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SEO 1-2-3: A Simple Explanation of how SEO works

Thinking of search engine optimization (SEO) through the eyes of your customer will help you understand how SEO works and improve SEO on your own website.

An axolytl
An axolotl

Let’s step into the shoes of your customer. For example, let’s pretend you have a pet store and you sell axolotls. Your typical customer wants to buy an axolotl. Here are the steps your customer will take.

Step 1 – Search. The customer searches for “axolotls for sale near me” .

Step 2 – Choose. The customer sees the search results. From the search results, the customer will pick one link to explore further.

Step 3 – Decision. The customer clicks on the link and reviews the information. If the customer finds an axolytl for sale on your website, you will soon be selling an axolytl. However, if the customer doesn’t find axolotls, then they will simply hit the back button and click on the next link.

For a successful sale, you must be in the right place for all three of these steps. First, you need to be in the search results. Then, you need to have a compelling message (aka ‘click bait’) so the customer picks you from the search results. And when the customer gets to your website, you need to make it easy for them to find what they need.

Now we need to go a bit deeper to understand how SEO works.

There are three parts to SEO--being in the search results, being the links a customer chooses from the results, and providing the right information on your web page.
There are three parts to SEO. 1. Being in the search results. 2. The customer chooses your link from the search results. 3. Providing the right content on your web page so the user finds what they need.

Step 1. Get your website into the search results.

Getting into the search results is the most difficult of the three steps. To be in the search results, you must have SEO copywriting, focused on the right search terms, so that Google places you into the search results. If you are selling axolotls, then it needs to be clear to Google that you are selling axolotls and that you are a credible seller.

Remember that there isn’t SEO magic that will get you into the search results. The key is good SEO copywriting. At White Buffalo Websites, we use the Yoast WordPress tool for SEO copywriting.

We find that the hardest part of SEO copywriting is choosing the right keywords. Most of the time your message isn’t as simple as “We sell axolotls” so you need a strategy to choose the right key words. (See our article on Keyword Strategy for more information on how to choose keywords and key phrases.) We would love to guide you through this strategic planning exercise.

Step 2. Give the customer a reason to choose you from the search results.

A web search with results for an axolotl near me
Pick me! Pick me!

Pick me! Pick me! When the users sees the search results, you need to have your elevator pitch ready so that the customer will pick you instead of your competitor. Rank order is important, but another important factor is your SEO page title and your SEO description. Great SEO copywriting will help at this stage as well, to make sure that the user picks you to purchase an axolotl. If you neglect this step, then Google will choose language from your webpage for you. While you don’t want to sound like a used car saleman, you want to make it clear that you sell the best axolotls in the area.

Using Your Web Page Description to Increase Traffic.

Step 3. Show the customer what they expect.

When the customer comes to your web page, be sure to show the customer what they expect and quickly. Remember that there is competition on the Internet. If they come to your page and they see a pop-up ad or can’t immediately find where to purchase an axolotl, they will simple hit the back button and select the next choice in the page. It is important that the user see what they were looking for “Above the fold”, without having to scroll on the page.

So what on earth is an axolotl?

Image by Tinwe from Pixabay

An axolotl is a Mexican Salamander that lives underwater. See the shape of its mouth? It is smiling at you. Add the cute button eyes and colorful gills, and you have a very cute, albeit slimy, pet.


White Buffalo Websites can help you with SEO copywriting using the techniques in this article. Check out our copywriting services. If you like to write, then we can train you how to do your own SEO Copywriting with the Yoast plugin. We love to coach our DIY clients.