SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Marketing Glossary

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Glossary


301 redirect

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirection that happens when you visit a page and then
are immediately redirected to a different one. Redirections can be either temporary or permanent.

While these two different types of redirection look the same to the visitor of the page,
a 301 redirection lets search engines know that the page has permanently changed its address or not. The search
engine will then transfer the rankings that the page had to its new URL.

Alt text

Alt-text is an HTML attribute that is inserted in image tags. While image tags display
images, the alt text is what will show if the image doesn’t load. This could happen if the file is missing.

The alt text generally describes what the picture is of. This is for SEO purposes as
Google cannot see images, but it can read the alt text.

Anchor text

Anchor text consists of the words that you can click on to open a link to a different
webpage. The anchor text should contain relevant keywords to the page it links to.


A backlink is a link to your website on someone else’s site. Backlinks are excellent for
SEO as they show search engines that your website or content provides valuable information, while will help improve
your ranking in the search engine results pages.

Black Hat

Black Hat is a term used to describe unethical SEO methods that go against search engine
rules. These methods include keyword stuffing, hidden text, paid links, over-optimization and more. Black Hat SEO is
manipulative and does not consider user experience. Using these SEO practices will have consequences and your site
could even get banned from the search engines.

SEO methods can change very quickly, so something that was a common practice one day may
be considered black hat the next. It is very important to make sure you are not practising any methods of black hat
SEO or you could hurt your online business.

Content Marketing

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets defines how web browsers display your site. It is
a coding language that sets the size, colour, layout etc. of different elements on your site. This code can be
placed in separate files or the header of your HTML.

CTR (Click-Through-Rate)

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is a metric that shows the percentage of people who click on an
ad or link to your website from the search results page, a different website or an email etc. To calculate this
percentage, the number of clicks is divided by the number of impressions.

Canonical URL

A Canonical URL or tag is a piece of code that you insert onto pages with duplicate
content to point back to the original page with that content. If you have pages with duplicate content, search
engines can’t decide which page they should display in their results.

The Fold

The fold is the part of the web page that lies where the screen ends, and you would have
to scroll down to see more of the page. Above-the-fold refers to anything that can be seen on the page when it
loads. The size of your screen will affect where the fold is on a web page.

It is important to consider what the viewer will first see when they land on your page.
Therefore, your above-the-fold layout should be well thought out and include things such as page title, opening
paragraph and navigation/sidebar segments.

Google Ads

Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google. It allows
users to bid on various Google Ads keywords. Bidding on
keywords allows users to get their ads displayed in Google’s search results. Advertisers must then pay for the
clicks they get from these ads.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that gives you data on your website’s usage. It requires
you to add a tracking code to your site and will then provide you with detailed data about your website traffic. You
can use it to segment your users as it tracks geographical location, bounce rate, interests, time spent on the page
and what devices are being used to view your site.

It also gives you percentages on where your traffic comes from so you can see how much
you get organically or from referrals and direct traffic.


Googlebot is Google’s web crawler software. It is used to index new and updated pages on
websites. This term refers to two types of web crawlers: a desktop crawler, which simulates a user on a PC, and a
mobile crawler, which simulates smartphone use.

Google My Business

Google My Business allows local businesses to list their businesses for free so that their business will appear on Google Maps and in
the Business Panel of the search results page when users search a relevant keyword.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console, previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a free service
that you can use to monitor and track your website’s performance. You can see if all your pages are indexed, see
your crawl status and check if you have any set penalties on your website.

Heading Tags

Heading tags, or HTML headings, are used in HTML code to help structure your pages and
create. They range from H1 to H6 and allow you to create a hierarchal page layout. Heading tags designate titles and
subtitles in your text so that it is easy for Google to read.

Always try to keep the order of your heading tags. For example, don’t place an H5
directly after an H2. Your H1 will be the title of your page so you would only have one H1 per web page.


Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard system used for creating websites and
applications. People can read and modify code in HTML format before it is compiled into what you see on the browser.
Most technical SEO practices are done in the HTML source code.


Javascript is a programming language that is used to create dynamic content on websites.
This includes anything that refreshes, moves or changes on the screen without reloading the page. Javascript is used
for animated graphics, forms, autocomplete suggestions, picture slideshows and more.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process used to develop a list of keywords that are relevant to
your website and business. Targeting these keywords for on-page optimisation, link building and content creation are
important for finding profitable niches and driving traffic to your site.

Keyword Cannibalisation

Keyword cannibalisation occurs when the same keyword is used excessively on multiple
pages of a website. This harms your SEO as search engines struggle to determine which page to display for that
keyword in the search results.

LSI Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are words that are semantically related or
similar to your main keyword. Search engines will analyse your pages and look for similar words or phrases that
support your primary keyword. If they find LSI keywords, it will help to boost your page’s ranking in the search

Long-Tail Keywords

Long Tail Keywords are very specific phrases that are relevant to your business and
offers. These phrases are generally high intent keywords that people search for when they know what they are looking
for and are ready to make a purchase. Therefore, long-tail keywords will have a higher rate of conversion than more
simple, high search volume keywords.

Link Juice

Link juice is a non-technological term that refers to the value passed from hyperlinks
from one site to another. These links are important for SEO as they show search engines that other sites find value
in the content of a page or website that they link to.

Keyword Density

Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword is found on a web page or blog
post in relation to the total number of words on the page. It is expressed as a percentage and should be taken into
consideration for SEO.

While a higher keyword density clearly shows that your content is relevant to that
keyword, it can also damage your ranking.

Meta Title

The meta title, or title tag, is different from the heading on your page and acts as the
name of your web page. The browser tab displays the meta title and is read by users and search engines. The meta
title is an HTML element and is important for SEO so it is important to include relevant keywords in your meta

Meta Description

The meta description is a brief snippet of text that describes the contents of a web
page. Most search engines display meta descriptions in their search results pages so that users can decide which
website to visit.

While your meta description doesn’t impact your SEO, it can have a positive impact on
your click-through rate.

Noindex & Nofollow

“Noindex” and “nofollow” are commands that act as instructions for bots to take action.
Noindex is a command that tells bots not to index a specific page or link.

Nofollow is a link attribute that tells bots not to ignore the link so that no link
juice is given to the site it points to. All links are “follow” links by default. This means that search engines
will follow the links to the websites they point to and take that as a positive vote for that site.

On-site Optimisation

On-site optimisation, or on-page SEO, is the process of optimising the content and HTML
of all pages on your website in order to improve their rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). It
includes inserting heading tags, improving page speed, internal linking, and checking your use of keywords.

Off-site Optimisation

Off-site optimisation, or off-page SEO, refers to the practices that are not done on the
page itself but still influence its ranking in the SERPs. These practices include marketing and link

Page Speed

Page speed is the rate at which your web page loads completely. It is important that you
have a fast page speed as it affects user experience and your search engine rankings. Slower pages tend to have a
higher bounce rate.


Robots.txt is a text file that instructs search engine bots how to process pages on your
website. Your bobots.txt file can tell restrict search engines from accessing certain pages, like admin pages or
duplicate content.

Schema Structured Data Markup

Schema structured data markup is a type of microdata that creates a rich snippet that
appears in search results. It is used to help search engines better understand what your page is about.

While microdata does not have a significant impact on your organic rankings, it does
help your website to appear better in the search results pages, which improves click-through rates.

Search Engine

A search engine is a software application that sorts and categorizes all the data on the
world wide web into a database. When someone enters a keyword or phrase into a search engine, it will display
relevant websites and data.

Some of the most used search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo,, WolframAlpha and


Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the pages that are displayed by search engines
when a user types in a keyword. SERPs display various page titles and meta descriptions so that users can find the
information they are looking for.


A sitemap, or sitemap.xml file, is a detailed document that maps out all the pages on a
website. Sitemaps are used for indexing new and updated pages and are accessible to search engines, users and site

UX (User Experience)

User Experience (UX) refers to how simple or pleasant it is to use your website. User
experience can be influenced by page speed, the usability of the site, website structure, and responsiveness. It can
affect both users and search engines, so it is very important to consider for SEO.

White Hat

White hat SEO includes all the good SEO practices that follow search engine guidelines.
These practices emphasise the importance of providing value to the target audience so that the site’s ranking and
visibility will improve.