How to Sell Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to your CEO

How to Sell Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to your CEO

Be Sociable, Share! Tweet Wow. My last post about search engine optimization from a CEO’s perspective must have struck a chord. I’ve never had such a wonderful response, so I’m guessing that looking at SEO from a CEO perspective must be of interest. With that in mind, I thought I’d focus this post on how to convince a CEO to invest in search engine optimization. There’s a lot of information here that relates to more than just selling SEO to your upper management. I’d recommend reading through the article to gain insight on tasks you should accomplish no matter what when you are looking to invest in SEO. I did some research on this topic before deciding to write it. There are numerous articles on how to convince your boss to invest in SEO, but very few on how to get the CEO to buy in. The few articles I found had some amusing suggestions on approaches to take: “Everyone else is doing it.” “Search engine marketing is the future of marketing and sales.” “SEO won’t add more work for you.” “Show Graphs, Numbers, Charts & Visuals.” In a small businesses, most decisions to spend more than a few hundred dollars are still floated by the CEO. So it’s important to put together your strategy before you walk through their door. How Does a CEO Think? Let’s talk about the CEO of a business that has 15-100 people. A CEO’s day is generally filled with wall to wall meetings, with some time for e-mail responses, telephone calls and impromptu person to person conversations crammed in between them. The more people...
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) From A CEO’s Perspective

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) From A CEO’s Perspective

Be Sociable, Share! Tweet There are a billion articles and blogs on search engine optimization, but most of them target webmasters, digital marketers and technology people. I struggled with whether or not I should write yet another article on SEO – especially since it’s not my specialty – but decided to when I found that most articles explained how to do SEO, and didn’t explain what SEO is, and why a CEO should care. That IS my specialty. There are a lot of terms and parts to SEO today. Each of these has it’s own specific definition, but from a CEO perspective they can all be lumped together. I look at it from a personal computer point of view. A personal computer has a processor, memory, hard drive, graphics engine, keyboard, mouse, screen, etc. – but who cares? All a CEO cares about is that it’s a PC and that it runs the applications he or she needs. SEO is kind of the same. There are a lot of terms thrown about. There’s search engine marketing (SEM), Pay Per Click (PPC), Content Marketing, Link Building, Social Media, Conversion Optimization, Authorship, A/B Testing and more – but they really all are methods and parts of search engine optimization, and they are all focused, eventually, on maximizing what your website does for your company. My First Introduction to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) When I owned my last company I had an awesome marketing manager. A Brit by the name of Gavin Cooper. He’s working at another company in the region now and they are lucky to have him. Anyway, we were a fairly good sized technology company....
Shout! Scream! Yell! Your Company Depends On It!

Shout! Scream! Yell! Your Company Depends On It!

Be Sociable, Share! Tweet A friend said to me yesterday, “Your company has strong offerings, but they mean nothing unless people know you exist.” I proffer this same advice to my clients, but it really clicked personally when he repeated these words back to me. “What you offer will never be bought unless people know you exist.” I’ve Heard of Them Politicians don’t get elected because of the fact that they have a great message. They get elected because the public, first, finds out they exist. It’s only then that their message is truly heard and they find their support. The church doesn’t have an opportunity to communicate its beliefs until you know it is out there – and the churches with the strongest voices in your community are usually the ones with the largest membership. There are thousands of companies that make and sell software, but I challenge you to name more than a dozen of them off the top of your head. Why is this so difficult? Because very few have roared “We’re here.” So What’s Your Point? Marketing. Sales is one to one. Marketing is one to many, and creates a funnel for those one to one sales – and, more importantly, the opportunity for you to share your message. In small businesses, marketing – if it even exists in the first place – is an afterthought, usually has a minimal budget and is often one of the first areas to be cut when expenses need to be decreased. On the other hand, most small businesses give little thought to adding “the ultimate salesperson”. You know...
72 Interview Questions to ask a Sales Rep

72 Interview Questions to ask a Sales Rep

Be Sociable, Share! Tweet Last week I posted about 20 questions to “see” during a sales interview.  This week, let’s get a bit more absolute and talk about questions you can really ask.  When you talk to an account exec it’s great to understand what makes them tick.  It’s good to remind them that there are no wrong answers to these questions (although, in reality, there can be).  It’s good to put them on the spot and see how they react. With that said, here’s the list of questions I use when I’m interviewing someone for an account executive role, account management role or a business development role.  You’ll notice that many of them help you align the interests, goals and personality of the prospect with your company culture and offerings.  I’d love to take credit for all of the questions, but they are really a mix of my own questions plus questions I’ve heard others ask over a long period of time. 72 Interview Questions to Ask a Sales Rep Do you prefer to find new accounts or farm existing accounts? What motivates you as a sales professional? What traits do you believe make up the most effective sales representatives? What sales quotas are you accustomed to? How comfortable are you with cold-calling? How long was the average sales cycle at your previous jobs? Who were your most profitable target markets at your previous jobs? How would you describe your sales technique? What are some common hurdles you’re facing right now as a sales representative in your current position? Can you give me an example of a complex...
20 Questions to “see” during a Sales Interview

20 Questions to “see” during a Sales Interview

Be Sociable, Share! TweetHiring an account executive is tough.  Really tough.  Can they prospect?  Can they build a relationship? Can they close? Interviewing an account exec allows them to do to YOU what they do best – sell.  It’s very easy to fall into the trap of liking the guy in front of you.  They’re trained to make you like them. Their whole career revolves around getting people to like them.  Especially during an interview.  So how do you tell whether the person in front of you is going to actually be good for your company? It’s really important to turn normally qualitative facts into quantitative analysis.  What does that mean?  Instead of going by “feelings” you have during interviews, look at various approaches and characteristics that are important and have a checklist or scoring list of whether the candidate accomplished what you want. In another blog, we’ll get into some questions you have to ask.  But first, examine the process the candidate took to get in front of you.  How aggressive were they?  What did their resume look like?  How was their cover letter written? Did they reach out to your company in multiple ways and at multiple levels?  Answering some of these questions will tell you a bit about how the candidate opens doors. While you ask your questions, look at their behavior and presentation.  Are they dressed the way your company dresses?  Do they mirror your body language?  Do they answer with concrete examples or vagueries?  Do they think about questions before answering, or jump right into it?  Do they have a lot of comfort words like...
Easy But Powerful Key Performance Indicators To Track (Part One)

Easy But Powerful Key Performance Indicators To Track (Part One)

Be Sociable, Share! TweetI’ve been reading a number of articles on key performance indicators recently and wow – talk about complex measurements!  There are numerous easy to measure key performance indicators that can be measured on a weekly or monthly basis that will tell you a lot about your organization. Why track Key Performance Indicators at all?  As you make changes in your business, or as the world changes around you, you have the opportunity to measure the effect of various influences on parts of your business and do something about it.  If you aren’t going to act on changes in KPIs – don’t bother tracking them. So what KPIs do I recommend tracking?  I have about thirty I’d like to talk about so we’ll break this into a few different articles. Gross Profit Margin (%) – The difference between the dollar volume you sell vs. the cost to produce it.  This does NOT include your overhead expenses (payroll, commissions, rent, taxes, etc.).  You should compare this metric against others in your industry, and if you see it decreasing you either have an issue with how much you are selling, or the cost to produce your products. EBITDA (%) – This is “Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization”.  In plainer English – it’s your net profit before you do all of the adjustments for taxes and depreciation, etc.  Once again, compare this percentage against others in the industry.  If you start seeing decreases in this but your Gross Profit Margin is staying the same then you may need to look at your sales compensation plans, marketing expenses or...
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