Trying to understand what various digital marketing industry terms mean and how they affect your SEO services in Albany, NY can be extremely frustrating.
Sometimes, it can feel like the sales representative or account strategist is purposely using jargon to elevate their personal platform, opposed to helping you understand how their recommendations will benefit your bottom line.
We spent some time addressing this specific issue by offering detailed explanations around what particular terms and concepts mean, as well as how they can potentially support your growing online presence.
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Like any discipline, SEO has its own language and lexicon. Knowing the meaning of the most-used terms, concepts, and strategies will help you navigate this world.
1. What Does SEO Stand For?
SEO is the acronym for search engine optimization. It refers to the manipulation of online content and website code in ways that align with the expectations and behavior of search engines and online searchers alike.
SEO is often described as “organic search” because it supports businesses and brands’ ability to rank naturally within search engines based on their relevance and authority, as it pertains to the online user’s search intentions, and on the level of visitor engagement, without payment of any kind.
2. What Does SEM mean?
SEM stands for search engine marketing. Its meaning has evolved from being an umbrella term for both paid and organic search; today, it’s generally used to refer to gaining website traffic by placing advertising on search engines.
It’s often referred to as paid search. This often takes the form of text ads that look much like organic search results.
3. What Does PPC Refer To? PPC is short for pay per click.
It’s a payment method for paid search advertising, as well as other types of online ads such as banners and interstitials.
4. What Are Search Crawlers?
Search engines use programs called “bots” (short for robots) or “spiders” to scan (“crawl”) pages or content within websites (including content that does not display to the viewer) in order to evaluate and index the content.
Every major search engine uses these programs in order to evaluate content and provide the most relevant information to searchers.
When you search online for particular products, concepts, services, or information, the terms you use to describe your intent are interpreted by search engines, which then pull content they have indexed from various websites.
Their algorithms return content and display it to you on a search engine results page (SERP); their choice of what to display is based on many different factors.
The most important factor is which content best answers the question you have asked.
If search engines get this right repeatedly they gain your loyalty, which translates into how much they can charge for advertising.
It’s very much in the search engine’s own best interests to do the best job possible for the searcher.
5. What’s a keyword? A key phrase? A long tail keyword?
A keyword is a word for which you want searchers to find your page via a search engine.
People today are searching using more words, so your keyword may actually be a keyphrase of two or more words.
The terms “keyword” and “keyphrase” are used somewhat interchangeably.
A keyword can be broken down into three parts: the head, modifier and tail.
The head is what the search is about; the modifier adds detail and narrows the search, without changing the intent of the search.
The tail adds clarity and further narrows the search: Apple | Apple tablet | Apple tablet white
A long tail keyword is a keyword that contains multiple words, often as much as five to seven or more.
People looking for something very specific tend to use long tail keywords.
Example: “Goldfish” is a head keyword (31+ million results); “Can I make my own goldfish crackers at home” is a long tail keyword (128,000 results).
Long tail keywords are the holy grail of SEO because conversion rates for long tail keywords are 2.5x higher than for headwords.
This is because people who have a good idea of what they’re looking for (as opposed to someone doing general research) tend to use longer keyphrases, and are often closer to making a purchase.
The rise of voice search contributes to this, as people tend to speak in phrases when talking to their smartphones.
Long tail queries make up over 70% of all searches.
There’s less competition for them, which means they’re less expensive PPC choices, and they help you target people who are readier to buy.
It may be worth an experiment or two to find out which long tail keywords might deliver qualified traffic to your website.
6. What Does My Account Manager Mean When They Say “Search Efficiency”?
How quickly search crawlers can recognize what your website stands for, what type of information or services it contains, and where such content exists within your website, is the level of “search efficiency” your site possesses.
Since the crawlers’ sole purpose is to provide online users with relevant information – as fast as possible – they are inclined to pull content from competitive websites, rather than the one with hard-to-parse content.
One specific component of great search efficiency is how the information architecture of your site is set up, and how each category of content is connected to the homepage.
Other components of a website that affect search efficiency include: • How quickly your website loads, which is referred to as “PageSpeed.”
How your site’s navigation menus are positioned (e.g., vertically on the left hand side of the browser, horizontally across the top or header section, horizontally across the header and footer section of the site).
The type of markup it uses to express prominence, authority, and priorities, as it pertains to the text and structure of individual landing pages.
7. I Was Just Told To Create More “CTAs” On My Website’s Homepage. What Does That Mean?
A CTA (call to action) is an instruction to the reader, asking the online users to perform a specific action.
From the user’s point of view, they click to get something they want.
From the marketer’s point of view, the click is part of the website’s intended conversion funnel.
These can appear in a variety of forms, such as buttons and text phrase links, and often say things such as:
- Contact Us Today
- Give Us a Call
- Talk to Us
CTAs are excellent elements for A/B testing.
You can test the text, the button color, and the offer, among other elements.