Forget the Donuts: Here’s 5 Ways to Get Buy-In for SEO

“Why do you need SEO?” Ah, the dreaded question. Aligning your internal teams behind SEO isn’t easy. But to achieve true B2B success, SEO needs to be an integral part of your organization. Too often, in the process of getting all of the moving parts in an org in sync, SEO can become an afterthought.

For example, say your company is redesigning its website. It starts out as a simple reskin. Sounds pretty easy right? Until, of course, it’s also about improving content. And then a new taxonomy. And URL changes. And hey, we should probably consolidate some other domains while we’re at it. None of which can happen without input from multiple stakeholders from wildly different departments across the organization. And then comes the dreaded question:

“This won’t affect SEO, right?”

Matt Crowley, Director of Optimized Services at MoreVisibility, knows this story all too well — and odds are, so do most B2B SEOs.

At the enterprise level, with so many factors to consider, SEO can fall by the wayside. Other factors take priority, like design, IT, QA, and so on. The result is major transformation without SEO buy-in, which can mean major hits to traffic and revenue.

And it’s not just redesigns — unless SEO is integrated into every step of the process, every campaign is at risk. So how can SEOs get stakeholders across their organization to buy into the value of what they do? The answer is simple: flip the script.

why do you need seo

According to Matt, the question is not what your business can do for SEO. It’s what SEO can do for your business.

Forget bringing donuts to meetings; the real way to encourage buy-in is to show up to the table with concrete SEO answers to the questions of risk mitigation, value creation, and business growth. Which might sound daunting, but you can pull it off in five steps:

1. Education: Why SEO Matters

  • Make sure team members across the organization know what they gain when SEO goes right — and what they lose when it goes wrong.
  • Get stakeholders to buy into SEO results before you weigh them down with tactics.
  • Make sure the marketing team approaches their job with a user-centric mentality.
  • Then you need tools like Conductor Searchlight and SEMRush to present data that shows the link between SEO and revenue.

2. Alignment: Why SEO Means Business

  • Make sure your SEO goals line up with the objectives of the organization at large.
  • Outline resource requirements and constraints ahead of time, so everyone knows the roadmap.
  • Meet regularly with business units to ensure you’re all on the same page.
  • Present SEO findings in terms of concrete risk mitigation and growth opportunities.

3. Issues-Based Marketing: Why Your Customer Matters

  • Cut the jargon out of your content in favor of the language your customer uses.
  • Demonstrate how content can be segmented out to follow the customer journey.
  • Give your teams relevant data on what terms are actually being searched for so they can align their language with the customer’s.
  • Pay constant attention to the words your customers use.

4. Training: Equip Your Team With the Right Skills

5. Communication: Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

  • Don’t miss a chance to make sure SEO is front-of-mind during regular strategic conversations.
  • Make sure the SEO team is keyed into major business goals.
  • Communicate SEO needs and strategies in terms of the requirements of the business at large.

With this checklist, you’re primed and ready to make it clear how SEO is a core part of the business — and encourage buy-in across the organization. When the value of SEO is clearly communicated, that next site redesign might go a little more smoothly.

4 Responses to Forget the Donuts: Here’s 5 Ways to Get Buy-In for SEO

  1. Jordan says:

    Hi! Thanks, really interesting and great-written
    But what do you mean link between SEO and revenue? Can I do it with SerpStat?

  2. Ruben Quinones says:

    Hi Jordan, great question. As I understand it, Conductor integrates with Google Analytics, pulling conversions and any revenue tracking you have in place being attributed to the organic channel. Depending on your own internal tools, need to passback information from your CRM to GA, which will then in turn pass back to insights from Conductor and inform search light decisions.

  3. Hi Jordan and Ruben,

    This blog post is about the presentation that I gave at C3 2017 (, that Luke was so kind to write a recap of.

    When linking SEO to revenue, what is really important to focus on is framing the discussion with senior leadership in terms of something that is impactful to the business (more than just keyword rankings). You want to present SEO opportunity in terms of revenue, not just keyword rankings. Revenue is the the ultimate metric to focus on, but truthfully it’s not always feasible. Sometimes you’ll have to focus on higher level metrics like leads generated.

    Either way, in order to do this, it’s critical to first make sure that you have web analytics correctly configured on your website to track more than just traffic. For example, leveraging enhanced e-commerce via Google analytics if you are an e-commerce company. Then, it’s important to identify opportunities to implement SEO changes that will impact Organic Rankings > Organic Click Through Rate > Organic Traffic > Organic Conversions > Organic Revenue. That’s a simplistic funnel, but it hopefully it conveys the general steps.

    You will then want to present your strategy to senior leadership in terms of the net impact on Revenue (or any metric as close to that end of the funnel as you can get). If you simply present on rankings opportunity, you likely won’t receive the buy-in that you’ll want.

    As far as the tools and integration goes, Ruben is definitely providing some good insight. Conductor does integrate with web analytics (Google Analytics as well as Adobe, IBM, and Webtrends) and can provide great insight across rankings, traffic, conversion metrics and revenue. Depending on your business, if you’re not using Conductor as Ruben outlines, you may have to integrate your CRM data with the analytics platform that you are using to tie revenue back to organic sources.

    So, in summary, to receive more buy-in for your SEO initiatives I highly recommend having the right tools in place to track revenue impact from your SEO efforts, and also presenting SEO opportunities to your senior leadership in terms of net revenue impact, not just organic rankings.

  4. Coffeebot says:

    Like it or not, online businesses need to keep their SEO game in top shape. Online presence is important if they want to earn more. Unless they’re trying to tank, but any sane business owner won’t ever think of deliberately losing profits, right?

    An experienced seo agency can be consulted to provide the right advice to bring balance to your SEO and your business. If hired to improve a business’s SEO, they can ensure that it gains more online exposure, and then some.

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