SEO key terms you need to know in 2023

Before we get started, I want to ask you a question:

When you don’t know the answer to a question or are looking for something specific, what is usually the first thing you do?

I’m guessing you’d Google it (other search engines are available)! The websites that appear first on your Google search results are there because Google thinks those sites will answer your question/have what you’re looking for.

But how does it know? This is where SEO comes in, you need to tell Google who you are and what you do, so it will rank your website when someone searches for what you do or sell.

SEO is your best salesperson, who never sleeps and is always promoting and growing your business – and don’t have to pay it commission.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is how search engines (aka Google) understand who you are and what you do. Google then processes the SEO information you give it and ranks your website in search results.

Google doesn’t instinctively know everything about your business, services or products, you need to tell it. The more it knows, the higher your website will rank, resulting in more organic traffic to your website.

So how do I tell Google what I do, I hear you ask! It begins with Keywords.

Adding keywords and value adding content to your website is the most efficient method of getting Google to understand what you are all about.

Keywords: These are words or phrases that specify what you do and who you serve. Consider the words or phrases your target audience is typing into search engines to find what you provide? Having keywords on your website tells your target audience they are in the right place, but also tells Google what to rank you for. It’s important to include relevant keywords in your website copy, titles and meta descriptions. Depending on your website platform (WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace etc.), there may be additional SEO features you can utilise.

10 terms related to SEO you need to know

*Search Engine: A search engine helps you find information on the internet, Google is the most commonly used search engine with 84% market share. By typing in the search bar, Google’s algorithm finds and displays the most relevant websites in the search results. This is why it is necessary to use keywords and informative text across your website.

*Algorithms: Is a process or set of rules, usually an exact set of step-by-step actions to solve a particular problem. If you tie your shoelaces in the same way every time, the process you use is an algorithm. Algorithms are widely used throughout IT with most social media platforms having their own algorithms. They are updated and changed regularly so you need to adapt your SEO from time to time to stay ahead of your competition.

*On-page SEO: This is refers to using keywords in the right places, optimising your website for mobile, and improving load times. Making use of Alt Text and Meta Descriptions.

*Alt Text: This is the text that appears when an image doesn’t load on your website. It provides a brief description of the image to search engines and improves accessibility for visually impaired users. 36% of people use a visual/image search when using search engines. It’s also a great way to add keywords into your webpage.

*Meta Description: Is a summary of the webpage content, which appears under your page title on search engine results pages. It is a snippet of text that contains keywords but should also appeal to your target audience.

*Backlinks: These are links from other websites to your website. These can include social media sites as well as other websites. They indicate that other websites consider your content to be valuable and is a big plus to improve your ranking.

*Sitemap: A list of all the pages on your website. It allows search engines to understand the structure of your site.

*Organic Traffic: These are your website visitors that find you through search engines, by searching for keywords related to your business offering. It is not connected to paid advertising. The ultimate goal of SEO is to increase organic traffic.

*User experience(UX): Websites need to be designed for enhanced user experience. The way people interact with your website affects your SEO ranking. For example if someone clicks into your website because you’re ranking for a specific keyword, but when they visit your homepage, they don’t see anything that’s relevant to them so they return to their search results. This negatively impacts your ranking. You want to increase the time people spend on your website and encourage them to maneuver through your site.

*Analytics: Platforms such as Google Analytics are powerful tools to understand how people are finding and engaging with your website. You can gather insights into the pages that are most popular and the topics of greatest interest. You can adapt your keywords and offerings to greater meet your customer’s wants and needs.

Adding keywords or phrases to your website is vital to tell Google and your potential audience exactly what you do. You want your website showing up on the first page of search results, and SEO is the only way to get there.