Have you ever tried to explain technical ideas to someone, including clients, who are just not tech-savvy in any way possible? It can be a frustrating scenario for both parties involved. Most technical practices, including SEO, are quite broad and confusing, making it difficult to explain.
If you are in the SEO market, whether that be digital marketing, specialization, web development and analytics, or any other SEO-like career, then you need to know exactly how to explain your specialty in a way your clients can and will understand. Remember that every client is different – they each have different careers, learning styles, and experiences – so your explanation should be personalized and cater to them and their needs. Well, let’s get into it already! Here are six tips on explaining SEO and other technical terms to clients who aren’t the most tech-savvy individuals.
1. Keep Your Explanation Light-Hearted
Whenever you talk about SEO or technical information to someone who doesn’t understand technical terms, it’s important to keep things light and fun. If you are too serious you run the risk of boring your client or coming across as a know-it-all who talks down to their clients (something you want to avoid at all costs!).
A fun way to start off the conversation is to joke around about your “geekiness” or “nerdiness” when it comes to tech, telling your client to stop you if you get out of hand and start rambling on about the subject. Then, praise them for what they do (like cut hair or landscape) and admit that you aren’t an expert in that practice (this will level the playing field, so your client never feels beneath you moving forward).
Adding humour throughout your explanation will make it fun for you and your clients, relieving any underlying tension for everyone. Comfortability aids in their willingness to learn!
2. Know Your Audience and Provide Relatable Examples
When teaching anyone anything, you must know your audience – especially when discussing technical terms such as SEO. Explaining Tik Tok to your younger cousin (let’s be honest, they would probably be teaching you) looks very different when it comes to grandparents and aliens (yes, grandparents are like aliens when it comes to social media).
You can explain SEO and technology to anyone if you use purposeful language and provide relatable examples. Try playing with what they already know. For example, if you know that your client is in real estate, explain that SEO is like staging a home to make it presentable for potential buyers (buyers being Google’s algorithm/“spiders” that crawl web pages and rank them). They would need to make their website attractive like a house to get a higher rank on Google. Compare building good links to weeding out the non-serious buyers from the serious ones. There’s always a way to explain SEO that relates to people!
As you can see, storytelling is a great way to engage clients. Relatable stories and scenarios not only keep your listeners attention, but they aid in their understanding of the subject. If you don’t have personal stories, research anecdotes beforehand so you have many examples to present.
3. Read the Room and Keep It Conversational
Make it a conversation! Talking at your clients and not with them can cause a disconnect. Ask them questions, answer their question, get their input/take on the subject to know if they understand.
It’s crucial to read your clients’ facial expressions and cues. If they don’t seem interested, then you need to change up your approach. Explaining SEO is not a “one-size-fits-all” model – everyone is different. Change up your tactic for the clients who either don’t care to learn or feel the subject too complicated for them. You may have explained SEO thousands of times to people with no problems, but that doesn’t mean it will always work for everyone, so be prepared to change your tactic.
A fun way to keep your clients engaged is by making it all about them and keeping things personal!! Like we said above, examples are a great tool for personalizing a subject. Once they understand those examples, it’s time to ask them to think of terms people would search on Google to find their business. Tell them to Google that, and when they see that their business is not at the top of the list, it suddenly makes SEO personal. This is also a great way to explain why SEO is important for their business, discussing all the reasons why that top search result got its spot. Most likely, that page has great links, well-optimized content with keywords, intentional alt-tags and meta descriptions, rich media and images, and content based on search intent. Your clients will be so much more inclined to understand SEO when they know exactly how it can impact them!
Also, don’t forget to explain with enthusiasm! Humans are more willing to listen and learn when someone is passionate about a subject – but don’t get too excited or carried away with a bunch of technical terms!
4. Avoid Acronyms and Technical Terms
Like mentioned, you can easily get carried away with technical terms, but you need to remember that your clients won’t understand acronyms or technical jargon even though they feel like second nature to you. If you start throwing out techy terms, your clients may get confused, disengage, or even feel overwhelmed and anxious. You want to keep them calm and at ease by going through everything step by step.
Avoid all technical jargon where you can and explain everything in layman’s terms. If you find it challenging to explain SEO or any other technological ideas without specific words, then provide your clients with a reference sheet that explains each term or acronym.
Just remember, the goal is to teach, not to prove how well you know the subject. Your clients already know you’re an expert in your field – that’s why they chose you in the first place! So, put your pitching skills to the side and cater to them and their learning needs.
5. Use Visuals as Much as Possible
Written and verbal content can only get you so far, especially if your clients are visual learners. Try setting up a Zoom call or sending them visuals by email. This way, they will have something to look at while you explain SEO over the phone.
In fact, visual aids are easier to learn and recall for everyone. There is a study by researchers W. Howard Levie and Richard Lentz called Effects of Text Illustrations: A Review of Research, where 55 studies compare learning with visuals text and learning with text alone. They found that visuals and text combined were beneficial in 98% of the studies, and comprehension of information improved by 36% on average. Those numbers speak for themselves. Use visuals as much as you can (but you’re an SEO expert, so you already know that!).
6. Keep It Simple
The best advice we can provide is to keep it simple. Explain SEO and technical ideas in the easiest way possible through small conversations. There’s no need to explain the whole world of SEO in one sitting with your clients. Again, you don’t want to overwhelm them – you want to cater to their needs. No one is going to understand a subject in its entirety after one conversation or explanation. Learning takes time so give your clients that time to digest and absorb the information.
If you’re still having some difficulties, direct them to our previous blog, SEO Basics For Beginners, where we explain all the basics of SEO in simple terms for clients who may not know the first thing about the subject! Providing references for clients to do their own research during their own time is a fantastic idea!
At the end of the day, if your client never ends up understanding SEO and all that your business does, it’s not the end of the world (they came to you for help in the first place!). Obviously, it’s easier if they know about some technical ideas, but there’s no need to stress if they cannot grasp the concepts. Re-explaining may be part of your job, but at least you now know how to simplify and teach others about your field. Explaining complicated ideas is a skill in itself that takes practice and experience, so never stop trying, and see how many clients you can enlighten just by sharing your passion for SEO – it’s so worth it!
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SEO is not an easy subject that everyone may understand. But, approaching the situation correctly with your clients is essential. They could develop a new respect for you when they see how well you explain challenging topics.
Want to start your digital transformation and learn more about SEO? Contact UV Designs today! We help your business capitalize and succeed in the digital world, delivering a world-class experience for you and your clients.