Jargon, whether in the world of search engine optimization (SEO), the legal field or medicine, is supposed to make communication easier. So why does it so often confuse? The answer is simple. Either the person using the jargon thinks the other person is in the know, or they’re intentionally using jargon to confuse as part of a power play. A good SEO agency is transparent and happy to use laymen’s terms to educate you. You’re not expected to be an SEO guru — if you were, you wouldn’t be hiring an SEO agency!
Still, you might want to brush up on some common SEO terms. The next time you hear about anchor text, CMS or indexing, you can sound like a pro and know what’s being discussed. Here’s your SEO jargon cheat sheet for all those confounding terms being tossed around:
301 redirect: When pages or sites are being moved to a new location, a 301 redirect is what actually does the heavy lifting. Maybe you type in www.example.us and it actually takes you to www.example.com. You won’t notice unless you glance at the final URL, but a 301 redirect has taken place.
Anchor text: This is simply the text that’s in a clickable link. When you click on that often blue and/or underlined text on a web page, it opens a new page. That clickable text is the anchor text. This is one factor search engines consider to see how relevant the subject is.
CMS: Also known as a content management system, this is software where you can create, manage, and publish websites, and everything within websites from text to images. Think WordPress and Joomla. The term platform can also be used interchangeably.
Indexing: Search engines use indexing as a process to “look” at your website. This data is then stored as a copy in the search engine’s database and displayed to users. You need a website to be indexed in order for it to be ranked and show up on search engines.
Link juice: This phrase means the power that’s given to your site compliments of links (internal or external). Quality trumps quantity here, as a few links from good quality websites are more valuable than lots of links from poor sources.
Long tail: Keywords come in two kinds — long tail and short tail. Today’s SEO best practices often consider long-tail keywords better and more efficient. It’s just what it sounds like: A set of keywords that is longer than just one word. For example, “salon” is a short-tail keyword, while “good mens salon Burbank” is a long-tail keyword. Clearly, with long-tail keywords you get a better idea of what a website is about and better geo-targeting. A reputable SEO agency will use both short- and long-tail keywords appropriately.
Meta description tags: When you Google something, most websites feature small snippets of explanatory text under the title of the site page. These meta descriptions are used by a website to advertise their content, but also for search engines to figure out what your site is about.
Title tag: A title tag names a document title in the most accurate way possible. That’s why search engines give title tags such high importance. It showcases your site’s content, shows up in browser tabs as a headline for listings, and basically helps search engines figure out your site’s ranking.
This is just a smattering of the jargon and industry terms you may hear. Stay in the loop by contacting Be Locally SEO today — your local SEO leaders who emphasize clarity for every client.