Many business owners think they know what search engine optimization is. They understand the basic concept: that search engines search for specific keywords, and that sites with those keywords listed in the text receive ranking preference. That definition, however, is far too narrow to achieve effective results.
For businesses in large cities like Tucson, search engine optimization requires in-depth research into area culture and slang. Location-specific keywords are necessary to keep residents from being directed to sites that are out of their region or otherwise useless.
Successfully getting noticed by search engines also requires research to determine what your area-specific keywords are. In Tucson, search engine optimization terms for entertainment websites might include the names of local bands or establishments. In places like New York City, terminology may be a bit broader. Successful search engine optimization, especially for location-specific businesses, is all about knowing the audience.
Unfortunately, many website owners take the use of keywords too far. This practice is called keyword stuffing. Though you might think, “the more keywords the better,” the fact is that search engines are prepared for this mindset. Too many occurrences of the same term within the text of your website, and you’ll be marked as spam, and relegated to the bottom of the pile.
So what does proper search engine optimization achieve? Think about the last time you wanted to go out to dinner and were in the mood for something specific. You may have gone to a search engine and input the type of food you wanted and your location, for example: burgers in Tucson. Search engine optimization is what determined the order of the hamburger restaurants returned in your search.
Think about that for a minute. There could be hundreds of deserving burger joints out there, but your choice was determined by which website’s administrator had the best knowledge of search engines, or which businesses chose to hire a professional firm to optimize their online presence.
This is the new frontier of marketing. Where flashy advertising was once the ticket, today spreading the word about a business is all about knowing what the keywords are and where and when to use them. Quality and service are still important, but customers won’t know anything about the upcoming music performance you are trying to promote or the delicious hamburgers you serve unless the keywords are in place.