SEO Vocabulary is a much needed thing. I have discovered this the hard way when explaining things over and over to clients, and often the exact same thing to all the different clients. In fact, you probably are a client of mine (or should be) if you are reading this right now. Anyway, this “cheat sheet” of sorts will hopefully help you understand what I am meaning when I say your ROI will be greater if you decrease your average CPC, increase your CTR, which we could do if we optimise the long-tail keywords generated through Analytics data by building out landing pages to improve our conversions. But only if we get the funnel right, by working on our UX, which the dev can help with when he improves our page speed which has a bad latency as the CDN isn’t performing.
No-one likes all this jargon, least of all us SEO types. That is why I like to use gardening metaphors, but when I send an invoice it says “SEO work” and then I worry you ask “R10k for your compost!?” and then I need to direct you to this blog post…
So, without further ado, vocabulary time!
[Just pretend you are in Grade 4 again and I am the teacher you had a crush on and will do anything for]
Campaign. One of the first things you do in Google Ads is set up a campaign. There is no perfect way to do this but it helps you to organise each part of your paid marketing efforts later on to give it some careful thought. You may want to group it by start date (eg. Sept 2017), or geographic location (eg. UK, or Western Cape), or the end product trying to be sold (eg. shoes) From here you then set up your Ad groups, and keywords targeted.
Ad Group. Each thing you advertise will have its own Ad group. So an advert (filled with details on the product or service you are selling), and your url, your benefits etc etc. You want to always create two or three to run concurrently and then choose to keep the one that performs best. Altered every so often you eventually get to a point where your ads are perfectly written and generate incredibly good CTR’s.
CTR – Click through rate. This means what percentage of people “clicked through” from your Google Advert. So 1000 people saw your ad for leather bags, and 50 clicked through to your website. 5%. Simple.
Keywords. These are words you bid on. Perhaps you pay to bid on “leather bags”, “leather bags cape town”, “cheap leather bags”, “laptop leather bags” and on and on. There is a mountain of research and continued work to be done to make sure you are bidding on the right keywords, at the right time, in the right areas.
CPC – Cost Per Click. Just as simple: what did you pay for each click? Well that is your CPC – the cost for all click, aggregated.
Quality Score. There is a host of info to know re Google Ads but a hugely important one – and one that SEO has a lot to do with – is your quality score. Essentially, the person who bids the highest actually does not rank first in Google’s results for paid Ads. There is a simple formula that determines that. Basically Google wants their customers who search to find what they want so based on the “quality” of a site they will give preference to a website that they believe will satisfy the desires of the searchers intent. So if someone searches “leather shoes” and they go a to a website, and spend five minutes there Google sees this as being a happy customer. If they go there and leave in ten seconds, the opposite – it obviously wasn’t about leather shoes, was it? So the quality score takes this into account (based on their viewing of the website, in this case yours) plus past user experience, and they multiply that by what you bid. So essentially a bid of £2 for a 10/10 quality score website equates to a £20 bid, and a £4 bid on a 5/10 quality score website equates to a £20 bid, too. I am oversimplifying but it really isn’t much more complicated than that – take a look at a company I love from Boston (experts in Google Ads) who break it down in more depth. Main lesson: ensure your website – and importantly its landing pages (if you’ve set them up) – delivers high “quality” to the customers and your Ads will become exponentially cheaper; and you will rank higher, too!
Landing Page/s. Building on the above, instead of sending all your traffic to your home page, you can build a landing page. ‘Landing’ because the user “lands” there first. This page can be customised for someone who literally searched for “purple leather bags in Brussels” and that page is all about that exact thing. It obviously takes time and therefore money to do this, so it takes a little brainpower to determine is it worth it…? And of course, if you sell 50 of these bags at a profit of £200 a bag, and the landing page costs you £100 to add to the site… then certainly do it!
Real Time. Who is on your website right now? Find out with this option. Generally you need to be a big website (with lots of traffic) to see anything valuable.
Audience. These are the people who come to your website. Beware of bots, they can make your stats a little off, but it is possible to negate most of their data, and when you do see really unusual spikes in traffic, it is usually a bot. Or a few. I’ve never asked if they crawl in teams. I’d imagine they are social beings.
Acquisition. How did your website acquire its users. Were they organic results – that is, they searched a term and found you among the search results (SERP)? Or were they from social media? Knowing what traffic of yours is comprised of, and how they all behave on your site is crucial.
SERP. Search Engine Results Pages
Bounce rate. If I bounce a tennis ball on the floor and it comes back to me, it bounced; if someone comes to your site and leaves straight away they “bounced”. Really simple idea and you want no-one to “bounce” but rather to stay like the stickiest Pronutro on a cereal bowl – glued to your alluring website for years to come. Long story short: aim for a small bounce rate – below 50%, ideally below 25%.
Goal completions. Set up goals to know if users do achieve them. For simple websites and clients I usually have one: that they reach a certain page once they have made an e-mail enquiry. You can also set it up for them to reach the typical contact page where your phone number and anything else is, too. For bigger, more complicated clients you want multiple goals and avenues of tracking who calls you, does a live chat, mails, posts a letter, cycles to your office, or moves into your offices and tattoos your brand on their arm.
Conversion Rate/Conversions. A conversion would be whatever you want to measure of the above. So a goal completion is a conversion – if you want it to be! A conversion could be a paying client, or just a client who made it to a certain page – you be the judge of what you want to say is a true “conversion”. Maybe it’s the tattoo option? The conversion rate is then the ratio of people who converted to all traffic. So anything below 100% likely, and the industry norm is maybe 2-3%.
Google Search Console
Search Analytics. You want to be able to see what queries (in the Google search bar) trigger your site. This handy, colourful tool will help you learn that.
Manual Actions. Very rarely you will get a ‘spam penalty’, but likely never. This is Google’s way of saying “You did something wrong” and are going to potentially be de-indexed – meaning you won’t show up on the SERP’s, ever. Game-changer and to be avoided! So you need to know how to reverse this, so it’s best to mail a webmaster…
Sitemaps. One of the first things you want to do when you start a website (or start SEO) is create a sitemap of your website (it is just like it sounds: a map of all the various pages of your website) and then “give” it to Google. When you submit it, this is akin to telling the Yellow Pages (all those years hence) that you are a plumber and your number is 021 123 4567 – the idea being it saves the YP from having to find that out themselves.
Performance. There are super handy metrics here of what your site is ranking for, and less happily… what it is not. It will show you all the keywords your site ranks for organically on Google’s search engine (note: not the others) within the top 100 results. And so perhaps you rank for 831 keywords, ranging from position 1 to 94, and some have impressions of 192, and others just 5 searches. The idea being is you can see what volume terms get, where you rank (on average), what devices they use, and exact phrase of all these terms. The key then is to cluster them in logical groups and build content from that.
Anything else. That said, most of this (GSC) should be handled by an SEO expert, so I won’t digress into the nitty gritty here. Reach out for any specific help.
General Website Terms
Crawl. Google bots crawl your website. Periodically. Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo do too, plus other search engines no one cares a-bot. Little pun for any takers…
Rankings. Where you rank for a variety of keywords.
SERP’s. It stands for Search Engine Results Page. Basically whatever you see when you Google something is that page. It is a way of saying “Where do you fare on the SERP’s?” – ie. how do you rank for that term or terms.
Anything else. Mail me to add to this section…