SEO Terms and Jargon Explained Simply
SEO Glossary Understanding Search Engine Optimisation
Having problem understanding Search Optimisation terms? In this Glossary, we'll guide you through all the terminology that you need to know before you get started on your SEO Strategy.
When it comes to starting in SEO, it can sometimes seem as if SEO specialists and experts are talking a completely different language, as you struggle to understand the industry jargon of the digital marketing world, so we've put it into simple terms for you.
That way if you're starting in the world of search engine optimisation, you'll find all the different phrases and terminology to get you started here.
SEO Basics 101 SEO Essentials
In this section, we've started with the basics to keep things simple as SEO can get over-complicated very quickly. Here's everything that someone just starting in the industry should know, we call these the basics of SEO.
Black hat, also commonly referred to as black hat SEO are optimisation methods aim to manipulate search engine algorithms and which are against Google’s webmaster guidelines. In the past, Google has issued algorithm updates such as Panda and Penguin to combat these techniques and takes manual action to anyone using these types of practices.
Black hat involves manipulative practices such as:
- Comment spam
- Creating low-quality content or ‘spinning' content
- Keyword stuffing
- Misusing redirects
- Paid links and PBNs
Channels in SEO refer to the exact places from which your traffic has come from. For instance, some of the main channel categories your content will come from will be:
- Organic search
- Paid search
- Social media
- Referrals or ‘backlinks’
Clickbait is content that is created with the sole purpose of attracting traffic and clicks to that specific page. Clickbait can come in the form of title tags, meta descriptions, anchor text, as well as paid or sponsored advertisements.
Cloaking is a black hat search engine optimisation method, which aims to manipulate search engine algorithms by producing different URLs or content for users of search engines and search engine crawlers. Cloaking is a black hat technique as it can provide the user with a completely different page or content as to what they were expecting, stopping search engines such as Google from providing users with the most relevant and useful result available.
Content Management System (CMS)
Content Management Systems or (CMS) are websites such as WordPress or Wix, or software which allow you to both create and manage all of the aspects of running a site in one place. A CMS can significantly help those who are novices at building and maintaining websites.
Whether you’re a blog or a business, you’re sure to have a few competitors, and that's not entirely a bad thing. Your competitors are other websites and businesses in your industry that offer the same products and services as you or create the same type of content and carrying out competitor research can help you to identify their strengths and weaknesses to rank higher in the SERPs.
‘Content is King’
The phrase ‘Content is King’ has become synonymous with digital marketers and SEO specialists alike. It is a quote taken from an essay of the same name by Microsoft founder Bill Gates back in 1996. Ultimately, the phrase stresses the importance of content when it comes to SEO, as without quality content, then your website is unlikely to rank in the SERPs.
Conversions are ultimately what we want everyone who visits our site to do; conversions are actions which we want our users to make, whether that be to sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase. Therefore a conversion rate is the number of users who convert on your website divided by the total number of users who visit your site.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
Conversion Rate Optimisation, often abbreviated to the term CRO, refers to the process of optimising your website for more users on your website to convert.
A footer is the bottom panel of a website, which when used in best practice will contain navigation links, contact information and links to any social media profiles you may have.
Grey hat or grey hat SEO refers to techniques used which aren't violating Google's webmaster guidelines. However, they appear dubious or unadvisable and could; therefore, one day become black hat practice.
Guest posting is a term used when you provide a blog post or an article for a website related to your industry. For the most part, guest posting has been used a way in which to receive links as credit for your sharing your knowledge. However, guest posting is also an excellent way to boost your authority in the eyes of search engines.
A homepage is typically the ‘introductory' page to your website, which addresses what it is precisely what you do. Therefore you can think of it as if your website was a book; then your homepage would be the front cover.
Manual action often referred to in the SEO world as a Google penalty, is a punishment Google issues to websites for using spam-like or black hat SEO practices. This penalty can affect either a few of your pages, or it can affect your site as a whole, either way, you want to avoid being issued manual action by Google.
The navigation of a website refers to a bar or menu which allows users browsing the site to view and visit pages efficiently in order to obtain the information which the users need from the site.
Negative SEO is any black hat or dubious practices used to negatively impact a competitor's ranking in the act of sabotage. Negative SEO can take place in many different methods and forms, such as:
- Building spam links to a website
- Copying your content
- Creating false social accounts or sites to harm your reputation
- Hacking your website
A niche is a product, service or area of the mark which appeal to a small and rather specialised group of people. Niches can help you to establish your expertise within a highly competitive industry.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Your ROI or Return on Investment is a measurement which takes into account your profits in comparison to the amount of money which has been invested in a scheme, campaign or strategy. In order for you to work out what the return on your investment is, your profits must be divided by the overall cost of your investments and usually expressed as a percentage.
Search engines, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing is an internet website or service that searches results in their index or database to find the most relevant result for the user. Users will generally enter a keyword or key phrase which search engines use to search their database of websites and webpages to pull related results.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
The term SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, which is a form of digital marketing which markets websites by aiming to increase their online visibility in search engines by mainly using paid advertising such as PPC campaigns. Although for best practices, SEM is also incorporated SEO techniques for increased online visibility.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the practice of using different methods and strategies in an effort to increase online traffic and visibility in order to appear in higher positions in the search engine result pages. SEO doesn’t involve paid advertisements and is more concerned with achieving results organically, focusing on optimising a website’s content or architecture in order to achieve results.
Search Engine Result Page (SERP)
SERP or Search Engine Result Pages are the result pages which are displayed once the user has submitted their query. There are several different types of results which can appear in the SERPs, such as:
- Featured snippet
- GMB listing
- Knowledge card
- Local pack
- News articles
- Organic results
- Paid advertisements
- Related questions
- Shopping results
Spam refers to unsolicited advertisements, emails and posts which are sent out to or target a broad audience of people. For instance, a website can spam the comment section of numerous different websites to entice users to visit their site, but more often than not, spam has the opposite desired effect.
A subdomain refers to an additional internet domain which is slightly different from your primary domain but is still associated with the main domain. For instance, a subdomain of our website would be:
Visibility in particular SEO visibility refers to a metric generated from a number of different search factors which calculate how visible a website is in search engines. SEO visibility shows you how often your website is found on the internet and how likely your result is to be found by users.
White hat SEO, also referred to as simply white hat, refers to methods and technique used to optimise a website which completely adheres to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and therefore won’t issue you a manual penalty. White hat SEO is quite often referred to as ‘Ethical SEO’ as it practices techniques which Google deems to be acceptable.
Wordcount refers to the number of words or characters that is in a written piece of text. Wordcount can be calculated by using programmes such as Microsoft Word or Grammarly and generally, as a rule, written website content performs better if it is over 1,000 words in length.
Understanding Google Search Engines
In the following section, we’ll talk you through all the terms and phrases used in relation to search engines in order to understand how they work to crawl, index and rank your website. Here’s exactly what you should know about search engines if you want to understand about search engine optimisation.
An algorithm in SEO terms refers to a formula that search engine use in order to rank the websites in their index for user's search queries. Google's search algorithms are updated every day to ensure that it upholds a high standard of providing users with the most helpful and relevant result to satisfy their search.
An algorithm update is an update to the formula which helps search engines to rank websites in order of value and relevancy. Google and other search engines update their algorithms quite frequently and, in some cases, every day. However, sometimes larger updates are issued in order to improve results and possibly deal with any specific issues; for instance, Google's Penguin update dealt with issues such as keyword stuffing and unnatural links.
Crawl budget is the total number of pages that Google will crawl in order to index pages on your website on any given day. Your ‘budget' is determined by the size and overall website health, with smaller pages with lots of errors receiving smaller crawl budgets than larger sites with fewer errors. How often Google crawls your site, and your crawl budget is important as to indicates how receptive to new pages and content Google is, and if your site isn't being crawled and indexed enough, then it could take a long time for your pages to rank in the SERPs.
If when crawling your website, a search engine crawler or spider finds a crawl error, it means that when it is crawling a page, it either can't find the page or crawling of the page has failed. Ultimately, you want to avoid having any crawl errors on your site as it will affect how many of your pages are able to be indexed and therefore rank.
A crawler, search engine crawler or spider is a programme used by search engines used to crawl and then index pages on a website.
De-indexing is when search engines remove your pages from their index, meaning that your page cannot rank for targeted keywords. There are several different reasons that your website or your pages may be de-indexed by search engines, such as black hat SEO practices, spam or unnatural internal links.
Googlebot is the specific search engine crawling software used by Google.
Google Webmaster Guidelines
Google's Webmaster Guidelines are a set of guidelines for all website owners who want their websites and pages found and indexed in Google in order for their sites to be able to rank. In these guidelines, Google addresses the techniques which you should take and which you should avoid.
An index in SEO terms refers to a list or directory of all of the websites and webpages that are in a search engine's database.
Indexability refers to how easy it is for a search engine crawler to add the page concerned to their index.
Indexed pages are pages which are currently in a search engine's index. You can check how many of your pages are indexed by Google by typing `site:yoursitehere.com` into the search bar.
The intent, also commonly referred to as search intent, is concerned with understanding the intention behind a specific keyword or key phrase. Understanding the intent behind a keyword can enable you to create the content that your target audience wants in order to rank higher in the SERPs and understand how to make users convert on your page.
A landing page is any page which is an entry point for users from the search engine result pages. In most cases, this can be a homepage, blog post or a product page.
A link refers to a hyperlink embedded on a website which allows users to visit click through and visit other pages, whether they be internally on the same site or externally to another website.
Organic search refers to search results and traffic, which is earned naturally instead of being paid for.
Paid search refers to search results and traffic which has been paid for instead of being earned naturally, such as PPC advertisements.
Pay per Click (PPC)
Pay per Click or PPC advertisement is a marketing strategy in which marketers and advertisers acquire an online ad in which they pay for each time a user clicks through to their site from the ad.
A query or search query is a search term that a user will enter into a search engine to find a result that satisfies their needs.
A rank factor or ranking factors are a list of specific criteria used by search engines which determines how and where and a webpage will rank in their search engine. For instance, although Google does not publish a list of ranking factors, they have confirmed that the following factors do determine where you rank:
- User experience
- Secure websites
- Domain age
Relevance in SEO terms refers to how relevant your content or website is as a result of a specific search term or query in which you wish to rank for. Ideally, you want to ensure when creating copy and content for your website; you are producing something relevant to the search query.
Traffic or search engine traffic refers to the number of visitors visiting the search engine results pages who then click through to your result. This is online traffic.
In the digital age, where things are becoming more and more accessible, more users are using voice recognition to carry out their web searches. Voice search refers to software programmes such as Siri on iPhone and Cortana on Microsoft Windows devices which users use their voice to do online searches.
Understanding Research Terms Research
An integral part of search engine optimisation is research, whether that is researching a subject, keywords or competitors, research is essential. In this following section, you'll find every SEO research related term there is to help you get a better understanding of what research needs to be done.
Branded keywords are keywords which contain the name of an existing business or brand in them, for instance, ‘Barclays business loans’.
Trends may come and go, but one thing that doesn't go out of fashion are evergreen keywords. As their name suggests, evergreen keywords are keywords which remain popular throughout the year, maintaining a steady search volume.
Google Trends is a helpful tool used to find popular and trending topics in your region. Google Trends can be beneficial for establishing which topics are picking up traction and which topics are trending and would be great opportunities for you to target.
Keywords are words and phrases used throughout your website and content, which helps users using search engines to find your content and essentially the information that they are looking for. A website that shows a clear understanding of search intent and is optimised for keywords is likely to rank well in the SERPs.
Keyword difficulty is a metric used to determine the competitiveness and how difficult it would be to rank for a keyword should you intend to target it. The difficulty of a keyword is rated from 0 to 100, with 0 being the least competitive and 100 being the most.
Keyword research is the practice of looking for different and alternative keywords and key phrases related to a topic or ‘seed' keyword, which would be good opportunities for you to target in your content.
Linkbait refers to webpages that have been created for the sole purpose of attracting backlinks.
Link equity is a supposed ranking factor for Google in which the idea is that any link that links to a page provides the page it links to with value. The more links from high-value pages that exist, the belief is that the more authority the page will have.
Local keywords are keywords that have local search intent behind them; for instance, ‘Indian restaurants near me' or ‘gyms London' would be local keywords.
Long-tail keywords are keywords which are 3 or more words in length.
LSI keywords or Latent Semantic Keywords are words that are related to your target or seed keyword. Search engines such as Google use LSI keywords to determine how relevant and in-depth your content is to the keyword you are targeting. The more LSI keywords you include in your content will demonstrate to search engines your knowledge in all related topics you brush upon.
Regional keywords are keywords which are popular in or related to certain territories, for example, keywords that use regional language or colloquialisms that other countries simply wouldn’t use and therefore wouldn’t be searching for are regional keywords.
Search volume is a phrase used to determine how many times over a chosen period a keyword or key phrase is typed into search engines such as Google. SEO tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush will categorise keywords not only by their keyword difficulty but also by their monthly search volume.
Seasonal keywords are the complete opposite to evergreen keywords. Instead, seasonal keywords are keywords which pick up at certain times of the year; therefore, you'll want to determine when the best times to target these keywords to make the most of the seasonal traffic. For example, keywords to do with Christmas or each of the four seasons such as ‘Christmas gift ideas for her' or ‘winter jackets' are seasonal keywords.
Your seed keyword will be the ‘foundation' keyword of whatever piece of content you are creating. If you are performing keyword research, then your seed keyword will usually be the term you use to carry out this research and base your long-tail keywords around this. For instance, if your seed keyword is ‘pruning' your long-tail keywords will include things such as ‘pruning apple trees' or ‘pruning climbing roses', including variants such as these in your content will help you to optimise your content for your seed keyword better.
Trending keywords are keywords which come into fashion over usually a short period of time and gain a lot of traffic. After a while, these trends will slowly lose volume. However, if you can target these keywords when they're on the rise, they pose great opportunities to gain more web traffic for your website. You can see what terms and phrases are trending and picking up traction by using tools such as Google Trends.
Understanding Technical Website Elements Technical Optimisation
When it comes to ranking your website, search engines such as Google will take a lot of technical optimisation factors into consideration, which is why it's important for you to understand what these factors are. In the following section, we'll talk you through each of the essential technical optimisation factors on your website.
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages are designed to make websites and webpages appear quickly and more efficiently on mobile devices. Substantially AMP pages are slimmed down HTML pages which are designed to ensure that pages load quicker than regular HTML pages.
Canonical URLs are solutions created to solve the duplicate content issues on websites, as mostly, as your site grows, you may find that a few of your pages contain similar content. To ensure that search engines don't get confused over which of your pages they should rank for a page you can have the option of providing a canonical URL to direct search engines to the page you wish to appear in the search results. In addition to this, you can also use canonicals to point to original posts or pages which may also be featured elsewhere on the internet, for instance, if you've written a guest post for an external site which you've also published on your website.
CSS files, also known as Cascading Style Sheets, are files that are used to format the layout of your website. CSS files can be used for a number of different factors, including:
- Determining the font and font size of the site
- Defining the layouts of each different type of page on the site
- Establishing the colour scheme of the site
Domain names are network addresses which identify that it is part of a particular domain.
File compression is a method used to reduce the size of a file in order for it to take up less storage space or for it to load faster. If you were to compress an HTML file, then the process would involve removing redundant characters and spaces in order for the file to take up as little space as possible. The compression would ensure that the HTML file loaded quicker on the site, therefore helping the overall site speed optimisation.
The Hreflang link attribute helps to specify the language and geographical location for a webpage when it is included in the HTML of a webpage. Search engines then interpret the Hreflang tag to understand the language and location the page is intended for.
HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is a language used to create files on the web. HTML files help to define both the structure and the layout of webpages through the use of a variety of different tags and attributes.
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol and is one of the protocols used by the web which defines how messages and information are formatted and transmitted, as well as determining what actions web servers and browsers should take in response to these various commands that are transferred.
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol and is a slight variant of the standard HTTP transfer protocol. HTTPS differs from HTTP as it has an added layer of security on any data that it transmits by ensuring it is sent through an SSL connection.
Image compression is a form of file compression which involves the process of converting an image file to ensure that it takes up less space than the original image file.
Your IP address is a string of unique numbers which determines each computer using an internet connection and their location. A more natural way for you to think of an IP address is to think of it as a string of numbers which indicates your location the same way your postal address does.
Minification is the process of removing all of the unnecessary characters and spaces from files to decrease the size of the file without changing the functionality of the data and how they work.
PageSpeed is the measurement of how fast the content on your pages loads; you can determine the page speed of your website by running your site through Google's PageSpeed Insights tool.
A redirect is a process of redirecting traffic from one URL to another. The redirecting process can happen when either a page is removed or if a page has been relocated to another URL address.
Responsiveness, in terms of a website, refers to a website which easily adapts to whatever screen or device it is being used on without the need to be adjusted, zoomed in or requires any horizontal scrolling. Instead, a responsive website and its content that looks great on whatever device it is viewed on, which makes for a better user experience of the page.
A rich snippet is a term used to describe a piece of structured markup data that developers can add to the HTML of their pages which provides search engines with a better understanding of the type of information which is contained on each page.
Robots.txt is a file used by websites to communicate with search engine crawlers and specifies which pages of your site you wish to be crawled and indexed, and which pages are to be avoided.
A sitemap is a file (usually XML or HTML) which lists the pages of a website. Sitemaps are a great way of helping search engines to understand your site hierarchy and the relationships between the pages on your site but also allows search engines to see all of the pages which are listed on your website.
An SSL certificate is a small data file which binds a cryptographic key to an organisation's details. When it is installed on a web server, it activates a padlock and an HTTPS protocol and allows secure connections and data to be sent securely.
Top level domain
A top level domain refers to what the last segment of a domain name is after the ‘dot’, for instance `.com`, `.net’ or `.edu` which is considered to be at the highest level or hierarchy domain name system of the internet.
Examples of TLD include:
A URL is the address of a website on the internet.
Web usability or the usability of a website which aim to present resources and information on a website in a clear and concise manner which ensures that content is able to be viewed and engaged with on a number of different devices and browsers, which allows for excellent user experience of the page and protects against high bounce rates.
User Experience (UX)
User Experience, often abbreviated to UX refers to the overall experience a user has when viewing content on your website. User experience is primarily concerned with how easy it is not only to use your website but also to find the information they need and navigate themselves around the website. But User Experience is also concerned with how much of a pleasant experience it is to use the site.
XML is a metalanguage which allows developers who use it to define their markup languages in order to display documents and pages on the internet.
An XML sitemap is a sitemap file created using XML.
Understanding On-Page Optimisation On-site Optimisation
On-site optimisation concerns all of the on-site elements that affect not only the crawl and indexability of the pages on your site but also the factors which determine where your content and webpages will rank in the search engine results pages. In this section, we’ll talk you through the definitions of everything you need to know about on-site optimisation.
Above the fold
Above the fold refers to the content that is positioned on the upper half of the page before you have to scroll down. Content that is below the fold refers to all of the material which is on the lower half portion of the page that you have to scroll down to see. Some SEO specialists argue that to keep users interested, you should place your most engaging content above the fold for best practices.
Alt attribute or alt text
Alt text or an alt attribute is a phrase used to refer to words or phrases which are inserted as an attribute into the HTML of a page to describe an image you have provided for search engine crawlers and the visually impaired to understand.
Anchor text is the portion of the visible text of a hyperlink that takes you to either another internal or external page. For your anchor text to adhere to SEO best practices, it is a good idea to ensure that your anchor text is relevant to the page in which you are linking it to, by using either an exact match or partial match keyword.
A blog is a website or a portion of a site which is updated regularly (generally every week or so) with new posts and content called ‘blog posts'.
Breadcrumbs are links on a website which allow the users who are visiting that site to track where exactly they are on that site. For instance, an example of breadcrumbs on a website would look like something like this:
'Home > Dojono > Guides > SEO Glossary'
Which would allow users to see their path on the website and navigate the website freely and easily, breadcrumbs which have been set out correctly will also appear in the search results on Google.
Content in SEO terms refers to any written, video, imagery or audio material which is created for a website.
Duplicate content refers to large portions of text or material which is precisely the same or similar to other parts of content either on the same or external domains. Duplicate content is highly frowned upon and can severely impact your rankings if you aren't careful enough to prevent it.
A featured snippet is a SERP feature which allows search engines such as Google and Bing to provide an instant answer to a query that you have searched for. The idea behind featured snippets is that it allows you to find the solution that you are looking for without having to click through to the page and sift through paragraphs of content.
Headings can help both search engines and users to understand how you have structured your content for better understanding of the type of content that is on the page. Headings are commonly structured using HTML and range from H1 – H6 with H1 headings being the most significant and most essential headings and H6 the least.
Internal links are hyperlinks within the copy of your pages which take users who click on them through to another page on your site, as opposed to an external website.
Keyword cannibalisation refers to a problem which occurs on your site when you're a few of your pages or blog posts target the same keyword. Search engines find this confusing as inherently, they don't know which of your pages they should rank for the keyword or query. As a result of this, both of your pages may perform poorly in the SERPs, so you'll want to avoid this.
Keyword density is the percentage determining the number of times a keyword or phrase appears in your content when compared to the total word count. Keyword density is usually expressed as a percentage.
Keyword stuffing refers to a term in which a keyword is purposely used in a piece of content to manipulate search engines into believing that it should rank for that keyword. Fortunately, Google issued the algorithm update Penguin to deal with keyword stuffing and now doing so puts you at risk of obtaining a manual action penalty from Google.
The local pack is a SERP feature on Google which lists local businesses which are related to your online query.
Local SEO otherwise known as local search engine optimisation is a way of optimising your website and business online to ensure that you appear in the local pack and for keywords related to your company and/or products that have local intent behind them.
A meta description is a summary of a page in 155 characters. Your meta description appears in the search engine page results when your result is featured, alongside your title tag and your URL and has a swaying factor in whether or not users decided to click on your result over your competition. The meta description attribute in each of your webpages can be found in the HTML.
Meta keywords are meta tags in the HTML of a webpage which aims to tell search engines what the subject of the page is. For best practices, you should include your main target keywords to ensure that your content is optimised.
Meta tags are tags that are placed into the head section of your HTML to ensure that the contents of your pages are clearly defined. Examples of different types of meta tags include:
- Meta description tag
- Meta keywords tag
- Title tag
- Author tag
- Content type tag
- No cache tag
On-page SEO is the practice of ensuring that each page on your website (which you wish to rank) is completely optimised to ensure that it can earn as much organic traffic and revenue as possible.
Quality content in SEO terms is quality that can deliver the information and value that users are looking for. Any high-quality content that you produce should be able to demonstrate the following:
- Good understanding of user intent
- Provide information which is of value to the user
- Easily understood by the majority of native speakers
- No spelling or grammatical errors
- Gets in-depth with the subject without glancing over topics
- Ultimately entices users to convert on your page
Thin content in SEO terms is content which provides the user with little to no value at all. Search engines group pages that either has a low word count, doorway pages, affiliate pages and duplicate content under the ‘thin content' branch. Ideally, you want to avoid having any thin content on your site for the best on-site SEO practices.
A title tag is an element of the HTML of a webpage which establishes what the specific title of a webpage is. Title tags are usually within 70 characters in length and will appear in the SERP when your result is shown, alongside your URL and meta description. For best practices, you should ensure that your title tag includes your main target keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible and it compelling and engaging enough to ensure that users click through to your result.
In social media terms, the phrase engagement is a measurement that monitors how many users share, like, retweet, mention or comment on your social media posts or your brand. The better your engagement is, the better your overall brand visibility will be, and it will also help you to establish relationships with your audience when you interact with them.
Google My Business
Google My Business, commonly abbreviated to the term GMB is a free online listing for businesses. One of the main benefits of GMB is that it is integrated with Google to ensure that your business shows up when someone types in your brand. Google My Business is an integral part of local SEO.
When it comes to social media, your mentions are comments that someone using social media either makes directly or indirectly about your brand. Monitoring your social mentions can be insightful into understanding which areas of your business are performing the best and which require improvement.
Reputation management involves using methods to influence and control an online website or business’s reputation, usually by using social media channels. Reputation management is concerned with improving the overall reputation of your brand by:
- Seeking to resolve disputes or rebuild relationships with unhappy customers
- Building a positive image of your brand through the content you share and who you engage with
Social media are platforms and channels which enable a variety of different users with different interests to create, share and interact with another user’s content.
User Generated Content (UGC)
User Generated Content or UGC is any form of content about your business or website which is created by users or customers instead of being created by your inhouse marketing or content creation teams. UGC can be beneficial to repost on your social media platforms as it shows first hand that people are enjoying your products and services rather than just simply taking your word for it.
Authority or page authority is a metric developed and used by the SEO company Moz, which aims to be able to predict how well your page will rank in the SERPs. Authority is measured on a scale of 0 to 100 with 0 being the least authoritative and 100 being the most. The idea is that the more authority your page has, the more likely you are to rank in a high position for your targeted keyword.
A backlink or backlinks are hyperlinks coming from external websites through to your site.
A citation is a mention of your business’s website on another website.
A directory is an online website or booklet listing the business information of websites and online companies.
Disavow refers to a process in which you can tell Google to ignore any potentially harmful or negative SEO links to your website, which could be affecting the overall health of your site. However, it must be mentioned that you should be careful with your disavow list and give careful consideration and research before you consider doing so.
Do follow or do-follow links are backlinks from external websites which allows search engine crawlers to crawl the link and the page it links to.
Domain authority is a metric developed and used by the SEO company Moz, which aims to be able to predict how well your website as a whole will rank in the SERPs. Domain authority is measured on a scale of 0 to 100 with 0 being the least authoritative and 100 being the most. Domain authority differs from page authority as it is concerned with the authority of the website as a whole instead of a single webpage.
An editorial link is a backlink which is acquired through no link building practices but is instead earned through providing high-quality content. A backlink profile which has mainly editorial links will be a strong profile with lots of authority.
External links are hyperlinks embedded in the website copy which take the user from a page on one site, to another page on another site. For best SEO practices, you should ensure that any external links in your website copy should open in a new window instead of in the current tab.
Link building is the process of actively building backlinks to your site by communicating with other websites. Although link building isn’t a black hat SEO technique in itself, it is worth mentioning that link building that involves PBNs or paid links is black hat SEO as it is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Link earning involves the process of content creation to acquire links. The idea behind link earning is to create high-quality content which provides such valuable information to users that it is linked to frequently without the need to actively build links to the site.
Natural links are links that occur naturally as other websites links to your content as they feel it is relevant and provides value. See Editorial links.
Off-page SEO is the process of optimising your website for better organic traffic and a higher position in the search engine page results by using techniques which don't involve the optimisation of the site itself. Although off-site SEO is mainly thought of as solely link building, it also includes practices such as social media marketing, outreach marketing and reputation management.
PBN stands for Private Blog Network. PBNs are a network of high authority website which is used to build links to your site to develop your authority. However, PBNs are black hat SEO and appear unnatural to search engines when a lot of backlinks appear to your website in a short space of time which could earn you a manual penalty.
Reciprocal links are a mutual agreement between two businesses or websites where they agree to link to each other’s content for mutual benefit. Reciprocal links, although sometimes used for a boost of authority, mainly suggest a relationship or even a partnership between two sites.
According to Google's Webmaster Guidelines, an unnatural link is any link which intends to manipulate Google's search algorithm for a page or website to rank higher in the SERPs.
Understanding Analytical Terms Tracking
Lastly, once you have made optimisation changes on and off of your site, your next step is to track and monitor these changes to ensure that they are benefiting the overall organic traffic and health of your website. For you to follow these changes, you'll need to know about the industry tools and terms to track your changes. Here are all the words you need to know to understand how and what you're monitoring.
Analytics in SEO is the monitoring of data collected from tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Bounce rate is the number of visitors who navigate away from a website after online viewing one page, expressed as a percentage.
A broken link is a hyperlink embedded in the website or website copy which doesn’t lead to the correct URL, either because it has been typed in incorrectly or the page has been moved causing what is known as a 404 error.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate or CTR is the number of users visiting a SERP who end up clicking through to your result expressed as a percentage. The higher your CTR is, indicates to search engines such as Google that your page and its content is helpful and relevant to the keywords and search queries you're ranking for and will rank your content higher over those results that have lower CTR.
Dwell time refers to the amount of time that a user from the SERP spends on a page before returning to the SERP.
Google Analytics, often abbreviated to GA, is a website analytics tool by Google that helps you to report and monitor your online traffic and where your traffic is coming from.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console or GSC, is a web service provided by Google which allows business owners and marketing teams to view the online visibility of their websites.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator, is a measure used to indicate the success and performance of a particular website, business or employee by helping them to set and meet objectives.
PageRank is an algorithm used by Google which helps them to measure the importance of webpages and where those pages should rank. PageRank works by looking at the number of links that are going to that page and takes the quality and authority of those links into account to determine how relevant and valuable the page is.
Time on page
Time on-page is the average amount of time that users spend on a single webpage on your site.