SEO Glossary: SEO Terminology Simplified

SEO Terminology Written in Plain English

SEO Glossary: Helping Businesses Understand SEO Terminology

We created this SEO glossary, including marketing terminology too, in an effort to best service our clients’ needs. When speaking with businesses just like yours, we were alarmed by the number of CEOs and marketing executives who didn’t understand basic SEO. In keeping with our customer centric focus, we began writing SEO definitions to replace much of the ‘tech-talk’, with easy to understand SEO terminology.

You won’t find an SEO glossary like this one, as here, we fully answer your questions. Because SEO is so vast and complex, we decided to treat individual terms as a valuable subject to explore. If you have an SEO terminology question, please feel free to contact us.

SEO Glossary: SEO Language Written In Plain English

The MCM SEO Glossary defines complex SEO terminology in plain English. It was thoughtfully created for businesses wanting to better understand the world of SEO and Digital Marketing.

This SEO Glossary (and unlike other SEO glossaries) takes complex terms and concepts and ‘breaks them down’ into easy to understand language. One of the greatest problems we’ve seen firsthand, is how digital marketing companies cannot explain SEO terminology in plain English, or have simply chosen not to empower their clients.

We have spent countless hours explaining many of the technical SEO components in language that’s easy to comprehend, so that clients remain in control of their SEO strategies. Unlike like other SEO Glossaries and dictionaries, this one is written in plain English, created specifically for Business People, just like You!

Search Engine Optimization Glossary For Your Business Needs

What is SEO? Why do you need to better understand SEO terminology? To maintain your online presence, it’s essential to be better informed about the process and what is required to outperform your competitors online. Your website must deliver the value that today’s competitive marketplace demands. It’s imperative that you’re involved in your company’s SEO strategy. The MCM SEO Glossary demystifies the often arduous and tech-heavy language, helping you participate more fully in the success of your business.

SEO Terms Glossary – SEO Terminology Simplified

Anchor Text

My Content Marketer ⇐ The clickable words in a link is anchor text. The link provides a fast, convenient way for people to traverse a website. Anchor text provides both people and search engines with context about the information the webpage or website being linked to. 

Blog

A Blog is online published content, arranged in chronological order. Blog content can be written by individuals or groups. Personal blogs reflect more diarized content. Company blogs provide businesses with direct communication to their target demographic. Corporate blogs are also an incredibly useful SEO tool. To see an example of a company blog and better understand how a blog increases your traffic to your business, simply click on the Marketing SEO Blog

Bots

Bots are robots that crawl the internet trying to deliver you the most accurate results reflective of your unique search inquiry. To learn more about the technical aspect of how bots crawl webpages for keywords, go to “Keyword”

Broken Links

Broken Links are frustrating for website visitors and search engines alike. Due to the annoying 404 error message that many find, website visitors become distracted and often leave the website in search of a page that actually displays. You might wonder how broken links occur, how you can monitor, manage and avoid low SEO scores that affect rankings.

You might wonder how can there exist so many broken links. This is an aspect of technical SEO and it’s important to monitor and manage on a regular basis.

Branded Keyword

When a search query includes a brand name. Branded Keywords can be developed as part of strategic SEO marketing. For example, targeting the company’s exact brand name like “My Content Marketer”, or “MyContentMarketer.com”. Another example of a branded keyword is a variation or abbreviation of the brand’s name like “MCM”. 

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

A click through rate or CTR reflects the rate at which people click on an organic search result. This rate is expressed as a percentage. CTR is calculated by dividing the total number of organic clicks by the total number of impressions then multiplying by 100.

Coding Errors

Coding errors occur on the backend of a website and are visible on the frontend of a website. Coding errors occur for many reasons and require the appropriate technical ‘know-how’. 

Website visitors might see code appearing on the frontend of your website. Images and graphics might be missing from pages. There might be actual errors like typos that display as additional brackets or semicolons.

Why are coding errors detrimental for your website? They frustrate visitors to your website, often resulting in pages being abandoned. In addition, search engine bots report such errors, which negatively impact rankings.

 

Content

Content refers to any audio, visual or written information that is published online.

Content is one of the two most important Google ranking factors, hence we developed content centric seo. Search engines reward optimized content that is valuable, well-researched, unique, informative and better engages people. This can be measured via improved online visibility and web-traffic.

Content Centric SEO

Content Centric SEO means that a company is best satisfying their target demographic via their optimized content. Unlike some definitions suggesting that content centric seo ignores the wants and needs of audiences, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, how content is customer driven, is at the heart of customer centric seo. Content centric SEO is an extension of consumer centric seo. Caring about the quality and value attributed to your content and maximizing its visibility online is content centric seo. Quality content reflects the value attributed by consumers online.

 

Content Centric SEO Trivia: Did you know that the term Content Centric SEO was first used by Natalie Rebecca Hechtman, Founder of My Content Marketer in 2017?

Content Optimization

Content Optimization is the process of making website content easier to find for search engines. There is no point creating great content if it can’t be found online.

Content Optimization includes On-page SEO and Technical SEO knowledge. This is a specialized area and requires professional SEO writers in order for your content to be indexed and ranked.

Content optimization questions to consider:

Have sufficient Headings (H1-H5) been incorporated into your blog post? Is your target keyword and topic fully explored within the content? Have valuable and authority links been included? Have images, graphics, videos and animated content been optimized?

Many companies ask: Why isn’t our content ranking higher online? Contact the Content Optimization Experts 

Conversion

Conversion is the result of a desired online action. Conversion occurs when a person completes a desired action on a website. This can be transactional but doesn’t necessarily conclude in a financial transaction. Rather, the content has prompted the person traversing the website to take further action. For example,

  • Subscribing to a company’s blog
  • Booking a consultation
  • Downloading Content – guides, lists, ebooks, articles, whitepapers
  • Completing an online form (requesting a consultation, registering for an event)
  • Adding products to a shopping cart
  • Completing an online purchase
  • Content views – Are you reaching your target demographic and are they responding?

A better rate of conversion can be achieved via the creation of online parphernalia targeted to your ideal customer. For example, your digital marketing company devises ways to better convert online consumers into valued customers. 

Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis forms part of strategic marketing and is incorporated into professional SEO strategies.

Competitor Analysis includes information about:

  • Your direct competitors’ websites
  • Your indirect competitors’ websites
  • SEO initiatives
  • Digital marketing efforts
  • Ranking and positioning
  • Reviews, Comments

Thorough research and analysis is required so that your business can outperform the competition. For professional and strategic competitor analysis contact My Content Marketer

Crawlers

Crawlers, web-crawlers or bots are names associated with the process of crawling websites and gathering information. Search engine bots crawl the internet to find the best answer to your search request.

Customer Centric SEO

Customer Centric SEO places the customer at the centre of your SEO strategy.

Qn: What happens when we combine marketing fundamentals with search engine optimization?

A:  Customer Centric SEO

Customer Centric SEO Trivia: Did you know that Natalie Rebecca Hechtman, Founder of My Content Marketer coined the phrase customer centric SEO in 2017?

Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) refers to the overall ranking that is attributed to a website. This search engine ranking score is used to determine how likely a website will rank in search engine result pages (SERPS)

The domain authority score (between 0-100) was developed by Moz. To learn more, simply click on the following Domain Authority – How is it calculated?

Duplicated Content

Duplicated content is as the name suggests, content that is appearing online more than once. Duplicated content can occur on your own company website, which suggests you need the assistance of SEO professionals to address the issues.

Duplicated may be content that has appeared elsewhere online, on another webpage. In this example, it is the definition of plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism and Google penalties, ensure that you’re website is regularly matained and select your content marketers and content writers carefully.

Dwell Time

Dwell Time refers to the amount of time spent on a webpage after clicking the appropriate link in search results. A short dwell time often indicates low-quality content to search engines. This can lead to decreased rankings, which equates to less visibility and less website traffic. It is for this reason that content marketers and SEO strategists devise ways to increase the time spent on the webpage, signaling that the content is high-quality, relevant, unique and optimised.

 

The value attributed to a webpage reflects Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T pronounced EAT is a term that was created by Google. EEAT was developed to better determine the quality of a webpage.

E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust.

The value attributed to a webpage, reflects Google’s Quality Standards. To better understand, read Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

Engagement Metrics

How can you evaluate your campaigns and content initiatives? Engagement metrics afford you a greater insight into the success of your webpages and campaigns. Such metrics include:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on webpage/website
  • New vs. Returning visitors
  • Frequency
  • Dwell time
Keyword

A keyword is the target word, words or phrase that SEO professionals use to improve website visibility and website rankings.

What are people searching for? A keyword provides the pathway to the best and most accurate search results. 

From a technical perspective, a keyword is how bots evaluate and rank webpages. Search engines determine which pages are the most relevant to the search inquiry by listing them in order of value attributed in the organic SERPS. This is why a company’s target keyword is incorporated into all metadata in order for bots to be able to locate and rank your content. Without this vital data, referred to as ‘metadata’, all your incredible content marketing initiatives will be in vain. 

As keyword research and analysis has evolved, longtail keywords, consumer centric keywords, customer driven keywords and many other new categories have appeared.

My Content Marketer specialises in unique keyword language for your business. We build cross-promotional campaigns around your target keyword creatively, ensuring page #1 rankings. If you would like to develop your company’s unique keyword language, contact MCM.

Keyword Research and Analysis

Keyword Research and Analysis is a specific area of SEO work. Prior to selecting a keyword, or target keyword much research is undertaken to establish the value attributed to the chosen keyword. There is no use selecting a keyword that has little to no volume. Similarly, without an innovative and strategic approach there’s little to no use trying to compete for a keyword with a difficulty score of 70%. Many metrics are analysed during professional keyword research and analysis. 

Strategic Marketing is incorporated into professional SEO strategies. Competitor analyses also form a crucial component of the strategic SEO process. 

For businesses, keyword research and analysis provides incredible insights into your direct and indirect competitors. When this type of information is applied to your unique keyword strategy, the results are unwavering. Keyword Research and Analysis reveals a keyword’s search volume, the competition associated with outranking existing webpages and its inherent value for your business’ SEO strategy. 

 

My Content Marketer specialises in unique keyword language for your business. We build cross-promotional campaigns around your target keyword creatively, ensuring page #1 rankings. If you would like to outrank the competition, contact MCM.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword Stuffing is a practice used by unprofessional digital marketers and SEO companies trying to increase search rankings. You might have seen an example of keyword stuffing where a page is filled with a particular phrase. It’s unnatural, often displays the phrase repeatedly and the content reads poorly. Thankfully, since the Google Algorithm became more sophisticated, the spammy websites containing keyword stuffing have been minimised. To deter people from using these tactics, Google deemed the pratice, against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

 

My Content Marketer specialises in the creation of unique keyword language for your business. If you would like to outrank the competition, contact MCM.

KPI

KPI stands for key performance indicator. A KPI is a type of performance measurement. Questions arise such as, are we meeting our target goals? How can we quantify our business’ performance? KPIs reveal whether targets, goals and objectives are being reached. 

This quantifiable measure of performance help businesses gauge progress and provide insights into organisational behaviour. 

 

Landing Page

A landing page is a Webpage:

  • that a website visitor has ‘landed on’
  • that’s specifically designed to generate leads or conversions

With branded SEO strategies, a landing page should be your company’s homepage. To learn more

 

Links

What is a link? A pathway between two websites. Search Engines evaluate and rank websites based on the quality of these links. 

Links can be:

  1. internal
  2. external

1. A thoughtful internal linking structure is crucial both for website visitors and search engines. How efficient is your website’s linking structure? Is it a pleasure for people to navigate or is it arduous traversing the website? We can quantify this via metrics such as dwell time (time on the page).

A successful and efficient internal linking structure pleases both website visitors and search engines, resulting in decreased bounce rates and increased dwell time.

2. External links provide search engines with a way of evaluating your webpage. Backlink strategies must be thoughtful and ensure that your website is only linking to trusted sources. Google is like your mother warning you about the company you keep, so choose wisely.

 

How can your company improve its linking structure?  To learn more

Link Building

What is Link Building? This is an SEO strategy used to improve your business’ online visibility and organic search rankings. An SEO professional strategises ways to encourage other trusted websites to link to your company’s website. These backlinks must be relevant to your niche. 

Examples of Link Building Techniques:

  • Contacting media outlets, bloggers and influencers
  • Creating High-quality articles to encourage natural editorial links
  • Developing partnerships with like-minded companies
  • Creating strategic partnerships with brands
  • Adding your website to online directories
  • PR and strategic marketing initiatives 

Unfortunately there are still many companies that try to lure in unsuspecting victims with their ‘link building’ strategies. These are NOT Google approved and will result in spammy links and potentially a decrease in rankings.

Never Buy Backlinks. This is against Google Guidelines and “can lead to lower ranking or being completely omitted from Google Search results”.

To better understand Google’s Website Guidelines, review the Google Search Essentials, formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines.

 

How can your company improve its linking strategy?  To learn more

Local SEO

A business needs to be optimized for local searches. Many people use the following term “near me” at the conclusion of their search query. How does Google prioritize local listings? 

What is Google My Business? What are Google Reviews? What impact do these make on your local SEO strategy?

The local optimization process delivers incredible results for businesses. Read a review from one of our valued clients. This shows the incredible difference that local SEO makes on physically finding a location and being recommended by Google. 

Meta Description

A Meta Description is the text that appears in search results. This short paragraph is used for both potential website visitors and search engines to better understand the webpage’s content.

A meta description is also referred to as a “snippet that appears in the search results”. 

Professional SEO copywriters ensure that the webpage’s content is reflected in the meta description and often include CTA’s to encourage Lead Generation and Conversion. (Please refer to SEO Glossary)

Off-Page SEO

What is Off-Page SEO? This is everything that your business does both online and in the real world that positively impacts your SEO strategy. Your unique keyword language is strategically incorporated in all communications initiatives. Backlinks strategies are also included in this diverse area of SEO. Others include public relations, blog writing, interviews, guest posts, social media campaigns, events, community outreach and cross promotional campaigns.

On Page SEO

On-Page SEO reflects best structural and technical SEO techniques. What is the difference between an H1 and H3 heading? How many headings should be included in a piece of content. How many times should your target keyword be mentioned? What are long-tailed keywords? what’s a featured image? What’s an optimized image? What is optimized content? All of these questions and many more are considered when creating the perfectly optimized page.

Do you need help with your website pages and improving SEO rankings? Contact MCM

Optimized Images

What is an optimized image? There are 2 compenents to the correct optimization of images.

  1. The first relates to image metadata. What does the meta data associated with your images tell people? Does your business create branded content to better help people find your business through image searches? Do your images contain the selected keyword, meta description and SEO-friendly titles?
  2. Images must be optimized for size. This often involves compression and resizing of individual images in accordance with professional guidelines. Images that are not optimized is one of the major causes of slow loading and slow performing websites. 
Organic SEO

Organic SEO is an SEO technique that improves your website’s rankings strategically. Unlike with paid SEO, organic SEO affords companies a long-lasting and customized solution. Rankings will not disappear the moment the ad campaign ends. Keywords and their rankings grow and evolve naturally overtime. Results are unwavering including #1 positions, when a thoughtful and comprehensive organic SEO strategy is implememented.

My Content Marketer offers organic SEO. We achieve the desired results without the need for any ads. Why should your business develop a long-term SEO strategy that’s organic in nature? There is a plethora of a reasons but here’s a few:

Organic SEO

  • Grows exponentially over time
  • Delivers your target demographic to you
  • Rankings are secure – paid SEO is not
  • People often ignore ads and no longer trust them

Would you like to work together with strategic marketers and professional SEO consultants to develop a long-term Organic SEO strategy for your business? My Content Marketer specializes in organic and customer centric SEO.

Page Speed

How long does it take for a specific webpage to load completely? This can be determined via the speed of the page. Page Speed is a ranking factor, as Google wants to ensure the best experience for website visitors and who wants to wait endlessly for a page to load? In an effort to combat this frustratiung error, Google penalises websites for poor performance and speed.

Position Zero

Position Zero was referred to as the holy grail, the most coveted position online. Google selects which webpages are deserving of this honor. Position zero, or featured snippet means that you’re ranked above all organic seo results (SERPS) You might have seen a special block above the organic search results appearing in a larger font. Sometimes videos, images and graphics are included. A link to the webpage is prominently displayed and unlike other ranking positions, position zero remains fixed, or until such time as which your competitors are better answering the question posed.

Ranking

Rankings refer to where a specific webpage appears in organic search results, in order of relevance and accuracy.

Ranking Factors

Ranking Factors are factors that will either positively or negatively affect rankings. Where a specific webpage appears in organic search results, is how it is ranked in order of relevance, value attributed and accuracy.

It’s important to remember, there are many factors that affect rankings. Only after conducting a professional website audit, site crawl, including thorough SEO and website analysis can this question be answered.

However, in general, the following will negatively impact your website and its rankings:

  • Non https, which means the website is not secure and only reflects http
  • Poor page load time
  • Plagiarism in terms of content
  • Bad links that have often been purchased and or have no relevance to your website (refer to “Links” and “Link Building” in the SEO Glossary for more information)
  • Thin content, a lack of valuable, engaging, quality content that engages people
Responsive Website

A responsive website is device friendly. It automatically and accurately displays webpages on desktops, tablets and phones. 

Search Query

A Search Query is a word, words, phrases or question entered into a search engine as a search request.

Sitemap

A Sitemap is a technical map of a website. A sitemap enables search engines to understand the website’s structure and content. Updating a website’s sitemap is essential for accurate web results. For example, search engines are alerted to a change in the website’s primary menu or a new post being added.

Strategic SEO

Strategic SEO ensures your business is best meeting the wants and needs of your target demographic. SEO is fiercely competitive and with ever-changing algorithms, it’s imperative to develop a comprehensive long-term strategy. Irrespective of improved markers such as E-E-A-T,(Refer to SEO Glossary) webpages improve or remain unchanged. This is due to a thoughtful and strategic approach that values competitive anlyses, marketing and customer centric SEO.

SSL Certificate

An SSL Certifcate is a secure digital certificate used to verify and authenticate a website. Information is encrypted and uses secure sockets layer technology.

http vs https – in 2017 Google began penalising websites for not being secure.

Thin Content

Thin Content is website content that lacks value and quality, often poor structure is evident too. Not only is thin content incredibly frustrating for people but it’s also deemed unsatisfactory by search engines and is a ranking factor. Some companies, in an effort to make content and be competitive, incorrectly produce thin content. This is to be avoided.

Why is thin content penalised? Imagine performing a search query, landing on the recommended page and discovering that it lacks content! What an utter waste of time! Thin content reflects a lack of valuable, engaging, quality content that engages website visitors. Google wants to deliver a good experience and thin content is the antithesis of this. 

It might even surprise you to learn that Google’s expected word counts are much higher than many think. Creating thousands of words of optimised content, adding value, creating a more immersive experience for people, increases rankings.

MCM maintains a strategy of quality over quantity. It’s more important to write fewer blogs in favour of ones that are dense and rich in information, that fully explore the chosen topic. This is useful for readers and your metrics will reflect the value attributed to the content. 

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the process of making a website optimized for search engines to crawl, index and rank. Technical SEO is an important part of a professional SEO strategy, and it’s imperative to conduct website maintenance on an on-going basis.

A website audit reveals technical SEO errors, such as duplicate content. A link assessment is another technical SEO technique that is performed regularly to ensure there are no broken or improper links. 

USP

USP refers to Unique Selling Proposition, also known as Unique Selling Point. How is your brand differentiated from your competitors? What is unique about your brand’s offering to customers? What makes your product or service better than competing brands?

Knowing your brand and what distinguishes it from competitors, is essential for your marketing strategies.

Website Audit

What is a website audit and why is it imperative for your business? A website audit ensures the health, performance and security of your website. Additionally, an SEO website audit idenitifies technical errors that neagtively impact your website’s ranking. These include duplicated content, missing meta data, broken links, incorrect meta tags. Depending on the type of website audit you select, this is the best way to see how Google views your website. Website audits can also reveal all the opportunities that exist online for your company, and compared with your competitiors. Keyword rankings, SEO content strategies, value attributed to the content created and many other factors are included in professional website and SEO audits.

Website Backend

A Website Backend refers to the adminstration area of a website. Think of the backend as the brain of the website, and the frontend as the face of the website. The backend is not visible to website visitors. This is where all the coding for the website exists. It’s important that you only allow qualified people to alter the backend of a website, in order to avoid catastrophes.

If you’re using WordPress (there are 810 million websites using WordPress, as of 2023) then you’re familiar with the admin login area. This is the backend and is most often used by web developers, web designers, SEO content specialists and SEO copywriters who are tech-savvy.

Website Frontend

A Website Frontend refers to the part of the website that’s visible online. Think of the frontend as the face of the website, whereas the backend can be likened to the brain of the website. The frontend is visible to website visitors. 

Like the old adage, “You have but one opportunity to make a first impression”. Your website speaks for your brand, which is why the frontend of your website is so important. Does your website reflect your brand? What is the look and feel of your website? Have you included your company logo, colour scheme? Is your selected design and layout in keeping with your brand? 

Voice Search

How do Alexa, Siri and Google know a business when you interact with your device assistant? This is voice search. We began optimizing for voice search in 2019 and have made our clients very pleased that their companies are recognized by the sound of your voice.

Does Your Business Have A Unique SEO Strategy?

My Content Marketer’s Customised SEO Packages Include:

Website Evaluation

A company’s website is its greatest sales tool. However, in order for it to be found by search engines and ranked highly, it must be optimised
We evaluate your website fully using a range of analytical tools ensuring it’s properly optimised and in accordance with best SEO techniques. Additionally, we consider the user experience and therefore analyse the frontend of the website, considering aspects such as user appeal and user-friendliness.

Comprehensive Website Audits

Maintaining your website and monitoring SEO is vital. Our SEO experts perform regular website audits, site crawls and link analyses to ensure the optimal health of your website and optimisation efforts.
Our professional SEO specialists are patient and explain everything in easy to understand language. Providing screenshots, reports and emails, means that you’re part of the SEO strategy and its implementation.

SEO Content and Copywriting

Quality content that best engages visitors to your website is crucial. Our content creators employ best SEO practices, reflective of engaging, valuable, in-depth and unique content.
While content is a ranking factor, quality content is not merely about satisfying search engines. Valuable content helps you attract prospective customers, retain loyal customers and differentiate your business from competitors.

Competitor Analysis

Comprehensive Competitor Analysis is vital in today’s fiercely competitive environment. A thorough SWOT analysis combined with best SEO techniques, provides your business with a competitive advantage. We analyse your direct and indirect competitors’ websites, SEO initiatives, digital marketing efforts and positioning. Thorough research and analysis is required so that your business can outperform the competition.

Keyword Research and Analysis

MCM’s comprehensive keyword research and analysis follows best SEO practices. We help your business develop its own unique keyword language, in alignment with your business and target demographic.
Our keyword strategy reflects actual phrases your customers enter as search requests to attract prospective customers, who are in different stages of the sales funnel.

Authentic Link Acquisition

We only use Google approved methods in our link acquisition strategies. Backlinks are authentic, relevant to your business, industry and reflective of high authority sites.
MCM’s marketing expertise helps your business build real backlinks via strategic alliances, branding, outreach and other methods that also improve your business relationships and create a point of difference.

“A website that isn’t optimized is like standing in a shopping centre waving your arms but no one can see you”

Natalie Rebecca Hechtman Founder, My Content Marketer

SEO Glossary That Demystifies Complex SEO Language

Our SEO Glossary was created to demystify complex SEO language for businesses. Technical jargon has been problematic for CEOs and executives, which is why we’ve simplified definitions and terminology.

This SEO dictionary is the culmination of many years of questions we’ve been asked. We help companies better understand the search engine optimization process via our unique seo-made-easy approach.

Remember to check back, as MCM’s SEO glossary is constantly growing and evolving, much like the field of SEO itself.

Search Engine Optimization Glossary Graphic

If you think you’ve mastered the basics of SEO language and want to challenge yourself technically, then review the Google SEO Starter Guide.  Please note, the aforementioned is directly from Google and requires specific technical knowledge. If you need assistance better understanding SEO, contact My Content Marketer

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