The Ultimate SEO Encyclopedia: 51 Terms You Must Know

search engine advertising
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Digital marketing is exploding, with most businesses spending at least half of their marketing budget on digital. If you’re new to search engine advertising, you probably already know that it’s a fast-moving field. Changes happen daily, but your best approach is to be informed.

When marketing professionals and small businesses speak a common language, their digital marketing campaigns have the highest impact. If you’re ready to learn all about search engine advertising, get to know the meaning of these 51 terms. You’ll come out the other end sounding like a pro.

1. AdCopy:

The term Ad Copy refers to the contents of your advertisements. In your search engine advertising strategy, this can be video, text or images.

2. AdSense:

This is the name of Google’s proprietary channel for advertising. You use a system named “AdWords” to enter your advertisements into this system.

3. Affiliate Marketing:

This term refers to the strategy of posting advertisements on other people’s websites. This can be through social media channels, blogs, or search engines that are owned by a third party.

4. Anchor Text:

This is the term for any text that is “linked”. When anchor text is clicked, it will take you to a link, which is hidden behind the text itself. Anchor text can link to a page, a phone number or an email address.

5. Analytics:

This is a catch-all term for describing how you measure data on the web. Data can be also referred to as analytics.

6. Black Hat SEO:

This describes a method of Search Engine Optimization which has the aim of manipulating search engine results. It can be orchestrated through spamming or the overabundance of keywords.

7. Bot:

A bot will perform a task that is scheduled by a user. They can be used for nefarious reasons, as in spam bots that post promotional comments online, or spider bots, which search engines use to collect content.

8. Browser:

You probably know your browser by name: Chrome, Safari, IE, Firefox, etc. It’s actually a software program that translates the data that comprises each web page and displays them as legible text and images. There are Internet Protocol Standards released every few years to address issues of speed, accessibility, and trends.

9. Cloaking:

This term refers to the act of hiding content from visitors to your website or from browsers. It’s used for various reasons including when information is slated to be released, when a site is under construction, or when someone wants to keep their old information.

10. Conversion:

When a visitor fulfills the intentions of a website or completes a task as directed by the design of a website, it’s called conversion.

11. Cost per Action:

In search engine advertising, there are different tiers of the cost associated with customer interaction. A cost per action model is when cost is calculated by the frequency a conversion is performed.

12. Cost Per Impression:

When calculating the cost of search engine advertising, cost per impression refers to appearances of advertisements. When an advertisement appears in front of visitors, that’s an impression that is counted toward a total number of visitor contacts.

13. Cost per Click:

Cost per click is calculated when viewers interact with search engine advertising. Typically a site will charge by the number of clicks that an ad will get. This can be correlated with site owner’s own analytics to see if those clicks did translate to site views.

14. Click through Rate:

When measuring those analytics that determine the number of people who have visited a site through search engine advertising, you get a click-through rate. This is a percentage usually based on the number of total impressions.

15. Contextual Advertising:

This is a term that refers to search engine advertising or on-page ads that fit the context of the content of the page. These can also be based on the cookies that a device or computer has collected. Ads are targeted to a user based on this information.

16. Dynamic Content:

This is a concept that refers to content that changes per the user’s identity or cookies or the device that’s being used to load the page. This content can also be changed via cookies or stored data.

Certain user actions will drive dynamic content to change in the browser. This could offer different experiences of a site depending on the user. When one person visits a site about dogs, ads could be for dog food if they’ve recently searched for dog food. Ads for another user could be about pet boarding if they’ve recently searched for vacations and as well as dog food.

17. E-Commerce Site:

This is a general term that refers to any site that sells things via their own channel. E-commerce is a catch-all that could refer to Amazon, Groupon, or your favorite local jewelry seller. So long as the purpose is to sell something, it fits the bill.

18. Error page:

When a user mistypes a link within a website’s domain or if they hit a broken link, they will be directed to an error page. This error page is automatically generated based on instructions written into the base of the site’s code.

19. External Link:

These are links that take you from one page to a different domain entirely. When a site includes a link to your page or you include a link to another page, the terminology is the same.

20. Geo-Targeting:

This refers to any advertising that is focused on people in a geographical location. Often, search engine advertising will cater results to aim at people in a certain city or state. When searching for “plumber”, a search engine will include your location with that search so you get geo-targeted ads and information relevant to you.

21. Hidden Text:

This refers to text that isn’t visible to visitors when looking at a site but is included in the data of the page. This text is intended for bots and search engines and can be useful in directing search engine advertising.

22. Hits:

This is another word for how many times a site has been viewed or how many times an ad has been clicked.

23. Home Page:

This is the main page of a website. The first page that loads when you enter your basic domain name (ie with no slashes).

25. Inbound Link:

This is similar to a backlink, however the site that the link loads will be within the same domain as the page containing the link. If you link from your blog page to your “contact” page, that’s an inbound link.

26. Keyword Density:

This will tell you how much a keyword or a keyword phrase appears within the content of a site.

27. Keyword Research:

This is research done by most websites and webmasters to determine which are the most appropriate keywords and keyword phrases for a site or advertisement. Knowing which keywords to use is critical to successful search engine advertising.

28. Link Reputation:

This will tell you how much traffic you can expect and how much your SEO ranking can improve from the inclusion of a link. Linking a news editorial to a site with a bad reputation for credibility will damage your own ranking. Linking your editorial to a major newspaper or journal that backs up your evidence will bring your SEO ranking up.

29. Meta Description:

This is data that will show up when users search for your site. This short description needs to be informative so that users will click on your link when it appears in their results.

30. Meta Keywords:

Theis is how search engines know which of the words on your site are your keywords. Meta keywords are essential to search engine advertising in order to target the right audience.

31. Metrics:

This is a term that references data that is set to measure something contained on your website. These are the small chunks that will contribute to your overall analytics picture.

32. Microblogging:

These are super short posts, usually found on social media. Typically these are short tweets that give a brief amount of information, contain a keyword, and will link to either a longer text or else include an image or video.

Microblogging is one form that search engine advertising can take.

33. Naked Links:

This is just a plain link. It will look something like “For more about my dogs see:” rather than having the link hidden behind anchor text.

34. Navigation:

Navigation is a general term for how a visitor will get around your page. It can refer to your menu system or the overall structure of how your page is laid out, with one page leading to the next.

35. Page Views:

This is similar to hits except in the context of search engine advertising the distinction is typically drawn by whether or not your page was loaded. A bot can be set to click an ad 100 times but if the page only loads once to completion, it was only viewed once.

36. Paid Links:

This is a term that refers to links that are solicited by a third party to the blog or site owner. This could describe a tea company approaching a food blogger and asking for a link in their next article about hot beverages. This will cost money to the company as it’s a form of advertisement through endorsement.

37. Penalty:

Google will hand out penalties if you try any Black Hat SEO tactics. If you try to spam a popular message board with links to your site, instead of seeing your rankings go up, you will be penalized.

If you buy a lot of reviews to your service that suddenly flood onto a search engine, you will incur a penalty of a lower ranking.

38. PPC (Pay per Click):

This term refers to a deal where a promoter will have to pay a hosting site whenever their search engine advertising campaign receives a click.

39. Reciprocal Links:

If two site begin a relationship, they can exchange backlinks. These are considered reciprocal links. They’re a great way to increase your SEO ranking.

40. Redirect:

This is a term that refers to the act of sending a user to another site after they’ve clicked a link on one site.

41. Robots.txt:

This is an important kind of document in search engine advertising. It will tell web crawlers how to navigate a website and how to properly index it. Then when search engine users run a search, that indexed information will be prepared, allowing for search results to be returned in fractions of a second.

42. Search Engine Optimization:

By following the right steps, sites can receive high rankings based on the searches that users perform. In an ideal world, your company selling “used stamps in Omaha” would be designed so as to make you the first local business result when a user makes that search.

43. Search Engine Results Page (SERP):

This is the name of the page of results that pops up when you run a search.

44. Site Map:

This is a key to how search engines and some users navigate a site. It tells them where all of your pages are going to be located.

45. Spam:

These are often automated copy and pasted messages that have no particularly relevant content. In search engine advertising, spam is the enemy.

46. Static Website:

This website loads the same no matter who the user is. It’s the inverse of a Dynamic Website.

47. Traffic:

This term refers to how many visitors a site gets over time.

48. Unique Visitor:

This is any kind of traffic that isn’t a repeat visitor. Typically this measured in units of time as in “100,000 unique visitors this month”, meaning generally that 100,000 people visited a site, though repeat visits can inflate numbers.

49. Viral Marketing:

This is a marketing tactic that pays close attention to trends and attempts to spread quickly, typically via social media.

50. Web Crawler:

This is a program, typically employed by search engines, that reads and indexes content on a site. Web crawlers are dynamic feats of engineering that can learn and gain complexity over time.

51. White Hat SEO:

This is the ideal form of SEO. It follows the rules and guidelines closely and leads to no spam. White Hat SEO is the golden calf of search engine advertising.

Search Engine Advertising Can Be Low Cost

If webmasters and designers know the ins and out of these terms and how to employ them, they can create strong SEO campaigns.

If you’re ready to create a strong search engine advertising campaign, contact us today to get off on the right foot.