:: ULTRA SEO GLOSSARY FOR WEBMASTERS
Alt Tag – text used to describe images to search engines. WordPress automatically uses the image file name for alt text if using the Visual Editor, otherwise you must specify it manually.
Anchor Text – text used in a hyperlink which should be descriptive of the page you link to (not ‘click here’). It should be short and descriptive (like Wikipedia does) but not keyword-heavy.
Autocomplete – Begin your keyword research by looking at search engine’s autocomplete results which can be done in Google, Youtube, even Amazon. Most search engines have this.
Backlinks – links to your site from other blogs, sites, and directories.
Breadcrumbs – navigational links on the top of your content which tell users (and search engines) about the structure of your website. Example: Services > WordPress SEO Services.
Categories – a way to categorize blog posts. There is no perfect number, but you should have enough content under each category (at least a few posts) so your category pages are helpful.
CDN (Content Delivery Network) – hosts your website files on multiple servers around the country/world, reducing the geographical distance between your server and visitor (this can reduce load times). Cloudflare, MaxCDN, and KeyCDN are three of the most popular CDNs.
Citations – online profiles/directories like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, YellowPages. These are key in local SEO (especially in Google Maps) and can use Moz Local to improve these by listing your correct NAP, categories, 400+ word description, add photos, get reviews, etc.
Cloudflare – free CDN with 120+ data centers that makes your site faster, with speed/security options like accelerated mobile links, hotlink protection, Railgun, Page Rules, and caching. Easy to setup with most cache plugins, and some hosts have an option to enable this in their cPanel.
Copyscape – plagiarism checker that detects duplicate articles, which can penalize your SEO.
Content Optimization – optimizing content for keywords. A Perfectly Optimized Page, would be a page with H1-H3 heading tags, an image relevant to the page content, with keyword in alt tag, a few long tail keyword phrases that are relevant, and a video if relevant and your main seed keyword used only a few times or less. Use styling, since search engine bots seem to look for that also.
Crawl Errors – feature in Google Search Console which identifies broken pages on your site.
CTR (Click-Through Rates) – % of people who actually click on your link in search results. Improve these by writing better SEO titles (title tags), meta descriptions, and rich snippets.
Duplicate Content – not good for rankings (70% unique content is good, 100% unique is best).
External Links – links to external websites other than your own. By linking to informative, trustworthy content, Google will see your content as trustworthy which improves rankings and make sure you use, rel="nofollow" tags in your code.
Featured Snippets – a quick answer to a query shown on the top of Google’s search results in the form of a paragraph, list, or table. Google will pull these from any 1st page result and decides who gets them, but answering a question in a short, precise way can improve chances.
Focus Keyword – the keyword a page (or post) targets using Yoast, which is usually a long-tail phrase from a tool like Google Autcomplete. Competition should be analyzed in search results.
Google Local Orders & Appointments – feature for Google My Business that lets people book appointments, reservations, place orders, view menus, and search information on your business. Fill out this form and use a third-party booking/ordering service like seamless.com.
Google Mobile Usability Test – tests whether a single page is mobile-friendly, but use the Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console to find all mobile errors on your entire site.
Google My Business – the single most important factor in local SEO is creating a Google My Business Page and making sure it’s 100% complete with your business information, professional photos, and reviews. Verify your page, set a custom URL, and schedule a 360° virtual tour from a Googled preferred vendor if you think it would be beneficial for customers.
Google News – get your articles published in Google News for an additional source of traffic.
Google Keyword Planner – one of my least favorite keyword research tools since it was specifically built for Google AdWords, and does not reflect data in organic results (SEO).
Google Page Speed Insights – speed recommendations which many people don’t find helpful since it doesn’t even measure load time (the primary metric in site speed). But it does measure server response time which indicates your hosting (server) is slow and should be under 200ms.
Google Penalty – significant drop in rankings usually due to unnatural links, low value content, or hacked website. View Manual Actions in Google Search Console to see if you have one.
Google Search Console – control how your site appears in Google by optimizing click-through rates, rich snippets, crawl errors (broken pages), sitemaps, fixing mobile/security errors, etc. Yoast’s SEO plugin has an option to verify your site with Search Console and view crawl errors, but you should really login to the Search Console dashboard to see the entire list of features.
Google Site Attributes – enhance your business information in Google’s search results and knowledge graph with your business name, location, contact info, logo, social profiles, etc.
Google Structured Data Testing Tool – tests for errors when adding rich snippets to your site.
Google Trends – see keyword trends and what region they’re being searched the most.
GTmetrix – speed recommendations I find most helpful out of all tools, especially for finding unoptimized images, and using the Waterfall tab to see specific slow loading elements.
HTML Table Of Contents – I strongly recommend adding a TOC to the beginning of lengthy articles. It helps users navigate to specific sections, encourages the ‘length is strength’ SEO strategy, and increases the chance of Google awarding you jump-to links in search results.
HubShout WebGrader – see keywords you rank for, competitor keywords, and compare your keywords, domain authority, links, top content, and referring domains against competitors.
Indexing – whether something is indexed in search engines (meta no index or meta index follow).
Internal Links – links to your content from another piece of content. They’re a natural way to build links to your site and improve on-page SEO, while providing helpful resources to readers.
Keyword Competition – how likely you are to rank for a keyword (usually by analyzing search results and using Mozbar). Avoid keywords where authority websites/content rank in the top results. Broad keywords are usually much more competitive than specific, long-tail keywords.
Keyword Density – how many times a keyword is used in the content. Has little effect on SEO, but I would use it once in the first few sentences, and a couple times sprinkled throughout your content. Should sound natural and try to use variations of your keyword (LSI keywords).
Keyword Research – the process of learning keywords people are searching using tools like Google and Youtube Autocomplete, Moz Keyword Explorer, and HubShout WebGrader.
Knowledge Graph – Google’s way of displaying specific information in search results like quick answers (featured snippets), image sliders, or the block of information on the right of Google.
Let’s Encrypt SSL – free and trusted SSL you can use to make your website secure. Some hosting companies (like SiteGround) have an option to enable this in your hosting cPanel.
Link Juice – the SEO value a link has to a particular page. Not all links are equal – the more relevant/authoritative the page with a link is, the more juice is passed to the page it links to.
Local Search Ranking Factors – ranking factors correlated with Google Maps (called the local pack / finder results) and “regular” local results which Moz does a study of every 2 years.
Long-tail Keywords – specific keywords (phrases) usually 3-7 words long. These are much less competitive and bring a very targeted visitor to your site. I always target long-tail keywords.
LSI Keywords – usually synonyms of your primary keyword which can be targeted on the same page as your primary keyword. You usually want to target 1 keyword per page unless there are LSI keywords you can also target). An example is “SEO Friendly WordPress Themes” and “SEO Optimized WordPress Themes.” LSI stands for “latent semantic indexing.” Check out LSIGraph.
Meta Description – description used in search engines (under the SEO title) primary used to describe the content. Can be customized in Yoast, and you should include your keyword here.
Meta Keywords – option in Yoast settings which has no effect on SEO and you should turn off.
Moz Keyword Explorer – a better keyword research tool than Google Keyword Planner. Learn each keyword’s monthly searches and use filters to group related phrases (so you’re not browsing the same ones) and filter by search volume, broad/specific keywords, and questions.
Moz Local – fix incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate citations (must-have for local SEO).
MozBar – Google Chrome Extension that lets you Google any keyword and estimate the competition based on each search result’s DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority).
NAP – business name/address/phone. Keep these consistent in citations and on your website.
On-Page SEO – all SEO aspects of website optimization.
Off-Page SEO – all SEO aspects outside of website optimization.
Open Graph – makes content (image/title/description) format properly on Facebook/Twitter. Control these in Yoast (look for the “share” link in the Yoast section when editing a page/post).
Open Site Explorer – check your website’s domain authority, inbound links, anchor text, and link metrics with an option to upgrade. Helpful for finding link opportunities from competitor sites, and can be used in conjunction with MozBar to compete with websites within your DA.
Pingdom – most accurate tool for measuring load times according to WP Rocket, but I find GTmetrix the most helpful for getting specific recommendations on optimizing website speed.
Redirect – forwarding a URL to a different URL. Changing URLs is not recommended since you can lose all traffic/links/shares to that page, but if you do, setup a 301 redirect to all pages that were affected (use Google Search Console to find broken pages / 404 errors).
Screaming Frog SEO Spider & Crawler Tool – desktop program (for PC or Mac) that tells you about broken links, page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, images, and lots of other SEO data.
Search Analytics – feature in Google Search Console that measures your website’s keyword position, click-through rates, and has filters for countries/devices/pages/queries. Lets you compare data to the previous 28 days, and is a great tool for measuring SEO performance.
Search Ranking Factors – ranking factors correlated with Google’s search results which Moz does a study of every 2 years. The core ranking factors generally stay the same over time and I find Moz’s post on Weighting The Clusters Of Google’s Algorithm as more visually appealing.
Titles (Title Tags) – Link in search results used to describe a page’s content. It’s best to find a balance between writing a nice title people will click, while including your keyword.
Siteliner – scans entire website for duplicate content, broken links, and technical SEO errors.
Snippet – how a piece of content appears in search engines which usually consists of your SEO title, meta description, and permalink, but can also include rich snippets, publish date, etc.
Stop Words – words like (the, and, am, to, of) and other short words which are “skipped” by search engines. Yoast has an option to remove these from URLs (slugs) but I don’t recommend this since it can make them ready unnaturally, and changing a page’s URL can hurt it’s ranking.
Structured Data – enhances your site in Google – check out their Search Gallery to get ideas.
Tags in WP – a way to organize posts which are more specific than categories (use conservatively).
Time On Page – average time a user spends on your site (metric found in Google Analytics).
vidIQ Chrome Extension – check keyword competition for Youtube videos by installing this extension, searching your keyword in Youtube, and clicking the top results. The extension generates an SEO score based on how many likes, views, comments, social shares, subscribers, view times, and other metrics about the video. See what tags are used and description length.
Whitespark Citation Building Service – buy citations for $4-5 each which can improve local rankings especially in Google Maps. I have used Whitespark for many clients and they get great results with detailed reports, links to your new citation profiles, and 1 universal login.
Whitespark Citation Cleanup Service – if your citations are a mess (eg. in Moz Local), you can pay $400+ to have Whitespark clean up incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate citations.
Whitespark’s List Of Citations – fantastic list of top citations by city, country, and category.
Whitespark Local Rank Tracker – measures local rankings in Google/Bing in both organic results and Map results. A super easy and most user-friendly way to measure local keywords.
WooRank – most SEO audit tools aren’t good, but this is simple, free, and somewhat decent.
Youtube Autocomplete – start typing a phrase in Youtube to find video keyword suggestions.