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  • Writer's pictureYellow Lemon

SEO Jargon Buster

“That sounds great, but what does it all mean?”. Ah. We’ve all been there, merrily chatting away about a great SEO strategy that we think will benefit a client, using terms such as canonicals, schema and topic clusters, and we are met with a blank stare.

We pride ourselves on transparency and taking the time to talk through our suggestions to ensure that you understand why we have suggested a certain approach. So we’ve created a quick guide on common SEO terms which you might hear us use and what they all mean, in simple terms.

200 - the cherry on the top in terms of status codes. This says your page is a-okay, hurrah!

301 - permanent redirect of one page to another on your website to ensure no broken links on your site.

302 - temporary redirect of one page to another on your website, often changes to a 301.

404 - uh oh. A big red flag. A 404 error means that a page no longer exists.

Alt tag - a friendly image name, often including a target keyword, used as a ranking factor but also helps in terms of accessibility.

Backlinks - one of the most important ranking factors, a backlink is a link to your site from another. Helps with credibility as it signals to Google that others trust your content.

Bounce rate - a key metric which we track in terms of user experience, monitored on Google Analytics. It is the percentage of users who click on to your site, then click off without interacting.

Canonical tag - a tag which is added to a page to signal a ‘master’ version of that page to reduce instances of duplication.

Crawling - the act of gathering on-page and off-page content using a program to evaluate your website information.

Core Web Vitals - a recent rollout by Google as another key ranking factor, takes a look at site speed, especially on mobile, which will have an influence user experience.

Domain authority - a search engine ranking score created by Moz that predicts how a website will perform in rankings (on a scale of 1 - 100). The higher the better.

Duplicate content - the same content found on multiple pages on your site, which has a detrimental effect on SEO.

Featured snippet - found at the top of Google results page, Google takes a snippet of content to provide an instant answer to searches.

Follow - in reference to links, indicates to search engines that the link should be followed to allow link equity to be passed from one page to another.

Heading tags - code that is used to ‘mark up’ your headings to explain the content hierarchy on a page. H1 is the most important and should include your target keyword, h6 is the least important. Best practice is to only have one h1 per page.

Hreflang - code added to a page telling search engines that there are international versions of your site and which language should be used for which country.

HTTP and HTTPS - found at the start of a URL, stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. We recommend all websites being https as Google slightly favours more secure sites.

Google Analytics - a must have for any website to track your organic performance.

Index - a signal for Google that the page can be found and added to the Google index so it can appear in search results.

Internal links - a key part of any SEO strategy. Relates to links that are from one page of your website to another.

Link Equity - another name for Domain Authority. The more backlinks a website has from relevant and high authority sites, the greater the link equity.

Long-tail keywords - searches that are 2-4 keywords long. We love a long-tail keyword because, although they generally have a lower search volume, they are more specific so are more likely to convert.

Meta data - includes the meta title and meta description. It is what you see on the SERPs and on the website tab, with the description appearing under each link on results pages. Both should be optimised for target keywords.

Mobile-First indexing - Google has recently placed higher importance on the mobile version of a website as more people are searching on mobiles than on desktops. Therefore user experience on mobile is one of the key things we look at.

Nofollow - in reference to a link, indicates to search engines that link equity should not be passed to another page.

Noindex - a signal to search engines that a page should not appear in Google’s index. Often used on landing pages created for paid activity, account pages or old pages that do not provide value.

Off-page SEO - focused on link building and relates to outreach activity within our SEO strategies.

On-page SEO - optimising content that is found on your website pages, such as copy, headings, meta data, image alt tags and URLs to include target keywords.

Rank - the position your website page appears in the SERPs. Ranks 1-10 are on the first page of Google, but recently Google includes featured snippets, images and people also ask features which you can appear in.

Schema markup - a type of structured data (or code) which helps search engines to better understand the content on your website and helps your content to appear in the featured snippets section, for example, when implemented correctly.

Sitemap - an index of all the pages on your website that are intended for search engines to rank for. A user friendly version can be added to your site for internal linking and navigation.

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation. aka what we do! Strategies used to help your website appear higher on Google with the end goal of sending traffic to your website.

SERPs - Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). We aim high for page 1.

Technical SEO - a key element of SEO to ensure that the website is technically functional to allow it to be crawled, indexed and rendered by Google for it to appear in results pages.

User experience (UX) - a key part of our auditing. It takes into consideration the overall experience a user has when interacting with your website, such as easy navigation, page speed and engaging content.

Visibility - a target metric shown as a percentage which indicates how many times your website has appeared in search results, regardless of whether the user clicked through or not. The higher the visibility, the better the SEO.

Need help with your SEO strategy? Drop us a message and we'll get back to you to see how we can help your business.


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