The content and SEO glossary for digital marketers

April 26, 2019


John Thomas

Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are complex and ever-evolving fields. It can be difficult to keep up with all of the terminologies, let alone make sure your website is using the latest techniques to rank high on search engines. In order to help you better understand the complex world of content, we’ve put together a comprehensive glossary of terms.


A set of rules or processes that a computer follows to perform a task. In terms of SEO, algorithms are used by search engines to determine which websites should rank for a given query.

Alt Text

A brief description of an image is used to help search engines understand the content of the image. Alt-text is also used to provide information to users who are unable to see the image, such as those with visual impairments.


The process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data in order to gain insights into a given situation. In terms of content marketing, analytics can be used to track the performance of individual pieces of content, as well as overall trends on your website or blog.


A link from one website to another. In the context of SEO, backlinks are used by search engines to determine the popularity and authority of a website. The more backlinks a website has, the more likely it is to rank high in search results.

Black-Hat SEO

A set of techniques that are used to improve the visibility of a website in search results, regardless of whether or not they adhere to the guidelines set by search engines. Black-hat techniques are considered to be unethical and can result in penalties from search engines.

Calls to Action (CTA)

A statement or button that encourages the reader to take a specific action, such as subscribing to a newsletter or downloading a white paper. Calls to action are an important part of conversion-oriented content.


The various ways in which a piece of content can be distributed, such as social media, email, or paid advertising.

Content Brief

A document that outlines the goals, target audience, and key messages of a piece of content. A content brief is used by writers and marketers to ensure that all content is created with a specific purpose in mind.

Content Calendar (Editorial Calendar)

A schedule that outlines the topics, creation dates, and publication dates of all content that will be published in a given time period.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A system of computers that are used to deliver content to users based on their location. CDNs can improve the speed and performance of a website by caching content in multiple locations.

Content Marketing

A type of marketing that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and engaging content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience.

Content Writing

The process of creating content for a website or blog. Content writing can involve anything from crafting short articles to developing in-depth eBooks.


The act of completing a desired action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter. In content marketing, the goal is to convert readers into customers or leads.


The process of writing copy, or text, for a website or other marketing materials. Copywriting is usually focused on persuasion and is often used in conjunction with calls to action.


The process by which search engines discover new content on the web. Search engine crawlers visit websites and follow links to find new pages to add to their index.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

The amount of money that a company spends in order to acquire a new customer. In content marketing, CAC can be used to measure the effectiveness of various marketing channels.

Demand Generation

The process of creating interest in a product or service in order to drive sales. Demand generation typically involves raising awareness and generating leads.

Domain Authority (DA)

A metric that is used to predict how well a website will rank in search results. Domain authority is determined by a number of factors, including the number of backlinks and the quality of the content.

Featured Snippets (Rich Snippets)

A type of search result that features a summary of the answer to a user’s question, along with a link to the full piece of content. Featured snippets are designed to give users the information they need without having to click through to a website.


The different ways in which content can be presented, such as blog posts, infographics, or videos.

Google Search Console

A free tool offered by Google that allows website owners to track their site’s performance in search results, submit sitemaps, and view data such as the number of backlinks and impressions.

Generative Pre-trained Transformer – The Third Version (GPT-3)

Developed by OpenAI, GPT-3 is a machine learning model trained using internet data to generate human-like content.

Guest Blogging

Writing a blog post for another website in order to build relationships and drive traffic to your own site. Guest blogging can be an effective content marketing strategy if done correctly.


Adding a new page to a search engine’s database. Once a page is indexed, it can appear in search results.

Influencer Marketing

A type of marketing that focuses on working with influential people in order to promote a product or service. Influencer marketing can be an effective way to reach a large audience.

Information Architecture (IA)

The process of organizing the content on a website in a way that is easy to understand and navigate. Well-designed information architecture can improve the user experience and help search engines crawl a site more effectively.

Internal Links (Linking)

Links that connect one page on a website to another page on the same website. Internal links are important for both users and search engines, as they help users navigate a site and understand the relationships between various pieces of content.

Keyword Density

The number of times a keyword or phrase appears on a page is divided by the total number of words on the page. Keyword density is one factor that can be used to determine whether a piece of content is relevant to a particular search query.

Keyword Difficulty

A measure of how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword. Keyword difficulty is determined by a number of factors, including the number of competing websites and the quality of those websites.

Keyword Stuffing

The practice of stuffing a piece of content with keywords in an attempt to rank higher in search results. Keyword stuffing is considered to be a black hat SEO tactic and can result in penalties from Google.

Keywords (Key Phrases)

Words or phrases that are used to match a piece of content with a user’s search query. Key phrases should be included in a piece of content in order to make it more likely to rank for those terms.

Link Building

The process of acquiring links from other websites. Link building is an important SEO tactic, as links are one of the factors that Google uses to rank websites.

Local SEO

A type of SEO that focuses on optimizing a website for local search results. Local SEO is important for businesses that want to be found by users in their area.

Long-Tail Keywords

Keywords that are longer and more specific than general keywords. Long-tail keywords are often less competitive than general keywords and can be a good option for businesses that are just starting to optimize their website for SEO.

Manual Action (Manual Penalty)

A type of penalty that is applied to a website by a member of the Google search quality team. Manual actions are usually the result of a website violating Google’s guidelines.

Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQLs)

Leads that have been identified as being more likely to convert into customers. MQLs are usually the result of marketing campaigns or activities, such as website visitors filling out a form or subscribing to a newsletter.

Meta Data

Information that is used to describe a piece of content. Metadata can include a piece of content’s title, description, and keywords.

Meta Descriptions

A short description of a piece of content that appears in the search results. Meta descriptions often convince a user to click on a particular result.

Natural language processing (NLP)

A branch of AI that deals with analyzing and understanding human language.


Links that do not pass PageRank. No-follow links are often used when a website does not want to endorse another site’s content.

Off-Page SEO

A type of SEO that focuses on optimizing factors that the website owner does not explicitly control. Off-page SEO includes activities such as link building and social media engagement.

On-Page SEO

A type of SEO that focuses on optimizing the content and structure of a website. On-page SEO includes activities such as keyword research and creating meta descriptions.

Organic Traffic

Traffic that comes to a website from organic search results. Organic traffic is the most valuable type of traffic, as it is free and often converts well.

Page Speed

The speed at which a web page loads. Page speed is an important ranking factor for SEO, as it is one of the factors that Google uses to determine the quality of a website.

Page Speed Insights

A Google tool that allows you to measure the page speed of your website. Page Speed Insights also provides recommendations on how to improve your page speed.

Paid Search (PPC)

A type of advertising in which businesses pay to have their ad appear in the search results. Paid search is a popular marketing tactic, as it allows businesses to specifically target users who are interested in their products or services.

Performance Marketing

A type of marketing that focuses on measurable results. Performance marketing is often used to track the success of marketing campaigns and activities.


A fictional character that represents a target customer or user. Personas are often used in marketing to help businesses understand their target audience.

Pillar Page

A type of content that is comprehensive and covers a wide range of topics related to the main keyword. Pillar pages are often used as a foundation for other pieces of content, such as blog posts or ebooks.

Product-Qualified Leads (PQLs)

Leads that have been identified as being interested in a particular product or service.

Rank (Ranking)

Where a piece of content appears in the search results. Rankings are determined by a number of factors, such as the quality of the content and the number of links pointing to the page.

Return on Investment (ROI)

A measure of the profitability of an investment. ROI is often used to compare different marketing activities to see which is the most effective.

Sales-Qualified Leads (SQLs)

Leads that have been identified as being interested in purchasing a product or service.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

A type of marketing that focuses on getting website traffic from search engines. SEM includes activities such as paid search and SEO.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A type of marketing that focuses on getting website traffic from organic search results. SEO includes activities such as keyword research and link building.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The page that appears when a user performs a search. The SERP includes the organic search results and paid ads.

Search Volume

The number of times a keyword is searched for in a given period of time. Search volume is an important factor to consider when choosing keywords for SEO.


A file that contains a list of all the pages on a website. Sitemaps help search engines index a website.


A program that crawls websites and collects data about the pages. Search engines use spiders to collect data about websites.

Technical SEO

A type of SEO that focuses on the technical aspects of a website. Technical SEO includes activities such as site speed optimization and creating a sitemap.

Title Tags

The title tag is the HTML element that contains the title of a web page. Search engines use title tags to determine the topic of a page.

Topic Cluster

A group of content that is related to a specific topic. Topic clusters are often used in SEO as they help search engines understand the relationship between different pieces of content.

User Experience (UX)

The way a user interacts with a website or app. UX includes factors such as the design of the site and the ease of use.

User Interface (UI)

The part of a website or app that a user interacts with. UI includes elements such as buttons and menus.

White-Hat SEO

A type of SEO that follows the guidelines set by search engines. White-hat SEO tactics are considered to be ethical and effective.

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