When people type phrases into search engines (Google), a search engine results page (SERP) is displayed which contains links to webpages that are relevant to the phrase. SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the process of optimizing the pages of a website so that search engines display them for relevant phrases.
When businesses invest in SEO, the ultimate goal is to gain web traffic that results in positive business growth. High search engine rankings to specific keyword phrases are the highway to that goal. Most people do not explore a SERP further than the third link, so if you are not ranking highly on the first page of a specific SERP, you might as well be invisible. There have been plenty of click studies that reinforce the benefit of ranking highly in SERPs.
The First Step Towards SEO Success
There are many steps needed to succeed in the SEO game. If you want to take care of things yourself, that’s great! We have provided all the information that we use in the pages of this website. Just prepare yourself for some work, keep organized, and get started today. If you decide that your time is better spent improving your product, sales efforts or customer experience, and you decide to have someone take control of your SEO, that ‘s great too. But no matter who is heading up your efforts, make sure that they do this very important first step:
- Perform a Detailed Audit
Set your foundation for success as strong as possible. Take heed of the different technical aspects of your website, research your competitors, and devise a plan based on those findings. This is not just an important first step, it is integral to the future success of your SEO efforts.
Learn How to Audit
Now that you have an understanding of what SEO is, let’s look at some of the most common terminology relating to SEO that you’ll need to master:
Search engine optimization is filled with jargon. Educate yourself:
An SEO audit is a deep technical analysis of your website; great for setting a strong foundation for success.
When we refer to authorship, we are referring to Google’s authorship feature. For more details read this.
A blog is a collection of posts, or articles, that are topically similar and organized. One can also use the word blog as a verb, meaning to maintain or update a blog.
- Blog Post
A blog post is a piece of content that is added to a blog. The word count of a blog posts can vary, but they are typically around 500 words.
A citation, as we use the word, is a listing of a business’ Name Address and Phone number (N.A.P.) in an online business directory. This is a needed step when establishing a local authority.
CMS stands for Content Management System. A CMS allows for publishing, editing, and modifying content in a centralized interface. This allows for collaborative work, and helps to standardize common website procedure. WordPress is the most commonly used CMS.
As it relates to online marketing, a conversion simply refers to the successful completion of a desired action. For example, a conversion for an eCommerce website which sells shoes may be an online purchase of a pair of shoes. For a blogger, a conversion may be a user signing up for the blog newsletter.
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
As it relates to internet marketing, CRO is the process of optimizing a given webpage to maximize the rate at which visitors to that webpage are completing a desired action.
- Commercial Anchor Text
Commercial anchor text is the use of highly targeted keywords for your business as anchor text. In other words, it is the use of targeted keywords to link to your site from another site.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The click-through rate for a given web link is calculate like so: # of impressions / # of clicks = CTR. For more information, read this.
A database is a structured collection of data. It is organized so that the data is easy to find.
- Direct Traffic
Direct traffic is a reporting term in Google Analytics. Direct traffic reports on the number of times a visitor visited your site directly (ie. the visitor navigated directly to your website in their browser, rather than using any medium, such as a search engine, to get to the site).
Stands for File Transfer Protocol, and is a standard protocol to transfer files from one host to another host over the internet.
- H1 Tag
H1 tags are used to define HTML headings on a webpage. As it relates to SEO, an H1 tag is a crucial place to include primary keywords. For more information, read this.
Stands for HyperText Markup Language, and it is the language used to display information in a web-browser.
As search marketers, when we refer to a keyword we are normally talking about a word (or phrase) that is entered in a search engine’s search bar, for which the engine returns web pages related to that word (phrase). We may also refer to keywords as search queries or search terms.
- Keyword Cannibalization
Content cannibalization occurs when you have a page optimized for a certain keyword/keyword phrase, and there is another page existent on your domain that is optimized for the same keyword/keyword phrase. This typically happens when pages are written about similar topics, or your blog covers similar topics. This issue can be avoided by structuring the information you put on your website in a manner that consolidates related content, and by using proper title tags and h1 tags.
- Keyword Research
Keyword research is a kind of market research which relates specifically to search engine marketing. The goal of keyword research is to understand the language people are using to search for the goods or services that you are marketing. This research is fundamental to your SEO project, as it informs both our semantic optimization choices and the personas we target.
- Link Building
Link building is the process of establishing hyperlinks from different websites to the relevant pages on your own website. There is a wide range of strategies to utilize in order to build links from high quality websites in order to better establish the authority of your own website and its ability to rank.
- Local Pack
The local pack is the collection of search results that have an upside-down tear drop next to them and a correlating marker on the map that shows up when a locally relevant search query is entered into google.
- Meta Tag
The <meta> tag provides metadata about the HTML document. Metadata will not be displayed on the page, but will be machine parsable. Meta elements are typically used to specify page description, keywords, author of the document, last modified, and other metadata. For more information, read this.
- N.A.P. +W
This is an acronym for Name Address Phone Number plus Website. These things must be listed in quality directories throughout the web in order to rank well in local search results.
- On-Site Optimization
When we refer to on-site optimization we are referring to the breadth of optimization tasks performed on your website. Examples of this work include optimizing meta data based on keyword research, implementing a search friendly URL structure, and creating a site map.
Page Ranks is an analysis algorithm that is used by Google to dictate a page’s established authority and trust, and then is used as a factor in determining placement in ranking in the SERPs.
Ranking, as it pertains to SEO, refers to where a link to a webpage appears in the search results for a specific keyword search. These can be tricky to actually determine as ranking, now more so than ever,
This is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page.
- Title Tag
Title tags define the title if an online document and are required for all HTML and XHTML documents. As it relates to SEO, the title tag is a crucial place for primary keywords to be used for a given page of content. For more information, read this.
- Website Page
A website page is a URL address that is associated with specific content on your site.