A beginner’s guide to key SEO terms

SEO termsIf you’re confused by terms like “PPC” and “CTR” – and completely baffled by “tags” and “bounce rates” – this beginner’s guide to key SEO terms is for you.

Whether you’re a small business owner with your own website or you work in a large marketing department, it’s essential these days to be au fait with basic SEO terminology.

Even if SEO isn’t your specific responsibility, familiarisation with key SEO terms will help you talk to others in the same language.

This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive – I’m sure I’ll add to it over the coming months – but it should give you a good starting point.

General SEO terms

Anchor text = visible, clickable text in a hyperlink

Keyword/keyphrase = words or phrases someone types into a search engine to find what they’re looking for

Keyword density = percentage of times a keyword appears on a web page compared to the page’s total word count

Landing page = any web page that a visitor can ‘land’ on, usually created around a focused keyword

Optimisation = to achieve maximum number of conversions at minimal cost

Organic (or natural) search = free web page listings that most closely match the user’s search query based on relevance

PPC (pay per click) = form of online advertising where the advertiser pays a pre-determined amount each someone clicks on their ad in the search results

SEO (search engine optimisation) = process of improving the ranking of a website or web page in a search engine’s organic search results

Types of tags

Alt tag = every image on your website should be given a description incorporating the relevant keywords

HTML header tags (H1, H2 etc) = help readers and search engines by breaking up your content into digestible sections

Meta description = gives search engines a bit more insight into what your page is about and appears in search results, underneath the title tag

Title tag = tells search engines what the page is about (e.g. Freelance Copywriter | Warwickshire | Every Word Counts)

Link building

There are three types of links: inbound/outbound, internal/external and hyperlinks

Hyperlinks = usually underlined and in a bright colour, these allow users to click from one web page to another

Internal links = help search engines learn more about your website by internally linking to other pages on your website

Inbound external links (also called backlinks) = links pointing to your site from other websites

Outbound external links = links from your website to other sites

Website analytics

Bounce rate = percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page

Click through rate (CTR) = percentage of people viewing a web page who click on a specific advert or link that appears on the page

Conversion = when a visitor to your website takes the desired action (e.g. buys product, downloads a white paper, completes an enquiry form)

Conversion rate = number of conversions divided by number of visitors

The next step

If you’d like to put some of these SEO terms into practice, this Kissmetrics blog provides a great step-to-step guide. And if you’re looking for some help with SEO copywriting, give me a shout. I’ve lots of experience in this area and would be happy to be of assistance!

(image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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