6 Key SEO Terms Defined in Less Than 10 Minutes

Many times business owners come into their meeting with an SEO Manager, feeling as if they are lost in a muddle of technical terminology. This guide is designed to orienteer you through the dark and scary unknowns by broadening your Search Engine Optimization vocabulary.

The Basic SEO Terms:


A link is a connection created between two websites or internally on your website. Think of sausage links, each sausage is connected to another by a knot. Links tie your site to others and your pages to other pages within your website.

Internal Links

An internal link means that you have one page of your site that directs users to another page. An example of this would be a shopping cart page that links to the checkout or a blog article that links to how they can contact your offices. Developing relevant, quality internal links is important.

If you create a spiderweb of links that don’t help a user, Google will rank you low and could consider you a spam site. (i.e. If you say click here to learn more about mountain hiking and link to a page about sunscreen, users will not be very happy and neither will Google.)

Creating pages with helpful information that link to more pages with helpful information is called inbound marketing. The more people read your helpful content, the more they trust you. This creates conversions to sales.

External Links

Links can be “earned” from other sites to refer traffic to your site. This can be done in the following way, a blogger from examplehappyhats.com says how much she loves using one of your products because it matches her hat. She adds a link to your website on her blog page. This is an earned link. You earned it from having a quality product that people enjoy.

Links to your site from other sites can increase your credibility with Google. If a reputable site mentions you, Google will strengthen your site’s reputation by ranking you higher in search results. Gaining external links is known as link building.

Sites must be relevant to your company and add value to the user to actually increase ranking. In the past, many businesses would try to link to their site in the comments section of a blog post to increase their rankings. This however, does not work anymore, and Google can flag your site as spam.


Your rank refers to your scoring ability on Google’s search criteria. Meaning if you have a high rank, you will be at the top of the search page. If you have a low rank, you might not show up in very many Google searches (even for your company name).


A keyword is a word focus for a specific page or series of pages by creating helpful content to offer users that is relevant to the focus keyword.

Some keywords are almost impossible to rank for nationally due to the high difficulty score. This is because there are many sites all fighting to be on the top of the search results. The competition’s websites might have many more pages than you, have been on the web longer, have more people linking to them, or have more helpful information than you do. This happens when you search for a word such as shoes.

If you are a shoe company, and you type in the word shoes, you cannot expect to be at the top of the list with a new website due to the high competition for this keyword. There is such a thing as long-tail keywords, however, that can help you get around this issue.

Long-Tail Keywords

A long-tail keyword is a string of keywords pointing to a very specific product or service. As a small business, I might not be able to rank for shoes, but I might be able to rank for brown tweed shoes with zebra stripes. (“Which happen to be pretty in style right now,” said no one, ever.)

Knowing what specific services or products your company offers will help you develop long tail keywords to increase your search-ability.