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If your business has a website, you’ve probably heard a lot about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You’ve probably also heard about what you should be doing to ensure your site is visible when search engines crawl the web in response to queries. 

Whether you want to handle your own SEO or hire a firm to do it for you, it’s important to understand basic SEO terms. This list from SEO company Yoast.com is a great starting point for expanding your knowledge of the lingo. 

Algorithm (of a search engine)

An aspect of a search engine that decides which pages are shown in the search results, and in which order. The factors that determine the ordering change regularly. 

Bounce rate

A metric that measures the percentage of people who land on your website but take no action. 

Branded search

A search query that contains the name of a brand. For example, “Leonidas chocolates.” 

Click-through rate

The ratio of clicks your result gets when it appears in search results. 

Conversion
A conversion happens every time a visitor completes a desired action on your website. It could be a click-through to the next page, a subscription to a newsletter or a visitor buying your product.

Google Ads

An online advertising service developed by Google. Advertisers pay to display brief ads within the Google ad network to web users.

Google Analytics

A web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. This makes it easier to determine if your SEO strategy is working or if and where it needs to be improved. Be sure to look over your analytics at least once a month.

Google My Business

A dedicated Google business listing that helps manage and bolster online presence. Information within the listing can include the type of business you have, where you’re located, business hours, photos, product and service descriptions, and more. Google My Business also helps you manage how your business will look and perform in the Google search engine. 

Heading tags

HTML tags used to create headings. They help users and search engines read and understand the text on a page. The most important tag is the H1 heading tag, which is usually the title of a post. 

Keyword research

The activity you undertake to come up with the list of keywords you’d like to rank for.

Landing pages
The pages you want your audience to reach when they’re searching for your keyword(s).

Meta description

Another type of HTML tag; a snippet of about 155 characters that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results (mostly when the searched-for phrase is within the description).

Organic search results

Non-paid search results. Google’s search engine results page (SERP) shows the seven to 10 organic links that best fit your search.

Paid search results

Ads paid for by businesses, so they’ll be shown as search results above the organic (non-paid) links. 

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The page of a search engine that shows the organic and paid results that best fit your search.

SEO title

The HTML title tag. This tag is the first thing a user sees in the search results. It’s also one of the most important factors Google uses to determine the topic of a page. 

Snippet

The search results Google shows to the user. A snippet consists of an SEO title (in blue), the slug (in green), and the meta description (in black).

Now that you’re a little more familiar with SEO terms, you can start to create more online visibility for your business by crafting an SEO strategy that best fits your business.

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