Here at ShoreSite Web Designs, we believe in full transparency and breaking things down for our clients in terms they can understand–after all, not everyone is an expert. Our SEO team has put together a full glossary of common SEO terms that is the definitive guide for anyone looking to build a basic understanding of SEO.

The Basics

    • SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The practice of optimizing websites in order to rank higher on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines according to the algorithms that they use.


    • SERP: Search Engine Results Page. This is the page that Google takes you to whenever you enter a query.


    • Query: The word or phrase that a Google user enters into the search bar in order to try to find a web page.


    • Organic Traffic: All traffic to a website that is gained by a Google user clicking on a search result after entering a query. Increasing organic traffic is the main goal of SEO.


    • Google Business Profile: The free tool that Google provides local businesses, formerly known as Google My Business. It appears as a profile on the side of Google SERPs when Google determines that the user is looking for a service or product that a local business can provide.

Google Business Profile

    • Sitemap: The file that contains a hierarchy of all the pages on a website, and makes it easier for Google bots to crawl and index the website.


    • Ranking: When a web page is said to be “ranking,” it usually means the page appears in the first 10 organic results of a particular query.


    • Backlinks: Links from other websites that link to one of your pages. These are seen as proof of authority by Google.


  • Keyword: A word or phrase that is targeted by an SEO expert when creating a strategy to rank on Google.

Reporting & Metrics

    • Bounce Rate: The rate at which users go to your website and leave without performing an action. Generally, lower bounce rates are better, although this is on a case-by-case basis.


    • Google Analytics: The tool that is the standard for excellence in reporting and data collecting. It reports on all the traffic coming to a website with hundreds of filters to view it however you need to.


Google Analytics

    • Engagement: Metrics that represent how often visitors to your site interacted with various pages and how they interacted.


    • Users: How many individual users visited a website over any specified period of time.


    • Sessions: How many times a website was visited over any specified period of time.


    • Source: Where traffic to a website comes from, i.e. Google, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, etc.


    • Medium: The method through which a user got to a website, i.e. organic, direct, paid, social, email, and referral.


    • Impressions: The number of times that your search result shows up for a particular query anywhere on the SERP.


  • Click-through-rate: Click-through-rate, or CTR, is the rate at which users click on your result. It is calculated as clicks divided by impressions.

On-Site Optimization

    • Alt Text: Text that goes into the code of an image so that Google is able to read it and use it for indexing purposes.


    • Metatitle: The < title > tag that goes into the < head > of the page. It should be keyword-driven and appears as the blue link you click on SERPs.


    • Metadescription: The description of the page. It appears as the black text underneath each blue link on the SERPs and should serve to improve the click-through-rate of the page.


    • H1: The H1 is the header on a page that best describes the content. Content should be broken up using a header. Headers are described as H1-H6, and they get smaller as the numbers go up.


    • Schema Markup: A universal computer language using Javascript that makes it easier for Google and other search engines to understand the content on your website.


    • Internal Links: Linking to other pages on your website using anchor text. This allows Google to follow links through your site more easily and gives users a reason to explore your site.


  • Rich Snippet: A SERP result that is enhanced using structured data–for example, a recipe page that tells users on the SERP how long it takes to make and what the rating is out of five stars.

Of course, our SEO team is always open to questions. Contact us and let us know what answers you need to your SEO problems!