Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the practice of boosting your natural listings in search engines such as Google and Bing. Natural listings (or organic listings) are the non-paid search results. Ultimately, this is where you would like your website to appear for a relevant search term.
The primary job of a search engine is to list the most relevant websites for a given search. It is your job to determine what the most relevant terms are for your website.
For example, lets say you are a lawyer in Sacramento, California. If I do a general Google search for “Sacramento, California lawyer” there are about 14,200,000 results. So, for your law firm to appear first on this list, or even on the first page would be quite a feat. So, lets narrow our focus. Say you are a patent attorney. So, now when I search for “Sacramento, California patent attorney” the resulting website list is 189,000. While this is still a significant number, it’s not nearly as broad as the 14,200,000 list.
What does all of this mean for you? It means that when you design and develop the content of your website you need to focus on a more narrow subject. As in the example, you’ll want to develop content specific for Sacramento, California patent attorneys. Write detailed information relevant to the patent industry. The more information you have on this topic, the better chance you have of becoming the expert.
Search engines rank sites by analyzing the content and its relevance to the search term. If you are indeed the resident expert, your site should reflect that with relevant content.
SEO experts may try to sell you tricks for ranking higher in the search engines, but believe me, the search engine algorithm is an ever changing entity. When a user searches for a specific term, they expect relevant search results. And the search engines will continue to evolve so that the most relevant appear higher on the natural listings.
Bottom line. Know the primary focus of your website and then develop relevant copy.