SEO features as one of the baseline tenets of Inbound Marketing and as such, you need to know what it even is!
Hopefully, you’ve already got the abbreviation down (“Search Engine Optimization”) and understand what it is (the practice or set of techniques used to improve organic search rankings for your content), but take a look at the list below for other valuable definitions and ways to use these techniques to your advantage. It’s all about driving organic traffic to your site!
- Accessibility: much like in the physical world, online Accessibility references the techniques and markup available to designers to make websites available to the disabled community. Alt tags for images are a major component of Accessibility, but are read by Search engines as well.
- Anchor Text: the words used for a hyperlink; Search Engines use these words to evaluate the relevancy and content of the link (though less so for Google as of a recent Search update http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/04/search-quality-highlights-50-changes.html).
- Bounce rate: the percentage of visitors to your web page who leave the site directly from that page on which they landed. Optimizing your site for specific search terms and using landing pages will help you decrease this number.
- keyword/keyword phrase: targeted words on which a page or site is focused; these are the identifier terms by which you want to be found. Best practices suggest creating keywords based on how you think people would search for your product/service/information, not necessarily how you yourself think you should be found.
- Long tail: long keyword phrases of more than 4 words that are very specific in scope. These are considered to be the way most people search today, with longer search strings, to get more focused results. Optimizing for long-tail keywords is a higher level of optimization, but is more difficult to do as phrasing is so specific.
- Meta data: attributes in HTML markup that identify certain information for a search engine or browser to use. Included are title tags, descriptions, alt tags (for accessibility), keywords, etc. Including your keywords in meta data assists rankings.
- Off-page: the backend code of a website. Optimization here involves organized code, few scripts, and minimal read errors.
- On-page: The content and visual arrangement of your site (If you’re lost already, I’m talking about the actual content, graphics and text, you can see on a website page and the code on the backside of the website that is read by search engines, but not seen by site users). Making on-page changes involves tweaking your actual content or A/B testing various visual elements.
- Page: A web page in its entirety. In WordPress in particular, posts and pages differ in how they are setup to display. It’s an important distinction because search engines crawl and note them differently.
- Post: A content-based element visible on a blog roll or its own post page. In WordPress in particular, posts and pages differ in how they are setup to display. It’s an important distinction because search engines crawl them differently; posts are given a better “freshness” rating because of their refresh potential.
- Quality Score: A fractional indication (#/10) for the “quality” of an ad within Google Adwords. Low quality scores mean your ad is shown less frequently or for a higher price in the ad auction. Quality score can be influenced by good SEO on your Landing Page (and good SEO consciousness can and should inform your ad copy!)
- SERP: “Search Engine Results Page” – the page you get back from the search engine once you’ve put in your search term that contains your results. Track where you appear for relevant words and phrases!
- xml sitemap: It is exactly what it says; it’s a listing of URLs for your site in a format easily readable by search engines; information about the links may be included, like importance, relationship to other pages, and when it was updated (“XML” is a language based in characters all web browsers can easily identify). Resubmitting a sitemap to Webmaster Tools for both Google and Bing (which coordinates with Yahoo Search) can ensure your site will be read for changes more quickly than just waiting it out.
It’s a long road so don’t fret. Remember, companies exist out there that only do this type of work! It can be daunting, but it can done with regular effort and a consciousness in your new content.
Now optimize on, fair friend!