Understanding SEO: the value behind the jargon

So, you’ve heard about SEO, it’s that techy thing to do with Google, right?  If terms such as ‘bounce rate’, ‘metadescriptions’, and other tech jargon make you think, ‘I’ll just leave this to the experts’, this article can help you.


Many people get bogged down in the tech and don’t understand the value of Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, as it’s commonly known. There is no point creating a fancy new website or writing a brilliant blog if it isn’t optimised properly.

So, what is it?

SEO is how search engines decide where your business appears on the list of results for the words a consumer has searched. The helpful little search engine ‘bots’ trawl sites ticking off a list of criteria to make sure that they get the most relevant results for your search.

Knowing the criteria that they look for means you can ensure you are ticking the boxes that allow search engines to recognise your site for relevant searches, helping your business rise through the ranks, meaning more traffic to your site.

The Criteria

We’ve picked four common terms that you may have heard before to decipher in (hopefully) non-techy jargon, so that you can start to optimise your site.

Bounce Rate

To understand this topic, you need a quick example of why SEO is so important, and bounce rate is the key to this. The bounce rate of your site or page is the percentage of people who arrive onto the landing page (or other more relevant pages to their search) and who leave rapidly without browsing anymore of your lovely website. In essence, the people who come onto your site who don’t want to be there (I know, rude, right?!).

Let’s not be too harsh on these people though, however, as it might not be there fault they ended up on the wrong page for them.

If the bounce rate percentage for your site or page is high, it means that people are finding it from search engine lists where they have searched for a term or phrase irrelevant to the page they have ended up on when they arrive on your site.

This could mean that the message on your site is unclear, and the below sections can help you to optimise this and master your SEO.


One of the main factors a site looks for when assessing the SEO is the keyword of the relevant pages. The keyword (or keyword phrase) of your site would be your products, services or the general purpose of your business. If your site sells a particular product and this is mentioned frequently throughout the site or on a particular page of the site, this site or page will appear in the search results when a person types that word in.

This is why when you search for an item, you will see the link to the sites (in order of assessed relevance) with a short description below, with the words you have searched for in bold. The words in bold are the evidence the search engine is showing you as to how it has assessed the relevance to your search, thanks helpful little bots.

In order to help the search engine minions on their quest to get the best results, make sure to pick a list of keywords for your business that your online audience would be looking for in order to find you. This also helps to decrease your bounce rate as it attracts the right audience.


When you appear on a search results list, you will have a small description of the appearing page from your site (usually your homepage), where the words on your site relating to that page are emboldened. This is your metadescription.

Metadescriptions are incredibly important to SEO, if you haven’t written a little description of the pages on your website, then search engines will automatically crawl your site for relevant terms to the search keywords and pull a description sentence from there. This sentence will usually be a small line out of context with ‘…’ and the start, end or both.

This means that your site may actually not be relevant to that searcher at all, and so they will be led to your page under false pretenses and leave usually within a second or two, and harm your SEO. These are not the type of visitors you want, yes they may increase your user numbers, but your bounce rate will start increasing at an alarming rate. You want to target your business’ audience in order to increase conversions, whether that be sales or mailing list sign-ups.

By setting accurate and clear metadescriptions for your pages, you will attract the right people to your site, therefore increasing your conversion rate. There are lots of little guides to help you write the perfect, click here to find just one example. See, this SEO stuff isn’t hard!


It’s a simple but often missed truth, that content is king. By content, we mean the output of information your business shares with the world online, from social media to news and blogs.

By using your keywords on your news articles, blogs and social media posts, and regularly updating these with fresh content, this has a huge impact on SEO. It gives the search engine bots something more to find when it’s crawling for the keywords from a search and means that you are adding more relevant content and drives traffic to your site.

It is a good idea to make sure you have a plan for content, as random posting can send the wrong messages and mean that old content is still being found and clicked on, driving the wrong traffic to your site which will ultimately (yes you got it…) increase the bounce rate.


We hope this helps you to get to grips with SEO, but if you would like some more help and advice, Purple Sprout can produce detailed SEO and Web audit’s for your site as well as monitoring performance and building SEO friendly sites. Call us on 01782 658524 to see how we can help your business to increase SEO and website traffic.