Continuing on from my original Jargon buster, I have had some requests to keep going and explain some more. So here we go:
PageRank is a Google term, but all Search Engines use something similar.
The Official Google Definition:
PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”.
PageRank can fall between 0 and 10, with 10 being the best. Not even Google itself has a PR of 10 and each step up the scale is incrementally more difficult to achieve, so it is much harder to get from a PR of 4 to 5 than it is from 0 to 1 for example.
When calculating your PageRank other things can also be taken into consideration such as quality of your site, age of your site etc. You can find out your PageRank here: http://www.prchecker.info/
The Alexa Rank of a website is a calculation of how popular and important a site is on the web. The lower your Alexa Rank, the better. Broadly speaking, if your Alexa Rank is 10,000,000, then you are the 10,000,000th most popular website on the internet.
In order to increase your website’s PageRank you will need to engage in some inbound link building. This means that you will have to get other websites to link to you. You can do this by submitting your site to relevant internet directories or by asking other webmasters in your “industry community” to link to your site from their site.
The trick with link building is to firstly ensure that the people linking to you are relevant to your industry so if you are in the bicycle business, you are not that bothered with getting book sellers to link to you, but to get a link from the Tour de France site would be brilliant! Secondly you want sites with a good PageRank to link to you (normally 4 or above) because you want them to pass on a little of their PR to you.
Anchor text is the text you use to make a link. Most people use the web address as the link e.g. www.kenthouse.com but if you are trying to optimise your website for a particular keyword you should use the keyword(s) as the anchor text so Web design Staffordshire would be a better way to link to our website than simply using the URL.
Meta tags and tags are tags (or labels) used to describe the various parts of a web page. Meta data is the information contained within the tags. The tags most people in the SEO business are concerned with are:
- The Title tag
- The Keyword tag
- The Description tag
- Alt tags
- Heading tags
Content is the information on your website. It is most frequently used to refer to the words on your site. In SEO “content is king” – the more rich content your site has the better it should perform. Where content is concerned it is also important to constantly review and update it so that the search engine robots have something new to interest them each time they visit your site. The more new content you give them, the more likely they are to visit your website.
CMS Content Management System
A CMS is a way of managing your website’s content from how the information is structured, to updating and adding pages, to inserting downloadable documents etc. If you are serious about doing your own SEO you need to be able to control your own content. That might mean having access to your FTP server and being able to edit the HTML or investing in an SEO friendly CMS.
As you get more and more into SEO you are going to be making changes to your site at least once a week and this could get pricey if you have to send every change to your web developers to make!
Number of pages indexed
This is the number of pages on your site that Google, Yahoo! and Bing can find and then display in their search results. You can find this out by typing ‘site:www.yourwebsiteaddress.com’ into the search box in each of the search engines. Your aim is to get all your webpages indexed and you can do this with the help of an xml sitemap.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to oblige!