Aside from SEO being a collection of mere tactics and techniques, practicing search engine optimization is just as much of an art as it is a science.
Finding the appropriate responses to inquiries that pose to create obstruction from a relevant high ranking position is second nature to the intuitive SEO. Mutually, since multiple systems are layered and built on top of other algorithmic systems, tracing the rounds of cause and effect through tracking a chain reaction is also another method employed by heuristic conclusion.
Analysis, Discovery Time and Heuristic Conclusion
Regardless of how you arrive at a conclusion, conclusions serves one specific purpose, which is to create a plan of action. Based on the range of the action(s) a measurable result is produced that contributes to the overall process.
SEO involves a constant state of refinement in order to stay ahead of the curve. You never know when the bottom will fall out from outdated methodologies and one of your most prized keywords loses relevance due to a shift in the algorithm.
Keeping a Constant Watch / SEO Defense
Not only does SEO require a constant vigil, to ensure a competitive advantage, SEO defense. The thrill of using a series of tactics to unlock each page of your websites’ potential through finding the highlight of each page strengths is crucial.
It is through aligning these strengths with other pages strengths and weaknesses that produce the cohesion responsible for a holistic endeavor which makes each page an accountable part of the whole.
Having the Right Tools is Important
A thorough analysis through using a battery of SEO tools can yield a veritable checklist of things to do to fine tune your site, but without the vision to understand the scope of the impact prior to “popping the hood”, to see what is underneath comes as a result of experience.
You have to be able to know how to consistently produce a given affect when required for each website you embrace. Although no two sites are alike, there are enough similarities that exist through (1) the traces they leave behind from the use or lack of off page factors as well as (2) the obvious on page modifications required, the only thing that remains in between is “method”.
Like many things, you can arrive at the same point, using a variety of tasks. The real key here is mapping your methods and constantly testing them for vulnerabilities as well as obvious benefits.
SEO has come a long way from a few adjustments to meta tags and a few hundred directory submissions to get a top ranking position. If you want prominence for a series of keywords, you have to put the time in to produce the result.
Are we there yet?
I think that one of the most commonly asked questions from clients or prospects curious about organic search engine optimization is, how long will it take? This is the equivalent of planting seeds in fertile soil, creating the perfect growing conditions, nurturing the plant to the degree of seeing it sprout and bud, then digging it up just to see how long the roots have become.
The point being, organic SEO takes time for the roots to spread and overlap on the basis of multiple keywords. Thinking of your website holistically from the standpoint of having various branches that extend from these roots (your keywords), depending on how well you water the trunk (the site architecture, new content and older pages) will determine the outcome of the harvest.
What About The Competition?
Competition is always present, but instead of you thinking out of context, your battle for acquiring a high ranking search engine position is not about you vs. your competition so much as it is, your site against itself with the search engine algorithm as the judge.
Your battle is to refine each facet of your website starting from a-z from the server platform (to optimize loading time) to keyword prominence and content development, site architecture (using logical keyword-rich naming conventions), internal linking, deep linking, as well as integrating link velocity, link discovery time (from search engines), as well as dozens of other criteria.
Once proficiency is reached in each respective field, the ability to create pages synonymous with high rankings despite the industry or competitiveness of the keywords is the result. It merely becomes a matter of time divided by the SEO method, backed by trackable results.
You gain the insight of being able to assess a website, gauge its strengths and determine based on the sites overall health, if it has the stamina to compete with the requirements needed to land a high ranking position.
Patience and Perseverance
Most competitive keywords can take several months to a year to see results, but just because you cannot always ascertain exactly where each keyword is in the relevance score process, it is better to manage multiple keywords based on a semantic base of phrases. This way each overlapping phrase reinforces relevance and continuity for your websites topical theme.
The main ingredient is starting the process and waiting for indicators that your changes are having a positive effect based on the criteria. Is SEO a science?, perhaps, but what we do know is method and approach are responsible for learning from trial and error. Based on each triumph and setback it is another opportunity to refine your skill even more.
It is no surprise that there is always something new to learn and with SEO, it is much like a game of chess, what you do now in the opening move most definitely impacts the end game, but strategy is the most important component, without the underlying tactics, the method would simply be ineffective.
The Take Away
In closing, plant as many seeds (keywords) as possible, nurture them by building links and link popularity through social media, use syndication tactfully at every opportunity (so long as it does not dilute your message) and stop pulling up the roots to see how strong they are. Insulate your site with great content and links and when the time is right, the right traffic will find you, which is the beauty of the web.