Warning! This article is a little more technical than our usual posts. If this SEO glossary leaves you with more questions, feel free to get in touch with our in-house SEO experts to clarify any definitions.
We know that there are a lot of technical SEO terms that are used regularly in our monthly reports and meetings. So, we thought an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) glossary would be a handy tool that you can use to check just what we are talking about when we are discussing your website's SEO. Whether it is your meta-descriptions that need extending or your alt tags that are missing – you will know exactly where to look.
Meta Descriptions and Meta Titles
Meta-descriptions are used on search engines to engage with users and inform them of the page\'s content before they visit the website. Think about when you search on Google, most results have a little preview of information about the website pages. These descriptions should be unique to each page, be between 155 and 160 characters, and contain a clear call to action to encourage user engagement.
Title Tags are the first element that a search engine crawler receives when they land on a page, and should inform the crawler of the page content, within a 60 character limit. They are the title that you will see in the list of search results.
Search Engine Crawler
A crawler (also known as a spider or bot) is a piece of software that search engines use to search the web and gather information to rank different websites. Providing search engine crawlers with all the information they are looking for, such as page titles and meta descriptions, significantly improves a website\'s search engine ranking.
After the page title, the search engine crawler will crawl the Heading tags for information about the page’s content. A Heading tag should be found on every website.
Alt tags allow you to add a description to an image. Search engine crawlers cannot see images, they rely on alt tags to gauge the relevance of an image to a search query. So, the better the image description, the more likely the image is to appear as a relevant search result. Alt tags are also used by screen readers to provide context for visually impaired users.
A sitemap acts as a contents page for search engine crawlers. This is a file where you can show the search engine crawler a list of the live URLs of a site, allowing the search engines to crawl your site more intelligently. Search engine crawlers will use the sitemap to navigate around your site.
Redirects often need to be used when a page is removed and you need to supply a relevant page for your user. When a redirect is implemented, it should be from one page to another relevant page. A successful redirect is barely noticeable.
Congratulations on making it to the end! We hope that this glossary will help to guide you through some key terminology. If you would like to find out more about the SEO services that we offer, or just need some more information about these terms, get in touch with our digital experts.