Definitions of SEO Terms

We have compiled a list of SEO Terminology that we feel would be useful to everyone. These are the terms that we did not necessarily know and understand when we first started out. Hope you find them useful...

Adwords - Google Pay Per Click. These are the adverts on the far right of your screen and cost the owner of them every time someone clicks onto their website.

Affiliate - An affiliate site will market products or services that are actually sold by another website or business in exchange for either a fee or commission. Sometimes two non competing websites will help each other this way.

Analytics - Google analytics is a great free program and can help you look at the statistics and traffic on your website.

Back Link / Inlink, Incoming Link - Any link into a web page or website from any other page or site.

Black Hat - Search engine optimization tactics that are not allowed to be used. Always bad practice. ie keyword stuffing (further down)

Blog - A website which presents content in more of a chronological order. Content can be made time sensitive. Most blogs use a Content Management System such as WordPress rather than individually crafted WebPages. Creating a website from a blog can really help with marketing as search engines really like blogs.

Bounce Rate - This is the percentage of users who enter a website and then leave it without viewing any further pages.

Breadcrumbs - Web site navigational system which is normally in a horizontal bar above the main content and helps the user to understand where they are on the site and how to get back to the home page or main area.

CMS - Content Management System – This is a system that enables you to make changes to your website without the help of someone else. Particularly useful for sites that need updating regularly, such as e-commerce sites.

Content - The part of a web page that is intended to have value for and be of interest to the user – this will be the text and photos within the pages. Content does not normally include advertising, navigation and branding.

Conversion / a goal - Achievement of a goal on a website, as defined by you. Clicks on Adverts, sign ups, clicks on the contact Us link and obviously sales are examples of conversions. These can be viewed in such programmes as Google Analytics or Google Adwords.

Conversion Rate - Percentage of the users who make conversions - see above.

CPC / Cost Per Click - the monetary cost that is paid per click for a Pay Per Click Advert ie in Google Adwords.

e-Commerce Site - A website that retails a product online.

Feed - Content which is delivered to the user via special websites or programs such as news aggregators.ie. Facebook, Twitter etc

Frames – An antiquated way of designing a website. No websites should be designed in frames as there are better ways of laying out pages. Also websites that use frames are almost impossible to market.

Hit - This was once the standard by which web traffic was judged, but now a meaningless term replaced by pageviews or impressions. A hit happens each time that a user goes onto a webpage. If this page has lots of photos etc they will all count as separate hits, making it confusing and misleading.

Google Places – This is a package where you can put all your business information in, including photos, videos and testimonials, to be included in Google search ranking. It includes such information as opening hours and is a really good way to reach higher levels of SEO as it is linked to a Google Map.

Impression / Page View - The action of a user viewing a webpage one time.

In bound Link / Inlink, Incoming Link - Inbound links from related pages are a good source to succeed in pagerank. This really helps with SEO, but one of the hardest parts to achieve.

Index - a database of WebPages and their content used by the search engines.

Indexed Pages - The pages on a site which have been indexed.

Keyword - The word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine, when they are looking for something.

Keyword Density - The percentage of words on a web page which are this particular keyword. If this value is unnaturally high the page may be penalised, as this is known as keyword stuffing.

Keyword Research - This is the way to determine which keywords are appropriate for marketing. There are many different websites and packages that can help with this. Quite laborious!

Keyword Stuffing / Keyword Spamming - Abnormally high keyword input into text pages that don’t necessarily make a lot of sense. Search engines don’t like this.

Landing Page - The page that a user lands on when they click on a link to a site.

Link - An element on a web page that can be clicked on to cause the browser to move straight to another page or also another part of the current page. These are normally shown in bold or in another colour so you can see you will be moving. They can sometimes replace the page you are on or will open in another window so you can close it when read.

Link Building - The art of actively building incoming links to a site. Most important when it comes to marketing a website, as long as it is done properly.

Link Popularity - A measure of the value of a site based upon the number and quality of sites that link to it. Useful to know and understand when marketing a website.

META Tags - Sections within the HEAD section of your HTML page which keep information about the page. This will not be visible on the webpage. It is very important to have a good META title and description tags, because they may be the information that the search engines look for the most when determining what the page is about.

META Title – this is the title that sits on the very top line of your computer, when you have the internet open. The descriptions in these titles are one of the most important, as they can be the main searches that the search engines will pick up on, especially if they match the main title in the text on your page.

Natural or Organic Search Results - These are search engine results which are not sponsored, or paid for in any way. You will see them on the left hand page of your computer screen, under the coloured section.

Non Reciprocal Link - If one site links to another, but that site does not link back, then the link is considered non reciprocal. Most Search engines will give more value to the non-reciprocal links than to reciprocal ones because they are less likely to be the result of agreements between two sites.

PPC / Pay Per Click - An advertisement,normally found on the far right or coloured at the top of your page and is a scheme where advertisers will pay add companies such as Google, whenever a user clicks on their advert. Google Adwords is an example of PPC advertising. This gives more guaranteed success on appearing on page 1 of Google but can be really expensive!

Reciprocal Link - Two sites that link to each other. Search engines usually don’t see these as high value links.

ROI / Return On Investment - One use of analytics software is to analyse and quantify your return on investment, and therefore the cost and benefit of your different adverts or pages.

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation – This is the process of increasing the number of visitors to a Web site by sitting higher in the search results of a search engine. The higher a Web site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that users should visit the site. It is perhaps common for Internet users not to click past the first couple of pages of search results. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to search engines and improves the chances that the site will be indexed and favourably ranked by the search engine.

Site Map – We use these to help search engines find your pages. They are a map of all the pages of a website and show the navigational paths through the site. We don't feel they necessarily need to be actually shown on the website, even though they have been created, as they are not an easy thing to read, but if they are actually put on a site, then they will have links to all the pages, so you can manually navigate through it.

Social Media - This is getting larger and larger as more people are partaking in social media. This is where people share information and perspectives on different social platforms. Blogs, forums, user reviews and rating sites (such as digg, reddit) are all examples of Social Media. Obviously the largest sources at the moment are from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but also Linked In, which is a business network.

Spider / bot, crawler – These are a technical term used by search engines to find and add web pages to their indexes. The search engine spiders crawl through sites to find and index them.

Time On Page - The amount of time that a user spends on one page before going somewhere else. This could be classed as an indication of the quality and relevance of the page.

URL – This is called the Uniform Resource Locator and is the full Web Address of a site.

White Hat - SEO techniques, which conform to best practice guidelines, and will not be penalised by search engines as they are accepted by the industry.