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Understanding Search Engine Optimisation Terminology: A Guide for Small Businesses

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential part of digital marketing for small businesses. It helps to boost the visibility of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drives traffic to your site. However, the terminology used in SEO can be confusing for small business owners who are unfamiliar with it. In this blog post, I’m going to break down some of the most common SEO terms and explain what they mean.

In this guide for small business owners, I hope that by the end, you’ll have a better understanding of SEO and how it can help your business.

Keyword Research

This is the process of identifying the words and phrases that people are searching for in your industry or niche. It’s important to research the right keywords as they will help your website rank higher on SERPs. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs can help with keyword research by providing data on search volume and competition.

On-Page Optimisation

This refers to optimising the content on your website. It involves making changes to titles, meta descriptions, headings, and images to make them more search-engine friendly. On-page SEO also includes making sure that the website’s technical structure is optimised to help search engines understand the content better.

Link Building

This is the process of getting other websites to link to your website. The more high-quality websites that link to your site, the more likely your site is to rank higher on SERPs. However, not all links are equal. It’s essential to focus on high-quality links from reputable sources.


SERP stands for search engine results page. It’s the page that appears when a user types a query into a search engine such as Google or Bing. Optimising your website to rank higher on SERPs is a critical part of SEO.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe the content of your web page. They help search engines understand what your page is about and are essential for on-page SEO. There are several different types of meta tags, including title tags, meta descriptions, and meta keywords.

Meta Description

This is the burb that appears with the page name and link on search engine results page. If you don’t write one, the default description will be the first 160 characters or so on the page, however sometime search engines like Google can also change this.

Domain Authority

Want to rank high on search engine results pages? The strength of your website’s domain is a key factor in achieving that. The better your overall domain score, the more likely your individual pages will outrank other sites.

To increase your website’s domain authority, focus on building a strong linking profile and practicing effective SEO strategies. Build quality links from reputable websites while removing any spammy or irrelevant links.

Search Volume

This is the number of searches for any keyword. When doing your research and eciding which keyword you would like to target for a page or blog post, looking at the search volume is often the first step. If no one is searching for that term, there’s not much point in chasing after it. However, it’s not always best practice to go for keywords with the highest volumes as this can take a lot more work also.

Other factors can play in as well. A better phrase might be a very specific long-tail keyword more likely to attract conversions. The search volume may be lower, but the higher conversion rate may make the long-tail keyword phrase the better option over more general or vague phrasings.

Understanding the terminology used in SEO is vital for small business owners. It helps to ensure that you are making the right decisions when it comes to digital marketing. By focusing on keyword research, on-page SEO, link building, SERPs, and meta tags, you can help your website rank higher on search engine results pages.

Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, and it requires time and patience. By keeping up with the latest trends and developments in SEO, you can achieve long-term success for your business.

Are you interested in learning more about SEO? I highly recommend following Kate Toon on socials and/or completing her SEO course/s. Learn more here.