10 Ways to Get Your SEO Recommendations Implemented. Fast.

Richard September
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10 ways to get your seo recommendations implemented 12

During my time at some of London’s top SEO agencies, it was drilled into me by department leads that SEO is a discipline of implementation.

And they couldn’t be more right.

You can have the most robust, commercially focused SEO strategy backed by extensive data and evidence of previous success. But if nothing is being implemented, you won’t see results.

Sounds obvious.

But when monthly SEO report is due and you’re stuck for actions to attribute to results, it’s much harder to build a narrative of success.

If your clients and stakeholders don’t need much convincing when it comes to implementing SEO recommendations then congrats – you’re doing an excellent job.

But for some, it can take a bit more persuading to push them live.

Although it can be frustrating and tedious, getting actions implemented is the skill of an excellent SEO.

With that said, if you’re struggling with getting your SEO recommendations implemented, here are 10 methods to help keep your SEO campaign moving.

1. Attribute the recommendation to business value

A common mistake newer SEOs make when communicating their recommendations is not being clear on the commercial value it will have on the business.

If organic revenue is one of your KPIs and you spot an opportunity to create a new service page, a good idea could be to analyse a similar existing service page’s performance.

Grab organic revenue data like conversion rates and AoV, and align it with the potential traffic opportunity of building the new service page to get an estimated ROI.

Will it be a perfectly accurate forecast? Not quite. With so many factors involved, SEO forecasts rarely are.

But you’ll nonetheless paint a much more compelling picture for clients. And it’s hard for them to ignore an opportunity to increase organic revenue.

By speaking in commercial terms, not only does it reassure your clients that you’re revenue-focused, but your odds of getting your recommendation over the line are greatly increased.

On the flip side, if your SEO recommendation isn’t aligned with your KPIs or lacks commercial value, then perhaps that’s why it’s going unactioned.

Reassess and potentially look for other opportunities to keep the campaign focused on its objectives.

2. Offer multiple solutions

There’s rarely one method to achieving a positive outcome.

So it’s important not to get stuck in the mindset that there’s only one way to implement your SEO recommendation to see positive results.

Take a second to understand the resources required to get your recommendation over the line.

Are there any elements that could be removed that would make the recommendation more palatable, whilst still having an impact?

A good way to do this is by presenting your recommendation as three options – full implementation, half implementation and partial implementation.

Make clear to the client or stakeholder that the results are likely to be weaker if the recommendation isn’t implemented fully. However, the pathway to getting there is less resource-intensive – which is likely to help get it over the line and results to be achieved.

It’s better to have your recommendation partially implemented than nothing at all.

3. Empathise with your client or stakeholder

To communicate effectively, it’s important to understand who it is you’re talking to.

Before you follow up on your recommendation, ask yourself a few questions about your client/stakeholder:

1. What’s their technical background?
Overly technical recommendations often go unactioned when communicated to someone who doesn’t understand the technical ins and outs.

Make the complex simple by breaking the recommendation down into layman’s terms and educating them along the way.

If there’s someone more technical on their side who can help, ask to speak to them directly (see next tip).

2. What are their key responsibilities in the business?
I’ve worked with plenty of small businesses on local SEO campaigns where I’ve reported directly to the founder.

Their responsibilities extend far beyond marketing, like dealing with suppliers, keeping customers happy, managing employees, and the overall day-to-day runnings of a business.

Make sure you’re taking their priorities into account and angle your recommendation accordingly. Those with a lot on their plate typically aren’t bothered about the details.

Explain the requirement and the value it will bring in the least amount of words possible.

Ask if there’s someone better to speak to in the business if you’re not getting through to them (also see next tip).

3. What’s their preferred method of communicating?
This is usually ironed out in the early stages of the relationship, but it’s worth revisiting if you’re struggling with implementation.

Some clients may not be great at taking action via email. But once on a call, will take action there and then to get your recommendation implemented.

If you’re struggling with one method of communicating the issue, try a different means instead.

4. Ask if there's someone better to help

If you’ve tried your best to empathise with the client, but are struggling to see any movement, consider asking if there is someone better from their side who can help.

This is a particularly good route for technical issues, where it’s best to communicate with a developer or someone who knows more about the CMS, its limitations and what has been implemented in the past.

If you’re getting the impression that SEO isn’t a high priority for the person you’re passing the recommendations to, ask if there’s someone else who may be better placed to action them.

If you’re passed over to someone and you manage to get your recommendation implemented, keep them close and build the relationship.

They may play an integral role in your SEO campaign in the coming months/years.

5. Prioritise & drip-feed

As I type this, there are thousands of unactioned SEO audits lying dormant in inboxes across the globe.

The reason? The sender hasn’t broken the recommendation(s) down to make them actionable for the client.

Overwhelming them with actions – even worse, unprioritised actions – is a surefire way for the client to ignore your recommendations. And likely cause frustration.

Sending over a large SEO audit to your client or stakeholder to demonstrate the scope of the SEO campaign isn’t an issue.

But actions must be prioritised so it’s obvious to them what will bring the most value with the least effort, and what can wait.

Unless there’s room to tackle multiple actions with an efficient method, once prioritised, actions should be dealt with individually until they’re all implemented.

By prioritising your recommendations and then drip-feeding them, you’ll have a much greater chance of getting them over the line vs. dropping a big list on them and hoping they’ll be actioned.

6. Use competitors insights

If you aren’t framing your SEO recommendation in relation to competitor activity, then you’re missing an opportunity to be more persuasive.

This isn’t a chance to scare your client with “your competitors are doing it, so should you!”. In fact, this can have an adverse effect and cause frustration.

Gather insights and data from search competitors to build a narrative of why your recommendation is going to make your client more competitive in search engines. For example:

“We’ve noticed that Competitors X, Y and Z have updated the content on their services pages. These enhancements could be why we’ve lost visibility for this service MoM, which has resulted in X less revenue. We recommend implementing X to put us in a more competitive position and reclaim revenue”.

Again, data and insights are important here.

Data and reasoning are what turn your recommendation from ‘copying what competitors are doing’ to ‘this is what is required to compete’.

7. Emphasise the impact of not taking action

As SEOs, we’re naturally drawn to emphasising the benefits of our channel and the value our recommendations can bring to the business.

But what about the downside of not taking action?

Analyse your recommendation to identify what might happen if action isn’t taken. Is it likely to have a knock-on effect on the campaign, or negatively impact a priority area of the site?

For example, if you’ve identified old content that has lost visibility and you’ve seen that competitors are providing in-depth, helpful content that better addresses the user’s problem, it could be useful to mention Google’s recent addition of the Helpful Content System.

Not only might you be educating the client on the latest Search developments, but you can say with confidence something like:

“Google’s increasing emphasis on providing helpful content suggests that our content may not be up to standards and that visibility may continue to decline in the future if left untouched”.

Again, much like competitor insights, ensure your arguments are always backed by data and insight. This method isn’t designed to scare your client into taking action by sensationalising an upcoming traffic drop.

It should be used to demonstrate your experience and industry foresight to better advise clients on SEO and future-proof your work.

8. Consider your internal resources

Take a look at what resources your recommendation is asking for from the client.

Are there any resource-intensive elements that you can assist with?

For example, are you asking for a blog to be created when you know their copywriter is stacked with producing content from last month’s recommendations?

Perhaps you’re able to utilise your internal resources to assist with the content writing process.

If this process works successfully once, it might even be an upsell opportunity to support the client further in this area – given the results are visible.

By offering to assist internally, you’re demonstrating to the client your willingness to support as much as possible on the project. And that you truly believe in the strategy and its potential to achieve results.

Plus, it may even increase the overall retainer if successful.

9. Highlight previous success

Case studies, success stories and testimonials are some of the most persuasive pieces of marketing content to show potential clients. But they shouldn’t only be used for the pitch process – show them to current clients too!

If the SEO recommendation or strategic approach you’re suggesting has proven successful in the past, outline how it worked and what the outcome was to your current client.

Clients love to hear about other clients’ success because it gives them confidence that they’re working with an agency that shares learnings to elevate everyone – insights that in-house teams often lack.

It can make them feel reassured in their investment knowing that they’re getting value out of your past successes (and failures!).

When communicating, it can be as simple as:

“This approach proved successful on a previous client, where we saw an X increase in organic traffic and an X increase in organic conversions X months after implementation”.

If you’re part of a wider SEO team, ask them if they’ve seen success with the approach you’re recommending and what the outcome was.

10. Know when to pivot

If you’ve exhausted all your options despite the recommendation being in line with the strategy and objectives, it’s best to remain agile and pivot to the next.

Keep a record of the recommendation though, as there may be a more suitable time in the future when it can be implemented.

However, identifying what the bottleneck was and taking the learnings into your next batch of recommendations will give you a better chance of success next time.

Note: Always keep your manager or the client lead updated if you’re facing issues with getting your recommendations implemented. Ask for a second opinion and advice on how best to approach the situation. Escalate if necessary.


Behind every successful SEO is a strong communicator.

One that’s able to identify and illustrate commercial opportunities to clients and then effectively describe how to implement them.

Make the complex simple and the outcome revenue-focused.

There will always be bottlenecks and delays in any digital marketing campaign – it’s inevitable.

As an SEO, it’s important to keep the odds in your favour and your campaign moving by utilising methods that maximise what you can get implemented.

There’s no doubt that experience also plays a significant role, however. Over time, you’ll find yourself in similar situations facing the same challenges. Use your experience of what’s worked and what hasn’t to navigate.

If you’re new to SEO, take these tips and run with them. I’m confident that you’ll see greater outcomes for your clients or in-house efforts as a result.

Got a tip that I’ve missed? Drop a comment below and let me know.

Author: Richard September
I'm a London-based SEO Consultant with over 5 years of SEO experience at award-winning marketing agencies. I’ve worked with family-run businesses through to FTSE 100 enterprises to achieve business growth with strategic SEO.

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