Learn To Speak SEO Like A Pro
If you’re a small business owner, you know that search engine optimization (SEO) is crucially important to your business’ success online. But you’re not an SEO expert; so all the SEO jargon can be overwhelming. There’s no need to feel daunted, though – SEO is not rocket science! Think of it as a new language you need to learn, which only requires a few important words/phrases to become fluent.
Our mission at aiNANSI is to make SEO accessible and affordable to all businesses – no matter their size or budget. So, without further ado, here’s a summary of the most important words/phrases you need to know and understand to speak SEO like a pro.
This is the general term used to describe the science of adapting and adjusting the ranking factors for SEO in order to improve a website’s search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
This refers to obtaining placement on a search engine results page (SERP) through strategies that do not include direct payment, such as optimizing a website’s SEO via proven strategies (i.e. Top Ranking Keywords, backlinking, internal links and generating high-quality and highly-relevant content). The statistics differ depending on the source, but on average organic search accounts for more than 50% of all traffic to a website.
This refers to paying to push web pages to the top of the search engine results page (SERP) for relevant searches, usually via PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, like Google AdWords. The cost depends on the popularity of keywords to bid on and results vary (similar to gambling). Statistics differ, but in general up to 15% of web traffic comes from Paid Search.
Desktop SEO focuses on general public searches made via desktops that do not necessarily have a specific geographic focus. So a desktop search will be more tailored to the keywords used by a wider reach of people searchers, and not necessarily for keywords in geographic context.
Local search enables users to find businesses nearest to them according to their geographic location. By optimizing local search, a business ensures its website will be prioritized when a user looks for specific products and services within a set geographic location (i.e. “near me”).
This is the process of searching via a mobile device. Because Google knows where the user is searching from due to mobile geo-location, this form of search is heavily influenced according to where the person searches from. For example, if a person searches “Best dentist” from a desktop they will receive a more generalized search result for their area. Whereas if they search “Best dentist” from their mobile phone, the search result will be prioritized based on the exact location they are searching from at the moment.
Voice SEO is the optimization of keywords and keyword phrases for searches using voice assistants. When you optimize for voice search, you optimize for the way people conduct verbal searches (i.e. the way people naturally ask questions).
Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is Google’s response to a user’s search query – in other words, the results you get back when typing in a search or giving a voice instruction. SERPs usually include organic search results, paid Google Ads results, featured snippets, video results, image results and other key search parameters.
SERP snippets are what you see when you input a typed or voice search: a preview of the search results, including the web page title, URL and a short description of the web page’s content (a sentence or two describing what the user can expect to find if they click on the link).
Keyword ranking refers to your page’s specific spot on the search engine results page (SERP) for a particular search query. When people enter search terms into Google that relate to your website’s content, whichever spot your URL is shown in (i.e. top 10, 25, 50 or 100) is your keyword ranking.
Top Ranking Keywords
These are the keywords on your website that are delivering the most search results. The ranking of each keyword will change day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month, depending on search trends.
Keyword Search Volume
This is a measurement of how many people are searching for a particular keyword or phrase over the month, predominantly within Google but also within other search engines. Keywords with a high search volume are popular/top trending search terms for the month, whereas keywords with a low search volume are like the kid getting picked last for the sports team – i.e. no one’s actively looking for them.
Backlinks are links from a page on one website to another website. When another website links to a page on your website, you have a backlink from them. When you link to another web page, they have a backlink from you. There are many reasons why backlinks are important to SEO, but you can summarize these as: the longer your website has been around and the more credible it is, the more backlinks it will have. This is one of the factors that Google’s search engine uses to assess a website’s legitimacy and credibility, so the more backlinks from websites with high domain authority (i.e. established, credible websites) the better the chance your website has of being classified as legitimate and credible and the better your SEO ranking will be.
An internal link is a hyperlink between two web pages on the same website. Internal links help the search engine hone in on the exact information the user is looking for and direct them to the relevant page. For example, if the user is looking for ‘Building contractor referrals’, internal links will help the search engine direct the user to websites that have internal links to client referrals.
This is the most commonly used heading to mark up a web page title, ranging from the title of a product or service to a blog title. H1s make the title standout and easily accessible to the search engine, helping it to index what is relevant to the user’s search and what isn’t. Basically, H1s help the search engine understand the structure and relevance of your web page and, in turn, help the search engine direct relevant users to that page.
Just as you would read the jacket of a book to get the gist of what it’s about, the search engine reads the meta data of a website in order to get the gist of what a website is about and rank accordingly. In book terms, if a reader asks the librarian what book they should read to find out about X, Y or Z, the librarian would direct the reader to the books that match that search. The search engine does exactly the same: reads the meta data and directs the user to the websites that best match the user’s search.
Meta Titles Tags
These are HTML codes in the headers of a web page that help the search engines understand the topic and content of a web page. The more relevant the Meta Title Tags, the more likely the search engine is to direct the user to a specific web page.
Mobile First Optimization
This is the process to ensure a website is optimized to display quickly and correctly on a mobile phone. Due to more people searching from their mobile phones than via desktops (and this trend is expected to continue), Google has prioritized mobile first websites for ranking. This means that your website needs to be optimized to display quickly and correctly on a mobile device in order to get a good search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on a web page loads (or the time it takes to fully display to the user). In general, the faster the page speed the better the user’s experience and the better the search engine ranks the page.
PageRank is the algorithm used by Google to rank web pages in its search engine results. PageRank works by counting the website’s keyword ranking as well as other factors, such as the number and quality of backlinks to a page, to determine an estimate of how important the website is. The higher the PageRank, the higher the web page’s chances of featuring on Page 1 of Google’s search engine results page (SERP).
Site Security or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are certificates that enable the search engine to ascertain a website’s level of security. Because the search engine only wants to send users to websites it can trust, a security red flag will result in the website being deprioritized in rankings whereas a security green flag will tell the search engine the site is safe to send users to.
Schema Markup/Structured Data
Schema markup, also known as structured data, is the language or vocabulary used by search engines, to understand the content of a website. This vocabulary includes the structure of data relating to people, places and things and can therefore affect pages such as products and services, employees, reviews, articles, etc. If the Schema Markup is fully optimized, the search engine has a clearer understanding of what your website’s all about and will rank it accordingly, thereby improving overall SEO.
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is simply the address of a given unique resource on the Web.
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