SEO is all the rage in web strategy. Determine what keywords lots of people search on and presto, you're a winner. The masses will come and you'll be rich. Well, maybe on paper.
Okay, maybe not. You'll at least be popular. Or could it be that you'll have a busy server. Yeah, that's a minimum. Let's start from the foundation. Your server. Hosting services are analogous to market traders (human or automated) who get commissions on your every trade. Load that server up and the hosting services get more business.
Then there is popularity. Some people buy highly traded stocks under the impression that if so many people like them, they must have a future. Highly traded stocks are "popular" but may not necessarily make money for you. Are we considering the potential conversion rates of those clicks we are sending to our pet products website by purchasing ads for the word "Molly Sirus"?
Other analogies to consider:
- Due dilligence
- "Under water" when your keyword investments are greater than their resale value
- Trading Price (of keywords) go up and down just as stocks do
- Being ahead of trends. (not relying on Google keyword listings. That's too late.)
At some point we're all going to realize that simply creating desirable, compelling, unique content will draw people in by it's very nature. At that time, many of the popular keyword "stock prices" will tank and those who invested in meaningless content based upon popular keywords will be "under water".
Quality SEO has its place as part of complete product marketing, strategy and development processes. First listen to your target customer to determine their current pains and desires. Then determine which pains/desires can be alleviated which which of your products/services. Adjust those products and services as needed. Finally enhance your web presence to cater to that target audience. Search Engine Optimization must take into consideration the current needs of the target audience. Relying on keywords simply because they are popular is like purchasing a stock because its trading volume was high yesterday.
Remember the sales cycle your father used to tell you about?