When I first got into SEO my brain almost exploded. Although it is not a tremendously difficult profession it does take a certain combination of patience, determination, competitiveness, and strategic blood. For those just starting out or for those who simply want a second opinion here is my hierarchy of SEO importance.
2. Quality of page content
3. Link Building
4. Link/Link Source Variation
6. Take Risks When Needed
7. Never Stop
It is important to have a strong analysis to select the most beneficial (and relevant) keywords and of course the appropriate budget. Now even with the best target keywords, your site will never rank unless it appeals to both search engines and users, this means your site must be optimized as well as contain quality and engaging content. Although quality is key, it alone will not rank a site (if it did I would not have a job), so building backlinks, also known as in-links, is a must. In short find the right keywords, optimize the site for those keywords and build links to the site using those keywords.
To be successful in ranking a term, one might think to simply build a million links using that keyword, makes sense right? Not so fast, see Google will get suspicious if all the links going to one site are all the same keyword (this is considered not “organic”); this is why it is important to vary the keywords used when building links. It is also important to use more than one method for building links such as articles, directories etc. and have unique sources (different directories and different article sites). The more unique sources the more “power” the links have.
In addition to actually doing the SEO work, it is necessary to be patient, SEO takes time especially with new sites, so don’t freak out if you don’t see results right away. Don’t be afraid to take risks when needed, in some cases you will never reach your goal without some risk, so do it! And finally, at the end of the day, it is important to never stop link building, experimenting or learning.