Understanding SEO for Enterprise Clients

The best ways to understand SEO for Enterprise Clients

How do you position yourself so that the people in charge understand SEO's value if these people don't understand how SEO works? Let's talk about some tips to help explain why the organic channel is not something the company you are working for should take for granted.

A common thing that experienced marketers notice is that many CEOs don’t fully understand how SEO works and why they should pay for it. Understanding of paid advertising is quite clear. Spend x amount of dollars, receive x amount of conversions. Results for paid advertising have a quick turnaround, so many CEOs of large enterprises like that they can get traction quickly, often as soon as they launch a redesign or a new website. However, results for SEO can take up to three months, but many CEOs want results now. How do you position yourself so that the people in charge understand SEO’s value if these people don’t understand how SEO works? Let’s talk about some tips to help explain why the organic channel is not something the company you are working for should take for granted. 

Understand How a CEO Looks at the Organic Channel

A CEO will typically look at the organic channel and check traffic and conversions to grade its performance. The business goals of the client and the CEO are quite similar, actually. A CEO is looking for a clear definition of measuring success right from the start, which is why paid advertising is so easy for them to understand. They can see a clear timeline on when the marketing efforts started, how they perform in search engines, and how many conversions they are getting from the budget being spent, which are very linear and clear deliverables. The CEO and the client start looking at the top of the pyramid first. The last item they care about is the foundation and what it takes to get there for SEO.

Understand What It Takes for SEO Professionals to Achieve Conversions

An SEO professional starts their efforts from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. Unlike paid advertising, the organic traffic channel requires much more effort. Below we’ll review each pyramid piece and why you won’t get results if you skip parts of this marketing strategy:


  • Technical Structure, On-Page SEO, and Content CalendarThese are the fundamentals of basic SEO that need to be built for the site to succeed. Starting with website taxonomy, or how the website is organized, being set up poorly is very common because many web developers don’t understand how search engines crawl a website. Not using On-Page SEO is critical but won’t work for your primary navigation for a small, ten-page website. A content calendar is a huge step that many websites don’t take advantage of. You have to be continually creating secondary content and internally linking to primary content, especially in those business niches which are highly competitive. 
  • Digital PR, Social Media, and Influence Social media marketing and advertising with influencers and on platforms like Facebook are integral. Similarly, the digital PR component is also extremely important as it relates to backlinks, which some agencies don’t do because they feel it’s not heavily weighted enough for SEO. However, one of the main ways to increase domain authority that many people don’t realize is by backlinking and writing quality articles that digital newspaper websites can link to. Getting backlinks stems from having amazing content that people haven’t previously written about and reaching out to people with whom you can potentially exchange backlinks.      
  • Rankings/VisibilityThis is something that many SEO professionals will try to teach CEOs, though often, these CEOs have a hard time understanding how rankings and visibility quantify into revenue. SEO is not something that you “set and forget.” It takes time. Every six months, you should evaluate and see if the keywords you were targeting six months ago still have the same amount of search volume. All SEO professionals need to diagnose, analyze the data, and build excellent content that people, search engines, and the brand voice are all involved in when building content. 
  • Traffic and Conversions – Getting traffic and conversions is the product of all of these efforts. Constant monitoring, building backlinks, technical SEO, and on-page optimization are all things that need to be taken into consideration. Just because you did SEO a year ago does not mean you will now rank for those same keywords in search engines. SEO is ongoing and needs constant maintenance with good strategic decisions that don’t happen instantly. It’s a little unfair to expect instant results with SEO seeing as SEO is a long-term idea that needs a lot of love and careful planning.

Understand the Problems With Siloing and the Importance of Implementing All SEO Elements

Separate Goals and Objectives

Your SEO goals and the goals of the CEO client can often be different. SEO professionals are looking to rank in search engines, gain backlinks, and improve domain authority. These professionals target their audience with secondary content that ranks for questions people want to know. SEO is focused on getting clicks, users, and, finally, conversions. Alternatively, the CEO is only looking for conversions, and that is not always as clearly defined.


  • Different Strategies – Your CEO client could say they only want you to work on simple optimizations for search engines, also known as on-page SEO, and simple technical SEO fixes. But missing SEO elements like backlinks and constantly creating content every month can silo all of your marketing efforts. Organic traffic will not perform if you are only doing strategies that your CEO considers important.
  • No Shared Measurement or Planning – Unfortunately, SEO measurements often get pigeon-holed to only the SEO elements that your CEO client thinks are important. Then these SEO professionals will have to get on the phone with clients or the CEO to explain that using only these metrics is not enough to move the needle for the organic channel.
  • Lack of Coordination and AccountabilityIt is hard to coordinate SEO efforts if we are not implementing all the different strategies that help the organic channel. The accountability will fall on the SEO professional, and it may seem to the CEO client that “SEO is dead.” This statement is not true, but rather, the problem is that the SEO program that the CEO has built for their company is flawed. 

Focus On the 4As

Four principles guide SEO best practices: acumen, alignment, agility, and accountability:


  • AcumenUse data to drive focus with integrated planning. You can back up all SEO planning with intelligent decisions and A/B testing. Additionally, using Google Analytics and Search Console, which are excellent tools to understand how people get to your pages and how they interact when they get to your pages, is another way to achieve understanding. . 
  • Alignment – Have integrated planning cycles, as your SEO strategies should be shifting from quarter to quarter, changing the strategy based on what you notice your site needs. Use the pyramid to understand your website’s weaknesses and do your best to capitalize efficiently. 
  • Agility – Create a clear roadmap, and make sure to include goals. It’s integral that the CEO client understands what needs to be done, what will be done in the following months, and when you expect to complete the project. Clear deliverables and transparency are key for good roadmaps.
  • AccountabilityHave joint goals and targets and a clear understanding of what your CEO client expects from you. Next, create scalable targets. Any SEO specialist can talk about everything they plan on doing. The implementation and what they should expect from your work are vital to having a happy CEO and client. 

Understanding is crucial when it comes to SEO, whether referring to SEO for enterprise clients, how a CEO looks at organic, what it takes to achieve conversions, or even understanding problems with siloing or effectively implementing SEO. If you need help with your digital marketing understanding, Tandem’s digital marketing experts are available to help. We understand search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, landing page optimization, and all the key elements of effective digital marketing campaigns. Give us a buzz today to learn more!