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SEO Terminology: 10 Common SEO Terms and What They Mean for Therapist SEO

In the world of Search Engine Optimization, there are so many terms that are thrown around. 

There is a lot of lingo surrounding search engine optimization. In fact, there is so much that it can sound like a different language without having prior knowledge. So today, we are going to discuss common SEO terms and their place in the grand scheme of things.

The word keywords is surrounded by the terms concept, web, sem, content, words, and seo. Learn how we can offer SEO help for therapists at Simplified SEO Consulting. We offer support for counselor SEO and more.

What Are Long-Tail and Short-Tail Keywords?

Keywords are the terms that we chose to focus on and include in content to better show up for those terms. When it comes to short-tail keywords, these are phrases such as “anxiety treatment” that only have one to two words that make up the keyword. Long-tail keywords however can have four or more. 

Short-tail keywords often overlook long-tail when it comes to search volume. Since these keywords are shorter and more general, they are often searched for by a larger number of people. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are usually more specific due to the longer nature of the phrase. Thus, making them easier to rank for while helping focus in on a specific niche or topic. There are pros and cons of using each, which is why it’s important to use each when optimizing for specific search terms you’d like to rank for.

What Does HTML Mean?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. This is a basic markup language for documents used by web pages across the internet. HTML is used to tell web browsers what elements are present on a given page and make up the backbone of what you will see on a webpage. Every element is represented somewhere in the HTML of the page. While you may not be able to see it without a bit of technical knowledge, it still serves an invaluable purpose in SEO and web design as a whole.

What Does SERP Stand For?

This stands for search engine result page. When you search for something on Google, this is the page you see with all the possible search results related to your inquiry. The factors that determine where pages fall in a SERP can be difficult to understand, especially with the ever-evolving nature of Google’s search algorithm. But, understanding the major updates that may occur can help improve your SEO efforts in a variety of ways. 

What Is a Meta Description?

A meta description is a short paragraph that appears on SERPs and summarizes what the page is about. Normally Google will automatically create these based on the content of the page. But, these are rarely as effective as if you were to manually create your own. Writing your own meta descriptions for each of your web pages will allow you to also work in crucial keywords you are hoping to improve rankings for, thus helping google better understand the focus of the page and what you are hoping to rank for. 

A hand writes on a chalkboard with the word SEO circled. We offer support for therapist SEO and more.What Is the Difference Between Crawling, Indexing, Rendering, and Ranking?

Crawling refers to when robots (crawlers) for a search engine discover new pages on your site, and the links they have to other existing pages, which is why internal links are so important. After a robot crawls a site, it can index the crawled pages. Indexing is when these pages are recorded by the search engine, analyzed, and sorted based on the content of the page.

Rendering occurs when search engines take the HTML of your page, and use it to understand the structure of the page. It is the process of compiling the code of your site in order to better understand what an actual person will see when they visit the page. Finally, ranking is what private practice owners work to improve through SEO! Your ranking is where your site falls in the SERP, and this constantly changes due to other competitors working to climb to the top of the search results.

What Is a Sitemap?

A sitemap acts as, well, a map of your site! This helps search engines organize the pages on your site to crawl and index the content of your website. Without submitting your sitemap to something like Google My Business, SERPs may have a harder time understanding the type of content on your site, whether that be a video, image, or article. Plus, sitemaps also provide crawlers with another way to discover each page of your site. As a result, you don’t have to worry as much about isolated pages being looked over due to a lack of links. Your sitemap will take notice of them even if they’re not linked to any other page. 

What Are Alt Text and Alt Titles?

These are unseen additions to photos and other graphic elements on a page that help improves accessibility and provide content for search engines. The text and titles added to photos help search engines index pages correctly. These often include descriptions that explain the content of the photo and can provide a great chance to also rank for your focus keywords. These alt attributes can be added to the HTML of your site in different ways. Including them also helps toward improving how well you rank on Google. 

What Are Internal Links, External Links, and Backlinks?

Internal links are the embedded links on your website that connect each page to one another. External links are similar, but they link to external sites independent of your site. Backlinks is a type of external link in which another site creates a link that returns back to your site. Internal linking is an essential part of your site structure. External and backlinks are invaluable as well. They can help to improve the authoritativeness of your site. But, be careful, not all sites may be as reputable as others, meaning the wrong link can actually hurt the credibility of your site. 

What Is Black Hat & White Hat SEO

These are the methods in which you try to rank better on SERPs like Google. Black hat SEO tactics are those that can help you improve your rankings, but are often unethical and go against SERP guidelines in the process. In short, you want to avoid black hat SEO practices. Instead, white hat SEO practices are ethical methods to help improve your search engine rankings. 

A hand holds a magnifying glass looking at the letters SEO. We offer support for counselor SEO and more.

What Is a Featured Snippet?

These are becoming more important as Google continues to make finding the right answers more convenient for those searching for them. These are the small bits of text that often appear at the top of Google’s search results that are meant to offer quick answers to an inquiry. These make it easier for searchers to find answers without having to sift through an entire page. They also help capture attention and can improve the chances people will visit your site for more useful answers to their questions.

Begin Improving Counselor SEO With Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team of SEO specialists is experienced in offering support to improve the SEO of therapists nationwide. We offer a number of services that can help you improve your practice, and find your ideal client. If you are ready to start your SEO journey with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps: 

  1. Apply to start improving your SEO
  2. Meet with a member of our team of SEO Specialists
  3. Start ranking higher on Google and meeting with your ideal client

Other Services Offered With Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team of mental health SEO specialists is happy to offer a number of services to support your SEO efforts. We offer Done For You SEO packages as well as online courses, SEO training, Done With You 12-week intensive, and strategy sessions. We would be happy to start working with you by scheduling a free 30-minute consultation. Learn more by visiting our blog or visit our services page today.

About the Author

Photo of Sterling, an SEO Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting that specializes in all things technical SEO!Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He integrates what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues.  He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns.  Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support. He often goes the extra mile to do outside research and make sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term for the keywords their ideal clients are using!

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