SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is one of the most important digital marketing techniques in the modern age. For those that don’t already know, SEO refers to how your website ranks in search engines. If you optimize your site for search engines, it will mean that you are one of the first results people see when conducting searches. As a result, more people could visit your website because they see it before others. Not only that, but being high in the results builds authority and trust – consumers see the websites that appear first and automatically assume that they can be trusted because they’re right at the top.
In short, improving your SEO is crucial to help market your business. Having said that, there are lots of terms and phrases used in the world of SEO that you might not understand. So, this post will break down some of the basic terms you definitely need to be aware of:
Keywords are so important to SEO. In essence, they are the words and phrases that people are likely to type into a search engine. For your business, keywords are the things people will type to find your business. They’re relatable terms or phrases that you can place on your website in the text. Having the right blend of keywords on your website means you will be found by the right people.
On-page SEO refers to everything that happens on your website to influence its search engine position. Yes, this includes keywords that get placed around your site, but it can also include the following:
- Page loading speeds
- The user experience
Effectively, to boost your SEO, you need to work on your site’s structure. You need all the pages to load quickly and be easy for people to navigate around. Your content needs to be valuable and full of keywords. Having good on-page SEO is the first step to achieving SEO dominance.
This is often a neglected part of SEO, and it’s where a lot of businesses let themselves down. In fairness, it’s not always your fault. If you pay for cheap SEO services, they may only deal with your on-page SEO. In reality, the best SEO agency is one that also helps you with things off-site that still influence your search engine ranking.
There are plenty of things you can do away from your website that help you get a better search ranking. To boil it down, it’s all about making Google trust your site. One thing you can do is get your business website on local listings pages, showing that you can be trusted. Another idea is called link building, which we’ll discuss next.
Link building & Backlinks
This is an off-page SEO technique that involves building links back to your website. Effectively, a backlink is a link on another site that points back to you. These links are super important as it tells search engines that other websites trust you. Otherwise, why else would they be linking to you? Backlinks showcase your authority to Google and other search engines, meaning they are more likely to lift you up the search rankings.
Title tag & Meta description
Another double whammy for you here. Title tags are vital for SEO as they let you incorporate keywords to help you get found during searches. They are basically descriptions of what your website and web pages will contain. When someone searches for something, the title tag is the top line of the website in the search results. It’s the big line in blue on Google.
Underneath this, you have the URL in green, and then comes the meta description. Again, this is another description of what the page contains, providing more information to the user. It adds relevance to the search query and can also let you add in some important keywords.
White hat & Black hat SEO
Lastly, you need to know about white hat and black hat SEO. Both of these terms refer to two categories of SEO techniques or practices. White hat SEO is used to describe all of the good techniques that will benefit your website. These techniques have been approved by search engines and are actively encouraged.
Then, you have black hat techniques. Black hat SEO is used to describe practices that violate search engine guidelines. A common example of this is backlink spamming. Companies spam their links everywhere on the internet – in comments sections, etc. – to try and generate as many links as possible. Google hates this and will penalize you for doing it. In short, focus on white hat SEO and understand the black hat techniques to avoid.
Knowing these key terms should make it easier for you to manage your SEO strategy. Use both on-page and off-page tactics to drive yourself up the rankings and generate more web traffic.