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SEO Glossary from Austin SEO Company Semantic Advantage, Inc.

AdWords -- Google search engine marketing (PPC) program.  Includes keyword evaluation and selection tools, ad groups and bid management system.

Alt Image Tag -- text you can associate with a web page graphic image.  More descriptive than cryptic image filenames, and generally good for SEO to include your keywords in Alt Image Tags.

Anchor Text -- words on a web page which are highlighted (usually in blue and underlined) to indicate a hyperlink to another web page.  The target page should contain content about the topic indicated by the anchor text.

Backlink (also called In-link)-- a link from another website to yours.  Search engines give weight to the quantity and quality of backlinks in determining the search rankings.

Beacon -- also known as a 'pixel' or 'bug', this is a code placed on a web page to track a visitors actions.  The beacon communicates user actions back to the advertiser to assist with conversion analysis, navigation diagnosis and website enhancement generally.

Click Through Rate (CTR) -- percentage of times readers click on a link presented on a web page or ad on a search results page.  Higher click through rates indicate good content, good value propositions and well written ad.

Content Farm -- an organization or website which generates Content Spam.  Frequently these hire poorly paid freelance writers to generate large quantities of keyword-laden content.

Content Spam -- large quantities of content written solely for enhancing search rankings.

Cost Per Action (CPA) -- the amount an advertiser pays the search engine company eah time a visitor performs a specified action (e.g., signing up for a newsletter, downloading a white paper, requesting a sales call).

Cost Per Click (CPC) -- also known as PPA (for Pay Per Action) the amount the advertiser pays the search engine each time a visitor clicks on an the advertiser's ad.  See also PPC program.

Cost Per Impression (CPI) -- the average amount the advertiser pays the search engine each time the advertiser's ad is displayed.  A more common metric is Cost Per Mille (CPM) -- the average amount paid for 1000 impressions.

Cost Per Lead (CPL) -- the amount the advertiser pays the search engine platform for a lead (a conversion action specified in advance).

Dynamic Rotation -- the process of periodically replacing ads with alternates chosen from an established pool of ads.  There are software applications which can do this automatically, at a frequency specified by the advertiser.  Dynamic Rotation is used to compare the effectiveness of alternate ad formulations in A/B or multivariate testing, and is also beneficial in maintaining fresh ad copy.

Exact Match -- one of the three Matching Options permitted in organic search and PPC programs.  Exact Match instructs the search engine to find content (or SEM ads) using the exact words (no more, no less, in the exact order) which were entered into the search engine.

Google -- the most popular search engine, with an estimated market share of over 65%.  Google also offers the Google AdWords program for PPC ads, and the AdSense for hosting Google PPC ads.  Google's dominance in search makes it the primary target of SEO companies and SEM advertisers.

Google Analytics -- a free web analytics service provided by Google.  Provides data on historical # of website visitors, page views, preferred content, visitor geography, connection speed and browser type.  Very useful in SEO and SEM, enables analysis of visitor behavior and diagnosis of search engine optimization and website navigation issues.

Heading Tag -- HTML tag which defines a page or section heading.  Some search engines give text (and particularly keywords) found in heading tags more weight, so these have historically been used in attempts to enhance SEO.

Impressions -- the number of times an advertisement is displayed to search results viewers.  This is an important metric in PPC programsSee also CPM and CPI.

In-link (also called Backlink) -- a hyperlink that points toward your website.  See also Out-link.

Internet Marketing -- Broad category of online marketing activities including website development and search engine optimization, online advertising including search engine marketing, email marketing and various kinds of social marketing.  Austin Internet marketing is attracting an increasing share of resources and advertising dollars from traditional media like print, television, radio, billboards and trade shows.

JavaScript -- software program written in the Java programming language.  Search engines can not execute JavaScript; thus any content or navigation implemented via JavaScript can not be read or indexed by the search engines - bad for SEO.

Keyword -- a word or phrase entered into a search engine query -- or the word or phrase which summarizes the content of a web page, display ad or PPC ad.  Website developers and SEO practitioners try to use keywords which precisely describe their pages - and which visitors frequently enter into search engines.

Landing Page -- a website page created as the target of a link from a PPC ad, display ad or web page text.  Ideally the landing page should  contain information and keywords that correspond to the anchor text in the link and content of the ad and referring page.

Link (or Hyperlink) -- a path from one web page to another that can be accessed by clicking on the anchor text, which is usually colored blue and underlined.

Link Farm -- a company or website that exists solely for the purpose of providing SEO- and SEM-enhancing links to other websites, usually for a fee.  Link farm websites typically have dozens (or even hundreds) of links per page.  Google, Bing and Yahoo have active programs to identify link farms and discount the value of these links in their search results.

Link Spam -- Blog or forum posts which are made for the purpose o generating backlinks, in an attempt to enhance search rankings. 

Meta Tags -- Invisible HTML codes which tell web browsers how to display web pages.  Meta Tags also tell web crawlers and search spiders how to navigate websites, and thus are important to SEO.

Negative Keyword -- instruction to a search engine to exclude a given keyword from the search results.  Negative keywords are used in PPC to exclude ambiguous search  results, and thus reduce the frequency and cost of erroneous clicks.

Online Marketing (also called Internet Marketing or Web Marketing) -- any marketing done via an online medium.  Includes website marketing, paid online display advertising, PPC advertising, email marketing, social marketing via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

On-Page SEO -- search engine optimization methods which involve enhancing a websites content, structure, navigation and metatags.

Off-Page SEO -- search engine optimizations that do not entail modifying the website itself.  Most off-page SEO involves the development of links to and from the website.

Organic Search (also called Natural Search) -- refers to search engine results which come from non-paid sources.

Out-link -- a link that points from your website to another website.

PageRank -- a term initiated by Google to grade the value of a link from a given web page.  PageRank scores range from 0 (very weak) to 10 (very strong).  Web pages with high PageRank do well in the SERPs, and also provide the highest quality backlinks.  See also WebRank.

Referring Page -- web page containing a hyperlink.  The page this link points to is called the Target Page.

ROAS Return On Ad Spend -- the payback (increased sales or profits) resulting from PPC or display advertising expenditures in a SEM program.  ROAS is usually expressed as a percentage = increased sales/advertising expense.

SEM Search Engine Marketing -- Paid search advertising in which the advertiser places ads on the search engine results pages.  The most popular SEM vehicles are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Bing Search Advertising.  See also PPC.

Semantic Advantage -- Austin online marketing company specializing in SEO, SEM and Social Marketing. 

SEO Search Engine Optimization -- the process of increasing the search ranking of a website (or website page) for specific keywords.  SEO services include keyword research and selection, website structuring to facilitate web crawling, specification of meta tags, content development to increase search rankings, copyrighting and social media marketing.

SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) -- the output of search engines, displayed on a computer screen.

Sitemap -- a structured list of website pages which reflects the connectivity among the pages.  Search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing utilize sitemaps to navigate websites, and providing a sitemap (especially in XML form) simplifies the process, enhancing SEO.

Social Marketing -- marketing which utilizes blogging and other user-generated content.  Specifically applies to marketing done via social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  Social marketing is based on the realization that customers prefer to obtain information about products and services from other customers, rather than vendors or manufacturers.

Title Tag -- HTML tag which defines the text that will appear in the title of the web page.  Search engines give a lot of weight to Title Tags, and placing keywords in the Title Tag is beneficial to SEO.

User-Generated Content -- website content which is created by visitors (as opposed to the website developer).  Fresh content is highly valued by search engines (thus important for SEO), and user-generated content provides a low-cost way to obtain fresh content.  The most common examples of user-generated content are comments to an article or blog.

WebRank -- a metric developed by Yahoo! to measure the authority and popularity of a web page.  See also Google PageRank.

Yahoo! -- one of the most popular search engines and provider of the Yahoo! Search Marketing service for PPC campaigns.  Yahoo! also maintains a large business directory, and provides many online services including Yahoo Finance, Yahoo! Groups Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Maps.  Yahoo! Dating (formerly called Yahoo! Personals) is now part of Match.com, and Yahoo! HotJobs is now incorporated into Monster.com.


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