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5 Vocabulary Key Words You and Your SEO Should Know

seo vocabulary

It can be incredibly useful if all involved in an SEO project understand and can speak the same language. That includes the boss (or owner and manager of a website property)! However, it’s okay if not everyone knows exactly how to implement or the best ways to address those SEO type items. That might require a more experienced person.

For now, to help, here are five basic SEO vocabulary key words (yes, not to be confused with “keywords”) that might be useful for you to know and/or to better understand. You can even use these terms to test the knowledge of your current SEO or digital marketing professional too:

1) URL
Definition: Acronym for Uniform Resource Locator and a reference to a resource on the Internet, generally found on the World Wide Web, which includes the protocol identifier (ex: http or https) and resource name (general the domain name and/or the dot com part and anything following in that string of letters, numbers or characters).

What that really means: A URL is the name of any one page found on your website. That includes if your website is only one page. Examples:
http://www.mywebsite.com
https://www.mywebsite.com
http://mywebsite.com
(all of these are commonly referred to as the Home page for that website).

Other URL or page sample names:
http://www.mywebsite.com/services-provided/
http://services.mywebsite.com/p/type1offering.html
http://www.mywebsite.com/services-provided/detail?id=type1offering

Yes, there are a ton more examples with over a billion websites in existence and some URL naming conventions are better than others as well! An experienced SEO can help you determine what’s best for you and why. It is considered a best practice to have a static URL as your page name, if possible. A static URL generally means that the URL is more easily communicated or understood (it’s in a language you can read) and does not include query strings or special characters. Meaning, you won’t see things like ?, &, %, +, =, $ in the URL/page name. If a URL is not static, it is considered dynamic.

2) 301 Page Redirect
Definition: A page redirect is a web server function that is used to provide the new location information of a website page (URL) that no longer exists or that has moved. The 301 status code associated with a page redirect reflects that the move is permanent. There are many page status codes that can be used for various purposes (but that’s another set of definitions).

What that really means: There are various “web server functions”, “page status” and ” page redirect” codes that can be implemented on the server where your website pages are hosted. A 301 redirect is best used when you have either changed a website page name or you have removed it for whatever reason. There are various reasons why you should set up a 301 redirect and when you should not. An expert SEO can provide further information depending on your individual situation.

3) Canonical Tag
Definition: A tag incorporated within the code of a web page to denote the URL/page-name that you consider to be your final, preferred, or more authoritative URL/page-name and want the Search Engines to show and serve in their search results.
Simply put: it’s the URL/page name of final, preferred, or more authoritative page you want visitors to find first.

What that really means: We recommend that all web pages incorporate the use of this tag within each page. The default should be set to use the same URL/page-name as the page that it is coded within. Then, if you have multiple pages or ones that are similar in some way, you can use the tag to point to the final, preferred, or more authoritative page. The canonical tag can act as a sort of 301 redirect for what is displayed in the search engine results pages. But be careful as there is a different reason why one should use the canonical tag as compared to a 301 redirect!

Example tag: link-canonical-tag

4) SERP
Definition: Acronym for Search Engine Results Page which is the set of listings shown about web pages displayed in response to a Search (or keyword query) performed by someone using a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing.

What that really means: Generally, when you search for something using a search engine, you will see 10 results in that first page of results. You will also see that there are many, many more pages of results after that too! Many times you’ll hear an SEO tell you that they’ll place you at the top of the SERPs. What you want to know is what is the keyword query where your web page results show and if anyone is clicking to your page from that result and why.

You’ll also want to know that search engines like Google have lots of data centers from which they gather and show you results. People using the Google search engine to find the same searched keyword query in Los Angeles as someone in New York may end up with very different results. Search engine results can also change not only based on location differences but can also depend on the browser used, the device, the controls you have set and/or what you normally do when you search for things. Google works hard to serve up the best results for you and that can differ from what’s the best results might be for me!

This is one reason to be very careful about what you think about a keyword ranking report. While all metrics and information can be useful, be cautious and make sure to have a good understanding of the evolution of this type of information before you hold it as gospel! 😉

5) Above-the-Fold
Definition: For a website, above-the-fold refers to the portion of the website page immediately seen upon landing on (or visiting) that page and before having to scroll.

What that really means: Think of the “fold” as the line of your computer screen’s lower limit, where it stops and you can’t see any more without having to scroll down. If someone has to scroll to see more of the web page, then they have just broken past the “fold” and have entered areas of the web page that are below-the-fold. The above-the-fold portion is important as it is the first view, and therefore affects the first impression, a visitor will gather about your website and/or web page. You want this “impression” to be a good one so part of your SEO plan should be to review what is seen first, above-the-fold!

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