It is no secret to readers here that SEO is an ongoing process, but I was playing with SmartDraw and created an SEO process circle.
One of the problems many people have with SEO is that they think that they will use SEO to get their site in front of thousands of relevant people, but that model only works if they are...
- using pay per click marketing (buying the traffic)
- using black hat SEO (which may provide only short term results
- using an old trusted domain that already has many signals of quality built up
Amongst the hundreds or thousands of participants in your market, some of them enjoy an older site, more social relationships, more links, a more well known brand, a larger traffic stream due to their site already being trusted, and other traffic streams like RSS readers and email list members, etc.
All of those advantages for existing webmasters act as headwinds for a new webmaster (at least until you get established). You typically have to create some number of social interactions to leave the trail of signals of quality to make Google want to trust a site enough to put it in front of a large traffic stream, especially if you are starting a brand new site and are trying to operate within Google's guidelines. As Bob Massa says "search engines follow people."
If you like the above entry, you might also like the SEO Flowchart. :)
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