Many times clients ask us to explain Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and sometimes it is best to make comparisons. We have a few favorite comparisons we use regularly at SEO Digital Partners and discuss our three favorite analogies in this article.
SEO Is Like Building a House
When any construction is started on a new building or house one of the first steps is to lay a solid foundation. A solid foundation with SEO is performing sufficient keyword and competitor research. This means using various sources for your research and also various ways to search your business as a customer would not as you would search for your business. Often times small businesses make the mistake of not doing sufficient research for keywords that their targeted customers would use to search for their type of business. There are several SEO keyword research tools out there that are free and great to use for this step in building your “SEO House.”
First, we will need to be sure to build a solid frame on our foundation. In SEO terms, the frame is how you structure your website. What we mean by structure is how your “services” page, your “about us” page and your overall website content is structured. The Framework or web structure needs to make sense for both search engines and users. Many times small businesses decide to build a website without incorporating SEO into the structure of the URLs and the layers of the content on the website. This is not a good idea because it will impact how well and which type of searches your website will be found. This “frame” can get a little bit more technical with an E-commerce website as you have multiple layers of products product lines, colors, styles and sizes. Regardless of the type of website, this process should be given plenty of time to get designed properly and be SEO friendly.
Our second step is laying out the plumbing and electrical for the house. This can be compared to the title tags, metadata, and headings on your website pages. These should be optimized according to best practices, just like the plumbing and electrical circuits in a house from time to time they will need flushing or a fuse replaced, so should you continue to maintain the metadata working properly.
The third step in building our SEO house, is adding the walls, doors, and windows. Comparable to the title tags, metadata, images, and headings on your website pages. The walls can be compared to the majority of the metadata, doors are the H1s, H2s, which must be optimized to fit the doorway. The windows are the images that should be cleaned or optimized for getting the most out of their use.
Kitchen and bathroom cabinets and counters. These may be considered as cosmetic but will make a statement about the home and what can and cannot be stored. Have you ever lived in an apartment or house without a pantry? Why would you have a website without any images or proper images that are customized to the content on your website? When guests visit your home they will more likely visit either the bathroom or kitchen during their visit. It makes sense to spend some time in selecting and customizing your images for your website. If you use a stock photo provider, be sure to rename your image and optimize each image’s four critical elements that search engines crawl.
Our next step, will include the paint and flooring, this can relate to the UX optimization of the website’s pages. Making them appealing for the user and not just the search engines. Consider a color scheme, that is warm or cool depending on what industry or mood you want the user to “feel” familiar with, meaning, most restaurants use red, orange, green because they relate to food in our minds and dark green or blue to a “steady” or reputable company.
Our new house will require hardware that includes locks, fences, window screens, and gates. This can be comparable to the internal links to your website. Internal links will need to reviewed and upgraded from time to time but if neglected, can lead to some negative signals to search engines. Make sure you don’t overload your main menu or footer with all links to your website as this can often deplete internal link value of these web pages.
Out final step in completing a house built in a middle-class American neighborhood might be the landscaping. As most realtors will say, “Attractive landscaping gives your home curbside appeal.” Landscaping in SEO terms can be compared to the external links to your website. External links that are overlooked or outdated links not properly disavowed will not give your website its much needed curbside appeal to search engines.