As a matter of fact I often disregard SEO to areas I consider more relevant… creating remarkable content. Sometimes the right articles hit on hot keywords and things just blow up. It is important to understand your audience though and what they want or are searching for. Sometimes this can be done strategically and sometime is is a nice happenstance.
I will tell you though that when you find the right topic and go after it, your organic traffic goes through the roof. I was reviewing Sound Convictions, a music site I created to test inbound networking. This is a fun side project and allows me to test many inbound marketing strategies I would not want to test on clients.
In three months I was able to take this site from zero (I bought the domain and set the site up from scratch) to 6000+ visitors in month 3. Now granted this wasn't because I had great SEO, it was just the opposite. I connected with many people who in turn promoted the hell out of the site. This is great, but the traffic was all "direct traffic" meaning people using the url/domain name www.soundconvictions.com instead of "concert street team promotions" or some other descriptive keyword. See image below for example of the analytics used to track the site's success.
Ok, so how do you get the organic side of things work. Well in this case I blogged like crazy for 7 months. You can see below we barely had any organic traffic for the first 5 months. Then things jumped from 300 to roughly 1200 organic visits in month 6. This is awesome! then from month 6 to month 7 we jumped again from 1200 organic visits to 2500 organic visits. Can you say HOLY-CRAP! Better yet, this organic traffic maintained for several months. This was partly keyword research but mostly understanding our customer base and catering article content to them.
So I wouldn't get too hung up on SEO and keyword research. More importantly I would try to figure out who your more profitable customers are. Then cater your blog writing to the issues and the problems they have (that you solve). When you hit on one of their main pain points, you will certainly see a big spike like this.
Then blog like crazy (at least twice a week, minimum) and if you're lucky you too will strike a nerve and boost your organic ranking (and traffic). Next step… conversions. Turning these visitors into leads and the leads into customers. We'll touch on that in another article.