In SEO, change is constant. Change is currently the only constant in SEO.
Marketers have been hard hit by the and reduced spending.
SEO is now a key topic on the boardroom agenda as C-suite executives look for ways to cut costs and increase efficiency.
SEO has a significant impact on website performance in every industry. SEO provides valuable business insight into the consumer’s intent and behavior, while also helping to discover and measure content.
This is why it’s so important to consider how SEOs will communicate with key stakeholders within their organizations in 2023.
In addition, digital marketing budgets are becoming more competitive, so it is important to recognize and reward the success of SEO and its performance.
SEO is becoming ingrained into many aspects of businesses – including providing insight for sales, product optimization and partnering with digital media agencies – so it’s important to address these issues.
- What are the key metrics that matter for the CEO?
- How can I best communicate with my CMO/CFO regarding budgets?
- How and when should I communicate my SEO performance to the entire organization?
- How do I deal with multiple inquiries from different departments?
These are some tips and insights to help you communicate with the C-suite.
The challenges and the opportunities of SEO within the boardroom
Changes in economy, fluctuating demand and supply and organizational changes all play a part in conversations at the C-level.
Every industry and every company faces the challenge of constantly innovating to meet the needs of customers of the future.
Every business must understand the customers’ needs and provide their experience.
This channel can be used to help key C-suite members:
- Get vital insights to stay ahead of the market.
- Assess competitive pressures.
- Find new opportunities.
- Glean a better understanding of customers across all business lines.
Performance is also a key focus in C-suite discussions. It isn’t about performance at any cost.
It is all about driving the highest performance possible while maintaining the greatest gross margin.
Executives at the top of the chain appreciate the return on investment when it comes to SEO and the organic channels.
Organic search drive 51% website traffic , a figure that has remained constant for almost eight years. This information is an excellent starting point for building relationships with executives at the top.
The problem for many SEOs is double:
- Getting visibility.
- Clear reporting and communication are key to getting buy-in.
You can’t have one without the other.
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It is important to understand the C-suite as well as key business metrics.
The company’s C-suite is responsible for directing the business strategy of the company and managing employees. But not all C-suite members are equally knowledgeable about digital marketing.
There may be some who are more proficient in certain technical skills, such as coding and designing websites.
Another person might be able to specialize in product strategy.
All members are encouraged to work together, regardless of SEO expertise.
- Performance metrics are measures of how well we do in comparison to other companies.
- Organisational Impact.
Organic search is a complex area. The success of one campaign does not necessarily translate into the victory that your team considers a win.
You can bridge the gap between understanding and communication by first establishing SEO’s importance on an individual basis with people who are able to make decisions on this data.
Show them that your digital marketing efforts have helped to promote other channels and increase customer retention. You could also demonstrate how personalized offers based on customer experience are helping you improve customer retention.
Organizations will be asked to achieve more with less as media budgets shrink. SEO is now more important than ever.
This is your goal:
- No matter what , search plays an important role in our daily lives.
- Search doesn’t change with consumers like other channels.
- The best type of income is generated by SEO.
- SEO can increase brand equity and visibility.
- SEO is a vital source of business intelligence on both a micro (market) or macro (intent).
- SEO is the engine that drives other marketing channels, and it does this more effectively.
- SEO insight can help your business grow, like product development or sales.
SEO can be an investment which provides compounded income from short-term gains to long-term incremental profits.
It is worth the effort and time it takes.
It doesn’t disappear and continues to grow over time. It’s durable and can provide exponential growth.
These are the things C-suite members love to hear.
Each organization is unique in its hierarchical structure and the titles it uses. Below are some examples that use a common enterprise-level structure for illustration purposes.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief executive officer (CEO), is interested in the overall performance of all employees. CEOs:
- You want to know how SEO contributes to your business’ top line and if the SEO contributions are being completed effectively.
- They can only make a few investments in order to grow their company. However, they need to be certain that the investment made in SEO will yield a return.
- See the sales figures and compare the company to its competitors.
The Measures That Matter:
- Market share
- One voice.
Chief marketing officer (CMO), is very interested in overall demand generation. Because of its size, organic search is very exciting.
- You want to increase traffic and revenues from search engines.
- You want to find out how it performs in terms of conversions as well as the role (assists), alongside other channels like demand generation, industry influencers or social media.
The Measures That Matter:
- Conversion rates
- Acquisition expenses.
- ROI is compared with other channels.
Like the CEO, chief financial officer (CFO) is concerned about overall performance.
The CFO is also interested in forecasting and budgeting.
They’ll want to decide:
- New investments are possible.
- Which budgets or technology investments should you make for SEO in the next year?
It is crucial that the CFO knows the why behind what they are doing and how it will affect the final result. There have been many economic fluctuations, which has put pressure on the budget.
Metrics that Matter:
- Operating costs.
- Budget efficiency.
- Compare forecasts with other channels.
Modern-day SEO requires a chief technology officer (CTO).
- You are interested in product development, data integration and insights.
- You must be knowledgeable about all technological advancements in order to make informed choices regarding future products and services that will benefit your company.
Metrics that Matter:
- Site performance.
- Product development.
Chief operating officer (COO), will be very interested in the following:
- SEO’s impact on other business aspects such as branding, sales and retention.
- Costs associated with the business, such as design.
- SEO structure, processes, and people are interconnected across an organization.
The Measures That Matter:
- Operating costs.
- Business intelligence.
- Contribution to the achievement of cross-functional goals.
- Automation can save you money
The C-suite collectively wants to know:
- Its size.
- Market value.
- They have a significant voice on the market.
- Maximum return and actual return.
Keep in mind that you will only have a short time to spend with the C-suite. Make sure to choose wisely your words and that they are heard.
You can promote and increase your SEO efforts by remembering who you’re talking to and speaking their language.
A CMO, for example, would prefer to hear about rank rather than revenue because it is more important that a campaign’s SEO results are tangible and beneficial to their bottom line.
When communicating with others, it is important to try to understand their language.
Chief executives are not interested in keyword rankings changes, other than your core keywords, but they do care about your voice and revenue.
You have the opportunity to increase SEO and your importance. Language is crucial for communication.
This is how you frame your message and what it means for the C-suite.
|SEO||The organic channel|
|Algorithm Updates||Google makes changes|
|Key words||Customers are looking for topics – intent|
|Changes in rank and rank||What content are you performing?|
|Optimizing||Online conversions and attraction of customers|
|SERP CTR||For an internet search query, share your voice|
|Don’t forget the data||Information for business|
|Voices to Share||Contrary to the competition|
Use visuals and reports to communicate quickly your company’s progress and direct benefits.
Transparency is key to SEO success
SEOs are known for making SEO exotic and esoteric, which suggests that SEOs can do some dark magic.
Unfortunately, this does not serve the SEO or the executive audience.
Try the reverse approach:
- Increase transparency of progress. SEO takes more time than sales or paid channels to produce results. However, standard management reports should include SEO progress reporting at minimum monthly. Don’t forget to include SEO progress reporting at least monthly in standard management report vehicles. SEO investment can bring you compound returns (or interest-like) that are unmatched by any other channel.
- and focusing on the critical wins. SEOs shouldn’t share tactical details of each deal with managers. They identify patterns that are repeatable and explain to executives how they plan on scaling it up to other reps or deals.
Explain the value of SEO to the C-suite
SEO’s importance is increasing. SEO has been a key participant in many businesses’ business planning. It is important to align with many stakeholders.
and create alignment among various stakeholders.
SEO teams often have to provide greater value and do so with less resources than other business areas.
This speaks volumes about the importance and value of SEO within an organization. However, this also implies that you must be systematic in your approach to work as an SEO.
Showcase your success while managing expectations. You can’t stall if you don’t have the right strategies. Balance your efforts to achieve incremental success while still focusing on long term results.
You can continue to elevate your success through building dashboards and presentations that link SEO strategies and tactics with business goals. You will be able to position yourself and help promote your achievements.
Engage with executives at all levels and make sure they understand SEO’s role.
Deep learning, data and AI are powerful tools to help you share insights and tell compelling stories.
Your success as an SEO depends on your ability to during meetings.
Spend some time learning valuable skills such as confident speaking or engaging storytelling to engage leaders.
You can then engage your leaders in the organization and make them aware of the benefits that you and the search channel have to offer.
These opinions are not necessarily those of Search Engine Land, but they do reflect the views of the guest author. Here are the names of staff authors.
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