SEO 101

by Cody See, SEO Specialist for Mudd Digital 

Sometimes (most of the time) I talk and nobody understands what I’m saying. While I can’t say this is anything new, I can say the amount of time spent explaining what I mean has only gone up since becoming an SEO. To be fair, this stuff is complex. By no means do I expect others to understand how we (SEOs) do what we do, but it would be nice if they had a basic understanding of the terminology. In my opinion, these are the basics.

SERP image

SERP – A SERP is a search engine results page. When you search for something and it shows you the results, that’s a SERP.

title tag example

Title Tag / Page Title – The title tag (or page title) is one of the single most important on-page ranking factors. As you can see, it shows up in the SERP and at the top of your browser. It should accurately describe what a given page is about.

meta description example

Meta Description – The meta description shows up underneath the title tag in the SERP. It should support the title tag and entice searchers to click and visit your website.

anchor text

Anchor Text – I think it’s fair to assume that most people know what a link is. Anchor text is visible part of a link. For example, in this image “Puppy for Sale” in the anchor text for the URL “http://www.dailypuppy.com/results.php?searchTerm=Puppy+for+Sale”. Search engines use anchor text to help determine what a webpage is about.

alt text puppies

Alt Attribute (Alternative Text) – Computers don’t have eyes (duh), so they rely on us to tell them what an image is about. Alt text is a description inserted into the code for search engines to read and understand what a picture shows. A good alt text for this picture might be “Tired Golden Retriever Puppy” and would look like so:
Image Source: Flickr

Aaand we’ll stop there. If people find this information useful and would like me to continue, I’ll write an SEO 102 and include more terms in my next post.


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