This is part three of our what is a…website terminology series. By the end of this edition, you’ll know the basics of tracking your website analytics and who can help you get better results.
If you haven’t yet read our first two editions, you should go and check those out too. In part one, we discuss the ins and outs of development, while in part two, you can learn all about the world of web design.
In edition four, we’ll be discussing:
- What is SEO?
- What is SEM?
- What is NAP?
- What is Google Analytics?
- What is Google Tag Manager?
- What is a slug in SEO?
- What is an alt tag?
- What is a meta title and description?
- What is a keyword?
- What is a H1, H2, H3, H4 & H5?
SEO vs SEM Analytics
What is SEO?
SEO is search engine optimisation. To search engine optimise a website, you’re attempting to improve your online visibility on search engines to increase the organic (unpaid) traffic to your website. It is an ongoing process to ensure your website stays up to date with Google, Bing or whichever search engine’s best practices.
There are different types of SEO focuses, such as local search and regional specific to target more specific or broader audiences.
You can learn more about this topic in our Guide to SEO or on our SEO page.
What is SEM?
While SEO focuses on improving organic website traffic, SEM is to bring in people by using paid advertising—search engine advertising. SEM (AKA search engine marketing) is how businesses get their ads at the top of Google, Bing and other search engines, on other websites, in the shopping tab on Google, and more.
It sounds pretty easy, but there’s a whole science behind it. There are also different ways of getting your ads there, such as through Pay Per Click (PPC), display advertising, etc. Each of these has specific requirements and tricks to lower how much you need to spend.
Read our SEM Explained article for more information.
Web Analytics Software & Tools
What is Google Analytics?
This free tool is offered by Google to give you insights on your website traffic. It works by putting tracking code into your website, which tracks your users’ age, gender, interests, how they interact with your website and more.
What Google Analytics provides is valuable insight into your users’ behaviour or who is not interacting with it. You’d be surprised what pages people look at on your website—and Google Analytics reveals it all. Then, you can use it to see what’s working and what’s not.
If you’re not used to technology, it may be a little tricky to set up. But don’t worry, all Localsearch websites include Google Analytics setup.
What is Google Tag Manager?
Okay, this one is a little more difficult to explain. Firstly, you need to understand what tags are. A tag is a snippet of tracking code attached to aspects of your website to collect different pieces of data. So, how is it different to Google Analytics?
Google Tag Manager tracks things like where people click on the screen (known as a heat map), how many people download files, how far they’re scrolling, etc. Pretty much, it tracks all the little nitty gritty things you don’t know you need until you have them. See people clicking on a word that’s not hyperlinked? Hyperlink it! Are they only scrolling halfway and missing important information? Move it on up.
Localsearch websites also includes Google Tag Manager setup so you don’t even have to worry about how to do it.
SEO & SEM Activities
What is a slug in SEO?
There’s nothing named after food in this edition, like parts one or two, but there is a slug. A slug is the part of a URL (if you don’t know what this is, go see part two) that identifies the page of the website easily. For example:
What sets this apart is that each slug can be edited to really target what keywords you want. If you’re not 100 percent confident in doing this, leave it to a professional SEO specialist.
What is an alt tag?
An alt tag can also be called an alt attribute or an alt description. Alt is actually short for alternate, and when this tag is added to images, it can be good for SEO. Initially, alt tags were used for non-sighted recognition. If someone without sight uses a screen reader, the software is able to read what the image is about by reading the alt tag.
As this is good user experience, search engines love alt tags. By adding alt tags, Google may even pull keywords (see below) and show for relevant image searches.
What is NAP?
Name. Address. Phone number. Yep, that’s what NAP stands for. But why does it need an acronym? Having consistent NAP across your listings (such as on your Localsearch business profile) can help with your SEO. It confirms it is your business by giving Google something consistent to match quickly.
Learn more about this topic in our article, Everyone Loves a Good NAP…including Google.
What is a meta title and description?
Meta titles and descriptions are used to tell Google, Bing and other searches what a web page is about. They are also shown on search engine results (although they may not use your suggestion), like so:
Every meta title and description can be optimised to help put your pages where you want them to go. Let us know if you’d like to learn more!
What is a keyword?
A common question we hear when teaching people about SEO and SEM, is what is a keyword or keyphrase? You should think of keywords like your page subject. If you had to tell someone (AKA Google and search engines) what your page is about in one (or a few) words, what would you tell them?
Then, when you have your word or short phrase, you can use it to ‘optimise’ your website. Remember the SEO activities we mentioned above? This is one. You can learn more about using keywords in your content, check out our How to Write Website Content—Tips from a Copywriter article.
What is a H1, H2, H3, H4 & H5?
This is an easy one to remember. The ‘h’ in h1, h2, h3, h4 and h5 stands for heading and the numbers denote size. These are important for a number of reasons, including bettering user experience so users can navigate articles and web pages. They’re also seen as good for SEO, because Google and other search engines love good user experience.
Want to know more about using headers? Share this article on Facebook and tag us (@localsearch) to let us know!