SEO Glossary – Essential Jargon Explained

SEO Glossary

TPG Design have put together a list of important/common SEO keywords and phrases.   It’s an organic document so this SEO Glossary will always keep growing, but if there are any words that aren’t here you’d like explained – let us know!


301 Redirect

A 301 Redirect is used to redirect one address to another. It is often used when a web address has been changed or if a site has been moved. It tells search engines that your page is no longer in one place and is now moved to another page or domain. Applying a 301 redirect ensures that people who have links to your page or if they have bookmarked the old address, they will automatically get to the new one, and search engines can update their index of your site, avoiding broken links and avoiding being hit with duplicate content penalties.

404 Error

This error page will show up if a webpage cannot be found. A webpage may not be found due to a broken link or a dead link. Website owners should constantly check their site for 404 errors.



AdWords (Google AdWords) is an advertising service by Google. It is for businesses that to display ads on Google. AdWords allows businesses to set a budget for how much they would like to spend on advertising and they only pay when people click on the ads.


Text that describes what is in an image This helps search engines understand what is being displayed by providing a text equivalent. Search engines index images based on ALT tags, they are also given SEO weight when ranking a web page. ALT tags also give visually impaired users the ability to understand what is in an image through text.


In regards to SEO, Analytics is used to gather data and information about Website traffic and how efficient the site is. It allows you to understand who is looking at your site, along with how many visitors have been to your site and what the visitors were doing while they are on your site.

Anchor Text

This is the name for the text visible on a web link. For example – THIS TEXT IS ANCHOR TEXT. Anchor text helps both users and search engines understand what the linked page is about.


Back Links

Back links are sometimes referred to as pingback, which are links to your Website from other Websites.

Black Hat

The practice of using unethical or deceptive techniques to increase the ranking/exposure for a website, brand, or product. Black Hat is the opposite of White Hat.


A blog (often referred to as a weblog) is a section of a site that is regularly updated with content.


Bookmarks are used in a web browser to record the address of website. This is to allow the user quick access to the site in future.



Content is anything that is going to be used on a website, such as images, text, videos and other forms of media. Content is very important in regards to SEO because this is where your keywords and phrases will be used. Having good and engaging content helps to improve sites SEO and site traffic.


Conversion is the number of people who converted from a visitor to whatever is classed as a conversion such as signing up for a email newsletter or making a purchase. They have gone from being just a visitor to someone who has engaged with site.

Conversion Form

A form through which you collect information about your site visitor. Conversion forms convert traffic into leads. Collecting contact information helps you follow up with these leads.


Domain Name

This refers to the part of a website URL, each website has a unique domain name. Example – – is the domain of the URL.


Fav Icon

A Favorite Icon (Fav Icon) is the icon displayed when you bookmark/favourite a website, it also displays in the tab of the browser.


Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an Analytics tool from Google that allows you to gather data about your site traffic.


Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)

These tags are important SEO attributes that are used to establish and label the principal sections of a web page. The H1 tag should be used once per page, to designate the main theme. The H2 tag can be used several times as needed and the H3s should be used for significant parts within each section. Each header tag helps search engine crawlers to determine what each page of a site is about.


Inbound Link

A link from another website leading to yours.


Search engines use crawlers (also called spiders, bots or webcrawler) to navigate websites and gather information. Indexing is the processing of this information.

Internal Link

A link from one page in your site to another page in your site.



A word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine.

Keyword Density

How often a keyword appears on a page. Keyword density is usually measured in terms of percentages. In the past the goal was to have a keyword density of 2%, but now it is recommended not to worry about keyword density. Instead, ensure your content is relevant to readers and maintains a common theme.


Landing Page

When someone clicks a link, an ad on Google, an article shared on social media, etc., they are sent to what is referred to as a landing page (aka, that’s where they will land). This means that a landing page can be absolutely anything and is always changing based on what it is you’re talking about.

Link Building

Link building is the act of getting links pointing to a website. Having multiple links point to a website can help increase the likelihood of the website ranking highly in search engine results.

Local SEO

The process of optimizing a website to appear in local search results. It is a branch of small business SEO practice that aims to position companies specifically for searches based on a user’s current or intended location.

Long Tail Keyword

Long Tail Keywords are very detailed keyword phrases that have a low search volume, but a good chance of bringing in conversions. For example, something very specific like “purchase hypoallergenic blue cat bed in London” is a long tail keyword that probably doesn’t get a lot of searches, but those searching are probably ready to buy; thus helping with conversions.



Metadata is data about data. It is used to describe other data.

Meta Description (Tag)

A tag containing a small description (usually 160 characters) that tells a search engine what the page is about. This shows up under each search engine result on a Google search, so it is also a way for you to draw users in to your site.

Meta Keywords

Meta elements provide information about the web page, which can be used by search engines to help categorize the page. Meta Keywords are keywords hidden in the meta information of a site, so not visible on the page. There is no current consensus on whether the Keywords attribute affects ranking on the major search engines today. Quality of content seems to be more important.



Nofollow is a HTML link attribute (Example – TPG Design). Adding the ‘Nofollow’ tag to HTML tells search engines “Don’t follow this link”.


Organic SEO

Organic search engine optimisation (organic SEO) refers to site optimisation that is focused on site ranking factors and doesn’t use paid advertisements. Organic SEO is focused on using keywords, site interlinking (internal and external links) and content to improve a site’s page rank.


Page Title

This is the name you give to a web page, this can be seen at the top your browser window. It is recommended that the title should contain keywords related to your business. Words at the beginning of your page title are more highly weighted than words at the end.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

This an advertising model in which businesses pay a fee each time someone clicks on one of their ads. Essentially, it’s a way of gaining (buying) visits to your site.


Pagespeed (Site Speed) is important because search engines take it as a ranking factor for page ranking. Also having a slow site will mean less users will see your site as most will leave due to it being slow.


Ranking Factor(s)

These are the elements used by search engines to show and where a certain page should rank.

Here are a few examples of Ranking factors.

  • Inbound links.
  • Page keyword and keyword placement/usage.
  • Meta tags. (title, description , alt)
  • Site authority.
  • Content.

RSS Feed

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is the general web standard for a web feed. An RSS feed is a subscription-based way to get updates on new content from the web. Having an RSS feed allows your subscribers to stay updated when you release new content.


Is a file that is normally placed in the root of a site, it is used to communicate with web crawlers and bots. It can be used to tell web crawlers not to index certain page/areas of a site.


Search Engine

A Search Engine is a web system used to search the internet by using keywords and phrases to locate relevant information. Google, Bing and Yahoo are the most popular Search Engines.

SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page)

SERP is the listing of sites displayed when a search engine has completed it search. The SERP will display a listing of results that are returned by the search engine that are related to the keyword that had been entered.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, this is when you optimise your site and content and style to help improve search ranking and site traffic.

Social Media

Social Media is a form of digital communication that allows people to interact with others by creating, sharing and communicating within online groups and networks. Here are some of the most popular forms of Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo.


A spider, also known as a bot or web crawler, is a program run by search engines to automatically find web pages for search engines to index.



Traffic (web traffic) is the amount of data generated, sent and received, by visitors to your site.



URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator which is also known as a web address. This contains your site domain and page title. Here is the URL for this blogs. – is the site domain and seo-glossary-page is the page title.



Visitors are people who ‘visit’ your site.


White Hat

The practice of using ethical and honest techniques to increase the ranking/exposure for a website, brand, or product. It is when you work on a site’s SEO using honest techniques and engaging content. Black Hat is the opposite of White Hat.


XML Sitemap

A XML sitemap or sitemap is a list of pages on a web site that are accessible users and spiders. It is used to help search engines know how many pages are on a site also it can help spiders index pages that it may not have found while indexing otherwise. Extensible Markup Language(XML) is a format that is used to store information which is both human and machine readable, this is why it often used when generating a sitemap.



Yoast is a SEO plugin for WordPress that is focused on Search Engine Optimisation. Its helps you with on-page content analysis which helps you optimize your pages content, images titles and meta descriptions. It also generates XML sitemaps along with integration with Google Analytics.


Yell is a business listings directory. SEO trade backlinks can be an important factor in how your site is ranked – so being listed in business directories such as Yell is one part of the process when building up your website’s backlinks. Other examples of directories are Scoot, BizBuzz, 192, Qype and Yelp.