Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Quick Definitions



“Search engine what?” and “What is SEO?” are questions we hear all the time. Here are some quick definitions to help you figure out what SEO is all about.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a Web site by ensuring that the site remains high on the list of results returned by a search engine


A search engine results page (SERP), is the listing of web pages returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query. The results typically include a list of web pages (organic and paid) and feature titles, a link to the page, images/videos, location specific results, and a short description showing where the keywords have matched content within the page.

On-Site SEO

This includes features of your site itself that make it attractive to search engines returning results. Part of the game is just having readable, high-quality content on your site. But your site’s placement can also benefit from a tweaking of some more-technical attributes — like the following:

Keyword or Keyword Phrase

A word (or combination of words) that describes the topic or subject of a piece of content. It is also a word or combination of words that are used in a search engine to search for a topic or subject.

Meta Title

A short title – up to 70 characters long (when optimizing for Google) – that can be viewed at the very top of your web page as well as any time your website shows up in a SERP.  Meta title should be keyword-rich, with the most-important keyword occurring towards the beginning of the title.

Meta Description

A description, ideally under 165 characters long, that is not visible on the actual website but appears when your website shows up in a SERP.  Meta descriptions should be keyword-rich, with the most important keyword occurring towards the beginning of the description.

Meta Keywords

Keywords delivered to search engines highlighting relevant keywords within the document or website.

Off-Site SEO

As if that weren’t enough, search engines also take into account whether your site is mentioned on other high-ranking sites. A link to your site from a well-respected source — say, a community group, a school, or a business — signals that your site is respected and deserves views. On the other hand, links from bad sources are not helpful, no matter how numerous they may be.

Social-Media Mo’

Mentions on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter show the continued relevance of your site and help establish its position. Staying active and building a buzz on these sites helps you to piggy-back on the high ranking they’ve achieved.

About the Author:

Leader of the Artsy Geek team and creator of Camp Artsy Geek, Jen comes from a long line of get-rich-quick-schemers. A serial entrepreneur, she launched her first business at the age of 12: a crocheted goods pop-up. A lover of good design and effective marketing, Jen believes that life -- and business -- should be fun and enjoyable. Life is short! Follow your dreams and train your brain to support your success. We're in this together. Rock on!

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