SEO Terms and Definitions
If you’d like to learn about the basic SEO terms and definitions by video, just scroll to the bottom and click play!
I’ve been in the SEO world for quite a while now. I’ve been reading SEO blog sites and magazines, participating on forums that are SEO related and, in general, simply being inundated with the stuff. However, there are many who are still new to the internet marketing world and may be looking for a tutorial of sorts on what many of these nebulous terms mean in the real world. That’s the reason for this quick post of definitions. The hope here is to even the playing field for some and help people grasp some of what they are reading here and on other blogs and articles as they search out what it means to start an online business (or simply help their offline one.)
With that in mind, I offer the following definitions, explanations and examples:
SEO Terms and Definitions:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): This concept is as old as the search engines themselves. In order to be found online, one must (assumably) use certain optimization tactics to allow for better indexing (or cataloging) of their site by the search engines. SEO involves both on page (on your site) and off page (other’s sites) strategies and can refer to either.
SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages): These pages are what you see after you’ve typed a search query into Google or one of the other search engines (Bing, Yahoo, etc.) These are the “results” of your search. The idea here is to be as high up in the SERPs as possible for any of the terms your business can be associated with.
Meta tags: Meta tags are words that are used in the code (html) for a web page, but do not actually appear on the web page itself. Their function is to assist the search engines in learning about your page by providing specific information through the use of key words associated with your topic or brand. The typical meta tags used are 1) description (can show up in SERP results), 2) keywords, and 3) author.
Title tags: These are the words or phrases that appear in your web browser’s tab or bar at the very top of the window — just look up and see that the title tag os this page is “Learning About SEO Terms.”
Alt image tags: The alt image tag is what provides the “alternative text” for a picture or an image on your page. Since search engines can’t actually “see” your image, you need to provide text that describes the image as well. This tag will show up if the image is broken and can’t be displayed. It’ll also show when someone hovers with their mouse over the image.
Hyperlinks: A hyperlink is simply a web link you can click on that redirects your browser (or another tab within your browser) to something else. This is quite often another website or page on the current site, but can also be used to link to a download, and image or video. For example, this link will open a new tab or window and go to the home page of this site.
Anchor text: This is the clickable text in a hyperlink. Many times marketers will use keywords that describe the linked page or download as their “anchor text”, which will ideally help that page to rank higher in the SERPS for said keyword. For example, I’ll use the keywords “get website traffic” in this link: Get website traffic.
Internal links: These are links from one page on a site or domain to another page on the same website. Both of the links above are internal links. The opposite is an “external link” which would involve linking to a page on a different website. For instance, I can link to Joe’s blog at How I Got Rich. You’ll want to utilize both types in your SEO.
PPC (Pay Per Click): This is a form of advertising where a website can display various types of ads that direct back to the site. When an ad is clicked, you are charged a fee. Google’s PPC program is called AdWords, but there are many different ad networks available to utilize.
Longtail keywords: Using longtail keywords is necessary in order to rank in the SERPs. A longtail term is simply a search phrase that consists of two or more words. However, the longer the keyword phrase the better…within reason. The idea here is that the more specific the search phrase, the better dialed in the information is for the searcher. Since these types of keywords generally have less competition, you can rank for them easier. For instance, while “potty training” may be difficult to rank for due to high competition, “potty training a six month old girl” could be significantly easier.
Keyword density: Keyword density is simply the ratio of how many times a specific keyword appears on a page in relation to the number of words on the page. When a webpage contains a high keyword density, it can harm the site as the search engines could potentially label it as low quality or spam.
Organic traffic: The traffic you receive from the search engines (not PPC) and other directories is referred to as “organic traffic.” The opposite is paid traffic, such as the people who arrive at your site by clicking on one of your ads on another site.
Spider: These creepy crawlers are also referred to as “crawlers” or “robots.” Spiders are basically software programs that the different search engines use to locate and index (catalog) all the pages and websites on the internet – what a job, eh??!! These spiders follow links from one web page to another indexing as they go. They also revisit sites, adding new pages as it goes along.
As you can see there are many SEO terms and definitions to learn in internet marketing. While these are just the tip of the iceberg, you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to navigate once you understand the basics. You’ll soon build your understanding of these terms and add to your SEO vocabulary. Good luck!