Glossary of key words and phrases used in the day-to-day social media, digital world.

analytics:  In regards to SEO, analytics refers to gathering data about a website’s traffic and making decisions about that website’s performance.

blended search results: Search results including content beyond traditional website listings, such as video clips, audio tracks, contact information for local businesses, maps, images, prices for products, news articles, and content friends have shared.

bounce rate: The percentage of visitors that leave your site after seeing only one page.

canonical page: The preferred page among pages with identical content on a website.

citation: Any mention of your business name, address and phone number on the web, a combination of information often referred to as NAP (Name, Address, Phone number).

competition: The number of Google Adwords customers competing for a particular keyword.

content delivery network (CDN): A geographically distributed system that allows clients to access the same content from the nearest server.

content optimisation: The process of improving the quality and relevancy of your site’s content.

distance: A measure of how geographically close a potential search result is from the searcher.

editorial calendar: A calendar that maps out upcoming publications and deadline dates for submissions.

engagement: A measure of how much time visitors spend on your site and how many pages they view.

HTML: Acronym for “Hypertext Markup Language,” the standardised code used to build web pages internet protocol

(IP) address: A numerical label assigned to each device (e.g. computer or printer) on a computer network.

JavaScript: A programming language used to make web pages interactive.

key performance indicators (KPI): Criteria you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. Common KPI’s include: average order values, business leads, contact forms, driving directions, non-branded keyword searches, organic search traffic, phone calls, revenue, subscribers, social followers, sign ups, and target keyword rankings.

keywords: The search terms people enter into search engines.

keyword distribution spreadsheet: A document that helps you organise and document the content of your site to support the keywords you’re targeting. It also serves as an excellent resource for your copywriters and will help streamline workflows across all the different members of your website production team.

keyword categorisation: A process used to group keywords into themes or topics.

keyword research: The foundational piece in SEO that will help you understand what people are typing into search engines, how frequently they do it, how relevant those terms are to your business objectives, and how competitive those terms will be to try and rank for.

long-tail keywords: Descriptive keywords that are used in less-common variations than other, more frequently used search terms.

meta tags: Information placed into the web page’s code that is not displayed on the web page, but help search engines understand what the page is about.

micro-formats: Syntax that helps identify specific types of content.

organic listings: Content displayed in response to a query that has not been paid for, but has been identified by a search engine as relevant to your query based on its strong SEO characteristics.

paid listings: Paid advertisements (managed by programs like Google’s AdWords) that appear in your search results alongside organic listings, usually in a specially marked area of your search engine results page (SERP).

prominence: A measure of how well-known a listing is across the web.

query: Keywords, phrases, or questions you enter into a search engine when you desire information.

relevance: How well a listing matches a user’s search term(s).

robots.txt file: A file you or your webmaster can create in the main root folder of your site, and when search engines see it, they’ll read it and follow those rules that you’ve set.

search engine optimisation (SEO): The process of making changes on and off your website to gain more exposure in search engine results.

search engine results page (SERP): The format search engines use to display the web pages and other content they’ve identified as relevant to the keywords which a user used in a search.

search volume: The number of searches per month for a particular keyword.

style sheet: A set of statements that allow web designers to control layout and style of pages.

uniform resource locator (URL): The address of a web page that corresponds to its IP address 

URL parameters: Extra bits of data appended to the end of URLs used to do a variety of different things. Sometimes they control what content shows up on the page, other times they have nothing to do with the content.

user-generated content: Content created by website visitors.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): An international community where member organisations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop web standards.

XML sitemap: A listing of your pages’ content in a special format that search engines can easily read.