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4 Common Search Engine Optimization Terms Explained

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization a.k.a. SEO. If you’re truly committed to establishing a strong online presence, then this is one big three-letter word with which you’ll need to have some familiarity. You should know some of the basic terms that your SEO team will use to succeed in our incredibly digital and increasingly mobile workplaces, schools and homes. So, below is a quick guide to four common SEO terms that you can explore and get to know a little better, today.


Bounce Rate:

Your bounce rate is an important SEO term that is used to help clarify your website’s success with audiences.

The first term to consider is your bounce rate, “The percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which a person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page)” (Google, 2015). Your bounce rate can reveal how well your website is connecting with audiences. Imagine you’re throwing a party, the doorbell rings, you open the door to a smiling face… and then they turn around and rapidly run (i.e. bounce) away. High bounce rates are often a sign that a site is lacking some key component (e.g. user-friendly design, relevant content, mobile capability), which creates traffic loss. Although there are exceptions, such as webpage’s designed to quickly deliver basic information. In this case a high bounce rate may be normal. So keep your objective in mind when reviewing rates.


Hits Versus Page Views (i.e. Impression):


Search Engine Optimization

The SEO terms, hit and page view, which are also called impressions, are often used interchangeably but are really quite distinct.

You should be familiar with both in order to understand some of the key components of your SEO team’s analytics reports. A hit is defined as, “An instance of a particular website being accessed by a user. For example, The site gets an average 350,000 hits per day” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2015). This is very valuable when you’re trying to determine exactly what a server can reasonably handle. For example, the generic Google Analytics system allows for up to ten million hits within a month per web property, while the premium version allows for over one billion hits in a month (Google, 2015). This makes a big difference when business leaders and web strategists are evaluating their data collection resources.

A page view a.k.a. impression by turn is, “An instance of an Internet user visiting a particular page on a website. For example, ‘On a monthly basis, the site now gets more than 1 billion page views” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2015). Page views basically tell you how many different, distinct pages individual users are visiting within your website. This is critically important for businesses that want to guide customers to interact with something specific such as a survey or e-commerce page that’s included in the site.

You can use page views in combination with other data to see how well audiences are able to engage with specific sections of your website, make improvements over time and increase the ROI for your online investment.



The last key SEO term we’re going to go over is one of the most significant and commonly misunderstood. That is, the surreptitious session.

“A session is a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. As soon as one session ends, there is then an opportunity to start a new session” (Google, 2015). So a single session could include everything from when a user first arrives at your homepage and explores the articles on your blog to their interaction with your e-Commerce content. Typically a session ends when thirty minutes of inactivity elapse, when the clock strikes midnight (possibly, Cinderella-inspired) or when there’s a campaign change, in which a user arrives from one campaign but leaves and then returns via another. This offers insight into exactly how people actively navigate on your site. That is, until every mouse turns into a pumpkin at midnight. True fact.


Review & Remember Your SEO Terms:

  • Bounce Rate
  • Page Views
  • Sessions
  • Hits


The Beauty of Search Engine Optimization:

Information is power and there’s a virtual ton that comes out Search Engine Optimization techniques and the reports they produce. Whether you’re trying to improve navigation elements to create a more user-friendly experience or determine what topics your target audiences are most drawn towards, SEO supports decision-making processes in any sound web strategy. In fact in a recent article by Moz co-founder and contributor Rand Fishkin, he wrote,

“The beautiful part of SEO is that, once completed, these efforts can have ongoing and compounding benefits for months or years to come. The newly accessible and optimized pages start earning rankings and traffic, which beget more links, more personalization-biasing, more exposure, more sharing and more business.”

That’s the beauty of SEO in a nutshell.

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