One of the reasons Search Engine Optimization seems so complex is that it there are so many foreign terms used. In this short article, I’ll list some of the most common terms and will try my best to give you “geek free” definitions.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” This is a set of techniques and processes used by a SEO Specialist to improve your website’s rankings in the search engines for a particular set of keywords, or keyword phrases.
Of course, the real goal is to increase targeted website traffic in hopes of generating new business. It’s just that this is achieved through better search engine rankings. Studies have proven that the top 1-4 listings get far more traffic than the others found on the page.
SEM stands for “Search Engine Marketing.” Defining SEM is a bit tricky as many authorities have varying ideas as to what the term means.
However, as a general rule, SEM Specialists use three distinct practices to promote their clients’ websites:
- Traditional SEO techniques including both on-page and off-page search engine optimization strategies.
- Buying paid ads from the search engines that offer this type of service… primarily Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- Buying paid “inclusions” from the search engines. This is paying a search engine company for a guarantee that the website will be included in the search.
SERPs stands for “Search Engine Results Pages.” Basically, it’s the page that is returned to you whenever you use a search engine.
The goal of SEO is to improve your web page’s ranking amongst the other “organic” listings in the SERPs.
A keyword phrase is any set of words that is searched upon by internet “surfers.” It is the goal of the SEO Consultant to determine which keyword phrases are most relevant to your website/business and are likely to bring you targeted website traffic.
These keyword phrases are then used in the optimization process with the intent of getting your web page’s strong rankings for the chosen terms (aka keyword phrases).
Defining backlinks is a challenge only because there are a variety of other terms that mean basically the same thing. You may also hear them referred to as text links, anchor text links, hypertext links, one-way links or contextual links.
A backlink occurs whenever another site links to yours. The link could come from an image or banner type graphic or it could be a linked piece of text.
For SEO purposes, the text links are of primary importance with the goal being to get links that include the keyword phrases you are optimizing for.
While there are hundreds of other SEO terms to learn, these will give you a good framework to build upon. Whether you are learning more so you can improve your own site or just want to be able to communicate better with your SEO Specialist, I encourage you to keep studying.