Five Analogies To Help Your Boss Understand SEO

Trying to explain SEO to someone who has only just mastered the art of sending and receiving emails can feel like an impossible task, however, in this article, we’re going to share five handy analogies that can help you get the message across. Read on and let’s get straight into it…

SEO is fitness for your business

This is one of my favourite analogies and it works wonderfully. You can describe your website as someone who is a little out of shape, smokes and drinks heavily, eats junk food, and barely gets any exercise. They’re not living optimally. However, there are a number of positive lifestyle changes that can help them turn things around, achieve their goals, and ultimately lead a more successful life.

  • Onsite audit is the initial consultation with a fitness instructor.
  • Onsite optimization / technical SEO is writing a diet plan and making the necessary changes in the kitchen.
  • Offsite activities such as link building and content creation is hitting the gym and going for a run three or four times a week.
  • Etc.
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SEO is a marathon

This analogy is particularly handy for explaining the importance of maintaining your SEO (rather than looking at it as a one off campaign).

SEO is a marathon and you need to be in it to win it. It can take time to yield results (4 to 12-months depending on a variety of factors) and as soon as you drop out, other people will invariably overtake you.

SEO is like the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe

Another beautiful analogy is comparing SEO to the perfect spaghetti sauce recipe – some Italian grandma’s special family secret.

In order to manage and run an SEO campaign that is bound to deliver superior and sustainable results, you need every single ingredient on the list!

If you don’t follow the recipe to the letter and skimp on certain areas, the spaghetti sauce is going to come out bland and boring.

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You gotta hit the right notes if you want to stand out from your competitors!

SEO is a puzzle to be solved – continually

SEO is like a puzzle or a mystery that needs to be solved – and it’s never ending! Which keywords are best suited to your overall goals? How competitive are they? Who else is targeting them? What kind of content can you create to resonate with your perfect customer? How can you pivot your approach when Google introduces a new algorithm update?

SEO is a complicated and ever changing beast that calls for tactical minds and creative strategists. Your boss doesn’t have to be a puzzle solving wizard – they just have to hire an SEO firm who can do the grunt work for them instead!

SEO is like running for class president

This particular analogy is helpful when explaining the importance of quality link building and guest blogging. It’s not so dissimilar to a popularity contest!

When Google is looking for websites to rank for specific keywords that they users are targeting, there’s a lot going on in the back end. Not only are they looking for the most relevant answers, but they want well-optimized websites that provide a suitable user experience – and indeed, that these websites come highly recommended by other parties. It’s not so dissimilar to applying for that dream job.

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How does one run for class president? They need plenty of people to vote for them. And how can they get those votes without breaking the rules? By establishing a reputation of authority in their field and building up trust.

Once those votes start rolling in (backlinks), your website will invariably gain more popularity in the eyes of Google and they’ll be far more comfortable sending their users in your direction.


It can be frustrating when trying to explain SEO to a business owner – especially if they are struggling to see the immense value that it can bring.

We hope that these analogies have given you some inspiration and will help get the message across. 

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