Why SEO is untouchable


I was talking to someone the other day about SEO (search engine optimisation) and they asked me to send them some examples. Of course I instinctively said ‘Yes’, but then I stopped and thought about it. SEO is intangible, it is not a solid item I can ‘put in the post’, you cannot hold it in your hand like a leaflet, nor can you immediately ‘see’ it like a website.

SEO is the use and performance of keywords and keyphrases within website copy, and in the meta tags in the code. It can manifest itself in many guises: meta tags behind pictures, keywords in headlines, keyphrases woven into webcopy in such a way they are not noticeable to the reader, but stick out like sore thumbs to the internet spider. The browser title in the webpage could be carefully constructed to capture as much SEO as possible, and the (almost) invisible description tags that only materialise in search engine indexing so necessary to match up with visitor search criteria.

In fact, the best SEO should almost be invisible to the web visitor. It is not designed to be obvious, but like a cleverly constructed machine the cogs and wheels behind the system are not revealed; with the fancy exterior perfectly designed to distract the user, they grind away doing their invaluable and important work.

What he could have said was to send him something that showed SEO’s results. This would have to be done in report form, analysed from Google Analytics over a period of time, tweaked to increase performance and perfect the spider response required to increase visitor traffic and ultimately conversions into business (but that bit depends on a combination of design and psychology on the ‘shop front’, a totally different story to SEO tangibility).


6 Responses

  1. Great post.

    I often find it difficult to answer when people ask “what is SEO” and for example, because there any number of methods which can change between websites and businesses depending on their needs.

    It’s often too common to see webpages with badly optimised pages – sometimes reading a paragraph that is keyword stuffed within an inch of its life can give you a headache! So I totally agree with your comment that the best SEO should be almost invisible to the user.

    • Thank you Charlotte for your comment. If a webpage has more than 10% SEO it is counterproductive because Google will just ignore it. Often less is more, as long as it is of the finest quality.

  2. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I
    clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  3. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did
    you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do
    it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thank you

    • Glad you like the blog! Yes, we did do it ourselves, with a bit of help from one of our ‘pet’ web developers. We set up a quite a few websites and blogs for clients, so let me know if you need any help with yours.

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