Judge using his gavel

Over the last few months, i’ve noticed a steady increase in the volume of articles being published on the topic of justifying and “selling” SEO to a marketing department or corporate board.  Although i’m not a fan of “selling” anything, there are some particularly valuable lessons to be learned from the sales mentality. Having faced and conquered the “SEO justification” gauntlet on several occasions, I wanted to share the articles I found most helpful in developing an arsenal of clever education based solutions to winning over that stubborn CEO.

From stuntdubl

  1. 18 Questions Your CEO Forgot to Ask Before Building Your Website
  2. 10 Things to Ask Your SEO Clients
  3. Guide to Getting by the Gatekeepers

From SEOmoz

  1. Tips, Tricks, and Tactics Preview: Seth Besmertnik on winning SEO budget
  2. A checklist to choose which internet marketing channel is right for your business
  3. How you can use SEOmoz in your sales process
  4. A brief letter to start up CEOs, CPOs, and Founders
  5. The disconnect in PPC vs SEO spending
  6. The SEO’s guide to beginners

From Search Engine Watch

  1. Selling SEO during an economic downturn
  2. Selling SEO projects against PPC campaigns
  3. Great Expectations: How to communicate SEO value

From SEOBook

  1. Selling SEO consulting services
  2. Selling SEO services on a performance basis

From Search Engine Land

  1. Plan for the long run with data driven SEO
  2. An open letter to Derek Powazek on the value of SEO

Other favorites

  1. A CEO’s perspective on SEO, SEM, SMM, PPC and ROI
  2. How not to sell SEO
  3. Branding vs. SEO on corporate web sites

I’d also like to point out that “selling” SEO, in the true sense of the word, is NOT the best way to go about convincing a CMO, CEO, or COO that SEO is critically important during a recession.  The best strategy, as expected, is an education based approach centered on explaining basic SEO theory, developing easily consumable analogies, and illustrating comprehensive digital marketing initiatves.  Ultimately, the succesful justification of your digital marketing agenda comes down to establishing trust and credibility with your audience (also true in most public speaking environments).  You MUST know what you’re talking about as much as you MUST know how to illustrate, explore, and explain the long-term value of SEO.

Directors, CEOs, Founders, and Presidents see everything as $$$$ signs.  They rely on their confidants to help them make intelligent, secure, and valuable decisions.  It’s your role as an SEO to act as an educator – to be the factual, poignant, reliable, and determined strategist which made you succesful in the first place.  Examples of success, tools, case studies, and well defined strategies can help make the case – but to win that budget for sure – look at the situation from the other side of the board room  and consider who’s really making the decision to invest and who’s responsible if you fail.

2 Comments »

  1. by @steveplunkett
    October 27, 2009
    11:20 am

    Good post. =)

  2. by Quora
    February 18, 2011
    10:54 am

    How effective is SEO?…

    It depends, how effective do you want SEO to be? IMO every website should engage in some form of SEO, the extent of which should be mandated by the competitiveness of the market. I have personally seen great results from SEO, time and time again, for w…

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