The most important ingredient of any SEO campaign is an approach which I would name as common sense SEO, that is – based on rational thinking. On average, within some area, we have hundreds or thousands of businesses/companies and only one first Google page. Most SEO programmers always say that they can give you highly demanded position on the first Google search results page, which as such can not be considered as common sense SEO optimization way. But, they talk the same to everybody. The first page means only 10 positions, so, if they approach 100 persons with the same offer you can feel that something is definitely not right here. Some of the offers can be genuine, but not all of them. That is true, that you can be on the first page, for let’s say 2 days, to be found later in Google sandbox for three months or longer. It is a good idea to ask for details concerning their methods. Obviously, they will not speak about all techniques they use – for the same reason Google doesn’t explain all details of their algorithms. But, we can safely assume, that if they use organic approach, and first results can be visible within months rather than weeks, their explanation will be close to common sense SEO techniques. Basically, results of SEO campaigns should be visible within months, not days or even not weeks, with exception of some unique, not-seen-anywhere-else products. Some big SEO companies don’t promise first Google search page position, and in my opinion this is very honest approach. They do as much as possible within limit of budget, and they will get measurable results, which can be monetized. It is possible to have a website on the first Google search page, but with worse financial results, than having it in on 5th page. All depends on simple question: how did you get the website on the first page? Successful SEO campaign takes time.
Except time as an essential factor which has to be considered in common sense SEO, there is another essential ingredient of successful SEO campaign, which has to be taken seriously and approached with common sense as well – your competitors out there, in the open market. Do you need to take it into consideration in your common sense SEO approach? As they say, every war campaign would be successful if enemy didn’t exist. The same story can be told about SEO campaign. Careful Internet research is very important part of SEO. To win the SEO battle, you need to know your enemy. And, strange enough, your competitors want to be within 10 first results of Google search. So, analysis of your main competitors performance and techniques they use is necessity. On one side, you do serious technical work to get as close as possible to Google SEO demands (to make them happy), but on the other side you have to perform better than your competitors.
Common sense SEO means understanding that SEO takes time, and that there are other people on the market which try to outperform you, that there are competitors with – maybe – bigger SEO budget, or with more creative SEO managers. The rational thinking as described above, and avoiding wishful thinking, increases probability that your SEO campaign will be successful. Only on top of common sense approach or – rather – serious scientific SEO analysis I would say, we can place another essential SEO factor: creativity.