SEO Terminology

Last updated: June 28, 2016

I have included a definitive list of phraseology used in the discussion of the subject matter pertaining to search engine optimisation. Its important to understand the language used and what it means in order to build a good quality website. The table below will help you understand what the terms actually mean when they are being discussed in articles and websites related to the subject matter of SEO.

Defenitions of search engine optimisation seo terminology
SEO TerminologySEO Definition
Above The Fold


The portion of your webpage that is visible to your website visitor without having to use the scroll bar to view it. 


Pay per click online advertising system run by Microsoft. 


Ad network run by Google that displays advertising on their partner websites that receive a portion of the ad revenue when users click on the contextual adverts displayed. 


A pay per click advertising program run by Google that displays adverts in the search engine results. 


Affiliate advertising is a business model that promotes products or services from other companies, If you are involved with this type of marketing you are paid when a user completes a particular action such as clicking on a link, purchasing a product or signing up using an email form. 
AnalyticsTracking visitors to your website, how they arrived and where they came from is important, this data is available and useful to understand how much time people spend on your site, what they do and how they interact with it. 
Anchor TextA text link that is clicked by a user that will lead them to your website such as “click here” keyword rich anchor text link can have more benefit, but the “density” of the keywords must not be too high. 
BlogAn online publishing platform that can be used to post content on your website, ideal for news websites where content needs to be updated often. 
CMS (Content Management System)A platform that is used to make it simple for users to update their website content, blogs are a perfect example. 
Contextual AdvertisingDisplay advertising that targets advertisements directly at users that are viewing related content. 
ConversionWhen a user performs any desired specified given action such as purchasing a product or signing up to a contact form. 
CookieUsed to track users behaviour on the web, a file that is downloaded to a user’s computer to track online activity and personalise the userâ€â„¢s experience. A perfect example is to track contents added to cart on a shopping website. 
CPA (Cost Per Action)A metric used to determine the cost and relative profit of online adverts, divide the cost of advertising by the completed goals to work out the relative cost of each acquisition, either sale of product or lead generation. 
CPC (Cost Per Click)The amount an advertiser has to spend when a user clicks on one of their adverts displayed on an advertising network, such as Google AdWords, that leads to a visit to their website. 
CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)How much an advertiser spends to generate a thousand advert views. 
CTR (Click Through Rate)The amount of times users click on a link in ads displayed to them, expressed in a percentage. 
Google Keyword ToolAs part of the advertising program, Google that offers suggestions of possible related keyphrases to advertise on and the projected cost per click provides a free keyword tool. 
Header Tags (H1, H2, H3)Part of the code in an HTML page that sends important signals to search engines to help them understand what the webpage content is about. 
Home PageThe index page or fist page of a website that is generally considered the most important and the one that is displayed to users when they type your URL directly in to a browsers address bar. 
.htaccessAn important file that is held on your webserver (that is not visible to users) that contains important information for search engines, can be used to compress data to improve delivery speeds, control access and redirect pages for example. 
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)The code used to make websites , it can be edited manually or by a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. 
Inbound LinkAn external link from other websites that, when clicked or followed by search engines lead to pages on your site. 
Internal LinkA link that originate from a page on your own website that when clicked lead to another page in your website. 
Information ArchitectureRefers to the organisation of pages and content on a website and its accessibility by users and search engines. 
IP (Internet Protocol) AddressHow computers or servers are uniquely identified when connected via the internet. 
JavaScriptDynamic programming language that is used in websites to allow advanced features. 
Keywords and Keyword PhrasesTargeted words or phrases that are incorporated in to the copy of your website that you want people to locate you by when they each online. 
Keyword DensityThe amount of times (expressed in percentages) that a keyword phrase or keyword appears in the copy of a page, (a useful metric used to understand what a page looks like to a search engine). 
Keyword ResearchDiscovery of potential target keywords for your website. 
Landing PageThe page that a person arrives at either by searching online, clicking a link from another website, typing your address in to a browser or clicking on an advert link. 
Long Tail KeywordsA more obscure keyword phrase that is made up of 4 or greater words, targeting such phrases can lead to greater conversions as they fulfil user intent more precisely. 
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing)Synonyms or words that have similar meaning can be understood by modern search engines, and the relationship between words their proximity on a webpage can help search engines understand what the content of the page is about. 
Meta DescriptionA synopsis of what a page is all about, sometimes used by search engines (they can also use snippets of page content instead) and displayed below the title in the search results. 
Meta KeywordsA list of words incorporated in the HTML of a page that define what the page is about, (no longer considered important) 
NofollowA link attribute that tells search engines not to pass any linking authority “juice” to the page being linked to 
Organic Search ResultsSearch engine results that are the result of SEO rather than paid advertising (usually associated with whitehat) 
Outbound LinkWhen you link to another site from your website. 
PageRankA defunct metric that used to be used by Google to ascribe a score to every webpage, it is a ranking scale from 1-10 that was used to attribute importance to a page. 
PPC (Pay Per Click)Advertising model whereby the advertiser is charged a fee if someone clicks on their advertisement that leads to a visit to their website. 
ReferrerThe source of a lead that results in a visitor to your website, can be another site or search engine. 
Reputation ManagementControlling or monitoring information that appears online about your business and making sure that it is favourable. 
Robots.txt fileThis file controls what pages a search engine can index in the search results 

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

The business of enhancing website code and content to increase its visibility in the search results

SERPs – Search Engine Results PagesThere are the results that are displayed when you search for a keyword or phrase listed 1-10 when searching online. 
Site MapA list of pages, images and videos that you instruct search engines to index your website 
SpamTrying to manipulate the results of searches to increase the exposure of your website by unethical means. 

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

This is the address or location of each webpage on the internet

WhoisLooking up who registered the domain name and therefore has ownership of it. 
WordPressA popular blogging platform that has evolved in to a shop (Woocommerce) and general-purpose website platform. 
301 (Redirect)Used for directing (pointing) one page to another, this is controlled by the .htaccess file on your server to transfer authority or redirect backlinks from a page on your website or external site to another page of your site. 
404A page that instructs search engines of an error, a page those users will also see when they try to visit a page that no longer exists.

For a more detailed definition of each term, please refer to Wikipedia or google. If searching on google prefix each term with define: term, for example define: SEO