If you have been following marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) news recently you might think that SEO is all but dead. Luckily with all the scaremongering that is going on, most of the issue is with people who have used spammy tactics and unusual link building strategies. The same key fundamentals of SEO are still just as true today as they have ever been.
The Basic Evolution of SEO
There are a few key guiding principles of SEO that stay true whatever else goes on within the world of SEO. But obviously the world of technology moves a lot faster than traditional business do so the exact methods for doing each step have evolved over time.
Key Principles Guiding SEO
- Find a topic/keyword that people are looking for
- Create epic content that will interest people
- Publish keyword optimised content online
- Get lots of people linking to your content
The Evolution of SEO Methods
In regards to the topic and keywords it was once easy enough to go for broad obvious keywords like weight loss, internet marketing, or dog training but eventually people needed to get more and more specific and along came the long-tail optimisation which meant people suddenly were optimising for five word phrases and specific product models.
Epic content used to mean a well written article. You’d either be considered an expert yourself, learn enough about a topic to write about it or go out and find an expert to write the article for you and then perhaps add a nice complimentary image. Fast forward to the current state of web content and we have infographics and videos being released daily that can take hours, days, or even weeks to produce.
To optimise for a keyword people would simply throw in a bunch of meta tags, add the keyword to the title, and use it a bunch of times within the post with a bit of highlighting through bold styling and anchor text. Whilst it’s still wise to use appropriate styling and well placed anchor text you are literally asking to be ignored if you dump a load of irrelevant keywords into your content.
Last of all people would publish their content online first with raw HTML, site builders, and later with CMS (Content Management Systems) like WordPress. They would go out and speak to other site owners to run link exchanges, get the site listed in a few different directories and maybe even go out and comment on some blogs. Now everyone is writing guest posts, creating sharable content that gets embedded around the web, crafting linkbait and working on their “social signals” from social media links.
Why Keyword Research Is Still The Most Important Element
As you can already see from just this short post alone, there is a whole lot to consider in the world of SEO. Far more than the average person will ever keep up with unless you decide to dedicate your entire business to it. The simple fact of the matter is whilst you may pick up tactics every now and then or work with certain SEO strategies over time every fad will pass and just two key elements will remain.
You will ALWAYS want to know what people are searching for…
You will ALWAYS want to create epic content that people enjoy/find useful…
Luckily both of these key aspects of SEO can be covered with some considered keyword research. If you knew that a thousand people were searching for a certain keyword every day whilst another keyword was being searched for just once a month then it’s obvious which content is more important to get your content found and shared. If you could simply tap into the search engine data to see the exact things that people want you could create the epic content that they are looking for. That is the power of keyword research…
The Keyword Research Tools I Can’t Go Without
Over the years there have been just two tools that have really stood the test of time in my business for Keyword Research. The first is the official Google Keyword Tool which is free and useful for quickly checking out a search term and the second is the Market Samurai which a premium tool that allows you to really go deep into the search engine data and work out the most profitable and attractive keywords to target. Both of these tools allow you to check out how many people are searching for certain topics and the level of competition if you create content in a certain area.
If you always focus on creating epic content (whatever that may be at the time) that is targeted to the right keywords for your audience then you will always have a solid base to work from and you can worry as much or as little as you want about adding the latest search optimisation technique or link building campaigns.
It’s often said that content is king, but the truth is “creating epic content that people want to consume is king” (Tweet This). It may not sound as catchy but it’s the one truth in SEO that will never change. Focus on your keywords and content and the rest will follow.