It can be hard to know what you need to do to make sure your website appears at the top of Google search results, and with 75% of people not scrolling past the first page, it’s critical to understand how SEO works in order to optimize your website for success.
By understanding the key terms related to SEO, you can ensure that your website is properly optimized and has a better chance of appearing at the top of Google results. So take a look at our ultimate glossary of SEO terms for beginners.
301 Redirect: This is a permanent redirect that tells search engines that a page has moved. It also helps to keep link equity when you move a page or change its URL.
Alt Attribute Text (or Alt Text): Alt text is typically used by screen readers to describe the image on your website. This text is also read by search engine crawlers and can help to boost your rankings.
Anchor Text: This is the visible text that links from one page to another. It helps search engines understand what the page linked to is about. Using relevant keywords in anchor text can boost your SEO and help your website rank on google.
Authority: Sometimes called DA or DR, authority is a measure of how influential a website is. Websites with high DA will usually appear higher in search engine results than sites with lower DA.
Backlinks: These are links from other websites that direct users to your website. They can help to boost your SEO by showing search engines that your website is important and relevant to others.
Backdoor Linking: This type of linking is done by using indirect methods to link from one page to another. It’s not recommended as it goes against Google’s best practices and can be seen as a form of spam by other search engines, negatively impacting your SEO.
Bots: These are automated programs that crawl websites, indexing pages and gathering information. This information is then used by search engines to determine the relevance of a webpage to certain keywords or phrases.
Breadcrumb Navigation: This is a type of website navigation that helps users and search engine crawlers to know where they are on a website. It usually shows the hierarchy of pages, starting from the homepage.
Canonical Tag: This is a type of HTML tag that tells search engines which page to use when multiple versions of the same webpage exist. It helps prevent duplicate content from negatively impacting your SEO.
Cloaking: This is a technique that shows different content to the bot crawlers than actually shows up in your browser. Most search engines view this kind of practice as a form of spam and it can negatively impact your SEO.
Deep Link: This is a link that goes directly to an internal page of your website rather than the homepage. Deep links help to spread the “link juice” around your site and can improve SEO.
Do Follow and No Follow: These are HTML attributes that tell search engines whether or not to follow a link. Do-follow links are the backlinks you want to get, since they help to boost SEO. No-follow links won’t help with SEO directly, but they still can be important for improving user experience and engagement.
Doorway Linking: This is a practice of sending users to a different page than they initially clicked on. Like cloaking, this practice is viewd as spam by search engines and can have a negative impact on your website’s SEO.
Headings: Sometimes referred to as H tags, these are used to organize content on a page and can help search engine crawlers understand the structure of your website. H1 is considered a title tag, H2 tags representing headings, and H3 tags are used for sub-headings.
Inbound Links: These are links from other websites that direct users to your website. They can help to boost your SEO by showing search engines that your website is considered important and relevant to others.
Indexing: This is when search engine bots crawl webpages and store information about them in their database so they can be found by users searching for specific keywords. Getting each blog post indexed by Google is the only way it will ever appear in the search rankings.
Index or No Index: These are HTML tags that tell search engine crawlers whether or not to index a particular page. If you don’t want your page to show up in search results, you can use the no index tag to block it from being indexed. No index tags are typically used for silo pages or other pages that offer duplicate content.
Keyword Density: This is a measure used to determine how many times a keyword appears on a webpage. Dividing the number of times your keyword is used by the total number of words on the page will give you your keyword density. It’s important to have a good keyword density in order to ensure your website shows up in search engine results. Too high a density can be considered keyword stuffing and goes against Google’s best practices.
Keyword Stuffing: This is an outdated practice of stuffing as many keywords into a webpage as possible in order to try to trick search engines into ranking a webpage higher in the SERPs. This practice is now highly discouraged by search engines and can have a significant negative impact on your website’s ranking.
Link Bait: This is content created with the intention of encouraging other websites to link back to it. While link bait sounds negative, it is actually an important part of SEO as it not only helps to get your website more visibility but it also shows search engines that your website is considered valuable and relevant by other webmasters.
Link Building: This is the practice of building inbound links from other websites to your own website. Done correctly, this can help to boost SEO by showing search engine crawlers that your website is considered; however, accruing a large number of black hat backlinks can have a negative impact on SEO.
Link Juice: This term refers to the power or authority that a website has. When a link is created, it passes some of its power or link juice to the destination webpage. Search engines use this link juice as an indication of how important and relevant your website is.
Long-Tail Keywords: These are keywords that are made up of three or more words and usually have less competition than shorter, more generic keywords. Long-tail keywords can be particularly effective for targeting niche audiences and providing more relevant search results.
Meta Description: This is a short description of your webpage that appears in the search engine result pages (SERPs). It’s often used as an opportunity for marketers to add persuasive content that encourages users to click through to their website.
Outbound Links: These are links from your website that direct users to other websites. Outbound links can help to build relationships with other websites and provide documentation to support any data or statistics cited in your articles. Both of which can be beneficial in terms of SEO.
Page Rank or Page Authority: This is a numerical value that search engines assign to web pages. It measures the authority of your webpage in terms of its content and its link profile. A higher page rank or page authority indicates that a webpage has more relevance and importance than other pages with a lower score and will likely rank higher in the SERPs.
Responsive Web Design: Responsive web design is the practice of designing websites that automatically adjust to fit any size device. Since the majority of users now access the internet from a mobile device, having a responsive web design ensures users can access your website and its content with ease.
SERP: This stands for Search Engine Result Pages and refers to the page of web results that a search engine provides in response to a user query. Optimizing your website or blog, so it appears higher up on SERPs is essential if you want to increase your website’s visibility.
Sitemaps: These are XML documents that contain all the pages on a website and their hierarchy. Sitemaps are used by search engine crawlers to discover new web pages and determine how to index them.
Understanding SEO terms can be intimidating for beginners, but it is essential if you want to get your website or blog noticed by search engines. By familiarizing yourself with the key concepts of SEO, you’ll be able to optimize your site correctly so that it appears higher up on SERP rankings. Investing time in learning these principles NOW will help ensure your success down the road!
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