How SEO Works: A Simple Analogy

There are so many websites, profiles, and accounts in the world that whether you’re on eBay or the entire internet, it helps to think of yourself as a needle in a haystack of sorts.

Imagine the internet is a giant pile of nuts, bolts and screws. All the pieces are made of different metals.

A search engine is like a magnet that can focus on attracting different types of metal.

When someone goes on Google and searches “dental practice near me” they’re telling the magnet to pick up as many matching metals from the stack as possible, and then display them in order of relevance

SEO helps your screw get pulled faster and displayed earlier. The more of the right kind of metal you’re made of, the more likely you’ll get picked up by the magnet.

SEO Gives You Opportunities

SEO by itself helps customers find you. That means good SEO is what gives you an opportunity to make a good impression.

You're in business to help people solve problems. SEO is a tool that helps people solve problems quickly and effectively by finding your business quickly and effectively.

So let's return to the analogy, your blog article is a screw. Whenever someone runs that magnet over the pile, you want them to be able to find you first, so you galvanize your screw with the right coating so that the magnet will pick you up.

But let's say you look rusty--they might have found you first, but they probably won't use you when if the second or third screw looks more polished.

That's the well-known difference presentation makes for your business. That's why you invest in professionally designed websites, but a lot of businesses don't invest in their blogs because they think the only purpose is to satisfy SEO best practices and not customer service.

Poor writing makes your screw look rusty, but looks aren't everything--a rusty screw has suspect utility. You hesitate to use it, not just because of the aesthetic, but what if it breaks?

Same applies to generic or poorly written content. If I see something with grammar mistakes, I'd think the business is careless. If I see someone overusing keywords, I'll think they're trying to con me into a sale. If the content is too long, not engaging, or poorly formatted, I won't read it.

I'll look for someone else who has a better blog.

TLDR: You want your writing to be discoverable but also provide value to your readers, otherwise they'll seek out your competitors.

In Conclusion

Search engines are machines. You can't expect to appeal to a search engine the same way you do a human reader, or vice versa. That's why it helps to hire a content writer who can both galvanize your tools with the right metal so that it will be picked up by the magnet, and also polish your screws so that customers feel confident using them and coming back to you for business.

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