to the business growing.

SEO is a Force Multiplier– Very rarely do we get a brand new, untouched domain to work on with a site built from scratch. Many times, we’re called in to ‘fix’ something or ‘add SEO’ to something we didn’t build and so we don’t know the particulars of why things are the way they are. However, everything we do benefits every aspect of the company. If someone remembers to hash tag a social media post or link it back to the main site, that’s because of us. If a piece of content on the blog links to another relevant page that causes someone to pick up the phone and buy what we’re selling, that’s because of us. If the site gets served first on an iPhone for a local result because it’s the best result, that’s because of us. As SEOs we have the ability to touch every part of a company and effect more positive results.

SEO Isn’t a Black Art- SEOs are very passionate and as such tend to know a lot about what it is they do. However, it isn’t an easy thing to explain when called on to explain it to someone who isn’t that invested, so part of the job is to get everyone invested, to get that organizational buy-in that ensures that everyone is thinking about how to optimize their presentation. You have to be able to explain SEO to the C Suite, the Marketing team, the Sales team, the Programmers, the grunts in the trenches writing social media hash tags- and you need to be able to do it without their eyes glazing over. Develop a short PowerPoint or GoToMeeting presentation you can present for people, and also develop your ‘elevator pitch‘- you need to be able to explain what it is you’re doing and why it’s important to everyone in the organization, you need to do it quickly and without falling back on technical jargon. You’re in Sales now- as well as Marketing, Operations, and every other division of the company. The better and more succinctly you can explain it is what you’re doing, the easier your job. When asked what SEO is, you can simply say something like ‘we’re making sure that we’re presenting our marketing message and User experience in the optimal way for search engines to pick it up and drive traffic to our online and offline properties’. That’s a simple, succinct answer that encompasses the whole of SEO, and you can field individual questions from there.



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