It may be the buzzword in digital marketing, but SEO terms can leave even the most proficient marketers confused. Here are some terms you need to know in order to get ahead in this area.
Let’s start at the beginning. SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, a marketing strategy that is aimed at growing your ‘organic’ (unpaid) visibility on search engines like Google, Bing and Baidoo. The aim is to do everything you can – technically and via content – to ‘rank’ high on the first page of the search engine, increasing your visibility and hence the likelihood of a click through to your website.
Alt Tags / Alt Text
A search engine robot (also called bots) cannot see the images on your website. It only understands a code called HTML. Alt tags/ Alt text are descriptions of the images on your website in this computer language.
Anchor Text is actual text of a link to a web page. It gives the bots an indication or description of what the linked page is about.
Accelerated Mobile Pages. A recent initiative by Google that is aimed at creating websites and ads that are consistently fast, high-performing and beautiful on all devices and platforms. These pages are designed for mobile and hence given preference on mobile searches when relevant.
Links to your website from other websites. You should aim to get more backlinks websites or bloggers with good page authority to improve your ranking.
Online references to your hotel’s name, address and phone numbers (NAP). Citations from well-established portals such as accommodation associations, travel directories, etc will improve your ranking.
The web address of your site. It is also called URL – Uniform Resource Locator.
Domain Authority / Page Authority
The ability of a page to rank well based on factors such as backlinks, site history, traffic, etc. Higher the authority, better the ranking.
DNS (Domain Name Server)
Think of them as Internet phone books. They maintain a directory of domain name and translate them into ‘IP addresses’ – a way for bots to find your website.
The largest search engine. Most marketing strategies are defined on Google’s ‘algorithms’ (code) because of its reach. Google Analytics is a free tool from Google to understand your website’s traffic and performance. Google Search Console is an application dedicated to understand and improve your SEO.
Most popular and common search terms that can be difficult to rank for owing to high competition. Eg. Airlines.
Headings (H1 to H6)
A brief description of the subject covered by the chosen webpage. They range from H1 to H6; H1 being the most important. Every web page has only one H1 tag, typically the page title or something closely related to it. You should use a keyword you’re targeting in your H1 tag to achieve higher ranking.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
The code of your website. Search engines read your HTML code to understand and rank your website.
When your page is searched by the bots and stored by the search engines.
Links within your own website. They help users and spiders (another term for search bots) to navigate your site and establish a site hierarchy.
At the very core of SEO are keywords, or the words and phrases that a user types in as their query into the search engine. Every page of your website is optimized based on the keywords that are most relevant to you.
The process of acquiring links (or backlinks) from other websites to yours. The more links you get from an authoritative website like a DMO, travel directory or media website, the better your chances are to rank high.
Local listings are online profiles that contain your hotel name, address and phone number (NAP). There are a number of websites that offer free listings, including Yellow Pages, Google+ Local, Yelp, etc. Make sure you’re consistent in your listings. More listings increase your visibility.
Long Tail Keywords
These are two to three words or more phrases that form a search query. More specific and less widely searched, they tend to bring a much more qualified user to your site. Eg. hotel is a more competitive and wide search term while ‘hotel with kids crèche and play area in Auckland’ is very specific.
The information that tells the search bots what your website is all about. It comprises of the meta title, the most important indicator of relevance for the search engine, and meta description that provides more detail. Meta title should include your targeted keyword while the meta data is more to encourage click through – it is the tiny snippet of information displayed below page title in search results.
Name, Address, and Phone Number. It’s a critical factor in off page SEO initiatives as it influences which companies search engines show for local intent searches.
On and off Page SEO
Optimising your own website for content, HTML and other technical requirements is called on-page SEO. It includes using alt tags, meta data, keyword usage etc. Off-page SEO are activities external to your website that help raise its ranking, including backlink acquisition, citations, press releases, local listings, etc.
Page Speed or Load Time
The time taken to fully display the contents of your website. Time to first byte is the time taken for your browser to receive the first byte of information from your web server. Websites with high page load time are penalised by search engines.
Search Engine Results Page is the page displayed by a search engine when a query is typed. It includes ads and organic search results.
These are the index documents that list the pages on your website accessible to crawlers (bots) and users.
Also known as crawlers or bots, they crawl the web, discovering and scanning websites.
The title of a page on your website and the most important search indicator. It includes the keyword you’re targeting.
STAAH is an innovative NZ company creating the perfect solutions for accommodation operators. We have been helping properties understand, control & grow their businesses since 2008. STAAH currently works with more than 4000 properties in 60 countries.