Learn the Language of Search Engine Optimization
In this Information Age, it is common knowledge that to succeed in business or to get the word out on any project or cause, your website is vital. Not-so-common knowledge, however, may be the details of how to make your mark online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the essential ingredients to getting your website seen. If you’ve heard about SEO but aren’t clear on the terms and tools, here are some definitions to get you started.
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the process of helping website pages show up in a search engine. It is achieved through the use of keywords, links to and from other sites, and additional methods of signaling to search engines that a site and its content are relevant.
- Web Server: A computer connected to the internet that contains your website.
- XML Sitemap: An index of all the primary pages on a website that resides on the web server.
- Google Search Console: Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, this website resource from Google can be connected to a website, through a process called “authentication” to help index web pages, identify website errors, select a target country for the website, analyze backlinks, and more.
- Robots.txt: A file that is connected to a website and provides instructions for a search engine to index or ignore pages and directories in a website.
- Majestic: A backlink analysis website that also measures a website’s authority, backlink profile, and internet citations.
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider: Downloadable software that lists all the web pages and metadata of a website.
- Metatag: Website coding that is used in SEO to help optimize a website for search engines. The primary metatags used are H1, H2, Title, and Description tags.
- H1: HTML code for Heading 1, a header tag. This metatag is used to denote the main heading of the page and should appear at the top of the web page. For SEO purposes, there should be only one H1 on every page.
- H2: HTML code for Heading 2, a sub heading tag. This metatag is used to denote a secondary heading on a page and should appear below the H1. For SEO purposes, there can be several H2s on each page.
- Title Tag: The information that appears in the tab of a web browser. This metatag is also the main title that appears in a Google search result.
- Description Tag: Also known as a “meta description,” the description metatag should succinctly describe what a page is about. This tag is not visible on a web page, but it does appear below the main title in a Google search result.
- Disavowing Links: The process of telling Google that spammy or harmful links to a website are neither intentional nor wanted, and that they should not be counted against the website for ranking purposes.
- Google Analytics: A free tool that measures website traffic, visitor behavior, and other data for a website.
- Keyword: A word or phrase chosen as the focus for each web page. A good keyword is directly relevant to the page content and when entered into search engines, will return results closely comparable to your website. An SEO strategy will use keywords in metatags and page content.
- Google Keyword Planner: A tool accessible through Google AdWords that allows a user to see the search volume, average cost per click, and other data related to keywords.
- CPC: Cost per click. This is the amount Google advertisers are paying on average when using a given keyword in Google AdWords. It is an indication of how popular the keyword is with competitors.
- Search Volume: This metric shows how popular a search term is on Google. It is usually expressed as the average number of unique searches per month.
- Keyword Difficulty: This is an estimate of how difficult it would be to seize competitors’ positions in organic search with a particular keyword. The higher the number, the more difficult it would be to seize competitors’ positions. (Scale is 1 – 100%)
- Competition: This metric, in the Google Keyword Planner, is the level of competition in Google AdWords. The higher the number, the greater the competition. (Scale is zero to 1; 0.50 = 50%)
There is a lot to learn about SEO, so don’t be discouraged if you still have many questions about these brief definitions. It is an ever-changing field, and even seasoned SEO experts are busy keeping up with the latest concepts and techniques. Consider this a basic SEO overview, and stay tuned to this blog for more information. Get in touch with the Loebig Ink SEO Team to schedule a live website assessment to find out what Search Engine Optimization can do for your site.