SEO Agency Jargon & Metrics
Whether you currently hire an SEO agency, you’re looking to hire one, or you’re going to take it on alone.This article came about to help you sift through the jargon that get’s thrown around in the world of SEO and websites.
Being a techy industry there are a lot of phrases, terms, and metrics that get used. Although most good SEO and marketing companies will usually explain these terms to you it’s always useful to have a good understanding of them so that they can’t be used in future to pull wool over your eyes. Which is similar to what happened to a recent new client here at Brick Digital by a previous agency. Hence the timing of this article.
So let’s kick it off and get stuck in…
1. What is ‘SEO’?
The best place to start because this is the first misconception we usually encounter surprisingly.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of optimising your website to speak more fluently to the search engines, by doing that the search engines algorithm can place you in a position that suits the keyword someone searches for.
This is not related to pay-per-click, Google Adwords, Google partners or any other search engine product. No, a Google Partner agency cannot get access to Google and manually adjust your position in Google (believe it or not we’ve heard that before), and neither can a PPC agency help you move up the organic search results.
SEO affects the search results that are not paid for, what we call the organic results. These are displayed below the ads, in either text format or Map listings if the search has a local intention.
2. What are ‘Backlinks’? (and what do they do?)
Probably the first SEO term you’ll come across as you look to hire or learn more about SEO.
Backlinks, in the simplest form, are just a link from another website to yours. But it’s what backlinks do that you should be more interested in.
All search engines, Google included rely heavily on backlinks to tell them where they should place your website in the search results. But that doesn’t mean it’s a numbers game of having the most backlinks out of your competitors.It’s all about relevancy.
If you’re a law firm in London and all of your ‘backlinks’ come from gardening websites in Asia then that doesn’t help Google make it’s decision at all, and will likely mean you don’t place very highly in the search results for your desired keywords.
Backlinks are hugely important which is why a lot of SEO agencies will talk about them a lot, and probably include the number of them in your monthly report. But it’s worth remembering that 1 high-quality backlink is worth more than 10 irrelevant and ‘spam’ backlinks.
3. What is ‘Content Marketing’?
This is a bit of a trick question since content marketing can mean slightly different things depending on what context it is being talked about in.
When it comes to SEO, content marketing is one of the many important layers to a successful campaign that brings your site up the search engines.
As an SEO agency commenting on content marketing we’re talking about the process of developing and distributing high-quality, targetted, and useful content. Like any content this can be in the form of written articles, infographics, videos, or even podcasts.
By crafting content that is useful to the target market we are able to gain exposure for clients as that content will be shared by other organisations and consumers within their industries. The ultimate aim of this is to gain credible ‘Backlinks’ that will in-turn help to optimisie their websites online presence.
A great example of some content marketing done for one of our clients, as they had an article featured on a highly relevant industry website. Gaining them a backlink and PR exposure.
Content marketing is a great buzzword that gets thrown around a lot but when the right people are involved it becomes a super-power in SEO.
4. What does the ‘Domain Authority’ number mean?
Domain authority is a metric that you’re likely not to come across unless you’re doing some real research into SEO. Most SEO experts and agencies will use this metric but not publicise it, and for good reason… It’s not exactly an exciting metric that bounces around and rises rapidly.
Deciding where your website should appear on the Google search results obviously depends on a lot of factors but the underlying trait is the authority that your site is awarded. Although this isn’t a Google published metric, it’s something created by a website called MOZ who are thought leaders in the industry.
They take hundreds of factors into account and calculate a Domain Authority that indicates just how much weight your website domain holds in the eyes of Google. Obviously, the higher the Domain Authority (DA for short) number is, the more of a chance you have of placing higher in the search results than your competitors.
This metric might be used if you receive an SEO audit of your website or even included in your monthly update from your SEO agency, but as we mentioned before, don’t expect to see huge spikes in your DA. This is a metric that relies on solid and consistent optimisation which is what Google like to see hence why it’s the best indicator of your sites ability to rank.
If you’re curious to find out your sites’ DA then you can use Moz to do that here.
5. What is ‘CTR’ and what does it mean?
Another Acronym for you to remember… CTR stands for Click Through Rate.
Again, the Click Through Rate as a metric relates to things slightly differently depending on the topic, but for SEO purposes CTR is the % of people who saw your site in the search results and clicked on it.
CTR is a less important metric while your site is moving up the search results and into page 1. But once you land on page 1 it’s crucial that the work isn’t wasted and people actually click on your site out of all the other options available.
This metric is a good indicator of how compelling your meta title and description is (we might need another post on this – but in short that’s the text you actually see in the search results). If the text people see doesn’t relate to what people have searched for or it just doesn’t grab their attention then they’re not likely to click it.
However, it’s not just you who should keep an eye on your CTR. Google is doing it too. Google only wants to show high-quality search results to its users, so if it spots that your site is being seen but not clicked on then it will de-value your site and likely replace you with a competitor.
Would you like your site metrics explained?
Request a free SEO audit of your site and we’ll supply all your metrics in one simple to read document. Then we’ll give you a call to explain what it all means.