on page seo

On page SEO jargon concerns the terms used around making your website and blogs more visible in search engines such as Google.

We’re not on page SEO (search engine optimisation) experts, nor do we pretend to be. There are many technical SEO tools and tactics used by web developers to ensure your website and blog posts are visible and optimised for search engines. Hopefully, your website developer should already have put those in place. But, we’ve gained a fair amount of experience in writing and optimising clients’ websites and blogs, and for our own, which is undergoing a complete overhaul to correct various issues (you can follow our journey this month on Twitter).

This blog post lists the on page SEO jargon you should be familiar with, before starting to craft better website metadata such as page titles and meta descriptions.

What is On Page SEO?

The worst mistake a blogger or content developer can make is write their material, throw it up online, and expect instant readers.

It has been estimated that there are about two million articles published every day online. So the chances that anyone will know your article exists, never mind read it, is small.

That’s where on page SEO comes in. It’s about using techniques to increase the probability that your page of content will get discovered and read by those looking for the information it contains. What are these techniques and how do they work? Scan this glossary to find out what it involves.

Backlinks

These are links from external websites to yours. They are also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, inward links, and one way links. They are important for SEO because they show search engines that your website is trustworthy, popular and authoritative.

Blog Categories

These are general topics around which you can group your website content. For that reason, they are also known as blog topics. Categories can contain sub-categories, depending on your hierarchy. They are often compared to the table of contents in a book. In WordPress, it is necessary to give your content a category. Don’t give your content more than 2-3 categories.

Blog Tags

These are words used to describe the specific details of your posts. They are often compared to the index in a book. In WordPress, it isn’t necessary to give your content tags. However, for SEO purposes, it’s better to use both categories and tags because it proves to search engines that you’ve designed your content to be as useful and navigable to users as possible.

Click-through Rate (CTR)

This is a measurement of number of users who click on a link against the number of users who viewed the link. It reveals how relevant searchers found your link in relation to their search, and contributes to your ranking on the SERPs. The CTR is given as a percentage figure.

Content Management System (CMS)

This is the platform that enables you to create and manage your online content and the software behind it. Its purpose is to to save you having to build your own interface to perform these functions. WordPress is one example.

Cornerstone Content

This refers to the highest quality or most important articles on your website. They are the pages or posts that you want ranked highest by search engines. Search engines recognise them by the volume of backlinks. If you’re using WordPress, you can also deliberately designate pages as cornerstone content.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

This is the average cost per click if you want to pay Google to enable those searching for your designated keyword to see an ad on page 1 of the SERPs. The higher the CPC, the more valuable the keyword. The cost is given in the currency of the location. (See Paid Difficulty)

Domain Authority (DA)

This is a search engine score that predicts how likely a website is to rank on in the SERPs. The higher the score, the greater the ranking ability. The DA is given as a figure from one to 100.

Domain Name

This is the unique name that identifies your website. It is often compared to a postal address. For SEO purposes, the best domain names use memorable keywords when possible, avoid hyphens, and have subdomains that describe their content.

Estimated Visits

This is the estimated traffic that a web page gets from search engines for a particular keyword.

Evergreen Content

This is content that is written to last because it doesn’t cover news items or recent events. Evergreen content is good for SEO because it can build up a large volume of views, links and comments. (See How to Write Evergreen Content)

Excerpt

This is a brief summary of the content of your web page for your metadata. It is used as a replacement on the blog index and archives pages. WordPress gives a limit of 55 words. The default Except is the first 55 words of your post. It’s always better if you write your own.

Focus Keyphrase

This is the keyword or keyphrase you’d like the page to rank for in Google. If you’re using WordPress, Yoast runs a check on the content of that page to see if search engines will recognise the content of your page.

Headings

These are the titles and subtitles uses in your blog posts. They are important for helping both readers and search engines to scan your content successfully. You can use headings as a hierarchy to give structure to your content and explain what it is about. Keywords and synonyms should be used relevantly and discreetly in your H1 and a few other subheadings.

Keywords

These are words and phrases in your web content that help search engines direct people to your content. They flag up what the content is about, showing your best estimation of what words searchers will search for to find relevant and useful online content.

Keyword Difficulty (KD)

This is the estimated competition in an organic search. The higher the number, the more competitive the keyword. The KD is given as a figure from zero to 100, with results above 30 considered very competitive. (see Organic Results)

Keyword Phrase

Keyword phrases are just keywords that are made up of a few words rather than a single word. For successful SEO, it is best to use relevant keywords to build your keyword phrase and have both in your content. A keyword phrase – also known as a keyphrase – should not exceed four words in length, unless you want to use a long-tailed keyword due to your particular business niche. Keywords have larger search volumes than keyphrases but tend to have lots of competition. Keyphrases are more targeted and specefic, increasing the opportunities for optimisation.

Keyword Search and Planner

This is a tool that helps you research what the best keyword is to use in your content or ad campaign. Tools such as UberSuggest or HubSpot provide you will all kinds of useful, detailed information about your keyword or keyphrase, such as Cost Per Click, Domain Authority, Estimated Visits, Keyword Difficulty, Paid Difficulty, Social Shares, and Volume.

Long-tailed Keyword

This is a keyword that is more specific than a usual keyword. Because it is more specific, it is usually longer, such as a question. Long-tailed keywords get less traffic but have a higher click rate over time. They are useful when there’s a lot of competition for the main and most obvious keywords.

Metadata

This is information about the data of your blog post. It includes all information about the post’s author, data of publication, comments, categories and the rest. More particularly, it includes information your web page, such as the title and descriptions that appear in search results. (See Meta Tags)

Meta Description

This is text within your metadata that helps you describe your page in summary form. The meta description length for WordPress is 155 characters characters. IT should contain your keyword/keyphrase. It’s important for SEO because search engines show it in the search results beneath your page’s title when the meta description contains the searched-for phrase.

Organic Results

These are search engine results derived from unpaid traffic. They are also known as SERPs or natural results and are contrasted with paid traffic (online advertising).

Page or H1 Title

This is the title of the blog post or article, the main heading on the page itself. It should contain your keyword, to act as a sign to anyone browsing your website of the content they can expect.

Paid Difficulty (PD)

This is the estimated competition in the paid search. The higher the number, the more competitive the keyword. The PD is given as a figure from zero to 100. (See Cost Per Click)

Permalink

This is the full URL you use for any page or blog post. Permalink is short for permanent link.

Post

This is an entry in your blog and is also called a blog post. There are many ways to maximise the SEO on a single post, such as keywords, headings and subheadings, structure, metadata and meta descriptions, length, readability, links and plugin use.

Readability

This is a feature of some SEO plugins and tools (it may be called something else depending on the tool). The more readable your content is according to this analysis, the better it will do in search results. For example, they will suggest improvements to your content based on factors like length of sentences and paragraphs, use of passive voice and transition words, and subheading distribution (or how you’ve structured your material).

Reader Personas

This is a breakdown of the characteristics of your average blog post reader. Sometimes called User Personas, blog owners often compile them to include age, gender, location, education, industry, position, pain points, interests, concerns and other specifics about their readership. Reader personas help you focus your content plans and keyword research, both as you brainstorm an initial list and as you check your final keyword against persona accuracy.

Search Engine

This is software that carries out internet searches for specific information entered by users. The search results displayed back to the searcher are referred to as SERPs Search Engine Results Pages.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

This is the practice of improving your website to increase the amount of traffic to it, the visibility of relevant searches, and the rank of your content on search engine results pages. It is often called optimisation.

SEO Difficulty (SD)

This is also known as the Keyword Difficulty (KD) or keyword competition. (See Keyword Difficulty)

SEO Plugin

This is a plugin that increases and simplifies the SEO functions for your website. For example, Yoast SEO is a plugin for WordPress that “handles the technical optimization of your site & assists with optimizing your content.”

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

These are the top URLs that rank for certain keywords.

Social Shares

This is the amount of times your content has been shared on social media platforms. It indicates the popularity and total reach of your online content.

SSL Certificate

This is a digital certificate comprising of small data files that provides authentication for a website so that encrypted connection is enabled. SSL (Security Sockets Layer) certificated are a security measure for websites that improves your SEO ranking by due to increased trustworthiness. They also assure visitors that your site is verified and safe from hackers.

Tags

These are words you can use for labelling your content, so that those who have discovered your site already can find blog posts on similar topics. They aren’t necessarily words or phrases you want optimised, although there may be some overlap.

Target Audience

This is the group at which your content or product is aimed. For your blog posts, the target audience is specified in a concrete, hypothetical way in your reader personas. See Reader Personas.

SEO Titles

This is the (blue, clickable) title that the reader sees when scanning through the SERPs, along with the URL and meta description. It is used by the search engine to determine the topic of a page and it plays a vital part in SEO. It must contain your keyword and persuade readers to click through to your page.

Total Clicks

This is a figure that is the sum total of all the recorded clicks for a campaign or page, including multiple clicks by the same users. It is often contrasted with Unique Clicks – the total number of time users clicked on a link or page for the first time.

Total Impressions

The sum total of people to whom your content is displayed in the SERPs, whether it is clicked or not, is referred to as total impressions. It is often contrasted with Reach – the total number of people who view your content.

URL Slug

This is the the part of the URL that comes after the domain extension. To optimise it for SEO purposes, your URL slug should be short and descriptive, contain your keyword, use lowercase letters only, and have as few function words and prepositions as possible.

Volume

This is the number of searches for a particular keyword during a period of time, usually a month. As a rough guide, any keyword with a volume under 300 is considered too infrequent to target.

On Page SEO

The language can be tough to understand. We hope this on page SEO glossary will help you navigate your way better through blog posts and articles you may read elsewhere. If we missed out something important, please let us know in a comment.

If you’d like to make a start with on page SEO and follow our adventures down the rabbit hole, read How to Get Found on Search Engines Without Grinding Eye of Newt or Pricking Your Thumbs. If you simply want to get straight into keyword research, start with [link to Allen’s other LinkedIn blog to be added].

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