a napkin showing SEO terminology

The SEO Terminology Guide for All SEO Levels

folder_openSearch Engine Optimization

Did you know that 68% of all consumer experiences online begin with a Google query? Since 90% of consumers don’t click past the first page of results after hitting enter, search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for reaching these users.

However, to implement an effective marketing strategy, it’s critical that you first understand basic SEO terminology. Read on to take the first step towards beginning your SEO campaign and reaching your target audience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The first term that we need to define is SEO itself. At its core, SEO refers to a series of manipulations that someone makes online. The goal of these manipulations is to get search engine bots to view your site as reputable, relevant, and engaging.

When bots see that your page is useful for viewers, they bump it up organically on search engine results pages (SERPs). This lets more users see that your business exists and is a solution that may solve their pain points.

Organic Search Results

Organic search results are the listings that you see on SERPs after making a query. In simple terms, they’re the pages that come up on Google when you search for a word or phrase.

Organic search results appear because of the search term entered. The pages that you see first are those that bots have determined that those who made the query will be interested in. The aim of SEO is to boost your pages in organic search results.

Google Crawlers/Spiders

Google crawlers, also known as Google spiders, are the bots that you need to impress with your SEO strategy.

The aim of Google crawlers is to find sites that users linger on, browse, engage with, and make purchases from. They scour the web and index sites based on their relevance and reputation, pushing those that they deem the best up in SERPs.

Google Algorithm

The Google algorithm is the algorithm that crawlers use to index pages. This algorithm is a complex system that looks into ranking factors.

Factors include keyword density, link building, and how many times pages have been referenced around the web. The algorithm can be manipulated with both on-page and off-page SEO strategies.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO strategies are manipulations that you make to your website itself. They have nothing to do with other areas of the web. The aim is to make your page appealing and engaging to both human users and crawlers.

Some on-page SEO factors include:

  • Incorporating high-traffic keywords into your content
  • Creating engaging blog posts, video content, and graphics that keep users on your page (lowering your bounce rate)
  • Internal linking to other areas of your website
  • Implementing simple navigation systems that make indexing easy
  • Improving its readability (for search engine users)
  • Using web development strategies to improve load times
  • Using mobile-friendly interfaces

Keyword use is one of the most important and widely-used strategies for ranking your website.

Keywords & Keyword Research

Keywords are the phrases that you enter into Google’s search bar every time you make a query. They direct you to sites relevant to that specific search query. This is the foundation for how search engines work.

Your page needs to incorporate keywords into its text-based content. This includes blog posts, about pages, and contact forms. It also includes HTML coding and multimedia descriptions.

You select keywords using a research process to find terms that people search often. Keyword research means using tools like SEMrush to find terms that have a high search volume (SV) and low keyword difficulty (KD). Think about things that are associated with your website and start there when beginning your research.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to manipulations that you make on other areas of the web to make your website more appealing. Unlike on-page SEO, you aren’t doing anything to your actual website.

Some off-page SEO strategies include:

  • Linking to other reputable sites within your content
  • Getting other websites to link back to yours with Guest Posting
  • Linking to your own website in reviews and on social media
  • Maintaining a high-quality social media presence
  • Driving traffic with pay per click ads
  • Claiming your Google My Business listing for local traffic

The goal of these actions is to build a reputation. Both consumers and bots will believe you to be reputable when your page is referenced often and has a lot of inbound traffic.


Backlinking is inserting hyperlinks within your content to other webpages. These links can be inbound and direct traffic to other areas of your site. They can also be outbound to establish a link between you and other reputable sources.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority is a metric created by a company called Moz. Back in the early days of SEO Google would publish how strong a site is when it cam to ranking on their search engine; they called this ranking, “page rank.”

This ranking is ranked from 0-100. Search engine optimizer quickly found out that if they got a link from a site with a high page rank of lets say 80+ it would have an effect on their rankings. A lower number 10+ would still have an effect but not as much. This quickly got abused and Google stopped publishing these numbers.

To combat this, Moz created a ranking system that’s similar called Domain Authority. It is a logarithmic scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the strongest.

Today many SEO’s will base a sites backlink quality off this one metric, which is a good metric, however, there is many more factors that come into play.

Managed SEO

Managed SEO is the best way to get your website ranking highly in SERPs. The term refers to a professional package in which experts handle all aspects of your SEO campaign. This includes keyword research, content production, and incorporating SEO-rich content into your website’s framework.

Using these packages is ideal because experts have high-level tools and knowledge that you likely do not. Outsourcing SEO gets you professional-quality results without even needing to lift a finger. You can then spend your time on other areas of business such as team building, innovation, and streamlining daily operations for higher productivity.

Beyond SEO Terminology

While optimizing your business online might sound like a challenge, understanding common SEO terminology means that you’re already on the track to success. Now that you know the most important verbiage for optimization, it’s time to get started.

We’re committed to helping you boost your visibility, gain more traffic, and make more sales. Contact us with any inquiries that you have about implementing an effective SEO campaign and taking your business to the next level.

Tags: Managed SEO, off page seo, seo basics, seo beginners guide, SEO Terminology

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