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SEO Dictionary

The SEO Dictionary

In our blog, How To Measure the Success of Your SEO Efforts, we looked at the various aspects of an SEO Audit Report, to help readers understand what those reports are telling you (and created an SEO dictionary to help you out).  In this blog, we are giving you definitions of all the terms you will come across when you are dealing with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Don’t forget to bookmark this blog for easy reference whenever you are looking at your SEO Audit Reports.

Let’s dive into this SEO Dictionary.

seo terminology dictionary

Technical SEO

Possibly the most challenging aspect of SEO to understand, Technical SEO relates to all backend activities that affect crawlability, such as improving page speeds, or optimising your website for mobile devices.

Below are the definitions of Technical SEO terms.

TERMDEFINITION
2XXHTTP status codes indicating a successful request (e.g. 200 OK).
3XXHTTP status codes indicating redirection (e.g. 301 Moved Permanently).
4XXHTTP status codes indicating client errors (e.g. 404 Not Found).
5XXHTTP status codes indicating server errors (e.g. 500 Internal Server Error).
AlgorithmA set of commands that must be followed for a computer to perform calculations or other problem-solving operations.
Encryption AlgorithmHTML attribute providing alternative text for images which is important for accessibility and SEO.
Alt TextDescriptive text associated with an image, used for screen readers or when the image cannot be displayed.
Broken LinkA hyperlink that leads to a non-existent or unreachable page.
CachedA locally saved version of a web page, used to speed up loading times.
Canonical ChainA series of canonical tags pointing to each other.
Canonical TagHTML tag indicating the preferred version of a URL.
Canonical URLThe preferred version of a URL, specified by the canonical tag.
Certificate NameThe name associated with an Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
CompressedReduced in file size for faster loading.
CrawlabilityThe ease with which search engine crawlers can access and index a website.
CrawlingThe process of search engine bots discovering, accessing and analysing web pages.
CSS: Cascading Style SheetsStyle sheet language used for describing the look and formatting of a document.
Encryption AlgorithmA method used to secure data during transmission.
ErrorAn issue preventing the proper functioning of a web page or server.
FaviconA small icon representing a website, displayed in the browser tab and in the search results.
FlashDeprecated multimedia software often used for animations.
Frame TagHTML tag used for embedding external content.
H1 TagHTML tag indicating the main heading of a page.
H2 TagHTML tag indicating a secondary heading of a page.
Header TagHTML tags (H1, H2, etc.) used to structure content hierarchically.
HTML HeaderThe opening section of an HTML document containing metadata.
HTTP EncryptionThe use of HTTPS to secure data during transmission.
HTTP HeaderInformation sent between a client and a server in HTTP requests and responses.
HTTP Status CodeA three-digit code indicating the outcome of an HTTP request.
HTTP: Hypertext Transfer ProtocolProtocol for transferring data over the web.
HTTPS EncryptionA secure version of HTTP using encryption.
HTTPS: Hypertext Transfer Protocol SecureA secure version of HTTP, encrypting data transmitted between the user’s browser and the website.
Incompatible PluginA software component that doesn’t work seamlessly with a particular platform.
IndexabilityThe ease with which search engines can index a webpage.
IndexingThe process of search engines including web pages in their database.
Internal LinkA hyperlink pointing to another page within the same website.
Invalid Language CodeA language code that does not conform to standards.
JavascriptA programming language used to enhance interactivity on web pages.
Lab EnvironmentControlled testing environment used to assess website performance.
MinifiedReduced in size by removing unnecessary characters.
Mixed ContentA webpage containing both secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) elements.
Mobile OptimisationThe process of optimising a website for mobile devices.
No Trailing SlashesURL structure without a slash at the end.
Non-Canonical PageA webpage that is not the preferred version specified by the canonical tag.
Non-Optimised Title TagA page’s title element that has not been optimised for search engines and user engagement.
Pages CrawledThe number of pages on a website that have been visited and analysed by search engine crawlers.
PluginA software component that adds specific features or functionalities to a website.
Real-World ConditionEvaluation or testing of a website under realistic user scenarios and conditions.
RedirectThe process of forwarding one URL to another.
Redirect ChainA series of consecutive redirects leading from one URL to another.
Redirect LoopA situation where a series of redirects forms an infinite loop.
rel=”canonical”HTML attribute specifying the preferred version of a URL.
RobotsAutomated programs (“bots”) used by search engines to crawl and index web content.
Robots.txt FileA file that instructs search engine crawlers on which pages to index or ignore.
Security CertificateA digital certificate that verifies the authenticity of a website’s identity and enables secure data transmission.
Security ProtocolThe set of rules governing secure data transmission over a network.
Server ErrorAn issue occurring on the server that prevents a webpage from loading.
SitemapA file listing the pages of a website to help search engines crawl and index them.
SSL: Secure Sockets LayerA standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser.
Timed OutA situation where a process or request exceeds the allocated time.
Uncompressed ContentContent that has not been compressed for faster delivery.
URL StructureThe organisation and format of a webpage’s URL.
URL With Double-SlashA URL containing two consecutive slashes after the domain.
User ExperienceThe overall experience and satisfaction of users when interacting with a website.
Valid Structured Data MarkupProperly formatted data on a webpage that follows structured data standards.
Viewport Meta TagHTML meta tag defining the viewport properties for responsive web design.
Web CrawlerAn automated bot that systematically browses the internet, indexing web pages.
Website ArchitectureThe structure and organisation of a website’s content and navigation.
Website SecurityMeasures and protocols implemented to protect a website from security threats.
X-Default hreflang AttributeAn HTTP header indicating the default language and regional targeting of a webpage.
XML SitemapA file listing URLs of a website to assist search engines in crawling and indexing
X-Robots-TagAn HTTP header allowing control over how search engines index content.
Definitions of common Technical SEO terms

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO is more than just getting other websites to link to site your website’s content.  It includes managing your social media presence, PR, and so much more.  If nobody is visiting your website because nobody is talking about it, then you might need better off-page SEO.  Chat to us if you want more information on how to improve your Off-Page SEO efforts.

Below are the definitions of Off-Page SEO terms.

TERMDEFINITION
Domain AuthorityA metric measuring the authority of a domain in search engine rankings, often shortened to DA.
Domain TrustThe level of trust search engines place in a domain, often shorted to DT.
External LinkA hyperlink pointing to a different domain.
Inbound LinkA hyperlink pointing to a website from external sources.
Link EquityThe value and authority passed from one webpage to another through links.
Referring DomainA domain that links to another domain.
Social SignalSocial media activity and engagement that may influence search engine rankings.
Website BacklinkA link from another website pointing to a specific webpage.
Definitions of common Off-Page SEO terms
seo definitions

On-Page SEO

Content!  Content!  Content!

Your website needs to have content that can be easily found and understood. Plus there’s the added detail that Search Engines prefer content that is helpful to readers.

Below are the definitions of On-Page SEO terms.

TERMDEFINITION
AMP: Accelerated Mobile PageA web page optimisation framework for fast mobile page loading.
AnchorA clickable text or image in a hyperlink that directs users to another page.
Content QualityThe relevance, uniqueness, and value of website content.
Core Web VitalsGoogle’s key metrics related to user experience and page loading, often shortened to CWV. You can discover your websites key metrics by using Google’s Page Speed Insights.
Description Meta TagHTML tag providing a brief summary of a page’s content.
Duplicate ContentIdentical or very similar content found on multiple pages.
Fixed Width ValueA specific width set for an element, often in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
HreflangHTML attribute specifying the language and regional targeting of a webpage.
HTML Lang AttributesHTML attributes specifying the language of the document.
HTML SizeThe total size of a webpage’s HTML content.
Keyword UsageThe strategic placement of keywords in website content for SEO.
LocalisationAdapting content to a specific geographic or cultural context.
Meta DescriptionHTML tag providing a concise summary of a page’s content.
Meta Refresh RedirectA method of redirecting users to a different URL after a specified time.
Meta TagHTML tag containing metadata about a webpage.
Minimum Text To HTML RatioThe ratio of text content to HTML code on a webpage.
Mobile ResponsivenessA design approach ensuring a website functions well on various devices.
NofollowAn attribute instructing search engines not to follow a particular link.
NoindexAn attribute instructing search engines not to index a particular page.
Optimised Title TagA page’s title element that has been strategically crafted for search engine optimisation, user readability, and relevance.
Page Load SpeedThe time it takes for a webpage to fully load its content.
Page SpeedThe overall speed and performance of a webpage, including load time and responsiveness.
Page TitleThe HTML element that defines the title of a webpage, displayed on the browser tab.
Textual ContentThe written or textual material on a webpage
Title TagHTML element defining the title of a webpage, important for SEO.
Twitter Card TagMeta tags that enable rich media experiences when links are shared on X (Twitter).
UsabilityThe overall user-friendliness and ease of use of a website.
Website SpeedThe overall speed and performance of a website.
Definitions of common On-Page SEO terms

SEO Dictionary: Performance Optimisation

In this section of our SEO dictionary, we are defining terms commonly used when SEO Specialiasts and Digital Agencies talk about optimising your website’s performance.

TERMDEFINITION
CLS: Cumulative Layout ShiftA metric measuring visual stability of a page’s content.
FCP: First Contentful PaintA metric measuring the time it takes for the first content to be loaded (“painted”) on the screen.
FID: First Input DelayA metric measuring the time between a user’s first interaction and the browser’s response.
LCP: Largest Contentful PaintA metric measuring the loading time of the largest content element.
Site UsabilityThe ease with which users can navigate and interact with a website.
Speed IndexA metric measuring how quickly a webpage’s content becomes visible during loading.
TBT: Total Blocking TimeA metric measuring the total time a webpage is unresponsive to user input during loading.
TTI: Time To InteractiveA metric measuring how long it takes for a webpage to become fully interactive.
Definitions of common Website Performance Optimisation terms

SEO Strategy And Metrics

Below are the definitions of common terms used in SEO Audit Reports to measure the effectiveness of your SEO Strategy.

TERMDEFINITION
Backlink ProfileThe collection of all inbound links to a website, impacting its SEO authority.
Bounce RatePercentage of visitors who navigate away from a site after viewing only one page.
Health ScoreA metric assessing the overall health and performance of a website.
KeywordA term or phrase used to find relevant content in search engines.
NoticeA notification or advisory regarding an aspect of a website’s performance or configuration.
Passed CheckMeeting a specified criterion or passing a particular test or evaluation.
RankingThe position of a webpage in search engine results for a particular query.
RelevanceThe degree to which a webpage’s content is applicable to a user’s search query.
Search Engine AlgorithmA complex set of rules used by search engines to determine the ranking of web pages.
Search VisibilityThe presence and prominence of a website in search engine results.
SEO TrendCurrent and evolving practices in search engine optimisation.
WarningAn alert or notification about potential issues on a website.
Definitions of common SEO Strategy terms

The Value Of Understanding SEO Terminology

search engine optimisation dictionary

Search Engine Optimization terminology can be overwhelming, but once you understand them, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate the performance of your SEO efforts, and make more effective strategic decisions.This is why we recommend keeping this SEO dictionary handy.

Reach out to Digital Squeak to discuss your marketing objectives and see if we can improve your SEO efforts – pippa@digitalsqueak.co.za

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