The bigger the organisation, the more difficult it is to get the SEO buy-in from management because the purse strings are more tightly guarded and there is usually a larger number of people to convince of the value that SEO could offer to the organisation.
Generally, when management is involved in a purchasing decision, their support is driven by the effect that the purchase will have on the bottom line. Now this is not a very simple question to answer when it comes to SEO because there are so many dynamic factors that come into play, it is not possible to offer a standarised response.
What SEO strategies are available at ROI?
For this reason, the first step in the buy-in process is education. Remember that the people in higher management positions, particularly in more traditional companies, will have had limited exposure to online marketing and SEO. The learning curve is certainly a big one and the process will require patience to get them on board.
Reroute via Pay-Per-Click
One possible strategy to getting SEO buy-in is by introducing PPC into the mix. The benefit of PPC is that it is so measurable. The return on advertising spend (ROAS) and margins can be immediately calculated as all the information is on hand.
Of course, companies in certain industries will have budget restrictions that may not allow them to even enter the PPC game, but if there is significant resistance to online marketing and SEO, perhaps the tentative entrance strategy is via PPC. After a few months, once the PPC has had a tangibly positive effect on the bottom line, it may be the time to re-introduce the SEO discussion. In this way, management is able to see the benefit of online marketing and may more readily buy-in to SEO.
Playing the SEO Card
Once the company is profiting from its online marketing investment, you can then ask the decision makers whether they would like to receive a greater percentage of traffic to the website, that is not limited by PPC budgets, that can find the website, unhindered, 24/7.
It may be worthwhile pointing out a few key competitors who already rank well organically for ‘money terms’ that are currently driving business to their website, instead of your website. You could also mention that the propensity to click on organic links vs. PPC links lies relatively at 70% and 30%. Imagine what percentage of the online share market pie your company could control, if only an investment was made in optimising the site for those lucrative keywords.