Understanding SEO and other nasty internet marketing acronyms

30 January 2009 by Yvonne Conway  
Filed under Search Engine Optimisation

Before I get started let’s deal with SEO, Search Engine Optimisation. It is easy for those of us in the know to talk about SEO, SEM, PPC, CPC, keywords and so on but are we aware that there is a whole world of people out there (some of them marketers!) who do not talk in acronyms, do not understand them and do not therefore understand us?!
As a marketer, I am always keen to ensure my message is being understood so for my first few blog entries I am going to do a basic jargon buster and SEO breakdown to help people understand the ABCs and 123s of SEO and other internet marketing abbreviations and terms. Of course I’m not going to make you an expert in a few short articles but perhaps in future it will save you from being “acronym-ed out” of high-brow marketing conversations!

The Internet Marketing Jargon Buster

SEO        Search Engine Optimisation

The act of “optimising” your website so that it appears higher in search engine results for your chosen keywords. In its most basic form, this involves working with your website to improve content, architecture, labelling and ease of navigation as well as getting some relevant inbound links to your site. It can also include the length of time your website has been in existence for, your page rank and your hosting provider. Search Engine Optimisation does not occur overnight but can take from 3 to 6 months to see any improvement – but it is well worth the effort!

PPC        Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click advertising is a fantastic way to achieve 1st page Search Engine results overnight. Things I love about PPC include the ability to set a campaign budget, set maximum cost per click values and how trackable it is! Most of the major search engines offer this service from Google’s AdWords to Yahoo!’s Search Marketing to Microsoft’s adCentre.

CPC        Cost Per Click

Cost Per Click is a PPC Advertising term and basically means the amount of money it will cost or does cost you when someone clicks on your advert. With most PPC Advertisers you can set the maximum amount of money you are prepared to spend for a click for each of your keywords (yet another reason I love PPC Advertising!).

SEM        Search Engine Marketing

This term covers both SEO and PPC and deals with any marketing activity involved with improving your position in the Search Engines. It is also worth noting that some people are only referring to PPC Campaigns when they talk about this.


I guess I am now as guilty as everyone else, I have used this term several times already and you may not know what I’m talking about – sorry! There must be some words and phrases that you want to be found under when a searcher searches – very simply put, they are your keywords. They may include your business name, your main product and service and some other details about you such as “books – next day delivery”. Before you start optimising your site you need to come up with a list of keywords and then work your optimisation strategy around these words and phrases.


Everyday millions of searches are done online, each time someone searches for a keyword you have included in a PPC Campaign and it is shown on the search results page that is an impression – you should not be charged in PPC for impressions just for Clicks. Impressions are also a measurement used by online publishers who sell advertising space on their site for example www.thesundaytimes.com. They will sell advertising space – banners, skyscrapers and buttons – based on the number of impressions your advert will get.

CTR    Click Through Rate(s)

Leading nicely on from impressions… Click Through Rates take the number of clicks your advert has had and express it as a percentage of the number of impressions your advert has had. CTRs can sometimes look depressingly low but it is very dependant upon what the nature of your business is and also how much competition there is in your area.

These are the basic terms used in internet marketing but I will delve deeper into each topic as 2009 progresses. If you have any questions on SEO or would like me to do an article on any particular marketing subject send me a quick email to yvonne.conway@kenthouse.com and I will be happy to oblige!

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