Digital Marketing Terms, Explained: Technical SEO
- SEO is a highly technical field with a lot of terminology that might not make sense to you at first.
- The good news is, with a little bit of studying up, you can be spitballing about 301 redirects and bounce rates like a total pro.
- For Part 1 of this series, we’ll focus on technical terms, including bounce rate, click through rate, and SERPs.
If you’ve begun working with an SEO specialist or team, there’s a good chance you’ve been feeling a little bit confused. SEO is a highly technical field with a lot of terminology that might not make sense to you at first. The good news is, with a little bit of studying up, you can be spitballing about 301 redirects and bounce rates like a total pro.
To make things easy, we put together this guide of some of the most common SEO terms. If you’ve been scratching your head during meetings with your SEO team, this guide will certainly help. For Part 1 of this series, we’ll focus on technical terms, but keep your eyes peeled for future parts that focus on content and link building. Without further ado…
If you can wrap your head around the concept of mail forwarding, you can definitely make sense of a 301 redirect.
Think of it this way: when you move to a new home, you set up a system called “mail forwarding” to make sure your mail is forwarded from your old address to your new one. A 301 redirect works the same way, but online. When you move your website to a new URL, you set up a system called a “301 redirect” to make sure your traffic is forwarded from the old address to the new one.
301 redirects are essential to keeping your traffic flowing after you’ve updated your site’s URL. A lot of clients that approach us with traffic issues don’t realize the reason they’re struggling is because they don’t have proper 301 redirects set up for their new URL.
Another thing that can be confusing for non-SEOs is the difference between 301 and 302 redirects. In simplest terms, 302 redirects are intended to be temporary and 301 redirects are more permanent. If you plan on redirecting a page only in the short-term, SEOs will use a 302 redirect in lieu of a 301. This way, link authority doesn’t get transferred to the temporary page.
Don’t be confused if your SEO tells you that you need to update your site with alt text, so Google and screen readers can better read your images. What they’re referring to when they say “alt text” is text written into the code of images on your site.
The thing is, Google can’t read images. It can only read text. So when you upload an image to your site, it doesn’t help Google understand what’s on your page. Alt text allows you to provide a keyword-rich description of the image, so Google can better understand the content you’re putting out and rank it accordingly. Alt text also helps individuals who use screen readers to better understand what’s on your website. ADA compliance is of utmost importance, and alt text is one of the many things you can do to make your website easier to use for those with disabilities.
For example, if you own a consulting business, and you publish a blog post using the keyword “mentorship” with an image of a business owner mentoring another business owner, you can code alt text into the image like this:
<img src=”mentorship.png” alt=”business owners mentoring”>
You can’t measure the success of your website exclusively by how many people visit it. If visitors are coming to your site, but not sticking around, Google will penalize you for it. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who go to your website, but don’t interact with it beyond the page they entered on. This is why effective CTAs and an internal linking strategy are so important.
If you have a low bounce rate, it means your site is engaging your audience with quality information and/or content. The process of SEO isn’t only to attract visitors to your site, but to keep them there.
Black Hat SEO
Google positions itself as the very best search engine option by doing everything possible to provide the very best search results for its users. It does this by setting incredibly high standards for the websites it ranks. To rank well, Google asks that websites follow a very particular set of guidelines that ensure quality and relevancy. If you’re working with a legitimate SEO expert or agency, they will be operating within these best practices.
When you attempt to improve a site’s ranking without following these guidelines, you are practicing Black Hat SEO. These processes are generally considered unethical, and if discovered by Google (which they usually are), are severely penalized. Black Hat SEO practices are often practiced by dishonest SEO providers, looking to generate quick, cheap, and even lazy results for their clients. A few of the most common black hat practices include keyword stuffing and private link networks.
Click Through Rate
Measuring your click-through rate (CTR) is very important. Click through rate measures the percentage of visitors who, after seeing your organic listing in the SERPs, click through to your site. The exact equation for it is: CTR = the number of clicks / the number of impressions.
Your click through rate affects your site ranking, so it’s important to ensure that you’re generating clicks. Keeping an eye on your click through rate will help you determine whether you need to adjust your metas to make them more clickable.
SERP stands for “Search Engine Results Page.” It’s the page that comes up (with a list of results) when you enter a search term into Google. One of the primary goals of SEO is to get your website as high as possible on the SERP for keywords that drive customers to your business.
Ask the Experts
While this is just skimming the surface of the SEO-sphere, it’s a good start to better understanding all the things your SEO is trying to tell you. When working with an expert or agency, never hesitate to ask questions to ensure you’re getting the best possible service. At Redefine Marketing Group, our team of SEO experts never wants to leave you in the dark about our processes. We’re here to break down the technical stuff, so you have a clear idea of how we’re boosting your site.
Get in touch if you’re interested in learning more.