Unless your work is in SEO, digital marketing, or the like, listening to someone talk about search engine optimization can sometimes be like listening to someone speak in a foreign language. You may occasionally hear a word that you recognize, but for the most part you have no idea what that person is saying. You recognize a question by the inflection of their voice, and respond by slowly nodding your head and masking your bewilderment with a blank stare.
Nearly every profession has specialized language, so there’s no reason to be embarrassed when you don’t understand the jargon. Typically, professionals are aware of the fact that you probably don’t know what their secret language means, and they will try to speak in more general terms.
However, sometimes there’s no way around using the vocabulary. Here’s a brief SEO glossary to help you understand the meanings of some common SEO terms.
- SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the practice of improving the searchability of information. It’s producing content that helps search engines recognize your information as a valuable and credible resource. SEO can include things such as keyword research, analytics, custom web content, social media, link building, and more.
- A keyword is a word or a phrase that best identifies what a post is about, or what you anticipate your audience to search for. Search engines use keywords to help users find the most relevant information to their search.
- An algorithm is an established set of rules that a search engine uses to find information. An algorithm determines how valuable or pertinent a page is to a particular search query, and may include things such as a page’s rank, whether or not a site is mobile-friendly, and the quality of the content on a page.
- The word “blog” is a shortening of “weblog”, which is a regularly updated source of content. Blogs are essential to SEO as search engines, like Google, value regular content.
- You can think of a conversion as accomplishing a goal. If you want people to sign up for a newsletter, each sign up is a conversion. If you want people to click through to your site, each click is a conversion. Conversions can help measure the effectiveness of an SEO or digital marketing strategy.
- Inbound Link
- An inbound link is a link on someone else’s website that directs traffic to your website.
- Long Tail (keyword)
- Long tail is essentially a longer and more precise type of keyword. Long tail keywords are typically viewed as more valuable. People don’t tend to search in brisk one-word queries. For example, a person is more likely to search, “places to buy handcrafted candies” rather than just, “candy store”.
- SERP stands for search engine results page. This is the page that you see after you enter a query on a search engine.
- If you’ve ever been stuck bumper to bumper with a seemingly endless line of cars on your way to work, you probably view traffic as a bad thing; however, in SEO, traffic is a good thing. Traffic is the number of people who visit your site. The more traffic you have, the better.
- Meta Description
- A meta description is kind of like an abstract for a web page. It tells you what the page is about and lets people know what type of information they can find there. Meta descriptions are important because they make your pages more searchable, but they also help in getting people to click through to your pages.