Select Page

10 SEO Terms You Might Not Know (But Should)

10 SEO Terms You Might Not Know (But Should)

There are currently around 1 billion websites that exist on the internet. With such a surplus of sites, how can you make sure that readers take notice of yours?

In this crowded internet space, you can’t just create good content. You have to become an authority on a specific subject or topic.

What’s the easiest way to do that? By studying SEO terms and becoming as much of an expert as you possibly can.

Anyone who runs a website or even writes for one is familiar with SEO and the particular words and phrases associated with it.

However, casual knowledge of SEO is not enough in today’s competitive world. You need to fully understand as many parts of it as you can.

That education starts with learning about SEO terms, specifically terms that you might not know, even though you should.

Read on to discover 10 essential SEO terms that will help you make your website the best it can possibly be.

What to Know About SEO and SEO Terms

Before diving fully into these specific terms, it is important to discuss what exactly SEO means.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is used to make a person or company’s website more visible through search engines and to draw more traffic to said site.

In practice, SEO is more complex than that brief definition. That is precisely why there are so many terms that true experts need to understand before they can help a site reach its full potential.

SEO features a combination of different strategies, from finding particular keywords to utilizing social media (the millions of active users on both Twitter and Facebook) to help promote your brand.

All of these applications work together in harmony to create the best possible outcome. That is why it is so vital to know as many key SEO terms as possible, beginning with the ones below.

301 Redirect

A 301 redirect might sound like an error code, but it’s actually the complete opposite.

It is a permanent redirect of one webpage to another within your site. The 301 in the name stands for the HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) status code.

ALT Text

There’s nothing too alternative about ALT text. It’s a description of an image in the HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) code of your site.

The ALT text is so that the search engines’ bots (also called spiders or crawlers) can identify the image on your page. Bots can’t read images themselves, but they can read the ALT text.

Anchor Text

Within the text on your site’s page, you are going to have some type of links, whether they are outbound or inbound.

Your anchor text is the text that contains the link. Or, as it is more commonly described, it is the text that has been hyperlinked.

If someone links to your site using a specific anchor text, it allows search engines to know what topic or subject your site covers.


The content on your page needs to stand out.

No one wants to stare at a giant wall of text. Organization and formatting play a more significant role in SEO than people realize.

The best way to create an attractive and informative page is through headings, which make certain text on your page larger or stronger than other text.

However, it’s not as simple as changing the size of the font or putting the words in bold. You have to use the particular heading tags (such as H1, H2, etc.) in the HTML section of the blog post that you are writing around each heading.

Depending on your site, you may have to physically type in <h1> or <h2> into the HTML code, or you can just click and select the header you want from the toolbar.

Link Building

Think of link building as a form of SEO networking. It is all about getting sites to link to your site so that more users will visit your pages.

However, link building is not about getting just any site to point back to yours. You want sites that are relevant to your product or the topics that you are covering.

For example, if your site sells athletic shoes, you would rather have a sports site of some form link back to your page than a cooking website.

You want these links to bring in people who already have similar interests to what your site provides.

Long Tail Keywords

Focus keywords are pivotal to any site’s SEO strategy. However, it’s crucial to know the difference between short tail keywords and long tail keywords and what the benefits are of using them.

A good example of a short tail keyword is something like “restaurants.” It’s basic and general, and a good amount of people probably type it into Google every day.

However, with so much searching comes a lot of competition. Broader topics make it difficult for smaller businesses to rank in search.

That’s why you might want to get more specific with long tail keywords. These are more like phrases than singular words.

For example, the long-tail version of “restaurants” could be something like “restaurants in Tampa” or “restaurants with happy hour deals.”

The more specific you get, the better chance you have of ranking in search and of having a reader find your site.

To help with the creation of long tail keywords, resources like Buzzsomo can be very useful.

Meta Description

A meta description is a short (160 characters or less) description of what a particular page is about.

The meta description appears on the search engine results page (SERP) below the title you gave that specific page. It’s one of the very first things potential readers will see before they decide to visit your site or not.


SEM stands for search engine marketing.

Although SEM and SEO may sound similar, there is one key difference that distinguishes them from each other.

SEM is paid for. A very popular example of SEM is pay-per-click, better known as PPC.

SEO, on the other hand, is not. It is free of cost and completely organic.


As stated above, SERP stands for search engine results page. This is what you see when you search for a specific phrase, topic, or term on Google.

On the SERP, there will be a list of pages with their titles, URLs, and their meta descriptions.


A sitemap plays a major role in helping bots navigate your site. It tells the search engines’ bots where to look and how everything on the site is organized.

Sitemaps are especially useful for sites that have multiple pages. They help ensure that the bots get everything they need.

Moving Forward With SEO Terms

Have you struggled with any of these terms in the past? Do you feel more comfortable using them now?

There is such a vast number of SEO terms. Are there any other specific ones that you would add to this list?

Contact us and let us know!

About gives web designers and SEO professionals, the SEO resources and textlink strategies to drive more traffic.

SEO Strategies

Marketing Tips

Web Design & Development

Local Search Tips

Onsite Optimization

Blogging and Content Marketing

Business Advice