SEO is a long-term strategy for your business and when done correctly (with the proper amount of time and resources allocated to it), it will produce consistent long-term value in the form of higher rankings and increased traffic. Auditing an existing site is one of the most important tasks that SEO professionals encounter. SEO is still a relatively new field,and many of the limitations of search engine crawlers are nonintuitive. Google is making a real push to get to grips with any tactic they see as manipulating the rankings in a way that’s against their guidelines – from keyword cramming to paying for sponsored posts. Backlinks are the foundation to Google’s algorithm. Once you have a good site structure in place, you need to focus on acquiring backlinks.

Basic off-page SEO factors to look for when gaging your competition

One task the search engines face is judging the value of content. Although evaluating how the community responds to a piece of content using link analysis is part of the process, the search engines can also draw some conclusions based on what they see on the page. Search analytics is a new and emerging category of tools. Search analytics tools specifically monitor how your website interacts with the search engines. Placing ads in front of potential customers has traditionally been one of the easiest ways to introduce your product to the world, but things have changed a lot over the years. While traditional advertisements still have their place, companies no longer have to rely on a chance encounter to get their products in front of their customers. One of the best ways to get links when you’re first starting out is to ask people you know to link to your site from their site using a target keyword as the anchor text -- the text being used as the link to your site. Use your network of customers, partners, vendors, and even friends/family around the world to link to your site, and ask them to link to the right locale site.

What worked a few years ago is now irrelevant.

Good SEO consultants are hard to locate and they are even harder to hire. This is because there aren’t a lot of high-quality SEO consultants available for hire. There are lots and lots of bad SEO consultants or young entrepreneurs who think they know SEO. The focus on the right audience and the right content brings an understanding of the content that they’re more likely to consume. Google tends to prefer Featured Snippet content that begin logically as an answer would. Ensuring that your content is effective in connecting with the prospects searching for your products or services is crucial. Your web pages should be geared towards focusing on individual topics instead of individual keywords.

Produce quality, SEO-friendly content

Brand mentions and co-citations are also very important to Google, in determining the quality and usefulness of a particular web page. In the past, standard SEO advice was to get as many links as possible to your site, regardless of the source, and use the same anchor text each time. These days, doing that will get you knocked out of Google in no time. Analyzing content alone is not real SEO. Making a deliverable look pretty for a client is not SEO. Gaz Hall, from SEO Hull, had the following to say: "Being on Yahoo or Google’s front page for your respective niche is the ultimate goal of every site. This can be a very competitive market to break into."

Make sure your website is indexed in Google

Don’t get fooled by those agencies that offer 100% guarantee to get your website amongst the top results in a short time. The only one who can do this are Search Engines (which you can’t fool) themselves. The more likely potential visitors are to think your site will provide an answer to their search query, the more traffic a page will gain. Paid results are auction priced advertisements & are produced for as long as the advertiser’s budget lasts relative to the cost per click they have paid for their targeted search terms. If you want to dominate the search results for certain keywords in paid search, you need to be willing to pay more money for each click than your competitors are willing to pay. With that said, proper SEO does take a lot of work, requires a large set of skills, and takes time. But, by investing in SEO now, and allocating the proper time and resources to it, you can begin to create serious, long-term value for your business. Thus, taking advantage of the huge potential of traffic and sales from organic search.