If you are starting your research into search engine optimization (SEO) to see how it can help you and your business you will likely have come across plenty of baffling terms and abbreviations. To help you, we have put together a list of commonly used terms that will make things a little easier to understand when doing your research.
Anchor Text – The text used in a link e.g. Toronto Developers – The anchor text is “Toronto Developers”
Above The Fold (ATF) – The visible area of a website on screen without having to scroll down. Some people never scroll so it is important to include elements you want visitors to see “above the fold”. In recent years with a multitude of device and screen sizes now available, this is becoming less of a concern.
AdWords – The previous name for Google Ads.
Back Link – Link on another page/site that points to the page/site in question. Effective link building is an essential SEO tool but creating spammy links pointing to your site in an attempt to game the system can do more damage than good. Back links are also referred to as inbound links or external links.
Bot – Refers to software that trawls the web. This can be used for multiple reasons, good and bad, by search engines to crawl and index sites and gather data, or spammers scraping email addresses and personal information. Bots are also referred to as robots or spiders.
CPA (Cost Per Action) – A form of advertising where you pay when an “action” is completed. An example would be you pay an affiliate when you make a sale from a visitor they send to you.
PPC (Pay Per Click) – A form of advertising where you pay when someone clicks an advert that brings them to your page. You pay for the click whether you make a sale or not. Google Ads is the most popular platform for this. The price you pay for the click is known as the Cost Per Click (CPC).
CTA (Call To Action) – An element on a page that asks the visitor to take an action. The most common CTAs add a product to your cart, fill in a form or subscribe. An effective call to action will increase conversion and make you more money.
CTA (Content Targeted Advertising) – PPC ads that appear on relevant websites as opposed to in the search results.
CTR (Click Through Rate) – The ratio of clicks compared to impressions. This is more commonly measured from PPC marketing and also clicks from the standard (organic) search results.
Conversion – The desired action is taken by a visitor. This could be a sale, form fill etc. Conversions should be one of the main focal points of effective internet marketing and continually monitored and tested for optimal performance.
Domain – This is the web address e.g. www.domainname.com, and is registered at a domain registrar. It will then need to be hosted by a hosting company to give it it’s own server space on the internet.
Meta Description – The description of the page. This is important for SEO and is also often shown in the search results so needs to be well written and enticing to increase CTR.
Meta Title – The title of the page (the html one not the visible title) – this needs to be keyword optimised yet still readable as this too appears in the search results but not on the actual webpage.
Meta Keywords – Although Google claims not to read meta keywords anymore, it is still good practice to have them present as part of your SEO.
Keywords – A keyword is anything someone will type into a search engine to try to find what they are looking for. Keyword research is crucial for an effective campaign so that you have the ability to rank for relevant terms that can bring you traffic and conversions.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – A means of transferring or editing data to a website. E.g. a new web page is to be created and is uploaded from your computer to the server at your web hosting company via FTP.
Google Ads – Google’s paid search platform where you pay for ads in the search results or on other websites etc. You pay per click.
Google Slap – Usually retaliation action by Google to punish a website or page that it has found to break its terms of service.
White Hat – Ethical internet marketing techniques that are in line with the search engine terms.
Grey Hat – Suspect internet marketing techniques.
Black Hat – Internet marketing techniques that violate search engine terms.
Onsite SEO – SEO that is performed on a website to optimize it for the search engines and the keywords you want to rank for.
Offsite SEO – SEO that is performed outside of the website to increase its ranking in the search engines or brand awareness.
Opt-In – Usually refers to email marketing and a visitor subscribing to the email list.
PR (Page Rank) – Google’s measure of authority/importance of a webpage.
PLR (Private Label Rights) – Allows you to use the product or content or whatever it refers to, in the way in which the terms specify.
Robots.txt – A file that sets out which pages of a site search engine spiders can visit (they don’t have to abide by this but usually do).
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – An all-encompassing term that includes SEO and paid campaigns (PPC etc).
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – The process of optimizing a website (both on and offsite) for the search engines so that it ranks for relevant and target keywords.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page) – the page you see when you search for a keyword in a search engine.
Traffic – The number of visitors to a website.
Viral – Where a piece naturally spreads widely and quickly around the internet through people sharing it, usually across social networks.