Do you really know what all those “SEO” terms mean?

Running a website can become quite literally impossible when you get into the whole SEO debate.  You spend countless hours trying to optimise where you can, you get quotes from goodness knows how many alleged “experts,” yet the worst thing of all is that you simply can’t understand half the terms!

We thought we’d give you a little insight into what some of these SEO terms mean.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that the world of SEO is always changing.  Some terms become obsolete, as others come into play.  Subscribing to our newsletter will ensure you are kept up to date.

Your alphabetical glossary of SEO terms:

  • 404 Error. This is displayed when a user tries to connect to a page cannot be found, or ceases to exist.  This could be because the page has been removed, or it could be due to a broken link.
  • A/B testing. Also referred to as “split testing”.  This is a technique where two versions of the same website are created using different strategies, in order to identify which features work the best.
  • Above-the-fold. A term often used by website designers.  Anything “above the fold” is everything you see on a webpage before begin to scroll down.  It’s well worth paying attention to this when you design a site because it’s the first thing your visitors see.
  • Anchor text. When you place a link to something else in your webpage, this refers to the text you attach the link to.
  • Algorithm. An algorithm is a set of rules that search engines use to determine website ranks.  You may have perhaps heard at some point that “Google has changed their algorithms.”  This means they have decided to change the way in which they rank your website.  For example, they may change to put more emphasis on “backlinks” or “search terms”.
  • Alt image tag. This is text added to any image you publish on your website.  This is important because search engine spiders can’t tell what images are unless they have text.  A great way to optimise the use of your website images.
  • Analytics. Arguably one of the most important tools for SEO.  Analytics refers to all the data collected about your website.  It’s a detailed analysis of where your website visitors come from, how they got to your website, what they clicked on, how long they stay and much more.  Most webmasters have their websites linked with Google Analytics; which is both free and very easy to use.
  • Backlinks. Your backlinks are links to your website from others.  Backlinks are important in improving your website’s rank, but there are ways to do this correctly.  Trying to increase the number of backlinks to your site is sometimes and arduous process, but one that can yield good results if those linking to you are considered important by Google.
  • Bots. Bots are what read your website.  They’re also referred to as spiders or crawlers.  They read every page on your website, and based on their findings, they decide what each page is about.  They gather information so the search engines can use it to rank your site in accordance with their algorithms and what people are searching for.
  • Black and white hat. This basically means good and bad SEO techniques, according to Google.  White hat SEO is what Google approves of, Black hat SEO is everything that Google have effectively banned, usually in order to keep the internet a user friendly experience.
  • Canonical attribute. Refers to information given to Google to let them know you have more than one page with duplicate content, but only one is required to be indexed.  Important for ranking for particular search terms.
  • Citation. Citation refers to when your business/brand has been mentioned by name elsewhere online.
  • CMS. An abbreviation of Content Management System.  A content management system is required on all websites in order to publish your content.  WordPress is a very user friendly and commonly used CMS.
  • CTA. An abbreviation of the phrase “Call to Action”.  This is quite literally a button or link you have on your website inviting visitors to do something i.e. make a purchase, “like” or “share” your page.
  • CTR. An abbreviation of “click through rate”.  This means how many times a visitor clicks one of the links on your website.
  • Disavow. There are some links that you simply don’t want your website associated with, but sadly you won’t have any control about who links to you.  Disavow is a term that refers to you informing Google that you have no connection with a particular link and do not want it taking into consideration when they rank you.
  • Google Panda / Penguin. Panda and Penguin refer to two different algorithms used by Google.  Penguin focuses on getting rid of spammers and Panda focuses on attributing rank according to content.  Google change algorithms in order to better serve their users, not webmasters.
  • H1 tag. A H1 tag is usually the heading of the text on your webpage.  You can use H1, H2, H3 and so on, in order to help the Google bots navigate and read your content.
  • Index. Refers to Google’s index and the act of indexing.  This is essentially what the Google bots are doing when they crawl your page.  They are adding it to their main Google index of every page on the internet.  This enables Google to assign you a page rank in relation to all other indexed pages online.
  • Keyword density. Refers to the amount of times a keyword or phrase is discovered in relation to the amount of content on the page.  For example, more keywords in a shorter piece of content will be considered as high keywords density.
  • KPI. Abbreviation of “Key Performance Indicators”.  A rather trite term that refers to all things that have been integral in the success of a particular goal.  Useful to identify when repeating a similar project.
  • Landing page. A landing page is the page you have assigned to a link placed in an article, social network or advert.  It’s where your reader will land when they click the link.
  • Links. There are two types of links: internal and external.  The first refers to links you put in place to link some of your pages together, and the other refers to links you place in your text to other websites.  See also Backlinks.
  • Link Juice. Link juice refers to the amount of credibility a link has.  It’s important to get good link juice to your website.  Getting links from sites that are considered an authority on their subject is the main objective.  It’s far better to have fewer good quality links, than a massive number of links from sites with less clout.
  • Long tail keywords. Long tailed keywords are more like phrases than anything else.  These are very focused selections that will not get a lot of searches on Google.  However, because of this, those searching for a particular friends are proven to be more likely to buy.  For example: “Asian escorts” is a standard keyword choice with a lot more search enquiries than “Busty Filipino escorts in Lewisham.”
  • Meta description tag. Another way to tell Google what your page is about.  Meta description tags are relatively short sentences that appear under the website name in Google results.  It’s a good idea to get your target keyword or phrase in here and also make it quite “salesy”.
  • Nofollow and Dofollow. To begin with “Dofollow” links are default.  If a link is placed it will be subject to the Google bots crawling the page.  “Nofollow” links are what a number of websites use to stop people using their website strictly for SEO purposes.  If Google are instructed not to crawl the page then they’ll be no SEO benefit for anyone posting links there.  This is often the case on forums in the escort industry, where your links will be primarily adverts to get punters to your site, and not to improve your rank.
  • Redirect 301 and 302. A 301 redirect is basically a tool to use in order to let Google know your website or even a page to another destination or domain.  Using a 301 will ensure you keep any link juice generated.  A 302 is often used when split testing websites (see A/B testing).  It’s used to tell Google not to index your page because it’s only temporary.
  • Semantics. Unlike the old ways of SEO, Google are now using semantics to rank pages.  This basically means that they are now taking into account alternative words and phrases that are associated with your key
  • SERP. SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page.  It’s the page of results presented to you, based upon your Google search term.
  • Title tag. This is the headline that will appear on the SERP (see above).  Similar to a heading tag (or H1 tag) it’s used in SEO to further explain what your webpage is about.
  • Traffic. Traffic refers to the amount of visitors your website generates.  It’s easily measured with analytics.  Organic traffic refers to those reaching your site through a search engine, Referral traffic refers to those coming to your site via a link from somewhere else, and Direct traffic refers to those who come to your site by entering your url into their browser (usually because they’ve visited there before.)
  1. UX. A loosely used acronym that refers to the “user experience”. This can encompass a whole range of things from time spent on your website, to user reviews and more.

We intend to add to our glossary whenever we need to, but in the meantime, look out for RankBaby Business Clubupdates.


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