Communicating SEO With The C-Suite
As an SEO expert, your goal is to create a solution to a problem. Engaging with C-Suite level executives and helping them understand the benefits of SEO can seem like a large hill to climb. However, once you understand what the goals of the company are, you will have a better idea of how to approach the situation. In time, you will be able to successfully navigate a powerful presentation that communicates the goals of SEO effectively.
The Challenges C-Suite Executives Face
In order to understand the importance of SEO and how to approach the situation, in regards to discussing potential benefits with C-Suite executives, it is helpful to understand the possible challenges that a CEO faces. Regardless of what industry a business is in, they will face challenges. These challenges could differ from company to company and are not always universal. A company of any size may face certain hurdles to overcome, such as meeting the demands of the customer or improving the searchability of their website. Arash Asli, who is the CEO of Yocale.com, states, “With many similar products on the market, CEOs and business leaders have to think more about what is going to set themselves apart and how to secure brand loyalty by anticipating trends and stay ahead of the curve”. Forming a connection between the business entity and the customer is the key to long-term success. SEO can help to bridge that gap and foster connections.
Understand the C-Suite
Digital marketing is a broad spectrum, with many confusing concepts and terms. Even those that work in certain aspects of digital marketing, such as paid search, may not know every part of the spectrum. Many of those at the C-Suite level may be unfamiliar with SEO practices, but have extensive expertise in other areas. Make connections with these other areas in order to help them understand how SEO can be beneficial as a marketing tool.
Regardless of a particular C-Suite level executive’s expertise, they will all primarily have the same goal: results. They will want to know how SEO will impact their business, both organizationally and performance. Finer details can get lost in translation and even eat-up much needed time. Convey SEO in a way that the C-Suite level executive would understand. It helps to take a closer look at what makes up each title, in order to best convey your goals.
To the CEO, investments in the business are of the utmost importance but are also limited. They will want to know how SEO will affect their company’s performance and their return on investment. Use various models and predictions to help formulate how SEO will pay off for their company, as well as comparisons to the competition.
The CMO may be most interested in how SEO affects organic search and how this will grow organic search revenue. Explain the role SEO plays in growing traffic, as well as revenue, through organic search and how this could also affect other areas of marketing.
How will SEO affect the performance of the company overall? Figure out what financial aspects will go into generating a successful SEO strategy for the company. Determine what will allow them to allocate enough of their budget to allow for this new investment into their company.
The COO may be most interested in how SEO will affect other areas of the company. These other areas could include sales, branding, and upsells. Will SEO affect other operational costs? Describe how the company will still be able to meet other goals, while still investing in SEO.
Presenting information vaguely will neither help you present SEO effectively or garner the support of C-Suite level executives. Although there may be some factors that may be unknown when you first communicate the idea, give your presentation more known variables. This will allow the C-Suite executives to feel secure in their decision-making. This includes eliminating technical jargon and instead replacing those terms with ideas they will more easily understand.
Create a Plan
Formulate a plan and stick to it. This decisiveness is essential when planning with C-Suite executives. They do not want to discuss something that is still in the ideation phase. However, keep the plan open to their ideas. This plan will need to be specific, yet flexible to their unique needs.
If a C-Suite executive expects results overnight, then you did not explain SEO or their SEO marketing strategy effectively. These expectations could lead to cutting the project before it even gets off of the ground. Explain that SEO implementation is a long-term solution and that while it can and may provide short-term results, it is more geared towards long-term goals. This may prompt a conversation where a CEO is adamant about some short-term results. If this is the casee, you can tweak your tactics in order to help provide them this.
SEO is an essential tool that can be utilized by companies of any size. As an SEO expert, continue to build upon your knowledge to elevate your success daily and make connections. Perfecting your presentations and honing in on your pitching skills will only help to promote your success as a professional.
About Brad Nietfeldt
As one of the most sought after digital marketing gurus in America, Brad’s entrepreneurial career involves writing and producing music, successful tech start ups, working for several fortune 500 companies and in his early 20s he was of the first support staff at the then start up currently known as PayPal.com. Learn more.
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