Sometimes it seems like we are speaking a different language. In a way, SEO experts do speak another language—mostly comprising of SEO acronyms that can get confusing if you aren’t drinking our organic traffic Kool-Aid.

IMO (in my opinion), you should get off FB (Facebook) for a minute to learn some SEO acronyms that are SFW (safe for work), not at all TMI(too much information), and used IRL (in real life), like OMG!! Okay so maybe with that sentence alone, I lived up to my coworkers’ perception that I’m just a blonde twenty-something with a cheerleading and sorority girl past.

ALT: Alternative Text Attribute

Sometimes referred to as alternative text or alt attribute, an alt tag is used within the HTML coding of a webpage to give a text description to text images. This is useful for those who cannot see the images in their browser and will usually appear when the mouse hovers over an image. It also helps from an SEO perspective by giving search engine crawlers an idea of what the image is about—think of it as a caption for Google’s spiders.

CAPTCHA: Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart

A spam tool that makes commenters prove they are human and not a spam software or computer program. These usually consist of an extra step before a comment is submitted that takes the form of entering the key from a distorted image of numbers and letters.

CMS: Content Management System

CMS, like WordPress and Drupal, is a platform that allows for publishing, editing, and modifying webpages within a website. They are great for blog and website managers who do not have vast knowledge and experience with maintaining a traditional HTML (more on that later) site.

CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization is the process of making changes to your ads, marketing strategies, or website with the goal of turning more viewers or visitors into conversions. What constitutes a “conversion” varies from company to company.

CTA: Call to Action

A CTA is an image or line of text that prompts a reader or visitor to take your desired action. This can range from clicking a button, signing up for a newsletter, visiting a different link, and more.

CTR: Click Through Rate

A measurement of performance determined by dividing the number of clicks received by the number of impressions received. CTR is tied to keywords, search results, and PPC ads. For example, if someone searches for “Maryland HVAC companies” and they see an ad titled, “New York HVAC Companies,” it is highly unlikely that they will click the (seemingly) irrelevant ad. The PPC advertiser displaying the NY ad for a MD search is going to have a very low CTR associated with his or her ad (because the ad is receiving impressions, but it is not attracting clicks).

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language

HTML is the “markup language” that is used to create and format web pages and websites. It allows browsers to understand what a website should look like.

LPO: Landing Page Optimization

Landing page optimization is a broader form of CRO that focuses on improving the performance of a landing page in terms of visits, conversions, and sales.

LSEO: Local Search Engine Optimization

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for local search results, increasing your site’s visibility for geographically related or targeted searches.

NAP: Name Address Phone Number

NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and is critical for businesses hoping to rank well for LSEO (Local SEO from above, remember?). Google pulls the NAP listings from many online directories, sources, and citations when determining which companies to list for geo-specific searches. Consistent NAP is crucial.

PPC: Pay-Per-Click

Advertisers (meaning business owners and other companies) bid on keywords for paid search results and pay a fee every time an ad is clicked be a searcher. PPC is complementary (not cannibalizing) to SEO (more on that later) efforts.

PR: PageRank

PageRank is an algorithm used by Google to rank websites in their SERPs. According to Google, PageRank is determined by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine the importance and value of that website (under the assumption that more links to a webpage signals more importance and authority).

ROI: Return on Investment

ROI is the amount you make from a given marketing effort (PPC, SEO, direct mailer, etc.) compared to the amount spent on that effort. The higher your ROI, the more successful that marketing effort.

SE: Search Engine

A search engine is an online tool that is used for navigational, informational, or transactions searches to find other webpages. The top players in the search engine market are Google and Bing.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing encompasses all methods that attempt to increase a website’s online presence and search engine real estate—including SEO (more on that later) and PPC campaigns.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

The process of changing your website’s code, structure, on-page, and off-page content in a way that allows search engines to more easily find, index, and rank your site on a SERP (more on that later) relative to competitors. SEO is typically thought of as an organic or unpaid search engine marketing strategy.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page

The SERP is the listings provided by Google or another search engine for a given search term or phrase. Now, SERP can include organic, paid, local, mapped, and image listings to better provide the searcher with exactly they are looking for.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator

Mostly known as a URL, this acronym basically means a web address. It is a string of characters that lets your computer know where to go on the server to find that specific webpage.

UX: User Experience

From an online marketing standpoint, UX is how a user interacts with and experiences your website. Does it take a long time to load the page? Are they are to navigate through your site? Do they find the information from the body copy as suggested within the headings?