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Key SEO Terms

For those who are new to the world of SEO and digital marketing, then there are a lot of terms used by people in the industry that can be quite alienating. Therefore we have put together a glossary of key SEO terms in order to give you some insight into what they mean and why they are important.

SEO – the simple definition of SEO (search engine optimisation), is any activity that is done in an attempt to improve natural (searches that are not paid for) search engine rankings. The better optimised a site is, the easier it will be found – from the perspective of a search engine and by your potential customers.

Search Engine – a search engine is a website that allows its users the ability to search the content of webpages online for specific content that they require, based on the keywords that the user has searched. These are constantly evolving to give the user better results that are relevant to their search. Google is the world’s most used search engine, however there a range of others such as Bing Yahoo, Baidu (a Chinese language based search engine) and Yandex (a Russian language search engine).

SERP – the SERP is the Search Engine Results Page. For many this is the most important page on the internet, as it is a scene of fierce competition to be ranked highest – both naturally and paid. The page has ads, images and natural search results. Alongside this there can be a knowledge graph, and information about local businesses, depending on the search.


Keywords – these are specific words and phrases that trigger a search. They play a huge role in SEO as a website that has well optimised keywords relevant to a user’s search query is likely to display higher up a search engine results page than one that isn’t. Some keywords are simply a word, whereas there can be searches for questions or phrases that make for opportunities in terms of content creation these are known as long tail keywords.

Keyword Research – this is a hugely important part of SEO – dedicating time to keyword research is a valuable activity with potential for a huge return on the effort put in. This is about considering what a site is about, what you think a customer will be looking for and finding ideas that will help bring traffic to the site, but more importantly the right kind of traffic.

Rankings – this is a term that people place a lot of emphasis on when it comes to SEO. Rankings are where a website shows up relative to other search results on a search engine results page. There are many different factors that come into play in terms of rankings, you cannot simply stuff too many keywords into a page and hope it works (it doesn’t) you have to have useful relevant content that is easy for a user and search engine to navigate and understand.

Site Structure – the way that a site is laid out is vital for SEO. A well laid out website means that keywords are assigned to specific pages that will all have a hierarchy of importance in terms of keywords used. The structure also has to be one that is logical for the user to navigate.

Local SEO – use of mobile technology has increased dramatically in recent times, and will continue to do so. Because of this, people can access information on the go from almost anywhere. Local SEO allows a user to find your website as search engines (Google especially for this) are gearing up towards more individualised search results. For example if you are logged into your Google account then a search uses your search history and location as well as the keywords you use to bring a search to best match your needs. Therefore ensuring you have put effort into local SEO is hugely important (read more here).

Link Building – a term often mentioned by digital marketing professionals, this is a case of aiming to actively grow the number of quality relevant links into your website. This is something that needs a careful methodical approach, as changes to Google algorithms have meant that they have cracked down on low quality spammy links used to gain quick results.

Blog – this is a great opportunity to create unique content that allows you to appear as an authority on the subject of your website. Every new page that you create is another chance to be found online by a search engine. Creating content based on longer tail keywords, and questions that users may ask about the topic is a great way to increase the likelihood of being found.

Analytics – this is a suite of tools designed to collect and analyse data about website usage. The most common tool used is Google Analytics, a free program which allows you to get a massive amount of data about the way people are using your site, which pages are working, what converts and many more sets of data.

Zelst are experts when it comes to SEO – if you need more information about any of our key SEO terms discussed here, or any other aspect of SEO or digital marketing, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and see what we can do to help you and your business!