Have you ever had a great idea but just couldn't find a way to get your boss to see your point of view and sign off on your idea?
Chances are you have found yourself in that situation a time or two, and if not, just bring up SEO and your odds of getting shot down will go way up. While 'Net professionals have long understood and embraced SEO, there are a lot of business owners and C-Suite members who still view it as voodoo or some deceptive art just lying in wait to take their money and tank their business. Today we are going to equip you with the knowledge to help your boss understand why they should be investing in SEO.
1. Define SEO Clearly
If your boss doesn't understand what SEO truly is, they are more than likely going to pass on implementing it. Taking the time to clearly explain to your boss what SEO is and how it can help in plain English will get you a long way. Instead of focusing on the minute details, approach your boss with a value/results oriented approach "Boss, over 10,000 people search for the services we offer on Google every month but without SEO they aren't able to find or contact us. If we showed up on the first page we could be getting in front of 5,000 more interested prospects every month."
2. Leverage Loss Aversion to Make Your Case
Take advantage of the fact that people are more likely to take action to prevent loss than to initiate growth and say: "Boss, every day we are losing business to (insert competitor) because people find them instead of us when searching for (insert product or service), we are losing at least (number of leads/sales) every day".
3. Find Case Studies for Similar Businesses
Even the best SEOs are not a perfect fit for every client. As part of your due diligence you should find a company that has helped a company similar to yours. Most people think this means niche but it could be companies that work with small businesses, companies that specializing in working with an in-house SEO staff, or a company familiar with your local area. Even if you plan to handle the SEO in house, you can search for case studies that show SEO has worked for companies like yours, overcoming one of the most common objections a boss will throw your way.
4. Run the Numbers
Showing your boss how to save money is a surefire way to get his attention. If you are the marketing manager or upper level management and have access to the marketing budget, you should create a comparison showing the customer acquisition cost for other marketing channels compared to the cost of customer acquisition via SEO. While you are at it, you can also put together some figures for training your in house team versus hiring an agency to handle the SEO if your boss approves.
5. Start with the Objections
If you have been at your current company for a while you most likely have a good idea of how your boss ticks and what ranks highly on his list of concerns. Use this understanding of how they think to create a list of objections they are likely to give you and start your pitch by listing and overcoming those objections. You can present it as "common SEO misconceptions" while defining SEO.
6. Define How Success Can Be Measured
Regardless of how great the theory of SEO may sound to your boss, numbers don't lie. Before you suggest SEO to them as a strategy you should take some time to determine what results you expect from an SEO campaign and how those results translate into increased income for the company. They should be goals that show value but can be tracked and understood by even non-technical members of management. Increased sales and a higher number of qualified leads being generated are two pretty simple yet effective ways to measure the success of an SEO campaign.
7. Tell Them a Few Horror Stories About SEO
While it may sound counterproductive, sharing a few SEO horror stories can actual be beneficial if you can identify what went wrong in those examples and what steps you have taken to ensure that similar issues do not arise with your own SEO campaigns. If you can't clearly define what the issues were and how to avoid them, skip this step, if you can, your boss may be quite impressed with the amount of research you put in before bringing up the idea.
While your boss may still say no, following the tips above will greatly improve your chances of getting a yes.
Over to you...
What is one reason your boss won't add SEO to your companies marketing mix?
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Marion, IL. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz