Deciphering the SEO Alphabet

Picture yourself in the midst of a hot, sweaty carnival. Funnel cakes and corndogs smell up the sticky air and dizzying lights spin in your face. You can’t find the ring toss booth you saw on your way in. How hard does it have to be?

Not that hard. Now, pretend the carnival is Google, a search engine. And pretend the ring toss booth is your website. Do you want your company to get lost in the chaos of online? We didn’t think so.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is your answer—you have to optimize your business’s site in order to nab yourself a high search engine ranking and drive traffic to your site, which will give your company a leg up in online marketing and sales. It’s a Google game, and if you play by the rules, you can move up your business to the entrance of the carnival, instead of buried in the back.

To do that, you have to remember the most important factors. In a breeze, you must:

-Post valuable content.

-Create a list of keywords.

-Develop a social media plan.

-Connect with high-quality sites through linking.


With SEO comes some funky lingo. Here are some techy acronyms to add to your vocabulary and SEO expertise:

-CMS: Content Management System helps users with a lack of coding knowledge edit pages of your website.

-CSS: Cascading Style Sheets are part of the code that determines how different features on your site look.

-CTA: Content-Targeted Ads are online ads that show up on specific site pages because they relate to that content.

-FFA: Free For All is basically a link farm, a site that holds a group of clickable links but nothing of content value.

-HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is the main language for coding web pages—a search engine’s language.

-HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol is data communication on the World Wide Web.

-IBL: Inbound Links are links from other webpages that go to yours; outbound links (OBL) are links that go from your site to another.

-KEI: Keyword Effectiveness Index will measure your keyword effectiveness.

-PR: Page Rank is a ranking issued to all websites by Google—it indicates that site’s the level of authority.

-RSS feed: Really Simple Syndication is used to publish frequently updated content.

-SEM: Search Engine Marketing promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).

-SERP: Search Engine Results Page is the search engine’s listing of sites in response to a keyword query.

-SMM: Social Media Marketing is brand promotion through social media.

-SMO: Social Media Optimization uses social media sites to communicate marketing messages.

-WYSIWYG: “What you see is what you get.” The program helps people without HTML knowledge to construct websites.


Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.

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