What's your biggest challenge as an enterprise SEO?

Overcoming technical site issues? Perhaps.

Increasing content production? Maybe, especially if you’re not a writer.  

My guess is that the one issue you struggle with the most is gaining buy-in for SEO.

In fact, our clients tell me often about the red tape and internal politics that hinder so many of their efforts.

Many tell me how limited they feel in their organizations. Others share tales of the lack of buy-in blocking them from various opportunities.

They recall how IT departments disregard their requests for code revisions. Some complain at PR and marketing teams not cooperating in content production or link building, or how other teams lack the insight on why they should even want to help and how.

In this post, I decided to share some ideas to help you overcome the buy-in challenge.

You’ll learn three strategies that will help you:

  • Communicate the importance of SEO across the organization, and
  • Bring relevant stakeholders on your side.

Strategy #1: Show Results Often.

I don’t know a better way to convince someone of the power of SEO than by showcasing your every win, regardless how small.

For example:

Have you increased search visibility in one of your target industries? Fixed site issues that obstructed customers on their journey through the site? Created a high-trafficked piece of content?

Although each might seem small to an onlooker, those achievements directly affect the company’s bottom line.

Higher rankings translate to greater traffic and include potential for conversions. An optimized customer search experience can make visitors more prone to engage with your brand. Viral content could help raise brand awareness, among other things.

However, no one else in the organization would know how these results happened unless you share the results and the process to achieve these results.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  1. Create dedicated reporting dashboards in your enterprise SEO solution that show the wins relevant to different departments. For sales teams, include information about traffic growth and conversions. When speaking to the C-Suite, illustrate how your work affects the company’s goals. For regional directors, present the data about their part of the business only, and so on.
    ceo level dashboard
    (Clarity Dashboards allow you to show only what's important to different teams.)
  2. Launch an internal newsletter in which you’ll cover the most important wins you generated for others. These don’t have to be a big production; but, if you’ve published a page with information that could help sales teams in their work, let them know about it.

Communicating your wins is just the first step. Next, analyze who engages with this information and use it to build strategic connections in the organization.

Communicate with them regularly. Include them in relevant decisions regarding SEO. Reference their input in presentations and reports.

In doing so, you’ll quickly develop a network of SEO evangelists to draw from when you need others to help.

Strategy #2: Conduct Regular Training Sessions.

A friend of mine - a former enterprise SEO – used a simple trick to evangelize the search among his peers.

In his last SEO job, he requested a permanent, short time slot at the monthly management meeting. He’d use the few minutes he had to show slides showing one thing only:

How SEO helped each of the departments represented at the meeting.

The result? An incredibly strong buy-in for his ideas, and the willingness to help from all those departments.

The reason for that is simple. Every month, he got a chance to remind various managers that SEO is a way for them to boost their results too.

Unfortunately, pressed for time, the company eventually took his time slot away. As he told me, the interest in SEO among managers dwindled quickly.

There are two lessons in my friend’s story. To evangelize SEO, you must:

  • Show others why they should invest in SEO, and also,
  • Do it regularly. Because the moment you stop, it’s easy for everyone to forget.

Here are some things you should remember when educating your peers about SEO.

  1. Always present SEO through its impact on their work. Most managers and employees from other departments don’t really care about how search engines work.

    What they do want to know though, is how to appeal to the end user and improve their results.

    When delivering training sessions and seminars, highlight how SEO could help them reach their goals and how it affects or helps your customer. Present SEO ideas in the context of their objectives.

    When talking to IT teams, for example, show how improving technical SEO issues leads to a better user experience. As maintaining it falls on the tech team, they’ll understand that by fixing that 404-error, it actually improved their work too and avoided a bad customer experience

  2. Showcase a snippet of typical actions you take to achieve those results. This will help your peers understand how you deliver results. In turn, it will make it easier to understand the role they could play in the process.

    For example, when discussing rankings, show how creating relevant content increases the chances for better search positions. Then, go deeper. Explain how finding relevant topics makes this process easier. Finally, show listeners how many of them could contribute ideas based on their work.

    Although revealing the process might seem insignificant at first, it will help you when asking for their assistance.

  3. Always include a section to remind how your audience could help you. My friend used to close his presentations with a slide listing three to four easy tasks everyone in the room could do to push SEO forward.

They included tasks like:

  • “Let me know of any common questions customers in your region ask about”
  • “Send me information on upcoming local events in the area”
  • “Tell me if you receive feedback mentioning the website”

Although seemingly insignificant, they helped him create better content, discover new keywords or target seasonal events.

Why, because showing those actions every month embedded them in his audience’s minds. They acted like triggers to remind them to think of SEO while going about their work.

Another variation of this strategy is running SEO lunch-and-learn meetings. Sure, they might take a bit more effort to organize, but these sessions would also give you more space to introduce and evangelize SEO better.

Strategy #3: Build Alliances Across the Organization.

I’ve already talked about the benefits of finding SEO evangelists and engaging them further.

You could take this strategy to the next level, too. By building strategic alliances, you could create a network of SEO stakeholders, willing to help when the need arises.

Connecting with the marketing team could help you receive far better content. PR teams could help you acquire more links. Developing strong relations with IT would result in technical issues being solved much faster, and so on.

Here are some suggestions for making it happen:

  • Identify your key stakeholders. You could use the newsletter idea above to do it.
  • Include those people in your decision-making process. Ask for their input in decisions that might relate to their field. True, this might slow down your ability to move forward. At the same time, the connections you’ll develop will benefit you in many other ways. 
  • Run ideas by them. Again, ask for their expert opinions. Nothing builds connection better than showing someone how much you value their ideas.
  • Finally, if you are able, ask to be invited to meetings regarding the company’s overall digital strategy. It will help you understand how to frame your results as you position SEO results in the greater context that the entire marketing and digital team is responsible for.


Without buy-in, most SEOs struggle to scale their strategies fully. But with the help of other departments, their ideas begin to thrive. Use these three proven ways to evangelize SEO in your organization and get everyone on board with your strategies moving forward.