SEO in Layman's terms

by Kate Brodock on 4 September 2008

Posted in: Explanation

  • Sharebar

My dad asked me the other day what SEO was (and to be clear, he didn’t use the term “SEO,” it was more of a “What do you mean I should get my company page ranking up?  What the heck does that mean??).  I then proceeded to (try to) explain the basic concept of SEO to him.

I thought the dumbed down version of it might be helpful.  It’s on the shorter side, because my dad’s needs for his company website don’t extend much further than that.  I would love for people to add their own versions or additions to other aspects of SEO if they want to.

So here it is:

“Dad.  Let’s say someone searches for your company online.  You’ll pop up (hopefully!) on the first entry.  Great, but how many people do you think are going to find you using your company name?  Those people will probably already know you and what you do.  But what if someone was looking for a product that you produce, let’s say tracer wire.  They’re going to type in “tracer wire.”  So what search engine optimization does is it makes it so your company ideally pops up on the first page, if not one of the first few entries. Most people don’t look past the first page of what a search engine gets for you, so you need to be right there, and in their face.”

“How do you do that Katie [he calls me Katie]?”

“Well, an example of what you could do is to “tag” your website, which means you associate it with key words that you think likely customers might search for.  For instance, you tag your company with “copper wire” and there’s at least a potential that you’ll pop up at the beginning of their search.

“The idea is to make your tags a good mix between both broad and narrow terms so that you remain competitive.  There are a lot of firms that might be in the “copper wire” industry, and you may get lost somewhere in the mix of so many firms.  But there are fewer firms in the cooper wire industry that make “tracer wire”.

“Another way you can give your website some juice is by linking out, or putting links on your sites to other sites.  The search engines are like little worms with many heads, and the more pathways you offer them to your site, the easier and more often they can get to you. ***[Sidenote: this worm analogy could be gross, I'll have to come up with something better for future explanations, but, oddly, it's what popped into my head at the time.... please offer your suggestions below for other analogies]*** And the more times they get to you, the closer to the top of search results you will be.

“For the same reason, it also helps to have other websites that contain links to your website.  Good opportunties might be if you work with partners that could put a link to you on their sites, or if you’re a member of an association that features member sites.  Things like that.” ***[Sidenote: as you may have gathered, my dad is not in an industry where blogging/commenting/social media is used at present, and also note, he doesn’t know how to use a computer, so there’s no chance that he will be leaving comments and his website information on any blogs, but this is another way to go about this).

  • Pingback: SEOGroup Links of the Week: SEO for Beginners, How to Choose Keywords, and More

  • http://www.rocktheadored.com Johnny

    Thank you for the nice info, bookmarked your page.. loving your blog yet.
    Best regards, JJ

  • http://www.othersidegroup.com/adcomments Kate Brodock

    Glad to know you like the piece Johnny :) And thanks for following the blog!

  • http://www.dirmonster.com Johny

    Thank you for the nice info, bookmarked your page.. loving your blog yet.
    Best regards, JJ

  • http://www.katebrodock.com Kate Brodock

    Glad to know you like the piece Johnny :) And thanks for following the blog!

  • http://carissaputri.com Busby SEO Test!!!

    i'm still new in SEO field, anyway thank you for informing :)

  • Busby SEO Test!!!

    i'm still new in SEO field, anyway thank you for informing :)

  • http://carissaputri.com busby seo test

    lol, i once have that kind of situation too when explaining how SEO works to my client. however, the way ye explain is smarter than mine. i will take it as example if there's a client need more explanation. thanks you for this post.

  • http://www.lornefade.com Lorne Fade

    Great post for newcomers to SEO.

  • http://www.lornefade.com Lorne Fade

    Great post for newcomers to SEO.

  • http://trafficgeyserseo.com/ Traffic Geyser

    You explain it well to your dad, that is how SEO works, but uhm, what did your dad said about it? does he leave the SEO job for you? because if he can't do it then you will be obligated to do it =)

  • http://trafficgeyserseo.com/ Traffic Geyser

    You explain it well to your dad, that is how SEO works, but uhm, what did your dad said about it? does he leave the SEO job for you? because if he can't do it then you will be obligated to do it =)

  • http://www.yellowseo.com Search Engine Optimization

    Thats pretty cool I once tried to explain it to my parents, but I think I lost them when I starting get into details on a parser.

  • http://www.yellowseo.com Search Engine Optimization

    Thats pretty cool I once tried to explain it to my parents, but I think I lost them when I starting get into details on a parser.

  • http://www.earth4energy4.com Earth4Energy

    A really great post here. I assume there's a chance to post more about related theme here. Really great. Thank you.

  • tomwharrington

    hi this is very good fantastic idea

  • tomwharrington

    hi this is very good fantastic idea

  • sean123

    Explanation of SEO/SEM is about enhancing productivity of company. SEO is the fabulous feature to utilize internet with some earning. I thought it is a wonderful idea.
    <a href=”http://www.widecircles.com” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker('/outbound/http://www.widecircles.com');”>SEOSEO

  • sean123

    Explanation of SEO/SEM is about enhancing productivity of company. SEO is the fabulous feature to utilize internet with some earning. I thought it is a wonderful idea.
    Sean Cruz
    SEO

  • sean123

    Explanation of SEO/SEM is about enhancing productivity of company. SEO is the fabulous feature to utilize internet with some earning. I thought it is a wonderful idea.
    SEO

  • http://www.ptxmarketing.com/ Miami Marketing

    it really sounds funny when it comes to our parents not understanding the “SEO thing”, and after explaining it to them clearly they will just say that “I'll leave that one to you”, this was just my parent's usual line whenever we cross this kinds of conversation.

  • http://www.othersidegroup.com/adcomments Kate Brodock

    That's hilarious because that's exACTly what my parents say too!

  • http://www.ptxmarketing.com/ Miami Marketing

    it really sounds funny when it comes to our parents not understanding the “SEO thing”, and after explaining it to them clearly they will just say that “I'll leave that one to you”, this was just my parent's usual line whenever we cross this kinds of conversation.

  • http://www.katebrodock.com Kate Brodock

    That's hilarious because that's exACTly what my parents say too!

  • http://www.profitbysearch.com Seo Company

    which means you associate it with key words that you think likely customers might search for…….

  • http://www.dataentryindia.net Data Entry India

    Suntec, based in New Delhi, India has been serving global customers since 1999

  • http://www.profitbysearch.com Seo Company

    which means you associate it with key words that you think likely customers might search for…….

  • http://seocorporation.wordpress.com/ Seo Professional India

    This is by far the be-all, end-all of SEO, but it does highlight in layman's terms some of you site's major strengths and weaknesses. …

  • socialmaker

    Online promotion with the aid of online marketing and seo are good ways to promote yourself and your business on the online environment. When it comes to seo services there are only a handful of companies who really know what they're doing. Only these know what content is all about, fixing site issues, URL canoniclization and rewrites and getting you a lot of links. If you want SEO for your site i recommend you search for a good company. Don't let a noname mess up your site !

  • socialmaker

    Online promotion with the aid of online marketing and seo are good ways to promote yourself and your business on the online environment. When it comes to seo services there are only a handful of companies who really know what they're doing. Only these know what content is all about, fixing site issues, URL canoniclization and rewrites and getting you a lot of links. If you want SEO for your site i recommend you search for a good company. Don't let a noname mess up your site !

  • maxyRO

    I should use this explaination for many of my customers that don't really understand seo
    Thanks

  • maxyRO

    I should use this explaination for many of my customers that don't really understand seo
    Thanks

Previous post:

Next post: