SEO jargon can be found in almost every digital marketing meeting or conference calls with clients. As much as we try to make things that we talk about as clear as possible, sometimes there’s just no escaping those strange SEO terms.
If SEO is brand new to you and your business fear not, for we have put together this list of 11 key SEO terms to lift those worries away.
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Let’s kick things off with the obvious term, SEO. Search engine optimisation is all about improving your website from both technical and content points of view.
This is by carrying out tasks like writing content that targets particular keywords, making sure every page has a header 1 tag, checking buttons navigate to the correct page and so on.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.- Moz
By making improvements you can improve the visibility of your website within search engine results pages (SERPs). These are the results you see on Google, Bing, Yahoo! and similar.
2. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is the term used to describe and group together the SEO activities that are carried out onthe site, to help improve web page rankings in search engines.
Tasks such as optimising on-page copy by ensuring it targets keywords, writing metadata, improving the speed of your website and creating a robust internal linking profile, amongst others.
3. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is the term used to describe and group together SEO activities that take place outside of your website. One of the main activities is link building as mentioned further down.
Off-page is highly important because it can help to rank better in SERPs. The site is deemed to increase traffic with it being accessible in more places and this surge in traffic will tell search engines that your site is useful to visitors.
It will also help to improve the ‘Page Rank’ with the more links clicking through to this page. This will give it a better chance of ranking in the top 10 on Google and other search engines.
Finally, it should help to gain you more exposure as you’ll appear in more places across the web.
Carrying out keyword research will help you to discover a range of keywords to build the foundations of your SEO project. They let a search engine know what your web page is all about and are used mainly in the content of your site to allow users to find it.
They may be used elsewhere to help create relevancy around a particular subject you want to rank for such as in a backlink from another website.
Within the keyword universe, there is even more SEO jargon. There are what we call fat head keywords and long-tail keywords. I’m afraid this is as glamorous as it’s going to get.
Fat-head keywords are generally one or two words in length, for example, ‘alloys’ or ‘windscreen’. These broad keywords will tend to bring the most traffic to your website. The problem is you’re not the only person targeting those same keywords which makes the competition quite fierce.
Long-tail keywords on the other ghoulish hand, contain 3 or more words and although the traffic volumes generally aren’t anywhere near the heights of fat head keywords, they do tend to convert better as they are usually more specific search queries.
The most common redirect that we SEO vampires use is known as 301 redirects. These are used to permanently redirect an old URL to a new URL.
For example, a line of products that have ended permanently. All the web pages that contain those products will need to be taken down from the website. If a customer visits one of the old web addresses they will be taken to a 404 error page. This is a page that is displayed if the original is no longer available.
The solution is to redirect those old URLs to a URL that is relevant such as a similar item or category page. This will create a better user experience.
6. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is all about how many times search engines view the content on your web pages. It can also be picked up by SEO tools due to what is called “thin content” on a page meaning there isn’t enough copy.
For example, while two different URLs may contain different products if there is no, or a very short, product description Google sees a near identical page. This is in terms of code and so, it flags it as a duplicate content issue.
If there are instances of duplicate/thin copy, then it should be rewritten as search engines will find it difficult to know which page you want to index and rank for targeted keywords.
What is this monstrous SEO jargon? It sounds terrifying. Well fear not, metadata is here to help your website. It’s made up of two main parts, meta titles and meta descriptions.
Meta titles are a ranking signal to search engines. They ultimately tell search engines what the web page is all about.
Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor, but time and effort should be given to writing these descriptive snippets of text.
These are the short page descriptions that you see in (SERPs) underneath the result link. By writing them you’re providing a meaningful insight into what the page is about.
8. Link Building
Link building is the activity of gaining backlinks, links that are gained to your site from other websites. They’re also known as ‘external links’ and ‘inbound links’. So many names for the same thing. From here on in I will refer to them as backlinks.
So what’s so magical about acquiring a backlink to your website? Well, backlinks pass authority to your website. The more authority that search engines can see the better.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should go out and hunt down any old links. It’s important the website that is linking back to yours is of good authority. In other words, 20 backlinks from a relevant site with high authority can be as valuable as 100 non-relevant websites.
Remember: Backlinks should be quality not quantity.
Backlinks can improve your presence in search engine results pages. They act as a positive indicator that you’re content and website is worth a visit.
9. Organic Search Results
Organic search results are the results that appear from a search engine, such as Google or Bing. Different search engines may display the organic search results slightly differently.
Google display their organic search results underneath paid adverts at the top of the page and above a further four paid adverts at the bottom of the results page.
Organic search results can be made up of different types of results such as local business information which is contained in what is called a local pack, images and video results as well as featured snippets.
10. Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are selected search results that are featured on top of Google’s organic results below the paid for ads and above the number 1 position. Google takes the most relevant content from a webpage to provide the user with an answer.
There are many different types of featured snippets including lists and questions and answers. Below is an example of a featured snippet you could potentially target:
Search Term: ‘how to set up a tent’ Featured Snippet Result:
There are 2 types of sitemap to be aware of, XML sitemaps and HTML sitemaps. Both have a different purpose.