Now then, if you’re just getting started with everything SEO – it can seem a little daunting.

However, it’s actually quite simple as long as you follow a few simple rules and are able to quickly get to grips with some of the common SEO jargon that is typically thrown around.

I know for a fact that when I first started practicing SEO, the open source resources I had available were limited (which was incredibly frustrating).

These days though, I have managed to develop a very good understanding of the role, resources, pros, cons, dos and don’ts – all of which I will share with you through-out this post.

I should mention that anything I suggest in these posts are simply my own views, so if there is anything you would like to discuss, please do in the comment sections below.

The SEO team here at Gud Ideas have devised a scaled down essential SEO jargon buster that you can utilise as you see fit. Feel free to come and go as you please and share with your friends and colleagues.

Essential SEO Jargon

To get us started, I will go through the basics of SEO, a couple of the most frequently mentioned phrases, what they are and how they impact you, your website and your SEO for your business.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

Believe it or not, despite actually practicing SEO, there are a few so called “professionals” that don’t understand what SEO actually stands for – pretty incredible right?

Search Engine Optimisation is the combination of a variety of white hat SEO best practices implemented by SEO and marketing professionals to increase the visibility, usability and rate of traffic coming to a website through various search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Good SEO will usually include On-Page Optimisation, Off-Page Optimisation, Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, Site Analysis, Link Prospecting and Mobile Friendliness.

White Hat SEO

As you develop your understanding of SEO, you will inevitably come across this phrase. White Hat SEO is what professional SEO companies and individuals use to improve a websites performance and ranking.

In simple terms, these are the legitimate SEO practices that you want to be using on your website which will prevent any Google penalties, which could easily then progress into having your website “blacklisted”. Learn how to create high quality pages with these Google guidelines.

Black Hat SEO

As we mentioned above, White Hat SEO is what you want to be doing. Black Hat SEO is, yep you guessed it – the complete opposite.

Black Hat techniques are rumoured to provide a quicker return for website managers/SEO’s but will eventually damage your sites authority and result in your website getting penalised and even removed from the Google Index.

You can learn more about Black Hat SEO here.

On-Page Optimisation

As you start learning about SEO and how you are going to take over the world, dominating your industry – as you read online guides and watch tutorials, many people will mention On-Page Optimisation but will never actually explain what it is.

On-Page Optimisation is the process of correctly optimising your webpage/website.

To correctly optimise your content you need to make sure that the following areas have been covered.

  • Meta Titles & Descriptions – Include your keywords
  • Friendly URLS – Short and memorable
  • Headings – Use of H1’s, H2’s and even H3’s where necessary. Include your keywords
  • Images – File names, file types and alt text is all completed
  • Keywords – Include them in the first 100 words of your content. Not too repetitive
  • Media – Use images and video to engage your visitors
  • Responsive – Ensure that your content is easily accessible on both mobiles and tablets
  • Linking – Remember to link to useful, relevant external and internal content
  • Site Speed – Increase the loading time of your pages. Learn how to here
  • Social Sharing – Make it easy for visitors to share your content
  • LSI Keywords – Use synonyms for your keywords, saves repeating keywords
  • Quality Content – Post at least 1000 words and add value for your readers

Off-Page Optimisation

Just as you would optimise your content on your website, you need to make sure that you are optimising your awesome content correctly off-site too. Use auditing tools, optimise social accounts and develop top rated trusted reviews.

A good place to start is to run your website through an analytical software that is capable of measuring traffic to your site through social networks. This will highlight whether your businesses social media accounts are optimised correctly.

The most popular social media sites to date include Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Once these accounts are set-up and live, remember to keep them active, post your latest company news, industry updates, charity works and anything that is relevant to you and your business.

Ask your current and previous customers to leave you reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google, and Trust Pilot.

Keyword Research

Exactly what is sounds like in all honesty. This is the process that you go through to identify your most relevant and profitable keywords that you would like to rank for.

You can use free tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to help you identify the keywords related to your business.

Competitor Analysis

If you are just starting out with your SEO, you will need to analyse the competition and see how you can improve on what they are currently doing.

Analysing your competition should include the following.

  • Analysing at least 5 sites that target your keyword(s)
  • Assess between 10-20 offline competitors
  • Survey a selection of previous customers. See who they considered during their purchase
  • Identify industry related associations and costs to gain accreditations
  • Analyse competitor’s on-page optimisation – what are they doing that you don’t?
  • Analyse off-page optimisation – assess the quality of links coming to the site

These are just a few to get you started – as you develop a better understanding of SEO you will be able to complete a more detailed competitive analysis.

Site Analysis/Audit

The process of assessing the quality of your existing site structure and both on and off page optimisation.

Use open-source (free) tools such as Screaming Frog, Page Speed Insights (User Experience Test) and Duplicate Content Scanners to see how you can improve your websites structure, fix errors and correctly optimise your content.

Link Building/Prospecting

The process of developing a “buzz” around your content. Getting links to your content from high quality, relevant websites and industry bloggers.

As you continue to research SEO and understand the SEO jargon that comes with it, you will find that a lot of external sources will say that “link building is key” or “content is king”.

Now I am not saying that they are wrong. In fact – they are right. Building links is crucial to a websites ability to improve on search engines. However, you need to make sure that it is done correctly and in the right way.

Your content should attract natural links (links that require minimal effort and happen naturally).

A good way to get natural links is to share your upcoming content with relevant “fans” of your business/website. Spread your content across social media, utilise email marketing tools and contact relevant bloggers.

Mobile Friendliness

Making your website easily accessible and usable on mobile, desktop and tablet devices.

Your content should be easy to read, load quickly and easy to navigate. Simplicity is key here. Test your websites mobile friendliness here.


Search Engine Results Page. These are the pages that search engines display to you after you have completed a web search. The target for any professional SEO or business is to be on page one of Google.

Some SEO’s may use jargon to explain SERP’s but in simple terms, the first page is the “holy grail” for website owners.

The first page of organic (natural) listings on Google alone take a whopping 90% of clicks.

SEO Jargon Recap

Hopefully by now you have found some of these phrases a little easier to understand. I know exactly what it is like trying to learn SEO and understand the best practices.

The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to do things. If it works for your business, keep doing it (but avoid black hat SEO).

Before I leave you to continue your domination of the web, let’s just have a quick recap of what we have discussed.

This very brief jargon buster for SEO has been designed for those that are new to the industry and want to learn more about the best practices and common phrases.

  • SEO – This stands for Search Engine Optimisation
  • White Hat SEO – The recognised best practices for websites and increasing ranking positions
  • Black Hat SEO – Bad SEO techniques. Results in blacklisting and removal from Google Index
  • On-Page Optimisation – Correctly optimising your content on your website
  • Off-Page Optimisation – Optimising your content externally through social sites and reviews
  • Keyword Research – The process of researching your industry for relevant keywords/phrases
  • Competitor Analysis – Analysing your competitors both online and offline
  • Site Analysis/Audit – Identifying areas to improve on for your content and website
  • Link Building – Identifying opportunities to get a link to your content from an external source
  • Mobile Friendliness – Making sure that your website works on mobile and tablet devices
  • SERP’s – Search Engine Results Pages. What you see after completing a search

I hope you have found this post useful – if so, please feel free to share it with your colleagues and friends.