Educating Clients on the Value of SEO: A Guide for Marketing Managers

SUSO 12 March 2024

Find out how marketing professionals can transform their clients' perception of SEO by educating them about the value that it can bring to their businesses.

Author: Chetan Bhatt, Marketing Manager

Chetan Bhatt







Explaining SEO to clients who have outdated notions and unrealistic expectations can be frustrating. This guide will help equip marketing managers with the knowledge and tools to transform their clients’ perception of SEO, turning it from confusion to a potent tactic in their marketing mix.

Understand the Client’s Perspective

Clients can often have preconceived notions about SEO, fueled by quick-fix promises, an outdated understanding and SEO myths that have become fact. As a marketing professional, the first step you can take to debunk these common misconceptions is to understand their perspective.

Understanding these concerns is crucial for any business owner or marketer hoping to leverage SEO effectively. By addressing these head-on, you can build trust, set realistic expectations, and ultimately guide clients towards achieving their online goals.

“SEO takes too long”

While TikTok’s instant virality might be tempting, SEO is more like running a marathon. It’s a long-term strategy that builds organic, sustainable growth for your website, unlike a momentary TikTok-driven spike that fades as quickly as it appeared. Everything your client invests adds up over time and they will receive traffic even years after publishing. 

So, whilst you can’t promise them they’ll hit the top positions overnight, you can promise that the consistent progress they’ll achieve through SEO will translate to long lasting benefits. 

“It’s just blogging, I can do that myself”

While anyone can dabble in SEO basics, navigating Google’s complexities and nuances for optimal results is like trying to summit a mountain in sandals. Specialised knowledge is your client’s oxygen mask, constant monitoring of their crampons, and professional guidance from their sherpa – all crucial for a safe and successful ascent. 

SEO encompasses a constantly evolving landscape of algorithms, technical intricacies, and competitor analysis. Trying to juggle it all while running a business can be overwhelming for your client, potentially leading to missteps and missed opportunities. 

Partnering with experienced SEO professionals is like hiring a seasoned guide who knows the terrain, anticipates the weather shifts, and optimises your route for a smooth and efficient climb with your client. They possess the expertise to identify hidden weaknesses, leverage the latest industry insights, and implement data-driven strategies that truly move the needle. 

By focusing on your core strengths and letting skilled professionals handle their SEO ascent, clients can unlock the potential for faster, more sustainable growth, reaching the peak of online visibility with greater ease and confidence.

‘How do I measure the ROI?’ 

SEO ROI, or Return on Investment, isn’t just about getting more eyes on your client’s website. It’s about transforming those visitors into valuable leads and customers, ultimately boosting their bottom line. 

By optimising your client’s website for search engines, you can position them to attract qualified traffic interested in what they offer. This means higher conversion rates, increased sales, and a tangible return on their SEO efforts. 

It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but the long-term benefits of a well-executed SEO strategy can far outweigh the initial investment, making it a powerful tool for growth in today’s digital landscape.

Convey the Basics of SEO

As a marketing manager, conveying the basics of SEO is key because it empowers clients to understand how their online presence thrives. 

By using relatable analogies, you can break down complex concepts into digestible bites, fostering collaboration and buy-in. 

For example, imagine your client’s website as a restaurant tucked away on a side street. They have the most delicious food in town, but nobody knows they’re there. SEO is like putting up bright signs leading straight to their door. 

Here’s how you could explain the core components of SEO to clients:

  • Crawling & Indexing: Search engines are like neighbourhood scouts, constantly roaming the web streets. They crawl websites by following links, like breadcrumbs, to discover new content. These pages are stored in an index, creating a giant map of the online world.
  • Technical SEO: Think of this as making sure your client’  restaurant is accessible and inviting. It ensures their website speaks the search engine’s language. Broken windows, flickering lights, or a confusing layout will keep the scouts away.
  • On-Page SEO: Now, let’s dress up your client’s menu and storefront. On-page SEO is like using keywords, the names of your delicious dishes, throughout your website. This signals to the scouts what your client offers and attracts diners searching for specific meals. Clear descriptions, eye-catching pictures, and helpful tips like “bestseller” act like enticing smells wafting out, drawing people in.
  • Link Building: Imagine other restaurants linking to your client’s website, recommending their food to their patrons. Link building is like getting good reviews – the more high-quality websites linking to them, the more trustworthy and popular their restaurant appears to the search engines.

By conveying the basics of SEO in a clear and relatable manner, you not only empower your clients with knowledge but also strengthen your relationship with the client. This understanding fosters collaboration, trust, and ultimately leads to more effective SEO strategies and improved online visibility for their businesses.

Explain the Value of SEO

In the ever-evolving space of marketing channels, your client’s may have a focus on new players like Rumble, TikTok, LinkedIn personal ads to provide a fresh opportunity, but all the while SEO is the quiet giant in the room. 

Here’s what we mean: 

  • More than half of all website visitors, a whopping 53.3%, find their way to sites via organic search (Source: BrightEdge).
  • A staggering 92.96% of global internet traffic is funnelled through just three major platforms: Google Search, Google Images, and Google Maps (Source: SparkToro).

Global Internet Traffic

  • Websites that embrace search engine optimization strategies reap a windfall of visitors, attracting over 1,000% more traffic compared to those relying solely on organic social media promotion (Source: BrightEdge).
  • For 6 out of 10 marketers, inbound strategies like search engine optimization and blog content reign supreme as the most reliable sources of high-quality leads (Source: HubSpot).
  • Leads nurtured through search engine optimization demonstrate a remarkable 14.6% close rate, outperforming other lead generation methods (Source: HubSpot).

In addition Google is by far the most used platform in terms of daily users and 71% of B2B buyers’ journeys start with a generic search on Google in which the brands found enter consideration, then decision phases.

SEO operates as the invisible bridge connecting the online world to your client’s business goals. By optimising their website and content for search engines, clients can increase their visibility, essentially placing themselves front and centre for potential customers seeking solutions that they offer. This enhanced presence translates directly into tangible benefits, boosting brand awareness as users encounter their company more often. 

Improved SEO attracts qualified leads as relevant users find the right content, turning mere website visitors into engaged prospects. By strategically targeting keywords and crafting informative content that addresses user needs, clients can nurture leads through the sales funnel, ultimately leading to conversions and boosting revenue. 

Imagine climbing the search engine ladder – each rung gained brings your client’s brand closer to potential customers, generating leads, and ultimately driving sales, solidifying SEO’s crucial role in aligning online presence with their overarching business objectives.

Explain How SEO Integrates Into Their Business Goals

SEO can help maximise ROI across channels by integrating with current multichannel campaigns and wider business goals such as  brand awareness and lead generation. This can often be missed by clients who see SEO as a stand alone investment. 

Here are a few short explanations that can help you shift your client’s SEO perspective: 

  • Brand Awareness: Think of every search as an opportunity to introduce your client’s brand to potential customers. Higher rankings on relevant keywords improves brand awareness and make them more discoverable, putting their brand name and message in front of interested audiences who are actively searching for solutions they offer. This builds brand recognition and trust as users are more likely to revisit websites that they’ve seen high on the SERPS. 
  • Lead Generation: SEO attracts qualified leads by targeting searches with high purchase intent. By optimising your website and content for relevant keywords, your clients can attract users actively seeking similar products or services. This targeted traffic converts better, as visitors are already primed for engagement and closer to the buying decision.
  • Revenue Growth: Increased brand awareness and targeted leads naturally translate to revenue growth. With more people discovering their brand and qualified leads entering the sales funnel, they have more opportunities for conversions and sales. SEO optimises websites for conversions, guiding users seamlessly towards desired actions like purchases or subscriptions, maximising the return on your marketing investment.

In essence, SEO acts as a magnet, attracting the right audience, nurturing their interest, and ultimately driving them towards your business goals. As such, it can integrate into your social media campaigns, PR campaigns and marketing KPIs.

Highlight the Importance of Collaboration

Finding the expertise and capacity to stay abreast of Google’s ever-evolving search algorithms, best practices can be overwhelming. Collaborating with a team of SEO experts allows you to tap into a vast pool of expertise without the overhead of building an in-house SEO team. This ensures your clients SEO campaigns benefit from the latest strategies and tactics, giving them a competitive edge.

But beyond expanding your capacity, an SEO partner can enable you to take on more clients without sacrificing quality. By outsourcing the SEO legwork, you free up your internal resources to focus on core agency tasks like client management and creative development. This translates to faster turnaround times, improved efficiency, and the ability to scale your business efficiently.

Furthermore, collaboration also provides an extra layer of support for monitoring and optimising your clients’ campaigns. Your SEO partner should constantly track performance metrics, identify areas for improvement, and make adjustments as needed. This proactive approach ensures your clients’ websites stay visible on search engine results pages (SERPs), driving organic traffic and conversions.

Collaboration with an SEO partner offers a multitude of benefits for agencies, from unlocking expertise and expanding capacity to providing ongoing campaign support and access to cutting-edge tools.

Showcase Success Stories

SEO case studies provide concrete evidence of the positive impact that SEO can have on a business, and they can help to overcome common objections that clients may have about SEO. 

When choosing SEO case studies to use, marketing managers should select studies that are relevant to their clients’ industry and target audience. They should also focus on studies that show results that are aligned with the client’s goals. 

For example, if a client is migrating their domain, you should select a case study that shows how SEO helped maintain (and ideally grew) a similar site migration.

When presenting SEO case studies to clients, focus on the key takeaways and highlight the results that are most relevant to the client. They should also be prepared to answer any questions that the client may have about the study or about SEO in general.

If you have an SEO partner, they should be happy to join your calls with clients and be comfortable answering SEO questions confidently. If you want to dig deeper into SUSO’s success stories check out our case studies page here.

Manage Expectations

Setting realistic expectations at the outset benefits everyone: it fosters trust, minimises frustration, and lays the groundwork for a fruitful partnership.

Begin with a thorough assessment. Delve into your client’s niche, analyse their competitor landscape, and gauge their current SEO standing. This groundwork allows you to co-create achievable goals—not aspirational fantasies. Outline these goals with clear milestones along a realistic timeline, providing both direction and a tangible sense of progress. 

Transparency is key. Clearly explain SEO’s multifaceted nature: a constant interplay of search engine algorithms, market trends, and even competitor moves. Emphasise that SEO is a gradual process, with progress unfolding over months, not days. It’s a blend of controllable factors (on-page optimisation, content strategy) and uncontrollable ones (algorithm updates, competitor activity). Patience and continued effort are the cornerstones of success.

Doubt often creeps in when clients feel they’re in the dark. Combat this by establishing a reporting schedule. Showcase tangible improvements in metrics relevant to your customised strategies. Be ready to explain the “why” behind each data point, demonstrating your expertise and commitment to their growth. Remember, consistent progress, even gradual, speaks volumes louder than empty promises.

By managing expectations upfront, educating about the process, and consistently showcasing progress, you build trust and set the stage for a successful, long-term SEO partnership. Your clients will then appreciate the true value of organic growth, understanding that patience and perseverance are the seeds that blossom into lasting online success.

The Bottom Line

Investing in SEO is a strategic decision that delivers long-term value, unlike quick fixes or trendy marketing tactics. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but the sustained benefits outweigh the initial investment and an SEO.

  • SEO drives qualified traffic and leads, boosting brand awareness and revenue over a sustained period of time.
  • It’s an ongoing process that benefits from collaboration with experts for optimal results.
  • Managing expectations fosters trust and sets the stage for long-term success.

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