Modern Marketing Myths #3: Keyword Research

I’m about to blaspheme one of the core SEO pillars of all time:  Keyword Research.  As conventional wisdom goes, is absolutely crucial to good search engine optimization and content marketing.

Except that it’s not.

People understand keyword research something like this…

Open up some keyword tool (used to be the Google Keyword Tool until…hmmmm…they took it down) put in a keyword, and out pops a list of magical words people used last month to find stuff related to the word you started the process with.

Here’s why that’s been one of the suckiest strategies in marketing almost from the beginning:  The data is old and people aren’t necessarily talking about it anymore.  That, and the rankings were always based on thin, spammable data that is just not used today to rank pages.  Keyword research is marking in the past, to ghost searchers who have long since moved on.

The reason keyword research is passe…

  1. We want to know what people are talking about NOW so we can take advantage of what’s hot NOW
  2. The most excited, targeted, hot-and-bothered people in your target demo are the ones who are excited now, not a month ago

If you must name it something in order to understand it, call it topic research.

Your #1 Question:  “What can I talk about or share right now that’s going to either a) increase my author rank or my social following, or b) increase direct, targeted traffic to my site, right now?”

That’s the question that should start any research on what you’re going to write or talk about:  to engage your best audience, right the freak now!

And don’t use software other than social media to find out what to talk about in your social and blog updates and articles.  Use this stuff instead…

Topic Research Tools for Modern Marketers

  2. Facebook Graph Search
  3. Google+ search

The most powerful marketer in the room is the one who cracks open one of the searches above when they want to know what people are asking for and talking about, right now.

There are scores of good things you can do with current information that people in your target demo are providing 24/7/365.  In fact, the most profitable, high-traffic site owner knows what their potential subscribers and customers are thinking at any given point during any given day.  And they don’t touch keyword research tools to get the best intel available for content marketing and SEO.

The name of the game today, over everything else, is engagement.


Engagement via social and on your site.  It is the dominant factor in measuring where you should be ranked in the Googleplex.  For that, you have to know where today’s hot buttons are in your market.  Not last month’s data.  And certainly not last decade’s SEO tool.

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Jack Humphrey

I've been free and thriving as a "digital nomad" for 20 years. And I've helped tens of thousands of people along the way to build and grow businesses that enable them to cut their own trail in life outside the conventional birth-school-work-grave life cycle so many are unfortunate to have to endure. If you meet me soon enough, your cycle could be birth-school-freedom. But it's never too late to break the cycle, either! If you are ready to take your business higher while increasing the time you have for living your biggest life, I just might be able to help you out.