Every SEO term you’ll need, explained in language you’ll understand
Table of Contents
- 01Bonus Chapter - SEO Glossary
- 02Chapter #1: SEO for Beginners
- 03Chapter #2: How Google Works (Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking)
- 04Chapter #3: Keyword Research
- 05Chapter #4: On-site OptimisationChapter #4: On-site Optimisation
- 06Chapter #5: Technical SEO
- 07Chapter #6: Link Building 101
- 08Chapter #7: Analysing, Measuring & Improving SEO
Bonus Chapter - SEO Glossary
explain every important SEO term in layman’s terms.
No complex jargon, no ‘tech speak’. Just clear translations to make your SEO journey easy and exciting.
Chapter #1: SEO for Beginners
#1. 10 Blue Links
#5. Featured Snippets
#6. Google My Business Listing (GMB)
#7. Image Carousels
Google’s ‘library’ where all websites that have been crawled are stored.
The reason people are searching on Google. Not the what but the why.
Stands for Key Performance Indicator and measures the success (or failure) of a set goal.
#11. Local Pack
The pack of (typically) 3 local businesses that appear when customers search for local products and services. Often triggered by a “near me” search. For example “pubs near me”.
Results earned through SEO, as opposed to paid results like Facebook Advertising or Google Ads.
#13. People Also Ask Boxes
A SERP feature. Results display in a box of questions related to a query.
The words people type into Google. For example ‘Who is the best SEO agency in New Zealand’ (hint: it’s us).
The order websites are displayed on Google for any given query. The higher the ranking, the more likely you’ll receive site traffic.
#16. Search Engine
#17. SERP feature
An acronym for ‘Search Engine Results Page’.
Visits to a website.
#21. Webmaster Guidelines
SEO strategies that don’t violate Google’s guidelines. Google-safe tactics that can increase your rankings and site traffic.
Chapter #2: How Google Works (Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking)
#1. 2xx Status Codes
#2. 4xx Status Codes
Boo! A status of code that says a request for your website has resulted in an error and your site did not appear.
#3. 5xx Status Codes
#4. Advanced Search Operators
Special commands to narrow your search on Google. For example ‘site:example.com’ will only show results from that specific website.
The formula Google uses to store websites and determine their rankings when customers go searching.
Links created when other websites link to your content or web pages. Super valuable for your SEO.
Google’s crawlers (or spiders) that spend all day and night looking for new content, and updated content.
The saved version of your website.
Mentions of your website in local directories, like Yelp or Yellow Pages. Also known as ‘business listings’ and include your NAP.
The black-hat SEO tactic of showing one type of content to Google and another to humans.
#11. Crawl Budget
The average number of pages Google’s bots will crawl on your site.
#12. Crawler Directives
Your instructions to Google’s bots about how you want your content crawled and indexed (or not crawled and not indexed).
How people interact with your site, from clicking to page scrolling and
#15. Google Quality Guidelines
Google’s official bible on the SEO tactics that are forbidden because they’re designed to manipulate rankings.
#16. Google Search Console
Google’s free program where you can track how your site is indexed and optimised.
An acronym for ‘Hypertext Markup Language’. The standard language for creating web pages.
Google’s library of crawled websites. If you’re not in the index, you can’t rank on Google.
#19. Internal Links
Links from one page of your website to another.
A programming language that can update and modify HTML. Adds dynamic elements to bring your website to “life”.
#21. Login Forms
Access points customers have to fill in to reach content.
#22. Manual Penalty
Google’s punishment for websites who have violated quality guidelines (i.e. not a good outcome).
#23. Meta Robots Tag
#24. NoIndex Tag
A meta tag telling Google’s bots you don’t want a page to be indexed.
#25. Page Rank
Refers to the local pack. How well your business is known and trusted in the real world, based on reviews and ratings.
Google’s AI-driven algorithm that adjusts rankings based on the way people have been engaging with each site.
Refers to the local pack. How well your business matches what someone is looking for.
Files telling Google’s bots which parts of your site to crawl (and which to ignore).
A list of your website’s URLs that Google’s bots can use to find and index your site.
#31. Spammy Tactics
The low-quality and manipulative approaches to SEO. Think thin-content, or anything black-hat.
#32. URL Folders
Sections of your site that occur after your top level domain, for example in example.com/glossary, the URL folder is ‘/glossary’.
Chapter #3: Keyword Research
#1. Ambiguous Intent
When a searcher’s intent isn’t clear.
#2. Commercial Investigation Queries
When a searcher’s intent is to compare products and head towards the cash register.
#3. Informational Queries
#4. Keyword Difficulty
How hard it would be to outrank current websites for a given keyword.
#5. Local Queries
#6. Long-Tail Keywords
#7. Navigational Queries
When a searcher’s intent is to find a specific location, either a website or web page.
#8. Search Volume
How many times a keyword was searched, typically measured as a monthly figure.
#9. Seed Keywords
The primary keywords that describe your business, products or service.
#10. Transactional Queries
When a searcher’s intent is to take action, for example making a purchase.
Chapter #4: On-site Optimisation
#1. Alt Text
Alternative Text (or alt text for short) is the HTML code describing your images to Google and screen readers.
#2. Anchor Text
The text you hyperlink to create links from one page of your site to another.
#3. Auto-Generated Content
Content created by bots and algorithms, a big no-no in Google’s eyes.
#4. Duplicate Content
Content copied from one page to another (either exactly the same or slightly modified). Another big no-no.
#5. Geographic Modifiers
Words that describe a location and return local search results, for example ‘bars in Dunedin’.
#6. Header Tags
HTML elements designated headers. Include H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 and can include keywords to help your SEO.
#7. Image Compression
Decreasing the size of your image files without impacting image quality, crucial to fast loading sites (which Google loves).
#8. Keyword Stuffing
Black-hat SEO tactic of cramming keywords into content to try and manipulate rankings. Harms user experience and ends up sounding robotic.
#9. Link Accessibility
How easily your links can be found by Google’s bots and people.
#10. Link Equity
The authority one link passes to the next.
#11. Meta Description
HTML elements describing the content of your web page. Limited to 160 characters and can help (or hurt) your click-through-rate.
The ‘http’ or ‘https’ in front of your domain name. Https is more secure, preferred by Google, and helps your SEO.
Signalling to Google your URL has moved from one spot to another. This can be temporary (302 redirect) or permanently (301 redirect).
A handy tag letting Google know which version of a web page is the original, and which are duplicates.
Structured data markup added to your site that may trigger additional info on the SERPs, such as recipes, reviews or upcoming events.
#16. Scraped Content
Content taken from one website and published elsewhere without permission.
#17. SSL Certificate
An acronym for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ which encrypts your data and changes your protocol from http to https.
#18. Thin Content
Content that’s low-quality, doesn’t add value, and looking to push quick rankings, without putting users first.
#19. Title Tag
HTML elements describing the title of your web page. Limited to 60 characters and can influence your rankings and click-through-rate when optimised properly.
Chapter #5: Technical SEO
An acronym for ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’, used to make your mobile site load lightning fast.
The web browser you use to go online, like Chrome or Firefox.
#4. Client-side rendering & server-side rendering
Refers to where code is run. Client-side means files are executed in the browser and server-side means files are executed at the server.
An acronym for ‘Cascading Style Sheet’. This is the code that changes the way the HTML elements of your site look, like colour or font.
An acronym for ‘Domain Name Server’. You need a DNS to link your IP address with your domain name so Google can deliver your site to people.
#8. Domain Name Registrar
A company that manages domain names, for example Host Gator.
#9. File Compression
How you reduce the size of files without compromising the file’s quality.
A handy little tag that tells Google what language your content is in. This makes sure English content is delivered to people searching in English, for example.
#11. IP Address
An acronym for ‘Internet Protocol’. Your IP address is a string of numbers that’s unique to you. Google reads IP addresses, but since a jumble of numbers doesn’t appeal to humans, your DNS converts your IP address to a people-friendly domain.
#12. Lazy Loading
A page speed trick that defers the loading of a file, say an image, until it’s needed.
Removing unnecessary characters from source code without impacting functionality. Compression makes files smaller, while minification removes things completely.
#14. Mobile-First Indexing
Google crawls and indexes the mobile version of websites 9not desktop versions) to determine their rankings.
#15. Programming Language
How a browser turns code into a people-friendly web page.
#17. Responsive Design
Google’s preference for mobile websites. A responsive design adapts to suit desktop, tablets and mobiles (instead of shrinking an original site without changing a thing).
#18. Rich Snippet
A snippet is your page title and meta description that show up on Google. So, a rich snippet adds more information like reviews, recipes or upcoming events. You can boost your chances of securing a rich snippet using structured data markup.
Code that passes on relevant info from your page to Google. This is referred to as structured data and is used to help secure rich snippets.
Chapter #6: Link Building 101
#4. Directory Links
#5. Editorial Links
#6. Follow Link
#7. Google Analytics
#8. Google Search Operators
#9. Guest Blogging
#10. Link Building
#11. Link Exchange
#12. Link Portfolio
A NoFollow link does not pass link equity from one page to another. As all links are follow by default, you’ll need to add a rel=”nofollow” tag to stop equity moving between pages.
An acronym for ‘Page Authority’ that predicts an individual page’s ability to rank on Google (as opposed to DA which refers to your overall domain’s ranking potential).
#15. Purchased Links
The opposite of editorial links, these are bought with money or traded for something else of value. It’s better to earn links organically, or find an SEO consultant with proven industry relationships.
#16. Qualified Traffic
Qualified traffic is relevant to your business and is more likely to become a paying customer. Aka the best type of traffic.
#17. Referral Traffic:
Traffic you receive from another website, for example through backlinks, social media, or Google ads.
Chapter #7: Analysing, Measuring & Improving SEO
An acronym for ‘Application Programming INterface’ that is a software that allows two apps to talk to each other.
#2. Bounce Rate
The percentage of people who entered your site but left without moving onto a second page. If someone arrives on your home page but leaves without browsing any other pages, they just bounced.
An acronym for ‘Click-Through-Rate’. Measured as a percentage of people who clicked on a specific link divided by the total number of people who viewed the link.
#4. Conversion Rate
Measured as a percentage of people who completed a goal on your website (like downloading a guide or making a purchase) out of the total number of visitors. Industry averages range from 2% to 5% – but we think you can do better.
#5. Google Tag Manager
A free tool from Google allowing you to add tracking code to your site to measure specific goals, like clicks or conversions.
#6. Page Speed
How fast the content on your site loads. The faster the better.
Removing weak, low-quality pages to increase the quality of your remaining pages.
#8. Scroll Depth
How far down a page someone is scrolling.
#9. Search Traffic
Traffic to your website coming from Google (and your stellar SEO campaign).
#10. Time On Page
How long someone spends on any given page before moving to the next (or exiting).