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SEO 101 - Glossary

 

301 Redirect 

A redirect sends a visitor to a certain webpage to a different webpage. You should always use 301 redirects to make sure bookmarked links and search engine indexes can automatically find your new page.

ALT Text 

A text description of your images that is written in your website code. This is so search engines and accessibility tools for the visually impaired can understand what images are on your page.

Analytics 

Digital analytics is a set of technical tools that allow users to define, create, collect, verify and transform digital data into research, reposts, analyses and recommendations. Google Analytics is a common platform used for evaluating and monitoring the performance of a website.

Anchor Text

The physical text on the webpage that contains the link to another webpage or website. Anchor text helps users and search engines know what content your webpage is linking to. Anchor text is often underlined and a different colour.

Average Position 

This is a Google AdWords metric that describes where ads for a given keyword usually appear on the search engine results page (SERP). Position 1 & 2 appear above the organic results, while positions 3-6 appear along the right side-bar beside the organic results. Generally ads in the top positions get more clicks.

Bounce Rate 

Bounce rate is a metric that tells you how many people left your website when they landed on a specific webpage. A high bounce rate indicates users are not finding what they are looking for when they arrive on your webpage. Bounce rate can be used to evaluate the effectiveness or performance of a given webpage.

Canonical URL 

Often duplicate content is created under different URLs in error. By using a canonical URL, visitors and search engines are directed to the correct webpage or version of the content. Canonical URLs ensure the correct page has authority.

CPC (Cost Per Click) 

CPC is a metric related to the pay-per-click method of online advertising. It is the amount you pay when a user clicks on your ad. Your cost per click is dependent on your maximum bid on the keyword, the quality score of your keyword, and the quality score rank of other competitors for the same keyword.

CPM (Cost per Impression) 

CPM is a bidding style where you pay based on the number of times your ad is shown (impressions). In Google AdWords CPM is your cost per 1000 impressions. This bidding style works best for those trying to increase brand awareness, rather than driving sales or website traffic.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) 

This is a part of the website programming code that defines the visual aspects of your website (ie. Headers, backgrounds, and links).

Domain 

The main web address of your site (example: www.yoursite.com).

Google+ 

Google+ is a social integration and identity platform created by Google. When leveraged correctly, Google+ is a simple and powerful way to enhance your online presence. Having an effective Google+ business profile can increase your website authority and your search rank.

Google Web Master Tools 

A service provided by Google that can help identify technical and content issues with your website.

H1 or H2 

These are the headings on your website that are written into your website programming code. An H1 heading is a main heading, while H2, H3, etc. are sub-headings.?Headings are an easy way to inform users and search engines about the content and structure of your webpage.

HTML

A programming language that is used to create webpages. Search engines read your code to understand what is contained on the webpage.

Impression Share

A Google AdWords metric. Your impression share is the number of times your ad was shown divided by the estimated number of times your ad was eligible to be shown. Your ad eligibility depends on your bids, quality scores, and targeting settings. You can use impression share to guide bid and budget adjustments.

Inbound Link

An incoming link to your website (also called a backlink). The number of incoming links on a site can signal the popularity of the site to search engines.

Internal Link

A link from one page of your site to another page on your site. The structure of your internal links can inform search engines about your site content and intent.

Indexed Pages

The pages of your website that are stored by search engines.

Javascript

A programming language that can carry out tasks while a user is browsing the site. Javascript allows the user to interact with tools and features on a webpage. For example, Javascript may validate user input, load a form, calculate a field or change a colour or image on a website.

Keyword

A word a user has typed into a search engine. By optimizing the use of targeted keywords in your webpages, search engines will associate your webpage with the words users are searching for.

Link Building

The process of connecting your website to other sites through inbound links. Having more links can improve your search engine rankings. However having bad quality or irrelevant links can also damage your ranking. As an SEO best practice you should only link with relevant websites, and avoid linking with directories and forums.

Metadata

A description that is included in the HTML code of your webpage. Search engines use this information to understand what your webpage is about. Meta descriptions often appear on the search results page below the page title. They give both search engines and visitors an idea of what the webpage is about.

Page Title

Page titles can be seen at the top of the browser window. Page titles should always contain keywords that are related to your business.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

An online advertising method where you pay only when your ad is clicked by a user. Google Adwords is a common form of PPC. Adwords PPC ads appear at the top and left side of Google search engine results pages. They can also appear throughout Google’s display network (ie. YouTube).

Quality Score 

A Google AdWords measurement of the suitability of your AdWords ads. Your quality score for any given keyword will affect the cost of a click. The lower your quality score, the more expensive your clicks. Low quality scores also affect impressions (the number of times your ad is shown). Google does not publish their exact algorithm for quality but it depends on three factors: CTR (largest), relevance of ad text, and landing page quality.

SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page) 

This is the page you see after you type a search keyword into a search engine. The websites that appear are based on the relevancy of your search query and a variety of SEO parameters.

Semantic Markup 

Semantic markup allows search engines to understand the content and structure of your website. By leveraging structured semantic markup in the website's architecture and content, your website will inform search engines of the specific value and relevancy of your content.

Schema 

Schema is one version of a semantic markup language.

Sitemap 

A type of digital map that is created by your developer. When made available to search engines, a sitemap makes it easy for search engines to index and display your website in their results pages.

Spider 

A computer program that scans your website and collects a variety of information including: page titles & descriptions, number of indexed pages, inbound & outbound links, redirects, and site errors.

Traffic 

The number of online users who visit your site.

URL 

The web address of a page on your site (example: www.yoursite.com/contact).