Technical jargon can feel like another language altogether. The struggle is real when it comes to SEO terms since a dynamic industry like SEO is constantly updating and ever-evolving. However, they should not be a cause of communication failure between marketers and developers working towards the common goal of optimizing websites.
Moving forward, let’s discuss SEO terms and definitions in detail.
Why Knowing SEO Terminology is Important
Understanding all the components of SEO terms is necessary to meet the challenge of optimization for both SEO beginners and experts. An acquaintance with the SEO terms makes everybody stay in the loop with all the nuts and bolts of the website development process.
Here is a glossary of 30 essential SEO terms and definitions that you need to know to improve your knowledge and vocabulary.
1. 301 Redirect
Redirection of one webpage to another when address or URL is changed – allows visitors to automatically reach new pages and search engines to update their index.
System for gathering of data and analyzing them in order to provide trends, facts, and verify results of website performance and compare the progress of an SEO campaign; analysis parameters include website traffic, users, revenue, traffic sources, site goals, etc.
3. Anchor text
The actual text of a link to a web page; the hyperlink is usually underlined and or blue in color – when a user clicks on an anchor text, it redirects to the linked webpage; search engines look for such links to determine authority.
4. Alt Text or Alt Attribute Text
The text description of an image in the site's HTML – allows search engines to find images; always add Alt Text to effectively boost search engine ranking.
A page's ability to rank high in search engine results that depends on its age, page traffic trends, site history, and content originality – the better a site scores on all these factors, the higher the ranking on search result pages.
Programs designed to index, collect and analyze website information – allows SEO professionals to gather and assess information faster and share new content more quickly.
7. Bounce Rate
Metric that shows the percentage of visitors who leave a site immediately without engaging; a high bounce rate affects ranking negatively and is often caused by poor content, slow page load speed, too many ads, irrelevant keyword matches, etc.
8. Breadcrumb Navigation or Trail
Navigational technique to track the placement within a website's hierarchy; helpful for both search engines and users to understand where they are placed in relation to their starting point – it makes site navigation easier, enriches user experience, and in turn, improves ranking.
9. Canonical URL
The best address of the web page and the most authoritative version of the content to turn to when a page's content becomes indexed on other places on the website creating duplicates – the use of canonical URL during linking and SEO-optimization helps search engines to rank the right address.
10. Domain Authority or Domain Rank
Domain is the main web address of a site and domain authority a quality scorecard for a website that measures the relevance of data to the intended subject; calculated on a 100 point scale containing several link metrics combinations such as linking root domains, number of total links, etc. – it is an important SEO component that decides a site's ranking.
11. The Fold
The point on the website where the page is cut off by the bottom of a user's monitor or browser window; contents 'above the fold' receive search engine priority as they are seen first by users – avoiding too many ads and putting the best content 'above the fold' is a good SEO practice.
12. HTML Sitemap
A visual representation of website pages that eases navigation, allows search engines to know that a website is available and can be crawled to rate – a fundamental feature of a website's SEO strategy to enable effective communication with the search engine.
The permission to search engine bots to crawl and index a website to allow its display in results pages; certain websites opt for 'No Index' when organic traffic is not preferred – for example, employee-only pages, brand loyalty, and exclusive promotion pages.
Words or phrases on the website that allow it to be found after users enter them to search – most important SEO component that allows optimizing each page with relevant keywords to attract visitors.
Inbound links: links from other websites pointing back to your website, also termed as backlinks; they increase a website's authority.
Outbound links: linking to other websites; outbound links to pages with higher authority may increase search rankings.
Link acquisition or building: an important SEO tactic whereby the quality and quantity of backlinks are improved through better content and increased linking.
Deep-link: links connecting different pages in the same website; they are used to connect older content within new content so that the latter rank higher in search results.
16. Meta description
Brief description of the contents of a webpage or website displayed below the title – SEO-optimized meta description keeps pages relevant through numerous searches.
17. Off-page SEO
Work done outside the website to increase search rankings, such as social media postings, guest blogging, link building, etc.
18. On-page SEO or Onsite SEO
Optimizing the content on the webpages themselves to increase ranking - by way of actions such as working on keyword density, updating quality content, checking tag accuracy, etc.
19. Page Authority or Page Rank
A metric of how an individual page will rank in the search results, technically known as 'Toolbar PageRank'; it is a measure of good SEO optimization.
20. Page Speed or Page Load Speed, Page Load Time, Page Response Time
The amount of time it takes for a complete web page to open and display in a user's window; faster speeds provide better user experience and rankings while slow speed leading to higher bounce rates and reduced dwell time and conversions.
21. Ranking Factor
Components of a website that unique search engine algorithms use to determine its rank in result pages; they can include website content, technical implementation, user signals, backlink profile, or any other feature.
22. Rich Snippet
Organic search result that is more eye-catching than a standard result containing graphics, reviews, or additional data usually pulled from structured data found in a page's HTML – featuring in a rich snippet leads to increased click-through-rate.
23. Schema Markup or Schema Marketing
Updating code to include additional information found on a webpage to improve the reading and interpretation of data from a site's code by search engines; points towards the most relevant information on a page – relevant schema markup updates can mean inclusion in a rich snippet.
24. SEO Audit
Website analysis checking the effectiveness of its search engine visibility; locating both content and backend issues hindering website performance.
25. SERP – Search Engine Ranking
The page where results are shown for a search query – it allows the analysis of factors like keywords used, title and meta descriptions attributes, and other related metrics.
26. Technical SEO
Work with search engine bots enabling them to crawl and index websites easily; the most important SEO activity for optimal website performance – technical SEO involves ensuring correct terms to guide bots, good quality content, removing errors, and optimizing images.
27. Title Tag
An HTML element enclosed in as <title> that correctly describes the site page content as appearing in search engine results and on the user's browser when they are on that page – optimizing title tags for individual pages helps search engines to determine content fast boosting rankings.
28. User Experience or UX
Measurement of a user's interaction or experience of a website on the parameters of utility, ease of use, and efficiency; it is a significant metric of ranking sites – factors such as loading speed, navigation ease, consistency in content can affect UX.
29. User Interface or UI
The part of a website that users interact with; SEO-optimized UI design focuses on looks, styles, and graphics that are pleasurable and easy to use – good UI can determine the strength of a website.
30. White Hat
Legitimate SEO practices to increase webpage rankings on the SERPs; designed to appeal to users rather than search engines directly – non-conformity may lead to banning and includes Black Hat SEO practices such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and other unethical methods.
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That was all about SEO terms in detail.
The Bottom Line
This glossary explores the most popular and widely-used SEO terms, but by no means is SEO limited to them. You can skill up further with a structured SEO certification course from e-learning leaders like Simplilearn.
SEO types and SEO terms are an extremely valuable skill because search engines are defining and optimizing the world around. Every single business and industry is benefitting from it. Plus, the SEO industry is a smart and well-paying place to be in today. It is a brilliant career choice given the fact that even in the post-Covid economy, the SEO industry is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 19% from 2021 and reach $77.6 billion in 2023. One can even branch out to exciting specializations to further skills.