The mathematical formula used in calculating search engine ranking. These formulas are closely guarded and change regularly to prevent anyone from guessing the system.(Simply put: the science behind who ranks for what in search engines)
The actual text of a hyperlink on a web page. Example: often anchor text reads, “click here,” but for SEO purposes anchor text can also be a keyword like “interactive marketing agency” – which then links to a web page about an interactive marketing agency.
The percentage of visitors who enter and exit the same page on a website without going to any additional pages during the visit. If 100 people visit your homepage and 20 leave without clicking to any additional pages, your site has a 20% bounce rate (not bad!). Lower is better.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The percentage of people who click on an ad (or search listing, email link, etc.) out of the total number of those who see it. Example: if 100 people see your ad, and 5 of them click on it, that ad has a 5% CTR. Higher is better.
Heading (H1, H2…) Tags
Page headings and prominent text (often to target specific keywords) that can help lead to a higher page ranking and explain what the content of a page is about to search engines. This text is given special heading tags to tell search engines it’s important on the page.
Content placed in code of your site to help describe your website to search engines. (Though this is no longer important in the ranking process, this information often populates your site’s Google search result – and can influence clicks into your website!)
The words/phrases at the very top of your web browser. These should be brand/keyword related – as it also shows as the blue clickable line of your Google result (target 60-90 characters).
A selection of terms (seen only by search engines, not by site visitors) you deem relevant to each page that reflect overall content. NOTE: These are no longer considered as part of the ranking process, and are simply considered a best practice, historically.
Often the snippet of text below your listing in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), these should be written effectively and concisely to describe a website or page (up to 150 characters including spaces).
Efforts to boost search rankings and increase links to a site by distributing press releases to a variety of online newswire websites and channels.
Organic search results
Unpaid results displayed after a user types in a search query. These results appear in the main section of search results (ten per page), as opposed to paid search listings that appear in a column down the right side or along the very top of the page.
A number from 0-10 (10 being perfect) assigned by Google that reflects their view of the importance of your website. Higher PageRank means your site is more likely to appear higher in search results.
Advertising model in which advertisers pay for clicks to their website. PPC ads are served to the user of a search engine based on keywords or themes set up by the advertiser. (Read more about pay-per-click marketing.)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of editing and organizing content on a website to appear higher in organic search results and improve the volume and quality of the website’s traffic.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
The form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). This includes paid and organic search.
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
The pages of results displayed after a search is entered. Statistics show the first five positions on page one of SERPs receive over 88% of the searchers’ traffic.
Essentially, a simple outline of your website using plain text or simple graphics, detailing the various pages and how they link to each other (for visitors and users). *For search engines:
A document generated then uploaded to your site to give search engines the details of all pages and links. (This is an often overlooked best practice for SEO.)
Software component of a search engine that automatically searches out, “reads” and understands websites in order to rank them.
It’s important to note: interactive marketing is a moving target. This list is some, but by no means all, of the things to keep in mind as you grow your brand online.