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What’s the Best Way to Get Client Buy-In for SEO?

Even though SEO pros are hired for their expertise, your advice may be ignored. Learn how to win client buy-in in this Ask An SEO.

Today’s Ask an SEO question comes from Muhammad in Karachi. Muhammad asks:

What’s the best “sales pitch” to persuade clients to follow SEO guidelines?

What is important to you is not necessarily important to other people.

This is true in both life and the world of search engine optimization.

Over the years, I’ve had countless conversations with SEO professionals in which we’ve recounted nightmare scenarios where in-house personnel and clients alike seem hell-bent on sabotaging all SEO efforts.

In some cases, it can seem that SEO pros who were hired for their expertise have their advice repeatedly ignored.

Dealing with internal roadblocks is one of the most underrated skills in search engine optimization.

Even if you have the best strategy and tactics, you won’t know SEO success unless your strategy is implemented.

So, how do you get things done?

Understand the “Why”

It’s actually pretty rare to find someone who doesn’t want to do their job well.

As an SEO expert, I want to assume that those I’m working with want to do the right thing.

When that doesn’t happen, there is usually something other than malice or laziness at work.

Understanding why your items aren’t being implemented properly is the main job of an SEO that is having trouble getting things done.

For example, if you are dealing with an IT department, there may be some fear that your changes are going to cause unforeseen issues that will cause the already overworked department to have even more work.

Sometimes clients read bad advice.

After all, in the world of SEO, it can be hard to discern between the good advice versus the bad, even for the most experienced professional.

It’s up to the SEO pro to establish authority with their clients.

SEO pros must work to engender trust or they will never be successful.

Never Stop Educating

It’s easy to forget that not everyone lives, eats, and breathes SEO.

This is especially true when dealing with the folks that repeatedly throw roadblocks to SEO progress.

Many times, fear and lack of understanding are the reason that SEO recommendations never see the light of day.

It’s important to continually educate decision-makers on why SEO recommendations are important.

But it’s also important to de-mystify the process.

If you present SEO as a magic box, you’re going to get pushback down the road.

In my opinion, there are no proprietary SEO techniques.

And if you are worried that your client is going to just go and do the work themselves without you, you have bigger problems than not getting your SEO recommendations implemented.

Internal Champions

One of the most effective ways to get things done is to find an internal champion.

This should be someone with a bit of clout in the organization.

They should be able to help the SEO pro navigate internal politics, which can frequently be a roadblock to getting things done.

Data and Making Things Easier

At the end of the day, showing how SEO can affect the bottom line can be imperative in getting things done.

SEO professionals need to celebrate and brag about their wins.

I’ve found that no one else is going to celebrate your wins for you.

Tell your clients and decision-makers about the wins early and often.

It’s also important to work to make your decision-makers’ life easier.

If all you ever do as an SEO pro is request changes to the site without helping to take something off of someone’s plate, you quickly become someone whose calls should be avoided.

Anything you can do to make things easier for your clients should be done.

And when you can’t make things easier – donuts and snacks are usually appreciated.

Never be above bribing someone with sugar.

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Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!

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I am a 19-year veteran of the digital marketing world with previous experience in journalism, public relations and advertising. I’ve ...

What’s the Best Way to Get Client Buy-In for SEO?

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