SEO Basics:

The Terminology

by R.E.S. Martina


Are you new to the whole Search Engine Optimization field?

It can definitely be a little tricky figuring out where to begin, and more importantly, understanding why you should invest your time into learning more about SEO. As the leader of a green or sustainability-focused company’s marketing, branding, advertising, outreach, customer engagement or social media marketing, you know the importance of bringing in traffic to your company. Heck, without traffic, there’d be no customers, and without customers there’d be no business. 


The Importance of SEO

As Matey E, the Founder and CEO of Marketing Strategy of, points out in his recent youtube series, SEO for Beginners in 2021 | A Simple Explanation of How Search Engine Optimization Actually Works:

  • Statistic:
    90 percent of survey respondents said they were likely to click on the first set of results / first page (Searchengineland, 2018)
  • Meaning:
    If someone can’t find their desired results on the first page, they’ll end up changing their query, instead of looking at the second page.

That, at its most basic form, is why SEO is so important. If your website doesn’t come up on the first page of Google’s search results for the keywords relevant to your business, your online visibility will be seriously hampered. Obviously there are alternatives to attracting clients via organic search: Paid Advertisements (PPC), Social Media Marketing, Cold Emailing and even Cold Calling, like I mentioned above.

But there are a few simple rules and guidelines you can follow in order to boost your SEO efforts, even if it’s just to supplement one of those other methods. Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand waving that will answer all of your marketing needs immediately, but if getting people to view your company’s website is an important piece of your company’s growth and success, SEO is going to become increasingly important as your company scales.


SEO Terminology

If you’re new to SEO and digital marketing, there may be a few phrases that you might be a little unfamiliar with. So in this blog post, I wanted to briefly discuss some of the common SEO and digital marketing jargon you’re likely to encounter as you learn more about SEO and some of the other facets of digital marketing.

SEO terms

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

In the last 10-20 years, the combination of the internet and marketing has evolved the practice of marketing and advertising into something no one would’ve seen coming during the days of postcards, flyers, brochures, classifieds and print ads. Nowadays, with the proliferation of the internet, digital marketing has become the gold standard. 

Digital marketing simply refers to any marketing done via the internet. There are a ton of different methods and I’ll mention some of the more common ones next.


Email Marketing

Email marketing, like digital marketing, has evolved over the years. Did you ever receive one of those Nigerian Prince email scams? Thanks to spam blockers and filters, we don’t have to worry about those kinds of things as much anymore, but it feels like cold emailing has become just as prominent as its ancestor, cold calling. There are other ways to use emails in your digital marketing toolkit. Whether it’s customer engagement and newsletters, automated updates like shipping confirmations, or notifying your subscribers of deals, using email to stay in contact with your customer base is an undeniably necessary part of operating a business in today’s business climate.


Message Marketing

This is one of those terms you may have not seen before, but you’ve definitely experienced it at one point or another. Message Marketing refers to the updates and communications businesses use to stay in contact with their current and past customers to nudge them into re-engaging with the business.

An example of this is when you get a text message or a notification from an app about a limited time offer.

This is also becoming a common practice for many businesses, because it gives them an opportunity to remind past consumers of their business and entice them to make another purchase. Since the people being messaged have already bought from the business before and volunteered their contact information – assuming they enjoyed the product or service from the business – this is an ideal demographic to contact.


Social Media Marketing

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and now introducing: TikTok. The world of Social Media Marketing is one of the constantly evolving pieces of digital marketing. Each has its own rules, medium, purpose, audience and tactics. Depending on your goal and target demographic, each has its place in the digital marketer’s toolkit.



PPC stands for Pay Per Click. In this Google-dominated internet landscape, paid advertisements are the quickest way to get customers and online traffic via the internet. But it’s also the most costly in the long term, and as a marketing leader in the green sector, you probably know a thing or two about what is and isn’t sustainable. And in my honest opinion, going purely with a PPC strategy for your digital marketing efforts just isn’t sustainable. But PPC can be a great bandaid while ramping up your efforts in another arena of marketing.



SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of revamping a website or adding new content in order to rank higher in search results rankings for certain relevant keywords. This allows people searching for information relevant to the products or services your company provides to naturally come across your company. 


Content Marketing

Content Marketing, depending on who you ask, can go hand-in-hand with SEO. Content Marketing is an overall strategy of providing customers – past, present and prospective – with valuable content and softly encouraging them to make a transaction with your business over time. Whether it’s blog posts, sharing relevant information on social media, or sharing helpful tips and tricks via email, content marketing is focused heavily on providing valuable information to a company’s target audience.

The reason it can work very well with SEO, is because if the content is valuable, as well as optimized for search engine results, it can allow your company to bring in more ‘organic traffic.’


Search Engine Optimization


Traffic refers to the amount of visitors your website receives. There are two main kinds: organic traffic and paid traffic.


Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to visitors to your website that did not come from paid advertisements or clicking a direct link. In general this means that they searched directly for your company in Google, typed in the website exactly, or were searching for something related to your industry.


Paid Traffic

Conversely, paid traffic refers to website visits made through paid advertisements. While Google ads have become increasingly prevalent, so have Facebook, Instagram and other social media advertisements.


Indexing Keywords

When it comes to gaining organic traffic, SEO is the name of the game. And one of the important parts of your company’s website are its indexing keywords. Simply put, indexing keywords are the keywords, terms and phrases that your website will rank for in Google’s search results. Expanding the number of and optimizing these indexing keywords to rank higher is one of the fundamental parts of SEO.



Ranking refers to the page number and position your company’s website is placed at for any given keyword or phrase searched.



SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page.



Content refers to the information on your website. Within this content are the indexing keywords that Google has found and determined your website might be relevant for.



While content shows Google what keywords your website provides information for, backlinks show Google that your website is trustworthy and authoritative in its field. Backlinks are links from another website to your company’s website and are the main measurement of ‘domain authority.’


Domain Authority

Domain Authority is one of the three key components of the Google algorithm: A.R.T., also known as E.A.T. Domain authority is the measurement of how many other website domains link to your website, taking into account how many websites link to each of the websites that linked to your website. The thought process behind this is that if a website has a link to your company’s website, that must mean that your company’s website has useful or valuable information on it. If a website with a high domain authority (think, links to your company’s website, it will provide more domain authority than a link from a personal blog with no subscribers. 

For more information about Domain Authority, read my blog post Understanding and Achieving Authority.



ART & EAT are the acronyms most commonly used to describe the ‘Three Pillars of SEO,’ which are the three most important factors in achieving high rankings. Respectively, the acronyms stand for Authority, Relevance and Trustworthiness and Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness.

Authority and Trustworthiness, present in both acronyms, are achieved primarily through backlinks and domain authority. The higher the domain authority, the higher perceived trustworthiness.

Meanwhile, Expertise and Relevance are derived from the content on the website.

For more information about the Three Pillars of SEO, check out my blog post Understanding Google’s E.A.T.-Based Algorithm.


The Next Steps

Now that you’re more familiar with some of the key components of SEO and digital marketing, you’re ready to take your next steps on the road to understanding SEO and optimizing your website! Check out my next blog post SEO Basics: The Statistics for more information about the power of SEO.