How Many People Know What SEO Means?

25 replies
Ive been struck with snooty nose toffee suckers before who show off to me when they know what SEO means and or that backlinks help with SEO.

Ok so they Googled it or attended an expensive corporate marketing event...

But how many people really know what SEO means? in the offline world I mean.

I had a dude over at my place a while back that was mowing my lawns, he seemed like a good bloke and was pretty intelligent. He said he had a website but got "no hits". When I asked if he had anyone work on his SEO he said "What the f**k is SEO?"

I explained and so off he went again on tangents about google and some weird conspiracy stuff...

The point is, this dude had no idea what SEO meant.

How many of your clients or prospects actually now what SEO means?

I'd say 80% of my cprospects know what it is and about 55% of the general population do.

What do you think?
#means #people #seo
  • Profile picture of the author theseoproz
    I have found a surprisingly high number of mid to large business owners that have websites, and absolutely no clue what SEO is or why they should use it, I am currently building a new site and have included an explanation of SEO for people who are clueless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Petal
    Great question. You will find that a fair percentage of warriors either hate seo or outsource it. The seo game is always changing especially with the Google updates. Most clients haven't got a clue and leave it up to the experts to deliver
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Roy
    If you are dealing with it on a daily basis and trying to improve the search results for one or more websites, you have a pretty good idea what it means.

    However, it means something different in a short amount of time, so if you start keaving it to others, you'll be clueless very soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author kcom
    Depends on the industry, I think that for trades people, not too many know about SEO. Switch over to IT providers and they have a good idea. Professionals like Dentists or Chiropractors are usually in the middle. But, there are always exceptions to that.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I'd say 1% of the general population know what SEO is. About 10% of business owners might, and that's being liberal.

    That's why so many people are not successful in selling it. They're selling SEO instead of selling increased Google ranking. lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author RimaNaj2011
      I don't have a lot of experience with offline businesses, but I never bring up the words SEO in appointments. I just tell them I get them more traffic to their site which will turn into more leads for them by getting them more exposure in the search engines. After that, I might talk about rankings and more into it as they ask questions.
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I'd say 1% of the general population know what SEO is. About 10% of business owners might, and that's being liberal.

      That's why so many people are not successful in selling it. They're selling SEO instead of selling increased Google ranking. lol.
      Spot on! My thoughts exactly.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesCx
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I'd say 1% of the general population know what SEO is. About 10% of business owners might, and that's being liberal.

      That's why so many people are not successful in selling it. They're selling SEO instead of selling increased Google ranking. lol.
      I'm with Nameless on this - there's no way 55% is close to the figure that know about SEO. Hell, some people I talk to about internet marketing can't even take in some basics, let alone SEO.

      I think 1% is quite generous, but I suppose as the number of jobless people increases; more and more will turn to making money on the internet and become familiar with SEO.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I'd say 1% of the general population know what SEO is. About 10% of business owners might, and that's being liberal.

      That's why so many people are not successful in selling it. They're selling SEO instead of selling increased Google ranking. lol.
      So simple and true.

      I often wonder how many people here on the warrior forum even know what SEO means because the answer "increased Google ranking" is better than most of the answers in this thread.

      The average person doesn't know what SEO is because most have never heard the term. Hell the average person likely doesn't understand that there are things that can be done to increase your rank in google and other search engines.

      The meaning of SEO is simple it means search engine optimization.
      And that in term means simply "Steps taken to increase your ranking on Google and other search engines."
      Why is this important? The better you rank, aka the higher on the search list you show up, the more people who will visit your website. And if you have a website designed to bring you leads this will mean more customers.

      The potential clients do need to know how SEO works. They honestly don't even need to know the term. What they need to know is you will help them rank better in google which will bring more people to their website.

      I think the greatest compliment you could ever get from a client would be if another SEO company called them to sell SEO and they had no clue what SEO meant. Because when the other company explains it they can go, "Oh how high we show up on google? Yeah I have a guy that takes care of that for me."

      Your clients want the fish. They don't want to be taught to fish. They are too busy that is why they hired you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        I would agree with Nameless...but too many people are agreeing with Nameless...so I'm changing it from 1% to 1.5%. Yup, 1.5% of people know what SEO is. This is from a real survey that I just ran in my mind.


        OK, back to reality. This thread tells us that we shouldn't use jargon when dealing with clients or laypeople. good lesson, I think.
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    • Profile picture of the author socialbacklink
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I'd say 1% of the general population know what SEO is. About 10% of business owners might, and that's being liberal.

      That's why so many people are not successful in selling it. They're selling SEO instead of selling increased Google ranking. lol.
      Exactly. This is why I always just say Online Marketing. If I'm talking about SEO I usually mention to them about increasing the Google rankings. Or PPC I'll call it Google Paid search. They seem to understand that more.
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  • Profile picture of the author autolinks
    I remembered the time when I have limited knowledge about SEO. Sure, I hear it a lot but the explanations regarding its tactics and purpose have little effect on my comprehension about it. It was until I had my own site that I slowly learned what it is. Though, a lot of establishments and businesses have their own sites, I agree that a lot of them do not understand what SEO is nor its value.
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  • Profile picture of the author topfalade
    I would definitely disagree that 55% of the population know what SEO is. Unfortunately predictions like this are just here say.
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  • Profile picture of the author vCr8
    I think less than 10% actually understand SEO (SEO people) and then another 10% knows that they need it on their websites (business people) and more than 80% are clueless. I have a conversation once with an old friend, she knew I was into Internet and stuff and she told me how she made a site through a free site builder and that she's busy on it and all... Out of curiosity I asked her how much SEO effort have she been putting on it... and she said the same exactly the same thing "what the f**** is SEO" lol
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  • Profile picture of the author mydream111
    Banned
    it is very important to know or get proper knowledge about seo.seo is very important to put website into heigher page rank.
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  • Profile picture of the author Linkology
    I had to laugh at "snooty nose toffee suckers"... but I would undoubtedly say that less than 5% of the population definitively knows what SEO is.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Williamson
    I agree with iamnameless. I'd guess a tiny amount of the general public - less than 1% - know what SEO is or even what it stands for. Offliners tend to forget this fact, and that consequently we who provide SEO services possess a very valuable skill set.

    The vast majority of prospects I target have never heard of SEO and don't know what it is or what it stands for, which is why I don't even use the terms 'SEO' or 'search engine optimization' in my initial consults/pitches; I instead simply explain to them how we can "target specific phrases that people search for so that your website shows up for them and you get more visitors, sales, clients, et cetera..." which is lingo they can understand. As iamnameless also pointed out, I sell a ranking service or, even simpler, a way to "increase your exposure" or "improve your web presence," not an "SEO service."

    The business owners who do claim to know what SEO is usually have some hugely inaccurate idea about what it is and what is involved. I have heard some funny theories from potential clients. Almost all of them just think you "keyword stuff" the homepage and that gets you ranked.

    Sometimes these folks can be a headache down the road because they begin to think more and more that they can do your job - you know the type. I basically tell them to go ahead and try and see what happens, in a polite but authoritative way.
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  • Profile picture of the author TBone
    I agree with IamNameless. I don't think that many people actually know what it is. I'm sure they have heard of it, they probably get lots of emails trying to sell it to them but they don't know what it is. Do you think that's part of the reason that some people are almost impossible trying to sell your services to them. Possibly because they are so closed minded about it that no matter what you tell them they are going to say NO?

    While it's not new I think of it kind of like cell phones and my granparents. When cell phones came out they thought no way were they going to get one. They have a house phone if anyone wanted to get a hold of them they can call the house phone. I would say wouldn't it be nice if you were out and needed to get a hold of someone you could. They would say no it could wait until they got home. It was hard to show them the benefits because they were so closed minded. But eventually they seen me and family members with them and a couple times it really came in handy. We started to let them talk to grandkids on it then next thing you know.... Boom they want one.
    Sorry for the long post.
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  • Profile picture of the author candres79
    The majority of offiline business owners have NO CLUE about... SEO, Email Marketing, or Internet Marketing in general. You mention to an average 9-5 person that your and internet marketer or do SEO and 98% of the time they look at you like you... what the hell are you talking about and what is that?
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  • Profile picture of the author HostWind
    The smaller the number the better, right? That just means a larger opening for us to inform owners of how we can help them.
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  • Only a very less percentage of people in this category knows about, Now a days adwords are taking over SEO's, People still needs to be aware of SEO's.
    SEO's help to earn a lot of traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    More people understand what a better ranking on Google would result in versus what SEO means.
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  • Profile picture of the author Demetrius
    Things have changed now. People who are building websites, they are always looking for traffic. Through this way, they come to know about SEO. You will find less than 10% people now a days who does not really know about SEO but own a websites.

    These 10% people did not created his or her sites for business purpose. May be only for having some personal database.
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  • Profile picture of the author Becker13
    Banned
    Sell Evil Orangoutangs...

    Duh
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  • Profile picture of the author patriciaC
    Ha! I say 10% and 9% of that 10% are those who specifically call my business and ask for SEO right away.
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