10 SEO terms that you need to know

I was doing some research on search engine optimisation (SEO) for a client this week. It occurred to me that if you weren’t au fait with SEO phrases, you’d probably be lost. There is some brilliant information out there, but it won’t be a whole lot of use to you if you’re misinterpreting these key terms. Over time, the SEO lexicon has developed and seems complicated on the surface but is actually pretty straightforward.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 SEO terms – a small glossary of need-to-know words and phrases that will almost definitely pop up during your SEO research. Enjoy!


Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink that you can see.

For example, we released a ‘5 must read SEO tips’ blog a few months back. The anchor text there is ‘5 must read SEO tips’ because it’s the clickable part. I highly recommend you give that blog a read by the way, the guy who wrote it is super clever and very attractive.


Canonical refers to an HTML element that specifies the preferred or true version of a web page. This is important because sites with duplicate content are said to be penalised by Google. Adding the canonical tag tells a search engine that this is the page you would like to be indexed.


A crawl is what happens when a crawler bot or spider reads your website for indexing. The robot quickly scans web pages, following the hyperlinks on every page to produce an indexed version of your site.

Domain Authority (DA)

Domain Authority is a website ranking score developed by MOZ. If you don’t know what MOZ is, it’s one of the leading providers of SEO software. MOZ also runs a cracking blog which is well worth checking out!

DA basically predicts the search engine rankability of your website and is a great way of comparing your ranking strength to a competitor. It is calculated through many ranking factors (too many to mention here) but the quantity and quality of links pointing to your site definitely play a part.

Link Juice

Link juice is a term used to describe the SEO strength of a backlink and the value of the link in terms of web ranking. A backlink from a .gov site will probably have more link juice than a backlink from a brand new website with little to no domain authority.

Link juice can change over time however! If the new website got more domain authority, its link juice could become more valuable.

Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are keywords with three or more phrases. They are usually more specific and unique search terms.

For example, ‘Marketing Agency’ will be a very competitive search term because it is vague and there are lots of marketing agencies in the world. ‘Creative Marketing Agency Altrincham’ is a long-tail keyword, it is more specific and probably less competitive because we are narrowing down on a small location and specifying the type of agency.

Meta data

Meta data is a set of information about other data. In terms of SEO, let’s say your ‘data’ is one of your web pages. We can give search engines information about this page by writing meta data.

There are all kinds meta tags that make up your meta data. These include meta title, description and many more.


Nofollow is an HTML attribute that tells a search engine bot to not follow the link. Only a user can follow the link by clicking the anchor text.

For example, this link to Google will not pass any link juice (see above) over. That’s because I used this piece of code: <a href=”http://www.google.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>


SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. It is the page that is displayed by a search engine in response to a user query.

Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking is like a mixture between bookmarking a web page in your browser and social media. Reddit is probably the most popular example of an SB site.

Social Bookmarking sites allow users to organise and categorise their favourite websites, news stories, images, and videos. Other users can view these bookmarks and add them to their own collection or share them with even more users. For SEO professionals, SB sites can be a backlink goldmine!


I hope you find that useful! If you have any questions or projects involving SEO, please get in touch 🙂

By Jack Hawkins