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Basic SEO Terms Explained

Anyone in the search engine optimisation (SEO) field knows marketers use what can seem like a never-ending glossary of terms and abbreviations. It feels daunting at first, but having a comprehensive understanding of the most common terms is an essential building block to a career in SEO.

So whether you just started learning about SEO or are looking at a potential career in the area, below is the must-know vocabulary that you will come across while optimising any website and improving site traffic on Google.

SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page)

SERP is that first page shown to you after completing a search query. Normally, the page contains 10 results that are a mix of paid and organic. Ads are found at the top and then come the organic search results.


A file, normally in XML format, that lists your site's most important pages. This 'roadmap' tells search engines how to reach the content on your site. This is most important for sites with hundreds of pages, poor internal linking or frequent content changes.

Alt Text

The text description or tag of the photos on your site. When images are unable to load, your users will see the Alt text. Adding Alt text can increase your site accessibility and help search engine crawlers accurately index your photos.

Anchor Text

Also known as a link title, it is the clickable text that is hyperlinked. Make the most of your anchor text by straying from generic words and using keywords that communicate the topic of your webpage to search engines.


The discovery process in which search engines send out bots to find new content and rank your page. A page that is often updated gets crawled more than more static pages.


This refers to a site’s position in a search engine results page. Page speed, mobile optimisation, and links are some examples of ranking factors that influence your position.


Essentially, a link from one site to another. Google uses them to measure your site’s value and connection to other high-quality pages. A large number of backlinks means better search engine rankings.

Long-tail keywords

These are the longer, more specific versions of the typical keywords. These are phrases that your visitors are most likely to search when they are closer to a point of purchase. When used correctly, they drive a lot of high-converting traffic to your site.

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