SEO Glossary

SEO Glossary

Even if you’ve spent years working in online marketing it can be difficult to cope with the sheer volume of terminology and industry jargon. Luckily we’re here to help, with this handy SEO glossary! Look up words commonly associated with search engine optimisation and all things digital.

In a fast paced technology-driven industry like ours, words can have more than one meaning and these can change in a moment’s notice. If you think you’ve spotted something incorrect or out of date, or if there’s something we haven’t covered then why not get in contact? We can use the opportunity to discuss your marketing strategy.

Of course, simply being able to look up the definition of a word won’t necessarily help you to plan and carry out an in-depth integrated marketing and design strategy. Contact us today and let us know what you’re trying to achieve, or take a look at common marketing strategies and objectives for inspiration!


AdWords
This is Google’s PPC system. See PPC
Usually refers to Google Analytics. This is a platform which tracks user behaviour on a website. It tells the owner where a visitor came from (Google, PPC, other referring website, etc.), as well as what they did while on the website (how many pages they viewed, how long they stayed, where they left, etc.)
Competitor Analysis
When trying to increase rankings in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), it is important to understand what your competitors are up to. A comparison between your own site and theirs provides insight into what they might be doing to get ahead of you. If for example we see that a competitor ranks highly for a certain keyword, trying to compete for that keyword right away would be a largely wasted effort.
Conversion Rate
This is number of times a user “converts” on your website. You will have your own criteria on what constitutes a conversion based on the nature of your website/business. It could be a completed sale, or a PDF download, or a contact form submission. The conversion rate is therefore the number of converted sessions over the total number of sessions. E.g. your website has 150 visitors, and 3 of them download your PDF brochure, this is a conversion rate of 2%.
Conversion Tracking
This is a small piece of code that allows Analytics to register a particular event (such as a purchase or download) and attribute value to it. This allows us to calculate a more accurate ROI (return on investment) to assess how best to optimise your site, and monitor which methods are most effective for generating custom.
Copy Writing
In order to build ranking, it is more or less essential to have some form of content marketing strategy. This usually takes the form of a blog. Regular content keeps your site fresh and interesting, and is a big tick for Google. It also allows you to develop pages and sections of your site that target new keywords, to attract links which in turn boost rankings. This content is referred to as “copy”, so when we say we’ll do copy writing, it means we’ll write the content for you, as maintaining an effective blog can be time consuming and difficult to keep fresh.
CTR
Click Through Rate. This is a percentage based on the number of clicks your link or advert receives over the number of impressions it received. I.e. 1000 impressions and 50 clicks is a CTR of 5%.
Google + Page
Google+ is Google’s social network, its answer to Facebook. While the user base is not as strong as Facebook’s there are strong suggestions that activity on Google+ has an impact on Organic Rankings. Therefore it is advisable that businesses create and maintain a Google+ page, with regular updates and content.
Google Analytics
See Analytics.
Keyword
Refers usually to a query entered by a user into a search engine, e.g. “hair dressers farnham”. But also will be mentioned when discussing important phrases within the copy of a website, i.e. the body text, or page titles having keywords in them. In this respect they are the phrases and words the sum up your website/business, and are the words users will search for to find you.
Keyword Research
This entails looking at both the content of your website (if appropriate) and the most common searches used to find businesses/websites of a similar ilk. If content has not already been created for the website the research serves as a resource to help in the copywriting process. In cases where the content is pre-exisiting, we will look at the density of keywords within the copy and their prominence on the page in order to ascertain any changes that need to be made.
Keyword Targeting
After researching appropriate keywords, it is then important to implement this in the content of your website. A good practice is to target each static page of your website for a different keyword, targeting for a mix of long a short tails. It is pivotal to get a correct balance between using keywords in content and not overusing them. It must always be natural and readable, otherwise you risk being penalised for “keyword stuffing”. For example:
We sell second hand designer clothes in Surrey to a great range of customers. Our Surrey second hand designer clothes are the best value. If you’re looking for second hand designer clothes in Surrey call us today.
Impression
This refers to the number of times your advert or website appears following a search query.
Index
Search Engines uses programs called Bots to crawl thorugh the Internet logging all the webpages they can find. These are then added to a giant database of websites called an Index. When you search for something in Google it pulls results from its index. Therefore, if your website isn’t in there, it won’t appear in results.
Meta Data
Meta data is information about the website that isn’t necessarily viewed by the user. See below for more specific examples
Meta Description
This is a small piece of text in the code of your website that search engines use to determine the content of the page. It will also often appear as the snippet on the SERP, the summary description that is displayed underneath the link. As such it is often the first introduction that your customers have to your business online, which means it is important to optimise this to attract traffic.
Page Title
This is the title of the page, which appears on the top of the browser window,, and also appears as the link on SERPs. It is an important aspect of SEO,, and should always accurately describe the nature of the page.
ALT Text
Since Search Engine robots don’t have eyes, they can’t see any images that appear on your site. The ALT Text is a little piece of text that explains what the image is. It also appears if for some reason the browser is unable to display the image itself.
Meta Keywords
In the early days of SEO there were few ways for a search engine to determine the content of a webpage, therefore “meta keywords” were used. They consist of a list of keywords in the source code of a website to explain to search engines what the page is about, and to therefore show it in results pages. However, search engines are now clever enough to establish the nature of a page without these keywords and they are considered a redundant factor in SEO; Google doesn’t even look at them anymore. Therefore all they do is serve as a way for competitors to get a glimpse of your optimisation strategy. If you have them on your website, get rid of them.
On Page SEO
On Page SEO, as the name suggests, refers to SEO elements contained within the actual website. This includes the HTML structure, semantic mark up, meta data, content, keywords, robots.txt etc.
Off Page SEO
These are the elements outside the actual website that will have an impact on search rankings. These include backlinks and link profile, social signals etc.
PLA
Product listing Advertising is aimed at eCommerce websites and allows their products to appear in the Shopping section of Google’s SERPs. This functions as a PPC campaign, with a small piece of code that crawls your website and updates the listing on a daily basis.
PPC
Pay per Click is a great way of getting yourself seen on SERPs quickly and effectively. It is a form of paid advertising where your link appears alongside the natural results, and you pay each time a visitor clicks on it. You are granted a large degree of control over when your link should appear, allowing the advertiser to target keywords, demographics and location, and much more besides. You can customise your budget, setting a maximum daily spend that suits what you can afford. If you have set up conversion tracking, you can directly see an accurate ROI for each click as the code will follow the visitor from entrance to purchase.
Remarketing
This is where a customer has visited your site, but not converted. A remarketing campaign will then display ads for your site to that customer when they are browsing other websites that use the Google Display Network. This is then a PPC system that keeps your business at the front of mind and encourages the customer to return to your store to purchase. This has proven to be a highly effective method with a strong ROI.
Robots.txt
This is a small text file nestled in the file structure of a website that tells Search Engine robots how to behave when crawling your website. It is a swift way of controlling which pages/directories of your site are crawled, and which to add to their index.
Schema Markup/Semantic DataSchema markup
This is a relatively new system that goes in the code of your website. It essentially tells Search Engines what they are looking at. For example, if you are an eCommerce site it tells the search engine what on the page is the product title, what is the price, stock level etc.

<div itemscope  itemtype ="http://schema.org/Product">
<h1 itemprop=”name”>Awesome Shoes</h1>
<p itemprop=”price”>£200</p>
</div>

So now when a Search Engine looks at that code it knows that everything contained in the <div> is an item and that the item is a product. It then sees that the name of this product is “Awesome Shoes” and that the price is “£200”. This means then that the Search Engines are able to “understand” the content of a website far better, and potentially return “rich snippets”.

SERP
Search Engine Results Page. This is the page which shows the results following a search.

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