Unofficial Guide to Search Engine Marketing Terms

Here’s a list of common Search Engine Marketing (SEM) industry terms we come across in our daily work and definitions in our own words. 

Anchor text – Anchor text is the visible text or title on a digital interface (such as a web site or page, phone screen, or mobile device) that when clicked, directs the viewer to a URL (web address or web page). Anchor text is usually distinguished from general text by appearing in a color and underlined. Anchor text should include keywords and phrases that relate to the related URL and vary exact wording (each instance of the anchor text link should vary when linking to the same page or site) to avoid potential spam penalties from search engines.

Conversion– A conversion is any action or goal that you want a visitor to take or complete on your site. Some examples are a product purchase, contact form submission, newsletter signup, whitepaper download, phone call, etc. Conversions can be measured to determine the effectiveness of your website, brand presence, or SEO or content marketing campaign.

Link Building – Link building is the process of building the number of inbound links to a particular website through public relations, community building and other forms of web based outreach. Link building could also be described as a popularity contest where the goal is to increase both the quantity and quality of inbound links, with the intention of increasing organic traffic to a domain.

Retargeting – Retargeting is a way to continue marketing to users after they have visited your website.  For example, if you’re the owner of a website that sells shoes and a user views a specific type or brand of shoes on your site, you can use retargeting to display online ads and offer additional messaging or discounts to him/her after their visit, even if he/she has not yet made a purchase. Retargeting can help remind users of your product or service and this repeat exposure may drive them to purchase. Retargeting can also make a compelling offer to those who may be unsure of making a purchase and still in the research phase of shopping.

SERP – Search Engine Results Page, this is the web page you arrive at after searching for something in a web browser that displays listings of information on the internet that most closely match what you were searching for.


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