Without SEO, Nobody Can Find Your Website

Optimizing your website so it shows up in search engines, otherwise known as SEO, has been written about often. That said, it can be tough to find good, basic information if you are just starting out as I discovered recently.

I’ve been working on a new website for Sara, whose background is in music rather than technology. A few days ago, I brought up the topic of SEO and how she needed to optimize the content on her website and begin link building. We discussed why these were important and how, if she did them well, people would start coming to her website. That’s when the real fun began.

The first thing I learned was that for those new to search engine optimization, the concepts can be mystical at first. For example, at its core SEO is not about helping people. It’s about helping search engines like Google and Bing. In other words, everything you do in SEO is meant to be seen, read, and understood by search engines so they can find and appropriately rank your website.

But, isn’t the end goal to get people to my website? Yes, of course. However, one has to consider the way the internet works. Over a billion people use search engines to find information on the web. This means they go to Google, type in a search query such as “Music Lessons”, then view what results come back and click on one. Until people know your website exists, they will need and use a search engine to find it.

This is why SEO is so critical, especially for new websites. Simply put, if your website cannot be found and displayed by search engines, people will not be able to find your website either.

So how does a website get found and displayed in Google? Well, there are many factors involved. SEO pros have entire websites dedicated to the topic. Though, search engines guard this information tightly, making it tough for anyone to know with complete certainty. That said, there is strong consensus on two things.

First, for search engines to find your site, you must have links to it from other websites. Say your website is a tourist destination, like a national park. However, what if there was no road to get there? How would anyone find it, let alone drive to it? Search engines are the same way, except instead of driving on roads they follow links to your site.

Second, for search engines to display your website, they need to know what it is about. Once again, let’s say your website is a national park. However, this time let’s make sure we put a sign out front telling people who drive by what the major attractions are: waterfalls and mountains. Optimizing content on a website works pretty much the same way, by calling out certain words so search engines know what it is about.

Now, with some roads (links) and some clear signage (optimized content), search engines are able to find our national park (website) and categorize it appropriately for searchers. Then, when people go to Google and type in “national parks with waterfalls” or “national parks with mountains“, our site is displayed and people visit.

This was the piece that Sara was missing when we first discussed SEO. While the end goal always is to help people find a website, the process starts by assisting search engines to get there first. I’ll dive deeper into this in a later post.




  1. You must be very intelligent to understand all this and to be able to write it so fluently. I can’t wait to read more.

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