One of the most frustrating things that digital marketing experts encounter on a daily basis is business owners who don’t believe in SEO, or have simply been burned before and have given up hope entirely.
This is disheartening, especially when you know how much value you can bring them; they’ve got an amazing product and a trusted brand, only their website looks like something out of a 90’s movie and they have little to no online presence whatsoever.
It’s disheartening because, with the right approach, any reputable digital marketing agency could positively transform its business and take it to unimaginable heights.
As such, we can’t even imagine how jarring it must be for someone who works for a company and is responsible for generating leads, making sales, and spreading brand awareness, but is otherwise being held back by a boss who flat-out refuses to consider investing in SEO.
So, what do you do?
Read on and we’ll see if we can help you bring them around to the idea!
How to respond when your boss refuses to budge on SEO and digital marketing
There are a number of different tactics that you can try to help bring them around to see the value in SEO and digital marketing in general, however, first, it’s important to understand why your boss is so against it. Once you understand what the objections are, overcoming them will be far easier.
1. Find out why your boss is dead against SEO
Why is your boss so anti-SEO? Below are a few potential reasons:
- They’re old school and don’t feel comfortable talking about new technology.
- They have received lots of cold sales calls from people trying to sell SEO and associate cold sales with spam and cons.
- They love their old website and don’t want anyone to come in and re-design it.
- They’ve invested in SEO before, chosen the wrong agency, and have otherwise been ‘burned’ with substandard results.
- They’re rather stingy with money and would rather save as much as they can.
- They don’t see the value in SEO and believe it to be an artless waste of money.
- The list goes on, but these are typically the main reasons why someone doesn’t want to invest in SEO. So, have a sit down with your boss and get to the bottom of it. Following that, it’s time to start selling them on the idea.
2. Pitch the outcome
The next step is to pitch the outcome of SEO. Far too many business owners get caught up in the
“how much is this going to cost me?”, as opposed to “what will my business look like when it’s up and running?”
So, discuss your business goals and figure out how SEO can help you achieve them.
For example: saying to your boss that SEO can help you achieve more backlinks and thus traffic to your website is a waste of time. After all, what does “traffic” mean to someone who doesn’t really understand digital marketing?
Instead, you can approach it like this:
- By investing in SEO, we can reduce our traditional ad spending by X amount each month and replace the few leads that we do get from that with organic website traffic amounting to approximately X amount in monthly revenue.
Of course, this is just speculation, however, it can’t hurt to set goals in SEO – especially if you have a prospective SEO agency in mind that has plenty of case studies for you to reference.
Take this Brisbane SEO agency as an example:
- One of their 100+ real-life case studies is Calvin Klein. They helped them achieve 137% more organic revenue, 52% organic traffic, and a HUGE ROI.
When sharing these real-life case studies with your boss using recognizable brands, they’ll have a much easier time not only recognizing the immense value in it but understanding what the outcome can look like for your business.
3. Explain the logic behind it
It’s simple enough pitching the outcome, however, your boss will need to understand how and why your proposed SEO solution will work.
You will need as much data as possible to pull this off.
So, for example, how much are you currently spending each month on traditional advertising? Do you use Newspapers? Billboards? Local directories? Radio?
Collect the data and determine exactly how much money you are spending and how many new customers you are attracting as a result.
We can almost guarantee that the money you spend on traditional advertising would attract far more business if redirected into a full-scale digital marketing campaign.
The results don’t lie.
4. Create an actionable roadmap
Now you need to put together an actionable roadmap. Again, it’s all very well pitching the outcome and explaining the logic, but how are you supposed to get to the golden hill? What work needs to be done in the short term in order to achieve these awesome results you propose?
- Begin with a thorough website audit. Assuming you’ve found a prospective SEO agency that you wish to invest in, they should be able to help you with a FREE and thorough website audit. This will come back to you with everything that needs to be done to your website in order to get it “SEO ready”.
- Don’t bog them down with all of the technical SEO and lecture them about page load speed and duplicate content issues. Instead, run some website audits on your biggest competitors and show how your website compares. When you have colorful charts with numbers and figures, they’ll be able to clearly see why you are falling behind.
- Following that, you can show them: “This is where we are, and this is what we need to do to get to where we need to be.”
5. Talk about the numbers
Obviously, the big one is going to be discussing money.
“How much money do you want from me?”
Just remember that when discussing money and SEO, you need to sell your boss on the fact that SEO is not an expense, but an investment. Assuming that you’ve done your due diligence and have a reputable SEO agency lined up, you can show your boss a comprehensive proposal with how much money you will be spending each month and what kind of ROI you can expect in the future.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed in SEO, which is why you should steer clear of any agency that guarantees results or promises a certain ROI by a certain date.
However, again, if you choose an SEO agency that has over 100 real-life case studies, it will be clear that a sustainable and scalable ROI can be achieved in time.
At this stage in the process, you are almost certainly better off arranging a video conference with your prospective SEO agency. Putting a face to a name is a great way to start building trust. But not only that, your campaign manager will be far better prepared to overcome many of the objections that your boss has. After all, SEO agencies deal with this kind of thing on a weekly basis.
Preparing for objections
It’s worth being prepared for objections before you initiate the conversation with your boss, otherwise, they might shut you down immediately before you even get a chance to discuss outcomes and cast studies.
- “SEO is a scam”: unfortunately, there are a lot of inequitable “SEO experts” out there who do con decent business owners out of their money. Not only that but there are also a lot of well-intentioned “SEO experts” who simply lack the knowledge and expertise to deliver the desired results. As such, the digital marketing industry does indeed have a bad reputation for “selling snake oil”.
- Use social proof and case studies to your advantage: you can explain to your boss that there are indeed scammers out there, but you have a few prospect agencies in mind that have hundreds of 5* reviews and real-life case studies to support their authenticity.
- “I tried SEO for three months and it didn’t work”: SEO does indeed take a while to work. In fact, it can take between 3 and 12 months before any real sustainable ROI can be achieved. As such, you can inform your boss that they jumped the gun too soon – or indeed invested in the wrong SEO agency.
Conclusion: You can lead a horse to water
Ultimately, there’s only so much that you can do to convince your boss of the value of SEO. As the saying goes:
“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.”
So, do your best. Put the time and effort into researching the best SEO agencies, get a website audit (including your top competitors), create a road map and request a proposal, and then go from there.
With the right approach, it is indeed possible to win the technophobes over!
We hope you’ve found this article insightful and wish you the best of luck.