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Friday, September 16, 2011

How I Taught My Aged Aunt Search Engine Optimization

by: Phill Turner

“What does SEO stand for?” asked my 62 year old aunt one day. I was in the middle of organising my next Webinar so I was a bit busy at the time. “That stands for search engine optimization” I said still preoccupied with the job in hand. “Mmm” I heard and then silence. “It’s no good” I thought, “I’ll have to stop what I’m doing and explain”. I turned to her and said “A search engine is..” She jumped in saying “I know what a search engine is! I know I hate computers but I’m not a total computer phobe! I just don’t see the need to surf the web, as it’s called, all day long”. “Ok, ok, I’m sorry. What do you want to know for anyway?” “It was in an article I was reading and you know I like to keep up with things. Can’t you just explain in simple terms?” Oh dear. Bang goes my early night!


“Internet marketers want to get traffic, visitors, to their websites so they can sell their products. People who want to buy things go on somewhere like Google and put a word or two in the box to look for sites with their particular ‘want’ on. There are millions and millions of marketers out there, so there needs to be a way of rating the best and the worst. Traffic plays an important part but it is not the only factor in the rating conundrum. My aunt thought about this and said “So how do they get to the top of the search engine?”


As you can imagine there are certain words that people use when their searching. Washing machine, television, help, cure. Depending on the product being sold there are lists of what they call keywords which are the most often used. So if you use these words in your advertising and articles on your site they will attract the search to you. You can go on Google and search the words in your title to find a good combination.”

My aunt was impressed “Clever! So all they have to do is to include the right keywords and they’ll get all the traffic they want? They called it search engine optimization just to complicate things.” Here we go! “It’s not quite as simple as that. There are other factors involved.” “Which are?” she said. “I’ll go through them.”


“There are also categories and tags. A bit like a filing system, you go to the category, then the tag and finally the keyword. That’s why it’s called search engine optimization; the shortest route to what you want. As a marketer I want my route to be shortest.” “Any more things I should know?”


“Yes. If you put links into everything you do, which take anyone whose reading anything you do back to your website, then you get more traffic, or clicks, and that adds to your rating with the search engines.” I wasn’t sure my aunt understood this totally. “Links?” “Yes. You know the web address http//www. etc., that’s what a link is.” “Oh, I see. That must all take a lot of time and effort. How on earth do you manage it?”


“You can get a software package to help. There a lots on the market, I use SEOpressor myself. I write articles and things in a system called WordPress. As I write them it tells me if I have enough keywords, links, headings etc. as I go so that I can get the maximum search engine optimization with the article.” I showed my aunt a post that I was writing and the results changing as I wrote. “That makes things a bit easier, doesn’t it? So let me just rewind and see if I’ve got it”


“So this is how it goes….

  • Traffic needed
  • Keywords needed for recognition
  • Categories and tags needed to be in the right file
  • Links needed for clicks back to your site
  • Software needed to make life a bit easier

Is that correct? Can I have a go?” And she did! Amazing!

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