What is SEO?


What is seo?

SEO stands for search engine optimization.  Essentially, it is when you make calculated changes to your website in order for Google and other search engines to deem your website as a trustworthy source.  By doing so, you get a high ranking in search results and therefore your website traffic will increase.

Throughout this series we will breakdown topics such as how to optimize your blog posts, how to optimize pages on your website, performing a keyword search, on-page versus off-page SEO, and essentially just creating quality content to increase organic traffic.  If all of this sounds like jibberish, today I’m just going to focus on defining some key terms and we will jump into the next topic on Thursday.

a glossary of Important terms


Alt text: “a description of an image in your site’s HTML.  Unlike humans, search engines read only the ALT text of images, not the images themselves.  Add alt text to images whenever possible.”

Analytics: software that provides the ability for a user to track page views, conversions, user demographics, statistics, referral information and more.

Anchor text: The text a visitor would click on to view another web page.  This can be controlled to open in the same window or in a new window.

CMS: Content Management System; the service, tool, or platform that allows you to create, design, update, and manage information on a website.  

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets; this is a coding method to add styles and modify the design of a webpage.

Content: aka text, copy. The valuable component that visitors are visiting your webpage in order to read and view.



Impression: a page view on your webpage.

Inbound link: aka, incoming link that links to your webpage from another site.  Eg, when someone links to your “great post” from Twitter.

Index: The data collection bank, or cataloging system, that a search engine accesses to create results on a SERP based on the keywords presented to the search engine.  Eg, searching for “DIY home improvement projects” on Google will yield results on the results page (SERP) after searching through their entire index to find matches to your search term: DIY home improvements projects.

Juice: aka SEO juice or link juice; this refers to the power or gravitas assigned to a webpage calculated by the quality of external and internal links.  Eg, the more a single webpage is recommended or talked about, the higher the juice and power it has.

Keyword(s): the search term (either a single word or a phrase) that a person enters into a search engine in order to find results.

Long tail keyword: a much more descriptive search phrase. Using the example from Index, “DIY home improvement projects” is more of a long tail keyword than DIY project.  However, “DIY home improvement projects for your kitchen” is even more of a long tail keyword.

Keyword density: an outdated metric for determining the webpage’s relevancy when a search engine is indexing and crawling your webpage.  It refers to how often a particular keyword is used. 

Keyword stuffing: an excessive use of a certain keyword).  Also called, keyword spamming.

Keyword research: the process one takes to determine and discover relevant keywords and phrases to insert on to your on-page and off-page SEO.  



Landing page: The page a visitor arrives on after they click on a link.

Link building: the process and strategy of creating high quality link-clicking by a targeted audience.

Meta tags: the data within the HTML that provides critical information to the search engine bots who are indexing your page.  The goal is to tell them what your webpage is about so the page can be indexed and cataloged correctly.

Natural search results: the organic, non-paid search results that appear on a SERP.

Nofollow: Nofollow links indicate that you are not officially promoting an external (one that is not your own) website.  Do not use nofollow links when you are linking to other (internal) pages on your website.  

Organic links: see natural search results.  The majority of clicks to a webpage from an SERP is natural and organic links.


Deep link: a link on your webpage that points to another one of your pages.  For example, on a home page of a website, you encourage visitors to check out your blog.  That is an internal webpage that you are linking to and therefore a deep link.

Domain: your main website address (www.YOURSITE.com), aka your URL.  It is your official location on the Internet.

Headings: the text on your website that uses a heading tag, such as H1, H2, or H3 (sometimes all they way up to H6).  This text is therefore in a larger and stronger font that the other text (also called copy).  The lower the number (eg H1) the more important the heading.

HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language; this is the coding language that creates a webpage and it is the coding that search engine bots read when indexing your webpages.



PageRank (PR): Google assigns a number from 0-10 to your website, based on analyzing the content and ranking the quality of your overall SEO.  This is becoming outdated and replaced by a logarithm called TrustRank.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing; when a business or person pays for ad space on SERP.  The list of results that show up on a search engine after you enter your search keywords and press “search.”

SEO: Search Engine Optimization; a strategy in which you make calculated (but small) changes on your website in order to make your website more popular according to search engines.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page; the webpage that shows you a list of results based on a search term or phrase that was inputed.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator; the website link to a specific page on your website (www.YOURSITE.com/about)