I laugh to myself when I hear everyone in SEO talking about how the most important thing to improve your website's position in Google is backlinks. Now do not get me wrong, I absolutely agree that building backlinks to your pages is important, but there is something that I consider much more important – and that is keyword research.
You see, there is no point have millions of backlinks to your website if you are targeting keywords or phrases that are not being searched by people.
So many times I have heard of 'seo experts' claiming they have the number one position for keywords that sound impressive, but when you do the keyword research you realize that no one is looking (let alone buying) from those keywords. So they may sound impressive, but they end up just being 'trophy keywords'.
This is why I believe that keyword research and optimization is integral for SEO. What it means is that right from the start we know the keywords that people are searching for, and the ones that people will buy from – and we can gauge whether the effort it would take to rank for those keywords will be covered by the results ranking well for them will achieve.
To make this research easier, there are quite a few keyword research programs available but will do a lot of the analysis for you. This not only saves you a lot of time, but it will also save you a lot of money – because you will know your end result before you start chasing it.