No matter what kind of business you have, a bricks and mortar business or a strictly online business, these days it's important to market online. A lot of people get really tied up in search engine optimization (SEO) tricks and think that is all there is to online marketing. But, nothing could be further from the truth. SEO is certainly part of online marketing, but it's only a small part.
There are popular blogs and websites that exist today which get loads of traffic but technically have horrible SEO. When you look at a popular website that became highly read and shared without using SEO, you have to ask, “What did they do differently than someone who used SEO tricks to try to get on the first page of Google Search?” The answer is that on most popular websites you'll find a lot of unique, interesting, compelling, and well-written content.
One could argue that content is SEO and certainly it is one aspect of good SEO. However, focusing too much on SEO (like keywords), can make you miss the point of content. The point of content is to provide interesting, compelling and thoughtful content to your audience. After that, the point of content is to provide keywords and keyword phrases to search engines so that your audience can find you.
The new search engine algorithms no longer just look at keywords as an indicator of a good website to send readers to. Instead, the algorithm looks at a variety of factors outside of keywords. In fact, in many cases you can't even find out what keywords your readers are using to find you anyway.
So, instead of focusing so much on specific keywords, and SEO tricks, focus instead on providing your readers a good experience on your website. You want to give them awesome content that they can use, as well as point them to the right place for products and services that match your audience's interests. This will take more research into who your audience is, than research into the use of keywords.
The great thing about creating unique, compelling and useful content for your audience is that it's going to naturally contain keywords that your audience might use to find you, without artificially stuffing keywords into uncomfortable sentence structures. This is going to make your content even more readable and valuable to your readers.
In addition, focus on creating valuable communities on social media networks, as well as focus more on building your email list. Focus on ensuring that your URLs are keywords based on the topic of each page as a whole, rather than focusing on individual keywords.
This doesn't mean you should give up the idea of keyword research, but it does mean that you need to focus on providing valuable content to your audience in a variety of formats on your website, as well as on social media accounts, blogs, and more. By remembering that marketing is about your customer first and foremost, you'll likely find that your SEO improves dramatically, naturally.