Creative Ways To Explain SEO To The Non-Technical

Search engine optimisation or SEO is a broad and notoriously technical topic. Even people who have been working in the industry for years can still have difficulty understanding some aspects. Assuming that a non-technical individual will comprehend the ins and outs of SEO is like expecting a newborn to speak a language fluently.

It takes time to understand any technical topic. When it comes to SEO, you might need to get creative and dig deep for ideas you can use to explain the concepts. Here are a few ideas that we hope will help you, and others you talk to


Think of your website as a book in a massive library. Web users are like new visitors to the library who have no idea what kind of books they want to read. Google is like the librarian. Using the search engine is much like letting the librarian pick and choose what books to read based on recommendations from bookworms and regular visitors to the library.


Given the scenario, you can think of keywords as specific terms you would give to let the librarian know what you might be interested in, like a historical book on female unicorns.

HTML status and error codes

Status and error codes are sent by web pages to let servers know what is going on. Because of the sheer number of codes, deciphering the message can get confusing. With a topic like status and error codes, you will need to explain the meaning by using simple every day terms. The following are a few examples.

  • 200 – You’re in the right place. Here is the information you want.
  • 301 – The information you were looking for has been permanently moved to a different page. You will now be taken to that new page.
  • 403 – You don’t have permission to access the information you are requesting.
  • 404 – The web page you requested is no longer on our site.
  • 503 – Our web site is having issues. Come back some other time.


Lastly, canonicals are codes used to let the web server know that there is more than one page with the exact same information on it. Web servers, such as Google, don’t look highly on pages or sites that feature duplicate content. Inserting a canonical lets the web server know which of the pages it should index. This is one way of looking at the situation:

Hey Google, Page A and Page B have the same information but we think the content looks way better on Page B.

This can be really useful when you do guest blogging on a different site than your own. You can choose which blog is going to be the main one (the one which will receive the SEO ranking) and any others will be ignore for the search engines. This means your readers can still read your blog on multiple platforms directly, but that only one will be the main page suggested in Google.

You Can’t Be An Expert At Everything

I’m happy to admit, I don’t know everything – does anyone, really?! – even when technical geeks get together we can’t possibly know everything! That’s why it’s always great to learn off each other.

We hope you’ve found these concepts helpful in understanding more about what we do (if you weren’t hot on it already) – how about going and trying to explain what you’ve learnt here to a colleague or friend and let us know how you get on.

Are there any elements missing that you hear relating to SEO that you still don’t really understand? Let us know and we’d be happy to help and maybe even include it in a future blog post.

As always, if you need help with your website’s SEO, just contact us. As a business offering search engine optimisation Lancashire based and covering nationally, DigiEnable can help you grow online.

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