The ABCs of SEO

SEO Terms and PhrasesTo help out those who are new to the world of SEO, we thought we’d provide a guide on common terms used in the industry!

SEO Glossary


An algorithm is a term used to describe actions taken by a search engine, like the various calculations that provide consumers with the most relevant websites based on their search content.

Alt Text/ Alt Tag

Alt Text and Alt Tag are mostly used interchangeably. They refer to the way search engines can identify what a picture looks like by way of description code. Since a search engine can’t see the image physically, the alt text describes the picture to the search engine.


Analytics is the primary way those who use SEO for their site track their progress. Through analytics, you are able to see your site’s traffic, revenue, goals, conversions, and more.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO is a term that refers to engaging in unethical tactics to gain site traffic and raise rankings. Examples include the overloading of keywords, spam link building, content automation and more. Once a search engine detects these black hat SEO methods, your rankings will be negatively affected, making them not worth risking.

Branded Keywords

Branded keywords are those that are relevant in a set of organic or paid keywords by including the brand or specific name of a business.

Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate is the rate that users click on a website whether it be through organic or paid search engine results.


Conversions refer to when a lead completes the overall goal of your website. Depending on your website, your goals may differ. Some goals may be to complete a purchase while others are to sign up for a newsletter.


Crawling is the process of having a third-party system go through your website and collect various types of data.

Dead Link

A dead link is simply a hyperlink that is faulty or one that redirects to a page that is no longer available.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content refers to a group of content that is present on more than one page on your website, or content that has been copied word for word from another source.

Ecommerce SEO

Ecommerce SEO is a way to increase a website’s rankings through a product or service’s name and the incorporation of keywords.

Fresh Content

Fresh content is content that is being continually added and uploaded to a website, and it can include blog posts and updated metadata.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the more popular online analytics software platforms that tracks the progress of your site. More specifically, it tracks impressions, reach, conversions, and so much more.

H1s Et Al.

H1s, H2s, and H3s are used to distinguish between headers and subtitles and regular content on a site. H1s are headlines and H2s and H3s are subheadings and smaller in size.


HTML is a type of digital language that is responsible for creating and marking up websites with appropriate content, images and more.

Inbound Link

Inbound links, or backlinks, are links from other websites that direct users to a specific page on your website.

IP Address

IP addresses are a type of communication for computers and other technological devices, denoting a specific user. The IP address is mainly comprised of various numbers and symbols.

Keyword Research

Keyword research refers to the process of researching what words are most used by consumers when relating to your field. The incorporation of keywords on relevant pages on your site helps to boost your rankings significantly.

Landing Page

Landing pages are pages that are created to be specific and unique to a distinguished set of users, and they often target specific keywords so that they differ from other pages on your site.

Link Building

Link building is a way of gaining links from other reputable websites to ultimately increase your own website’s credibility.

Meta Description

A meta description displays in organic search results for major search engines and allows users to see partial snippets of a webpage and learn about what content is available on a page.

Organic Search Results

Organic search results are those that appear after the paid advertisement results on a search engine, making up the majority of the page results.

Outbound Link

Outbound links are the opposite of inbound links. These links are those that take you from your webpage to a different site.

Page Rank

Page rankings help to determine the credibility of a site based on the quality and quantity of links to that specific site.


PPC refers to pay-per-click marketing, which entails purchasing ads through platforms like Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more to generate leads to your website.

Quality Content

Quality content is content that is relevant to not only the user, but to your industry. Best practices for quality content include using keywords and visual aids to help promote potential leads and conversions.

Search Engine

A search engine is any platform in which you have the ability to enter a query and search millions of pages of data related to what you searched for. Google and Bing are the most prominent platforms.

Search Query

A search query is a word or phrase that a user types into a search engine.


Search engine marketing is an aspect of digital marketing that incorporates both organic and paid advertisements with the end goal of increasing a site’s visibility on a search engine.


Search engine optimization is an aspect of SEM that focuses on increasing free traffic and site visibility on a variety of search engines by using a variety of tactics.


A URL is the web address comprised of a specific group of numbers, words, and symbols that directs users to a given webpage on the internet.


Usability refers to how well your website functions for users, and how easily they can navigate and understand your content. Usability is a huge factor in a good digital marketing campaign.

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO differs from black hat SEO because it refers to the use of ethical SEO practices, gaining traffic and conversions without attempting to “trick” search engines or users.


When you see a 301 page, it means that you will be immediately redirected to a different page on the same website. A 301 is put in place as a substitute for when a page cannot be found, or the information has been deemed outdated by the site owner.


A 404 refers to the complete disappearance and invalidity of a page you have clicked on. Once you have reached a 404 page, you will not be redirected. You must click on a back arrow to continue browsing the site.

Sixth City Marketing

About the Author

Sixth City Marketing

This post was written and edited by employees at Sixth City Marketing, a full-service SEO and digital marketing agency helping clients across all industries since 2010.

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