SEO is a highly complicated field. The world of search engine optimization revolves around generally becoming an expert in the hybrid fields of online infrastructure and sales techniques, so you can offer the best services in a field that’s already overly saturated and extremely competitive to begin with.
Today, you’ll find out exactly what you need to know when starting in SEO. Here are 30 terms that every beginner should know on day one, just as they get started.
Anchor Text: Anchor text is the text that’s actually linked to in a hyperlink. It’s what’s highlighted in blue and underlined when you typically scroll through a website.
Blog: A blog is a web log, typically in text form, and typically authored by an individual or a group of people for informational or entertainment purposes, or to act as a news feed. According to WebDesignerDepot, blogging first began in 1994. Today, bloggers act as authority figures in their niche. Their content is viewed most often by prospective customers, so companies communicate with bloggers to feature their products and services.
Conversion Form: This is a signup form used on websites to collect information on leads or prospective clients. Typically by signing up to a newsletter, a conversion form lets you follow up on website visitors and increase your chances of a purchase.
Content: Content is information posted on a website, typically in text form. A blog entry can be content, as can information on a company’s history. Search engines check content for quality and keyword density, in order to figure out how to rank a website in search results.
CSS: Short for Cascading Style Sheets, this is a portion of web design dedicated to visual formatting and placement of text elements on a website. Like blogging, CSS first began in 1994, according to W3.org.
Directory: An online directory is a collection of websites in a particular niche. They’re like specialized search engines, or lists, viewable by users looking for specific companies or information.
Domain: Your domain name is part of your web address, and exists to name the specific part of the World Wide Web that you have control over.
Fold: The fold in a website is the cut off line where a user would have to scroll down to read more. In SEO, this is typically relevant in search results. If you’re below the fold in a search result, you’re much less likely to be visited.
Google Panda: Google Panda is part of Hummingbird, Google’s search algorithm. It’s meant to utilize spam-busting techniques to weed out websites that use black-hat SEO to artificially boost their ranking.
Google Penguin: Also part of Hummingbird, Google Penguin penalizes link-buying activity by blocking websites that bought for links rather than earning them. According to SearchEngineLand, Google Penguin launched in 2012.
Heading: Headings are highlighted and larger strings of text in a blog entry. They break an article apart, and give it structure.
Inbound Link: An inbound link is a link from another site linking to you. The higher the reputation and SEO of that other site, the better that is for you.
Indexed Page: These are pages that are indexed and “crawled” by search engines in an effort to determine a website’s rank for certain keywords. Not all pages are crawled, usually due to some error.
Keyword: A keyword is a term input into search engines. Search engines search websites for keywords, and utilize other factors to determine where a website ranks in the results for a keyword.
Link Building: Link building involves utilizing networking and other techniques to get more inbound links from high-ranking websites to your website.
Long Tail Keyword: These are unusual keywords that aren’t usually searched, yet apply to your website. They allow you to rank highly for these unusual searches.
Metadata: Metadata is information invisible to regular website visitors, yet crucial to search engines, telling them more about your website.
Meta Description: This is the description you see underneath a search result entry on search engines.
PageRank: PageRank is a ranking from 0-10, a score given by Google rating your SEO. However, it doesn’t matter nearly as much as it used to.
Pay Per Click: PPC involves buying advertising space, specifically per number of clicks. In this case, advertisers don’t pay for the space. Instead, they pay per each click the ad gets.
Outbound Link: A link leading away from your website. If linking to high-ranking sources, this can be beneficial to your website’s reputation, as it puts you ahead as a provider of quality information.
Ranking Factors: A collection of factors taken into account by search engines when ranking your website. The exact factors are unknown, but much about page ranking is uncovered.
RSS Feed: RSS is a universal subscription-based news feed that all websites can include to give visitors an easy way to get alerted to updates.
RankBrain: Part of Hummingbird, RankBrain is Google’s new self-learning search engine ranking machine. It’s still small, but its influence is growing.
Spider: A program meant to crawl websites in search for information, typically email addresses.
Sitemap: A digital document that provides a structural map of an entire website, included in websites for search engines to easily navigate the site.
Social Network: A networking platform that focuses on social information and interaction. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are examples of such.
Traffic: Traffic is the collective term for the visitors your site gets in any given period of time.
URL: The URL of a website is different from a site’s domain name in that the URL is input into a browser to see a specific webpage, while the domain name is the name of the entire website.
It’s all a little overwhelming, and to some, it’s all just a tad too much. That’s why many simply opt to leave it to the professionals by purchasing affordable website SEO packages through providers like SEOTuners. However, with the right guide and the right information, you can start your path in SEO and build yourself to become a formidable provider in your area, or even lead a significant change in how SEO works. The key is in having the right knowledge.