Anyone who is serious about online marketing and search engine optimization must have a fundamental knowledge of how it all works. The industry is constantly changing and becoming filled with jargon that can be confusing to someone who is just starting out. To help provide a basic understanding, we have put together a list of 10 SEO key terms that you must know.
Keywords are the best place to start when it comes to SEO. Keywords, simply put, are the words users type into search engines. Keywords help search engines identify which websites provide the most relevant results. By strategically placing keywords throughout your site, search engines will know how relevant the content is on your site. You should identify some main keywords that best describe your website.
2. Web Crawlers
As mentioned previously, search engines sort through millions of websites to find relevant keywords to provide the best results. This is done through crawler, also referred to as spiders or bots. These are really just computer programs that “crawl” through the internet categorizing and sorting web pages to discover what is relevant for searches.
3. On-Site Optimization
On-site or on-page optimization refers to many elements that make a website search engine friendly. This is accomplished by integrating target keywords on certain pages, adding title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags and anchor text. This is where SEO can get a little technical, but you should familiarize yourself with some of these elements and what is considered to be best practice. For more in depth information, visit MOZ for on-page ranking factors.
4. Responsive Design
Just as your web pages should contain elements that are search engine friendly, it is also more important than ever to have a user friendly website. Because of the many platforms that exist today such as desktop PC’s, smartphones and tablets, it is important to have your web pages adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions. Having a responsive design will come with many advantages, but not having one can negatively affect you in search rankings.
5. Search Engine Marketing
SEM can be considered the opposite of SEO, in that SEO is free and provides organic traffic to your website, whereas SEM is typically paid for and drives in traffic through advertising. SEM or Pay Per Click campaigns provide immediate results and can bring in large amounts of traffic to your site. This is done through search engine advertising networks like Google AdWords, Bing Ads or Facebook Ads. It’s important to know that this does come at a cost by targeting certain populations or keywords,
6. Content Marketing
Promoting your website can be done in a variety of ways, but content marketing is one of the most effective. You can do this easily by writing articles, posting videos and even podcasts. Creating unique and meaningful content will attract visitors to your website for the long term.
SERP is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Results Page. Any website owner wants to know where their website shows up on the SERP’s for certain keywords. Climbing up the SERP’s is what SEO is all about and you should aim for the first page!
8. Link Building
If you want search engines to favor your website, getting a link to your site on another page is the key. It is also better to have your link placed on websites that are ranked highly themselves. Do this by establishing yourself as an industry leader and get involved in your online community.
9. Black Hat SEO
If you ever choose to outsource your SEO campaigns to an internet marketing company, be sure that they are using “white hat” methods. Black hat methods are those that use deceptive tactics to try and boost traffic to your site. They do this by finding search engine weaknesses, but it will not stand the test of time. Do not risk getting your site ranked negatively or removed from search engines altogether.
Once you have a site that is optimized and running smoothly, you’ll want to analyze your traffic to get the best results possible. Google Analytics is one of the most popular services that help you find trends and analyze your websites traffic. Knowing your target consumers and how they are navigating throughout your site will help you increase conversion rates, or visits that result in sales.
These are just a few of the basic terms that you need to know to get started in the SEO world. You should consider researching ways to best implement these practices into your website, as the field of SEO continues to grow rapidly. Now that you know the basics, it’s time to climb up the SERP’s!