Basic SEO Key Terms & Acronyms

Whether you are about to embark on your first business venture or you are an established company looking to increase your online presence and exposure, SEO is an important process to helping your business grow. As with any specialty, there are heaps of acronyms and terms that can often leave you wondering if you and your SEO consultant are speaking the same language.

Well, fear not! Below is your basic starter pack of “SEO speak”, so in your next meeting you can understand and ask informed questions.

301 redirect: Is a permanent redirection of one page to another. This is very different from a 302 redirect which is only temporary.

404: The classic error message. This little sucker can really harm your rankings if left unresolved.

Adwords: A platform developed by Google for advertising. It is mainly based on keywords, ad copy, and fine-tuned targeting. AdWords is an easy platform to use, but definitely, a hard one to master.

Backlinks: This is literally just a link on your site to another page. This could be a link on your homepage to your ‘contact us’ page, or it could a link from your site to another business or product that you want to share/have partnered with.

Canonical URL: Within your site, you may have similar looking pages or content locations, the canonical URL tells the search engine which page is the main one, the ‘Master’ if you like.  

Https: Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is a protocol that means connections between your website and a browser (i.e. Google) are encrypted. This adds an extra layer of security to your information and the network you are using. This is especially important for E-commerce websites that take credit card information. Google has also made this a major ranking factor and prefers all website to now use Https over the standard HTTP.

Keywords: These are the words or phrases that someone types into a search engine to find what they are looking for. An SEO consultant helps your site to rank higher up on the organic listings when keywords that relate to your site are typed into the search engine.

Metadata: This is a set of data that describes your site to a search engine.

Nofollow: This is a way of stopping search engine bots following an external link on your site. It prevents search engine crawlers from shifting some of your domain authority to the linked site.

Organic: This is a non-paid, algorithm-based way of SEO work.

PPC: Pay Per Click. As opposed to organic SEO, PPC is where you pay advertising programs (like Google AdWords) to increase traffic to your site.

Robots.txt: This is a file with a set of instructions for when a search engine bot crawls your site gathering data. The robots.txt file tells search engines what they can and can’t look at on your website.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing. This discipline strictly deals with paid ads to increase traffic flow to your site, an example of an SEM tool is PPC.

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation. This is an algorithm based method of improving your place in the list of suggestions when someone searches for a place product or service. It focuses on improving your ranking without the use of paid advertisements.

Traffic: The people visiting your website.