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SEO Glossary

A/B testing: A strategy for measuring the success of a marketing campaign in which two landing pages are created and incoming traffic is split between them to compare the conversion rates of each.

AdWords: Google’s advertising services that allows your business to appear at the top of the search results page.

AdWords Impression Share: The proportion of impressions a business received relative to the number it could have potentially received. (See also impressions)

Aggregation content curation: A form of content curation in which content on a given topic is collected and synthesized in one post.

Algorithm: A set of rules a computer is programmed to follow to solve a basic problem or issue. SEO is essentially about understanding Google’s algorithm.

Alt tags: HTML code that enables you to tell the search engines what words to associate with an image.

Anchor links: Also known as page jumps. A hyperlink that when clicked brings you to a specific section of a webpage.

Anchor text: The text of a hyperlink which, when clicked, will bring you to another webpage.

B2C: Business to customer selling, as opposed to selling to other businesses.

B2B: Business to business selling, as opposed to selling directly to customers.

Backlinks: Links on an external webpage pointing back to your own.

Black hat SEO: Aggressive and outdated SEO practices that try to manipulate search engines in order to elevate a website’s rankings. These violate SEO guidelines and, if caught, will be penalized by Google.

Blog: A webpage with multiple entries called posts, which is updated often and usually displayed chronologically. They vary from personal to informational.

Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who leave a website after arriving on the landing page rather than clicking through to more pages.

Branded anchor text: A brand name or website name used as the text for a hyperlink which, when clicked, will take you to another webpage.

Call to action: A marketing term for words designed to get the audience to take a specific action. For example, “Click here to find out more.”

Chronology content curation: A form of content curation in which the writer provides a historical timeline to organize prior content.

Closed-circle content loop: An inbound content strategy in which content is recycled, updated, modified, and reused — rather than neglected — once it has been published.

Content Farm: A website that contains very large quantities of content, typically of low quality or aggregated from other sites, generated solely to manipulate search engine rankings.

Content management system: The system used to manage all aspects of publishing a website’s content, including creation, modification, formatting, publication, revision, index, search, and removal.

Content curation insight: A technique for content creation in which the writer collects relevant content on a particular topic, summarizes each piece in 2-3 lines, and adds an authority opinion.

Content marketing: A modern marketing strategy in which sellers provide potential customers with relevant, valuable, and consistent content in order to establish authority and a trusting relationship in the hopes that it will eventually lead to sales.

Conversion: A marketing term for an audience member taking the seller’s desired course of action. That can anything from clicking on a link, providing contact information, or making a sale.

Cookies: Cookies are files used by websites to track your movements on the site and remember you after you leave.

Cookie values: The data in cookie files.

Cost-per-click (CPC): In a pay-per-click system, CPC is the price a business pays each time a user clicks on its ad.

Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM): The price paid for every thousand views of an ad.

Click-through-rate (CTR): The percentage of times an ad was clicked on out of the number of times the ad was shown.

Demand capture: A modern, inbound marketing strategy which attempts to attract customers already on the purchase path to a specific brand or business.

Demand creation: A traditional, outbound marketing strategy which attempts to create demand for a company’s products or services among potential customers.

Digital marketing strategy: The goal-driven approach a company takes to market its products and services online.

Direct traffic: Users who reach your website by clicking a direct link.

Display advertising network: A network of over a million websites, videos, and apps where ads can appear when using Google AdWords.

Distillation content curation: A form of content curation in which original content is built from other content written by many others.

Domain Authority: A system devised by SEO software company Moz to estimate how a website will rank in search engine results. Points are awarded for each factor Moz believes search engines use to rank any domain (i.e., your URL or website address), and the cumulative score, out of 100, is a site’s Domain Authority.

Elevation content curation: A form of content curation in which the writer provides insight on a batch of posts.

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Generic anchor text: Anchor text that uses generic keywords, such as “click here,” or “visit this site.”

Google Analytics (GA): A tool Google provides to help you analyze your website’s traffic and learn key information about your audience, allowing you to tailor your content toward your readers and gauge the success of your marketing techniques.

Google Search Console (GSC): Formerly Google Webmaster Tools, this is a free service Google provides to help track, monitor, and maintain websites’ presence in its search results.

Google Webmaster Tools: see Google Search Console.

Graphic display ads: Also known as banner ads. Ads appearing at the top of webpages which usually consist of a logo, image, and text.

Gray hat SEO: SEO strategies that toe the line of search engine guidelines. They are questionable, but not as clearly in violation of guidelines as black hat SEO tactics.

Impressions: The number of times a webpage comes up on a search result page that a user has viewed.

Inbound marketing: Marketing techniques that bring potential customers in to your company by providing them with valuable content. Contrasted with outbound marketing.

Infographics: Information presented in graphic or image form to make it readily accessible and understandable.

Internal linking: Also known as page-to-page linking. Links between one page on a given website to another page on that same site. E.g., links between similar stories on CNN.com.

Keyword anchor text: Links whose anchor text is made up of relevant keywords.

Keyword density: The number of a keyword (or phrase) appears on a webpage as a percentage of the total number of words on the page.

Keyword phrase anchor links: Links that use keywords or phrases as anchor text.

Keyword stuffing: The practice of overloading a webpage’s content and/or tags with keywords. This practice violates search engine guidelines.

Landing Page: The webpage a potential customer reaches after following a search engine result or advertisement.

Lead capture page: See landing page.

Lead generation: The practice of getting leads interested in your company’s products or services.

Lead generating asset: Valuable content designed to assist a company in generating interest in its products or services.

Link building: The process of acquiring backlinks to your website.

Link juice: A link to a webpage that provides SEO value to that page.

Long-tail keywords: A keyword phrase containing at least three words, often used when searching for something specific.

Manual actions: Penalties that Google imposes on websites engaging in practices it does not condone.

Marketing automation software: Software that automates marketing tasks and allows for the tracking of useful data.

Mashup content curation: A form of content curation in which different pieces of content are combined in new ways to get a fresh perspective on a topic.

Nofollow links: A link to a website that does not add any search engine value, such as paid advertisements.

Online review profile: The totality of online reviews of your business.

Organic search results: Listings that are the natural result of a search engine inquiry, as opposed to those that are sponsored (i.e., paid for).

Organic traffic: Clicks through to your website that do not result from paid search engine results.

Outbound marketing: Traditional marketing techniques that “interrupt” a medium, such as a television program, with non-associated ads.

Page Jumps: See anchor links.

Page Segmentation: Where keywords are placed on a webpage.

Pay-per-click (PPC): An internet marketing system in which you place an ad on a website and then pay each time a visitor clicks on that ad.

Pixel: (aka Facebook Pixel)

Podcast: Digital audio files that are usually part of a series, like radio shows.

Private blog network: A group of websites that are centrally controlled and used in gray hat SEO to generate backlinks.

Raw URL text: Links that use the URL as anchor text.

Rich snippets: The sample of content from your website that appears in search engine results.

Robots.txt file: Also known as the robots exclusion standard or robots exclusion protocol. A standard websites use to give instructions to web robots, such as search engine crawlers.

Sales conversion cycle: The process by which a lead is turned into a customer. It starts with attracting a lead to your website, then converts leads into prospects and prospects into customers.

Search engine algorithm: See algorithm.

Search engine crawlers: An internet bot that systematically scans the World Wide Web so that it can be indexed.

Search Engine Marketing:

Search engine optimization: Tools, techniques, and best practices related to improving a website’s ability to be found on the Internet and ranked highly among search engine results.

Search engine rankings: The ordered listing of organic search engine results.

Search engine strategy: A company’s goal-driven plan for ranking well in search engine results.

Search engine XML sitemap: A code-level file that assists search engines in locating and tracking your pages and lets them know how often they should check your site for updates.

Semantic Distance: How closely related words are in terms of meaning.

Slideshare: A network for sharing presentations and infographics online.

Split testing: See A/B testing.

SSL: An encryption protocol that renders a website safer for users. SSL-encrypted websites have an “s” added in their addresses; i.e. https://, rather than just http://.

Structured data and schema: Special website code that gives search engines extra information about the content on your website; that information is sometimes displayed in search results, such as star ratings.

Term frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF): A measurement used by Google to determine how important a keyword is on a webpage by comparing its frequency and usage on other webpages.

Unique selling proposition (USP): The key factor distinguishing a service or product from its competitors.

User experience (UX): A person’s overall experience using a product or service, including a website.

Value proposition: A company’s statement explaining the benefit or feature it offers uniquely well.

Warm leads: Someone who has already shown a measure of interest in a company’s products or services, such as by following it on social media.

Webpage template: A pre-designed webpage that one can purchase and use as a design for their own content.

WordPress: A popular online content management system platform for websites.

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