Complete Glossary of SEO Terms [2023 version]

complete seo glossary of terms

When talking to marketers or search engine optimization specialists, you are often overwhelmed by the acronyms and industry lingo that tend to throw around. This can be very confusing and make it difficult to understand what your SEO advisor is recommending.

We’ve compiled a short glossary of common SEO terms used in 2023 for our clients and prospective clients. If you have additional terms that you feel should be added, please contact us and let us know.

Search Engine Optimization Terms and Definitions

Alt Text: A descriptive text that is added to an image to help search engines understand the content of the image.

Algorithm: A set of rules or instructions used by search engines to determine the relevance and ranking of websites and web pages.

Backlink: A link from one website to another. Backlinks are important for SEO as they indicate to search engines that other websites consider a particular website or web page to be valuable and relevant.

Black Hat SEO: Techniques used to manipulate search engine rankings that violate search engine guidelines.

Canonical URL: A way to specify the preferred version of a web page to search engines, when there are multiple versions of a page available.

Content Marketing: The practice of creating valuable and informative content to attract and engage a target audience.

Crawler (or bot): A program or script used by search engines to index and gather information about websites and web pages.

Duplicate Content: When two or more web pages have the same or very similar content, it is considered duplicate content. Search engines may penalize or filter out duplicate content in search results.

Header Tags (H1, H2, H3): HTML tags used to structure and organize content on a web page. H1 tags are typically used for the main headline of a page, while H2 and H3 tags are used for subheadings.

Internal Linking: The process of linking one page of a website to another page within the same website.

Keyword: A word or phrase that describes the content or topic of a website or web page. Keywords are used by search engines to determine the relevance of a website or web page to a search query.

Long-Tail Keywords: Longer, more specific keyword phrases, which are less competitive and often convert better than short-tail keywords.

Metrics: Data used to measure the performance and effectiveness of a website or web page. Common SEO metrics include traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate.

Meta Description: A short summary of a web page’s content that appears in search engine results.

On-page SEO: Optimizing the content and structure of a website or web page to improve its relevance and ranking for specific keywords.

Off-page SEO: Optimizing the number and quality of backlinks to a website or web page to improve its relevance and ranking for specific keywords.

Organic Search: Search results that appear based on a search engine’s algorithm, as opposed to paid search results.

Pillar Content: A piece of content that serves as the foundation or main topic for a website or section of a website. It usually covers a broad range of information and subtopics related to the main topic and is designed to be evergreen (i.e. still relevant for a long time). Pillar content is used to attract and retain visitors, establish the site as an authority on a topic, and can also be used to link to other pieces of related content.

Robots.txt: A file that tells search engines which pages or sections of a website should not be crawled or indexed.

Supporting Content: A piece of content that is used to supplement or support the main topic or pillar content. It is typically more specific, shorter, and focuses on a single subtopic or aspect of the main topic. Supporting content is used to provide additional information and context for the visitors and help them to better understand the main topic. It also helps to increase the visibility of the website by giving search engines more pages to crawl and index.

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