A very prominent SEO and veteran Internet marketer recently said that keywords are no longer necessary. Just write content, he says. The search engines will rank you.
Is there wisdom in that or is it a bit misguided?
I certainly believe that social media has changed the stakes of the game. You can feasibly build a business model completely around social media marketing, in which case keywords are not necessary. You could promote your content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Klout, Foursquare, YouTube, and every other social media giant out there and do just fine. No keywords necessary.
But I subscribe to a holistic view of Internet marketing. What I mean by that is, you want to give yourself every bit of an edge that you possibly can – in social media and in the search engines. To succeed at building yourself an edge, keywords are certainly helpful.
Many SEOs proclaim that keywords in titles are helpful to your on-page SEO. I’ll have to agree. That’s been my experience.
The prominent SEO mentioned above says keywords in titles aren’t necessary because it is your inbound links that are pushing you up in the rankings. But I’ve seen pages rank prominently without the links. So, no, I’ll have to say that’s bad advice.
I’m not saying links aren’t necessary. I’m not saying they aren’t helpful. I’m saying links alone are not going to give you the edge. Nor will on-page keyword stuffing. You have to focus on the big picture and that means honing your on-page content with SEO in mind.