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SEO Glossary: Beginner's Guide

SEO Glossary Cheat Sheet

For you to get a better understanding of the most common SEO terms we have created an SEO cheat sheet. This comprehensive glossary will teach you all you need to know!

SEO Glossary

302 Redirect

302 Redirect - The process of temporarily redirecting a web page from one URL to another.

4xx Status Codes

Code sent by the server to say that the request was unsuccessful and the information was not found.


ALT Text/Alt Attribute

A description of an image in your site's HTML. Unlike humans, search engines read only the ALT text of images, not the images themselves. Add ALT text to images whenever possible.


A process or formula by which stored information is retrieved and ordered in meaningful ways.


How reliable a website is based on a search engine's algorithm.



A link pointing to an external webpage.


A web link that lets you know where you are on a website and how far you are from the homepage.


Click-Through Rate

The ratio of impressions to clicks on your URLs.

Crawl Budget

The average number of pages a search engine bot will crawl on your 


The process by which search engines discover your web pages.


Dead-End Page

A webpage that does not link to any other pages. Once a user or bot arrives on this page, there is no place to move forward, hence it is 'dead'.

Direct Traffic

In Google Analytics, users that navigate directly to the site by typing the URL directly into the browser are known as direct traffic.


A website address – typically ending in an extension like .com, .org, or .net.

Duplicate content

Content that is shared between domains or between multiple pages of a single domain.

Dwell Time

The amount of time that elapses between when a user clicks on a search result and then returns to the SERP from a website. Learn more about Website Dwell Time.



The buying and selling of products, all conducted online. Learn more about SEO for Ecommerce.


Data that represents how searchers interact with your site from search results.


Featured snippets

Organic answer boxes that appear at the top of SERPs for certain queries.

File compression

The process of encoding information using fewer bits; reducing the size of the file.


Google Business Profile

A local business directory by Google. Learn more about setting up and boosting Google Business Profile.

Google Search Console

A free Google tool that allows you to monitor how a website is performing.

Google Tag Manager

A single hub for managing multiple website tracking codes.

Guest Blogging

The practice of publishing a blog post on a website owned by someone else.


Header Tag

Code used to designate headings and subheadings from paragraphs.


Section headers on your website that are placed inside of a header tag, such as an H1 or H2. This text is often presented in a larger and stronger font than other text on the page.


A tag that indicates to Google which language the content is in. This helps Google serve the appropriate language version of your page to people searching in that language.



A process used by search engines to analyse the content of website and catalogue files.

Internal Link

A link from one page to another on the same website, such as from your homepage to your products page.

Indexed Pages

The pages of your website that are stored by search engines.



A programming language that adds dynamic elements to static web pages.


Keyword Difficulty

Refers to how competitive a keyword is and how difficult it will be to rank for it.

Keyword Research

The process of searching for keywords to target in your content based on volume, keyword difficulty, and other factors.

Keyword Stuffing

The overuse of keywords in your content in an attempt to rank higher.


Link Juice

The value or authority a website gains when receiving a backlink from a high-authority website.

Local Business Schema

Structured data markup placed on a web page that helps search engines understand information about a business.

Local Pack

A pack of typically three local business listings that appear for local-intent searches.

Long Tail Keyword

 Longer, more specific queries that include more than three words.


Machine Learning

A subset of Artificial Intelligence in which a system uses data to learn and adjust a complex process without human intervention.

Meta Description

A brief description of fewer than 160 characters of the contents of a page and why someone would want to visit it.


A way to measure activity and performance in order to assess the success of an SEO initiative. Learn more about measuring website performance.



A list of links that help visitors navigate to other pages on your site. Often, these appear in a list at the top of your website

Negative SEO

A rare but malicious practice where web spam techniques are used to harm the search rankings of another website, usually a competitor.


A specific market or area of interest consisting of a small group of highly-passionate people.

Noindex Tag

A meta tag that tells search engines not to index a specific webpage in its index.


Off-Page SEO

brand awareness activities that take place outside of a website. This can include email marketing, social media presence, guest blog posting, digital and offline marketing and more. 

On-Page SEO

SEO activities within a website. These include meta data, internal linking, website navigation, information architecture, URL structure and more.

Organic Traffic

Refers to visitors who discover your website on the SERPs instead of a paid ad.


Page Speed

Refers to how quickly a webpage loads. Influencing factors include file sizes, the source code, and the web server.


A Google algorithm update that targeted low-quality content.

Pages Per Session

Also referred to as “page depth,” pages per session describes the average number of pages people view of your website in a single session.

People Also Ask Boxes

A box in some SERPs featuring a list of questions related to the query and their answers.



The words or phrases a user enters into a search engine.


Ranking Factor

The factors that influence a website's ranking on search engines.


When a URL is moved from one location to another.

Responsive Design

A design practice that allows a website to adapt to any device it's viewed on, making it a better user experience.


A text file that tells search engine crawlers which areas of your website are accessible and which ones they should ignore.


Scroll Depth

A method of tracking how far visitors are scrolling down your pages.

Search Intent

Refers to the reason why a user conducts a search.

Search Volume

The number of times a keyword is searched in a given period, usually a month.

Seed Keyword

Short-tail keyword, also known as a root keyword, which is the primary keyword you want to rank for and considered the umbrella term.


SEO stands for search engine optimisation and refers to the tactics used to optimise your website page to reach and maintain a high ranking on search engines for particular keywords. Learn more about the basics of SEO.

SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page)

 The page that you are sent to after you run a query in a search engine. It typically has 10 results on it, but this may vary depending on the query and search engine in question.


A special document created by a webmaster or a piece of software that provides a map of all the pages on a website to make it easier for a search engine to index that website.

Structured Data

Any set of data that is organised and tagged to help search engines understand the information.


Thin content

Content that adds little-to-no value to the visitor.

Time On Page

The amount of time someone spent on your page before clicking to the next page. Learn more about measuring website performance and stats.

Title Tag

 The title of a page on your website, which is enclosed in a HTML tag, inside of the head section of the page. It appears in search engine results and at the top of a user’s web browser when they are on that page. Learn more about how to write successful Title Tags.


The people (and sometimes bots) who visit your website. Learn more about measuring website traffic.



A uniform resource locator is the specific string of characters that lead to a resource on the web. 


How easy it is for people to use your website. Your website design, the browser compatibility, disability enhancements, and other factors all play a role in improving usability and accessibility. 

User Experience (UX)

The overall feeling users are left with after interacting with a brand, its online presence, and its product/services.


Voice Search

A type of voice-activated technology that allows users to speak into a device to ask questions or conduct an online search.


Website Navigation

The elements and components on a page that allow you to easily access the various web pages on a website.

White Hat

Search engine optimisation practices that comply with Google’s quality guidelines.

Camilla Hansen
SEO Specialist & Web Designer