How to Better Understand SEO Using the Senses

We’ve all picked up a new prospect and really struggled to get the fundamentals of SEO through to them. They know that it is something that their business needs, as they’ve been bombarded with emails and phone calls for years, but they just can’t wrap their head around the technical aspect of it all. But can we blame them? SEO is a minefield, and unless you’ve been in the industry for a while, it can be difficult to fully comprehend.

We forget that our clients are experts in their field, and often if they tried to explain the ins and outs of an aspect of their business, it might be lost on us as well. The fact is, when it comes to something so complex and ever evolving as SEO, we must find simpler ways of demonstrating its value.

You get higher up on Google, you make more money, easy right? But you and I both know that it’s no where near as simple as that (unfortunately). We appreciate that there are a lot of moving parts that must be accounted for; and that in order for your client to truly see the value in it all, they have to understand and recognise these moving parts for what they are. Well, fortunately, we may have found a way to make that happen.


Treating SEO as a human experience

Some people struggle to see the value in SEO because there’s no physical product that they are buying. Certainly, you can give them every ranking and analytical report under the sun, but to some people, it will mean nothing. Therefore, you must humanise SEO as much as you can, using the senses.

So, what do we have?

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Touch

Now, at this point you probably think that we’re mad, because you certainly can’t taste SEO, nor can you smell it. However, you must bear with us and use your imagination. This might give you some great ideas for articulating the importance of SEO to your new prospects.

SEO through the senses: Taste

Again, you can’t taste SEO—but you can taste food—and what do you need to make a delicious dish? The right ingredients. You can’t just throw any old thing together and hope for the best, can you?


Engage with your client on a human level and ask them what their favourite dish is. Not only is this a great way of building a rapport and having a laugh with your client, but you’ll have a personalised analogy for them to remember.

Let’s say that they choose Spaghetti Bolognese as an example: a very simple yet delicious classic (and all too easy to ruin).

So, where do you begin with a spag bol? You start frying up some onion and garlic. Crucial! But what if you don’t have any garlic? Well, then you’ve got a terrible spag bol on the way (if you can call it that).

These beautiful dishes that we know and love, only work if they have the correct ingredients. Otherwise, they simply do not work.  This is a great way of demonstrating the fundamentals of the SEO recipe, and then you can expand on that as you wish to improve it. Want Google Ads to bolster your reach even further? Then fry up some diced bacon and throw a few succulent crispy bits into the mix for good measure.

SEO through the senses: Vision


Of course, it’s all well and good having the fundamental SEO recipe ingredients gathered, but what good are they without vision? Where does your client want to be in a year’s time? What are their goals from working with you? Do they want more customers? Do they want to double their business? Cut down their workload but attract the higher paying clients? Understand their goals and you’ll better understand how to pitch your plan to get them there.

You can’t strategise a campaign without vision. Once you know precisely where everybody wants to be, only then can you start figuring out a way to get there.

In addition to that, SEO is very much about aesthetics. Certainly, it’s possible to make an unattractive website rank, but what about your conversions? Just because a person finds a website at position one on Google, it doesn’t mean that they’re automatically going to buy from it.

Vision is a good way of demonstrating that the aesthetics of a website is equally as important as the content, the keywords, the meta, and the titles. Consumers are fickle and we don’t want to buy from ugly websites which are clunky and difficult to use.

SEO through the senses: Hearing


What you hear about a business is crucial: reputation is everything. So, what is your client saying about their business? What story are they telling their target audience online? Do they have something to say? Or is their voice just another monotone drone caught in the cacophony of an already raucous marketplace?

If they wish to stand out from the crowd, they need to find their voice, and give their audience something truly unique to hear.

We’ve all heard the “best in the business” crap. Nobody wants to hear that anymore. We like cold, hard, facts, coupled with a heart-warming story to balance it all out. Be honest.

SEO through the senses: Touch


Again, you can’t physically touch or ‘feel’, SEO. Though, what you can do is touch your target audience, figuratively speaking. Which is a huge factor in SEO and influencing your online presence. Is your content resonating with the target audience? Are they being ‘touched’ by it, or is it just another blog post? Emotion plays a vital role in the buying process and one needs to know how to use it. SEO works in a very similar way, as it relies on human connection for genuine results.

Today, more and more businesses are becoming obsessed with “being real”. They wanted to connect with their customers on a real and genuine level, and the way to do so is by ‘touching’ them, through the power of content development.

If your client can understand the value in creating ‘touching’ content that their audience can truly ‘feel’, then they will be well on their way to appreciating the fundamentals of modern digital marketing.

SEO through the senses: Smell


You’ve got to wake up and smell the bullshit. Excuse our French, but your sense of smell can come in rather handy when it comes to the world of online marketing. There’s nothing more valuable in SEO right now, than being genuine.

If you wish to be taken seriously, both by Google, and your target audience, then as a business, you can be none other than your authentic self.

The same applies with how you treat your clients. Don’t hold anything back. Transparency will set you free! Is their website a mess? It doesn’t matter how attached you think they might be, or how much they claim to love it, if you know how to fix it, then you need to articulate that to them. Don’t pander them with lies, tell the truth.

SEO, is about telling a true story well, remember that.

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