The Ultimate A-Z SEO Glossary [2023]

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of enhancing a website or Shopify store’s visibility and organic ranking in search engine...

The Ultimate A-Z SEO Glossary [2023]

Since this is an SEO glossary, let’s start by sharing its definition:

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of enhancing a website or Shopify store’s visibility and organic ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves a strategic combination of techniques, optimisations, and best practices, all aimed at improving a site’s relevance, authority, and user experience. 

SEO encompasses various elements, including keyword research, on-page optimisation, technical improvements, content creation, and link building, all with the goal of increasing the likelihood that a website will appear prominently in search results for relevant queries. 

Effective SEO leads to increased organic traffic, higher user engagement, and improved online presence, making it an essential component of digital marketing strategies. 

Just by reading the first sentence of that definition, you may ask: ‘What’s organic traffic? What does ranking mean? What’s a SERP?’

We understand that there’s many terms and abbreviations used in ‘SEO talk’, so this glossary lists the definitions of these keywords and phrases, as well as providing insight on how they each relate to, or impact a website’s SEO. 

Whether you’re an online or Shopify store owner who is new to SEO, or have been developing your strategy for some time, this guide will help you to understand more about the many ins and outs of search engine optimisation. 

Top Tip: Use CMD+F to search for a specific term that you’re looking for.

Latest Update: August 2023

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions


Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP)

An open-source framework developed by Google and other technology partners that aims to optimise and streamline the performance of web pages for mobile devices. AMP focuses on delivering lightning-fast loading times by employing a restricted set of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript components. It prioritises essential content and eliminates unnecessary elements that could slow down mobile page rendering.

AMP-enabled pages typically load quickly, providing a smoother and more user-friendly experience for mobile users.

Alt Text

Brief, descriptive and concise text used to provide an alternative description of an image on a web page. It’s intended to assist visually impaired users and improve accessibility, and to provide valuable context for search engines to understand the image’s content and relevance.


A set of instructions, rules, guidelines, and best practices that Google uses to assess, rank, and present web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs). These algorithms analyse various factors such as keywords, content quality, user experience, and website authority to determine the most relevant and valuable results for a given search query. 

Google’s algorithms continuously evolve to provide users with accurate and up-to-date information while promoting high-quality online and Shopify stores. Website owners work to understand and optimise for these algorithms, aiming to enhance a site’s visibility and rankings in search results through strategies aligned with these guidelines and best practices. 


The process of collecting, analysing, and interpreting data to gather valuable insights related to website traffic, user behaviour, keyword rankings, click-through rates, conversion rates and performance metrics. 

By analysing these metrics, website and Shopify store owners can assess the impact of their SEO strategies, identify opportunities and areas for improvement, and make informed decisions to optimise website visibility, user experience, and overall online success.

Anchor Text

The clickable text displayed in a hyperlink, typically underlined in a different colour, serving as a descriptive label for the linked page’s content. By using effective and relevant anchor text, website owners can improve their search engine rankings and provide context to both users and search engines about the destination page’s topic.


Refers to the perceived level of credibility, expertise, and influence that a website or web page holds within its niche or industry. It is a measure of how trustworthy and reliable a source is considered to be by both users and search engines. 

Authority is determined by factors such as the value and relevance of content on the site, the number and quality of backlinks from other reputable websites, and the overall reputation and recognition within the online community. Websites with higher authority are more likely to rank well in search engine results and attract organic traffic, as Google prioritises authoritative sources to deliver valuable information to users.  

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter B



Also known as an inbound link, this is a hyperlink on one website that directs users to another website, indicating a connection between the two. Backlinks are important because they are seen as votes of confidence or endorsements in Google’s eyes, indicating a site’s credibility and authority.

Shopify and online stores with a higher number of quality backlinks from reputable sources are often deemed more authoritative, achieving better rankings.

Black Hat

Unethical and deceptive tactics used to manipulate search engine rankings and exploit loopholes in search algorithms, with the hope of achieving quick but unsustainable improvements in website visibility and traffic. Black hat practices often violate search engine guidelines, risking penalties and loss of visibility for a website. 


A regularly updated section of a website that features valuable articles, posts, or content pieces focused on specific topics, industry trends, or subjects of interest. This content serves to attract organic traffic from search engines, engage the audience, and establish the website as an authoritative source. 

This is because blogs allow sites to target specific keywords, answer user queries, and address various aspects of a topic providing opportunities to create fresh, relevant, and high-quality content. Blogs are also beneficial for lead generation, fostering user interaction, and building brand awareness through sharing valuable insights.

Bounce Rate

A web analytics metric that measures the percentage of visitors who land on a website or webpage and then leave without interacting with any other pages or elements on the site, typically within a specific time frame. The purpose of tracking bounce rate is to assess the effectiveness of a website or webpage in engaging visitors and retaining their interest, providing insights into user behaviour.

A high bounce rate may indicate that visitors are not finding what they’re looking for, or that the website’s content, design, or usability needs optimisation. A lower bounce rate indicates better user engagement and successful conversion funnel progression.


In the context of web design and user navigation, breadcrumbs are a hierarchical trail of clickable links displayed on a webpage, typically located near the top of the page. They provide users with a clear path of their navigation through the website’s structure, facilitating easier backtracking or movement to higher-level pages. 

Broken Link

A hyperlink on a website that points to a URL that is no longer valid or accessible, leading to a ‘404 Not Found’ error when clicked by users or search engine crawlers.

Broken links negatively impact user experience, website credibility, and search engine rankings, making it essential to regularly identify and fix these links to maintain a healthy and well-functioning website.


The software application used by internet users to access and view websites online. Browsers play a crucial role in rendering web pages, executing JavaScript, and interpreting website code. This influences how search engines crawl, index, and display web content to users, thereby affecting search engine optimisation strategies and website performance. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter C



Refers to the temporary storage of web page data, images, and resources on a user’s device or a server, enabling faster loading times and improved user experience upon subsequent visits to the same website or page. 

Search engines like Google also use caching to store and retrieve web page information, impacting how often they re-crawl and re-index content.

Click Depth

The number of clicks required for a user to reach a specific webpage on a website, starting from the homepage. It measures the level of accessibility of a page within the website’s structure and can impact user experience and search engine crawling and indexing efficiency.

Websites with shallow click depth, where important pages are easily accessible with fewer clicks, generally offer better user navigation and may receive better search engine rankings.

Click-through rate (CTR)

A metric that measures the percentage of users who click on a specific link, advertisement, or search result among the total number of users who view it. 

It’s commonly used to assess the effectiveness and relevance of a webpage’s content, ad campaign, or search engine result in generating user engagement and driving traffic to the intended destination.

A higher CTR generally indicates that the link or result is compelling and relevant to users, positively impacting overall web performance. 

Code to text ratio

A measurement that calculates the proportion of HTML code compared to the visible text content on a webpage. It’s used to assess the level of code bloat or excessive HTML markup on a page. 

A higher ratio indicates a potentially less optimal page structure that may impact search engine crawling and indexing efficiency, and affect search markings and user experience. Websites with a lower code to text ratio generally have more concise and optimised HTML, leading to faster loading times and better SEO performance.


Competitors refer to other websites or online entities that target similar keywords, topics, or audiences and compete for visibility and rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Identifying and analysing competitors is a crucial aspect of SEO strategy as it helps understand the competitive landscape, benchmark performance, and devise effective tactics to improve search rankings, organic traffic, and overall online presence.


Refers to the textual, visual, or multimedia elements present on a webpage, such as articles, blog posts, images, videos, infographics, and more, which are designed to provide valuable information and engage users. 

High-quality, relevant, and well-optimised content is essential for improving search engine rankings, attracting organic traffic, and enhancing user experience on a website. This is where the term ‘content is king’ comes from. 

Content management system (CMS)

A software platform or application that allows website owners or administrators to create, manage, and organise digital content, including text, images, videos, and other media, without requiring extensive technical knowledge. 

A well-optimised CMS can facilitate efficient SEO practices by enabling easy content updates, optimising meta tags, improving website structure, ensuring proper indexing and visibility in search engine results, contributing to enhanced search rankings and user experience.


Refers to the desired action that a website owner wants visitors to take on their site, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, subscribing to a newsletter, or any other action that indicates a successful accomplishment of the website’s goals. 

Conversion Rate

This is a crucial metric for determining the effectiveness of a website or landing page in achieving its goals and measuring the success of SEO and digital marketing efforts. A higher conversion rate indicated better user engagement and the successful fulfilment of website objectives. 

Core update

A significant and broad change made to the underlying search algorithm, impacting how Google assesses and ranks web pages and websites in its search results. 

Core updates are not focused on specific aspects or targeted issues, but are designed to enhance overall search relevance and user satisfaction, resulting in noticeable fluctuations in search rankings and visibility for websites. 

These updates are rolled out periodically by Google, meaning website and Shopify store owners need to adapt their strategies to align with the changes introduced by each core update. 

Core web vitals

A set of specific user experience metrics that Google uses to evaluate the loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability of web pages. These include: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures the time it takes for the main content to load, First Input Delay (FID), which assesses the responsiveness of a page to user interactions, and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which gauges the visual stability of a page.

Google considers core web vitals as key factors in its algorithm to determine the quality of user experience provided by websites. 


The statistical relationship between two or more variables, such as specific on-page elements, backlink profiles, content quality, or website performance metrics, and their impact on search engine rankings. 

Analysing correlations can help identify patterns and factors that may influence a website’s visibility and rankings in search engine results, enabling you to make informed decisions to optimise the site and improve its performance.


Also known as a search engine spider or bot, a crawler is an automated program used by search engines to systematically browse and index web pages across the internet. They follow links from one page to another, gathering data about the content, structure, and metadata of each page, which is then stored in the search engine’s index for display in search results.

The crawling process is essential for search engines to discover and rank web pages, making them accessible to users when relevant queries are made.

Crawl error

Where a search engine crawler, such as Googlebot, encounters difficulty or issue when attempting to access and index a specific page on a website. Crawl errors can be caused by various factors, such as server issues, misconfigured website settings, broken links, or restricted access. This can lead to the affected page not being indexed or displayed properly in search engine results. 

Resolving crawl errors is crucial for ensuring that all relevant pages on a website are properly indexed and accessible to users through search engines. 


Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is a programming language used in web development to control the presentation and layout of HTML elements on a webpage, including fonts, colours, spacing, and overall visual design. 

By separating the content and structure from the style and appearance, CSS enables web designers to create consistent and aesthetically appealing websites across various devices and screen sizes, enhancing user experience and facilitating website maintenance and updates. 

Customer Journey

In SEO terms, customer journey refers to the process that a potential customer goes through from the initial discovery of a product or service through various touch points and interactions with a website, search engine results, and online content. This leads to the final decision-making and conversion into a customer. 

Understanding and optimising the customer journey is crucial for website and Shopify store owners to create relevant, valuable, and engaging content that aligns with user intent at different stages of the journey. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter D



The information collected and analysed from various sources, such as website analytics, keyword research tools, search engine results, user behaviour metrics, and other data points.

Dead-end page

Also known as a dead-end URL or orphaned page, refers to a webpage on a website that has no internal links pointing to it from other pages within the same site. 

Dead-end pages are isolated from the site’s overall structure, making them difficult for users and search engine crawlers to discover and access, which can negatively impact search rankings, indexing, and user experience. Properly interlinking relevant content and ensuring that all pages are connected within the site’s architecture can help avoid dead-end pages, improving the overall navigability and visibility of the website.

Deep link

A hyperlink that directs customers to a specific page or content within a mobile app, bypassing the app’s home screen or main menu and leading them directly to the intended content. 

Deep linking enables seamless and targeted user experiences by allowing users to access relevant app content from external sources such as websites, emails, or other apps, increasing user engagement and retention within the app. 

Deep linking is becoming an increasingly popular and successful SEO strategy due to the rise of app-commerce. With 79% of Shopify traffic coming from mobile devices, many website owners are creating mobile apps for their business. You can too - get in touch with a member of our team today. 


The removal of a webpage or an entire website from a search engine’s index. When a page or website is de-indexed, it will no longer appear in the search engine’s organic results, making it effectively invisible to users conducting searches. 

This can happen voluntarily, for reasons such as temporary maintenance or to hide confidential information, or involuntarily, as a result of violating search engine guidelines or receiving a penalty for engaging in unethical SEO practices. 

Re-indexing requires resolving the issues that led to de-indexing and requesting the search engine to crawl and re-include the page or website in its index. 

Direct traffic

Visitors who arrive on a website by directly typing its URL into their web browser, using a bookmark, or accessing it through a saved link. These visitors do not come through search engine results, social media, or other referring websites, but rather have a direct knowledge of the website’s URL and navigate directly to it.

Direct traffic is a significant metric that reflects the brand awareness, loyal user base, or offline promotions of a website, and it can also include visitors who click on links from non-clickable sources, like emails or PDFs. 


The main web address or URL that identifies a website on the internet. It serves as a unique and distinct identifier for a specific website, and it typically consists of two main parts: the domain name, (e.g, storelab), and the top-level domain, (e.g, .app, .com, .org, .net).

The domain name helps users easily remember and access a website, while the top-level domain indicates the type or category of the website (eg, .com for commercial, .org for organisation). 

Domain authority

A search engine rankings core which predicts how well a website or domain is likely to rank in search engine results. It’s a logarithmic scale ranging from 1-100, with higher scores indicating a higher potential for ranking, and a stronger online presence and credibility. 

Domain authority is determined based on various factors, including the number and quality of backlinks pointing to a website, its overall link profile, and other SEO-related metrics. 

Duplicate content

Identical or substantially similar content that appears on multiple web pages within the same website or across different websites. Search engines, like Google, strive to deliver diverse and relevant search results to users. So having duplicate content can lead to crawlers encountering difficulties in determining which version of the content is most relevant, resulting in potential indexing and ranking issues. 

To maintain strong SEO performance, it’s essential to avoid duplicate content and ensure that each web page offers unique and valuable information for users and search engines.

Dwell time

The duration of time that a user spends on a web page after clicking on a search engine result before returning to the results page or navigating another website. 

It’s a user engagement metric that search engines may use to assess the quality and relevance of a webpage to a user’s search query. A longer dwell time generally indicates that the page’s content is valuable and satisfying to users.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter E



The buying and selling of goods and services over the internet, involving online transactions between businesses, customers, or individuals. It encompasses a wide range of activities, including online shopping, electronic payments, digital product delivery, and customer support. 

This enables businesses to operate in the digital marketplace, reach a global audience, and conduct commercial transactions seamlessly through various e-commerce platforms and websites.

Editorial link

Also known as a natural or earned link, this is a hyperlink that originates from another website’s content, voluntarily placed by the website owner, editor, or author, due to the relevance and value of the linked content. 

Unlike paid or manipulative links, editorial links are organically earned often as a result of high-quality content, valuable resources, or exceptional expertise, and they hold significant weight in SEO. This is because search engines consider them as endorsements of a website’s authority and relevance.

Engagement metrics

A set of performance indicators used to measure the level of user interaction, involvement, and interest with a website or online content. These metrics may include time on page, bounce rate pages per session, click-through rate, social media shares, comments, and other user interactions. 

Engagement metrics provide valuable insights into how users interact with the content and how effectively it captures their attention and encourages further interaction. When it comes to SEO, tracking and analysing engagement metrics can help gauge the effectiveness of a website or content in engaging users and improving user experience.

External links

Links on a webpage that direct users to other websites or web pages outside the current domain. These links connect users to external resources, references, or additional information, and they are an essential aspect of web content and SEO as they provide valuable context and credibility to the linked content. 

Having relevant and high-quality external links pointing to a website can positively impact its authority, reputation, and search engine rankings, demonstrating its connections with other reputable sources and enhancing its overall visibility and trustworthiness. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter F


Featured snippet

Also known as a ‘position zero’ result, this is a special type of search result that appears at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) in a box format, providing a concise summary or direct answer to a user’s query. 

Featured snippets are designed to quickly provide users with relevant information without having to click on a specific search result. This makes them highly prominent and valuable for increasing website visibility, organic traffic, and establishing authority in the search results. 

Websites that provide well-structured, informative, and relevant content have a higher chance of being selected by search engines to appear as featured snippets for relevant queries.


The ease with which a website or its individual web pages can be discovered and accessed by users and search engine crawlers. It's a big part of website design and optimisation, involving the use of relevant keywords, proper site architecture, and user-friendly navigation to ensure that the website’s content is easily findable and accessible to the target audience.

First link priority

The concept of giving more importance to the first occurrence of a hyperlink to a specific page on a website, within the context of internal linking. Search engines consider the first link to a page as the primary signal of its importance and relevance within the website’s hierarchy. By strategically placing the most crucial internal link first, website owners can signal to search engines the primary destination for that page, influencing its rankings and visibility.

SEO Gossary A-Z Definitions Letter G



The most dominant and widely used search engine operated by the company Google LLC. As the most popular search engine globally, Google plays a pivotal role in determining the visibility and rankings of web pages in search results. 

Being Google-friendly is a critical aspect of successful SEO strategies, as it can significantly impact a website’s online presence and overall success. To do this, website owners need to focus on optimising their websites to align with Google’s search algorithms, guidelines, and ranking factors. 

Google analytics

A web analytics tool provided by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, user behaviour and other key performance metrics. It can be used to gain knowledge of how users interact with a website, identify popular content, track conversions, measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and make data-driven decisions to improve user experience and overall website performance. 

Google analytics captures and analyses data, presenting it in easy-to-understand reports and dashboard, helping businesses and individuals understand their online audience and optimise digital marketing strategies.

Google search console

A free web service provided by Google that allows website owners to monitor and manage their website’s presence and performance in Google’s search results. 

Google search console offers various features, including performance reports, indexing status, sitemap submission, mobile usability insights, and security notifications. This empowers website owners to enhance their site’s SEO, and ensure a great user experience for customers. 

Google trends

A free online tool provided by Google that allows you to explore the popularity and search interest of specific keywords or topics over time and across different regions. It provides real-time data and visualisations, such as graphs and charts, to show how search interest for particular topics changes over time. This means users can identify trends, seasonal patterns, and geographic variations in search behaviour. 

Google trends is widely used by marketers, content creators, and researchers to understand user interests, gauge the demand for specific topics, and inform their content strategy, marketing campaigns, and business decisions based on the latest search trends and insights. 

Guest blogging

A content marketing strategy in which an individual or a business writes and publishes a blog post on another website or blog, typically within the same industry or niche. 

The guest blogger aims to reach a wide audience, increase brand exposure, and build authority by leveraging the host website’s existing readership and domain authority. In return, the host website benefits from fresh, valuable content, and the potential for increased traffic. The guest blogger gains backlinks to their own website, improving their site’s search engine rankings and online visibility.

Here’s an example of one of StoreLab’s guest blogs, featuring Blue Horizons:

How do I write a brief for my Shopify Store?

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter H


Header tag

HTML elements used to define heading and subheadings within the content of a web page. They range from <H1> to <H6>, with <H1> being the highest level and representing the main heading of the page, and <H6> being the lowest level and representing a subheading. 

Header tags not only help structure the content and provide hierarchy for readers, but they also carry important SEO implications. Search engines use header tags to understand the context and relevance of the content, and using them properly can improve the on-page SEO and keyword optimisation of a web page. 


The language used to create the structure and content of web pages. It uses a system of tags and elements to define the layout, formatting, and presentation of text, images, videos, links, and other content on a webpage. 

HTML provides the foundation for web development, allowing web browsers to interpret and display the content to users as a coherent and interactive website. Combined with other web technologies like CSS and Javascript, HTML forms the backbone of the web, enabling the creation of dynamic and visually appealing web pages that can be accessed and viewed across various devices and platforms.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter I

Image compression

A process used to reduce the file size of digital images without significantly sacrificing image quality. It’s achieved by using online image compression tools such as TinyPNG and Optimizilla to eliminate unnecessary data from the image file. This results in a much smaller file size that requires less storage space and loads faster on web pages or other digital platforms.

Image compression is crucial for optimising website performance, reducing bandwidth usage, and improving user experience, especially on websites where images play a significant role in content presentation and visual appeal.


The process of collecting, analysing, and storing information about web pages or content from the internet, making it accessible and searchable to users through the search engine’s database. Indexing is essential for ensuring that web pages are discoverable and visible in search engine results.

When a search engine crawls web pages, it extracts and records various details, such as keywords, meta data, and links, which are then organised and stored in an index. This index enables the search engine to quickly retrieve and display relevant search results in response to user queries, enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of search engine operations. 

Indexed pages

Indexed pages refer to web pages that’ve been discovered, crawled, and stored in the database (index) of a search engine.

Having a higher number of indexed pages can potentially increase a website’s visibility and the likelihood of appearing in search engine results, allowing more opportunities for users to discover and access the website’s content.

Internal link

A hyperlink on a webpage that directs users to another page or content within the same website or domain. Unlike external links that point to pages on different websites, internal links connect various pages within the same website, creating a network of interconnected web pages. 

This is a crucial aspect of website navigation, user experience, and SEO, as it helps your customer to easily find related content on your Shopify store, and also helps crawlers understand the link authority on a website. 

IP address

Serves as a way to identify and locate devices on the internet, enabling data transmission and routing between devices across the network. IP addresses facilitate the seamless exchange of data and information on the internet, enabling users to access websites, send emails, and communicate with other devices worldwide.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter J



A programming language widely used in web development to create interactive and dynamic features on a website. It’s essential for enhancing user experience through interactive forms, animations, dynamic content updates, and other functionalities that make web pages more engaging and responsive. 

Javascript works alongside HTML and CSS to build modern, interactive web applications and is supported by all major web browsers, making it a fundamental tool for front-end web development.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter K



A specific word or phrase that users type into search engines when conducting an online search for information, products, or services. They’re a key part of SEO as they help website and Shopify store owners to identify and target the keywords that are relevant to their content or business. 

By strategically incorporating relevant keywords into web page content, meta tags, and other elements, website owners aim to improve their organic traffic. This is because using keywords increases a website’s chances of appearing in search engine results when customers are searching for those particular words or phrases.

Keyword difficulty

A metric used in SEO to assess how challenging it would be to rank for a specific keyword in organic search results. It measures the level of competition and the effort required to achieve a high ranking for a particular keyword relative to other keywords in the same niche or industry.

Keyword difficulty is often expressed as a numerical value or percentage, with higher values indicating greater competition and a more challenging path to achieve a top-ranking position. Website and Shopify store owners use keyword difficulty to prioritise their keyword targeting. Focusing on keywords with lower difficulty levels has a higher potential for ranking success. 

Keyword research

The process of identifying and analysing the search terms, phrases, and queries that are relevant to your business. By conducting thorough keyword research, businesses can target the right keywords to improve their search engine rankings, attract organic traffic, and effectively reach their target audience in the competitive online landscape. 

Keyword stuffing

The practice of excessively and unnaturally inserting or repeating keywords, phrases, or irrelevant terms into a webpage’s content, meta tags, or other elements with the aim of manipulating search engine rankings. 

It’s an unethical and outdated SEO tactic that attempts to deceive search engines into ranking the webpage higher for specific keywords, regardless of their relevance or value to the content. 

Keyword stuffing violates search engine guidelines and can lead to penalties, causing a web page to be ranked lower or even removed from search engine results altogether. As search engines have evolved to prioritise quality content and user experience, keyword stuffing is now considered a harmful and counterproductive SEO strategy that should be avoided. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter L


Landing page

A standalone web page specifically designed and optimised to capture the attention of visitors and prompt them to take a specific action. Desired actions include filling out a form, subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase, or downloading a resource. 

Unlike regular web pages that serve various purposes, a landing page has a singular focus and is created to support a marketing or advertising campaign by providing a clear and persuasive call-to-action. 

It’s an essential element in digital marketing and lead generation strategies as it aims to convert website visitors into leads or customers. This is done by presenting them with compelling offers, relevant information, and a streamlined user experience that encourages them to take the desired action. 


Potential customers who’ve shown a level of interest in a website’s products, services, or content and may take desired actions, such as filling out a contact form, subscribing to a newsletter, or requesting information. These leads can be further nurtured and qualified through targeted marketing efforts to convert them into paying customers. 

Collecting and managing leads is a critical aspect of lead generation and customer acquisition strategies, allowing businesses to build relationships with potential customers and guide them through the sales funnel to make a purchase or take a desired action.


The clickable connection between two web pages, either within the same website (internal link), or between different websites (external link). Links contribute to a website’s authority, credibility, and visibility. This is because search engines use links to assess the relevance and importance of web pages, with high-quality and relevant inbound links positively impacting rankings.

Link building

The strategic practice of acquiring high-quality and relevant inbound links from other websites to improve search engine rankings and online visibility. The goal of link building is to establish a strong and authoritative link profile, which demonstrates to search engines that a website is a trusted and valuable resource within its industry or niche.

It involves outreach, relationship building, and content creation to earn natural, editorial links that signal a website’s credibility, contributing to increased organic traffic, improved domain authority, and stronger online presence. 

Long-tail keywords

Specific and highly targeted search phrases that consist of three or more words, often used by those who are seeking detailed or niche information. Unlike shorter and more general keywords, long-tail keywords have lower search volumes but tend to be more relevant and less competitive.

Long-tail keywords help websites attract highly targeted and qualified traffic, allowing businesses to address the specific needs and preferences of their audience. This can result in improved search rankings, better user engagement, and higher conversion rates for an online store due to their alignment with user intent and specific search queries.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter M



The structured and descriptive information that provides context, attributes, and characteristics about a specific object, resource, or data. It offers details about the context, format, origin, and other relevant aspects, aiding in organising, categorising, and managing information.

Metadata is commonly used in various contexts, such as digital files, databases, websites, and libraries, to facilitate efficient search, retrieval, and understanding of the associated content. This enables users and systems to effectively interact with and interpret different types of information.

Meta description

A brief and concise summary of the content of a web page, typically consisting of a few sentences or a short paragraph. It’s an HTML element that appears in the metadata of a webpage’s source code and provides a preview of the page’s content to search engines and customers.

Meta descriptions are often displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs) under the page title, offering users a glimpse of what they can expect if they click on the link. Optimised meta descriptions that include relevant keywords and compelling information can influence click-through rates, improve search engine visibility, and encourage users to visit the webpage by providing a clear understanding of its content and value. 

Meta tags

Also known as title tags, meta tags are snippets of HTML code that provide metadata about a webpage’s content to search engines and browsers. They include various elements, such as meta titles and meta descriptions.

Meta tags offer information that helps search engines understand the relevance and context of a website, which helps with accurate indexing and ranking in search results. Additionally, they can influence how a web page is displayed in search engine listings and social media shares, impacting click-through rates and user engagement.

While some meta tags are visible to users, others are part of the page’s source code and contribute to behind-the-scenes optimisation efforts. 

Mobile-first indexing

An SEO strategy where search engines predominantly use the mobile version of a webpage’s content for indexing and ranking purposes. With the increasing usage of mobile devices for internet browsing and shopping, search engines prioritise the mobile version of an online store over the desktop version to ensure a better experience for mobile users. 

This means that a website’s mobile friendliness, responsiveness, and overall performance on mobile devices play a crucial role in its search engine rankings. Shopify stores that are optimised for mobile-first indexing are more likely to rank higher in search results, as you’ll be providing relevant and user-friendly results to mobile searchers. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter N



A specialised and focused segment within a larger market or industry, characterised by specific needs, preferences, and interests. It represents a distinct subset of consumers who share common traits, demographics, or behaviours. 

Operating within a niche allows businesses to target a well-defined audience with tailored products, services, or content that cater to their unique requirements. Niche marketing and specialisation often lead to increased customer engagement, loyalty, and the potential for reduced competition. This is because businesses can establish themselves as experts and fulfil specific needs within their chosen niche.


An attribute added to a hyperlink’s HTML code that instructs search engines not to pass or ‘follow’ the link’s authority, trust, or ranking influence to the linked page. Essentially, it tells search engines that the linked page should not receive any SEO benefit from the linking page.

Nofollow links are often used for user-generated content, sponsored posts, or any situation where a website wants to disassociate itself from the linked content’s SEO impact. While nofollow links may not directly contribute to a page’s search rankings, they can still play a role in referral traffic, user engagement, and brand exposure.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter O


Off-page SEO

The activities and strategies conducted outside of a website to improve its search engine rankings and online visibility. It involves efforts to build the website’s reputation, authority, and credibility across the internet. 

Off-page SEO mainly revolves around acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites, as well as engaging in social media marketing, influencer collaborations, guest blogging, and other external promotional tactics. The aim of this is to enhance a website’s overall online presence, boost its domain authority, and signal to search engines that a website is a valuable and trusted resource.

On-page SEO

Optimisation strategies and techniques implemented directly on elements within a webpage’s content and HTML structure, such as meta titles, meta descriptions, headers, images, keywords, and internal linking.

On-page SEO aims to align the content with relevant search queries and user intent, making it more appealing to both search engines and users. By optimising on-page factors, such as keyword usage, readability, and content quality, websites can enhance their chances of ranking higher in search engine results, attracting organic traffic, and delivering a better user experience.

Organic search

The process by which users discover and access a website’s content through unpaid, natural, and non-advertising search engine results. When users enter queries into search engines like Google, it presents a list of relevant web pages based on its algorithmic assessment of content quality, relevance, and user intent.

Organic search results are determined by a website’s SEO and its alignment with user queries. Unlike paid search results (advertisements), organic search traffic is driven purely by the website’s visibility and relevance within the search engine’s index, making it a valuable and sustainable source of web traffic.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter P


Page ranking

The position or order in which a webpage appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) in response to a specific search query. It’s determined by search engines’ algorithms that assess various factors, such as content relevance, quality, backlinks, user engagement and more. Pages with higher rankings are displayed closer to the top of the SERPs, increasing their visibility and the likelihood of attracting clicks from users.

Page speed

The time it takes for a web page to fully load and display its content for users. Faster-loading pages tend to provide a better browsing experience and are more likely to retain users. 

Page speed is influenced by various elements, including size of images, scripts, stylesheets, server response time, and overall website design. Optimising page speed is essential to reduce bounce rates, enhance user engagement, and improve search engine ranking. This is because search engines consider fast-loading pages to provide a positive user experience, meaning that these sites are prioritised in search results. 

Page title

An HTML element that defines the main and succinct title of a web page. It appears at the top of a browser’s window and is displayed as the clickable headline in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

The page title is a concise summary of the webpage’s content, helping both users and search engines understand the topic and purpose of the page. Crafting an effective page title that includes relevant keywords and accurately represents the content is crucial for SEO, as it influences click-through rates, user engagement, and search rankings. 

Paid search

Also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, paid search is a digital marketing strategy in which advertisers pay a fee each time their ads are clicked, driving users to their website or landing page. 

These ads appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) or on other online platforms, often above or alongside organic search results. Advertisers bid on specific keywords relevant to their products or services, and their ads are displayed to users who search for those keywords. 

Paid search allows businesses to target a specific audience, control their budget, and quickly generate traffic and leads. This drives immediate online visibility and attracts potential customers in a competitive environment.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter Q


Quality content

Well-crafted and valuable information presented in a format that is engaging, informative, and relevant to the target audience. It’s content that meets the needs, interests, and expectations of users, providing them with solutions, insights, or entertainment. 

Quality content is characterised by its accuracy, depth, originality, and ability to deliver a positive user experience. It is also optimised for relevant keywords, structured for readability, and may include multimedia elements. It’s a cornerstone of effective digital marketing, attracting and retaining users, enhancing brand credibility, and often leading to higher search engine rankings and organic traffic. 


A specific search term, phrase, or question that users input into a search engine when seeking information, answers, or solutions. Queries are used to retrieve relevant content and resources from the vast pool of data available on the internet. 

Understanding user queries is key when it comes to optimising web content to align with user intent and ensuring that websites rank well for relevant search terms. Google analyses queries to provide accurate and meaningful search results, making them a fundamental element in the process of information retrieval and online research. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter R



The position at which a web page appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) in response to a specific search query. It reflects the relevance and quality of a webpage’s content, its optimisation efforts, and how well it matches the user’s intent. Websites and Shopify stores strive to achieve higher rankings so that they’re more likely to be found on the first page of Google.

Ranking factor

Refers to anything that is used as a criterion to assess and determine the position of a web page in SERPs for specific search queries. Ranking factors can include a wide range of on-page and off-page elements, such as content quality, keyword usage, backlinks, user experience, mobile-friendliness, page speed, and more.

These factors are taken into consideration by search engine algorithms to evaluate the relevance, credibility, and overall value of web pages, ultimately influencing their rankings.


The process of sending users and search engines from one URL to another URL, typically due to a change in the webpage’s location or structure. They are implemented using HTTP status codes, with different types of redirects serving specific purposes. The most common include 301 redirects, which are permanent, and 302 redirects, which are only temporary. 

Redirects are crucial for maintaining a seamless user experience, preserving search engine rankings, and ensuring that both search engines and customers are directed to the most relevant and updated content. Managing redirects is an essential aspect of website maintenance and optimising to prevent broken links and help Google understand the changes made to an online store’s structure or content.

Responsive design

A web design approach that ensures a website’s layout and content automatically adjust and adapt to various screen sizes and devices, providing the optimal user experience across desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Search engines prioritise user experience, and responsive design contributes to better customer engagement and reduced bounce rates. Websites and Shopify stores with responsive designs are more likely to receive positive signals from search engines.

Return on investment (ROI)

In terms of SEO, ROI refers to the measurement of the value and effectiveness of search engine optimisation efforts relative to the costs incurred. It evaluates how well the resources invested in SEO activities, such as content creation, link building, and website optimisation, translate into tangible results. These desired outcomes include increased organic traffic, higher search rankings, and ultimately conversions or revenue. 

Calculating ROI involves comparing the gains achieved, such as improved website performance and engagement, against the expenditures involved in implementing strategies. A positive return on investment indicates that a site’s optimisation efforts are yielding more value than the resources invested, while a negative ROI suggests that adjustments or refinements in the strategy may be needed to achieve more favourable outcomes.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter S


Search intent

As the purpose or motivation behind a user’s online search query, search intent reflects the specific information, action, or solution that a customer is seeking.

Search intent can fall into different categories:

- Informational. Seeking knowledge or answers. 

- Navigational. Looking for a specific website or page.

- Commercial. Researching products or services with the potential to convert. 

Understanding and targeting search intent is the key to creating valuable content that satisfies users needs and enhances the likelihood of attracting qualified traffic and new customers.

Search volume

The number of times a specific keyword or search query is entered by users into a search engine within a given time period, typically measured on a monthly basis.

Search volume provides insights into the level of interest and user engagement surrounding a term, indicating how frequently people are actively seeking information, products, or services related to that keyword. Analysing search volume helps website owners to identify the search terms that will drive organic traffic and target their content to meet customer needs and preferences.

SERP (Search engine results page)

The page displayed by a search engine in response to a user’s query. It lists a set of organic and paid search results, along with various features such as snippets, knowledge panels, images, videos, advertisements, and related search suggestions. 


A structured and organised file or page that lists all the URLs of a website’s individual web pages, content, and resources. It serves as a blueprint or guide that helps both search engines and your customers navigate and understand the structure and hierarchy of a website’s content. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter T


Time on page

The amount of time that a customer spends actively engaging with a specific web page before navigating to another page or leaving the website. Time on page is calculated by tracking the time difference between when a user lands on a page, and when they move to another page or exit the site. 


The number of visitors who access a website or Shopify store by clicking on its links from various sources, including search engines, referral websites, social media platforms, or direct visits. 

Web traffic is a key performance indicator (KPI) that measures the popularity and reach of a website. Organic traffic relates to visitors who arrive at a website through unpaid search engine results, indicating the effectiveness of search engine optimisation efforts. Analysing and optimising web traffic helps businesses assess their online presence, user engagement, and the impact of their marketing strategies.

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter U


Unnatural link

A hyperlink that is created with the intention of manipulating search engine rankings rather than providing genuine value to users. These links often violate search engine guidelines by attempting to artificially boost a website’s authority or visibility through practices like link schemes, link exchanges, or purchasing links. 

Unnatural links can negatively impact a website’s search rankings and reputation, as Google aims to prioritise high-quality, organic, and relevant links that genuinely enhance user experience. It’s important for websites to maintain a natural and ethical approach to link building to maintain a strong online presence.


A web address that specifies the unique location of a resource, such as a web page, image, file, or document, on the internet. URLs are used to access and link to online content, enabling users and web browsers to locate and retrieve information from different websites and servers. They also play a fundamental role in web navigation, sharing, and search engine indexing. 

User experience (UX)

The overall quality and perception that users have when interacting with a product, service, or digital interface, such as a website, application, or device. It encompasses every aspect of a customer’s interaction with your online store, including ease of use, accessibility, visual design, functionality, and responsiveness seen during their journey. 

Creating a positive user experience for your website or Shopify store means focusing on meeting your customers’ needs, providing seamless navigation, delivering valuable content, and ensuring intuitive and effective interactions. UX design aims to optimise the usability and enjoyment of digital experiences, enhancing user satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty.  


The extent to which a website’s design, structure, and functionality facilitates a smooth, intuitive, and effective experience for users and search engines. It involves creating a user-friendly interface that allows your customers to easily navigate, access information, and complete desired actions, such as making purchases or submitting forms. 

Usability in SEO includes optimising website elements for search engine crawlers, ensuring that content is well-organised, accessible, and properly linked. A high level of website usability contributes to improved user engagement, longer time spent on site, lower bounce rates, and favourable search engine rankings. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter V



How much a website or its individual web pages are easily discoverable and prominently displayed in SERPs for relevant search queries. A high level of visibility means that the website appears authoritatively and frequently in search results, increasing its chances of attracting organic traffic from users searching for relevant topics or information. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter W



A digital document or resource that is accessible through a web browser and displayed on the internet and is indexed by search engines to be displayed in search engine results pages. They consist of various elements, such as text, images, multimedia content, and hyperlinks, arranged within a structured layout. 

Web pages serve a wide range of purposes, including providing information, presenting products or services, sharing news, offering entertainment, or facilitating online interactions. Each web page is identified by a unique URL, and is a fundamental building block of websites, collectively forming the content and user experience of the online environment.

Website navigation

The system of menus, links, and interactive elements that enable users to move between different sections, pages, and content within a website or Shopify store. It provides a structured pathway for users and search engine crawlers to explore and access information, products, or services offered. 

Effective website navigation is designed to be intuitive, user-friendly, and organised, allowing visitors to easily find what they are looking for. This enhances user experience, reduces frustration, encourages engagement, and contributes to longer time spent on the website, which is highly favoured by search engines like Google. 

Word count

The total number of words contained within a specific piece of content, such as a web page, blog post, or article. It’s an important factor that search engines may consider when evaluating the quality, depth, and relevance of a page’s content.

Whilst there is no fixed ideal word count for all types of content, longer articles often have the potential to provide more comprehensive and detailed information. This can be beneficial for addressing user queries and establishing authority on a particular topic. However, it’s crucial to balance word count with the quality and value of the content to ensure that it effectively meets user needs and search engine requirements. 

SEO Glossary A-Z Definitions Letter X



XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a widely used markup language designed to store, structure, and transport data in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. It utilises tags to define elements and attributes that represent various types of information, allowing for the creation of customised data structures.

XML is commonly used for data interchange between different systems and applications, as well as for structuring content in documents, databases, and web services. Its flexibility and compatibility make it valuable for a range of purposes, including website sitemaps, data feeds, configuration files, and more. 

XML Sitemap

A structured and standardised file in XML format that provides search engines with a comprehensive list of all the individual pages, content, and resources on a website. It’s designed to assist crawlers in efficiently discovering and indexing web pages, ensuring that no important content is overlooked during the process. 

XML sitemaps contain essential information about each URL, such as priority, last modification date, and frequency of updates. By submitting an XML sitemap to search engines, website and Shopify store owners can improve the visibility and indexation of their web pages. 

Looking to find more effective SEO strategies to improve your Shopify store’s organic traffic? Discover our article.

Case Study Brand MDS
Launch your mobile app in just 2 weeks

Skyrocket your Shopify sales with a no-code iOS & Android mobile app. Available now on the Shopify app store.

Looking for more?

Sign up to our newsletter to receive expert tips, industry insights, and important news direct to your inbox.

We put privacy first and will only contact you with relevant content. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, check out our privacy policy.