25 Jan 2018

SEO jargon buster – helping you get to grips with the lingo

At Financial Advice Network, we’ve previously touched on how you can use different marketing channels to maximise the visibility of your business online. These opportunities are available to everyone who decides to build a website to promote their business, but this also means that there are many industries that are fiercely competitive and where available space to get your business in front of your potential customers is at a premium.

Search engine marketing is perhaps the most relevant example of this, and is certainly a big challenge given the competitive nature of the financial advice industry. We wrote an article a couple of years back on how an effective SEO strategy can help you to increase your client base, and also updated you after large algorithm updates hit websites. SEO, however is inherently complicated, so we thought it might be a good idea to take you back to the beginning. To do this we’ve pulled together a jargon buster that addresses some of the key industry terms, so that next time you’re SEO’ing and you see something that doesn’t make sense, you can find it here.

We’re also planning to expand on some of the points below in the future so keep and eye out for updates.

The jargon…

Alexa Rank – A measure based on the traffic that is coming to your website and the amount of time that traffic stays on your website for. The lower the number is, the better.

Algorithm – A very complicated set of criteria or rules used by search engines to rank websites in search engine results pages.

Authority (trust, link juice) – The amount of trust that a site is credited with by search engines. The higher the authority of your website, the higher you are likely to rank in search engines for your key search terms. Authority and trust is derived from a variety of factors, including related backlinks from other sites that are trustworthy.

Authority site – An authoritative site is a website that is well established in its niche which has a fantastic user experience as well as great content.

Backlink – A backlink is a link into a page on your website or from a page on a different website. Getting more backlinks to a page on your site will help it to rank higher, as it can increase its authority.

Black hat SEO – Unethical practices of search engine optimisation, often using automated tools. Black hat SEO practices can lead to severe penalties from search engines

Blog – A website that presents content that is regularly updated, typically written in a conversational style.

Broken Link – A link that points to a page that no longer exists and returns a 404 error. There could also be issues with the link itself, such as errors in the coding.

Content (text,copy) – The part of a web page that is intended to have value for and be of interest to the user.

Crawler (bot, spider) – A program that systematically browses the World Wide Web by a way of the link structure in order to create an index of data.

Disavow – The Google Disavow Tool allows you to tell Google which backlinks it should ignore when calculating your sites ranking. You would use this when to get rid of spammy links that could harm the authority of your website.

Dofollow – A backlink that can be followed by search engine spiders/crawlers. These pass authority from one website to another.

External links – A link on a webpage that points to a webpage on a different domain (a different website). External links pass authority from your website to the website you are linking to.

Google Analytics – A program which assists in gathering and analysing data about your website.

Image alt text – A description of a picture or graphic displayed on a website. This usually isn’t displayed to the end user, unless the graphic is undeliverable, or a browser is used that doesn’t display graphics. Alt text is important because search engines can’t analyse pictures themselves so they need alt text to tell them what the image is about. It should relate the keyword or phrase that the page is built around.

Keyword Density – The percentage a keyword appears on a page in comparison to the rest of the text. E.g. if you have 100 words but 3 of those are your target keyword – you would have a 3% keyword density. There is no ideal percentage as long as it reads well and doesn’t appeared to be stuffed with keywords, it should be fine and not a risk of a Google penalty.

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) – Described as ‘the mother tongue of the internet’, it is the language used to add formatting and web functionality to plan text for use on the internet.

Impression (page view) – The amount of impressions is the amount of times that an advertisement or web page has been viewed, but not necessarily clicked on.

Meta Description – The description of a webpage that appears in search engine results pages underneath the blue link to the website.

Indexed pages – All of the pages on a website which have been indexed by a search engine. An index is another name for the database used by a search engine which contains information on all the websites the search engine was able to find. If a website is not in a search engine’s index, users will not be able to find it using that search engine. Search engines regularly update their indexes.

Keyword – The word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine. Pages on your website should be built and optimised to target specific keywords.

Link building – Actively working to acquire backlinks to your website

Nofollow – The opposite to dofollow. This is a command in the html of your website before in a link that instructs robots to not follow that link. Authority will not be passed to the other site in this case.

Sitemap – A page that links to every user-accessible page on a website which works to improver site usability by clarifying the data structure of the site for the users.
Wordpress – A popular content management system

XML Sitemap – A list of pages you want search engines to find created in a standard XML format.

By Samantha Atherton