SEO Glossary: Essential Terms You Need to Know
If you’ve arrived on this page you probably know what the acronym SEO stands for (don’t worry if you don’t, you’re sure to find out below). However, there’s a lot of technical lingo out there that you may not be familiar with, that can be helpful in understanding search engine optimization. Whether you’re new to the field or trying to brush up on your skills, mastering these must-know SEO terms is crucial for the success of your website. Don’t worry, as after reading this SEO dictionary you’ll be as wise as the SEO Wix himself.
Note: words that are bolded in the text mean they are defined somewhere else in the glossary.
Without further ado, let us present you with the ultimate SEO glossary filled with the essential terms you need to know:
Accelerated Mobile Pages
AMP (for the cool kids) is a mechanism that allows your blog pages to load super fast on mobile devices, when clicked on from Google search results, thanks notably to a ‘lighter’ HTML. Implementing AMP on your blog is an SEO best practice, and actually really easy to do if you have a blog on Wix. See how it’s done here.
Adwords is an online advertising service developed by Google. It enables anyone to place paid ads on Google’s search results by bidding on certain keywords. It also includes a handy tool, called Keyword Planner that lets you understand how popular keywords are by discovering their average monthly searches.
Essentially, an algorithm is a specific set of rules defined in order to solve problems in an automated way. Search engines use algorithms to discover pages on the web and rank them in the most relevant way for the searchers. It’s known that Google’s algorithm includes over 200 signals or ‘rules’ that are taken into account when deciding a web page’s fate in search results (such as your SEO title, backlinks to your website, and more).
Short for alternative text. Alt text is a textual element that provides search engines with information about your images. Google and other search engines can’t see images like we do, this is why it’s necessary to add text to help them understand what’s on photos, graphs and other pics. As a result, adding alt text makes it possible for your images to be found on Google Images Search – which can help bring more traffic to your website. Make sure you check this guide if you want to be an alt text pro.
Anchor text is the clickable text that is used to link to a different page, on your website or an external web address. Most of the time, the anchor text appears blue and underlined.
Backlinks (also known as incoming links, inbound links and inward links) are links that point towards your website, from other websites. Backlinks are like votes of confidence; the more votes you have – from quality websites – the better your site appears to search engines. A smart way to start collecting backlinks is by trying these outreach techniques.
Black hat technique
In SEO, a black hat technique involves any way of trying to improve your ranking that is not aligned with search engines’ guidelines. These may include keyword stuffing, link schemes and more. Are you an SEO sinner? Don’t be.
A blog can be either a whole website or a section of a website in which articles are published on a regular basis within a certain topic or theme. It’s usually a place where individuals or small companies share tips and observations, along with related images and links. Creating a blog is a great way to continuously publish content in order to get crawled more frequently by search engines and stay fresh as an SEO daisy.
The rate of visitors that enter your website and choose to leave after viewing only one page, and ‘bounce’ away. A high bounce rate will negatively impact your SEO.
A bot or robot is any type of programmed application that is able to run automated tasks. Search engines bots, (also known as spiders or crawlers for example, Googlebot) are tasked with scouring the web and scanning websites’ pages. From there on, a massive database or index is generated of all sites that have been crawled. These catalogs are then consulted when compiling search engine results.
Click Through Rate
The click through rate (CTR) is the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. Usually referred to in SEO when talking about the number of clicks a page gets over the impressions the same page receives on the search engine results page (SERP). For example, if your last blog article appeared 1,200 times on Google and was clicked 40 times, its CTR is 40/1,200 = 0.03, that is 3%.
In SEO, content refers to any type of meaningful piece of information displayed on your website. This can either be copy, images, videos, infographics, etc. High-quality content is one of the main factors that will positively impact your ranking. To evaluate the quality, search engines look at specific criteria.
To be well-ranked, your content has to be:
1. informative and useful to the reader
2. unique (which means that duplicating text from another site is a no-no)
3. fresh (that is to say new, or regularly updated)
Check this out to get some more concrete content ideas for your website or blog.
When referring to your website, conversion means that the defined goal of a website is accomplished by the visitor. A goal can be defined as: a purchase made, an enquiry email sent, an email list subscription, etc. Conversion is the ultimate goal behind an SEO strategy. The more SEO optimized your website is, the more organic traffic you’ll get, and the more people will convert.
Crawling is what a search engine bot does when it reads the code of a website’s page. Once a web page is ‘crawled’, the information is kept in a massive index that is then used to bring up search engine results.
An online categorization and listing of websites compiled by humans. In local SEO, online directories such Yelp, Google My Business, etc. are used to promote businesses in their respective local communities.
The domain of your website is basically your address on the Web – you know, yoursite.com. Having the right domain name can have a strong impact on your SEO. Here’s a guide to choosing the perfect domain name for your website. Remember that the domain is without the ‘www’, while a URL is written with the ‘www’.
A metric developed by Moz that is used to give a score to a website’s SEO ranking ability. The factors that make up Domain Authority are popularity, links, trust rank and more.
Identical content that appears in more than one place on the web, which causes search engines to show only one of the links with this content. The question is debatable, but some SEO experts tend to believe that search engines can penalize your website for duplicate content, so it’s extremely important that all content is original, relevant and of quality.
A hyperlink from one domain that points to an external domain. For example, you create an external link everytime that you refer to a Wikipedia article on your website.
Fetch as Google
A feature in Google Search Console in which you can simulate what a Googlebot actually ‘sees’ or crawls on your page. Extremely convenient to spot bugs or errors that might affect your website’s SEO.
A SERP feature in which a result is shown at the top of the page in a special dedicated box which includes more text and visual elements. Also known as result 0, because they appear before any other organic results. These types of results tend to get more clicks than others, because of the prime real estate and eye-catching format. Featured snippets are one of the most prominent SEO trends of 2018.
Like you really need an explanation for this one.
Verb – To google something means to search for information about something or someone on the Internet, using the Google search engine. Noun –A multinational technology company, specializing in Internet-related services and products. It’s most known product is the Google Search.
A software developed by Google that enables you to track all sorts of information on your website, such as the traffic your receive, its sources, the behavior of visitors, their bounce rate and more. It also lets you compare past data to present, so you can assess your website’s growth, strengths and weaknesses. Not sure where to start? Luckily, we created a guide on how to use Google Analytics like a boss.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service provided by Google for website owners. Verifying your website with GSC is considered an SEO best practice. Once you claim ownership, you’ll get access to a plethora of tools to help you optimize your website (crawl reports, ability to submit a sitemap, etc.). It will also provide you with valuable information, such as the amount of impressions on search results, amount of clicks and your position for certain keywords.
Google Webmaster Guidelines
Kind of like the bible of SEO. The Webmaster Guidelines by Google is a support doc in which all the best, as well as illicit practices for optimizing a website, are outlined. It states that following their guidelines will help Google find, index and rank your site.
Heading tags (from H1 to H6) are the “SEO terms” for titles and headlines. They are great for giving your pages structure and hierarchy. Adding heading tags makes your content easily readable by site visitors as well as by Google’s bots – which means better SEO for your website.
Or simply a link, is a connection from one web page, document or element to another web page.
This refers to the practice of optimizing everything that is related to your images, photos or other types of graphics. How to improve it? Fill in your alt text, add more textual elements around your images such as captions, and don’t forget to make sure your images are optimized to load quickly on your website. Or just use the Wix Pro Gallery.
A hyperlink from an external source/website that is directed to your website. Synonymous with a backlink.
Verb – One of the automated tasks of a search engine bot, in which a copy of a website’s page is saved in a massive database or library. Noun – A search engine database which includes all URLs and the files within them. A search engine will first crawl your site, and then index it.
The links that are located within the same site or domain. They are hyperlinks that can be used to improve a site’s usability and improve navigation between pages and sections.
The number of people that see an item. In SEO, impressions often refer to the number of people that see your web page in the search results.
Not your regular O.J. The kind of juice we are talking is of the SEO variety. SEO juice refers to the ranking ability or SEO ‘power’ that a web page contains, and that it can pass on to other websites with the help of links.