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How to Communicate the Value of SEO to the C-Suite

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31st May 2023 in

A well-executed Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy can deliver sustainable business growth, competitive advantage and a strong Return on Investment (ROI).

Communicating that value, however, is made difficult by the fact that SEO requires a relatively large investment upfront. In order to justify the value of SEO to your C-Suite, you need to understand the priorities and responsibilities of your audience.

In this article, we’ll cover the key responsibilities of C-Suite members and how you can communicate SEO’s value according to their needs.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO is responsible for the overall direction and success of the company. It’s crucial to align SEO with the company’s long-term strategy and show a positive influence on the bottom line.

Focus on these benefits when discussing SEO with your CEO:

  • Company Goals – Show how your SEO strategy supports the growth goals of the company
  • Competitive Advantage – Demonstrate how strong SEO performance can help your company outperform competitors and maintain market leadership.
  • The Bottom Line – Link SEO to long-term customer acquisition, revenue growth and cost-effectiveness.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

CFOs are concerned with the financial health of a company. Your job is to demonstrate that an investment in SEO will improve your company’s financial position.

Your argument should follow two major themes:

  • Return on Investment (ROI) – Present data on how SEO performs favourably against other marketing channels in terms of ROI.
  • Reliance on Paid Media – Make the case that an investment in SEO, which is fundamentally an asset for the business, reduces your company’s reliance on paid media to acquire customers.

The more concrete data you can supply to your CFO, the easier it will be to convince them of the value of SEO.

Chief Operations Officer (COO)

COOs ensure a company is operating efficiently. They want to know how SEO can reduce costs and increase the efficiency of resource allocation.

When speaking to your COO about SEO, focus on:

  • Asset Improvement – Explain how SEO improves a company-owned asset—your website—and provides benefits now and into the future.
  • Sales Streamlining – Demonstrate how optimising website content leads to more informed customers and streamlined sales processes.
  • Integration Across Departments – Show how SEO can benefit other functions of the business, such as content marketing, social media and public relations.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Your CMO is responsible for the company’s brand, reputation and positive contributions to the bottom line. Demonstrate how an investment in SEO is an investment in brand awareness and smart business growth.

SEO builds your company’s brand in the following ways:

  • Awareness – Highlight how SEO increases search engine visibility, leading to more traffic and awareness.
  • Customer Journey Improvement – When relevant content is easier for customers to find online, the transition between customer journey stages becomes smoother.
  • Credibility – Explain how appearing for key search terms develops credibility and authority.
  • Business Growth – Describe how SEO makes your brand easier to find online and attracts new customers, leading to business growth over time.

The benefits of SEO for the marketing department are also highly trackable, making ROI calculations relatively easy.

Communicating the value of SEO to the C-Suite requires an understanding of each executive’s priorities and objectives. By framing the benefits of SEO in terms of their individual responsibilities, you can secure greater buy-in from your executive team and reap the long-term growth benefits that SEO delivers.


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