SEO basic terms

SEO Basic Terms
SEO is a minefield, but integral to running a website or blog. Not sure what it means? Worried about the other terms that are used in conjunction with it? If so, have a look at this post to understand some basic SEO terms.

If you’re new to the topic get your head around the basic terminology so you can get to grips with it’s importance and how to use it to your advantage.

After doing a post on basic press release terminology I realised that some of the basic SEO terminology can also be very confusing when starting out in the public relations industry.

It became clear very quickly that understanding these definitions would help me at work and on current projects.

Here are are 12 basic terms explained to get you started…

The Basics

SEO – search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation is the term given to activity that improves a website’s ranking on a search engine. The better a site’s ranking the higher it will appear in a search engine’s results bringing it to the attention of a much larger audience.

People use SEO to improve and maximise the chances of getting a website, or a blog, to appear on search engines. The aim is to raise awareness, drive site traffic and give the site credibility and legitimacy.

There are many different ways to boost SEO and lots of terminology surrounding it.

SERP – Search engine results page

This is the page of results displayed when you search a query on a search engine.

Ranking Terms

DA – domain authority

Domain authority is a guide to how well your website or blog is ranking on search engines. It uses a scale of 1 – 1oo, 1 being bad and 100 being the best.

Be careful when reviewing DA, this metric isn’t fool proof. There are many people contesting the ways the figures are determined.  However after reading around, it’s still a good indicator of how a site is performing, it just shouldn’t be fully relied on.

For the bloggers out there, if you have a .Blogspot or .Wordpress address for your blog you will not be able to find out your DA score. You must have a domain name that you own to find out your DA score.

There are lots of ways to check your DA including free sites, one of which is SEO Review Tools.

Alt tag

What you name the pictures you have on your website or blog is very important. Alt tags are the words you add to the images so they can be picked up by search engines and listed in an image results search.

The Fold

The fold refers to the point on your website where it gets cut off by the bottom of the screen. If you want to see anything else you have to scroll to be able to see it.
As content above the fold is seen immediately search engines give some priority to it. It also pays not to have too many advertisements above the fold as this can have a negative effect on it’s ranking.

Link Terms

Indexed Pages

Search engines go through every page on the Internet to index them and create rankings. Indexed pages are the pages of your website that are stored by search engines.

Anchor text

When creating a link on a website or blog you can choose the text which represents the link. It’s the text you click on that transports you to that website.

An example would be: Click me to see cute cat pictures!

Instead of:*

Often the link itself is long, ugly and can ruin the flow of the writing and doesn’t tell the reader what the link connects to. By creating anchor text you can create a succinct phrase or word to represent the link.

Inbound link

This is a link from another site to yours. These links improve SEO, as it makes your site look popular as other people are referencing it. This form of link gives your site credibility.

Internal link

This is a link within your site, i.e. you’re linking to yourself. In a blog this is when you link to an old post you’ve written or a different page. On a website, it’s exactly the same, this is linking to another section of your site.


This is a link from your site to another. In the blogging world a great example of this would be if you reviewed a product. In this kind of post it’s usual to include a link to the product’s site or where the product could be bought, this is a backlink.

Backlinks come in two forms, no follow links and do follow links. One that contributes to your SEO by raising your domain authority and another that tells search engines to ignore the link and not attribute it to your site.

Do follow link

These are backlinks that contribute towards your domain authority by being counted as a credible, authentic link. Automatically all links are do follow, a specific code needs to be written to create a no follow link.

No follow link

A no follow link is a backlink that doesn’t contribute towards your domain’s authority. A no follow link tells search engines to not count it when they index sites.

To make your link a no follow one you need to add special code to the link that tells the search engine to ignore it. How you create a no follow link depends on the type of website or type of blog you use. For example there are different codes for Blogger and WordPress.

I hope these terms help you as much as they’ve helped me. It’s a lot to take on board, but it’s well worth knowing. It’s also much easier when they are broken down so you can understand them and use them effectively.

5 thoughts on “SEO basic terms

Leave a Reply