Once you decide to use digital marketing, there are a few do’s and don’ts that a business owner must know. While I was starting with my journey of learning and developing digital marketing skills, including search engine optimization, I had to go through a tough road of learning the whole SEO language by myself through trial and error. Every small and medium-size business owner should invest some time understanding basic terminologies, acronyms, and definitions related to SEO lingo.
Not many websites have a complete SEO Lexicon available for beginners, so we decided to create one just for you. In case you are just starting to participate in this vast digital world of marketing by contracting with an SEO agency, ensure an understanding of the SEO terminologies for better performance of your brand. This way, you can also hold the agency responsible for their planning and participate better in mutual meetings.
When your done here, check out our post on essential ad lingo every business owner should know.
- What is SEO?
- Benefits of SEO
- Why is it Important for Business Owners to Know SEO Lingo?
- Essential SEO Lingo Every Business Owner Should Know
- Authority Site
- Anchor Text
- Alt Text
- Black Hat SEO
- Bounce Rate
- CTA – Call-To-Action
- Canonical Tag
- Crawl Budget
- Content Marketing
- Direct Traffic
- Domain Name
- Domain Authority
- Duplicate Content
- External Link
- Featured Snippet
- Followed Link
- Google RankBrain
- Heading Tags
- Headings on Web Pages
- Hreflang Tags
- Inbound Link/Backlink
- Internal Link
- KPI – Key Performance Indicators
- Landing Page
- Long-Tail Keywords
- Meta Description
- Nofollow Link
- Organic Traffic/Organic Reach
- Link Equity
- Mobile-First Indexing
- Off-Page SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Orphaned Page
- Page Speed
- PageRank Algorithm
- PPC – Pay-Per-Click
- Ranking Factor in SEO
- RSS Feed
- Schema Markup
- Short-Tail Keywords
- SERP in SEO
- Social Media Metrics
- Technical SEO
- Title Tag
- Unique Visitor
- Website Quality
- White Hat SEO
- Viral Content
- User Experience (UX)
- XML Sitemap
- Errors Appearing on Sites
- 200 ok
- 301 Redirect
- 302 Redirect
- 404 Error
- 502 Error
What is SEO?
SEO is a commonly used term for Search engine optimization. So, what is SEO? It is a process to organically improve search engine traffic to your website by applying various strategies. There are three basic categories of this process.
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
If applied correctly, SEO does help to increase the quantity of traffic on your site and boost the quality of the visitors. The quality of users is extremely important for your business. You just don’t want random people visiting your page without even looking at your products and bouncing to other pages. You want customers, not browsers. For that, you have to make sure that people who are genuinely interested in your products should only visit your site and convert into actual customers, or at least interact with you.
The more users crawling on your page unnecessarily, the more adversely your page speed would be. You don’t want your site to get slowed down due to junk? Quantity is also required to build the traffic on your site as it’s one of the ranking criteria. But, quantity without quality is not what you need. Also, organic traffic is required by you. So, what is organic traffic? Any traffic for which you didn’t have to pay comes under this category. You can easily place ads on search engines, but anyone who is landing at your page by looking up for you is organic.
These processes are something every small and medium-size business owner should be familiar with. The tools used to get to heavy, organic traffic are numerous, and a complex ranking system is used by search engines to place websites in the order an end-user can see. If a brand manager can understand these SEO terminologies and processes behind these, they can help the SEO implementing agency with his input and feedback.
Benefits of SEO
Every business owner into either e-commerce or running a company website should have basic knowledge of SEO terminology. They should have SEO Lexicon on their desktop to solve queries instantly without being dependent on the agency. So, what does SEO do to your company? It helps your website appear at the top of the search performed by the user in search of articles you are selling. When a user types a word, phrase, question, or now speaks it in the search box, a list of websites appears in front of him consisting of several pages. The list is very long, comprising of pages you can’t possibly go through.
The question is, how did the search engine like Google or Yahoo select the websites containing the required information and the criteria for sorting them. That process is difficult to understand, but a business owner needs to make sure that his page appears in the first two pages of the search engine results page (SERP). Because usually, this is how far a researcher would go. Every search engine like Google or Yahoo has a crawler that finds information about the keyword content user is looking for. This crawler now brings back all 1s and 0s to the search engine to build an index fed through an algorithm that matches the data with the query. Several factors go into the search engine’s algorithm with their respective importance. This compiles the search engine part of SEO.
The next step is O, which stands for Optimization. This is done when through title tags, meta descriptions, internal links, so on and so forth. Ultimately if everything you have done is right, your page will appear at the beginning of SERP, and traffic will land on your page every time someone will type in your product’s name in the search box. SEO is done to ensure the users will read your content, and in the case of e-commerce, your products are well taken by the potential customers, and when they visit your website, they make a purchase. Business owners need to know the basic science behind this, and frequently check by typing keywords, on which page of SERP their website is displayed by Google. That is how they can make changes so that the consumer can find your page in the SERP’s first few pages.
Why is it Important for Business Owners to Know SEO Lingo?
As a business manager/owner of an online company, you don’t just need to be an expert in your product range. As a businessman, as you need to know completion, market, industry, and related factors to ensure sales and growth, you also need to know digital terminologies and SEO lingo. You can hire an agency to formulate the best SEO strategy for your company website. However, unless you know the details yourself, you can’t participate or rectify their planning. After all, it’s your business, not theirs. They are just charging you for their services.
To know how well their services are doing to your website is your responsibility. You can allocate resources, budget, time, and energy to this activity. But reviewing it and measuring its efficiency should also be your responsibility. You can only do it once you know the terminologies they are using during your briefings. Sometimes, the agency people are so prone to using difficult SEO lingo explaining what it actually means is not their priority. However, as a business owner is expected to know that by yourself. So, take responsibility and start learning bit by bit.
Essential SEO Lingo Every Business Owner Should Know
Here, we will discuss a few of the most important SEO lingo for your convenience and learning. This SEO Lexicon should be saved on your laptop desk, mobile phone homepage, and even a print in your room if you are an SEO learning beginner. SEO lingo and terminology could be learned very quickly if you try and recall the words regularly. In case you are working with an SEO agency or an expert, you will hear these words very often. This glossary will provide you definitions from very basic to advance level SEO acronyms. So, let’s begin!
When consumers and experts trust a website in a specific industry, it’s called Authority site. You can build authority through consistent quality, reliable, and valuable content. By providing trustworthy information, more websites start linking to your page. This is how the search engine will prioritize you and start sending people to your page.
The clickable words within a paragraph you are reading on a web page is called Anchor text. For the best SEO results the Anchor text must be relevant to the page it links to.
The description given for images you upload is called Alt text. While a user is searching for images, they type a specific word. Search engines read the Alt text attached to each image and display the results. Search engines don’t see images like users. The description, quality, and relevance of the image decide whether it is related to your search or not.
it is one of the most important ranking factors. In the eyes of search engines like Google, when other sites link to your web page, it’s considered as “vote of confidence.” The more authoritative the site links to yours, the more link equity (domain authority) has passed along.
Black Hat SEO
If you are using aggressive tactics for improved page rankings frowned upon by search engines, it’s called Black Hat SEO. You generate content for search engines, not the people, which is against the rules and guidelines. This can result in banning your site or penalty.
A section on a web page to publish educational content is called a blog. It can be useful information from any selected industry such as travel, entertainment, music, etc.
This program crawls and reads the content to gather information for proper indexing on search engines.
Google defines the bounce rate as a “single-page session on your site.” It is the percentage of visitors on your site without interaction. If you have a higher bounce rate, your page search results will be lower.
CTA – Call-To-Action
Any action suggested to customers to make the purchase is called Call-To-Action or CTC. It could be a click, purchase, email address, or any other actual action. The idea is that your CTC should be bold, short, and precise enough to attain the attention of your customers.
Click-through-Rate (CTR) compares the number of times the ad was viewed and the number of clicks. The higher the CTR, the more successful the ad would be. However, the average CTR floats between 1% to 2%. [BJ2]
It’s a tag that indicates the search engines about which page of the site is the most preferred version of the content to be ranked. It helps to reduce the duplication of the content.
Googlebot allocates a certain number of pages that one can crawl and index in a given time frame. The speed of the site can be negatively affected if the number of pages is higher.
Content marketing is about publishing useful information online. The most significant forms are blogs, newsletters, social media posts, and videos. The higher the quality of the content, the more improved the search ranking score would be.
When your site visitor responds to Call-to-Action, it’s considered as a conversion. Simply, the calculation of conversion rate if done by dividing total visitors by actual purchases.
When a user finds your website directly through a search engine, it’s referred to as direct traffic. If you have reached a site through any other medium, it doesn’t come under this category.
The name of the website is called a domain name such as Google. Ideally, it’s the name of the business or the company. The simpler and more recognizable your domain name is, the easier it is for users to remember it.
Domain authority, also mostly referred to as DA, is a search engine ranking. It is developed by Moz, which predicts the score from one to a hundred. If your website is given a higher score, it predicts that it has earned greater authority through backlinks. Link Equity can also replace DA.
Nearly identical content found on various webpages is called duplicate content. If your page has more duplicate content, the search engine would not be able to rank it. Different URLs containing the same information, usually autogenerated through filters, create replicas.
A link on the page that directs the user to an outside domain rather than the source domain.
A featured snippet will display in a white box near the top of the search result page. From top-performing web pages, Google pulls out the most useful information for a question you have asked in the search box. You can possibly optimize pages to be placed in featured snippets by following best SEO practices.
A followed link Allows link equity to be passed from one web page to another website.
The Google algorithm to provide users with the most relevant search results using machine learning.
HTTP Stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This explains how data is sent to a web browser from a computer server.
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It includes SSL (Secure Sockets Layers), which encrypts data being transferred between websites and web browsers. If you are using a secure function, Google will reward you with a slightly higher ranking.
These are HTML tags that help explain the hierarchy of the content on a given page. H1 is considered most important, whereas H6 is the least important. If you want to look at best practices, it’s recommended to use only one H1 tag per page. However, multiple H2 to H6 tags are fine is they make any sense within the hierarchy of the page.
Headings on Web Pages
The titles and substitutes on a web page are called headings. It helps the website organize its content and easier for the reader to look for specific answers. These are exactly like chapters in a book.
HTML tags telling search engines that there are international versions of your site with different languages of countries your sites are intended for. For example, the end of the URL would have the country’s initials, such as the US, UK, AU, etc.
An inbound link is linking another website to your site. It’s also called a backlink. Backlink with the authority sites builds credibility for your site as well.
These are the links that are available at your site to other web pages. Adding these internal links to your website helps engaging readers for more time and additional information. Internal links are important because they are used to help find search engines, find every page on your site, understand the structure of your website, and disperse link’s equity across the website.
It is a scripting language used to program dynamic elements of web pages.
The most popular terms or phrases people search online are called keywords. When you are applying optimization, you tell a search engine to look for these words and phrases in your content and publish your page due to the search. You shouldn’t overload the content with specific keywords as it’s termed as “keyword stuffing” and results in a penalty.
KPI – Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators are the metrics used to measure the success of digital marketing campaigns.[BJ3]
The special page on a website that is optimized for the conversion is called the landing page. It should be clean and easy to navigate, so the user doesn’t get bounced to another site. For small business owners, the landing page is a critical source of marketing strategy.
Commonly used phrases for online searches are called long-tail keywords. The latest advancement in voice search has changed the scenario a bit. Most people use questions or phrases rather than simple words for research. For instance, over 70% of searches are using long-tail keywords. What are the benefits of SEO?
The description given about a website for search engines is called Metadata. Search engines such as Google look for this information from the metadata and rank the website accordingly. Generally, they are 150-160 characters long.
A brief summary of a web page that turns up in a research result is called the meta description. If it’s interesting enough, the user will click on your site.
Nofollow is a signal to the search engines like Google to not pass link equity to another web page. It’s written in HTML as: <a href=”www.example.com” rel=nofollow>
It is a signal to search engines like Google’s crawlers to restrict a page from being indexed in search results. It is commonly used for paid landing pages and outdated pages.
Organic Traffic/Organic Reach
Organic traffic is related to organic reach as well. It’s the number of unique users who are following your content without any paid promotion. Generally, people who find your page themselves are called unique users. If you can’t afford paid promotion, focus on the content, and the organic reach can be enhanced.[BJ4]
The domain authority earned via backlinks is called link equity. A site with more backlinks from authoritative sites develops more link equity or domain authority for the site.
Google rolled out Mobile-First Indexing in March 2018. Beginning from July 2019, all new websites were supposed to have the mobile version indexed by default.
It is one of the aspects of SEO that is focused on building the site’s domain authority. It is done primarily through building backlinks. For example, creating content that attracts other sites to link with you, connecting with relevant and authoritative sites, and guest blogging.
The other SEO aspect is on-page, where you focus on optimizing copy of the page, title tags, meta descriptions, URLs, and image alt text by incorporating keywords.
Any page that isn’t linked to any other page on a website is called an orphaned page.
Page speed is determined by the time it takes to load the website. It’s an important part of user experience. Therefore, it is a search engine ranking factor.
This algorithm identifies the position of a site in a search result. The first page of any search result ranks from 0 – 10, where position zero is reserved for featured snippets. The factors considered include the trustworthiness of the website. Therefore, there is not just one factor that determines which place your website will appear in a search result.
PPC – Pay-Per-Click
Pay per Click (PPC) is another pricing model commonly used. Since you only pay for the ad when someone clicks at it, you end up saving some cost. In case your image or message is already very attractive, you can choose to use this model.
The position a website ends up having on a search engine result page (SERP) is called its rank. Google has now started incorporating features like images, news, videos, and maps; people also ask the categories on the first page.
This text file stays in the /robots.txt folder of each domain. It simply tells that which page web crawlers should ignore.
Ranking Factor in SEO
Search engines use the ranking factor to determine the place of the site in display of their search results. Several factors are considered, for instance, the number of internal links, the reputation of such links, organic traffic, so on and so forth. Search engines look for specific keywords, headings, titles, and subtitles properly. After running the site through this system, the search engine ranks the content of the site for the user.
Really simple syndication is also termed as RSS feed. The process by which you subscribe to a website and get updates about the content of this site. Many e-commerce websites and magazines ask their customers to subscribe and update their sales, new product launch, and new editions.
It is a structured data vocabulary collectively agreed upon by main search engines. One of the major learning tools similar to SEO Lexicon. It enables site content to show up in different SERP features such as featured snippets, carousels, knowledge graphs, etc. When you add Schema Markup to your web pages, it helps search engines to understand the content and structure in a much better way.
Keywords consisting of one to two words are called short-tail keywords. These are difficult to rank for as there is a lot of competition.
SERP in SEO
The search Engine Results page is also called SERP. Simply, the display of a search after typing a keyword in the search bar.
Sitemap.xml is a map of all the pages on your website developed by the webmaster. It identifies where different pages from your site are located and how they are related. A well-organized sitemap helps the search engines in indexing your website.
Social Media Metrics
The units used to measure the performance of social media posts are called social media metrics. There are different areas such as engagement rate, conversion, traffic, clicks, share, etc.
An important part of On-Page SEO is title tags. It is an HTML blue link tag that shows up in SERPs. When you put target keywords in title tags, it optimizes your site search.
The number of visitors determines your website’s traffic, irrespective of where they were originated from and how long they stayed. Traffic can be divided into different categories later on, such as organic, social media, referral, etc.
A unique visitor is a user who has visited your website one or more times during a tracked period. Even if it’s a returning visitor during that period, the tracking software counts them once. This stat is used to gauge the reach of your website.
The web address of a site is called a URL. Each website has a unique URL address that is coincided with its main page. The front end indicates the name of the website, and the back end indicates its location.
The quality of a website is what determines the ranking of a site. Search engine bots scour the website by looking at its relevance, length, engagement, backlinks, and content readability. These are the different measurement elements that a search engine bot calculates to determine its high quality to be ranked on the first page of the search result.
White Hat SEO
It is exactly the opposite of black hat SEO. The good practices of SEO by web designers following the set rules are called white hat SEO. When dealing with SEO experts, you would have to mention this SEO lingo to ensure your understanding and preference of abiding by the rules. Business owners should always keep themselves updated on the latest changes and trends in search engine optimization guidelines.
If content gets media attention shortly after its publication, it’s called viral content. It could be anything related to any field of music, videos, politics, entertainment, or sports. When a numerous number of people start sharing the same content repetitively, it becomes viral. It gives brands more exposure in a limited time.
It is a metric measuring the visibility of a site to its users based on the website’s prominence in SERPs.
User Experience (UX)
The overall experience of a user when they are interacting with a site is called UX. Factors that determine UX may include page speed, site navigations, mobile responsiveness, content engagement, easy-to-access information, and others.
Site managers submit their XML sitemaps in Google Search Console. It is actually an index of complete pages on a website. This index is also used in the ranking of sites.
Errors Appearing on Sites
If you are running a business and open your web page at home and an error pops up, you should instantly know the reason for this error if you have read these terminologies. There are different status codes for okay, redirection, and errors. Their types and reasons are discussed below for your understanding.
The status code is indicating that the requested web page has been successfully connected and delivered.
This code appears when the location of the page has been permanently changed.
The code is showing a temporary change in website location. This way, search engines can keep a version of the old site as well.
It is an error code showing that the page has been permanently taken down and wouldn’t exist any longer.
This error appears when the service that hosts the website has an issue, not the website itself.
When you start an online business, it looks very simple and easy to operate. You find hosting companies, strategy companies, digital marketing agencies, SEO agencies, so on and so forth. There are people you can easily outsource your extra tasks to for a nominal charge. However, it’s extremely important as a business owner to know what these outsiders are doing to the content you own. Learning about SEO terminology is not a difficult task. You just need to spare some time and put a little effort. This SEO glossary is excellent for beginners to understand the basic concept.
Don’t forget to read our post about Essential Ad Lingo Business Owners Should Know.