SEO Terms and Meanings for beginners

seo terms

A- Z SEO Terms Glossary

301 Redirect: A flag to the search engines that a web page no longer exists. A person attempting to reach the original website will be taken to a new page that is the most similar match.

404 Error: A technical SEO error that signals the website could not be found.

Algorithm: A formula that calculates the rank ability of search engine results. Algorithms change constantly to provide the searcher with the most relevant content based on their keyword search.

Alternative Text: Tags placed on images and pictures that give the search engines a written description. “Alt text” or “alt tags” help the search engines decipher the meanings of the images.

AMP: Most used by publishers of news websites. AMP aka “accelerated mobile pages” make pages load incredibly quick on mobile devices.

Authority: Authority measures a website’s strength which will build up over time due to backlinks. A page with stronger authority will rank more quickly in the eyes of Google and other search engines. 

Backlinks: Links that refer to your website from other websites. These backlinks are important because they act as a vote of confidence and trust between sites. Links from other websites have the capability to pass authority (ranking power) from their website to yours.

Black Hat SEO: Disapproved strategies that try to increase search engine ranking while violating Google’s quality guidelines.

Blog: A section of a website that provides expert content and is frequently updated.

Bots: Automated software that travel the internet and collect information about websites. An alternative name for search engine spiders or web crawlers.

Bounce Rate: A measure of interaction with your website. Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your web page after clicking on it to view.

Breadcrumb: A navigation aid that helps users on a page easily understand where they are on a website and what section. 

Broken Link: A link on the web universe that leads to a non-existing page. Bots can follow broken links to dead ends which wastes resources.

Cache: A hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can load faster.

Citations: Business listings which include your company’s information- like Google Map Locations or Yelp. 

Click-Through Rate: The percentage of people who click on your link when they see it listed on Google. Higher click through rates = more clicks to your page.

CMS: Content Management Systems are software platforms that help users create, manage, and update content on a website without the need for a technical software background. 

Competition: Other websites that are trying to reach the same core customers as you are which also means that they will direct traffic from the same keywords your site ranks for.

Content is King: A phrase that pulls from the fact that search engines value content because it provides relevance and expert knowledge to direct customers to your page.

Conversion: A ratio that quantifies how many people complete a pre-determined or desired action on your website like purchasing a product or sharing a social media post.

Crawling: How search engines automatically explore and scan the web with the aim to index the content of web pages so they can be searched.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets is a sheet language that allows web designers to attach style (like color or font) to HTML documents. CSS can control the appearance of content on a webpage that can make your page SEO friendly.

Deep Link: A link on your own site that directs to another page of content deep within your webpage to engage the customer. 

Domain Name Registrar: A company that manages the reservation of a website domain address to the general public like GoDaddy.

Featured Snippets: Short pieces of text that appear at the top of Google search results in order to quickly answer a search question. 

Google Ads: A powerful advertising platform on Google that can be utilized by paying for a listing space. Advertisements on Google that are sold on cost-per-click terms.

Google Analytics: A free analytics platform tool that runs and tracks website performance.

Google My Business: Google’s free tool for managing your Google Maps listing.

Google Search Console: This tool helps report and measure your site’s search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make it stand out in Google Search results.

H1 – H6: HTML tags that provide structure context to your page such as a header of a page. Headers help in getting a better SEO ranking.

Holistic SEO: Innovative, long-term SEO strategies, and practices which set your website up for success for future continual growth.

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is the programming code used for documents to be displayed in web browsers.

Image Compression: Minimizing the image file size without sacrificing image quality which helps speed up web page loading. 

Index: A database used by a search engine that contains all the information the search engine could find. 

Internal Links: Any link from one page on your website to another page on your website.

Keyword Research: The process by which you research popular search terms that your target customers may use to search for your business in a search engine.

Keyword Stuffing: Overloading a website with too many keywords on one page to try and manipulate a page’s site ranking in a search engine.

Keywords: Specific words and phrases that users input into a search bar. These search terms will drive results that direct users to your company.

KPI: A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key objectives. Businesses can have multiple KPIs. 

Landing Page: The initial page on a website that a person will see that is designed to convert visitors into leads.

Local Pack: A group of three Google Maps listings representing local businesses that pull up based on a user’s search query.

Local Search: Anything you do online to promote a business with a physical location that makes in person contact with customers, such as a barber or nail salon. Local search begins with Google Maps.

Long-Tail Keywords: Longer and more specific keyword terms that tend to be more specific. It’s easier to rank and get traffic from long tail keywords as they are often less competitive than general shorter phrases, and they have higher conversion rates. Examples of long-tail keywords: “best hiking shoes for wide feet”.

Meta Descriptions: Short pieces of HTML code written on each web page that helps search engines describe a listing on their results page. Meta descriptions directly influence the probability of a person choosing to click or not click on your link on the search results page. 

Meta Directive: Pieces of code that provide web crawlers instructions for how to index web page content and can be also called “meta tags”. Website viewers will not be able to see the code on each page, but AI is able to detect them in the HTML code.

Mobile-First Indexing: The mobile version of your website becomes the initial starting point for Google to crawl and index your page to determine SEO rankings. 

Organic Search: A natural search that is found via unpaid algorithms rather than found by paid advertisements. 

Page Speed: How quickly a web page takes to load. In general, if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, over 25% of users will click to cancel out. 

Page Titles: These tags create the header code of each web page that search engines use to link to results and are also known as “title tags”. Having accurate page titles tell users and search engines the content of the webpage, and also tell search engines how relevant a page is to a person’s search to pull in a ranking. 

Pay-Per-Click: Also known as PPC, which is a model of marketing in which a business or company pays a fee per click that they receive. PPC is a way of buying visitors to your website to increase website traffic and hopefully conversion.

People Also Ask: A interactive, universal search result that includes a block of questions from Google displayed when searching, in relation to the results that other people have previously searched for. 

Personalization: Customized results displayed in a search engine which are based on specific details like your current location or past search records.

Query: Search terms or phrases input into the search bar.

Rank Brain: A machine learning (AI) algorithm that Google utilizes to sift and organize the search results which helps Google process and interpret search queries.

Ranking: The arrangement of search engine results. The most favorable ranking is being #1 on the top of a listing page. 

Rel=Canonical: A canonical tag is a piece of code in the HTML header of a webpage that tells search engine web crawlers if there is a more important version of the page if there are multiple pages with similar content. 

Relevancy: How applicable the content of your website is to search queries. Higher ranked websites will have more relevant content to what was searched for. 

Responsive Design: An approach to creating websites that suggest that design and development should modify to the user’s behavior as they use different screens like desktops and mobile phones to view the webpage.

Robots.txt: A file on your page that blocks web crawlers from certain URL pages. 

Schema: Code that tags elements of your webpage that will help major search engines become smarter by presenting them data in a structured form. It provides snippets of useful and timely information to potential website visitors. For example, a movie theatre listings scheme markup tells the search engines that the page should rank for “movie theatre listings” as well as show the show times and films titles showing at that specific cinema. 

Search Volume: The number of anticipated searches for a keyword in a month.

SEO: Search engine optimization is the process of attaining and increasing the quantity and quality of web traffic through organic searching. 

SERP: A Search Engine Results Page is a web page that is presented to the user after searching for a keyword on a search engine like Google or Yahoo.

Short-Tail Keywords: Search terms that are made up of no more than 3 words that encompass broad topics rather than specific keywords. About 30% of online searches uses short- tail keywords like “best socks” vs “best socks for hiking” which would be a long-tail keyword.

Site Speed: The measurement of time of how fast your website loads.

Site Structure: How your website’s pages and content are group and structured. The homepage is the most important page which should always be at the top followed by category pages. Having a clear design and site structure will lead to higher SEO and web useability. 

SSL Certificate: Secure Sockets Layer encrypts and secures the data passed between a web server and web browser. This link guarantees that all the data transferred between the web server and browser remains private. 

Structured Data: A standardized format to mark and classify information about different web pages so that search engines can easily scan and organize appropriate web pages in search results. 

Traffic: Web users who click onto your website. 

URL: The address of an individual web page.

White Hat SEO: SEO strategies that are compliant with Google’s quality policies.

XML Sitemap: A file on your website that acts as a roadmap of your website that leads Google to the important pages.

SEO Trends and Vitals for 2021

digital marketing manager

What are the SEO trends for 2021 to watch for?

Having a website that performs high in SEO needs a thorough SEO approach, with attention given to many different defining metrics. This will include the increase of traffic, backlinks, and shares on social media. We have created this guide for you to give you some valuable insights in how the standards and trends for SEO are set in 2021. With this you will be able to prepare your SEO strategy for a successful year.

  • Artificial Intelligence will have a large part in SEO in 2021
  • Voice Search Will influence Search Queries 
  • Mobile-Friendliness Will influence search 
  • Content needs to be up to standards with Google EAT Principle 
  • Long-Form Content is more important for SERPs 
  • Featured Snippets ill be more important in 2021
  • Predictive Search will improve 
  • SEO strategy needs to have video elements
  • Image Optimization more important in 2021 
  • Semantically Related Keywords 
  • Local Search Listings more important in 2021 
  • Data and Analytics should be the corner stone of your strategy
Seo know how tips 2021

Top 10 SEO trends for 2021

  1. Relevant and quality content

Having high quality content has always been a major factor for your website’s authority online, and this is not going to change in 2021. It is still the most important factor. Creating high quality and original informative content will create a bigger awareness online, increasing traffic to your website.

Potential customers will enjoy reading and sharing your content giving your brand a following. Google is extremely sensitive to bad quality content and will drop you down the search engines quickly if you ignore these demands. Whatever content you intend to put out there in 2021, make sure it is always high quality and 100 % unique. Many websites think they can make shortcuts with short articles with tuns of keywords cramped into them, but we must warn you that this does not work. The quality of the content is more important in 2021 then the quantity of the keywords. Having content that is written in a natural way is the key to success. Having informative and valuable content for your readers meeting the searches of your potential customers must be your number one priority in SEO. If you refuse to do this, you can forget about any of the following SEO tips as they will all fail. Google has an algorithm that is related to the user experience, and when you receive a high bounce rate due to bad content, Google will know. You want your visitor to be happy to land on your page and thrilled to read that what he or she is looking for. If not, you might lose a potential customer, and create a negative brand experience. When your bounce rate increases, your online authority will decrease, giving your company a bad reputation. So, with this said we hope you see the importance of creating excellent content which is relevant and informative. You can be successful if you conduct the research to understand your potential customers, learn what it is that they seek, and need. You are writing for the user experience of your customers, not for Google, remember this. Gaining attraction from your potential clients is what will make a success of your website, good content is sharable, and will give a better experience towards the customer.

  1. User Experience (UX)

As mentioned before the user’s satisfaction is extremely important in any SEO strategy and this remains in 2021. The UX does not singly depend on content, UX will consist of the complete experience that a visitor has on your website. The term UX was created by Don Norman who is the co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group. When UX is used in digital marketing, it is related to the interaction of the visitor with the different channels of the brand. When someone visits your website it must be simple, beautiful, fast, and easy to access the different components and find the desired information. Everything will be calculated into Google’s algorithm in 2021. Google webmaster central blog Source: If you want to maximize your SEO results in 2021, you will need fast, stable, and interactive pages. To understand your pages’ current performance, it is worth looking at Google Page Speed Insights

  • Mobile SEO

Your user might have a different experience when visiting your website through a browser or through a mobile device, but the ranking through Google will be the same for both mediums. All SEO should be conducted as mobile SEO in 2021. Do not create separate sites for mobile users any longer, migrate to a mobile responsive website. In the previous years mobile SEO was increasingly important and since 2019 Google has been analyzing mobile experiences above desktop experiences. This means that your SEO strategy must have mobile SEO in it as it is even more important in 2021. Through 2020 it was seen that more then half of all searches was done through a mobile phone, and in 2021 the numbers will increase even more. It is expected that by 2025 more than 75% of all searches globally will be done through a mobile phone. This means that the user experience on a mobile phone must be excellent. So Mobile SEO should be on the top of your SEO list. Optimize all your content and data for the mobile phones to increase your ranking online.

  • Core web vitals   

Google introduced Core web vitals in 2020, where it analysis different metrics of your website as the loading speed, responsiveness, and user interaction. And again, more for a mobile device. It will also look at the security of a website, with a multitude of users browsing on your website. Measuring the stability of your website and interactivity are top priorities of Core web vitals. The reason why Google launched Core web vitals is to offer the best user experience. 

2021 Core web vitals analysis three main factors through algorithms:

Google Core Vitals

Large Contentful Paint (LCP)

This measures the time it takes for a page to load completely. The ideal timing according to Google is 2.5 seconds maximum. 

First Input Delay (FID)

This measures the time it takes for a user to be able to interact with a page. This should take less than 100 ms according to Google

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

This refers to the quantity of unexpected layout changes in visual content. This should be less than 0.1

  1. Zero click searches

Zero click searches are the searches that appear on the top of the first result search page and has been introduced in March 2020. Zero click searches are results showing information without having to click on the link. Google made these changes in the SERP’s design and layout with the goal to provide a more effective and faster user experience. It is a trend that will continue to grow throughout 2021 and should be incorporated in your SEO strategy. It looks like the snippets which you can find in Google, but it works slightly different. Google can now more precisely identify individual paragraphs on a website and show it as relevant content in a search engine. By optimizing your content, you can make this new feature work for your website. Using structured content to meet the algorithms needs will improve your organic ranking. By doing the research who your customer is, you can already answer the questions that they place in the search engine, and thus thereby, they will find you.

  • Website security

The importance of website security is not a new trend, Google takes your websites security extremely serious when analyzing the relevance of your content. The importance of having the right plugins and SSL certificates can not be overseen. With an increasing number of threats for websites in a non-secure environment as public Wi-Fi or even mobile data, security will only be more important in 2021. If your website is not according to the safety standards, it will lose ranking very fast.

  • Search Intent

As you can understand by now, user focused optimization is the highest priority for Google, and this remains in 2021. Making sure that a visitor finds the content that he seeks is always the end goal for Google. To make sure that this is up to standard Google has launched a new algorithm, the BERT algorithm [Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers].

This algorithm has been designed to understand the intend of a specific search. This makes Google capable of interpreting the intend of the search, which is a step beyond the analysis of a search, it looks at language as well. So, when writing the content, one should produce content that fits the user’s intent, and one should write it in a natural language. With BERT Google will be able to deliver the most appropriate content effectively. 

  • Long-form content; Expertise, Authority and Trust.

Expertise, Authority and Trust. Creating a feeling towards your users that what they find on your website is offered by a real person, and that you are credible enough to share your content is what these words represent. A proven method to ensure these three qualities to your users is by offering long form content with researched and well written content.

It has been researched that long posts of more then 3000 words receive 3 times more traffic, will be shared 4 times more, and will get 3.5 times more backlinks than shorter articles. You understand that this will give you a boost in your digital authority, with higher SERP rankings.

Google wants to see that your users only receive relevant, new, and proven content. If Google’s algorithm reads that users can be negative in any way (hurting people through words for instance) it will drop you of the web immediately. Expertise, Authority and Trust. Know what you are writing about, as publishing data that has not been proven can be destructive for your website.

Using the “About” page can be utilized for the trust factor, showing who you are, and what your business does. Be careful with links, that you use the right websites; if you receive low quality links, delete them. When users lose their trust in you, they can share their opinions on other websites about your business which can have catastrophic results.

  • Local SEO

COVID-19 changed a lot in the world, and that is no different in the world of SEO. When people found themselves isolated at home for a longer period, there was a higher appreciation for local commerce. Supporting local markets was a result of the economic crisis that hit many through COVID-19, and through the support of local businesses we wanted to keep the local economy running. In addition, as people could not travel far anymore, solutions had to be found closer to home. Local SEO is not new, but it became more relevant since 2020, wanting to offer the most qualified and fast experience to the user. 

Local SEO uses Google my Business as a main tool, and throughout 2020 it became more relevant for many businesses. Local businesses can use the tool to keep their customers updated about changing opening hours or delivery options. If you have a physical business or conduct a service locally you need Local SEO in 2021. If you do not choose to implement this your competitors will win. One thing to note that is very important: the criteria for Google’s algorithm changes frequently and it is crucial to remain aware of the latest updates. 

  • Structured Data

The better your data is structured the easier it is for Google to analyze and understand your website. Google must analyze it correctly or you will not be exposed correctly in the search engines. When using structured data, your basically telling Google what it needs to know. And this will result in a higher ranking. 

When you have the correct structured data, it will change the way how your search result will appear, by showing more information. More information will lead to more clicks, and more clicks, yes you guessed it correctly. Means a higher ranking! This is a trend that has been increasing in 2020, and we expect the trend to continue through 2021.