SEO Explained Like You’re 5

You may have watched the office, you might be a reddit user or you’ve just came across the acronym “ELI5” before. “ELI5” stands for Explain To Me Like I’m 5, which means “Can you explain this in Layman’s Terms?” It’s taken off through a subreddit where people ask for simple answers to very complicated questions.

Search Engine Optimisation is quite complicated, even if you’re interested in technology the amount of information about SEO out there can overwhelm you easily. On the other hand, SEO is already very important and that won’t be changing anytime soon. So, I’m going to tell you about what you need to know about SEO like you’re five. Ready? Let’s go.

Crawl Accessibility

There’s an SEO ladder you have to climb to reach peak performance on search engines. The first rung is called “Crawl Accessibility”. This is how the search engine can get through your website and is able to take your website’s pages and then present them to their searchers as answers to their queries. Think of it like a Librarian Roomba. You need to make sure your website will be easily accessible for the Roomba otherwise it’s just going to bump into things and end up not filing them to show up in the search. Which is bad for you, because the more your website answers queries, the more chance people will click through to your site.

Compelling Content

analytics shown on a laptop stock image

The next rung of SEO is compelling content. Websites can be dropped from result pages. This happens if they try to scam search engines to get higher in the rankings. People have tried to scam engines in the past by not providing content but hiding a lot of keywords in their sites so that they appear in searches. It’s one of the major reasons why you really should go with a reputable and proven marketing agency. If you’re going with a company who are using poor methods to get you results you may end up in a worse position than where you started. Search engines now have much more advanced algorithms which judge your websites content from a few things:

  • Your reputation based of off who links to your site,
  • Does your content answer the searchers needs well,
  • Their machine learning algorithm which adapts to the searchers actions. (eg. more people keep clicking the third link because that seems more like what they want than the first, so the machine notices this and moves it up in the rankings.)

What you can take from this is that, if you provide good content for people, you will rank higher than those who do not.


screen shot example of typing wax into google and the different interpretations of wax

Let’s cover keywords now, keywords are words that people type into search engines to find what they need. In SEO we have to target particular keywords to get favourable search engine rankings. There’s a lot of strategy behind which keywords it’s best for your company to target and it can take a lot of time, research and software to find out. For example, if you own a business selling candles, ‘wax’ is a related keyword to your product. That still may not be a good keyword to target as it’s a very vague word. Someone searching using the word ‘wax’ could be looking for a number of other types of wax: so targeting wax is a waste of time compared to targeting another word with could reach high potential customers. Therefore a lot of different aspects to weigh up, but keywords are a very important part of SEO.

User Experience

Lastly, there’s user experience. People are impatient and so if they click on your search result, they want the information to be available fast. 47% of people expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less and if it doesn’t, they’ll abandon it. If they abandon it, they’ll not only be going back to click on a possible competitor’s site; this can make the learning algorithm think your site isn’t a good resource, putting you down in rankings. People dislike unintuitive site navigation and pictures of large file sizes that take too long to load. Furthermore no alt text for visually impaired people being available and poor formatting will make the content hard to read.

So, to skim this all down to the complete bare bones of SEO:

  1. Your site needs to be technically navigable
  2. Don’t fake being a good information resource
  3. Provide the best information you can to the viewer
  4. Put a lot of thought and research into your chosen keywords
  5. The users end experience is the most important aspect

Even trying to cover the main parts of SEO can still lead you down rabbit holes, case studies and tips. Search engines update their algorithms to suit users and the best way of SEO is changing all the time. Here at Stimulating Minds we will put out more content on our blog about SEO. It’s important for clients to have an understanding of how we can push their company into the limelight. We hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions send them our way! We’re on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.