A-Z of SEO Terms

A-Z of SEO Terms

Marketing can be confusing. Many marketing agencies tend to confuse clients and prospects with jargon. But we don’t do that. Read the first of the jargon busting series, our A-Z of SEO Terms below.​







Above the fold

Having content above the fold means the content that is displayed on your screen without having to scroll down the page. This is the most important space on the page. It is important that you use this space to create engaging, relevant content to make people want to scroll down the page and explore more.


Search engines use algorithms to rank your websites content. Google uses algorithms to determine ranking factors such as page speed, page authority and keywords.

Alternative Text

The alternate text or shorthand term “ALT tag” refers to the attribute within an image tag. Google can’t see an image on a website the way a human can. Google doesn’t know what that image is. It uses an Alt tag to tell it what the image is. It is important that this is descriptive of the image to tell search engines the nature of the image.

Anchor Text

The anchor text is the text within a hyperlink that is clickable. The words in the anchor text can influence the search engine rankings of the page that it links to. It is good practice to have an anchor text that is relevant to the destination page.



A backlink is any external link from another domain directly to a page on your domain. Backlinks are a major ranking factor in SEO. Although the quantity of backlinks is important to a page authority it is important that they come from a good, reputable site otherwise this could have an adverse effect on your site authority.

There are dofollow and nofollow backlinks. Dofollow links pass Authority to your site but nofollow links do not.


Bing is one of the most popular search engines in the world after Google. It is currently owned and operated by Microsoft.


Blogposts or blogs are regularly updated informative posts within your website. They tend to be written in an informal tone. It is a great way for SEOs and content marketers to build relationships in similar communities and acquire backlinks whilst demonstrating their knowledge base.


Also known as search engine spiders, robots, crawlers. These automated software agents crawl content on the web for the purpose of understanding and indexing the content in order to pull the most relevant results to a searcher’s query.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors landing on a single page of a website and leaving without viewing any other pages of the same website. Although the bounce rate is not directly a ranking factor, a high bounce rate demonstrates a bad user experience. The main reasons for a high bounce rate are: Slow page speed, page ranking for keywords not relevant to the page or badly written or structured page.


Breadcrumbs are used as a navigational aid for users to keep track of their location when browsing a website.

Broken Links

Broken links are links that leads to a 404 page not found, bad gateway, or internal server error. It is important to redirect all 404 pages as it may lead to Google not crawling your site the way wish it to.


Conical URL

The rel=canonical tag is used to tell search engines that various URLs have essentially similar content. Search engines will then only index the canonical URL. This takes care of duplicate content issues which confuse search engines as to which content they should rank. The rel=canonical code is placed on the duplicated pages which you do not want search engines to index. Search engines will then follow the specified URL and index it instead.


A computing term in which data is stored into your browser so that future requests can be served faster. Page speed is a big ranking factor in Google’s algorithms. Using browser caching can enhance the loading speed of your webpages, reduce bounce rates and allow search engines to crawl more pages on your site.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The ratio of clicks to views in a Google search. For example: if your webpage had a 5% CTR, for every 100 views it receives it will be clicked 5 times.


Quality content is essential for influence and maintaining SEO rankings. Content 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience.

Conversion Rate

A conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of interactions. A conversion is the desired outcome of a visit to your site. It generally looks at either contact form enquiries or sales for an eCommerce site.


A term used when search engine spiders discover and process information on your website. They use this information to understand what your site is about and help the ranking process for your keywords.

Crawl Budget

The number of pages of a website and the number of times a day a search engine will crawl a website. It is important that all pages of a website that intends to rank on top of Google get discovered and crawled, otherwise they would not be indexed and ranked in Google’s search engine results pages.The higher the domain authority of a website, the higher crawling priority Google assigns it. In order to conserve a website’s crawl budget, a robots.txt file is used to block sections of a website that have no intention of ranking on the search engine results pages.


CSS = Cascading Style Sheets – A plain text file saved with the extensions .css that is used to style and format web elements in a presentable way.

Website & SEO Terms



A dofollow link is a hyperlink that passed PageRank and authority to the link destination. In the code it is a link without the rel=”nofollow” attribute. See nofollow links.

Domain Authority

An SEO metric created by Moz. Domain authority or DA can be used to predict the ranking ability of a website using a scale of 0 – 100, with 0 being the lowest and 100 being the highest.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is showing similar content on multiple pages. This causes problems when search engines don’t know which version to show to users and can result in your page ranking lower than it should.


External Link

An external link is any hyperlink that points to a destination URL other than its own domain.



A favicon is a small icon used on web browsers to represent a website. Short for favourite icon, favicons are commonly displayed on tabs at the top of a web browser


Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Google Keyword Planner was previously referred to as Google AdWords Keyword Tool. This tool helps you build a keyword strategy.

Google Alerts

Google alerts is a free tool provided by Google which allows you set up email alerts to monitor the web for content and mentions of your brand or your competitors.

Website Analytics


Google’s web crawling robot, also known as a “search engine spider”.

Google Keyword Planner

A Keyword Planner provided by Google to help you conduct keyword research. You need a Google AdWords account in order to use this tool.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free service that will enable a business to be found on Google Search and Google Maps.

Google Suggest

Suggested search terms that show as you type in your search queries on Google.

Google Trends

A free tool by Google that allows you to explore trending search topics.



Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML is a set code or markup language used to create structured documents on the World Wide Web. There are a range of HTML elements such as the <title> tag and meta description tag that are picked up by search engine spiders and are used as clues or ranking signals to determine the ranking relevance of a page.


HTML5 is another SEO-friendly markup language that delivers several improvements from HTML such as increased user experience (audio & video) and provides a good alternative to less SEO-friendly languages like Flash and Silverlight.


HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure signifies that all sending and receiving of information are encrypted and secured. This is opposed to HTTP which is not secure or encrypted.


Image Title

The image title and caption is text of the image and provides search engines with information about what the content on the page is about.


The number of times a search result is seen regardless of whether it is clicked.

Inbound Links

A hyperlink from another website to your website. An inbound link may be “followed” or “nofollowed”.


A search engine’s index is similar in concept to a library’s index of books, whereby information is sorted and organised by predefined parameters so that it is easily retrievable when searching.

Internal Linking

A method of hyperlinking different pages within a site to one another.



A lightweight programming language that can add dynamic interactivity to your website (for example, clicking on a button to display hidden content).



Keywords are words and/or phrases used in webpages to help search engines connect users searching for relevant search terms to your website.

Keyword Density

The percentage of a keyword or phrase to the total number of words mentioned in a webpage. There is no set rule on the ideal keyword density percentage required to achieve good rankings. Although keyword density does shape what search engines think about the overall topic of your content and this can influence your rankings.

Keyword Optimisation

The process of including target keywords in specific locations of a website (for example the title tag, meta description, and URL) to increase search engine rankings.

Keyword Rankings

The position of a webpage on the organic SERPs (search engine results pages).

Keyword Research

The process of discovering what keywords your prospects are using and understanding their intent to better optimise your pages for both users and search engines. It is important that this is done with the prospect in mind and not using industry know terms or phrases.

Keyword Stuffing

An unadvised SEO technique whereby the same keyword is repeatedly mentioned in a webpage with no thought for a good user experience. This can have a negative effect on your Google rankings.


Landing Page

A landing page is any page that a user lands on after clicking on a search result.


Any hyperlink (clickable text, button, or image) that takes users to another section (internally or externally) of a website.

Link building

The process of acquiring backlinks through outreach, submission and PR.

Link Text

Also known as “anchor text”. The clickable text of a hyperlink.

Local SEO

The method of optimising a local business to rank on the local search results. This includes building local citations and earning Google My Business reviews.

Long Tail Keyword

Keywords phrases that are longer and more specific to the searcher’s intent. As opposed to short tail keywords which are more generic in nature.


Meta Description

A HTML attribute that is used to provide search engines with a summarised description on the contents of your webpage. It is commonly used by search engines to display as the preview snippet of the search engine results pages.

Meta Keywords

A HTML attribute that lists the keywords that are found on the webpage. It is no longer used as a ranking factor by major search engines. In fact, spamming this meta tag can have adverse effects on your rankings.

Mobile Friendly

Describes how accessible a website is to users who are browsing the page on a mobile.


MozRank represents the Authority of a website or webpage by calculating the number and quality of webpages that link to it. It is originated moz.com


Natural Links

Backlinks that are acquired through non-spammy techniques such as one to one outreach and quality guest blogging.

No Follow

A HTML attribute that can be added into the code behind hyperlinks to tell search engines not to pass PageRank to the destination URL.

<a href=”http://www.example.com/” rel=”nofollow”>


A HTML attribute to tell search engines not to index a particular webpage.

    • <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex“/>


Off Page SEO

Refers to external website related activities, mainly link building and content marketing to boost a website’s search engine ranking positions.

On Page SEO

Refers to internal website activities such as keyword, site speed and content optimisation in order a boost a website’s search engine ranking positions.

Organic Search Results

The non-paid search engine results, usually below the paid ads. Ad fees will be charged to the advertiser when a user clicks on a paid ad result. Whereas no fees are charged when a user clicks on an organic search result.



A ranking algorithm created by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to calculate the importance, authority, and reliability of a web page from a scale of 0 – 10, with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.

Page Authority

Page Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines. It is based off data from the Mozscape web index and includes link counts, MozRank, MozTrust, and dozens of other factors.


The process of segmenting content onto multiple pages and including paginated links to those pages. 

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights (PSI) reports on the user experience of a page on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions on how that page may be improved.

A to Z of Website Terms



The ranking positions of a website’s target search queries, also commonly known as keyword rankings.


The instance of sending users and search engines to a different URL than the one initially requested. There are various types of redirects such as: 301 permanent redirect or 302/307 temporary redirect.


Refers to the referral traffic sent from other websites to yours typically through hyperlinks. The more quality backlinks earned, the more referral traffic from these sources.


A HTML attribute attached to the code behind the hyperlink to tell search engines that page does not endorse the destination URL. Also commonly referred to as “nofollow links”, these links do not pass PageRank or link juice.

Responsive Site

Used to describe how a webpage or website looks on multiple devised, such as: mobile, tablets, etc.

Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets give users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance. These rich snippets that have a higher click-through rate. People just prefer to click on the results that give them more information.


This is a text file that provides instructions to search engine spiders/bots about which files and directories to ignore when crawling a website.


Search Console

Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a free web tool that helps website owners monitor their site health and maintain their search presence on Google. Bing has a version called Bing Webmaster Tools


SERPs or Search Engine Results Pages are pages displaying links to webpages in response to a query entered by a search engine user. It contains two main types of results – Paid search results (ads) that advertisers have to pay search engines for every click, and organic search results which are ranked by algorithms based on the search engines ranking factors.


The number of times a keyword or keyword phrase in typed into a search engine. Search volumes for specific keywords can be research through keyword research tools such as: SEM Rush, Moz or Seoptimer.

SEO Audit

An on-page and off-page audit of a website to identify any issues that may cause a website to be “unfriendly” to search engines.

Site Map

A sitemap can be in HTML or XML format. HTML sitemaps are included on the front end of the website for users to gain a birds-eye-view and easily navigate through a site. Whereas XML sitemaps are created to submit to search engines for better site crawling and indexation.

Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup is a text-based organisation of data that is used to increase the visibility of pages in the search result snippets.


Target Keywords

The keywords or search terms you intend to optimise your website and webpages to rank well on the search engines SERPs.

Title / Page Title

The title of a page is generally visible near the top of the page and is usually surrounded by the <h1> tag. It is a best practice to include your target keywords in the page title. The H1 tag shows search engines what content can be expected on the rest of the page.

Trust Flow

Trust Flow is a metric created and trademarked by Majestic. It is a score assigned to webpages on a scale of 0-100, and is calculated by analysing a site’s backlinks from trusted third party websites.


URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

A URL is nothing more than the address of a given unique resource on the Web.

User Experience

User experience (UX) is a person’s overall experience when interacting with your website or webpage. Reader-friendly fonts, good quality, well sized images, great copy and appropriate call-to-actions all play a role in delivering a satisfying user experience.


Website Design

The process of designing a website. Check out our Guide to Website & Design & Build for complete guide to website design.


XML Sitemap

This sends important information to search engines such as the organisation of your site content and the importance of each page.

SEO Terms Explained

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