FAQ – SEO Dictionary

SEO Dictionary

SEO Feedback’s SEO Dictionary provides answers to frequently asked questions within the world of SEO. You will find explanations on the most common words and expressions, which you will encounter when working with SEO optimization on your website.


1. What is a search engine?

A search engine is a tool that enables internet users to find what they are looking for. There are a wide variety of search engines, e.g. Bing, Yahoo, YouTube and the largest – and most well-known – search engine Google.

2. What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

When internet users search for content on the internet, they will most often click on the pages located at the top of the search results page. Therefore, it is relevant for companies to rank as high as possible. This is done by optimizing your page using a variety of tools and adjustments. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization affects the ranking of the organic search results, which are placed just below the paid ads on a search results page.

3. What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO is all the work regarding your website: text, images, videos, page titles, meta descriptions etc. In other words, On-Page SEO is the work to optimize the structure and content on your website in order to make it readable for the search engines.

4. What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO is the optimization outside of your own website. For example,  if other websites link to your website (called backlinks). The aim of Off-Page SEO is to strengthen the popularity and credibility of your website.

5. What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO is about improving all the technical elements that affect your website. Technical SEO is mainly about making your website easy for the search engines to crawl. This can be done by building the website’s structure so it is easy to navigate, e.g. by using H-headings. Also, the load time and the use of structured data on the website are important when working with technical SEO.

6. What is a keyword?

Keywords are the words that users enter when making a search query on a search engine. Thus, these words are relevant for your website as these are the keywords that you would like to be found on. Therefore, it is important to start by researching which keywords your target audience uses, so you know which keywords to incorporate into your website content.

7. What is a short tail keyword?

Short tail keywords are short, generic keywords that often have many searches and thus more competition. Here, the user does not necessarily have an expressed need and consequently may be further from a purchase. An example might be “running shoes lady”.

8. What is a long tail keyword?

Long tail keywords are longer, more precise keywords and phrases, which often have fewer searches and a lower competition. In most cases, the user will have an expressed need and therefore may be closer to a purchase. An example might be “Adidas ultraboost running shoes lady”.

9. What is organic traffic?

Organic traffic is the visitors that exclusively come from organic search results – meaning that it is not a paid ad. The ranking of the organic search results is determined by the search engine algorithm and its aim to match the users’ search intent.

10. What is search engine marketing?

At the top of the page of the search results, you will find the paid search ads. With paid search ads, advertisers pay for a position at the top of the search results page. The ads are similar to the organic search results, but they are marked with “ad”, so users know it is a paid ad. As a business, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Therefore, the paid ads are also called “Pay-Per-Click” (PPC).

11. What is SERP (Search Engine Result Page)?

SERP is an abbreviation of Search Engine Result Page. Thus, SERP is the pages of search results that appear when users enter a search query in a search engine.

12. What is a HTML-tag?

HTML is an abbreviation of Hypertext Markup Language and is the “language” that forms the frame of your website. A “tag” can be understood as the word of the HTML language, and it helps to tell your web browser how the content on your website should be displayed. For example, if you are writing a headline, use an HTML tag to indicate a headline on the page.

13. What is a page title?

A page title, also called meta title or SEO meta title, is an HTML tag that specifies the title of your page. It is the text that appears as the headline in the list of search results and from which the reader can enter your website. It is important that your page title – along with your meta description – clearly describes the content of your page so the reader knows what to expect when clicking to your website.

14. What is a meta description?

A meta description is the text just below the page title in the search results. Meta descriptions help to capture the attention of users and create interest in your website so the users click into your page rather than your competitors’ pages.

15. What are H-headings?

An H-heading is an HTML tag that indicates that a word or a phrase on your website is a heading. H-headings help to structure and create a hierarchy on your page so the users and search engines are able to decode the structure of the page. H-headings come in different sizes from H1 up to H6. H1 is the most important HTML tag and the main heading for your landing page. Therefore, you should only use one H1 heading on your page. It is important that you include the primary keyword for the landing page in the H1 heading to give the users and search engines an indication of what the page is about.

After the H1 heading comes H2, which can be defined as a subheading. Feel free to use several H2 headings to create clarity about the content of the page. H2 headings are followed by H3, H4, H5 and H6. These headings can create structure for the page, however H4-H6 headings are rarely used.

16. What are ALT tags?

An ALT tag is used to explain the subject of an image. The ALT tag helps search engines understand what the images on your website contain. Therefore, it is important to name the images you use on your website.

17. What are backlinks?

When other pages link to your page, it is called backlinks. Relevant links to your page give the search engines a signal that your content is valuable and that your website is worth visiting. In other words, backlinks act as a recommendation of your website. It is important that the links which link to your website are relevant and stem from credible websites with authority and relevance to your website and your business.

18. What is a responsive design?

A responsive design means that your website adapts to the screen size of the used device. If your website is optimized for impressions on all devices, it will increase the usability and visitors will get a good experience no matter what device they are using when visiting your website. A responsive design is essential, as Google indexes your website based on the mobile version of the page. So, Google uses the mobile version of your page to analyze the content of the page when deciding on your website’s ranking in the search results.

19. What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate shows how many people visit your website and leave it immediately without taking any action such as clicking on a link, making a purchase or filling out a form. A high bounce rate gives a signal to the search engines that the content on your site is not relevant to the users. Conversely, a low bounce rate indicates that your website was relevant to visitors. However, a high bounce rate is not always considered a bad thing. It can also be a sign that users found exactly what they were looking for and therefore did not need to click any further. Here, it may be worth looking at how much time visitors spend on the specific page.

20. What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content is copied content from another source. This sends a signal to search engines that your content is not unique – thus, you should avoid duplicate content. Duplicate content can also occur internally on your own pages, which is considered a negative thing by the search engines. It is important to create unique content on your pages, in your page titles, meta descriptions, etc., so the search engines know what your pages and your content are specifically about.