Know the SEO Terms: Essential Guide For Small Business Owners Having no Technical Knowledge
You probably heard about the term SEO, know the importance of it or maybe taking SEO service from freelancer or any agency but lack the in-depth knowledge about all the technical terms they say.
In this brief guide, I am going to explain all the technical terms in a simple way so that the next time when you hear the terms don’t get confused.
Before that let me introduce my self.
I am Manoj Maity, an SEO / SEM executive, having 2 years of experience.
I have worked with different organizations like water treatment, e-commerce, educational service providers.
Ranked their websites, increased traffic and generated leads that gave their business a boost.
1. What is search engine
The search engine is a kind of programme, that enables a user to search some information ( image, text, webpages, videos or anything ) using a word, number or symbols to retrieve data in its database.
Some of the popular search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo. These works only online. They help us to find those data mentioned above from the previously indexed websites found in the world wide web.
Global Market Share of Google
2. What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimization of webpages to appear on the top ten results of Google or any other search engines.
SEO needs a great understanding of how a search engine works, what people are searching on the internet, why they are searching.
Although Google never shares SEO ranking factors, SEO pros around the world found after research that Google sees more than 200 factors of a website to provide it with the best suitable rank on its search page.
Know more about SEO here.
3. How SEO Works
A search engine’s only task is to find the best result and show it to its user.
It does in three steps. They are: Crawling, Indexing and Ranking
Some data of search engine and future in 2019 ( infographics ) to show its importance
4. Search engine algorithm
In computer programming, Algorithm is a set of rules created to solve a particular problem.
A search engine is also a computer programme. A search engine algorithm decides which webpages to be shown to a user when he types a certain keyword or search term.
In SEO this algorithm keeps changing ( almost every day for Google ). Their sole purpose is to satisfy the search engine used by showing the best possible result.
An SEO executive must update your webpages according to the changing algorithm otherwise spending time and money for ranking will not be fruitful.
This is why SEO should be done on a long term basis to see a stable result.
5. White hat SEO
It is the legitimate method for doing SEO.
It means using optimizing techniques and strategies focusing on the human being.
In this method, an SEOs strictly follows the rules and regulations provided by Google. It has no risk of getting a penalty from Google.
This method takes a long time, at least 6-7 months to see any result, but once ranked it stays there for a long time.
6. Black hat SEO
In search engine optimization (SEO) terminology, black hat SEO refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience, and usually does not obey search engines guidelines.
7. Grey hat SEO
This SEO strategy involves both the White hat and black hat SEO.
It is riskier than a white hat but your site may not get banned by google since it is not purely black hat. It is a mix of both, more white hat and a few are black hat.
This method workes till a few years back. Now google’s algorithm is getting stricter every single day. So sticking with the White Hat Method is best.
SEO is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Web hosting or simply hosting is placing your website files ( that includes HTML, CSS, JS and its contents like images, videos, texts and others ) on the storage of some special computers to be available on the internet 24X7.
This is something like storing music, images or videos on a memory card on our phones to access later.
These large computers are called web server.
Web hosting is a company that physically stores such computers at one location. It is sometimes referred to as Data centres.
Besides these, a web host company provides required software, security, customer support and bandwidth which connects your website to the internet.
Just like you rent a place to set up your business, a web host company rents the spaces on their web server to place your website files to be available on the internet.
There are different hosting solutions for different kinds of websites.
The pricing of hosting depends on the amount of space you need to host your website, the amount of bandwidth you need, your website technology and any extra services like privacy, SSL etc.
The bandwidth is the amount of data transfer per month when a visitor visits your website, web servers send the required webpages and its files to be shown at their computers.
If you have more visitors visiting the website, you need a good amount or go for an unlimited plan which is good for your business.
A domain name also called Web address or URL ( Uniform Resource Locator ). It’s like your company or business name.
It acts as an address of your website on the internet. This web address is a URL. If someone has this domain name, he can easily find your business on the internet. In other words, they can access your web page and it’s contents ( video, image, texts etc.).
Your website is an ordered fashion of your webpages and contents.
Just like we use coordinate to find a place on the map, internet users use this domain name as URL to find your website located in a server computer ( host ).
Each of the devices that are connected to the internet, has an IP address. These IP addresses are a series of numbers like 200.402.34.23 etc.
When you create a website and host it on the internet it is also assigned an IP address as well.
But for a human being, the numbers are not easy to remember. So, the domain name was developed to be used to identify.
A domain name can be a combination of letters and numbers. This is unique. No two website can have the same domain numbers.
A domain name has two parts. First, the part is followed by a dot (.) part after which comes the TLDs ( Top level domains ).
This TLD part represents the group to which the domain name belongs.
For example: .gov, .nic, .in etc represents government, national informatic centre and Indian websites.
The IP address behind the domain name backgrounds is converted into a recognisable alphanumeric domain name by a system called DNY or Domain Name System.
A domain name registrar company manages the reservations of the internet domain name.
10. Traffic or Visitor
Traffic or visitors are the users of your website who landed your webpage after searching your website name / related search terms on search engine or directly typing the URL.
Crawling is a process done by Google and other search engines to read or analyze the webpages submitted to them.
This is done by sending a special programme called crawler or bot or spider etc.
When these bots or crawlers visit a webpage it also follows links available on that pages to crawl them. It follows from one link to another.
This is an important process in SEO.
Not all parts of your website need to be crawled. We can direct these crawlers what to crawl and what not with the help of Robot.txt file.
After crawling or analyzing has been done of the webpages it stores all the information about them in a huge database. This is called Indexing.
Indexing is important because, if Google or any search engine doesn’t index your webpages, it simply doesn’t exist in their search engine.
They will not show your webpages in their result pages.
To check it search on google using this term : Site:URL and it will show up how many pages are indexed.
For proper indexing of the webpages, SEOs have to follow some guidelines of Google.
They create Sitemap.xml file where all the URLs of your website are listed for better crawling and indexations.
Create Robot.txt as I have mentioned above.
And create a better user experience by improving the on-page factors.
Keywords are the search terms that users on internet users to find a solution to their problem.
Every search terms that users use on the search engine has some intention behind it. The intentions are either transactional, review or comparison, informative or navigational.
Satisfying their intention is the primary focus from an SEO perspective.
Keyword research is the process of finding the right search term related to your business. It is one of the major tasks that SEOs do at the beginning of the SEO campaign.
An SEO needs to find those keywords which have less competition and a moderate search volume.
SEOs use different online tools available to get various metrics to find the perfect search terms for your business. A few tools are Ubersuggest and Keywordtool.io, Moz keyword research tool etc.
Some SEO do a trick to satisfy their client by choosing related terms that have no search at all and these are super easy to rank on the search page.
If your selected keywords don’t bring traffic all the SEO efforts are meaningless.
15. LSI words
Now you know about the keyword and keyword research process. In general LSI keywords are words closely related to your main chosen keywords and your business too. These LSI terms are used to write your web content or blogs.
Full form of LSI is Latent Semantic Indexing.
Suppose you are a reseller of Apple iPhone and have a website that has content about the apple phones.
Now you can also use the words like Steve Jobs, MacOS, iPad etc to make Google understand that you deal with Apple iPhone, not the Apple fruit or gardening.
Take a Look at Important Terms You Must Know in this Infographics
16. Domain Authority
Domain authority is a search engine ranking measure developed by famous SEO company Moz.com
They provide a score ranging from 0 to 100. They analyze various metrics to show this score that includes linking root domains and others.
This is an indication of the suitability of your site to rank in search engines. It has no effect on SERPs.
17. Page authority
Just like domain authority is a score for the domain ( www.yoursite.com ), page authority is a score given to individual pages of your website.
Having a great domain authority doesn’t guarantee to have great page authority of all the pages.
For improving page authority SEOs need to focus on On page factors, User experience, Content and Quality backlinks to that page.
In SEO (search engine optimization) terminology, it refers to SEO manipulation techniques that are used to increase search engine ranking but violate the search engine’s Terms of Service.
If your SEO is doing Black hat techniques and spamming your site would get a penalty from search engines and can be removed from their indexing forever.
19. Back Link
It simply means links directing to your website home page or any other internal page from other websites.
Currently, this backlink is one of the major ranking factors in SEO.
For Google and other search engines, these backlinks are like the vote of approval. For creating backlinks SEOs should emphasize on the quality rather than the quantity.
Quality backlinks mean creating or getting links from highly relevant websites or pages having greater domain authority or Page Authority.
More the quality backlinks your site has greater the chance of ranking on the first page.
This is not an easy process. SEOs should create a strategy or target to achieve the number of backlinks to be created.
20. Link juice
Link juice is a slang used in SEO refers to how powerful a backlink is and how much Google should trust those links.
Link juice or measure of trust to a link depends on various factors like the placement of the link, type of link, context and anchor text of the links etc.
Generally, if your site has more backlinks from high domain and highly recognized websites from the relevant context, Google will simply love them rather than from poor quality websites or from the sidebar or footer links.
21. Do follow link
Do follow links are those backlinks or internal links which pass the trust or link juice to the linked page or post.
For link building an SEOs target should be getting a majority of Do-Follow backlinks from other quality websites.
22. No follow link
This is just opposite to the dofollow links. They don’t allow to pass link juice to the linked pages and don’t help in google ranking. But recently Google has started counting them too. They help in getting some traffic to your site.
This is done by writing code.
Below is an example of no follow code contains an attribute “nofollow”.
<a href=”http://www.google.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>
23. External link
An external link is any link from your website to other websites.
In other words, a link which is an external link for your site is considered backlink for other sites you are linking to.
24. Internal link
Internal links are links within your site from one page to page or blog posts. This should be done properly focusing on the relevancy and user experience. This helps in navigation also.
25. Link building
The process of creating backlinks is called link building.
It is the main part of Off Page SEO. This is not an easy task to get backlinks from high-quality websites.
It involves checking the competitors backlink profile, creating the high-quality contents, approaching the owner of other websites to provide links to your site, posting a quality guest post on other websites to name a few.
26. Broken link
Broken links are those links whose target pages or posts have been deleted but URL is still present.
When someone clicks on those broken links they get 404 errors. An example of a 404 error page of Flipkart shown below.
Image courtesy: Google Image
Google doesn’t like sites having lots of 404 errors so fixing them will improve SEO.
27. URL structure
Full form of URL is Uniform Resource Locator. As I discussed before this the address of your webpages and its content on the internet.
URL structure should be SEO friendly. Should be human readable, Should use, ‘-’ hyphens instead of underscore ‘_’ to separate words, contain main keywords ( not just stuffing), short, should reflect the hierarchy of the topics.
An example of such a URL is:
A blog is a website or part of a website that contains informative contents and is updated regularly.
This is the short form of Weblog. Contents or blog post are generally shown in reverse chronological order so that most recent posts are at the top of other posts.
The content you are reading is a blog post as well.
Blogging in SEO has played an important role in terms of bringing keyword targeted traffic, building a brand and trust among the readers.
Nowadays only blogging not going to help you to achieve the SEO result or building authority.
You need to focus on creating videos, podcasting, live streaming.
29. SEO content
Content is considered the king of SEO. It was seen the websites having lengthier and valuable unique content get top 5 ranks for a search term.
After finalization of keywords, an SEO prepares the content strategy. It should contain the main keywords for at least 1%.
The main purpose of writing SEO content is to make Google realize the content is relevant to the keywords used, and have a great value and satisfy a users intention.
Only then Google will improve your ranking.
30. User Intent
When a user search online he has some intention. It may be to get information, to compare products or services, reading reviews, or buying some product or service.
An SEOs task is to categorize the keywords into different intent groups and create a content strategy to satisfy their need.
This is why SEO is also called User Intent / Experience Optimization.
31. User Interface
In simple words, the user interface is the different parts of a website or app that enable the users to easily interact with it.
It includes placing the right things in the right place and with the right intent.
Such as subscription form, download button, Buy now button, social share buttons, search bars etc.
An example is:
If your site’s main purpose is to increase the download of a certain product, you should emphasize on the product image, description and download button, so that users can find and download with ease.
32. Structured data
This is a bit technical. A structured data is the data presented in your site in a certain format using some code so that a search engine like Google can understand what is it all about and show the richer result in their result pages.
Suppose you write about cooking recipes on your site. You can show rating, reviews, duration, calorie etc
This help to improve CTR or click-through rate of your website.
Here are some of the website using structured data and see their rich results:
34. Google featured snippets
Sometimes google shows quick answers to its users at the top of organic results and below the google ads.
These are also called the answer box. It maybe paragraphs, list or table.
As a result of this people get their answers without visiting any website.
This is the reason for creating organic traffic from Google is getting harder each day. Know more about it on Moz.
Google analytics is an online tool from Google that provides data about your website visitors and how they interact within your site.
To measure the SEO performance you should focus on these data: Traffic per month, Traffic sources, Pageviews, sessions, time spent per page, Search Query data etc.
SEOs need to make changes in strategies accordingly.
36.Google search console
Google search console previously known as Google Webmaster is a free online platform that helps a webmaster monitor, maintain and troubleshoot his sites presence in Google search engine.
It shows index, crawl reports, search query, CTR, Sitemap, Robot text file data, link data etc.
37. Google my business page
GMB or google my business is another free platform to list your business on google, google maps.
Perfectly optimize google my business page can bring lots of potential customers.
A user can see your business on google map search and local search ( Google local pack ) depending on his proximity to your location.
Here is an example of google map listing.
38. Social media
Social media is a group of online services which enables communication between the common people, share images, videos etc.
Services like Facebook, Instagram. SnapChat, WhatsApp etc are gaining popularity among us.
Businesses should utilize these platforms to reach their targeted audiences, create brand awareness, create a group of potential customers, build trust and as a customer support channel.
39. Dwell time
Dwell time is the time a visitor or traffic spends on your website. More dwell time means your webpage has quality content to satisfy a user and get boosted by search engines.
40. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of the visitor to a particular website who navigate away from it after visiting only one page.
Bounce rate depends on the type of webpage, industry etc.
More bounce rate is a bad signal for your SEO campaign which needs to be fixed.
41. Guest blogging
It means writing quality and relevant content on other websites or blogs.
SEOs use these techniques solely for creating backlinks which are not good. It also used to get more eyeball or reach more people on the internet.
42. Artificial intelligence
It is computer science related terms. It is actually a programme that has intelligence, can learn from its experience and reprogramme itself.
Search engine like Google is using this technology to understand the content and context like a human can do.
So, we should treat Google like a human being from now and don’t try to fool it to rank. Learn more about artificial intelligence on Wikipedia
43. Meta description
A meta description is a description of a webpage that is shown on the search engine result page under the title and URL. See this picture below.
It doesn’t help n SEO any more, but should be used as sales copy of your webpage. You should clearly tell why a user should visit that particular page.
It has character limitations, on mobile 120 characters and on larger screens it is 158 characters or 920 pixels.
The title of a webpage that is shown on SERP and coloured blue in most search engine. Character length is 60 characters.
HTML – Hypertext markup language
CSS – Cascading Style Sheet
These are the web technology used to create the front end or the side of the webpage we see our screen.
46. Organic search result
Organic search results are the list of webpages google shows us just below the Google Ads results.
This is an unpaid method to rank on the search engine. The sole purpose of doing SEO is to get placed in an organic search result for your keywords.
Abbreviation of Search Engine Result Page. the page a search engine shows to a user after searching a query.
48. Google page rank
It was a metric given by Google to show the quality of a web page and the ability to rank on the first page. At present Google has stopped showing Page Rank.
49. Landing page
A page where a user lands after searching query on search engines or from other sources.
It may be a blog, product page or lead capturing page.
Leads are data from a potential customer. It may be name, email, phone number, credit card number or anything else.
Lead generation is an important marketing tactic.
It means a prospect is one step closer to convert them into a buyer.
51. Social media optimization
Optimizing various social networking, social bookmarking sites for promoting your product or services.
A site or business which has strong social followers has a good impact on Google.
Learn more benefits of Social Media Optimization Here.
52. Google Ads ( Adwords )
This is google’s advertisement platform. It allows the business to show their ads to a targeted audience.
You can create an audience based on their location, interest, demographics and various other parameters.
Different types of Ads can be shown depending on your marketing goals, like Text-based search ads, Display ads, Shopping ads, Video ads etc.
Pricing of ads has different models like CPC of cost per click, CPV or Cost per view etc. Compared to other sites like (Bing Ads) Google has a higher CPC rate.
It is easy to create ads but difficult to optimize ads to reduce the cost and get more leads or sale.
So hiring a Google Ads Freelancer is always a good idea.
53. Mobile responsive
Mobile responsiveness is an important SEO signal.
Nowadays Google is getting more searches from smaller screens like mobile, tablets etc.
So only those sites which automatically changes the layout for best viewing on these devices get ranked.
Below is an example of a Mobile responsive website. See the difference between desktop and mobile view.
54. Page Speed
The time your site takes to show all of its contents is called Page Speed or Page Loading speed.
It is another strong SEO signal in 2019.
55. SEM ( search engine marketing )
It means utilizing search engines for your marketing campaign. It involves SEO and Paid Search campaigns.
56. SSL certificate
It is an abbreviation of Security Socket Layer. It provides secure communication between your site and the server.
When it is installed Http:// protocol becomes https://.
It is required when your site requires your customer data or while transactions.
57. Google local pack
Google local pack is top 3 results shown in google maps when a user searches something within his locality.
Google only shows the best business in local 3 pack for a particular term. It also depends on the user’s proximity to those businesses.
This is an image of Google Local Search.
58. Redirects 301 and 302
These are HTTP response codes. A 301 redirect means an URL will be permanently redirected to another URL. It is favoured by Google.
It carries link juice as we discussed before.
A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect. It doesn’t pass the link juice.
60. Home page
A home page is a front page of a website where links to other pages are placed.
URLs of most of the home pages are like this :
http://www.yoursite.com/index.html or simply http://www.yoursite.com
61. Internal page
Except for the home page, all other pages are internal pages. These pages are linked from the main navigation, any blog post or footer etc
62. Site architecture
In simple words, it is organizing or categorizing your webpages according to the topics to improve SEO effect and increasing user experience.
Learn more onsite architecture on Neil Patel Blog
63. Alt tag for Image
A search engine crawler can’t see an image, but it can read the alt text or alt tag written for an image.
When an image failed to load we see something like this below with a text.
It is also seen as a tooltip when we hover the mouse over the image
That text is called Alt Tag. It has great importance in SEO.