In the world of Search Engine Optimisation, a vast majority of the words used are industry-specify and acronyms, it can be hard to get around all the jargon so here are some of the most common terms that you will come across.
A permanent server redirect - usually a result of a change of address for a web page.
Google's online advertising program that is implemented to promote businesses, help sell products or services, raise awareness, and increase traffic to their website.
A program used by search engines to determine what pages to suggest for a given search query.
Alt text is used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. Adding alt text to photos is first and foremost a principle of web accessibility, visually impaired users using screen readers will be read an alt attribute to better understand an on-page image. Alt text will be displayed in place of an image if an image file cannot be loads and it helps to provide better image context to search engine crawlers, helping them to index an image properly.
A program which assists in gathering and analysing data about website usage. Google analytics is a feature rich, popular, free analytics program.
The user visible text of a link. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and of the link to the content on the landing page. Ideally all three will share some keywords in common.
A software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone. Search engines use bots to find and add web pages to their search indexes.
The percentage of users who enter a site and then leave it without viewing any other pages.
Content Management System - Programs such as Wordpress, separate most of the mundane Webmaster tasks from content creation so that a publisher can be effective without acquiring or even understanding sophisticated coding skills if they so chose.
A conversion is the general term for a visitor completing a site goal. If you use your website to sell products, the primary goal (known as the macro-conversion) is for the user to make a purchase. There are smaller conversions that can happen before a user completes a macro-conversion, such as signing up to receive emails. These are called micro-conversions.
Cost Per Click - The rate that is paid per click for a Pay Per Click Advertiser.
Cost Per Mille (Mille being the latin term for 1000) - Calculated by taking the cost of the advertising and dividing by the total number of impressions, then multiplying the total by 1000 (CPM = cost/impressions x 1000).
A website devoted to retail sales.
Hyper Text Markup Language - Directives which are used to add formatting and web functionality to plain text for use on the internet. HTML is the mother tongue of the search engines, and should generally be strictly and exclusively adhered to on web pages.
A database of Web Pages and their content used by the search engines.
The word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine.
The page that a user lands on when they click on a link in a SERP.
An element on a web page that can be clicked on to cause the browser to jump to another page or another part of the current page.
Actively cultivating incoming links to a site.
Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page's content; the meta tags don't appear on the page itself, but only in the page's code. These little content descriptors help tell search engines what a web page is about.
A value between 0 and 1 assigned by the Google algorithm, which quantifies link popularity and trust among other factors.
Pay Per Click — A contextual advertisement scheme where advertisers pay ad agencies (such as Google) whenever a user clicks on their ad. Adwords is an example of PPC advertising.
Any of several methods used to change the address of a landing page such as when a site is moved to a new domain, or in the case of a doorway.
A file in the root directory of a website used to restrict and control the behaviour of search engine spiders.
Return On Investment - One use of analytics software is to analyse and quantify return on investment, and thus cost / benefit of different schemes.
A program, which searches a document or group of documents for relevant matches of a users keyword phrase and returns a list of the most relevant matches. Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo search the entire internet for relevant matches.
Search Engine Marketing - Often used to describe acts associated with researching, submitting and positioning a website within search engines to achieve maximum exposure of your website. SEM includes things such as search engine optimisation, paid listings and other search-engine related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your site.
Search Engine Optimisation - The process of increasing the number of visitors to a website by achieving high rank in the search results of a search engine. The higher a site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that users will visit the site. It is common practice for Internet users to not click past the first page of search results, therefore high rank in SERPs is essential for obtaining traffic for a site. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be indexed and favourably ranked by the search engine.
Search Engine Results Page.
A page or structured group of pages which link to every user accessible page on a website, and hopefully improves site usability by clarifying the data structure of the site for the users.
Uniform Resource Locator - AKA Web Address.