SEO Terminology 101

Here is all the lingo you need to know to understand your website's SEO tools!

Written by Digistorm
Updated over a week ago


In the context of SEO, an algorithm is a certain set of rules defined to solve problems in an automated way. Search engines use algorithms to discover pages on the web and rank them in the most relevant way for the searchers.

Alt text

Alt text, short for alternative text, is a descriptive text attribute added to an HTML image tag. It should describe what the details of the image it's connected to, so it can be read out loud by screen readers (making your website more accessible!).

Anchor text

Anchor text is the clickable text that is used to link to a different page on your website or an external web address. Most of the time, the anchor text appears blue and underlined. For example, if you link a word within a sentence to a different page, the linked word is the anchor text.


Backlinks (also known as incoming links, inbound links and inward links) are links that point towards your website, from another website. Backlinks are like votes of confidence; the more votes you have from quality websites, the better your site will rank for search engines (win!).


Search engine bots (also known as spiders or crawlers) such as Googlebot are tasked with scouring the web and scanning website pages. From there, a massive database or index is generated for all sites that have been crawled. These catalogues are then consulted when compiling search engine results. Think of it like a giant digital filing cabinet that search engines look through when asked a question.


The marketing term "Call to action" or "CTA" refers to any text designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale. A CTA most often refers to the use of words or phrases that can be incorporated into sales scripts, advertising messages, or web pages, which compel an audience to act in a specific way. A CTA might also be a button with compelling text like "Book here" or "Buy now"


In the context of SEO, an index is a search engine database which includes all URLs and the files within them. A search engine will first crawl your site, and then index it.

Web crawler

A web crawler, or spider, is a type of bot that is typically operated by search engines like Google and Bing. Their purpose is to index the content of websites all across the Internet so that those websites can appear in search engine results


Keywords are two to five-word phrases that your potential families would type into a search engine, eg Google or Bing, when looking for your school. If you use key words well, you will start to appear at the top of search lists when people are scouting for schools in your area.


Metadata is the information that defines and describes data. Some examples of basic metadata are author, date created, date modified, and file size. Metadata is also used for unstructured data such as images, video, web pages and spreadsheets.

SEO title

An SEO title refers to the words that appear in the header of a page, or as the SEO title tag within your HTML code.


A sitemap is a plan of your website, showing how your different pages are connected to one another.


A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested.

301 Moved Permanently or Redirect

A 301 automatically redirects a user from one web page to another.

404 Not Found

A 404 error message lets users know that a page cannot be found (perhaps the page has been deleted or there is a mistake in the URL).

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