Every industry builds up its own language over the years. It’s common for a system of slang and acronyms build up among people with common interests and goals. This type of shorthand can save time, but it can also create a lot of confusion. If you’re just getting started with SEO you should try and learn some of the basic language used so you can better understand the information that you’re reading. Here are a few terms to get you started.
Landing page. A landing strip at an airport is the first place you’ll see when you fly to a new location. A landing page is the first page you see when you visit a new website. For many sites the landing page would be the homepage, but this can be more complicated when it comes to SEO. Often separate pages on a website are optimised for different keywords. A website could have a number of different landing pages for each keyword targeted.
Link Building. Google and other search engines work off of links. They look at a site and use the number of pages linking to that site to determine where it should rank. So one of the most basic steps to reach the top of Google is getting as many links pointed to your site as possible. That process is called link building.
Clickthrough Rate. One important field related to SEO is pay-per-click advertising. When marketing a site it’s often a good idea to use PPC services like Google AdWords to test out different keywords. These ads are also a great way to monetize a site, especially if you’re looking for passive income. One way that the success of an ad is determined is by its click through rate. It’s calculated by dividing clicks by the amount of people who see the ad. In a perfect world everyone who saw an ad would click on it, but in reality 1 out of 100 is great.
Meta data. When you see a website on a search page it usually contains a description of the website. Google and other sites get these descriptions from the meta data encoded into the page. It’s usually written into the HTML coding of the page itself. Since SEO is mainly concerned with search engines it’s important to use this data to your advantage. Meta data should never be left untouched.
Sandbox. When you’re just putting a site online it’s natural to be incredibly anxious to see it listed on Google. Unfortunately it seems like many new sites take a while to show up on Google even if they were submitted directly. When those in the SEO field talk about a sandbox they mean the virtual area where Google supposedly puts new websites for screening. The idea is that this allows them to remove spam sites before they even show up on Google. With all this said Google hasn’t officially released any statements confirming the existence of a sandbox. Those in SEO generally operate under the assumption that it does but no one knows for sure what the truth is.
A quick search for SEO terms will reveal the dizzying array of words that people in the business have come up with. But don’t let it discourage you, when you’re just starting out you only need to know a few. From there your knowledge will build up as you spend time learning. The important thing is that you should never stop learning. SEO is constantly evolving and changing and anyone who wants to succeed in this field should commit to being a lifelong learner.