SEO Glossary: A Beginner’s Guide

SEO Glossary: A Beginner’s Guide

Learn the meanings behind these key SEO terms

Search engine optimization (or SEO) can be hugely beneficial for your business — once you get your head around all of the confusing jargon, that is.

To help you understand more about SEO and how it can help you stand out online, we’ve created a simple glossary of the 15 essential SEO terms you need to know.

A quick recap: What is SEO?

The purpose of search engine optimization is to increase the organic traffic to your website by improving your visibility on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

A comprehensive SEO strategy involves a number of technical and creative tactics to gain traction online. We’ll explore some of the key methods and terms in the SEO glossary below.


SEO glossary: 15 essential SEO terms, explained


A link from another website to a page on your website. Search engines use backlinks as a ranking factor because it’s a signal that your website contains useful, quality content.

Core Web Vitals

Announced in May 2020, Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics (such as speed, responsiveness, and visual stability) that Google uses to evaluate the quality of your website’s user experience. This will soon become an important ranking factor for search results.


The process by which search engines visit your website, discover your webpages, and “read” your content. This content is then collected and indexed by the search engine.

Featured snippet

Also known as Position #0, the featured snippet appears in a box above everything else on the search engine results page. To learn more about the importance of featured snippets, read our SEO case study.


The search engine’s process of storing and organizing the content it found on your website during crawling.

Internal link

A link from one page on your website to another page on your website, allowing users to easily navigate and see related content. Search engines also use internal links to crawl your website.

Keyword or Keyphrase

A word or phrase within your website’s content that allows people who are searching online to find that page in search engine results.

Local pack

A map with three business listings that show in Google search results when a user enters a location-specific query, such as “Orlando advertising agency”.

Meta description

A small snippet of text you can add when publishing or updating a page on your website that will show in search results below the page title and the link. For more help, read our blog on how to write the perfect meta description.

Nofollow link

A link marked with a special tag that means no ranking authority is passed from the referring website to the webpage it’s linking to. These tags can be used to combat people who are using bad SEO tactics to “trick” search engines into improving their website ranking.

Organic traffic

The number of users who come to your website from search engine results pages. To learn more, read our blog about the different types of website traffic.

Query or Search Query

The word or phrase that a user types into a search engine.


The position in which your website appears on a search engine results page.


This stands for Search Engine Results Page, the page you see when you type a search query into a search engine. SERPs typically contain two types of content: organic (non-paid) search results and paid search results. There are usually 10 organic search results per page.


A map of all the pages on your website and how they link together. While a sitemap is not essential, it helps search engines quickly crawl and index all of your content, in particular if you have a big e-commerce, informational or news website.

Need help with your SEO strategy?

If you need help understanding how search engine optimization can help your business, a digital marketing agency can help. They’ll guide you through creating the right SEO strategy to correctly structure your website, expand and optimize your content, and improve your search engine ranking.
At Different Perspective, we help businesses in several industries establish brand authority, gain online visibility, and attract new leads with SEO as part of a comprehensive digital marketing plan.

Ready to get started?

Contact us today to learn more


More resources for you:

Digital marketing basics: A step-by-step guide to building your 2021 digital marketing plan
Essential resource: Google Analytics: a guide for small businesses
Must-read guide: DIY, Template or Custom: Which type of business website should you choose?

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