Common Website & SEO Terminology Meanings

Unless you’re experienced with SEO, digital marketing and websites, you might come across a range of terms that you don’t understand. We’ve listed a range of common SEO and website related terms and provided some metaphors and explanations to help you understand exactly what they mean.

Algorithm Updates – Companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google all have built in algorithms. These algorithms are used to make the connection between what people search for and what they see as a result of that search. Algorithms are reviewed regularly, tweaked and updated to make the searches better for users.

Alt Text/Alternative Text – Alt Text is a description that you give to describe an image on a website so if for any reason, it won’t display – there is information about what you should see. In SEO, it provides semantic or meaningful information for Google to be able to rank the image.

Anchor Text – Anchor text are the words or characters that are hyperlinked on a website. Anchor text should be relevant to the page that the link goes to and you should avoid poor anchor text such as “click here” or “see link”. You should ensure that you avoid this in your linking strategy.

Backlinks – This is where one website links to another in the form of a hyperlink. There are different kinds of backlinks.The best kind are Do Follow backlinks as they can pass on some SEO link juice and a bit of authority from the other website to yours. Think of it as an unwritten way of saying “we like your website, our traffic should take a look at your website too”.

Cookies – Not the baked goods kind, these website cookies are files that are created when you visit a website. They are really handy as they save browsing information which improves your experience if you later return to that website. Some cookies are essential for website functionality but you can also encounter tracking cookies that provide information to the website company about how their website is used and help them to work out what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes they are also used by websites to remarket to their visitors to encourage a repeat visit but under GDPR, websites have to ask you to accept which cookies you’re ok with. Cookies are used to profile website visitors.

Crawl Budget – This is referring to the amount of webpages on a website that can be crawled and indexed by the Google crawlers within a specified time frame. Ensuring that your website is as fast as it can be, will allow the crawlers to get through and index more pages and help to maximise your crawl budget. There are lots of ways to make efficient use of your crawl budget but website speed is a big factor.

Cache – A cache collects temporary data in order to help websites, browsers, and apps load faster. Websites have caches and so do browsers. Clearing them could help with display issues on a website and should be done to help troubleshoot issues. In some cases, your website may have multiple caches.

Captcha – Are you a Robot? These handy little tools can help up your website security and stop those pesky bots from spamming you.

Content is King – Famously said by Bill Gates, in SEO it basically sums up just how important good quality, unique content is within your digital marketing strategy.

Domain Authority – This is a score out of 100 that is given to a website as a measure of how strong your website is. The higher the number, the stronger it is and the more chance you have of increasing your ranking ability. There are two main factors that contribute towards this – trust, age and popularity.

Duplicate Content – Duplicate content is considered to be an exact copy of content in more than one place, this is particularly bad on a single website, so you should ensure that content on each page is different to content on others. Duplicate content on more than one website is also not good and even though Google tries hard to work out where the content originates from, it’s still common to see this happening. If you encounter content that you’ve created, you can reach out to the other website and request that they remove it under Copyright Law.

Featured Snippets – The ULTIMATE space on Google. Usually pages that answer specific queries can win these highly sought after slots in SERPs (see below). This is also known as Position Zero.

Google Indexing – This is the name of the process for Google trying to work out what your page is all about. The Google Index is an absolutely massive database and it’s the reason why you get results for search queries. Any website pages not in the index will not show up on Google.

Href Lang Tags – These handy little tags are crucial if you are an international online business that services multiple languages. The tag helps Google by informing them what page should be shown to someone searching in that language. For example, someone in Germany would not necessarily want to be confronted with a website in English, so the page with the German translation would be shown to them instead.

Internal Linking – Internal Links are where you hyperlink anchor text to help direct website visitors around your website. They help provide a good UX (User Experience) as well as helping to reinforce website structure. Internal linking can also assist with crawl budget too since Googlebot prioritises webpages with numerous external and internal links.

Keywords – These are specific words or phrases that 1) tell google what your page is about and 2) help searchers find you from their search queries. Having well thought out keywords is hugely important to any digital marketing strategy – it shouldn’t be a guessing game.

Keyword Cannibalisation – This is where a page for a specific keyword is ranking above the one you actually want to be ranking for that keyword. Usually this means that Google is ranking the incorrect page because it sees it as being more relevant for that keyword.

Keyword Stuffing – This is where you go a bit overboard with writing the same keyword so many times on a single webpage that it’s considered spam. There needs to be a fine balance between reinforcing what the webpage is about and not being excessive.

Metadata – Metadata is defined as data that provides information about other data. In SEO, meta titles and meta descriptions are used to provide structured information about what the webpage is about. When you look at SERPs, the listings include the meta titles and meta descriptions. If you don’t work on these yourself, Google will use content already on the page to guess what these should be.

Orphan Pages – Orphan Pages are pages that do not have any links from anywhere on your website. This is really bad for indexing. Think about the Google crawlers or spiders looking around your website trying to index pages – if they can’t get to a page because it’s not connected to your website, it won’t be indexed.

Platform Version End of Life – This means that the platform is no longer supporting your version of the website. When something is not supported, it doesn’t get the important security updates that you need to keep your data secure and could leave you open to hackers.

Plugin/Module Updates – Sometimes modules need to be updated because a new update might fix bugs. Just like your phone, sometimes the software needs to be updated to the latest version.

Rankings/Positions – This is about where your pages sit in the SERPs for specific keywords and search queries. The closer you are to the top of the list, the more likely it is that your website will receive traffic.

Redirects – Redirect are instructions that refer a searcher to an alternative page. They are especially important when creating a new website when you have one already. Imagine that you’ve moved home – you would need a forwarding address set up so that you receive your mail. This is what redirects do in the digital world.

Relevancy – This is to do with how relevant the content on your website page is to a search query in a search engine like Google. If you have a keyword you want to rank for, the content on the page should be extremely relevant to it.

Search Intent – This refers to the reason why somebody might type something into a search engine. Think about “Amazon” – are people looking for the Amazon website or are they looking for the Amazon Rainforest? People will usually refine their searches to find what they need and hopefully you’ll have a keyword strategy in place that thinks about what people are searching for and gives them the answer they are looking for.

SERPs/Search Engine Results Pages – When you type something into a search engine like Google, the pages that display following this query are known as SERPs. Everyone wants their website to be displayed at the top of these so that their visibility is high and they obtain traffic which could lead to more sales/interest.

UX (User Experience) – UX on a website is crucial for both SEO and in maximising your chances of customer conversions. If someone visits your website and has a great experience, they are more likely to convert as a sale or a lead. If a page is slow or a user cannot navigate to the pages that they want to, then this may put them off. Google also takes UX into consideration in ranking websites.

About Sophie

Having worked in house on a Prestashop website for a number of years, I’ve gained a great deal of experience with SEO, blog writing, content creation and general daily website operations.

Give us a call on 01460 281865 or email us to see how we can help you!