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Can someone please explain SEO to me in layman's terms!

Yes!

Of course we can.

SEO can be one of the most confusing concepts in internet marketing, so we’re glad that you asked.

Let’s start by actually undoing the buzzwordy abbreviation.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization

(You’d be shocked to know how many people don’t know that. If you’re one of them, we’re glad you found us.)

Let’s break it down into it’s two parts.

First, “search engine.” These days it’s all about Google. Heck, it may as well be renamed Google Optimization.

Secondly, “optimization.” Webster’s defines it as “an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible” But for the purposes of this explanation. Let’s consider optimization as more as customization. Basically how do I, as a franchise lead generator, need to customize my website?

Ok, so putting it all together again. Search Engine Optimization is the process of customizing your website in order to be seen as favorably as you can in the eye of Google.

Here's a brief video that helps explain it better:

Clear as mud, right?

So what actually happens...

When you create a new web page on your website and elect to let Google know about it (which should be the case for most pages) Google sends something called a “web crawler” to visit your page. When this web crawler visits, it makes a record of all of the text that’s found on your site. Basically, it reads it and interprets it.

It then catalogs it amongst all the other billions of pages that exist out there on the internet. As you can imagine, a web page that details the 1960’s New York Yankees will read a bit differently than a webpage that teaches you how to properly apply skincare products.

It’s then Google’s job to decide how / if to present that page to searchers for various keywords. And keep in mind, for the non-paid search results Google is on the side of THE SEARCHER, not you. So they’retrying to make the internet as pleasurable experience as possible for THE SEARCHER.

Let’s take a look at a very simple example.

So Person X searches for the term, “Best franchises in the world.”

And for the purpose of this exercise, let’s say that Google has the choice to rank these three pages:

  • The homepage of Franchise A, which touts itself as "The best franchise in the world"
  • The homepage of Franchise Lead Gen Provider B, which claims to only work with "The best franchises in the world."
  • A NY Times article about a data-driven exercise to evaluate all the franchises in the world and attempt to rank them against each other

So which do you think is the first result?

(Ok. Let’s be honest. Only Google knows how this thing actually works, but it’s an example, so let’s keep going for it.)

In all likelihood, the NY Times article is going to rank #1. Why? Because in the eye of the searcher,it’s going to be the most relevant content for what they are looking for. The searcher likely wanted information on lots and lots of franchises, and the NY Times is a reputable source.

NOW, here’s where it gets interesting. What ranks second?

The answer to this question is much murkier. And the answer is likely which website has better practices as it relates to search engine optimization. So, in other words, who customized their webpage specifically to cater to a user who searches for “best franchise in the world.”

Do a few Google searches and see if you can figure out why certain pages are ranked higher than others.

Sometimes it’s very intuitive, other times it’s not.

But, in a nutshell, that’s the game. Which web pages out there are best customized to rank for specific searched words and phrases in Google.

Have a question about SEO? Shoot us a note here.

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