Important SEO Terms You Need to Know in 2024

SEO or search engine optimization, is no different. A long list of seo specific terminology definitions and abbreviations can be challenging to understand and keep track of. However, a digital marketer needs to comprehend SEO content and keep up with new terms. This blog we will help you master SEO language and stay at the top of your online marketing game by explaining important SEO terms that every marketer, from beginners to experts, should know 

Basic SEO Terms 

Search Engine

A search engine is a software system designed to retrieve information from the World Wide Web according to a user’s query.

Google is the most popular search engine in the world, holding over 85% of the search market share. Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and Yandex are also popular search engines. 

Popular privacy search engines are DuckDuckGo, Brave Search, Swisscows, etc.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

It is a process of optimizing our website to generate organic traffic and increase its visibility. 

Search engine optimization is of three types. The first is on-page, the second is off-page and the third one is technical SEO. 

In on-page SEO, we can optimize content and images, meta tags. 

In Off-Page SEO, we work on backlinking activities such as profile and business listing submissions. 

In Technical SEO, we work on internal files such as robots.txt and sitemap.xml.

Search Engine Result Page (SERP) 

It refers to the page displayed by a search engine in response to a user’s query. When a user enters a search term or phrase into a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo, the search engine returns a list of results relevant to that query. 

The SERP’s primary goal is to provide users with relevant information that matches their search intent. It uses algorithms that consider factors like keywords, content quality, website authority and user engagement. 

Types of SERP: Organic SERP, Paid SERP, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graph, Local Pack.

Website

A website is a collection of many web pages. A website or site is where many web pages are kept. Whenever we want to get information, we search it on the internet, such as searching for movies or downloading files, or if we’re going to get any information, we search it through a web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera Mini, etc. Then, many websites opened up in front of us. When we open a website, there is a home page of that website. 

Websites are mainly of two types. First is a static website and the second is a dynamic website.

Web Traffic

You must have heard about the traffic in Kolkata. Traffic irritates us so much.

But, Now we will talk about web traffic so that people are not irritated. The more web traffic, the happier they are. 

So, what exactly is web traffic? 

Web traffic simply means how many people are visiting your website. After visiting, which links are they going to? And how long do they spend on your website or web pages? 

People are very happy with website traffic because the more it increases, the more popular you are, the more people know about the site, and the more revenue you earn. 

There are many tools for monitoring web traffic. One of Google’s most promising tools is Google Analytics, which allows you to monitor your web traffic.

White Hat SEO 

White Hat SEO means that you are doing your website’s SEO search engine policies and guidelines. Like maintaining quality content, using descriptive words, making meta descriptions keyword-rich and using many best practices to rank in your SEO. According to the search engine guidelines, that is called white hat SEO.

Black Hat SEO 

Everybody wants to rank their website high on Google search because ranking on Google can bring free traffic that converts into paying customers. 

However, search engine optimization takes a lot of time and effort to show results. We are a generation of impatient people, so some try to take shortcuts. They go against the search engine guidelines and use unethical tricks to rank higher quickly. This is called Black Hat SEO. 

Instead of earning the right to rank high on search engines, Black Hat SEO uses shady tactics to get you up in the rankings. Some black hat tactics are keyword stuffing, cloaking and sneaky redirects. Also, poor-quality content, paid links and blog spam comments are considered black hats. 

But does a black hat help? 

The answer is no. It might do more damage than good for your business and website. While it can show results in the short term, it is more likely to get you penalized by Google in the long term, where Google will push you down or kick you out of the search results.

On-Page SEO Terms

Keyword

If we type any words or any queries or any phrase on the search engine, we call it a keyword. For example, you searched for “Digital Marketing Expert Kolkata”, so this is a keyword.

Short-tail Keyword

A short-tail keyword is a keyword used for a general query. For example, if a person searches for a mixture grinder on Google or any other search engine, then we know that he needs information related to the mixture grinder. It is an example of a short-tail keyword.

Long-tail Keyword

The long tail keyword is used when our user or audience types a keyword on the search engine when they want information about a specific topic or product. For example, if someone searches “A big mixture grinder within 3000 rupees”, this becomes a particular query. In this query, we know what that person wants for a mixture grinder and his budget for the specific product. 

Meta Tag

Meta tags are the title and description that show up on Google when you search for a keyword. So say we search for “Cleaning services in Kolkata” and then one of the results says “Best house cleaning services in Kolkata”. And then the description says, “Get a clean home within 3 hours with our expert service at your doorstep with Kolkata Cleaning Services. Call us for more information” It’s your meta title and your meta description collectively. Those are called meta tags. 

These are set in the source code of your website. So these are not going to be visible on the front end actual design of your website. Most website builders, Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, whatever, will have fields for each individual page where you can set the meta title and meta description for each page. So that’s a quick overview of meta tags.

Header Tags

Header tags are HTML tags. When you go to any website, bold text is written there, and a paragraph is below it. So they are header tags that go to h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6. So you must use the h1 tag in your blog and website for primary keywords. You can use h2 for secondary keywords and so on. This also makes the content of the website beautiful. So it would be best if you used these tags. Google also prefers them, and this has improved user experience. 

Contents

The content is the presence or material of the posting on digital channels. In other words, the content is the constant presence of your content or service and any keyword in the field. If you want to sell any content, you will have to deal with the convenience and inconvenience of that content. 

There are four types. 

1. Text content is what you can understand by writing or typing. For example, you have written a poem or a poem, or you have written or typed or typed a keyword and presented it. 

2. Image or picture. If you have a digital channel in your home, you can use a photographic tool or a graphical view of a fact. This is called image content. 

3. Audio content means understanding something with words or sounds. If someone says something informative, this is audio content, or any kind of music or song is included in audio content. 

4. Video Content: Video content is any videography. If someone uploads some informative video, this is video content.

ALT Text/Alt Attribute

Alt tags are text-based descriptions of an image. It’s important for SEO so that Google can actually read an image as text. It’s also an important accessibility feature. When people who are sight impaired are on a website, their screen readers can read the alt text of an image to them. So when they come to an image, it can say woman typing on a keyboard instead of just saying “image 342.jpg”. So it’s important for SEO and for accessibility.

Technical SEO Terms

Anchor Text

The anchor text is the text you use while hyperlinking to other articles internally or externally. The anchor text or link text is a piece of content describing the link. Whenever you link internally, make sure you have a descriptive anchor text. 

What does that mean? It means don’t use generic words like click here, read here, read more, learn here. 

Instead of generic words, use sentences like “If you want to learn more, then check out our marketing video”. Then, a hyperlink from the “marketing video”. That is descriptive anchor text. The more you describe the text, the better it is.

Canonical Tag

A canonical tag is an HTML specification in the header area of a website’s source code. It refers to the master page also known as the canonical URL for websites with the same or similar content. If a canonical URL is correctly marked, Search engines will index this source only, meaning that duplicate content issues can be avoided.

Robots.txt

Simply as I told you, there will be some pages on our website that we don’t want the crawler to crawl. Or think in common sense. Suppose there is a bank website. On the bank website, there is also our personal information, our passcodes, our credit card and debit card information, and the details of the internet banking that we do. So, all these pages are my private and personal information. It is also confidential information for the bank owner or the website owner. But the crawler, which is a boat or a robot, for the crawler, it is just information. That is why it comes through the Robots.txt file.

Robots.txt is a file that tells search engine crawlers  to not crawl certain pages or sections of a website.

Sitemap

Sitemap provides a complete blueprint of any website. Sitemaps are of two types: XML Sitemap and HTML Sitemap. XML Sitemap helps the crawler or bot crawl and index. On the other hand, HTML Sitemap helps the user navigate the site. Sitemaps are most helpful if it is a brand-new website. Their sitemap is very helpful for their few backlinks, external backlinks or websites with considerable URLs, i.e., huge websites, e-commerce, or news websites. 

Schema Markup

It’s like giving your website superpowers. By adding structured data to your HTML, you’re speaking the language of search engines. This means better visibility, more detailed search results and higher click-through rates. Imagine your content standing out with reviews, ratings, and events. It’s not just worth doing; it’s a game-changer for your online presence.

SSL Certificate 

Secure Socket Layer, or more famously, SSL certificate, is a protocol used to create a secure connection. When a visitor enters an SSL secure web address into their browser or navigates through a secure page, the browser and the web server establish an encrypted connection. Anyone who attempts to capture this data will only see a confusing mess of characters that are extremely hard to decrypt, which makes it more difficult for attackers to steal important information.

Featured Snippet

That is position zero and Google search. The first result is not even the first result; a box pops up before that. When we search for something that doesn’t pop up, sorry, the first snippet is the featured one, a featured result by Google. So, digital marketing is a sector that keeps changing rapidly. When Google updates its algorithm, digital marketers have to make changes accordingly. So, based on the recent trends in 2024, position zero, the featured snippet, is the hottest position to the top spot. Hence, it becomes evident for any digital marketing experts, especially SEO experts, to optimize their website and produce high-quality content that is well structured and generates enormous traffic.

Crawling

Crawling in SEO refers to search engine bots, also known as web crawlers, who visit and scan a website’s pages to index its content. 

Web crawlers are automated software programs that use algorithms to crawl through websites and collect information on their pages, including text, images, links, and other elements. Crawlers work by starting with a list of known URLs, such as sitemaps or previously indexed pages, and then following links on those pages to discover new pages to crawl. 

During crawling, web crawlers evaluate a website’s content, structure, and quality to determine how well it should rank in search results. Optimizing a website for crawling means ensuring that its pages are easily discoverable and accessible by search engine bots.

Indexing

The term indexing refers to the process of gathering information to create an index. So what Google does is they crawl your pages and they store them within their index. So when a user conducts a search, Google will search within their index to display results. So when people say your pages are indexed, that means they’re available to show within search results. If those pages are not indexed, then they’re not available to show in search results. 

Mobile-first Indexing

Mobile First Indexing was a search update launched by Google engineers in 2020. It was released to make sure that most of the websites are mobile-friendly. Some websites needed to be mobile-friendly. That’s why Google engineers make sure that they rank the websites that are mobile-friendly and that their mobile-friendly pages rank at the top search results, so this was the mobile-first indexing. 

So, mobile-first indexing means that the most mobile-friendly pages will rank at the top.

Website Speed

Website speed is a critical factor in search engine optimization. It refers to how quickly your web pages load and is essential for providing a positive user experience. Here’s a quick tip. 

Optimize your website speed by compressing images, minifying code, and leveraging browser caching. Consider upgrading your hosting plan or using a content delivery network to ensure faster loading times. By prioritizing website speed, you’ll improve your SEO rankings, reduce bounce rates, and keep visitors engaged. 

Remember, search engines like Google consider website speed a ranking factor. A fast-loading website enhances user satisfaction and contributes to better search engine visibility.

Redirection

Redirection and redirect is a way to tell the search engine and user that the particular website or web page they are requesting has been shifted or moved to another place. 

Redirection is of two types. 301 and 302. 301 means permanent redirection, like HTTP to HTTPS or non-www to WWW. 

If you have deleted a page, then you are redirected to another page for that particular page. There is 302 redirection, a temporary redirection when you want that page to be redirected to a specific website or webpage.

Broken Link

A broken link is a hyperlink that, if the user clicks on it, does not allow them to reach that specific web page or content. That is, the web page or content has been deleted, or there is no content available on that particular web page. 

If we see it from the perspective of SEO, it negatively impacts our website. If the Google bot gets a broken link while crawling on our web page, it degrades our website’s credibility and ranking. 

The main reason behind this is that broken links prevent the user from reaching the targeted content or location. 

So, if you want to see broken links from the perspective of SEO, then you have to analyze them properly, find out how many broken links are on our website, and optimize them properly so that we can improve the performance of our website’s SEO. 

Off-Page SEO Terms

Backlink

A backlink is a hyperlink placed on a website that redirects to another website. Let’s assume that you are writing an article on your blog about Alt text. Throughout the article, you have made a hyperlink to your Alt text blog article. This simply means that the blog Alt text’s backlink was created on your site. 

Similarly, if another website includes your website’s link in its blog, article, or website, it means that that website created a backlink to your website. 

The backlink is that the link of any particular website is present in any other website is called a backlink.

Guest Blog 

Guest blogging in SEO, search engine optimization, is a tactic where a blogger writes a blog post for another website that is not their own. The goal of guest blogging is to provide valuable content to the host website’s audience while also gaining exposure for the guest blogger’s own website or brand. 

 Analytics SEO Terms 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an essential tool to learn about your website and make many decisions. You can find out how much traffic is coming on your website, which people are coming, which age groups are coming, male or female, from which country they are coming and whether they are active. You can see the roadmap for everything that is visiting your website. On which partiage is it going, on which page it has reached, and everything you can do. And with all these things, which we call analytics, we understand what changes we have to make to our site, what our strategy has changed, and whether people like things.

Google Analytics 4 

Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of Google Analytics. If you already use Google Analytics, you’ve likely been using Universal Analytics. But if you have a website and you’re not using any semblance of analytic tracking, you’ve got to get on it. You can monitor your traffic and page performance and improve your site based on data, but don’t just jump from Universal Analytics to GA4. You’ll want to install GA4, let it run in the background to collect as much data as possible, and wait for Google to phase out Universal Analytics in July of 2023. 

Some fancy features of GA4 include a brand new interface, everything being event-based instead of session-based, much more accessible custom reports, Google’s machine learning and data modeling playing a much larger role and the replacement of certain metrics like bounce rate. If you have a third party or an agency setting up your analytics for you, it’s super important that your account is set up with your credentials so that you always have access to your information and data.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free platform offered by Google that helps website owners, web marketers, and SEO professionals monitor and maintain their site’s presence in Google search results. 

But it’s more than that; It helps you improve your site so more people can find it when they search. With Google Search Console, you can see the exact words people search for before they click on your site, how often they’re clicking, and how your site ranks for those words. It also checks how your site is doing overall. Are there any glitches stopping it from showing up on Google? Do some pages need to be fixed? I will let you know. Plus, you can see which other sites on the internet are linking to yours, how it organizes the links within your site, and find out if anything’s bugging people when they use your site on their phones. 

So, Google Search Console is a must-have for making your website popular and easy to find on Google.

Google Trends

Google Trends is a tool that was launched by Google in 2006. It was launched so that users can use their keywords and compare the data. That in today’s date or five years ago or even ten years ago, how much this keyword was used, how many users used it in their search queries. That is, you have to find out what is in the search query this year. So you can find out this. Now take the word freelancing, if you search this word in 2003, 2004, then you will not find it at all. But if you look at today’s date, then you will get a lot of search terms. So basically, this is what happens, guys; Google Trends was made for this. Earlier people used to use online marketing, nowadays they use digital marketing.

Advanced SEO Terms

Core Web Vital

Core Web Vitals are speed metrics that Google uses to measure user experience. 

These metrics include:

> Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Calculates the time a webpage takes to load its largest element for a user.

> First Input Delay (FID) – Measures the time it takes to react to a user’s first interaction with a web page.

> Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Measures the shifts in layouts of various elements present on a webpage.

To ensure your website is optimized for Core Web Vitals, you need to aim for the following scores:

  • LCP –2.5 sec or lower
  • FID – 100 ms or lower
  • CLS – 0.1 or lower 

E-E-A-T 

E-E-A-T method that stands for expertise, experience, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Google emphasizes the importance of E-E-A-T particularly for the websites that offer information on sensitive and critical topics. 

> By expertise, we mean demonstrating expertise in a relevant field that enhances the credibility of the website and its contents. 

> By experience, we mean establishing a track record of experience in the field that conveys authority and trustworthiness. 

> Here, authoritativeness means recognition from the peer and industry experts that reinforces the website’s authenticity and credibility in the particular domain. 

> Last but not the least, trustworthiness means demonstrating transparency, accountability, and practicing the privacy-based practices that generate trust among users and search engines.

Y-M-Y-L

YMYL stands for Your Money, Your Life. Any page that presents content that might impact a reader’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability is considered YMYL. For example, when you search on Google about that persistent cough, recommendations on buying a house, how to file your taxes, or what to wear on a first date, Google wants you to have professional advice. The best advice. The imperative is that the user needs to be led astray. You have 24 hours to live because of that cough you just googled. A YMYL page is a severe business, and Google needs to play around. 

Dwell Time

When a user puts a search on a CERP page and jumps from there to a particular website and stays engaged on that website for as long as possible, that time is called dwell time. Bing search engine mentions in its official document that dwell time is a direct ranking factor. But Google needs to say this. According to Google, dwell time is not a direct ranking factor. Many such signals tell you that the more the dwell time is, the more the website gets help in ranking. That is, dwell time is indirectly a ranking factor.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the user who comes to our website, goes to any website page, and without taking any action, he leaves that page. That is called the bounce rate. Suppose you have a website, you are blogging, you have a blog page and one day, 100 users come on it. So out of 100 users, if 50 users are back without any activity, then the bounce rate of your website will be 50%. Today’s time, to reduce the bounce rate, most people are using internal linking. You have to use internal linking, as you must have seen on Wikipedia. You will find 8-10 blue words written on the page. This is called linking. When the user comes, he will go to another page.Bounce rate is the user who comes to our website goes to any website page, and without taking any action, he leaves that page. That is called the bounce rate. Suppose you have a website, you are blogging, you have a blog page and one day, 100 users come on it. So out of 100 users, if 50 users are back without any activity, then the bounce rate of your website will be 50%. Today’s time, to reduce the bounce rate, most people are using internal linking. You have to use internal linking, as you must have seen on Wikipedia. You will find 8-10 blue words written on the page. This is called linking. When the user comes, he will go to another page.

Pogo Sticking

A person typed a keyword on Google, went to the search results, and didn’t find anything useful, so he went to the second search result; he didn’t find anything useful there, either, so he went to the third search result. In this way, he changed the pages. This whole behaviour is called Pogo Sticking.

Now, why am I telling you this? The simple reason is that if your website ranks at the top without relevant information, it goes to the second page of Pogo Sticker; then, in a way, Google is getting a signal that there is not so much helpful content on your website, there is not so much relevant content, due to which the person your website is not retaining much, it is not taking much, and it is bouncing back.

So, make your website content useful. According to Google’s Helpful Content Update (HCU) Content Appliance, keep your website content informative and helpful so that you also benefit from ranking. When a person does not stake on your website, then the ranking of your website will be maintained.

Search Intent

Search intent must be considered from two angles: Google’s perspective and the users’. When a person types a search into Google, they are looking for an answer, or they have the next action in mind. For example, when searching for “when the spring starts,” the person wants to know the date for this event. If they search for “best running shoes for girls,” they are probably doing the research before making a purchase. So, Google attempts to understand what the user is searching for and match the results with their expectation. 

In SEO, we usually divide the search intent of keywords into four categories. Informational, transactional, commercial and navigational. This is important for SEO because you need to match the search intent for the keyword if you want to rank high on Google.

Orphen Page 

An orphan page is any page on your website that does not contain an internal link pointing to it, so there’s no way for users to access the page, and it’s pretty difficult for search engines to find it, crawl it, and even index it after that. If there are a large number of pages on your website that you want to be crawled and indexed and show up in Google, ensure that there is at least one internal link pointing to it at all times.

Finally, This glossary covers essential SEO terms. However, many SEO-related terms will become popular soon. Digital marketing, especially SEO, is a dynamic field. Especially in this AI era, SEO will change with algorithm changes. 

Now, it’s your turn.

Tell me in the comment section which SEO terms you found most interesting.

Thanks for reading; keep learning.

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