5 terms you should know about SEO

Starting with what’s simple about search engine optimization

As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Juggling your finances, day-to-day tasks and making time for life outside of work can all be exhausting. Fitting in the time to learn what might seem like another language (after all, what does “SEO” even stand for)? That can be an even greater challenge.

Here’s the rundown on five key terms to help get you started on SEO — and help your business climb up that search engine results page (or SERP) in just a few minutes.


1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – The process of changing content and code to help your website climb higher up on a search engines’ (like Google’s) results page, aka optimizing your site to get found!


2. On-Page vs. Off-Page – On-Page SEO is everything you do on your site’s pages to improve its rank on a SERP. This can be done through coding like HTML and CSS and using keywords and tags. Off-Page SEO is anything you do to improve your rank outside of your site pages themselves, like link building or publishing content that links back to your site.


3. Meta Keywords and Tags – If you’re familiar with social media, these are like hashtags for search engines. They help them figure out what your site pages are about, and help them determine where it belongs in a user’s search results. While keywords are no longer the only (or even the primary) way that search engines assess a page’s content and value, “using the words your customers are using” is still a best practice (and a great way to show your visitors that they’ve come to the right place!).


4. Analytics (like Google Analytics)In short, this is all the use of software to gather data about what your website and online advertising is doing via It shows you how your customers have been responding to your content. Want to know how many people are visiting your site or clicking on your ads? What about how often, even how they got there, when they left off and more? Analytics can show you all that — and help you plan your marketing accordingly.


5. Internal and External Links – Internal link are hyperlinks on your site’s pages that link visitors to another page on your site, (which helps keep them on your site longer — yay!). External links are hyperlinks that take your visitors from one of your pages to a page on another site (or your social profiles, blog, video gallery, etc.). Now I know what you’re thinking… “Why would I want to send someone away from my site? Doesn’t that defeat the point of SEO in the first place? I want people to find ME, not them!” But, if you add links that lead to relevant and useful content, it will improve your site’s credibility in Google’s eyes. Plus, when you link to these other sites, their owners may return the favor and reward you with a valuable backlink (something to talk about next time). It’s a win-win.


There you have it! You’ve become an SEO master in a matter of minutes! For more on how you can improve your digital marketing lingo, check out our terms you should know about websites and our terms you should know about social media.



Gabrielle is one of Hibu's summer marketing interns. Besides writing for the blog & working with the team, she is a rising senior at Moravian College with a love for hiking, music, cooking and art.

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