36 Essential SEO Terms to Know

Is your business looking to launch a digital marketing SEO campaign? Search Engine Optimization can be confusing to those that don’t work in the industry due to the constant changes and the jargon.  To help you get a handle on it, here is a quick guide to common SEO terms and vocabulary you should know so that you can accurately understand your company’s digital campaign!


Alt Text

Alternative text is the text in HTML code that describes images and other visual content on web pages so that bots know what they are.


Anchor Text

This is the text that is used to link to pages. For example, if you wanted to send someone to your contact page you would use the anchor text “Contact Us” and link it.



A backlink is a link to another web page and is one of the metrics search engines use when ranking. There are both external backlinks and internal backlinks.


Black Hat

Black Hat refers to SEO practices that violate Google’s quality guidelines and that are shady or underhanded. An example of a Black Hat SEO tactic would be to leave fake negative reviews for competitors.



This is a section of the website where companies publish content, such as informative content, company news, company events, and more. Each blog post is a new page on your website that a search engine sees. Blogs are important for SEO as they’re a place for content, keywords, and links.



Bots are also known as “crawlers” or “spiders” and are what scour the Internet to find, store, and organize content.



These are also known as “business listings”. A citation is a web-based reference to a local business and includes things such as name, address, and phone number (NAP).



Crawling is the process by which search engines like Google discover your web pages.



This is when a page or pages are removed from a search engine’s index.



The domain is the main web address of your site and appears in the URL. For example, www.yoursitename.com would be your domain.


Duplicate Content

This is content that is shared between domains or on multiple pages. Having too much duplicate content may result in penalties from search engines like Google.



This is data that represents how users interacted with your content, either on your website or on social media platforms. Engagement can include anything from link clicks to comments.


External Links

These are links that appear on your own site but point to other pages on other sites.


Geographics Modifiers

These are terms added to search queries that describe a physical location or service area. For example “plumber” is not geo-modified, but “plumber in Toronto” or “plumber near me” is.


Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a free platform run by Google that allows businesses to list information such as addresses, hours, posts, and more. GMB is important as they are what appear in the map and searches.



HTML stands for “hypertext markup language” and is the language used to create web pages.


Inbound Links

These are links that are on another website but link to yours. These help with SEO rankings.



This is the process of storing and organizing content that is found on web pages when it is crawled.


Internal Links

Internal links are links on your own site that point to other pages on the same site. These are important as they help users and bots navigate your website.



Keywords are the terms users use to search and that you want your website to rank for. Keyword research, relevancy, and rankings are very important to any SEO campaign.


Keyword Stuffing

This is a black hat technique involving the overuse of important keywords and variants in content and links in an attempt to rank higher.



A KPI is a “key performance indicator” and is a measurable value that indicated how well an activity is achieving a goal.


Long-Tail Keywords

These are long queries that typically contain more than three words. Due to their length, they are often more specific than short-tail searches.


Meta Descriptions

These are HTML elements that describe the contents of the page. These are also often used as description lines in search engine results.



Organic is the term used to describe earned placement in rankings through SEO, as opposed to paid advertisements.



This is what we call words that are typed into the search bar.


Page Speed

Page speed or load speed is how quickly it takes a web page to fully load. It’s one of the metrics search engines use when ranking.



PPC stands for “Pay-Per-Click” and is a digital advertising method in which businesses must pay each time a visitor clicks on the ads. This is the most common type of digital ad.



Rankings are ordered search results by relevance to the query on search engines. It’s often the core metric for SEO campaigns.


Search Engine

Search engines are informational retrieval programs that search for information in a database. The most popular search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo.


Search Volume

This refers to the number of times a keyword was searched. This data is important in determining whether a keyword is worth focusing on.



This stands for “search engine results page”, and this is the page users see after conducting a search and where websites are ranked.


Social Media

Social media are online platforms created and shared by individuals. These are great places for brands to share information and connect with users. Some of the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more.



Traffic is the term used to describe visits to a website. This is another important SEO metric used to judge the success of a campaign and can either be organic (through rankings) or paid (through ads).


White Hat

White Hat refers to SEO practices that comply with search engine’s quality guidelines and are ethical.


Zero Click Searches

Zero click searches are when users look something up but do not click any links as their queries are resolved right on the results page. This is a rising phenomenon on Google.


Ready to start an SEO campaign to boost your business’ rankings? Contact us today! We’re one of the top SEO agencies in the GTA and are here to help.