How to Convince Your Boss to Do SEO: Objection 1: "What is SEO, exactly?"

Sometimes your boss might say no to your request for SEO because they don’t actually know what it is.


Table of Contents:
How to Convince Your Boss to Do SEO


  1. Objection 1: What is SEO?
  2. Objection 2: SEO is a scam.
  3. Objection 3: We can’t afford SEO!
  4. Objection 4: It will take too long.
  5. Objection 5: SEO won’t give us the results we want.
  6. Objection 6: But we’re already ranking well.
  7. Objection 7: Why do you need help?

Or they might think they know what SEO is, and don’t realize that they misunderstand its purpose entirely. Or they might have read about SEO in an article many years ago, and are only aware of some of the methods that have fallen out of favor since then.

Whatever the reason, if just mentioning the phrase “SEO” makes your boss’s eyes glaze over, it’s clear your challenge is to educate them so they can make an informed decision.

The CEO’s Guide to SEO

We’ve run into this situation before, glazed eyes and all. Many times, in fact. So many times that we went ahead and created a guide designed to explain to the C-suite what SEO is and why they need it.

The beauty of this guide is that it can be read in five minutes (or less).

CEO Guide

Go ahead and forward our CEO’s Guide to SEO to your boss. If that doesn’t work, come back and check in with us again for another idea. Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere.

How to Explain SEO to Your Boss

Maybe your boss isn’t the reading type. Maybe they like to hear things in your own words. Maybe your email went into their spam filter (or so they say…). Whatever the reason, if our CEO’s guide doesn’t help, you’re going to need to explain the importance of SEO yourself.

This isn’t as challenging as it sounds. After all, you already know what SEO is. The trick is knowing what your boss wants to hear about SEO to get that “yes.”

Think about what usually motivates your boss to make decisions. Are they motivated by hard data, facts, and research studies? Or do they tend to act based on gut feelings and their own personal experiences?

Knowing what typically convinces your boss to think favorably about something can help you determine the best way to explain SEO to them (and convince them that it works, on top of that). So for example:

  •  If they appreciate technical details, you can explain how SEO works from the Google algorithm standpoint, and explain all the ranking factors that a website needs to be #1
  •  If they aren’t at all technical, you may have better luck giving them case studies or testimonials that will put the value of SEO into plain English for them
  •  If they make decisions based on gut feelings, you might want to actually try a little bit of SEO on your own site and reporting on what you did and how it helped – instead of explaining, you’re providing undeniable proof
  •  If they really don’t care how SEO works and just want to focus on increasing profits, explain how SEO works from the standpoint of increased visibility = increased clicks = increased revenue! (Check out “SEO won’t give us the results we want” for some additional ammo)
  •  If they think they know how SEO works but are, er, misguided, you might honestly want to get an SEO company on the phone with them so they can explain exactly which methods are and aren’t still in use – it’ll help them save face, since nobody likes their employee telling them they’re wrong!

Chances are, your boss isn’t going to want to know exactly how SEO works. They’re just going to know that it will work. So unless you’re employed by a programmer, a web developer, or an IT professional of some kind, it’s unlikely you’ll need to do much, if any, in-depth explaining.

How SEO Will Help

Once your boss has a grasp on what SEO is, the next question they ask will probably be along the lines of “how will this help us?”

You can sum up the benefits of SEO into a few simple bullet points:

  •  The higher you are on Google, and the more relevant keywords you target, the more website visitors you get
  •  The more website visitors you get, the more leads and sales you get
  •  The more sales you get… well, you can take it from here.

For a couple of articles that explain the benefits of SEO a little more eloquently, check out the Resources section at the end of this guide. You can also skip to “SEO won’t give us the results we want” if your boss still doubts the benefits of search engine optimization – it’s packed full of helpful statistics!


Go Back      Start Reading: Objection 2: “SEO is a scam.” →