man working on laptop
From the best way to format headings to proper link usage, these SEO terms will help you understand how to best optimize your page so it reaches a wider audience. — Getty Images/Xesai

If you’re new to search engine optimization (SEO), you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed with the vast terminology associated with it. Like any specialized industry, there are literally hundreds of SEO terms to learn, and it can take years to develop a deep understanding of each definition and become an expert in SEO.

However, you don’t have to know every single thing about SEO to build and operate a fully functional website. These 10 SEO terms are the most essential ones you should know so you can optimize your site, communicate with web developers and have a deeper understanding of how the internet works.

[Read: 7 Tips to Improve Your Google Search Ranking]

Title tag

A title tag, also known as a page title, meta title or SEO title, is one of the most important elements of any web page. As the name suggests, this .html tag is the name of a specific web page and can be found in one of two locations on the internet: the top of your browser window and in search engine result pages. An optimized title tag should include keywords related to the contents of the page, preferably located at the beginning of the title. Finally, title tags should be limited to 50 or 60 characters.

Meta description

Like the title tag, a meta description is an .html tag tied to a specific page. The purpose of a meta description is to describe the page and attract users to click on links in search engine result pages. While these descriptions have no direct effect on page rankings, they can help increase click-through rates. To optimize these tags, make sure each page includes a unique, thorough meta description. It’s often helpful to include a strong call to action to encourage users to click.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

A Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is the page you see when you type a search query into a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. A SERP, therefore, is the page of results you receive after you search for something. SEO specialists pay particular attention to a page’s rank on a Search Engine Results Page and work to improve its organic rank. The higher a page ranks for a particular search query, the better.


The term “keyword” is one of the most common and popular terms in the SEO industry. This element is a word or a phrase that a user types into a search engine, such as Google, to find what they are looking for. It’s important to include keywords in title tags, headers and in the body of the content on a page to improve its rank on a SERP. However, overusing a particular keyword, or keyword stuffing, can be harmful to a page’s rank, so you have to be careful how often they are used.

[Read: 10 Resources to Help You Improve Your SEO]


Indexing is the process by which search engines collect, organize and process data on the internet. Essentially, a search engine constantly scans the internet to look for new or updated content on pages to add to their database. When a new page is found, the search engine indexes it so that users can find the information when they search for a relevant keyword.

Generally speaking, the more links your website receives from high-authority websites, the better your SERP ranking will be.

Anchor text

Put simply, anchor text is the word or phrase that a hyperlink is attached to that links to another page or website. In most cases, anchor text appears blue with an underline, though web designers can customize the way anchor text appears on a site.


Links are very important in the SEO world. Generally speaking, the more links your website receives from high-authority websites, the better your SERP ranking will be. These types of links are known as inbound links, or backlinks, because they come from other sites that point to your website.

Outbound links, on the other hand, are links from your site to others. Outbound links are also important for SEO as search engines use them as an indicator to determine how helpful your content is to readers. When creating outbound links, it’s important to choose your anchor text carefully.

Finally, internal links are links on your website that point to another page on your site. Links in a navigation bar, for example, are technically internal links.


Headings are another type of .html tag that are used to organize content for readers and search engines. These tags can range from H1 to H6, with 1 being the most important heading tag and 6 being the least. Generally speaking, it is best to have one H1 tag per page and organize the content with as many H2s and beyond as necessary.

Ranking factor

A ranking factor is any type of element a search engine uses to determine how a page is ranked in SERPs. Common ranking factors include: the number of inbound links from authority sites, properly used keywords, optimized title tags, etc.


Traffic refers to the number of website visitors you receive over a given time period. Generally speaking, the more traffic your website gets, the better. However, it’s important this traffic comes from real people who, ideally, take some sort of desirable action, such as buying a product, clicking ads, reading content and so on.

[Read: How to Optimize Your Listing on Google My Business]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners stories.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Brought to you by
Dedicated to turning our advantage into yours.
Unmatched 5G network : Get work done where your business happens with the speed, bandwidth, and reliability your business needs.
Learn More

Get recognized. Get rewarded. Get $25K.

Is your small business one of the best in America? Apply for our premier awards program for small businesses, the CO—100, today to get recognized and rewarded. One hundred businesses will be honored and one business will be awarded $25,000.