As an SEO Consultancy in Cornwall, we see it as our duty to empower our fellow marketers with the SEO terminology that they need to drive better performance. Our organic search consultants have put together this digital marketer's glossary of SEO-related terms as a free, valuable resource to help you understand and optimise your website. This article covers a variety of topics related to online visibility, from link building and on-page optimisation to technical SEO. This list should provide an overview of the most important terms for anyone involved in online marketing.
Black hat: SEO practices that break Google’s quality guidelines.Crawling: The process of search engines discovering your web pages.De-indexed: A page or group of pages being removed from Google’s index.Featured snippets: Organic boxes that appear at the top of Search Engine Results Pages.Google My Business: A free listing available to businesses on Google.Image carousels: An Image result in the SERPs that are scrollable from left to right.Indexing: The organisation and storage of the content found during crawling.Intent: In the context of SEO, intent refers to what users want from the words they typed into the search bar whether that is informational, commercial etc. KPI: A measurable value that indicates how well an activity is performing against the goal.Local pack: A pack of typically three local business listings that appear for local-intent searches such as “performance marketing agency near me.”Organic: Gained positioning in the search results through optimisations, as opposed to PPC.People Also Ask: A box in some Search Engine Result Pages featuring a list of the most asked questions related to the search and their answers.Query: Words typed into the search bar e.g. Google, Bing etc.Ranking: Order of the search results by relevance.SERP features: These are Results displayed in a non-standard format.SERP: Search engine results pageTraffic: Visits to a website.URL: Uniform Resource Locators are the locations or addresses for individual pieces of content on the web, also known as the web address.Webmaster guidelines: A list of guidelines published by search engines like Google to help site ownersWhite hat: SEO practices that comply with Google’s policies.
Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking
Ambiguous intent: This refers to a search phrase where the goal of the searcher is unclear and requires further specification.Commercial Intent: A query in which the searcher wants to compare products to find the one that best suits them.Informational Intent: A query in which the searcher is looking for information, such as the answer to a question.Keyword Difficulty: Within SEMRush, Keyword Difficulty is an estimation of how hard it will be to rank for a specific keyword. Keyword Explorer: A SEMRush tool for in-depth keyword research and discovery.Local queries: A query in which the searcher is looking for something in a specific location, such as “digital marketing agencies near me” or “Marketing Agencies in Cornwall.”Long-tail keywords: Longer queries, typically those containing more than three words. Indicative of their length, they are often more specific than short-tail queries and will therefore have a lower search volume.Navigational queries: A query in which the searcher is trying to get to a certain location, such as the Target blog (query = “Target blog”).Regional keywords: Refers to keywords unique to a specific locale. Use Google Trends, for example, to see whether “Roll” or “Bap” is the more popular term in Cornwall.Search volume: The number of times a keyword was searched over the space of a monthSeasonal trends: Refers to the popularity of keywords over time, such as “BBQs” being most popular during the Summer.Seed keywords: The term we use to describe the primary words that describe the product or service you provide. E.g. Performance Marketing or PPCTransactional intent: The searcher wants to take any action, such as purchasing something.
Alt-text: Alternative text is the text in HTML code that describes the images on web pages.Anchor text: The text with which you link to pages.Duplicate content: Content that is shared between domains or between multiple pages of a single domain.Header tags: An HTML element used to designate headings on your page.Image compression: The act of speeding up web pages by making image file sizes smaller without degrading the image’s quality.Keyword stuffing: A spammy tactic involving the overuse of important keywords and their variants in your content and links.Link equity: The value or authority a link can pass to its destination.Link volume: The number of links on a page.Local business schema: Structured data markup placed on a web page that helps search engines understand information about a business.Meta descriptions: HTML elements that describe the contents of the page that they’re on. Google sometimes uses these as the description line in search result snippets.Protocol: The “HTTP” or “HTTPS” preceding your domain name. This governs how data is relayed between the server and the browser.Redirection: When a URL is moved from one location to another. Rel=canonical: A tag that allows site owners to tell Google which version of a web page is the original and which are the duplicates.SSL certificate: A “Secure Sockets Layer” is used to encrypt data passed between the web server and browser of the user.Title tag: An HTML element that specifies the title of a web page.
Link Building & Authority
Amplification: Sharing or spreading the word about your brand; often used in the context of social media, paid advertisements, and influencer marketing.DA: Domain Authority (DA) is a metric used to predict a domain’s ranking ability.Directory links: “Directory” in the context of local SEO is an aggregate list of local businesses, usually including each business’s name, address, phone number Editorial links: When links are earned naturally.Follow: The default state of a link, “follow” links pass PageRank.Google Analytics: A tool that helps website owners get insight into how people are engaging with their website. Google search operators: Special text that can be appended to your query to further specify what types of results you’re looking for. For example, adding “site:” before a domain name can return a list of all (or many) indexed pages on said domain. E.g. site: “talktotarget.co.uk”Guest blogging: Often used as a link-building strategy, guest blogging involves pitching an article (or idea for an article) to a publication in the hopes that they will feature your content and allow you to include a link back to your website.Link building: Creating links to your website yourself, link building describes the process of earning links to your site to build your site’s authority in search engines.Link exchange: “you link to me and I’ll link to you” tactic. Link profile: A term used to describe all the inbound links to a select domain, subdomain, or URL.NoFollow: Links marked up with rel=”nofollow” do not pass PageRank. PA: Page Authority (PA) predicts an individual page’s ranking ability.Purchased links: Exchanging money, or something else of value, for a link. These should be marked as no-follow links.Qualified traffic: When traffic is “qualified,” it usually means that the visit is relevant to the intended topic of the page, and therefore the visitor is more likely to find the content useful and convert.Referral traffic: Traffic sent to a website from another website. For example, if your website is receiving visits from people clicking on your site from a link on Facebook, Google Analytics will attribute that traffic as “facebook.com / referral” in the Source/Medium report.Spam score: A metric used to quantify a domain’s relative risk of penalization by using a series of flags that are highly correlated with penalised sites.
Measuring, Prioritising, & Implementing SEO
API: Allows for the creation of applications by accessing the features or data of another service like an operating system or application.Bounce rate: The percentage of total visits that did not result in a secondary action on your site. Channel: The different Sources by which you can get attention and acquire traffic, such as organic search and social media.Click-through rate: The ratio of impressions to clicks on your URLs.Conversion rate: The ratio of visits to conversions.Qualified lead: Relevant prospects that have a high likelihood of becoming paying customers.Google Analytics goals: What actions are you hoping people take on your website? Whatever your answer, you can set those up as goals in Google Analytics to track your conversion rate.Google Tag Manager: A single hub for managing multiple website tracking codes.Googlebot: How Google crawls the web; their “crawlers” or “spiders.”Pages per session: Pages per session are the average number of pages people view of your website in a single session.Page speed: Page speed is made up of several equally important qualities aligned with Core Web Vitals, such as the first contentful/meaningful paint and time to interact.Pruning: Refers to removing low-quality pages to increase the quality of the site overall. Normally this process is carried out regularly on a website's Blogs section.Scroll depth: A method of tracking how far visitors are scrolling down your pagesSearch traffic: Visits sent to your websites from search engines like Google.Time on page: The amount of time someone spent on your page before clicking on the next page. Because Google Analytics tracks time on a page by when someone clicks your next page, bounced sessions will clock a time on a page of 0.UTM code: An urchin tracking module (UTM) is a simple code that you can append to the end of your URL to track additional details about the click, such as its source, medium, and campaign name.