What does it all mean? SEO acronyms explained

SEO Acronyms Explained

Digital marketing acronyms covering SEO,  websites and marketing.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation –  a strategy for enhancing a website to rank higher in search listings on search engines such as Google and Bing. There are three areas to SEO: organic, technical, and local.

Organic SEO

Organic SEO applies to your organic listing on search engines. A big factor in your ranking potential depends on the natural use of focus keywords and semantic keywords on-page. 

Supporting keywords with quality content and an organised structure for indexing makes an impact for organic SEO. Additionally, user engagement and how well your content answers their search queries comes into play here too.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is in reference to the “nuts and bolts” of your website overall. Optimising functionality and shortening load time are two best practices for technical SEO.

When search engine bots crawl areas of the website, crawl errors like broken links, missing H1 tags, missing metadata and misuse of alt tags in images (and many others) affect your domain authority.

Local SEO

Local SEO refers to increasing your site visibility with geographic location as the primary component.

“Near me” searches increase each year. Optimising your website for local SEO helps ensure your customers are able to find your location when they are on the go.

An optimised Google Business Profile page increases your chance of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.

SEO Acronyms Explained

Alt Text

Alternative Text 

Describes images on-page for screen readers and Google Image indexing.

Anchor Text

This is the text that appears highlighted in a hypertext link and that can be clicked to open the target web page.


Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages


Application Programming Interface


The bots are what crawl the web from search engines and can also be referred to as “crawlers” or “spiders”.


Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart

A spam tool that makes commenters prove they are human and not a spam software or computer program. These usually consist of an extra step before a comment is submitted that takes the form of entering the key from a distorted image of numbers and letters.


Content Management System

CMS, like WordPress is a platform that allows for publishing, editing, and modifying webpages within a website.


Conversion Rate Optimisation

Conversion rate optimisation is the process of making changes to your ads, marketing strategies, or website with the goal of turning more viewers or visitors into conversions. What constitutes a “conversion” varies from company to company.


Call to Action

A CTA is an image or line of text that prompts a reader or visitor to take your desired action. This can range from clicking a button, signing up for a newsletter, visiting a different link, and more.


Click Through Rate

A measurement of performance determined by dividing the number of clicks received by the number of impressions received. CTR is tied to keywords, search results, and PPC ads. For example, if someone searches for “Maryland HVAC companies” and they see an ad titled, “New York HVAC Companies,” it is highly unlikely that they will click the (seemingly) irrelevant ad. The PPC advertiser displaying the NY ad for a MD search is going to have a very low CTR associated with his or her ad (because the ad is receiving impressions, but it is not attracting clicks).


Customer Experience Automation


Domain Authority

A search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.


Domain Name Server

Allows a domain name to be translated to an IP address.

Featured Snippets

The featured snippet is the search result box that appears at the very top of the SERP. A featured snippet box will only appear for high-volume searches.


Hypertext Markup Language

HTML is the “markup language” that is used to create and format webpages and websites. It allows browsers to understand what a website should look like.


This is the process of a search engine collecting data for search engine results. Google and other search engines crawl your site with Bots, indexing the content such as text and images, so the webpage can be found after a search query.

IP Address

Stands for internet protocol and is a set of numbers unique to each specific website. Websites live on servers and every device on a network, including the one you are reading this blog post on, has a unique identifier/IP address. Just as you would address a letter to send in the mail, the internet works in a similar fashion with to and from addresses during communication.



Keyword searches with a string of more than three words. Tend to be more specific and with a clear intent. Ex: ‘how to restore a bicycle’ or ‘how much is duct cleaning?’

Semantic keywords

Semantic keywords refer to the intent and the meaning behind a keyword phrase. For example, when someone types a search query into Google, they have intent behind the search. Semantic search tries to uncover what a user intends to find when they type in a particular keyword.

Keyword Stuffing

The overuse of keywords on-page. 

Local Pack

This is the first three business listings that appear when a user conducts a local search (like a “near me” query).


Landing Page Optimisation

Landing page optimization is a broader form of CRO that focuses on improving the performance of a landing page in terms of visits, conversions, and sales.


Local Search Engine Optimisation

Local SEO is the process of optimising your website for local search results, increasing your site’s visibility for geographically related or targeted searches.


Latent Semantic Indexing

Latent semantic indexing (also referred to as Latent Semantic Analysis) is a method of analysing a set of documents in order to discover statistical co-occurrences of words that appear together which then give insights into the topics of those words and documents.


Name Address Phone Number

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number and is critical for businesses hoping to rank well for LSEO. Google pulls the NAP listings from many online directories, sources, and citations when determining which companies to list for geo-specific searches. Consistent NAP is crucial.


Stands for page authority. Similar to DA (domain authority), page authority is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). Page Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.


Refers to the “people also ask” box that is featured on SERPs with a list of common questions in relation to the query with suggested answers.



Online advertisers bid on keywords for paid search results and pay a fee every time an ad is clicked by a searcher. PPC is complementary to SEO tactics.



PageRank is an algorithm used by Google to rank websites in their SERPs. According to Google, PageRank is determined by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine the importance and value of that website (under the assumption that more links to a webpage signals more importance and authority).


This is the “http” or “https” (preferred) that appears right before the domain name of a website. The “s” means a site is securely transferred between the server and browser. If your site isn’t secure, follow the HTTPs steps here or work with a web developer to make it secure.


Keywords entered into a search bar.


Sends a user from one URL to another. Website owners will often use a redirect when they decide to rename a page or combine content from two pages into one, thus deleting one page, but forcing the old url to redirect to the new url. Ex: yourdomain.com/service redirects to yourdomain.com/new-service. This is helpful for repeat visitors who have saved a particular page as a favorite in their browser. This is also a good practice to avoid showing a 404 or ‘Page Not Found’ after being indexed.


Also known as a canonical tag, this is a piece of code that communicates to a search engine which webpage is an original and which is a duplicate. This is implemented to avoid duplicate content crawl errors.


Your robot.txt file tells search engine robots how to crawl and index your website. It prioritises pages, plus it says which pages or files web crawlers can or can’t request from your site.


Return on Investment

ROI is the amount you make from a given marketing effort (PPC, SEO, direct mailer, etc.) compared to the amount spent on that effort. The higher your ROI, the more successful that marketing effort.


Software as a service

A software distribution model in which a cloud provider hosts applications and makes them available to end users over the internet


Structured code that provides additional information about content to search engines.


Search Engine

A search engine is an online tool that is used for navigational, informational, or transactions searches to find other webpages. The top players in the search engine market are Google and Bing.


Search Engine Optimisation

The process of changing your website’s code, structure, on-page, and off-page content in a way that allows search engines to more easily find, index, and rank your site on a SERP relative to competitors. SEO is typically thought of as an organic or unpaid search engine marketing strategy.


Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing encompasses all methods that attempt to increase a website’s online presence and search engine real estate—including SEO (more on that later) and PPC campaigns.


Search Engine Results Page

The SERP is the listings provided by Google or another search engine for a given search term or phrase. SERP can include organic, paid, local, mapped, and image listings to better provide the searcher with exactly they are looking for.

Status Codes

1xx Status Codes: Information Request
2xx Status Codes: Success
3xx Status Codes: Redirection
4xx Status Codes: Client Error
5xx Status Codes: Server Error

Requests for a page that were either successful or unsuccessful.

Classes of status codes include: 2xx, 4xx, and 5xx. 2xx status codes means the request for a page was successful. 4xx means there was an error (404 Not Found). 5xx means the server couldn’t perform a request.

Title Tag

Also known as page title, this is an HTML title element for a webpage. The title of this page is ‘What does it all mean? SEO acronyms explained’.


Uniform Resource Locators

Mostly known as a URL, this acronym basically means a web address. It is a string of characters that lets your computer know where to go on the server to find that specific webpage.


User Experience

From an online marketing standpoint, UX is how a user interacts with and experiences your website. Does it take a long time to load the page? Are they are to navigate through your site? Do they find the information from the body copy as suggested within the headings?

Voice Search

A way of searching with voice commands and questions. The featured snippet or first search result is what is delivered to the searcher.


Extensible Markup Language


XML Sitemap

This provides all of your site’s URLs and overall site structure for indexing