Let’s face it. Besides the power of word-of-mouth or throwing wads of marketing cash at your website, Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) will often be the main source of traffic to your website. After all, search engines are ultimately the main method of finding anything on the web. Knowing what you’re getting into with Search Engine Optimization is important, because if you don’t go about it the right way, it can do much more harm than good.
Thanks, Joe. So with that, here are just a few SEO terms explained to help out along the way:
This is best described as the formula or process a search engine uses to rank web pages. Search engines use algorithms to decide where a page should rank in search results.
Why it’s important: Understanding how or why search engines do things the way they do allows you to develop your website accordingly and achieve the highest possible ranking.
A collection of data that shows how users are interacting with a website, including what search terms they used to reach the website, how much time was spent on the website and which pages were viewed.
Why it’s important: Knowing how your users are finding you and what elements of your website are working or under-performing is extremely valuable data. It allows you to make improvements and better calculated overall decisions.
A backlink is essentially a link coming into a website from an external website. For example, someone might link to your website on their blog or share your website on Facebook. These are considered backlinks.
Why it’s important: Backlinks allow search engines to sort out content that is popular. Be careful though. It’s not enough to just have any Tom, Dick, or Harry linking to your website. Your goal should be to build quality backlinks from more reputable sources.
4. Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO techniques are those that don’t comply with best practice guidelines. These are the methods that attempt to trick search engines into giving a website a higher page ranking than it deserves. More often than not these techniques can backfire and damage your ranking.
Why it’s important: As long as there are rules, there will be people around to break them. Don’t get caught up in trying to trick the search engines and risk damaging your online reputation.
5. Bounce Rate
A ‘bounce’ in web terms is when a visitor arrives at your website and leaves before visiting another page. This means that the bounce rate is the percentage of people who only visit one page on your website.
Why it’s important: A high bounce rate can mean that the content on your website is just not enticing enough for your visitors. High bounce rates can also have a negative effect on search engine rankings.
A Content Management System (or CMS) allows website owners to manage copy and pages on their website, without the need for them to understand or know how to code a website.
Why it’s important: Many Content Management Systems have various SEO tools built right in, allowing you to take advantage of page titles, keywords and the like.
This is the ultimate goal of your website; when a user does what you want them to do. If you have a call to action on your website like “Buy Now” or “Download a brochure”, the conversion is reached when this task is completed.
Why it’s Important: Pretty much the entire idea of doing business on the web is conversion oriented. Of course you’re going to want to know how it’s all going down and how certain search terms are enticing people to reach you.
8. Meta Data
Meta Data includes a variety of brief information pieces like page titles and descriptions that show up in search engines and at the top of browsers.
Why it’s important: These pieces of information are essentially the selling point when someone sees your link on a search results page. As mentioned previously, many content management systems allow you to maintain this information quite easily.
9. Page Rank
A series of algorithms that determine how relevant a search engine considers your page to be in relation to keywords searched. It runs on a scale of 1-10.
Why it’s important: Your Page Rank is ultimately your ranking amongst your competitors. When someone types in a search term, the relevant sites with a higher Page Rank will be listed first.
10. Unique Visitor
Visitors and unique visitors are measured differently. If your analytics show that you’ve had 20 visits to your website but only 1 unique visitor, then that means that 1 person visited your site 20 times.
Why it’s important: Unique visitors are a good indication of how traffic is growing and what is keeping them around. By growing traffic and increasing return traffic, your site will begin to climb the rankings.
Search Engine Optimization involves constant testing, experimenting and improvement. It’s not something that you can just set and forget. Remember, even though SEO is typically one of the highest return marketing investments, measuring success and studying the results is still critical to the process.
If you need help improving your search rankings or making your website more SEO friendly, contact Point Click Media.