Whether you are a new restaurant, photographer, or a car dealership, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be the helping hand that you have been searching for (pun intended). However, it can be hard for someone to understand exactly how much of an impact SEO can have in driving traffic to your website if you don’t understand the basic jargon first. Here is roundup of the top ten most common terms used when talking SEO. But first things first, what the heck is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the strategic method of increasing visibility and traffic in a non-paid manner to your website to help you climb the search engine ranks. This can be done through a variety of methods. The most common of methods include on-site SEO, which includes various techniques that can be implemented directly on your physical website, as well as off-site SEO which focuses primarily on techniques that take place in locations online other than your actual website.
Keywords are critical when it comes to SEO. A solid round of keyword research should never be overlooked, as keywords are the foundation for a majority of SEO strategies. What exactly are keywords? Keywords are the words that you want your company to rank for in search engines, as well as the ones you want to optimize your website for. To determine these terms, tools such as SEM Rush or Google AdWords Keyword Planner are there to help.
2. Title Tags
Title tags help search engines define what the pages on your website are about. The titles are the ones that appear on search engine result pages, and are also the ones that can be seen in the tabs in your website browser, as can be seen in the examples below. It is important for each page on a website to have a unique title tag so when search engines crawl the website they can differentiate the purpose of one page from another.
Ex.1 Title Tag in Search Results
Ex. 2 Title Tag in Web Browser Tab
3. Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions can be seen as the overall summary of a page on a website. Meta descriptions are the ones that show up under the title tags on search engine result pages, as highlighted in the example below. Meta descriptions should be added to every page, and should be optimized with your focus keywords.
4. Alt Text
Alt text is text that can be added to images on your website through the backend or content management platform. Alt text helps search engines determine what the pictures on your website are about, and will also help images on your website populate in image search results. If you do not have alt text on your images it may not hurt you, but it certainly isn’t helping you from an SEO standpoint. The most common way to tell if an image has alt text is by hovering over it, as it can be seen below.
Ex.3 Hovering over an Image to see Alt Text
5. H1, H2, H3 Tags
The use of H1, H2 and H3 tags/headings are important because it helps search engines crawl your webpages in order of importance. The use of h1, h2 and h3 tags make for the pages to be more visibly appealing, as well as more readable for your website visitors. You can utilize these tags on your webpages, blogs or any other content pages on your website. The h1 tag is the most important tag, generally a title. H2 tags would be the second most important, next to the title, and an H3 tag would be something such as subheadings under the H2 tags.
Take this blog post for example, the title “SEO for Beginners: Understanding the Jargon” is the H1 heading. The H2 headings would be “1. Keywords” “2. Title Tags” “3. Meta Description,” etc.
6. Anchor Text
Anchor text is the text that is hyperlinked on a webpage, so that when clicked on it brings you to a different website, or another internal related page. The anchor text should be relevant to the page it is directing you to. Generally, the anchor text is a keyword or is some form of the brand name.
Let’s take the link below for example; the anchor text would be “CarClicks”, which is the keyword that is linked. When you click on this keyword it will bring you to a landing page that will provide you with more information on CarClicks.
Ex. 4 Anchor Text
7. Google Analytics
As described by SearchBusiness Analytics, “Google Analytics is a free Web analytics service that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes.” It is a platform that allows you to see SEO data and analyze it. Some of the things it will allow you to see include: keywords and terms visitors are searching that bring them to your site, how many times your website URL appeared in search result pages, number of clicks, top locations that are driving traffic to your website and much more.
8. Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is non-paid “free” traffic, meaning that the people who visited your website did not arrive there due to paid advertising. Most sites that receive a high amount of organic (natural) traffic are very well optimized for the keywords that they want to rank for by utilizing them in their title tags, meta descriptions, H1 tags, alt tags etc. These sites also have a quality backlink profile. Companies that utilize these practices put themselves in the best position to be seen in search engine results organically.
9. Paid Traffic
Paid traffic is the opposite of organic traffic, as it is traffic that you have to pay for. Examples of this include Pay-Per-Click, Retargeting and Display Ads. For example, as seen in the picture below, when you search for the keyword phrase, ‘Chicago car detailer’ at the very top of the search results page you will see a paid ad. The paid ad in this example is coming from Groupon. You can tell that it is a paid ad as it says “Ad” in a yellow box right next to the URL. For people who search that term, and click on that Groupon link, Groupon will be charged a certain amount of money for that link, which is the paid traffic.
Backlinks are links on other websites that drive visitors back to your own site. The most common of backlinks can be found in news articles, company reviews, news releases, business profiles etc. Basically, when someone links to your website from another site other than your own, that is called a backlink.
The amount of SEO jargon that is out there is endless, but hopefully this article was able to help simplify some of the main terms used in SEO. To learn more about Search Engine Optimization and how it can help your business contact Automotive Internet Media today!
Kayla Pernai is the Digital Marketing Manager at Automotive Internet Media (AIM), the leading automotive internet marketing agency providing website, SEO, social and many other services.