A beginner glossary for the SMB

02 Mar SEO for SMB’s: A beginner’s glossary

The purpose of this post is to arm small-to-medium business (SMB) owners and marketers with the “basic need-to-knows” of search engine optimization (SEO) – an area of expertise that can be very intimidating to the lot of us.

SEO terminology for the SMB 

For starters, SEO refers to the techniques being used that help your website rank higher when people use search engines such as Google.

In short, when a person goes online to search for a product or service, these techniques are what help your business become more visible.

Search engines such as Google use complex “bots” that scan the entire web searching for websites and index them according to their content; so if you’re not optimizing your business’ website for SEO, then all of that potential customer traffic is going to your competitors (in essence).

alt text:

Short for “alternative text,” alt text is a description of an image you’re using. This description usually isn’t shown to your viewers unless the image fails to render on their screen. Alt text is important because search engine’s such as Google can’t tell one picture from another. Alt text is also important when you’re placing image within emails due to the fact that there’s no guarantee that your images are rendering for your receiver; alt text allows you to still get your message or desired next-step across despite an image not rendering.

Here’s an alt text example from WordPress when we placed an image into a blog post; think of alt text as being the interpreter or middle-person between search engines and images:

an example of where and what alternative text is

Back link (incoming link, inbound link, in-link):

Any link that drives someone to another page or website.

A great example would be if I were to do something like this <- a link that drives you to our pricing page. Linking to your own pages when possible not only helps you retain visitors on your website but also showcases other credible pages on your site to search engines.

Having these kinds of links from related pages to your content are viewed as a source of trust by search engines such as Google and help boost the odds of you ending up higher on the search result pages (SERPs)


Content management system – such as WordPress, which essentially are platforms that allow people with very little coding skills to publish content and manage their websites.


(Also referred to commonly as “conversion rates”) The achievement of goals on your website such as having people sign up for an event, request information, purchase a product, etc. This is a common term used not only for websites, but also landing pages that are often built for the sole purpose of boosting conversions.

Long tail

Longer, more detailed search queries versus shorter or more broad searches. e.g.- “pens” versus “red pens with rubber grip.”

Two tips when it comes to long tail keywords:

  •     Use long tail keywords (2-3 words) in articles or blog posts
  •     Keep the keyword as close to the beginning of the title tag, url as possible.

META tags

META titles and descriptions are what search engines rely upon to determine what your page or post is about and what people searching use to determine whether or not your content relates to what they’re searching for (which is why this text should also be compelling to potential readers)

An example of WordPress meta tag input area when crafting a new post

**Tips for using meta tags:

  •     Use Keyword once in Meta Title Tag

The Meta Title Tag should not be longer than 65 characters. The keyword should be used at the front of the title tag.

(*In the case above, we went over for the sake of elaborating on what a CTA actually is)

  •     Use Keyword once in the Meta Description Tag

The Meta Description Tag should not be longer than 156 characters and has to be unique. It does not impact page result rankings but impact the click through rate.

  •     Use Keyword once in the URL. The URL should be shorter than 76 characters.
  •     Do not use the Meta Keyword Tag

Search engines have ignored this meta tag for years. It does not harm rankings but gives the competition information about targeted terms.


(content management systems) such as WordPress make it easy to optimize your pages & posts by giving you a preview such as the one below.


Search engine results pages – these are the pages that come up when you use a search engine such as Google to search for something


This is a term that refers to changes to a website that entice visitors to stay on said website longer, thus improving the sites “stickiness”

Topic Tags

When blogging, topic tags help organize your content. Be careful that you aren’t using topic tags that are too similar to one another as this can actually damage your SEO efforts due to the fact that it appears to search engines as if you’re reusing the same content all over your website.

An example of topics that are too similar would be if you used tags such as “blog” “blogging” and “blog posts.”

The end.

Hopefully this quick and brief overview of some key SEO terminology will help you as a small-to-medium business owner to feel more confident when discussing your company’s approach to SEO.

If you have any additional questions or comments, we welcome them below. Although SEO is an ever-evolving discipline, these basics should help you get on your feet when it comes to a more general understanding during day-to-day conversations surrounding your business and its marketing activities.

If you’d like to learn how Leadsius can help your company attract and convert more business online at higher rates – schedule a demo and we’d be happy to give you a tour.

Thanks for reading!