Knowing common SEO lingo is the first step towards improving your SEO game. You can’t efficiently improve your SEO if you don’t know the basics. So, think of this post as your go-to SEO terms definition list.
Below, we’ve created a giant list of all the SEO terms you NEED to know. We’ve identified, defined, and hopefully provided some context for the most commonly used SEO terms to help you learn the basics and keep up with the industry’s language.
Knowing these SEO terms is important for growing your blog and understanding how SEO is important for you as an Influencer specifically. We’ve included terms specifically related to SEO and efficient blogging, but we also threw in a couple terms related to the Influencer industry – terms that we think are helpful for bloggers as well.
So with that, let’s get into the list of SEO terms Influencers should know and understand in order to grow their blog.
SEO Terms Definition List For Bloggers:
A search engine is a software program or tool that is designed to help searchers find websites or web content. When a user or “searcher” types a keyword or phrase into a search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, & Duck Duck Go, the search engine uses algorithms to showcase the best results it thinks the user is searching for.
Search engines help searchers find information, businesses, products, tutorials, and basically anything posted on a website on the internet.
To find a website in pre-search engine days, you would need to already know the URL, which you’d then type directly into the web browser. Today, search engines enable you to receive website suggestions based on what they think you’re looking for. All you have to do is type in a search query. Then, search engines provide you with the most relevant websites featuring what you’re looking for.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of creating search engine friendly content and websites in order to capture traffic organically through search engines.
The goal of search engine optimization is that search engines will recognize your content as an answer for a search term. Therefore, the search engine will showcase your content in search results. In other words, you want search engines to index your content for search phrases, AKA keywords.
Search engine optimization services for bloggers can include everything from optimizing blog posts and fixing site health issues, to developing a page SEO strategy, keyword research, and more. Bloggers should use search engine optimization best practices in order to grow their traffic consistently. Because really, SEO is the most efficient way to grow your blog.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing involves the marketing tactics someone deploys on search engines. These can be both organic and inorganic. To break this down, search engine marketing can include both search engine optimization (organic) and paid advertisements on search engines (inorganic). Search engine marketing is used to increase visibility in search results pages and drive more traffic to your site.
At InfluencerSEO, we truly believe that organic search engine marketing should be the main focus for bloggers. When your goal is community building, you really should be attracting your community organically vs. paying for it.
Organic traffic is traffic that you do not have to pay for. It’s traffic that comes in automatically through various platforms on a regular basis. Search engine organic traffic, specifically, is gained through your website’s rankings. When you rank on search engines, your content is showcased to people searching online. They then click on your website in the search results and create more traffic. You don’t have to pay for that traffic, so it is considered organic.
Above, you learned about organic traffic. Well, there is also inorganic traffic – also known as paid traffic. This is traffic that is purchased through advertising. It is not natural or automatic, but instead acquired through financial payment in exchange for traffic. In paid search engine advertising, you can pay-per-click, per conversion, per impression, etc.
Ranking refers to a site’s position on a search engine’s results page. If you Google something, tons of “results” pop up on the page. Sites are ranked by search engines in their index, and sites can be ranked in the search results index in any position. There are typically about 10 results per search result page. So, rankings can pop up as the first organic search result in the index, as one of the rankings on page one, as one of the rankings on page two of the indexed results, or even further down. It all depends on the quality of the content.
For example, if your site is ranking for a search term in position 50, your ranking will not be not anywhere near page one of the search results. You are indexed, however, your ranking is not ideal. Most users only click on the first few ranking results on page one and rarely click to page two.
Therefore, you won’t earn traffic from rankings that aren’t higher up on the index. The goal of SEO is to gain rankings on page one, so that you earn the organic traffic from your rankings. Ultimately, other then being number one, you want your content to be a featured snippet on the search engine. There are many factors that determine your website content’s rankings. We’ll discuss most of them below!
Keywords are also known as key phrases or search terms. They are what people search for and they are the phrases that people type into the search box on search engines. When you type something into a search engine, you’re essentially typing in a keyword. Keywords all have different monthly search volumes and competitiveness. Some keywords are searched thousands of times per month, others are only searched 10 times per month. All keywords have different search volumes, competitiveness, and costs for paid advertising.
Search Engine Optimizers can research keywords to find out how much potential organic traffic a site could get if they are able to rank for a keyword. When your content is optimized for specific keywords, its more likely that search engines will index & rank your content for the specific keyword and showcase your content as a result. When you rank for a keyword, you’re able to capture traffic organically through people searching on the Internet and clicking on the sites that pop up as results.
Keyword density refers to the amount of times a keyword appears on a page. It used to be one of the most important ranking factors, until Google caught on. You used to be able to just load up a page with a ton of keywords and rank. Now, that is considered keyword stuffing, which goes against Google Guidelines.
Keyword density matters, however, we try not to get too hung up on it. The most important thing is to focus on creating quality content. Your keywords, keyword synonyms, and relevant keywords will all naturally pop up in your content as you focus on adding value.
When your site is indexed, this means that the search engine algorithm recognized your content as relevant information for a search term. Therefore, it included your content in its index. Being indexed does not reflect which position you’re indexed in. Instead, your ranking position reflects where in the index your content is indexed.
Keyword research refers to the process of identifying the short- and long-tail keywords that people enter into search engines in an attempt to discover their search volume, competitiveness, difficulty, cost per click, and indexed posts related to the search term.
When search engine optimizers conduct keyword research, they’re essentially trying to figure out what a site can and should rank for. This is especially important to target the exact audience for your website and to reach relevant and relatable people. Keyword research is an essential part of search engine optimization.
Competitiveness, as it relates to SEO, basically means understanding that search engines rank keywords. This means that some keywords hold a higher level of difficulty to rank for.
Site health is a reflection of how healthy your site is – based on what search engines and users value. Some software platforms are able to generate a score that is provided after a site audit is performed. This score comes from the total errors and warnings that were found on the pages crawled on your site. Site audits are unique to every individual site. They are valuable to view the overall health of your site and help you address minor and major issues.
Bloggers, in particular, tend to rack up a ton of site health errors due to the nature of their niche. They tend to link to a lot of products that often become sold out, which adds errors to their site. Additionally, they include a lot of photos, which can create a whole host of site health issues. Bloggers are also consistently linking to brands and doing reviews. If a brand updates their website, you could be raking up site health issues there as well. The list of potential site health issues for all sites, and especially bloggers, is in the thousands.
Blog Post Optimization
Blog post optimization is crucial for bloggers. When you optimize your blog posts, you’re basically making it easier for search engines to understand what your content is about. You’re making sure that the post follows SEO best practices (such as removing duplicate content, fixing 301 redirects, linking, including keywords, etc.) for optimization and readability.
This means you are making your content more likely to be found by people who are entering keywords associated with your posts via search engines like Google. Optimizing blog posts is not just great for SEO, but it also helps to hold the attention of your readers by providing a better user experience.
A good meta description should contain around 160 characters and it should summarize the entire content of the post. It is shown under the title tag in search results and tells visitors what the page is about before clicking the link. Meta descriptions may not directly increase your website’s ranking, but it can definitely improve your click-through rates.
Front end refers to the part of a website that is accessed directly by the end-user or client. So, front end development is responsible for the aesthetic portion of a website – such as the graphic design and content. This is what people will see when they visit your URL and website pages.
Back end refers to the part of a website that users don’t interact with directly. Its the part of your website that makes everything on the front end of your website operate properly.
Back end can actually be explained in two ways:
The developer building and maintaining parts of your website and/or the back end of an application or program that is supporting the front-end user’s services and interfaces. So, think of this as when you log in to WordPress and Squarespace to add content to your blog, or the actual coding of your website.
Content Management System ( CMS ):
A web content management system is an interface, aka software, designed to help you manage your website. This software allows you to create, modify, organize, and produce online content. When you use this kind of software, it makes it easier for you to handle the smaller technical tasks vs needing to hire a developer. On your own, you can make edits to your content, track any changes made to your already published posts, and even authorize account access to different users.
Domain authority, also referred to as a website’s Authority Score, is a score generated by SEO software platforms. Different platforms give a site a score based on what they perceive to be the websites authority or SEO power. Each software platform that offers a score like this takes different metrics and data into account. So, if you’re monitoring domain authority, you should really use either a few different platforms or the same platform each time – so you can truly see the gains and losses.
The most popular software platform used for monitoring domain authority is Moz, as they were kind of the first platform to start using the term. At InfluencerSEO, we personally prefer Moz’s Domain Authority Toolbar & SemRush’s Authority Score metrics when developing strategies for Influencers.
Search engines use crawlers, which are sometimes called bots or spiders, to read your web page content and rank it. Once it enters a website, a crawler saves an HTML version of the page to the search engine’s index.
An important thing to know about SEO is that your website should allow crawlers to access your site. There are a lot of ways you can unknowingly harm how efficiently search engine’s can crawl your site. Some examples are no indexed pages, broken links, URL errors, poor navigation, unoptimized hosting environments, inefficient coding, and outdated URLs.
Therefore, it is vital to have your website checked from time to time for crawl efficiency.
An algorithm is a formula, set of rules, or guidelines that search engines use to index and rank your content. Nobody knows exactly how search engines rank web page content. But, it’s estimated that Google, for example, uses over 200 algorithms to determine rankability. You can read more about how search engines work directly from Google, HERE.
A website’s user experience refers to just that: The experience of the user. You can have a poor, mediocre, good, or great user experience. Things that impact the user experience include your websites functionality, ease of use, aesthetics, design, etc.
So for example, if your site takes too long to load, that contributes to a negative user experience. If you have a bunch of broken links giving the user error pages, that is adding to a poor user experience. And, if your text is so small that the user can’t read it, that can contribute to poor user experience. However, on the flip side, if your site loads quickly, is easy to navigate, works properly, and has great content, you can expect a great user experience.
Backlinks are incoming links from other sites to your web page. They are considered an important ranking factor amongst many SEO’s. Getting backlinks from other websites, especially high-authority sites means that you are producing high quality content. When other sites link to you, you gain credibility and authority. Backlinks also drive more traffic to your website and, ultimately, improve your site’s ranking on search engine results pages.
You have be very careful about backlinks, though. We always recommend against using any Black Hat SEO tactics. Paying for backlinks goes against Google’s Guidelines on link schemes and is considered Black Hat. When you engage in Black Hat SEO, you’re risking being penalized by Google with a manual action. In some extreme cases, Google will blacklist your website and remove your site from their indexes. So, always be authentic and don’t try to gain the system. The short term gain isn’t worth the potential penalty.
Title tags are HTML code or elements that indicate the title of the post. They are the words that appear on top of the browser when the page is shared on social media.
Subheadings or headings are also HTML code that help content creators break up their content into important sections. These headings give both readers and search engines an indication as to what the content is about and indicate which value is showcased where in any given piece of content.
Think of subheadings as subtopics within your post that break down the content. Rather than reading a blog post that is all the same font, in paragraph style text, headings serve as important markers for what to expect. They help make your posts easier to scan, more enjoyable to read, and provide for adequate aesthetic white space. Subheadings also help search engines identify the relevant topics on your page.
Using these subheadings properly can lead to better rankings and better overall user experience. Learn more about subheadings, what they are, and how to add subheadings to your blog posts, HERE.
Alt text makes it possible for readers who are sight-impaired to understand what the site is showing in an image. The alt text describes the image for a better user experience. Search engines use alt text to create more context around the images you include in a blog post. And thus, make your images more valuable. Search engines also prefer optimized alt text in order to be ADA compliant.
A follow link is a link that essential search engines can follow. Follow links provide link juice – in other words, they boost the rank of the page linked to the site. This essentially helps the site become a result from search engines. So, if you have a follow link to another website on your blog, you’re essentially telling search engines to follow that link and pass on link juice.
No Follow Link
A no follow link is essentially the opposite. When you link as a no follow link, you tell search engines NOT to follow the link. This command is used mainly to prevent endorsing or passing on link juice to another webpage. Bloggers often use no follow links for affiliate links or sponsored content links.
It’s always important to consider not using too many no follow links on your site, as it can look like you’re trying to game the system and potentially have a lot of spammy links on your site. So, use this feature wisely. You really should look at linking as a way to add value. So, if you’re linking to another website, it should be because it truly adds value. And therefore, deserves a follow link. If you’re constantly adding no follow links to your site, you’re likely adding links that aren’t adding value.
Google Analytics is the holy grail when it comes to understanding your website’s performance. We at InfluencerSEO use Google Analytics for all of our clients. On Google Analytics, you can track your website traffic performance, plus gain tons of information regarding the demographics and behavior of your website visitors.
You can see information such as where your visitors are coming from, which pages they are visiting, if they are new or returning, how long they spend on the site, how many pages they visit, and more. Bloggers should use Google Analytics to showcase their traffic data and strategy to brands. We could go on and on about how much we love Google Analytics for Influencers, but we think you get the point.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors that leave your website from the same page they entered it. So essentially, they came to your website and immediately left without visiting any other pages. Your goal as a blogger should really be to create engaged website visitors. Visitors that come to your website and end up clicking around.
You can lower your bounce rate by creating valuable content that has internal links to your other valuable content. The hope is that people visiting your site will be so engaged with your content that they’ll want to read your other content on other subjects as well.
Your conversion rate refers to the percentage you can convert a lead or website visitor into a desired outcome. So for businesses, the conversion rate refers more to how many sales they can generate off of their incoming traffic. For bloggers, your conversion rate mostly refers to how many actual sales you generate from your affiliate link clicks. So for example, if 100 people click on your affiliate link for a product and 10 of them buy, your conversion rate would be 10%.
Conversion rates are incredibly important for bloggers. You can use your conversion rate to showcase your value to brands not just from a promotional standpoint, but also from an actual sales generating standpoint. You can find your conversion rate in the your affiliate network dashboard.
Some of the most popular affiliate networks helping bloggers easily generate affiliate links are RewardStyle, ShopStyle, Amazon Associates, ShareASale, & Rakuten. However, there are SO many affiliate networks you can choose from. In fact, some brands are even able to create their own affiliate networks.
Are there any search engine optimization or blogging terms you want us to define?
So, thats our list of SEO terms defined and hopefully explained with enough context to help you on your blogging journey. If you’re an Influencer and have any questions about the terms above, or want us to add more terms to our list, leave a comment below. And while you’re here, we definitely recommend checking out our blog for more information on SEO, the blogging industry, and how to grow your blog! We add posts weekly and are happy to cover any requests as well!