As a site owner, I spend a great deal of time trying to make my website more search engine friendly. It's my goal to get hits, and the only way to get hits is to make sure that I'm writing quality content that is beneficial for the topic being marketed. The Panda and Penguin updates continue to emphasize the importance of great content, and I suspect that the future of web marketing is going to be far more about quality than it is anything else in the SEO world.
But I'm not an internet marketer. When I started my website, I started it for a legitimate purpose. I struggled with anxiety for years, and decided that I wanted to create a website dedicated to anxiety and recovery. Am I monetizing it? Of course. There's nothing wrong with the idea of trying to earn a living from something you're passionate about. Baseball players don’t take smaller contracts just because they love baseball, and I'd like my website to be my career. Yet I still created it for a purpose other than making money.
The Key to SEO Success
I believe that that is why I've had success in the marketing world – passion. These days, everyone is trying to create the next great moneymaker, and so they're constantly targeting keywords that are highly competitive, but also highly profitable. They're essentially using language that isn't natural to them to try to get their website to rank well for the hardest keywords available. Then, when they don't achieve success, they give up.
I don't keyword target any of my pages. Sure, almost every post has the keyword of the topic I'm writing about, but that's not intentional – that's a natural function of writing about any given topic. What's more, most of my hits don't come from these competitive keywords. They come from natural keywords that show up throughout each article. A great deal of my website's success comes from these natural long tail keywords. Why?
· Because I'm passionate about the topic.
· I write using that passion.
· That writing has the type of passionate, real keywords that other websites don't.
By not keyword targeting, in a way I'm actually keyword targeting. The language I use is the language that an actual anxiety sufferer would use, because both of us would presumably be passionate about the same thing.
Does that mean that each individual search gets a lot of hits? Of course not. People don't target long tail keywords for a reason, since they get maybe 100 searches a month, if that. But when you've developed a large enough website, you find that as long as you're not changing to language to what you think people want it to be – but rather, using language that people genuinely use because they're as passionate about it as you are, your ability to make a presence in search engines improves as a result.
Long Term Strategy
There are two types of websites online. The first is a website designed to do nothing more than make as much money as possible as quickly as possible. These are the websites that may have some initial success, but usually fail, and in the off chance they do succeed they still become less fun to work on over time.
Then there are the websites you're really passionate about. The websites that, while you hope to make a living on them someday, you would do for free provided you know your work is being appreciated. It's my belief that that's the key to long term success, because only then are you going to write well written content with the natural keywords that will help make you a presence in search engines.