Search Engine Optimization – 6 terms that help you talk the talk

SEO, SEM, SERPS…you hear these buzzwords (is there such a thing as a buzz acronym?) bandied about.  But what in the world do they mean to you, the website owner?

Here are six important terms to know when optimizing your website for the almighty search engines.

1. Keyword / keyword phrase –  these are the terms web searchers enter when they’re looking for your type of business.  It’s “key” to know what terms they use, not what terms you use to describe your business. This is where keyword research becomes critical.

2. Meta tags – behind the scenes stuff that helps search engines index your pages. Meta tags are placed in the html of a web page and include page titles and descriptions that contain your keywords for that page. The meta description shows up in the search results, so be sure to make the text engaging.  It could mean the difference between a prospect clicking through to your site…or not.

3. SEM – search engine optimization (SEO) + paid search (advertising ) = search engine marketing (SEM). Most search ads are pay-per-click, meaning the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad.

4. SEO – Search engine optimization refers to the on-site techniques that help a page rank higher in search results. This includes optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, headlines and text with unique keyword phrases, making it easier for search engines to correctly index your pages.

5. SERPS – the acronym for Search Engine Results Pages. These are the pages that pop up in Google, Bing or Yahoo when a web user enters their search phrases.  The goal, of course, is to land on the first page as most people look no further.

6.  Anchor text –a descriptive hyperlink  that leads to another page in your site.  These words give visitors – and the search engines – a clue about the subject of the page being linked to. The more descriptive the better, i.e.,  instead of learn more, you might want to make the words our new widget the link to your new product page for an extra bit of Google juice.

Now that you know how to talk the talk, it’s time to walk the walk. Apply these principles to your website and you can look forward to more traffic and more leads.

What words would you add to this list? Please share.

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