Lately the magic word within the office has been search engine optimisation or “SEO” as its better know. The phone has been off the hook, queues of people waiting to see us to talk SEO! That might be a slight exaggeration, however clients have been getting in contact with the requirement to refresh their SEO in hope of ranking higher. We’ve had clients come visit the studio for basic training trying to understand the wonderful world of SEO.

Internally we have had several in depth discussions about rankings, SEO, PPC etc as when it comes to the worldwide web every day seems to be a school day and new things to learn. Hence we have tried to give a brief explanation and breakdown below of the complex SEO terminology that exists in hope we can pass on a bit of the knowledge we have gained through out the years of working in the industry.

To start with SEO, in laymen terms, is broken down into two different segments. One being On page SEO and the other Off page SEO.

A simple explanation for these to segmentations would be that On page SEO includes factors that affect your website. This could be controlled by you or your agency who built your webpage. It should guide the planning of the website architecture. Whereas Off Page SEO include factors that have an affect on your site in natural search results. This is not something you would control yourself. This is more about coding, link building, social media etc.

This now brings us to a small(ish), simple list of key words that are commonly used amongst SEO whizz kids and hopefully will help you when you come to look into SEO, or find the correct person to handle your SEO, as if they aren’t quoting these then you might want to broaden your search:

SEO: “Search Engine Optimization”



Mathematical formula used by search engines to determine search engine page results. It is rumoured that Google’s algorithm weighs more than 200 factors when returning search results.

Alt. Text:

Is text attached to an image – it explains to the search engines what that image is showing.


Back links:

Links pointing to your site from another website. If it is from a quality website, it can have a significant impact on your SEO. The goal of a Link Building strategy is to develop back links.

Black Hat SEO:

SEO tactics that do not align with Search Engine Quality guidelines. Black Hat SEO strategies involve short-cuts to achieve a high search engine ranking. These results, if achieved, are generally short-lived and can result in penalties or even removal from the search engines.



Is when you list your site in various business directories and local search sites. Citations can help with Local Search, and may help with traditional SEO as well.



Better know as headings. these are the bold Headlines and sub-headlines that divide and organise the text. For the really interested people out there, there are 6 (h1 – h6) sizes of heading recognized by search engines, with h1 being the biggest and most significant.

Hyper Link:

A simple text link, that you click on to go to another page to any other webpage. Be it yours or a different one.


Interior Links:

These are links that connect to another part of the same website. These are basically hyperlinks, but only within the same webpage.



Are the words, terms or phrases that searchers will use to try to find your website when they for instance use goggle. They will be related to your name, industry, location, products or services, or the problem that you solve for them. Each webpage should have a unique keyword or phrase.


Landing Pages:

can mean a multiple of things in the SEO, marketing and web design world. The easiest way to think of a Landing page is to think of it as the first page you land on when you searched a specific item, topic etc. Or as we have seen it explained on elsewhere “a page that is designed for a specific visitor, and that is not part of the website’s navigation. The page could be built around a specific offering, a targeted location, or as a page designed to get the visitor to do something (i.e. sign up for a newsletter).
Marketers often use landing pages to refer specifically to a page that is designed to have the visitor follow through on a call to action. Others refer to a landing page as any page that a visitor “lands” on.

Ensure when you discuss landing pages that you and your SEO personnel are talking about the same type of “landing page”.


Same as a hyperlink

Link Building:

Is an example if off-page SEO strategy as mentioned above. Quality links, linking to your website from another website. This still remains one of the most powerful SEO influencers.

Local Search:

Known as Local SEO, and geo-targeted search. The increasing importance of Local Search has created discombobulation within SEO discussions.
Search engines, recognising that most searches have local intent, include a list of “local search results” on the search results pages.
Although there is some overlap with traditional SEO, setting up local search is a separate strategy that involves registering with the search engines, setting up citations, and getting local reviews and recommendations.

Local Search Results:

Search results that are included in the “Local” section of the search engine results page.

Long-tail Keywords:

These are keywords that are more specific and usually searched less often within a given industry. For this reason they can be easier to rank than the broad terms, but they will not draw as much traffic as a broad term might.
Being able to create pages around some of the many long-tail keywords in your industry is one of the reasons for blogging and responsible for the rise of “content” marketing.


META tags:

This is part of the on page SEO discussed. They do not appear on your website, but are a part of your website’s code. Although no longer very relevant to SEO, they are still generally included in packages, discussions, and software.

META tags are still important in that they are usually a business’s first opportunity to directly market to a visitor. They usually appear as the 2nd and 3rd lines on a search engine results page listing. If you do not establish a META tag, the search engines will just pull content from your site to include as those lines of text.


Natural Search Results:

Same as Organic Search Results


Organic Search Results:

Are the natural search engine results that are produced through SEO – as opposed to Pay Per Click ads and the “local” listings.



Stand for Pay Per Click advertising (also sometimes referred to as SEM or search engine marketing). The first few listings (usually 3) on a search engine results page, and the listings along the right hand-side of the page, are PPC ads. Those organisations have set up an ad account and budget to “bid” to be included on the search engine results pages in response to specified keywords when they are searched.

The advertiser pays each time the ad is clicked.


Search Engine:

A program that tracks and indexes web pages, then delivers those web pages in response to a users query. Examples: Google, yahoo & Bing are search engines.

Search Engine Optimisation:

The process of optimising a web page so that it is properly indexed and recognised as an authority by the search engines, and may therefore appear on the search engine results pages for appropriate searches. It is typically divided into 2 components: “on-page” SEO, and “off-page” SEO.

Search Engine Submission:

This is the process of submitting a website to the search engines to be indexed. Although this practice is not really necessary any longer. The search engines have become very effective at finding and indexing web pages, it is possible that it could speed up the process.

Search Engine Submission may be included in your SEO package, but should not cost extra. It is free, easy to do, and of questionable value.


Acronym for Search Engine Marketing. This term can be confusing because it has multiple meanings in the SEO world. Basically it refers to all “search” related marketing strategies: SEO, Local Search, and PPC. It also is sometimes used as synonym for PPC.


An acronym for Search Engine Results Page. SERPs for broad industry terms often include up to 7 “local” results.

Site map:

Is a web page that outlines the structure of a website. It is similar to flow chart just for web. The pages that make up the website and how they are connected.

Social Signals:

These are an “off-page” SEO strategy. They are one of the newer and least understood changes to Google’s algorithm. These are measurements of your influence in the social media world.

It is generally agreed that these do not include data such as the number of friends or followers you have on a particular platform, but instead will be affected by the number of +1′s, re-tweets, or shares of your content. It is also assumed that, similar to back links, it will be the quality of the +1′s, re-tweets, or shares that are received. Meaning that a +1 from known influencers will carry more weight than one from a source with little credibility. Social Signals are not something to ignore and will become more and more important to your SEO strategy.


Title Tags:

These are your best opportunity to tell the search engines what your page is about. They are not usually a visual part of your website, but instead appear in the code, and should include the keywords or phrase for that page.

Traditional SEO:

When people talk about traditional SEO they are simply refering to what has been explained above as SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.



You will hear this a lot when talking about websites. This basically stands for “Uniform Resource Locator”. It is the address of the webpage. ( These can come on several formats. The most popular one being http:// www. The URL is a very important element in on-page SEO and should be built around the keyword for that page.


White Hat SEO:

SEO strategies that follow the search engine guidelines.

There you have it folks. Here is a basic list of SEO terms. This should give you an idea of just how complex and integrated SEO can be. It looks scary but once you have got your head around it and work with people that know SEO this can really enhance your online presence and therefore increase sales.

SEO Soon!

P.S. How many times did we use the word SEO? That’s good SEO for you… #keywords.