Don’t let the SEO terms used by a digital marketing company intimadate you! This list of SEO terminology will give you the power to communicate effectively so you know what is being done to optimize your website.
301 Redirect – Code used to make one web page redirect the visitor to a different page.
Above the Fold – The “fold” is the point on your website where the page gets cut off by the bottom of a user’s monitor or browser window. With today’s variety of devices, there really is no fold.
Algorithm – A set of rules used by the search engines to determine the relevancy of a web page. Different search engines have their own unique formulas. SEO consultants do not know the exact formulas used as these are kept secret by the search engines.
ALT Text – A description of an image in your site’s HTML. Unlike humans, search engines read only the ALT text of images, not the images themselves.
Anchor Text – The text used to link to other pages. Often users will insert “Learn More” for this text. Anchor text helps describe the destination page and helps the search engines understand what the page is about.
Authority – The ability of a page or domain to rank well in search engines based on a measure of trust.
Blog – A part of your website where you should regularly publish content called blog posts. Blog posts (entries within a blog) are many times more conversational and provide more current or dynamic information for users.
Canonical URL – When your website has a page that is accessible by more than one url (for example a page that has both mobile and desktop versions), Google sees this as duplicate content. Google chooses one url as the “canonical url” and use that as the one to crawl the most often. The other versions will be crawled less often. Best practice is to specify to the search engines which url is the canonical version.
Conversion – The act of a website visitor performing a task you desire. Example cases include an inquiry, a purchase, or a subscription request.
Headings – Like an outline, headings help structure the text on your web page. H1 is the most important and should be used only once. Headings are often formatted within the theme to have a different appearance than other text. They often have larger text and may be bold or a different color.
HTML Sitemap – A special document created by a webmaster or a piece of software that provides a map of all the pages on a website to make it easier for a search engine to index that website. In this case, it is generated with HTML and is readable by both humans and search engines.
Inbound Link – Links from another website to your website are inbound links. If the other site has a higher PageRank this will help imove your SEO.
Internal Link – A link from one page to another on the same website, such as from your homepage to your products page.
Indexed Pages – The pages on your website that are stored by search engines.
Keyword – A word that a user enters in search. Each web page should be optimized with the goal of drawing in visitors who have searched specific keywords.
Link Building – A process of finding inbound links to your website in order to improve your search engine rankings.
Link Juice – The concept of a hyperlink passing trust, authority, and PageRank which in turn helps the page rank with search engines. Be wary of this term when used, because many times people use it incorrectly or chase link juice only to end in peril.
Long Tail Keyword – A less common searched keyword that would use two or more words in the phrase.
META tags – Data that tells search engines what your website is about. Found within the code of a web page and normally at the top.
Meta Description – A brief description of the contents of a page and presented in sentence format. This is text commonly seen in search engines below the title. It is used to allow the user to see a sample of the text on a page.
Meta Keywords – Previously used by search engines in the 1990’s and early 2000’s to help determine what a web page was about. The meta keywords tag is no longer used by any major search engines in the US, however, they are still used by some search engines in the Asia Pacific region.
Meta Title – A brief title of the contents of a page and presented in title format and title case. This is often displayed on search engine results pages above the page description.
Nofollow – When a link from one site does not pass SEO credit to another. Nofollow should not be used when linking within your own website. It should be used to link externally to pages which you do not wish to endorse.
Page Title – The name you give your web page, which is seen at the top your browser window. Page titles should contain keywords related to your business. Words at the beginning of your page title are more highly weighted than words at the end.
PageRank – A number from 0-10 which is assigned by Google. This number is an indication of how good your overall SEO is for a given piece of content. PageRank is a minor part of Google’s algorithm and is changed only a few times a year.
PPC (Pay Per Click) – Advertising method in which online advertising is used to obtain search traffic. Google AdWords is the classic example of PPC usage.
Ranking Factor – Search engines have many factors which are used to determine where a page should rank in the search engines.
SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page) – The page that you are sent to after you run a query in a search engine. It typically has 10 results on it, but this may vary depending on the query and search engine in question.
Social Media – Online media created by and shared among individuals. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter are popular social media websites.
Spider – A computer program that browses the internet and collects information about websites.
Traffic – The human visitors to your website.
Thin Content – Web pages or posts created for SEO purposes, but which provide little value to users. In most cases they have little content and the content is duplicated.
Title Tag – The title of a page on your website, which is enclosed in a <title> HTML tag, inside of the head section of the page. When looking at your browser, this is the text which appears at the top.
XML Sitemap – A special document created by a webmaster that provides a map of all the pages on a website to make it easier for a search engine to index that website. This is code based and not intended for humans to read.
URL – The web address of a page on your site (example: www.yoursite.com/contact).
Terms, terminology, or jargon – whatever you want to call it, every industry has it. Hopefully this glossary of SEO terms will be useful for you to communicate with your marketing team. If you find an SEO term which I didn’t explain clearly enough, please let me know and I’ll update it to make it easier to understand.