To help you deal effectively with SEO marketing services, I have provided below some popular SEO terminologies with their meanings. The definitions are aimed at helping small business owners effectively communicate with SEO geeks; so read through them carefully to gain an understanding of SEO.
- Search Algorithm –
In the SEO world, search algorithm refers to the software program that a search engine uses to retrieve relevant web pages from its database of websites. This is basically a set of rules and formulas followed by a search engine to determine the importance of a web page to a particular search query. Google, for example, considers over 200 guidelines or factors when ranking sites.
- On-page or On-site SEO –
In my understanding, on-site SEO is basically the practice of making your website friendly to search engines. In other words, it’s the process of making it easy for search engines to access, understand and index your site in their databases with the aim of showing up in relevant search engine result pages. On-site SEO involves the things you can control on your website such as usability, content quality and the use of keywords.
- Off-page, Off-site, or Link Building –
Unlike on-page SEO which happens on your website, off-site SEO refers to the things you can do outside your website to increase its popularity and improve its search engine rankings. Although I consider link building to be the most important off-page SEO technique, other activities like social networking and social bookmarking are vital as well.
- Indexing – Indexing refers to the process of listing web pages in search engine databases. An index is another name for the databases used by search engines to store information about web pages. Once a web page is indexed, it can thereafter be found by search engine users. Otherwise, your website cannot be discovered in search engine results until it’s indexed.
- SERP (Search Engine Result Page) – A search engine result page is the page with clickable links returned by Google and other search engines in response to a user query. SERP usually contain two types of content – organic search results and paid results. Organic search results are the listings that appear because they closely match the searched query while paid results are basically the accompanying advertisements.
- Long Tail Keywords – In SEO, Keywords are the words or phrases that people use to search information on the internet. Long tail keywords are the phrases with two or more words that are very specific to what a user is searching for. I like to go after long tail keywords in my SEO campaigns because they are usually easier to rank for in comparison to the common one-word keywords, and the people who use them are very specific about what they’re looking for.
- Title Tags – Title tags refer to the HTML element that define the title of a web page. Title tags are one of the important on-page SEO factors because they help identify the content of a web page. You will usually see web page titles in the top bar of internet browsers or in search engine result pages as the clickable headline for a give result. Besides SEO, title tags are important for usability and social sharing.
- Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that describe the contents of a web page. They are usually displayed in search engine result pages as preview snippets for a given web page. Meta descriptions are considered important in SEO because they act as advertising copy to draw users to your website from the SERPs. In other words, a well-written Meta description will help convince or persuade people to click through to your site from the SERPS.
- 404 Error – The 404 error, or the 404 Not Found, is a HTTP status code used to indicate that the web page you are looking for could not be found on the server. There are several reasons you could encounter this error. It could be that you typed the wrong URL or that the page has been moved or removed and the URL not changed appropriately.
- Canonicalization – Canonicalization refers to an SEO best practice applied when multiple URLs lead to the same individual web page. Canonicalization is particularly important to websites with pages of content that appear in multiple locations on the internet. In such cases, canonicalization helps identify the dominant version of the content that should be shown to searchers. It helps avert issues with duplicate content.
- Backlink – When another website links to yours, it’s called a backlink. In SEO, backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors as they help show search engines the popularity and relevancy of a web page. In my experience, the best backlinks are those that come from authoritative or trustworthy sites that are topically related to yours.