using SEO to reach your potential:
a look at Target: Hit or Miss?
Have you ever wondered what happens when you type a word in the google search bar? Did you know that little digital robots and spiders are sent crawling all over the internet looking for keywords to bring you viable search results? Well, it’s true! Making the most of that process is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. SEO is one of the most important online marketing tools companies can utilize. Businesses and organizations should focus their efforts to make sure that they are ranking high in searches performed by their target audiences. If you can’t be found, you will be lost in pages and pages of search results and most likely you will lose out to another company that can fill the need of the user. Let’s take, for example, Target. According to Wikipedia, Target is a multinational retail company, with stores in America and Canada. The first Target store was opened in 1962 in Minnesota. It is the second largest discount retailer in the United States. Walmart is the largest. Target operates 1,916 stores in the United States alone. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_Corporation)
To reiterate, Target is the second largest discount retailer in the UNITED STATES! If anyone should be successful in online marketing and reaching their public, Target should. So, I performed a small experiment. First, I compiled a list of ten keywords that came to mind when thinking about one of my favorite retail centers. I’m an average Joe, and these are the words I would use if I were trying to find Target’s website. Individually I “googled” each of those keywords to see if and how highly the company’s website ranked in the search results. The results were shocking. Out of the ten keywords I chose, one of them being TARGET, only 3 took me directly to their site. Those words were…target, gift registry, and school supplies. When I searched bullseye logo, I was directed to Target’s blog, which then linked me to the company’s online store. I could not believe it!
By now, I am sure you are wondering what words didn’t work. Here are the keywords that didn’t direct me to Target’s website: bullseye, shopping, groceries, clothing, children’s toys or electronics. Am I wrong? Doesn’t Target sell all of those things? I decided to do a little digging. I went to Target’s online store and took a look at its meta tags, a type of hidden language, which helps search engines find you. Here are Target’s meta tags: target, target.com, www.target.com, target website, target online. Really?! I am amazed that operations as large as Target underestimate the importance of search engine marketing and search engine optimization. For my search, Target missed the bulls-eye.
More information below:
This experiment, although small, was performed to test one of my favorite companies. I wanted to see if Target would rank in search results using a list of ten keywords that I would use to describe the company and products they sell. What are your thoughts? Without searching for anything extremely specific, what keyword’s would you have used?
Name of Company: Target
Search Engine: Google / First page results only
Keywords: Target, Bullseye, Bullseye Logo, Gift Registry, Shopping, Groceries, Clothing, Children’s Toys, School Supplies, Electronics
- Keyword: Target – 1st spot
- Keyword: Bullseye – 0
- Keyword: Bullseye Logo – 1st spot & 7th spot
The first was a blog about Target. (Really Cool), with a SHOP button that linked to Target’s landing page.
The second was an amazon link for a book about Target.
- Keyword: Gift Registry – 4th spot
myregistry.com, Walmart, and Kohl’s showed up in top 5.
- Keyword: Shopping – 0
HSN and QVC both showed up in top 5.
- Keyword: Groceries -0
Wal-mart and Amazon showed up in top 5.
- Keyword: Clothing – 0
Zappo’s and Forever 21 showed up in top 5.
- Keyword: Children’s Toys – 0
Hearth Song, Melissa and Doug, and Ikea showed up in top 5.
- Keyword: School Supplies – 4th spot
Office Depot, Walmart, and Amazon also showed up in top 5.
10. Keyword: Electronics -0
Fry’s, Overstock and Walmart showed up in top 5.
On source page:
Target’s website listed the title as: Target: Expect More. Pay Less.
Keywords: target, target.com, www.target.com, target website, target online
<title>Target : Expect More. Pay Less.
<meta name=”keywords” content=”target, target.com, http://www.target.com, target website, target online”
On their landing page, you could find their name, their logo, a list of categories that included: clothing, shoes, and jewelry; electronics; toys and video games; grocery, household and pets; and back to class. It also had a link to registries.
© 2014 Target Brands, Inc. Target, the Bullseye Design and Bullseye Dog are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc. All rights reserved.