How to Explain SEO to a Newbie

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explaining seo to a newbie

Whether it’s a client or a new hire, explaining SEO to someone who has never done it before can be tricky.  That’s why we created this easy-to-understand infographic to help you walk anyone from a small business owner to a corporate CEO through SEO.

If you like the infographic or think it can help others, feel free to share it on your favorite social network or use the embed box below it to share on your blog.

How to explain SEO to a newbie

Website Architecture

Architecture is the backbone of your SEO.  It’s about creating the best experience so your visitors or dates can locate the information they need, and find out if you’re a good match.  Think about it this way, if you aren’t built inside and out in a way that your potential match likes, they’re not going to go on the date or won’t go for a second one.  This is the same way a search engine thinks about a website.


  • URL structure – How to categorize your site.
  • Canonicals – Making sure your best content and pages are the ones shown.
  • Robots – Blocking what you don’t want from showing up in the search engines.
  • Sitemaps – Helping to navigate your most important pages.
  • Crawl paths – Guiding search engine spiders to your most important pages with internal links.
  • Markup – Defining what the page is about.
  • Load times – Making sure everything shows up quickly and efficiently.


  • URL structure – Defining what you’re about and giving ways to find it.
  • Canonicals – Always showing your best side even when others are available.
  • Robots – Not mentioning your ex, things you hate and helping your date to find what’s good about you.
  • Sitemaps – Knowing your best qualities and helping your date find them.
  • Crawl paths – Leading conversations to learn more about your best qualities and what makes you special.
  • Markup – Listing your stats, interests, likes and details in your online profile.
  • Load times – Showing up on time.


Your content is what makes your date want to engage, subscribe, convert and stick with you.  It’s finding what they’re looking for and helping them decide you’re a match.  You can also look at it as the food at the restaurant, activity if your date is an adventure or event based, etc…  What would make the person want to show up (besides you) and stick around?


  • Product pages – Give reasons to buy the product and the tools they need. i.e. size charts for clothing or specs for electronics and pieces.
  • Categories – Entice the person to want to click through the products or sub-category links on the page.  Make sure to also talk about how to navigate through the page.
  • Blog posts – Be informative and provide solutions, ask questions and for the reader to comment, share and engage.


  • Product pages – This is what you have to offer your potential partner.  It’s the qualities that complement them and that they’re looking for in a mate.
  • Categories – Once your date asks questions, this is where you lead them to so they can select what they’d like to find more about.
  • Blog posts – These are your responses to their questions and how you can help to show why you’re a good match and can help make their lives better if they stick with you.

Links and Mentions

Backlinks and social media mentions are the ways you can have your date (website visitor) come back to you. It could be the people who influence them like friends or family they trust, or a gift that has your phone number or a text so they can come back and find you again.  Think of each referral or reminder about you like a vote that you’re the right person for them.  This is the same way the search engines look at your site.  Are the mentions positive or not, are the links good quality and trustworthy and how many others are saying this about your site?


  • Backlinks – These are a quality and popularity system. They show your site is trustworthy and reputable, or that your site is low quality and should not be trusted. High quality links from good SEO neighborhoods can lead to better rankings (appearance) and low quality links or no follow can hurt or not impact you.
  • Influencer Mentions  – Influencers mentioning you can lead to news, niche and complementary websites discovering you.  These discoveries can lead to backlinks, new content and increased rankings.
  • Social Signals – Although it’s debatable that an increase in shares can lead to rankings, having something go viral or gain attention can lead to backlinks.  If you get quality links from these, that can lead to better rankings.


  • Backlinks – Think of these as all of the reasons why your date should contact you and how they can find you. They see something that reminds them of a joke, come across your number or you send a gift to their home thanking them for the date.  It’s how you keep them finding you through external sources.
  • Influencer Mentions – These are your date’s friends or people that they trust who you have or have not met. They encourage or discourage your date from coming back or taking the next step into a relationship.
  • Social Signals – This could be what you do or say that causes both positive and negative reactions with your date. If they’re good, they’ll trigger positive memories and emotions and you may find yourself on a second date.


As you can see, SEO is very much like preparing to have a successful date.  You create the proper environment, then display the best content and give reasons for them to come back to you again.  If you’re looking for help with SEO or affiliate managers to help with your program, click here to contact us.

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2 thoughts on “How to Explain SEO to a Newbie”

  1. Excellent work Adam!! Thank you! I wish I had this post two weeks ago.

    I had to prepare a presentation to a high level exec who we needed on the same page, so that we could move a few projects forward.

    He had concerns because he saw some SEO & SEM items that were taken out of context.

    This was compounded by the fact that he didn’t have a good understanding of digital marketing and has a long background in traditional marketing.

    It was a success when our 1.5hr meeting was over, however, resources such as yours is infinitely helpful as we learn to communicate what we do with people know don’t know, but hold budgets ; )

    1. Glad you found it helpful Dat. If you’re pitching PPC, I compare it to print ads, especially newspapers. TV and social media works really well as well. I can share if we see each other at a show this year.

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