Explain SEO to clients by using the greatest metaphor ever Explain SEO to clients by using the greatest metaphor ever

Explain SEO to clients by using the greatest metaphor ever

I have created the golden metaphor to explain SEO to clients.  I was trying to explain SEO to a non-technical 80 year old client (the single best businessperson I have ever met) and I came up with the following metaphor.

Start to explain seo to clients like this:

Your website is like an ambitious young man trying to meet lots of attractive women.  Web users are like impressionable women who make a lot of bad choices with men.  Google is like her parents.  Using a search engine is similar to letting the woman’s parents pick suitors for her at a high society party.

Explain SEO to clients by using this metaphor

IMG_2102 © by dbking

Then use these comparisons

Getting considered in the first place

The Party: The biggest part is being there, you have to show up at the party to meet the women.

The Internet: Your website has to be online to be found at all.

Standing out from the crowd, i.e. Keywords.

The Party: The woman (and her parents) are looking for something specific, be it a left handed Methodist that plays hockey, or a progressive biologist that loves ice fishing.

The Internet: Your website has to be about something specific, like finding unprofitable clients or a fun and easy way to share audio clips.

Staying out of bad neighborhoods

The Party: No one wants their daughter to be with some loser that spends all his time in the ghetto shooting meth.

The Internet: Your website should stay our of internet “bad neighborhoods” and avoid link exchanges and link farms.

You should come from an old family

The Party: Who wouldn’t want their daughter to be with the a duPont, a Rockefeller, or a Roosevelt?

The Internet: Google likes it when websites have domain names that have been registered for a long time.

Everyone should be talking about you

The Party: Is everyone at the party talking about you?  If everyone else is interested, the woman’s parents will be too.

The Internet: If lots of people are linking to you, then Google will put you much higher in search results.

Prominent people should be talking about you

The Party: People from old families should be talking about you.  A kind word from a long time friend and member of the Mellon or Rothschild family will go much farther than a kind word from that guy her parents just met.

The Internet: Google likes it when prominent websites link to you – a link from cnn.com, apple.com or Microsoft.com will matter far more than a link from a new blog.

Everyone should be saying the right things about you

The Party: If everyone else is talking about what a great left handed Methodist hockey player you are, or how you’re a pretty good ice fisherman for a progressive biologist, her parents will swoon over you and throw their daugher in your arms.

The Internet: If you get many inbound links with find unprofitable clients in the link text, Google will throw throw users your way whenever some searches for “Find Unprofitable Clients”

You have to dress the part

The Party:  For some reason, er parents love a man that wears a full tuxedo, though they will make exceptions for the right man.

The Internet: Your page should be arranged the way Google wants you to arrange pages; with the proper mixture of header tags, canonical urls and alt text.


And there you have it, the best way to explain SEO to clients – it worked for a non-technical 80 year old consulting client of mine, and I bet it will for your clients as well.

And if you were interested in how to explain seo to clients, you will like this other post on how to sell to marketing departments.


Editor’s Note

This blog post originally appeared on the Profit Awareness Blog – as that app is up for sale, it has been consolidated into the main Digital Tool Factory blog.



Written By Steve French


26 responses to “Explain SEO to clients by using the greatest metaphor ever”

  1. Putting things in their proper perspective by comparing them to well-known, real-world events is the best strategy. Parties are a good point of comparison because (almost) everybody loves a good party and is familiar with the social techniques and tricks people use there. Just like with a business, a lot of it is about timing. You want to show up at a party at the right time: too early and nobody’s paying attention and too late and everybody’s knee-deep into their 6th drink and not caring. You also ought to look at the social tricks clubs use to tricker passersby into thinking that their venue is full: keeping people roped outside while the club is nearly empty. This perception trick is why there are a lot of companies mentioned at http://www.buyfacebookfansreviews.com that do nothing other Facebook and other promotions. It’s just the way the world is setup right now with people and their busy lives. And take a look at how women behave at parties. There’s a whole lot of lessons to be learned right there about how to get attention. I don’t think its necessarily a perfect analogy though. Standing out from the crowd at a party can be good. Standing out from the crowd in a web design (i.e. doing things in a non-standard way that people are not used to) isn’t always a great thing, but the basic concept is a strong one and the analogy in comparison to SEO and promotion works.

  2. These are fantastic. I always like to explains domain names as land, and a website as the house. You can build a nice house on crappy land and be OK, or buy a crappy house (website) on a great piece of land (domain name) and fix it up. Or pay a premium for a great house on a killer property.

    Intangibles are tough to describe, but your list here is great for covering all the SEO bases.

    • Hi Michael

      As long as a link is provided, please feel free to translate the article.

      And you actually want to translate the entire blog?

  3. This page appears to get a good ammount of visitors. How do you advertise it? It offers a nice individual twist on things. I guess having something authentic or substantial to talk about is the most important thing.
    My blog is Travel Tips.

  4. Wow, what an incredibly out-dated and sexist metaphor that reinforces the idea that only men work in tech and only men hire people who work in tech. The real world is not an episode of Mad Men.

  5. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

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