SEO is a Political Election

S. E. O.  Just three little letters, but they often carry a boat load of confusion.  For those new to the practice and others who often have to explain it to clients and colleagues, try comparing search engine optimization to political elections.  

Keywords are The Issues

In Politics: When politicians do not have a stance on a relevant and popular issue, they are essentially irrelevant.  Political hopefuls must research the important issues, understand how voters feel about them, and be prepared to give their thoughts.

In Organic Search: If your site does not include the keyword phrases with which the audience is searching, you will not be in the game.  Use relevant and popular terms in page titles, meta descriptoins, H1 tags, HTML content and inbound links to attain rankings and traffic.

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Links are Endorsements

In Politics: When running for office, officials often seek the endorsement of others in the community.  However, not every endorsement is created equal.  Obtaining an endorsement from a prominent business person, influential media outposts or other elected officials carry more weight than getting a thumbs up from your next-door neighbor or your grandma.

In Organic Search: Typically the more inbound links you acquire, the better your site will look in the eyes of “the Google.”   However, not all links are created equal.  For example if you own a company that sells pool fences, links from popular sites that sell pool supplies or offer information on water safety are much more valuable than links from low-trafficked blogs about remote control cars or a site that sells semiconductors.  Popularity and relevance are the key.

Design Obstacles are Shady Land Deals, Media-Hungry Girlfriends and Pictures Taken at Frat Parties 30 Years Ago

In Politics: Want to pull yourself out of a political election quickly?  Crack open a Coors Original and go 80mph in a School Zone.  Punch an autistic kid in the back of the head.  Park your car in a handicapped spot with your dog locked inside.  Date your brother.

In Organic Search: Want to pull yourself out of natural search results quickly?  Place all your content in frames. Use duplicate content throughout your site.  Replace all the text on your site with pretty motion graphics.  Place 300 of your favorite keywords in “hidden” white text.  Throw a “nofollow” tag on your home page.

Was this helpful?  What other analogies do you use when explaining digital marketing?