The definitive SEO jargon buster

Before anyone can start to perform search engine optimisation and fully understand what you are dealing with, you need to first understand the terms and jargon that comes with it.

Here is a definitive SEO jargon buster to help get you started.


Alt Text /Alt Tag /Alt Attribute – An Alt text/tag or attribute is a HTML attribute or piece of code that is used to describe an image on your website. For example

<img src=”” alt=”Picture of a BMW 5 Series”> 

This also allows your images to show up when someone is doing an image search for a BMW 5 series.

Anchor Text – This is a hyperlink made up of clickable text. This will often appear in different colour compared to the rest of the text. These can be linking to internal pages of your website of to external resources, contributing to link building. Anchor texts need to be natural and free flowing SEO copy. These can be keyword anchor text, branded anchor text, image anchor text and more.


Backlinks – These refer to when a website is linking to another website, this is often done through anchor text. Backlinks are very important for any SEO campaign as they are a big ranking factor for Google. Sites with good backlinks often rank higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Blog – Are informational websites, most people often refer to them as online journals or diaries. Blogs are often more engaging and informative, and it’s always a good idea to have on your website. If you have an insurance website for example, it would be good to have a blog that focusses more on helping people understand your products, having a blog explaining why one should have life insurance, for example helps people understand the product better.


Canonical tag – A canonical tag is a piece of code we use on webpage, to tell search engines that a specific URL is the preferred version or master copy of this page. Canonical tags also help prevent duplicate content on a site.

Conversion – In SEO a conversion simply means, taking an action or completing a desired goal. It could be downloading a file from the website, completing a purchase, filling up a contact form or getting the business to call you back.

Click Through Rate (CTR) – Click through rate is the number of clicks a query receives, divided by the number of impressions that click received.


Domain – This is the web address for your website. A domain name is unique for every website. 

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Domain authority – This is a metric that helps SEOs determine or predict how well the site will rank/perform on Google or other search engines. Usually websites with high domain authority are websites that are well optimised. When creating backlinks, this is also something we look at, since Google wants us to link to websites that are well optimised.

Duplicate Content – This is content that appears more than once on the internet and can be found in two or several locations of a website. This is often the exact same page content to another, which search engines do not like. Duplicate content can also be found on two different websites. We often use canonical tags or 301 redirects to resolve this issue.


Follow Links – These are links that contribute to ranking factor. When Google “Follows” this link, it considers the link juice that and boost the page rank of the site that the page is linking to.


Heading – Headings and subheadings are the first things a person reads when they land on your page. They give a person an idea of what the content is about. For SEO, heading tags will go from <h1> through to <h6>, where the main heading tag <h1> can only be used once, and <h2> to <h6> can be used however many times. H1 headings should always contain a keyword of what the topic covered is about.


Impressions – impressions refer to the number of times your query appeared in search engines.


Keywords – Keywords are the search terms that a user would use in the search engine query, and that keyword generally describe the context of the content on a page.

Keyword stuffing – Keyword stuffing describes a technique of loading too many keywords on a page’s content or meta data to drive more visitors to your site. Google no longer approves of this method and ca penalize you for it.


Link building – This is a technique used by SEO Specialists to build more inbound links to their webpages, Google wants these links to be of high quality and relevance.

Long tail keywords – are keywords that contain three or more keyword phrases. These keywords are often more specific about the products or services offered on your website. 


Meta data – In SEO, meta data are short descriptions of your webpages that appear in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and are used to draw the user to clicking on the link to a webpage. These can be in the form of title tags and meta descriptions. (See title tags and meta description below).

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Meta description – Meta descriptions are snippets that appear in the SERP, and it summarise the contents of your webpages. These descriptions should be about 165 characters in length.


Nofollow links – are links that do not pass any link juice to the pages. A nofollow tag will tell search engines that the link should be ignored.


Organic traffic – This refers to visitors that do not come to the site via paid advertising but came to the site through organic listings which are found under the paid ads in the Google SERP.


Page rank – Page rank refers to a set of algorithms that Google has put in place to rank pages in the SERP. These algorithms check the relevance and quality of webpages, including their links.


Redirect – Redirects allow for web users to be sent to another URL if the page they are visiting no longer exists or if it is duplicated. Redirect help transfer your link juice to the pages you are linking to.

Robots.txt – This is a file that tells search engines which pages to crawl, and which ones are being blocked from being crawled. 


SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is a technique used to improve a website’s technical, content and linking issues.

SERP – The Search Engine Results Page is where Google displays the results of your search query. Google will use Page rank to determine which pages are displayed in the SERP. Well optimised pages get high positions in the SERPS. 


Title tags – These are the bold snippets that get displayed on the SERP after typing in your query in a search engine. These HTML elements are often made up of 65 characters and should always contain at least one of your target keywords.


URL – Short for Uniform Resource Locator, this is the location of your page on the internet. 


Xml sitemap – This is a file that contains a list of the pages on your website. This allows for easier crawlability by providing a roadmap for Google to all the important pages on your website. This should be refreshed at least monthly, or whenever you have new pages added to your website.

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