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Selling Your SEO Project

One of the most important things to do is to keep it simple when you are trying to get them to understand how SEO helps their business. Here are the most important things you need to sell them on:

  1. Organic search engine traffic can bring in new customers. One effective way to do this is to use a tool like Compete or Alexa to show a comparison of your competitor’s web traffic and yours. This is very powerful, especially if your competitors are eating your lunch online.
  2. Your project will bring in new search engine traffic. This is obviously an important one. We will talk about it more in the next section.
  3. The volume of new business will be material. No point in investing in a small project. Turn this into dollars and cents. What will be the new revenue you think you can bring in? Yes, this is crystal ball forecasting, but you need to do it. Don’t shy away from it.
  4. The ROI will be high. This is the bottom line. How much am I spending, and what do we think we can from it?

Selling Your Particular Project

So if the financial case looks strong, your next challenge is to justify your specific project. Let’s use the example of a link building project. Perhaps you have a series of link bait ideas you want to try out, or maybe it is a PR campaign through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.
The first thing to do is to make sure that the groundwork has been laid down. Does your budget manager understand the importance of inbound links? If not, you need to break it down for them. Here are the basic points to make:

  1. Links are Votes. To help with this create a very simple graphical slide like the one: 
    Links are votes screenshot

    You can see this slide and more like it in my Marketing to Developer Translation presentation (look at slide 10) I did at SMX West 2009.

  2. Not all Votes are Created Equal. You don’t want your budget manager to suggest cheaper ways to get lots of crappy links. You need to ties this back into why your campaign will bring in the right type of links. Not a specific topic I covered in my presentation, but probably a good one to cover. Just create a simple graphical slide (or draw it on a whiteboard) to help them understand why a link from Amazon is more important than a link from Joe’s book store.
  3. Why you think your campaign idea will work. Keep this very high level and do not provide tons of detail. Stick to broad concepts that they can wrap their brains around quickly.

It may seem like the general idea is to dumb it down, and there is some truth to that. You also want it to be short. If you actually present your plan, get the presentation done in 15 minutes or less. Most budget managers have scores of things on their minds, so make your case simple, fast, and in their language, and you will have your best shot of success.

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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