You’ve started a new business and new website. So now, how do you get what you do and who you are, out there on Google?
Amongst other online marketing strategies, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a necessity to be found online and make you look like a big dog in your industry. However, when you’re starting out, SEO terminology can sound overwhelming to many new business owners. It may as well be another language, right?! We’ve broken down a few key terms commonly used to help you better understand the SEO lingo (and this list is not exhaustive it is only a taster of key terms!), so you can kick-start growing your online business today.
301 and 302 Redirects: A command that automatically redirects a searcher from one URL to another. A 301 will be used when the page no longer exists so you need to direct traffic to another page. A 302 is temporary and tells search engines we still want to keep the old page indexed, but for now go to ‘this page’.
404 Error: An error message that means the server can’t currently locate or load the requested page. Often the page has been removed and no redirect is in place.
AdWords: This is a Google feature or service (Google Ads) for paid search engine advertising.
Alt Text: Text that is shown when an image on a site cannot be displayed. ‘Alt’ is short for alternative text.
Anchor Text: Anchor text is hyperlinked text, being that it’s the anchor to the link. It helps enhance rankings and for Google to better understand what the site’s about.
Backlinks: A link to your website from another website which helps improve search engine rankings.
Black Hat SEO: This term refers to SEO practices that try to trick the search algorithm into ranking your website quickly. Not a good strategy to use, and your site will be penalised for it. SEO takes time, so don’t take short cuts.
Bounce Rate: Refers to the percentage of users who get to your site and immediately leave.
Canonical Tags: This is code added to the header of a webpage to help avoid duplicate content issues. Sometimes you might have the same or similar content on multiple pages. Adding a Canonical Tag specifies which one is the authority and should be indexed, otherwise Google might decide for you.
Crawling (robot, spider): A search engine gathering information about websites by crawling them.
GeoTag: Location or geographical data labels added to your site, images and content. Excellent for localised SEO.
Impression: A single count of a visitor to view a web page.
Indexing: The process for collecting and storing data across the web. When search engines find new pages, they ‘index’ it, meaning they add a copy of it to their database, so they’re retrieved during searches.
Keywords and Key Phrases: Also called short tail and long tail keywords. They are keywords on what you want to be searched for and what your target audience are searching.
Keyword Cannibalization and Keyword Density: Over-the-top use of keywords on your site or on a single page….to the point it just confuses the heck out of google algorithms because it has no idea what is relevant. Does more damage than good FYI.
Keyword Research: This type of research involves determining which keywords are appropriate for targeting a certain audience.
Meta description: A brief description of a content page, blog or post used by search engines.
Off-Page SEO: Exactly as it sounds. Off-page SEO practices are things you do outside of your page/website to improve your rankings, such as link building.
On-Page SEO: On-page practices are everything you do on your page to improve your rankings, including tuning the HTML structure, improving title tag and descriptions, checking keyword usage and improving internal linking structure.
Organic search: When you input a phrase and push the ‘search’ button on Google.
Robots.txt: This is a file that tells search engines NOT to crawl certain areas of your site. Why would you do that? You might have pages on your site that have useful information but are not required to be searched. By instructing Bots to crawl only specific content can improve your authority in search engine results.
SERP: Stands for Search Engine Results Page. A SERP is a page of results after you do a search.
HTML Sitemap: This is the visual sitemap on your site so visitors can easily navigate their way around all your sites pages. Promotes internal linking.
XML Sitemap: A hidden from view file map of all the different pages your site contains. It is simply to assist indexing so search engines can better understand your sites structure.
The Fold: Refers to the cut off point for content when you land on a site and before you start scrolling to see more. ‘Above the Fold’ is all the information visible above the cut-off point (the fold).
White Hat SEO: White hat SEO techniques are positive techniques that follow best practice to improve your site.