Sometimes SEO is all about the basics, particularly in regard to achieving high SEO rankings. Relationships are important, such as the relationship between contextually relevant content and someone who really enjoys reading it. This relationship is the basis of relevance and relevance is the core function of search engines and how they rank documents in their index.
It is safe to say, since search engines are programmed by humans, they are modeled after traits we deem necessary such as:
1) Search engines prefer specialists and the expert versus a random opinion.
2) Search engines are programmed and fashioned on principles of good behavior such as reputation and trust.
3) To search engines, the source of information or references matters, for example a link using your main keyword from a similarly themed site and a keyword used out of context from an unrelated site have different degrees of relevance.
The message here is, ranking in search highly in search engines is largely dependent on grouping relevant information and highlighting that information in such a way that it is clearly defined for the reader.
For example, if I wanted to create a relevant search engine ranking that ranks highly using the principles we just discussed, the first thing I would do (after keyword research) is concentrate on grouping themed information into clearly delineated segments.
For example, I may create 20 pages of useful and specific information, determine 3 key phrases for each of those 20 pages (60 keywords). Use a common denominator / key word or key phrase to increase site wide relevance and establish the type of site structure most suitable for the type of site.
Find the most searched keywords for the niche or genre, sprinkle those keywords throughout the documents and then use an internal linking strategy based on contextual architecture (*Think Wikipedia as an example of relevant internal linking).
Then, tag the content with informative, yet compelling titles, descriptions, make sure the alt-attributes, the CSS, and the file naming conventions were optimized (meaning themed) and then build 20-40 links per page to give them buoyancy in the search engine result pages.
What individuals and businesses alike need to consider is usefulness and essentially how much information you pages are providing about a subject. Creating a knowledge base, and index of data with links to other useful sites, a blog chock full of articles and posts or offering a free product or service can go a long ways to set your site apart from the 5 page who we are and what we do websites.
Useful relevant information is the essence of why search engines exist, not to say that are not other means for delivering pre-qualified traffic to your pages, but to be competitive and encourage user engagement, search engines are a prerequisite for success in the new millennium. For more information about learning SEO basics here are some other great SEO resources.