Whether you’re taking a do-it-yourself approach to SEO or hiring a professional, knowing the lingo is essential. If you are doing your own SEO work, it’s pretty obvious why you need to know what common SEO terms mean; if you are outsourcing the work, you need to know exactly what it is you are paying for. However, there are a lot of SEO terms, and not all of them are intuitive. It definitely gets confusing. So we’re here to help you out by explaining some of the some of the least-known SEO terms.

  1. Guest blogging/posting – Guest posting is when a writer publishes their article on another person’s website. There are many benefits to both the writer and the publisher, including expanding their audience and providing fresh content for their readers. In the past, it was also a valuable method for trading backlinks. Google has since become stricter with their rules on guest posting, so while trading backlinks is still possible and useful, it needs to be done with the utmost attention to Google’s rules.
  2. Domain authority – This refers to an algorithm created by Moz, one of the leading SEO companies. Domain authority is Moz’s prediction for the strength of your website. They come to this number based on a set of factors, including the number of root domains that point back to your website. Why does your score from a random SEO company matter? Because Moz is one of the best predictors of SEO weight, and knowing that score can help you know where you need to direct your SEO efforts. Moz provides a free tool that will tell you your domain authority score.
  3. Page authority – Page authority is another algorithm created by Moz, but this one predicts the SEO success of individual webpages, rather than your entire domain or subdomain. Again, a certain set of factors are included in this algorithm, such as the number of links that direct back to your webpage.
  4. Google analytics – Google analytics is a tool created by Google to give you statistics on your web traffic. It can tell you the source of your traffic, where your audience lives, what age and gender they are, which of your webpages is the most popular, your bounce rate, your exit rate, and more. Knowing this information is crucial as it can tell you where on your website you need to make improvements. Google also factors information gleaned from analytics on your website into their SEO algorithm.
  5. Google webmaster tools – Webmaster tools is another free service provided by Google. Website owners can submit a site map to Google, which helps Google crawl it faster, which, in turn, makes the website rank faster. Webmaster tools also alerts you to any broken links and errors, and allows you to submit a preferred domain so that you have control over what your URL looks like in the SERPs.
  6. Bounce rate – Your bounce rate refers to the percentage of your web visitors that leave after only viewing one page. They are directed to a page from another link, view the page, and then leave. As a business, you want traffic to stay on your website for as long as possible – the longer they stay, the more likely they are to buy a product. The way Google sees it, the more your traffic flows from page to page, the more valuable your content must be to the user. Having a low bounce rate increases your SEO weight.
  7. Unique visitors – Unique visitors refer to how many times your website is viewed by completely brand new, distinct people. This can help you measure the success of your SEO, but should not be the sole indicator that something you are doing is working. Unique visitors are drawn to your website, and you can count that as a success, but how long did they stay? Did they visit other pages? A high rate of unique visitors combined with a low bounce rate is a very good indication that your SEO campaign is working.

Are there SEO terms you have come across that are unfamiliar to you? Let us know in the comments!


Shannon, Krystal. “Why Should You Care About Domain Authority?” http://www.searchenginejournal.com/care-domain-authority/71863/. (20 Feb. 2014).

“What is Page Authority?” http://moz.com/learn/seo/page-authority. (20 Feb. 2014).

“BEHAVIOR: Bounce Rate.” https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009409?hl=en. (20 Feb. 2014).