Since the last decade, there is a constant need of people in the marketing industry who are knowledgeable and insightful in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
But SEO has not remained the same as earlier. Now employers want to hire someone who is already versed with the basics and is ready to start with work ASAP.
So if you are aspiring for a career in SEO then it’s better to know about these SEO Terms for beginners. It will clear some of the basic concepts and top SEO key terms meaning. Here they are.
1. Search Engine
It is basically a software program like a website or mobile app with an inbuilt search box feature, where users enter their queries to search and get answers accordingly.
Let’s understand it by an example of a Book Library. In a library, there are millions of books. You go to the counter and ask the librarian for a book of a particular subject, topic or author.
The librarian searches in the library for the book that you asked and gets you the best book according to your request.
Same goes with a Search Engine. When you search for something in its search box, the search engine gets you a list of websites which has the best answer for your query. The major search engines that are used online are Google, Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo.
These search engines provide you a list of websites when you search for a query. There are other kind of search engines as well which are popular but restricted to their niche. Such as Amazon, Quora and Reddit.
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are a kind of social search engines, where you can search for friends, celebrities, brands, companies, etc. As a beginner, you should focus only on Google Search Engine as it has the largest share as compared to others.
The algorithms of other search engines are almost same, so other search engines are easy to work with once you get comfortable with Google Search Engine.
2. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
Let’s understand this in an easy way. When you search something in Google, then it comes with a result of 10 websites.
So, the page where Google displays the result is known as Search Engine Result Page (SERP). During work, you will often listen this word, so it’s better to get it cleared in the beginning itself.
All those websites or app which has a search feature, will have a SERP where they will show the results.
When you type something in the search box to get answers, the text that you typed is known as search query or search phrase.
In general, you can say that you have some queries in your mind related to something, you enter those queries in the search box of the search engine to get answers.
The query may be small or large in length (number of words). The subject (main component) of these queries is known as keyword.
For example: Where can we buy birthday foil balloons? In this query, the keyword is “birthday foil balloons”. You can even search by entering the keywords also. It’s all about the perception of how people want to search.
Keywords are the main component in SEO. Everything revolves around the keywords.
As an SEO, your job is to identify the keywords for a website, which will help the website in appearing in the first page of search engine (SERP) when someone searches with those keywords.
Is everything going above the head? Ok let’s understand this with an example. John is an interior designer, who has a website to market his business online.
Now, John wants that whenever someone searches for queries which includes keyword like ‘interior designer’, his website should come in the first page of search engine.
Now as an SEO, your job is to use (optimize) the keyword ‘interior designer’ in John’s website in such a way, so that his website starts coming in the first page of SERP for queries including keyword ‘interior designer’.
4. Meta Tags
In general, there are two types of SEO – On-page and Off-Page. In On-Page SEO, you have work inside a website, means the coding and content part.
Like content writing, image creation, layout designing and writing the Meta Tags. There are many types of tags used while designing and developing a website.
Then comes the Meta Tags which are used in a website for the search engines for SEO purpose. As a beginner, there are two important Meta Tags that you must know.
1. Title Tag
2. Meta Description
These are the first two things that a search engine notices in a webpage. For Example, whenever you search for something in Google, you see a list of websites with a title and small description.
These are the same Meta Tags as title tag and Meta description which are displayed there.
Which means a search engine fetches the title and Meta description from a website to display whenever someone searches something.
There are other types of Meta tags as well like Alt Tag, Canonical Tag, Robots Meta Tag, etc.
But, as a beginner you should start with Title Tag and Meta Description, and then proceed to others for a better and conceptual understanding.
Any information that a website has is content. Like text content, images, videos, audios, etc.
As a beginner in SEO, you must research a lot of websites and see how they are using text content, images, videos and audios to provide information to people in an easy and comfortable way.
A good internet marketer knows which information could be shared in which content format. Let’s take the example of John’s Interior Designing website.
It is better to show the images of his work, rather than to write the work in text, which would be extremely difficult to understand and write as well.
In SEO, content is everywhere. Better understanding of content representation makes you a great internet marketer.
As an SEO, your work will revolve around blogs every day. A blog is a piece of information, which is updated in a website on a regular basis. This content, which you are reading right now, is also a blog.
A website could be with blog or without blog. We will take the same example again of John’s interior designing website.
In his website, there are few general pages, like – Home page, About page, Services page, Portfolio page and Contact page. These are the pages which are just added to show all the information about John’s Interior Designing business.
But, there comes a scenario where John wants to share his knowledge, ideas, tips and experiences with the world.
In this scenario, a blog section is integrated in his website, where John writes a blog whenever he likes to share his ideas.
Like he writes about tips to decorate the dining room, ideas to arrange the kids room, etc. Writing blogs on regular interval can boost the SEO performance of a website.
It will help a business to build an authority and reputation in the market. Then it becomes a very effective way to connect with people by providing them some knowledge and build a trust by helping them.
Who knows, that visitor can become a customer in future, and there is a very good possibility of this because that customer is already aware about this business and its expertise.
Many big brands use blogs to share information and get customers. The best blogging platform till now is WordPress, which is a content management system, originally made for the purpose of blogging only.
In SEO, traffic is one of the biggest factors which decide the success of SEO campaigns. Traffic is the number of visitors coming to your website through various online sources.
Traffic (visitors) may come from Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Quora or any website which has a link of your webpage. The higher the traffic, the better it is for SEO.
But just receiving traffic is not the goal here. The goal is to drive traffic from such visitors who are interested in your business and its ideas. Again, let’s take John’s interior designing website example.
If the visitors to John’s website are interested in Interior Designing services, ideas, tips and knowledge, then it is a good traffic, else it is a bad traffic.
As an SEO, your job is to drive good traffic to John’s website, from people who are interested in his business and ideas, because the ultimate goal of SEO is to help a business in its growth.
Also known as Inbound Links, Backlinks are your website links which are added to others websites by you or someone else.
For example, while scrolling through Facebook, you saw a post from Amazon with a link which tells about branded sunglasses.
Now, when you click on that link, it takes you to Amazon’s website from Facebook’s website. So here, Amazon is getting a backlink (inbound link) from Facebook.
You can also say Amazon is getting its traffic (visitors) from Facebook. Same as the traffic, backlinks are also good and bad.
Good backlinks can boost the SEO whereas bad backlinks can harm. Here comes our next term – Relevancy.
According to oxford dictionary, relevance means – “the quality or state of being closely connected or appropriate”.
In SEO, you have to take care of relevancy throughout the campaign. Getting backlinks or references from relevant sources is far more beneficial than getting links from very good quality but irrelevant websites.
In John’s interior designing website, if his website is getting a backlink from other interior designing, architecture, construction or decoration material manufacturer or seller’s website, then it is a relevant link.
But, even if John’s website is getting backlinks from top mushroom cultivation or fisheries websites, then these are totally irrelevant backlinks.
The same thing goes with the contents and links inside the website. If your website is linking to closely related and appropriate website then it is relevant.
In the interior designing website, you cannot write about farming and engineering. Relevancy makes a website successful in a long run and maintains a good online reputation in all ups and downs, which ultimately helps in business growth.
10. Domain Authority
Domain Authority is a metric introduced by Moz to measure the authority of a website from 1 to 100. The higher it is, the more authoritative the website is.
Domain Authority is also referred as Domain Rating, but both are the same thing.
For a successful blog or business website, maintaining a good domain authority is extremely important for a long run.
You must have seen some websites always appearing when you search for some related queries in Google. Like when you search for ‘running shoes’, Amazon and Flipkart will always be there. Domain Authority is one of the reasons for this.
As an SEO, to increase and maintain a good domain authority for a website, relevancy plays the biggest role.
Also, the way a business helps and communicates with its audience also helps in maintaining domain authority. Domain authority is not a ranking signal, but it surely helps a business in many ways.
A business needs to maintain its reputation online through reviews, blogs, social media websites and any other medium where the customers are.
If the visitors and customers are happy with your website, then you can expect a good domain authority.
One of the great ways to maintain a good domain authority is to follow the guidelines and algorithm updates of various search engines such as Google.
Their algorithms not only help in getting good rankings but they also tell about how to maintain website reputation online.
There is also a term called ‘page authority’. The difference is page authority is for a single page of a website, whereas the domain authority is for the complete website as a whole.
There are some ethical rules defined by search engines to decide the SEO performance of a website and its pages.
As an SEO, you have to follow these rules in order to get a website on the first page of SERP, otherwise you will never be able to rank a website on the first page of search engines.
Every search engine has its own set of rules (algorithms), but most of the rules are common between them.
So if you follow the algorithms of one search engine, then up to some extent you are also optimizing a website for other search engines as well.
If you are not told to follow a particular search engine then you should follow Google’s search algorithms.
This will do the work for other search engines as well such as Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, etc. Google always updates its algorithms time to time, which helps users to get more helpful and specific answers.
Google also names its algorithm updates. Some of its major algorithm updates are Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird.
In search engines, for example Google, thousands of websites are listed (added) every day. Google makes` an index of these websites and webpages to make the process of searching easier.
So whenever a search engine adds a website or webpage in its list, it is called indexing. There are many ways of indexing the webpages of a website.
You can submit for indexing manually or the bot or crawlers of search engines will crawl and index the webpages whenever they find it online.
For faster indexing, manual submission is always recommended. Let’s make this easier by taking John’s interior designing website example.
When John’s website is ready, he can submit his website manually to the search engine for indexing by logging in to the search engine account.
To submit in Google search engine, John will have to login to ‘Google Search Console’ and submit the sitemap of his website.
He can also submit the URL’s separately for indexing. Once Google bot crawls the pages, the pages will get indexed.
There are many other ways of getting a webpage indexed. Like when you share your website on Facebook, the crawler will find it and index it.
The same way, images also get indexed in the search engines. Once you start working on a SEO project, you will get an in-depth understanding of crawling and indexing.
It is a XML file where every link of a website is listed, which you can manually submit to a search engine for faster indexing.
There are online tools to generate XML sitemaps where you can just enter the website URL and it will provide you a well coded and structured XML sitemap file.
This XML sitemap file needs to be constantly updated whenever a new webpage is added or removed from a website.
Managing a XML file is a tough job, but the content management systems such as WordPress, Magento, Joomla and Drupal has made the job much easier by the sitemap auto update feature.
So whenever a page is added or deleted from a website, they update the sitemap automatically to keep the SEO process smooth.
By submitting a sitemap of a website to the search engine, you can make the indexation process faster for the website.
Robots.txt, another extremely important file from SEO aspect, is used to communicate or give instruction to the bots or crawlers of a search engine.
As you already know, search engine can index your website or page once it is submitted manually or found online.
But what if you don’t want your website to be indexed by the search engines? Or you want it to get indexed but after few months, not now?
In such a case, a Robots.txt file will help your website. Also, if you want to hide only few pages of your website from search engines, then Robots.txt file will be helpful.
Let’s take the example of John’s interior designing website. Once his website is built, he still wants some changes in his website, till then he don’t want the website to be indexed by search engines.
Now, after three months, everything is done in his website, his ready for the indexing process. But, now there are 2 pages in his websites which are for private use only, which he does not wants to reveal others but only few members of his business.
In such a case, the website is submitted for indexation except the 2 pages. All this could be done with Robots.txt file.
This is a basic information of a Robots.txt file, but there is much more than this. Like you can restrict or allow only selected search engines to index your website.
When you will start working on a SEO project, you will be able to dig deeper into Robots.txt usage.
It is the performance tracking or measurement of a website in text and numerical values such as numbers, percentages, probability, statistics and graphical representations.
Every search engine provides a platform where you can measure the performance of a website.
For example Google has a tool called ‘Google Analytics’ where you can check whether your website is performing well or not.With analytics you can check things like :
- How many people are currently visiting your website?
- How many clicks your website is getting every day?
- From where (the source) the clicks are coming?
- Which age group is visiting your website?
- What is the Click Through Rate of a page?
- Which pages are performing better and worse?
- Which keywords are driving traffic to your website?
- From which country, state and city, people are visiting your website?
- Are they visiting your website through mobiles or computers?
There are many more valuable information that you can get for your website through the analytics platform, which will help you in correcting existing SEO Mistakes and making new strategies.
SEO is a vast module of Digital Marketing and you have to learn and implement the strategies constantly to be updated and ahead.
Learning while working is the best and enjoyable way to be updated.
If you are about to start the digital journey, then you can start with the above mentioned SEO terms for beginners.
These SEO terms will help you get a smooth career start into the universe of Digital Marketing.
A Digital Marketer, by passion and profession, Anand loves to write interesting content about Digital Marketing. He has expertise in WordPress website designing, SEO, Paid Ads and Digital Marketing Training. Apart from this, he loves to watch thriller movies and web series. Though he is calm in nature, but when it comes to food, cuisines and travelling, he can’t keep calm.