SEO terms, acronyms, and jargon for beginners - white letters on a purple background

Organic SEO terms for beginners

How well do you know your organic SEO terms? Can you wax lyrical on the differences between PA and DA?

If we lost you at SEO, then this is the article for you. We’ll dig into the jargon and unearth you some nuggets so that you can understand the essential of organic search engine optimisation.

Top organic SEO terms you need to know

Just like any field of work SEO has its own special terms, acronyms, and jargon that can be quite bewildering on first contact.

In this article we’ve focused on organic search optimisation – that means unpaid search placement as opposed to sponsored results. So terms like SEM, PPC, and CPC will have to wait for another time.

For now, here are our top organic SEO terms to help you sound like an SEO pro.

1. SEO = Search Engine Optimisation

Let’s start at the very beginning… SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Or Search Engine Optimization if you’re from over the water.

SEO is the practice of actively increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Every search engine sends bots to “read” and analyse the content on your website. So Search Engine Optimisation is the art and science of tailoring your online presence to the algorithms of search engines.

In spite of the focus on search engines, the true essence of SEO is all about humans and the information they’re looking for online. It’s about understanding what real people are searching for, the answers they seek, the words they use, and the type of content they wish to consume.

Knowing the ins and outs of SEO is essential for building your online visibility and an essential part of your digital content marketing strategy.

2. SERP = Search Engine Results Page

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. That’s the page you see after your type your query into your preferred search engine.

This is the visibility you’re looking for when you optimise your website content for SEO. The higher your page appears on SERPs, the more likely it is to get the attention and clicks of your customers.

Until fairly recently, the general SEO measure of success was a page 1 SERP placement. Anything after the first page of results was unlikely to get you any clicks at all.

SERPs have change significantly since the early days of SEO however. Most search engines have now ditched pagination for continuous scroll, added shopping results for ecommerce searches, and include more and more sponsored placements woven into the organic results.

The measure of success is now “above the fold” to use and old-media term, or first screenful for people who have never seen a newspaper.

3. EEAT = Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness

EEAT stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a Google-specific term that encourages content authors to produce genuinely useful content.

While it isn’t a ranking factor in and of itself, EEAT does form part of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG) – bonus SEO term! So it’s well worth knowing about EEAT and keeping it in mind when you’re creating quality content for your website.

4. DA & PA = Domain Authority & Page Authority

DA stands for Domain Authority and PA stands for Page Authority. It’s a score from 1-100 that aims to predict how likely your website domain or page is to rank on SERPs.

Important note: DA and PA are not a measures used by Google or any other search engine to rank websites. The terms were coined by Moz and are based on their algorithms. The Moz algorithms use their link explorer data to analyse your website and highlight opportunities for improvement.

There are many free DA/PA tools online. Check your domain authority and page authority on the Moz website.

5. GA = Google Analytics

Ooh data! Who doesn’t love data? If you’re not measuring your website traffic and analysing the data, you’ll never know if your SEO activity is succeeding. Gathering, understanding, and utilising data is a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy.

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GA stands for Google Analytics. This is probably the most commonly used website traffic analytics platform around. It pretty much does what it says on the tin: it’s a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

Use this tool to track and report on your website traffic, gain insights into user behaviour, measure content effectiveness, and analyse website performance. It’s essential for any SEO strategy.

6. GSC = Google Search Console

GSC (Google Search Console) is another free web service provided by Google. Google Search Console is a platform which allows website owners to get data about the indexing status, search terms, and visibility of their websites on Google.

GSC data tracks the search traffic and search performance for your site. It can help you understand how Google views your site and optimises its presence in search results.

7. KPI = Key Performance Indicator

While we’re talking data, let’s look at your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). This isn’t and SEO-specific term – it’s been around for longer than SEO – but it’s a key part of any marketing planning. If you don’t know where you’re heading, how will you know when you get there?

Your KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively your business is achieving its objectives. Your primary SEO KPI is most likely going to be your SERP ranking for your chosen keywords / key phrases.

8. CTR = Click-Through Rate

Our last SEO acronym is CTR which stands for Click-Through Rate. This is a ratio that calculates how often people who see your website actually take action and click on the link.

This term might be familiar from your GSC and GA reports. You’ll see CTR at the top of your Google Search Console performance report as a calculation of clicks divided by impressions. It’s a broad measure of success because it indicates that your content is interesting enough for someone to take action and find out more.

Your job is to keep them on your website and persuade them to take the next step to buy a product from your ecommerce store or generate a lead for your service.

Wrapping up organic SEO terms

Like any area of expertise, search engine optimisation is rich with its own (sometimes seemingly impenetrable) language. We’ve covered just a handful of examples here that relate to organic SEO. Understanding these terms is crucial for anyone involved in digital marketing or website management.

Arming yourself with this knowledge will help you have more meaningful conversations with your SEO provider, and put you well on your way to conquering the SEO world. But never forget that the purpose of your website is to communicate with human people: your customers and clients. Over-optimising for the machines is a mistake. Always speak to your customer and their needs.

If you’re still unsure how to get started with organic SEO, get in touch for a no-obligation discussion. We love to talk SEO!