SEO Dictionary

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has been a critical part of digital marketing for over 15 years now. After all, 93% of online activities start with a search engine, and there are literally billions of people online every day.

If you own a business, it’s likely you have a website. And for better or worse, it will serve you well if you’re up to date with digital marketing and SEO-related terminology.

So we put together this SEO glossary help you out. Here are brief definitions of the common terms you’ll encounter in the world of search engine optimization.

301 redirect

This refers to permanent redirection. It means you are permanently redirected to a page with a different URL.

Absolute unique visitor

This refers to one of the SEO reports that counts the number of your visitors that only visited once during a selected date range.

Alt tag

This refers to an HTML attribute that provides alternative text. Whenever an image fails to load, this tag comes to the rescue and describes the content of that image.

Anchor text

Anchor text is the text that serves as a link. If you click on an anchor text, it will lead you to a place on the web.

Average time on site

This provides information about how long your visitors stay on your site.

Basic metrics

This includes bounce rate, new visits, average time on site, page views, and visits. All these metrics inform you of a website’s usefulness.

Black hat techniques

These are shady SEO practices that can get you on the bad side of search engines.


This is the transparent graphic image you place on your site (or email). Its purpose is to help you monitor user behavior.

Canonical tag

A canonical tag is the HTML element that allows webmasters to report any duplicate content pages that have been created. Its structure looks like this:

Content management system (CMS)

This is a suite of applications that lets you create content, then publish it. A popular example of a CMS is WordPress.

Content saturation

You can also call this content shock. This refers to how your content’s impact decreases because of the existence of other content.

Conversion rate

This refers to the percentage of web visitors who click a link, subscribe to your email list, or fulfill any action.

Deep link

This is a link to a page other than the home page.

Depth of visit

This measures how many pages on your site visitors check out during a single session.

Domain name

Domain name is your website’s unique address on the internet.


This is created to achieve a high position in search engines. You can also call it a doorway page, an entry page, a jump page, and a bridge page.

Duplicate content

This refers to content that has been reused or copied from other sources on the internet. If Google finds duplicate content on your site, it could penalize you.

Facebook GSO (Graph Search Optimization)

This combines the power of optimization and social sharing. Its focus is on improving search results for Facebook’s Graph Search.

Fresh content

This refers to content that has never been published before. By posting fresh content that is 100% original, new, and unique, you are giving people a solid reason to visit your website.

Google Analytics

This monitors visitors through your site, as well as how your marketing campaigns are doing. It’s a free service from Google.

Google Trends

This is another free service. It provides you with a chart to inform you how many times words and topics have been the subject of search over time.


This refers to an element in electronic documents that leads you to another place.

Inbound link

An inbound link is a hyperlink that links to your own site from an external page. You can also refer to it as a backlink.

Invisible text

You can also call this invisible keyword stuffing. It is text that you cannot see because the text’s color is the same as the background color. Unless you highlight the text, you can’t tell it’s there.


These are words that trigger a desired result. For example, your keywords may be “SEO agencies in Atlanta”. If a person searches for these words on search engines, they will get results in the form of content that has been optimized for those keywords.

Keyword density

Keyword density a number that describes how often a specific phrase appears in a text.

Linkbait content

This refers to highly viral content whose main purpose is to attract readers. Think of it as a fishing hook but instead of wanting fish, what you want are links.

Link building

Link building is the process of exchanging backlinks to raise your site’s quality backlinks.

Link farming

This is the process of exchanging links to raise your site’s number of links.

Link popularity

Link popularity is a measure of your site’s value with the number of quality inbound links as the basis.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords

These are close variants of your main keyword. For example, let’s say your main keyword is “exercise”. Your LSI keywords, in this case, could be “fitness”, “health”, and “cardio”.

Manual submission

This refers to submitting your site’s URL to the search engines without using a link building service.

Meta tags

These are the HTML tags that display information about a page. The information includes what that web page is about and how often you update it.

Natural search

Natural search is a form of search where you receive results naturally. With this, you don’t see results based on paid advertising.

Off-page SEO

This is one of the two main categories of SEO. It describes the SEO techniques you’re implementing outside of your page. Examples are link building and using a social media strategy.

On-page SEO

This is the other main category of SEO. It refers to the SEO techniques you’re using on your page. Examples are optimizing your meta tags and using LSI keywords.

Organic traffic

This refers to traffic that you generated naturally. For example, you didn’t pay for people to visit your website. If they did so anyway, it means you got that web traffic organically.

Page cloaking

This refers to the practice of building a page in a way that lets it show a different piece of content to people and search engines. In theory, its goal is to help you get a good ranking for your keywords while presenting people with unrelated content.


You can also refer to this as PR. It’s an algorithm that aims to calculate your website’s importance.

Paid search

This refers to a means of contextual advertising where you pay to have your site appear on top of search engine results.

Premium content

Premium content is content that can be available for a price.

Quality backlink

This refers to the good kind of link. It’s usually from pages with a higher domain or page authority.


This refers to your position on search engines.

Reciprocal link

This refers to an agreement between site owners that says they have to link to each other’s sites.


This is the text file you upload to your website’s root directory. It’s also linked in your site’s HTML code.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Search engine marketing is a form of internet marketing involving research and positioning a website within a search engine for maximum visibility.

SEO service provider

An SEO service provider is an agency, individual, or group that offers SEO services for clients.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

After searching for a query on search engines, the results are provided to you on this page.

Search engine services

These are third-party services meant to help increase exposure and improve search engine ranking.


A sitemap is a website’s hierarchical visual representation.


This is a website’s navigation structure.

SMO (Social Media Optimization)

The goal of social media optimization is to let social marketing put you on top. Its objective is to generate publicity and make stories go viral. This is how you increase the awareness of a product or brand using social media channels.

Social media content calendar

This is a tool that helps you plan the publishing of your posts in advance.


This refers to your site’s ability to encourage visitors to visit your site frequently.

Top content

This tells you which among the content on your website performs the best. If a page or post has a higher click-through rate than the rest, then that is your top content.

Traffic source

This refers to a report that tells you where the traffic to your website comes from.

Unique visitors

These are visitors with unique IP addresses.

User sessions

These are the sessions of activity that a unique visitor has on your site.

Web analytics

This refers to an analysis of a website’s impact on users.

Web authoring

Web authoring refers to software that allows you to create a website in desktop publishing format.

Web crawler

A web crawler is a program that fetches web pages automatically. You can also call it a spider.

Web hosting

This is where your website is stored on the web.


This is also called search spam. This refers to web pages that were created for the sole purpose of spamming Google search results.

White hat techniques

This refers to the good kind of SEO practices. If you’re using white hat practices, you’re on the good side of search engines.

Video SEO

Video SEO refers to how you optimize video content for maximum search engine traffic.

UGC (User-Generated Content) refers to any form of content such as text, videos, images, reviews, etc., that is created by individuals or end-users of an online platform or service, and not by the company or organization running it. UGC is often shared on social media or other online platforms and can be a powerful tool for marketing, as it offers authentic insights and fosters community engagement around a brand or product.
A measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment, calculated by dividing the benefit (return) of an investment by the cost of the investment.
A marketing strategy that focuses on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content, adding value at every stage in the customer’s buying journey.
An instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, typically using an imperative verb such as “call now”, “find out more”, or “visit a store today”.
The extent to which consumers are familiar with the distinctive qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services
A marketing strategy focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online.
A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives