SEO is undoubtedly extremely vital to the success of any website. However, many business owners may not necessarily be familiar with SEO. Indeed, it can seem to be a mystery involving unfathomable terms and processes that don’t make a great deal of sense.
In this post we provide you with detailed explanations of essential SEO jargons:
301 Redirect – If the URL of a page changes, this re-direct will ensure that links to the old page are re-directed to the new one. This helps search engines find the correct destination for a change of domain.
404 Error – This can happen if a URL is typed in incorrectly, or if a page has been removed. It means that the page is not found.
ALT Text – Alternative text used to describe an image. This shows up when a picture can’t be viewed, but is also used by search engines – therefore a useful step in optimising your site.
Anchor Text – This is a phrase that contains a clickable hyperlink – perhaps included in a post or article you have written for another site, which links to your own site or another one relevant to the content.
Backlink – This is an incoming link to a website. When a site links to another, the site being linked to has a backlink from the original one. Backlinks from high-quality sites are an essential part of off-site SEO.
Black Hat SEO – These are techniques that are deceptive & unethical, and go against what the search engines recommend and approve of. Black hat methods may build links quickly in the short term, but will inevitably lead to penalization, or even banning of sites. Any gains in traffic from these tactics are temporary.
Bounce Rate – This can be viewed in Google Analytics (or other analytics packages), and shows the percentage of visitors that leave a page without clicking through to the rest of your site.
Crawler – Also described as a spider, this programme moves through the pages of your site to index them for the search engines.
Deep-linking – This is the process of building links to a number of your website pages, rather than the homepage alone, giving internal pages more visibility.
Impressions – The number of times an ad or page has been shown, whether clicked on or not.
Keywords – When a search engine crawls a page it tries to associate the content with the keywords found on it. When implementing SEO strategies for a client, it is important to pick the right keywords to help rank highly when a search engine user searches for one of these words.
Keyword Density – this is the percentage of times a keyword appears on a page. While it is good to have some keywords included in your page content, too high a density (keyword stuffing) can result in a penalty.
Link Farm – an outdated method of exchanging reciprocal links with other websites to increase ranking. This used to work, as having a lot of high quality sites linked to yours indicates your site’s authority. However, this is considered a form of spam by Google, who are now banishing sites who link farm.
Link Juice – This is the term used to describe the way a site’s authority is passed via a link from one site to another. A highly ranking site provides more link juice than a poor quality site.
Meta Description – This is the phrase that often shows up in search results. It sums up what each page is about, so needs to be concise and interesting enough to encourage people to click through.
Nofollow – This is a way for webmasters to tell search engines not to follow links on this page, or not to follow this specific link.
Noindex – This is a code entered to tell crawlers to avoid indexing the given web page. It may be used for large databases, printer or mobile friendly versions of webpages, or pages you want to keep more private.
Off-site SEO – These SEO strategies are used away from the site itself. Encouraging well-known and trusted sites to link to you, perhaps using social media, is a key approach.
On-site SEO – Is when SEO practises are undertaken on the website itself to improve its search engine position. Providing original, detailed and regularly updated content on your site are key ways to do this.
Page Rank – This is a link analysis algorithm which shows how relevant Google think a page is in relation to a given search term.
Panda – This refers to a change in Google’s search results ranking algorithm. It penalizes low-quality sites which aren’t necessarily spam sites, but feature poor content which isn’t useful.
Penguin – Penguin algorithm updates target spammy sites, specifically those built with black hat techniques.
Hummingbird – Hummingbird algorithm is part of Google’s process to shift from simply searching individual query words to instead understanding the meaning of a query as a whole, and therefore providing more useful and relevant results.
SEO – SEO is the process of increasing the visibility of a webpage in search engine’s search results. Sites are optimised with great quality, regularly updated content, careful consideration of keywords, and utilisation of social media (amongst other techniques) to encourage interaction, interest and links from high quality sites.
SERP – Stands for ‘Search Engine Results Page’. This is the listing of web pages returned to a user, based on the search term they used.
Sitemap – A sitemap is a list of web pages accessible to crawlers and visitors. An XML sitemap is a structured format intended for a search engine, whereas a HTML sitemap helps users find content on the website.
White Hat SEO – White hat SEO techniques are ones that are search engine recommended and approved to boost rankings. They provide the best long term results, and involve appealing to users and building a profile online with great content.