Account Managers Need Arming Now with Skill of SEO

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SEO and Its Link With Account Managers

Mention ‘SEO’ and most Account Managers dismiss it as something that geeky website nerds do. NAMs negotiate, build relationships, talk to the buyer, and pitch. They do what they do, and it delivers. So, why change? It won’t always deliver. Plus, adding new skills to their toolbox is not something which is high on their agenda as they have a tough and demanding day job.

Search Engine Optimisation is here to stay. Google has made sure of that. The future Account Managers can no longer ignore the need to understand this once exclusive-to-nerds, skill. 

Why Do NAMs Need to Begin Learning this Skill and Now?

When you type into the Google search box, you get a host of results. Offering page 1 to page infinity. Here’s the challenge for all online companies – Positions 1-3 of the 10 positions on page one gets 75% of the clicks. Then, positions 4-10 share the rest. As the saying goes, ‘If you want to hide a dead body, do it on page 2 of Google’. 

All of this means that for any business wanting to sell something to a customer online, if they are not positions 1-3, that online company will struggle. Companies selling online need to be positions 1-3 and achieving that is all about understanding & delivering any and all of the 200 parts of the Google algorithm that decides where you rank. Plus, it changes daily as it continually seeks to provide what we want.

Blue Truck Example

large blue transport truck on the motorway
Search engines are smart and learn from search interactions


For example, let’s say you typed ‘blue truck’ into the search and Google first offered you images of blue trucks, but you scrolled down and clicked on blue trucks for sales, not the images. Google learns and next time moves the blue trucks for sale websites higher up the rankings and the images of blue trucks down the rankings. Google is constantly learning from what you do. 

Let’s take a look at a Grocery example: We, the consumers, type into Google ‘chinese delivery near me’ one million times per month. Positions 1 and 2 are taken up by Google offering local Chinese takeaways. Then, DoorDash appears as position #3 and GrubHub at position #4. This one position difference means that GrubHub receives -40% less traffic than DoorDash. For a business that relies on being found online, like the Rapid Grocers, being clicked and then a consumer placing an order, it means that these companies need to understand and deliver on the Google algorithm as much as an Account Manager is currently expected to know how to negotiate.

Imagine a Buyer talking to an Account Manager about shoppers buying their ready meals online and the Account Manager can only draw on their experience in-store & shopper focus groups and has been ignoring all the data & insights provided by online shopping. The Account Manager soon wonders why they are being outsmarted by the Buyer that wants to talk all things SEO and how they can grow their category online. The NAM is becoming a dinosaur.

What’s the First Step for Account Managers?

SEO keys on a keyboard highlighted by a magnifying glass
SEO steps for account managers are important


1.     Order at home using a rapid grocery company.

2.     Order at home online from a supermarket.

3.     Ask to spend time with your supermarket in the online department and be like a sponge – learn. Then, present back your findings to the team back at the ranch, and afterwards agree on a plan of how you, as a business, will start to fill the gaps in the skill. Training courses, more shadowing, an external agency? Any and all of these solutions will help. 

The key is to recognise the importance of this SEO skill, its value in the future business, and start. Start anywhere but start now because the Google algorithm is already 24 years old and upgrading on a daily basis. We now need to catch up and do so quickly.

Related Articles:

Managing Difficult PeoplePeople Management TipsRapid Grocery Articles and ContentSupermarkets Articles and Content

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