As is the case when learning any new skill or subject, it’s a great idea to get familiar with all the basic concepts and vocabulary. It’s no different for SEO!
SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of optimising your website so that it ranks in Search Engine (especially Google) results for keywords related to your business. For example, if you are a sports club in London, you may wish your website to rank for “tennis lessons Clapham”.
Analytics Code is code that is inserted into your website, which allows you to track the visitors to your site. Google Analyticsis the most commonly used. It allows you to track general statistics such as the number of visitors to your site, how they arrived there (e.g. from a search engine, linking site…), which pages they visited… And also more detailed statistics, such as their geographic location, which search term they typed into Google before arriving on your site…
Alt Tags, or “Alternative Text Tags” describe images that are on your web page. This gives Google (and disabled visitors who cannot see the website) an idea of what the image is. Google cannot yet read images.
A popular SEO technique, Article Marketingis the distribution online of a high-quality article written by (or on behalf of) your business, which is then published all over the web. This creates important backlinks to your website.
It is important to remember, Google cannot read websites like humans! All it can see is the code that is behind the website. This means that websites written entirely in Flash (meaning there is little/no text in the code) will find it very hard to rank highly in Google.
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the basic “building blocks” of webpages”. It is the most commonly used mark-up language that websites are written in – describing how the text and images on your website should be displayed in the browser.
Inbound links (also known as backlinks) are links to your site from external websites. They are important SEO-wise, as not only do they increase the amount of new visitors to your site, they also can have a positive impact on your Google Page Rank – and therefore your ranking in search results.
A keyword describes what your webpage is about – it is the word or phrase you wish that specific page to rank for in Google. For example, an entertainment venue in London may wish to be found for the term “live music Wimbledon”.
Meta Data is hidden information (inside the website) which describes to the Search Engines what the website is about. Firstly, the “Page Title” explains briefly the title of the page, the “Meta Description” then gives a summary of the content on the page. Lastly, “Keywords” are the words or short phrases describing the pages content. Meta Data is considered very important in terms of letting the Search Engines know what your website is about – and then also it affects greatly how your result is displayed.
Organic Search Results are the results that show up in the main search results – that are not paid for. Organic results are a huge factor in long term online success.
Outbound links are the links on your site that link to external webpages.
Page Rank (PR) is an indicator of how important Google thinks your website is. It is a score out of 10 (although few websites have reached this maximum, such as Facebook). A good PR can have a big impact on your position in search results, so it’s important to monitor your websites progress and optimise it whenever possible.
Pay per click is an advertising model used all over the internet, and especially on search engine results. The client pays based on how many times their site link was clicked in. You can recognise these results on Google as the “Sponsored Listings” at the top and right of the Organic search results.
SEO Marketing is the on-going process of optimising your website – this can be via article marketing, optimising your content, a blog, social media… Even if you are top of Google today, it doesn’t mean you’ll be there tomorrow!
A site map is a mapping of your website – in effect, a list of all the pages. It is important both from an SEO point of view, but also for visitors so they can easily navigate through your website.