SEO Glossary

On this page we have produced an SEO Glossary offering easy to understand explanations of the most common Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) terms.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the collective term for a group of strategies designed to increase a website’s visibility on the major search engines, i.e. Google, Bing and Yahoo! SEO focuses on improving the number of quality visitors to a website via natural/organic search results. By increasing your website rankings and targeted traffic you can, in turn, maximise ad conversion rates and sales, increase your customer base and watch your online community grow.

Search Marketing

A general term for the techniques used to advance website rankings, performance, conversions, etc – in both paid and unpaid results. Search Marketing is a shorter version of the phrase Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which again is used for a wide variety of paid and unpaid marketing strategies. Search Marketing is often used interchangeably in conjunction with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Marketing and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) relate to a combination of paid search marketing and organic SEO, and are often used interchangeably.

SEO Copywriting

A form of web copywriting, i.e. written content on a website that incorporates to some degree keywords that are popular and also are relevant search term queries for that particular subject or product or service. SEO copywriting is vital to a website’s online performance because search engines work via text related queries.

Link Building

Linking between websites is one of the main ways Google and other search engines decide how popular your site is and how it should be ranked. Link popularity i.e. the numbers of quality incoming links to your site can have a very positive effect on your site’s ranking and performance. Building up quality incoming links is achievable and there are a number of ways to do this but you must always follow a White Hat/ethical link building approach at all times.


Cascading Style Sheets – Web code system that allows developers to develop style for a page – colour, font, background, etc in code files that are separate from the main code for the page. Offers great flexibility to web developers and webmasters. Correct usage can have positive impact on site performance.


An abbreviation for the Search Engine Results Pages or Results Page. i.e. the page of results you see when you type a search term into Google or the other search engines like Bing or Yahoo!

Web Analytics

Web Analytics is the analysis and monitoring of online activity such as page views, visitor numbers, search term queries, conversions, visitor’s geographical locations, entrance pages/exit pages, etc. Popular systems include Google Analytics although there are a number of specialist packages available. Works via the inclusion of small pieces of code on your website.


Content Management System – System software which allows website developers to easily add new content and edit existing content on a website as well as make more fundamental changes to a site.

Organic SEO

Organic SEO is a process of Search Engine Optimisation which relates to purely organic methods of helping sites rank and perform better in the natural search engine results, i.e. the non-paid organic search engine listings. The fundamentals of organic SEO are well written and reader friendly content, intelligent keyword analysis and keyword content, elegant design and good standards of coding, as well as user friendly navigation and quality links.

Competitor Analysis

Any SEO or SEM professional will be interested in what your competitors are up to online. Assessing competitors’ online performance is useful because it can reveal SEO & marketing opportunities that may be available to you, including strong keyword choices; and is a way of assessing the current success or failure of your site’s performance. Industry and competitor analysis is vital for developing your own successful SEO or SEM campaign.

Article Marketing

Article marketing is the writing of articles related to industry, product or subject which are then distributed online, often with links back to the originator or targeted site. Such articles can be released through press distribution networks, article exchange sites, community sites, e-zines and blogs. Can be a useful part of a viral marketing campaign and are helpful for attracting new customers, helping with improving branding awareness and link building for SEO.

Digital Marketing

The use of the variety of digital channels that are available to advertisers and marketeers including websites, mobiles, social media, etc through advertising, direct marketing, viral media marketing, social media networking and website optimisation. Creative and business led visual, audio, graphic and written digital marketing content across single or multiple channels can be highly effective and cost-effective. Can include banner ads, microsites, blogs, email newsletters, YouTube marketing and more.

Niche Marketing

Niche marketing has become somewhat of a buzzword in internet marketing and SEO circles in recent years. It rests on the principle that niche goods, services and indeed websites can have great long-term power and sellability with customers who tend to search for and be attracted by niche, unique products and services and subsequently niche advertising. Developing business models and marketing campaigns on this principle can be very effective and cost-effective.

Paid Search

Pay Per Click (PPC) and other forms of online advertising which create search traffic for your site in return for payment, including banner ads and affiliate ads.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Advertising where the advertiser designates targeted keywords which appear on its ads in search engine results. For example, SEO Manchester for a Manchester SEO company. The advertiser pays an agreed fee to the PPC provider every time someone clicks through the ad to your site. Google Adwords is the most popular form of PPC service.

Internet Marketing

Types of marketing that function via the internet. Can include Search Engine Optimisation as well as email newsletters, direct emails, advertising and more. Used interchangeably with the terms ‘online marketing’ and ‘web marketing’.

SEO Keywords

Word or phrases entered into the search engines to find products, services or information. Also words or phrases contained in a website’s written content or included in its copywriting. There are a number of resources which reveal current trends in keyword popularity for any given subject.

Search Engine Algorithms

Methods used by Google and other search engines to decide the rankings of individual websites. One of the main factors in determining ranking popularity is thought to be the number of incoming links a website receives, although increasingly written content also plays a huge part.

Social Networking

On the web social networking has proliferated. Social networking online offers person to person interaction and is seen in a wide variety of online media, including social bookmarking sites, dating sites, blogs, consumer review sites, industry networking sites as well as specific social network sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking sites allow registered users to save and distribute lists of website bookmarks, defined by lists of recommendations and keyword tags.

User Generated Content (UGC)

Web content which is generated by website users/visitors such as blog post comments, forum comments, photo submissions, web articles, etc.

Consumer Generated Media (CGM)

The term Consumer Generated Media is often used for commercial sites to describe user generated forum comments as well as product/company reviews, discussion threads, feedback, etc, etc.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Highly accessible marketing and communications which utilises advertising, PR, direct marketing, research and promotion around community and technological networks online and increasingly designated social media sites online. By encouraging social media networks to promote, foster or take interest in a product or website, business entities can benefit from highly cost-effective and valuable marketing based on trust and participation. Often referred to as Social Media Optimisation (SMO) with specific sub-strands such as Blog Marketing, Facebook Marketing and Twitter Marketing.

White Hat SEO

SEO techniques that follow search engine webmaster guidelines on best practice; i.e. SEO practices that can only have a positive benefit for a website’s performance and will not incur penalties from the search engines such as being downgraded or even blacklisted.

This SEO Glossary was brought to you by Zumm, a creative SEO company offering a full range of SEO and SEM services.

If you have any questions about SEO or search marketing don’t hesitate to contact us.