The ABCs of SEO

April 15, 2022


Whether you’re just beginning your Search Engine Optimization journey or looking for a refresh, we’ve got you covered. Here are some essential SEO concepts and phrases that every expert should know.


Alt-text: the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load properly. This is also useful to visually impaired website visitors who cannot see the image. It also helps Google understand your website when crawling it and helps rank your photos/products in Google images.

Bounce rate: the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

Crawling: a process that is done by search engine spiders or bots to discover publicly available web pages.

Duplicate content: similar content appears at multiple locations (URLs) on the web, and as a result, search engines don’t know which URL to show in the search results. Regardless of who produced the content, there is a high possibility that the original page will not be the one chosen for the top search results.

External Link: links built on other sites and point back to your domain. These ‘external links’ or backlinks are measured for volume, quality, and relevancy in consideration of how they support the ranking of your page.

Featured Snippet: highlighted excerpts of text that appear at the top of a Google search results page. They provide users with a quick answer to their search query.

Google Search Console: A free tool that helps you measure your site’s search traffic and performance, fix issues, and improve performance in Google Search results.

Header Tags: used to separate headings and subheadings on a webpage. They rank in order of importance, from H1 to H6, with H1s usually being the title. Header tags improve the readability and SEO of a webpage.

Indexing: when search engine bots crawl the web pages and save a copy of all information on index servers and search engines show the relevant results on search engine when a user performs a search query.

Java Script: a programming language that makes it possible to dynamically insert content, links, meta data, or other elements, on websites. JavaScript can potentially make it difficult for search engine bots to crawl and index web pages and increase the time it takes for a web page to load for users.

Keyword: ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called ‘search queries,” which is a primary way you can rank in Search Engines.

Long-tail keywords: longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they’re using voice search.

Meta descriptions: the information about your page that appears in the search engine results below the title / URL of your page.

No Index Tag: directives instruct search engines to exclude a page from the index, rendering it ineligible to be crawled and appear in search results.

Organic Search Results: Non-paid search results from a search engine that can’t be bought or influenced by advertisers.

PageRank: PageRank is Google’s primary method of ranking web pages for placement on a search engine results page (SERP). PageRank refers to the system and the algorithmic method that Google uses to rank pages and the numerical value assigned to pages as a score.

Quality link: An inbound link originates from an authoritative, relevant, or trusted website.

Referral Traffic: refers to visits to your site from links that appear on a different site. Referral traffic is essential and should be measured when managing a link-building strategy.

Structured Data: Structured data is any data that lives in a fixed field within a file. Within SEO, structured data is the markup that helps search engines understand how to interpret and display the content in the SERPs, making your website more “clickable.”

Title Tag: An HTML meta tag that acts as a web page’s title. Typically, the title tag is the title search engines use when displaying search listings, so it should include strategic and relevant keywords for that specific page. The title tag should also make sense to people and attract the most clicks. Typically, title tags should be less than 65 characters.

User experience: The overall feeling users are left with after interacting with a brand, its online presence, and its product/services.

Voice search: The use of voice to interact with a search engine (rather than searching by text).

Word count: The total number of words that appear within the content copy. Too little (or thin) content can signal low-quality to search engines.

X-robots-tag:  Like meta robots tags, this tag provides crawlers instructions for crawling or indexing web page content.


Have questions or need help with your brand’s SEO strategy? Drop us a line or D.M. us on social @clevermethod. We’d be happy to offer a consultation or develop a plan for you and your business.

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