If a tourist goes to a foreign country he is most likely to come across an alien language. He will not be able to understand what the natives are saying. They will also scratch their heads when he tries to tell them something. Basically it will appear like a funny scene of total confusion right out of Hollywood.
When a new website owner decides to hire an SEO professional, they would come across a similar situation. The website owner obviously does not know about SEO so he hired a professional, while the other guy is dealing with a complete novice. One can imagine the confusion that would follow in the office because of this situation. It will be like the example of the tourist above except that it will not be so funny.
Lack of proper communication in a business environment is a serious issue. It is therefore necessary that the concerned party (in this case the website owner) should familiarize himself with the subject at hand. That means he should understand the terms used in SEO and what they mean. Not only the website owner but anybody who is interested in search engines and how they rank should be up-to-date with the terminology and their impact on SEO. Here are some common terms which are good to know:
White hat SEO: It is the set of techniques and tactics to improve your web site search engine rankings without resorting to cheating or unethical means. In other words, you religiously follow all the terms and conditions laid out by search engines. If you try to break rules, you are likely to be penalized or entirely banned. So always wear your white hat so to speak. Posting high quality content for human users, using appropriate keywords, regularly updating new content, optimizing your website for fast load speed are some of the examples of white hat SEO.
Black hat SEO: This term is the opposite of white hat SEO and means circumventing or breaking the rules of search engines. How to know whether your SEO manager is indulging in black hat SEO? If he is posting content on the website for search engines rather than for human consumption, he is more likely using black hat SEO techniques (read tricks). These tricks are no more fruitful as search engines are getting smarter every day. You are most likely to be banned for using these black hat methods. Article spinning, keyword stuffing, duplicate content are some examples of black hat SEO.
Search engines: Have you ever used search engines? If your answer is no, then you are probably wrong. Anybody who has used Google has used a search engine. They are the websites which help locate the links of content which a user wants to search. Search engine examples other than Google are Bing and Yahoo which are the more common ones.
Keywords: One of the important terms in SEO is keywords. The keywords or phrases that you use on your website are the ones which help people find you on search engines. Keyword form the basis of SEO hence a lot of time and effort should be spent on using the right keywords which can spell success for your SEO campaign.
Title tag: It is the title of the web page in an HTML code. One can see it on the top of the web browser. It is also visible in search engines results as a clickable heading. Descriptive title tags are important from SEO perspective as they help the site to rank well with search engines. The title tag tells search engines what users can find on the actual page.
301 redirect: This sounds like the section of a legal code, but actually it is an instruction for search engines that a particular web page has moved to another location. For e.g., if a web page www.abc.com/1 has moved to www.abc.com/2 we need to alter the path with the 301 redirect from old URL to new URL. So a user searching for www.abc.com/1 would automatically be sent to www.abc.com/2. It also helps the search engines index the new page and/or retain the SEO rankings of the page.
Knowing these basic terms would help you in getting familiar with how websites and SEO are correlated. You will not appear like a tourist in a foreign land trying to understand their language. It will also aid in effectively communicating with your SEO team and planning out a strategy to get good search engine rankings.