SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is a complex method within inbound marketing methodology that helps increase your organic website traffic. This blog is full of an A to Z list of SEO terms for beginners.
Essentially, SEO refers to methods that allow your website to appear on search results pages without paying to appear there. This is called organic search results. Organic search results are determined by the search engine that you are using.
SEO applies techniques which cause the search engine to favour your website when the algorithms are crawling and indexing pages online. These include on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO and local SEO.
If you are new to SEO, the terms and jargon can often get confusing. Use our A to Z guide to help you transition from an SEO beginner, to an SEO guru.
THE A TO Z OF SEO TERMS FOR BEGINNERS...
This is the full form of the URL e.g. https://www.07heavendesign.co.uk/ and is recommended for efficient on-page SEO.
This is an external link from another site that links to any page on your website. These are necessary to have a high search rank, therefore the more quality links you must and from your website the better. Remember, it really is quality over quantity!
COUNTRY CODE TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN (CCTLD)
By having a ccTLD, it tells search engines where you are, then you are shown when a search requires a local result. If you have this, you will appear higher in local search results! This can be found in the URL, for example:
- http://www.example.fr (France)
- http://www.example.co.uk (UK)
- http://example.cn (China)
This is a metric which predicts the rank of your website using a scale of 0-100, 0 being the lowest, 100 being the highest. It is important to watch and monitor your domain authority!
E-A-T (EXPERTISE, AUTHORITY, TRUST)
These are the criteria Google uses to assess a page’s quality and if it is related to a user’s search. Ensure you are portraying yourself as an expert (Expertise), are authoritative (Authority) and trustworthy (Trust). This can be done through blogs, page content, offers, video, social media etc.
One of Google’s ranking signals is the ability for a website to produce fresh, useful, and helpful content for users. The best way to do this is to consistently post blogs, news and offers, making sure to include essential keywords that your audience are using.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
A free tool created by Google which lists your business within local search results and Google Maps. Increases the likelihood of click-throughs to your website - what more could you want!
This stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, HTML is a language used to create web pages on the internet. The factors within HTML contribute to search rank as they are indicators of relevance to the search and if the website has been properly created and maintained. If you do not have correct HTML, your pages will have glitches, missing information or incorrect visuals displayed; all off-putting to site visitors.
This is the title and caption that is attached to a specific image on your website. Search engine bots cannot read images therefore understand what they are and how relevant they are to the search. Because of this, you need to include an accurate title and caption, so they know if you are relevant.
This is a programming language that can add interactivity to your site, making it more appealing for visitors. It also helps with your website analytics to then inform later business and marketing decisions.
This is the process of adding specific keywords to certain parts of your website in order to increase search rank. For example, title tag, meta description, URL, alt tag, page content etc.
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LONG TAIL KEYWORDS
These are keywords that are phrases. Although longer, they are more specific to the searcher’s needs. Examples of long tail keywords:
- How to create a Google my business page
- Professional marketing agency in Southend
- What to do once I have created a website
This is a piece of HTML that allows search engines to understand the content on your page, a summary of the content. It is also shown as a preview on search results pages so users can get an idea of what the page includes.
This is the deliberate process of spamming backlinks to a competitor’s site to sabotage their rank. Be wary that other sites are not doing this to you!
This refers to search engine optimisation techniques that are external website-related activities to boost rank. E.g. content marketing, social media marketing, influencers
PAGE LOADING TIME
This is the amount of time it takes for your website’s page to load. If this takes a long time, your rank may be affected. Google recommends that your pages load within four seconds.
Common contributions to slow loading time:
- Bloated code - You may want to remove all unnecessary characters from source code without changing its functionality.
- Slow server response time - You may want to switch web hosting provider.
- Large image file sizes - Ensure you reduce image size before uploading to your site.
QUERY DESERVES FRESHNESS (QDF)
This is an algorithm created by Google to show the most up to date results for searches around a trending topic. The best way to appear on fresh results is to report/respond on industry news as soon as possible.
This is how flexible your website is when it is opened on different devices such as desktop, mobile, tablets etc.
The responsiveness of your site on the different devices will be measured by search bots, you will rank higher if you are fully responsive.
SEARCH ENGINE PENALTY
This is a form of punishment by search engines to sites that have spam-like activities on their site to better their search result. Examples of spam activities include:
- You have bought links rather than organically earning them You have duplicated content.
- You have internal 404s (broken web pages or links, appear as a plain page displaying 404).
- Links from other sites in another language.
- Keyword stuffed content.
- Can come in two forms- Algorithmic penalty (dealt by search engine algorithms) or a Manual penalty (a manual action, dealt by a human search engineer).
The number of times a term/keyword is repeated in content, this is a factor in the ranking process. If a specific word is used more than 5 times your page can be deemed as spam.
USER EXPERIENCE (UX)
This is your visitors' overall experience with your website. Methods to improve this experience is to have user-friendly content, visually friendly fonts, attracting images, call-to-actions, relevant copy etc. Search bots will look at your site to see if you can provide a satisfying user experience, ensure your site is the best it can be!
This refers to content which is highly popular and spreads across the internet at a phenomenal rate. This helps with brand identity, link building, social media marketing, public relations, sales figures, web traffic etc. If you have viral content, search engines will deem you relevant and reliable, in turn then increase your rank.
WHITE HAT SEO
The process of optimising your site for search engines by following guidelines set by Google and Bing webmaster tools. If you follow their guidelines to a T, your rank will be high, and you will not be penalised- woo!
This is a directory of all of your pages, images and files on your website. It will include metadata about each page and is sent to search engines, so they can scan the site to see if it is appropriate for search query results.
This is a business directory where users can leave reviews for businesses. The more positive online reviews your company has the better you will rank.
ZERO TIME TO WASTE
What are you waiting for, you now know how important Search Engine Optimisation is for your business, it is time to develop a strategy and get the ball rolling.
If you enjoyed our run down of SEO terms for beginners, why not download it as a PDF so you can view it whenever you like?