SEO Definitions

The SEO Definitions Every Publisher Should Know

Outrank the competition by learning these fundamental SEO definitions

Just because you know the value of search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t mean you understand the fundamental principles — or the complicated jargon.

If you listen to SEO pros, it can sometimes sound like they’re speaking a different language. SEO, organic traffic, clickthrough rates, SEM, PPC, audits … the list of terms you’re likely to hear in a conversation about SEO goes on and on.

Search engine optimization involves a whole lot more than just picking a few keywords and sprinkling them throughout your content. Many of the fundamental principles of SEO have changed in the past few years. With each update to Google’s algorithm, SEO strategy will likely evolve even more. The search strategies that publishers are using with success in 2021 are different from those in 2010. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of search optimization or a newbie who is just getting started, it’s always a good idea to stay up on the latest strategies and SEO definitions.

Here are the key SEO definitions that every digital publisher should know:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If there’s one SEO definition you should know, it’s this one. SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It refers to the strategies or techniques that publishers use to help their websites rank on Google. When it’s done right, SEO makes a website more visible to people searching on Google, Bing, and other top search engines.

Given that search algorithms are always changing, it isn’t easy to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO definitions or best practices. Thankfully, a number of WordPress plugins are available to publishers who want to automatically optimize their websites for search without spending hours each week manually working on SEO strategy. (To learn about the best SEO plugins for WordPress websites, click here.)

2. SERPs

SERPs stands for search engine results pages. The SERP is the page that a search engine, like Google or Bing, returns when a user conducts a basic web search. Many publishers will track which page of results their links appear on. SERPs can include both organic results and paid search results.

Having your link show up on the first page of SERPs is the goal, so you will want to keep a close eye on how your webpages are performing and trending over time.

3. Keyword Research

Let’s say you’re a publisher who wants his website to rank on the first page of search results (SERPs). The first thing you want to do is integrate targeted keywords into your content. How do you know which keywords to target? The answer is by conducting keyword research.

Keyword research involves looking up popular search terms (the phrases or words people are typing into Google) and then including them in your website content and meta data. Keyword research still has its place in the digital publisher’s playbook, even though it does look different today than a decade ago. Most publishers these days take a sophisticated approach to keyword research, using tools designed especially for this purpose. Some of the most well-known free keyword research tools are Moz’s Keyword Explorer and the Keyword Magic Tool: Keyword Generator by Semrush.

4. PPC

Pay-per-click ads are commonly referenced as PPC. PPC is an advertising model where the advertiser pays the publisher (Google) each time an ad is clicked on. In the context of SEO definitions, it’s important to know that PPC ads usually display on top of organic results in the SERPs. As a result, digital publishers should take PPC ads into account as they design and implement their SEO strategies.

5. Organic Search

When we talk about organic search, we’re talking about non-paid search results. When someone visits Google, types in a keyword or phrase, and clicks on a link in the SERPs, they are conducting an organic search. Organic search is also known as natural search. Publishers do not pay for their websites to rank in organic search. If you want your website to show up on the first page of organic search results, the best way to achieve that is with a solid SEO strategy.

6. Topics

We all know what a topic is. It’s a subject, or a matter dealt with in a text, discourse, or conversation. When we talk about SEO definitions, a topic is whatever an article or a piece of content is about. The keywords for any article should be related to the topic. When your keywords are closely aligned with the topic, they fit in naturally. Understanding your topic, and the keywords that are relevant to that topic, is important if you want to optimize your webpage for search.

7. Direct Traffic

Some visitors arrive at your website through a search platform like Google or Bing or a social media channel like Facebook. Others type in your URL directly. Those visitors are what’s known as direct traffic. Direct traffic increases your page authority and it creates more opportunities to turn visitors into paying subscribers.

To learn even more about the latest SEO strategies for digital publishers, contact Web Publisher PRO.