As I wander through forum land I am increasingly aware of how people are going into SEO meltdown. You know the kind of people I'm talking about. In essence they have either a bad site, a bad idea or worse, both.
Instead of concentrating their efforts on creating a great site, something genuinely useful, something different, something that solves a problem or takes a sideways look at an old favourite they just go round and round in ever decreasing circles looking for the elusive SEO trick that will put then on the map.
The problem is, if that trick exists they are still going to be disappointed, possibly more so. Imagine having that eureka moment, imagine seeing traffic flock to your site, then imagine looking at that 100% bounce rate in your analytics.
You see, web users are not stupid, ok some are, but most aren't. If people spend just a few of their valuable seconds clicking on your site, waiting for your cheap web service to serve up a rubbish website they are going to hit the back button before your beautiful background music hits the end of the first bar.
Of course getting your SEO right is really REALLY important. Of course keyword research is critical, of course securing quality links is going to shoot your site up the SERPs, but if all that is at the expense of actually offering something worth while you're wasting your time.
There is a school of thought that suggests creating great websites is a killer SEO tactic. Great websites tick the SEO basics boxes by default and bolt onto that something worth looking at. By all means become a scholar of SEO, it's a never ending quest that makes The Lord of the Rings seem like a short story, but not at the expense of your website, you're better than that......