Common terms for Search Engine Optimisation – Part 1

Yesterday I was emailing a colleague for some help and when I read back what I had typed I realised it was almost entirely in code.

For anyone not working in the industry it would have made no sense whatsoever.  I had managed to squeeze DT, SEO, PSA, CMS and ASAP all into one sentence.

Below is Part 1 of an introduction to all those important acronyms/terms that you may hear, but not really sure what they mean. ASAP does mean what you think it means by the way.

 

So what are we talking about?

So let’s start at the beginning, we are talking about Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This is made up primarily of two parts;

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Search Engine Advertising (SEA)

Search Engine Marketing is all about making your website as visible as possible in search engines, making sure if people are searching for a product or service that you can provide, your site appears in a competitive position on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). SEO refers to promoting your site in the organic results (the main search results in the middle of the page). PSA is concerned with promoting your site in the paid search listings (sometimes known as sponsored links) which appear at the top of the search results and down the right hand side.

Talking about SEO

Your SEO campaign generally consists of a few different elements.

Keywords are selected for specific pages of your website. These are words are specific terms you want your web site to rank well for. These are put in strategic positions on you web pages such as in page titles, in content, and within meta data fields in the code of your site. Page titles appear in web browsers title bar at the very top of the page. The content is the text on your web page as well as images and movie files on the page. Meta data is information about the web page, stored in the code of your site that search engines can read in order to rank your page.

Back links or inbound links are also an important part of your campaign. These are links from other web sites to yours. They serve two purposes; they allow people to click on the link and be taken directly to your site, and the anchor text used helps tell search engines that these words are relevant to your site so help you rank higher on SERPs. Anchor text is the words that you can click on to link to another site. You may have also heard the term hyperlink which also refers to this type of linking.

Talking about SEA

If you are in marketing, then I expect you may get a little excited about stats so you will love SEA. Search Engine Advertising is also sometimes called Paid Search Advertising (PSA).

SEA listings are the listings your see on the right hand side and at the top of search results in Google. Similar to paying for an insertion in a newspaper or magazine, you pay for an impression here on the search page. As the page is only being viewed by 1 person at their computer, cost of the impression is tiny, so you can pay for lots of them. You can either pay per click (Cost Per Click – CPC) or by 1,000 impressions (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions – CPM).

Now someone has clicked on your ad, they are a prospect, if they complete your set goal e.g. buy something from your web site or make an enquiry, they are a conversion. Internet advertising as by far the most measurable form of advertising you can choose to do. You can measure how many impressions your ad got, how many people clicked through (which means you can calculate the click through rate). You can measure how many conversions you got, and what it cost to acquire that lead (Cost Per Lead – CPL), and from there it’s only one more step to measure your ROI (return on investment).

So many stats to choose from and so easy to access, you are bound to impress your boss with all the cheap leads you just got the business!

So that’s the basic language of SEM.  I have barely scratched the surface of all the terminology out there, so next week I’ll look at terms we use when talking about your web site search engines. I bet you can’t wait!!

Glossary

 

  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
  • SEA – Search Engine Advertising
  • PSA – Paid Search Advertising
  • SERP – Search Engine Results Page
  • Organicresults – The main search results in the middle of the Search Engine Results Page
  • Paid search listings (sometimes known as sponsored links) – See Impression
  • Keywords – Words are specific terms you want your web site to rank well for
  • Long-tailed keyword – Is a long keyword, typically 3 words or more in length, often containing a geo-tag
  • Geo-tag – Geographic descriptor, usually placed at the end on a keyword e.g. Cosmetic Dentist Sydney
  • Page titles – Title of your page that appears in web browsers title bar at the very top of the page
  • Content – Text, images, videos or interactive media that appears on your site
  • Meta data – Fields in the code of your site where keywords can be entered. Meta data is information about the web page, stored in the code of your site that search engines can read in order to rank your page
  • Back links or inbound links – Links from other web sites to yours
  • Anchor text – Text used to link other sites to yours
  • Impression – Online equivalent of an insertion in print media
  • CPC – Cost Per Click
  • CPM  – Cost Per 1,000 Impressions
  • Prospect – Visitor to your site that has not yet taken desired action
  • Conversion – Visitor to your site that has taken desired action
  • CTR – Click Through Rate
  • CPL – Cost Per Lead
  • ROI – return on investment

Image credit SEOPlanter on Flickr

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