While sitting in a meeting explaining the need for search engine optimization to a potential client, that glazed over look sitting across from us can mean a lot of things. We can often forget that the client doesn’t speak the ‘language’ those of us in the industry speak nor do they have the same experiences.

So why not discuss some basics about search engines and why being highly visible and easy found in the search engines is important for a website owner.

A few things to understand about search engines and SEO

First, first: A majority of people use their computers daily and that same majority is most likely to be on a search engine to help them navigate the web. Are they navigating to your website? Optimizing your website can help make that happen.

First: In our humble opinion, search engines try to create a very positive experience for its users so that they’ll come back and search again.

So, when a search engine user performs a search, a search engine tries to return the most relevant, authoritative and trustworthy results (in a ranked order).

Second: Search engines do this by ‘crawling’ the web (search engines visit websites & collect information from them) and in a formulaic fashion, the search engines then determine how to list and/or rank websites in results pertaining to a particular search.

An aside: Search engines use an algorithm to do this. A simple definition of an algorithm is such: A formula used by to help evaluate a website for value and relevance in comparison to a search.

Third: SEO (in its basic form) is a set of techniques and the use of tools to help shape a website in such a manner that the most relevant, authority-based, trustworthy information is in the right places in order to signal the search engines of the overall value and relevance to potential visitors.

The more refined, shaped and maintained a website is, naturally, the more traffic will gravitate to your website from a search engine.