When working on your web site you need to keep the overall objective of your site in mind. A great many people get caught up in the process of achieving that goal to the point where some parts of the process become more important to them than the actual end result that they are trying to achieve.
The first step in starting work on promoting your site is to work out what your site objective is. If you are selling something then the goal is to make sales. If your goal is to make money by providing information then you need real people to find the information with a sufficient fraction of them following advertising links or purchasing the access to the information. If your objective is to share information without people having to pay for it in any way then getting the right group of people to visit is the goal.
For none of these situations is getting a high PR or position one in the search results for specific keywords the end goal. Getting those things may be steps along the way to achieving your end goal but by themselves they don't get you anywhere. Having millions of links to your page, several number one placements in the search results and having the search engines visit thousands of times a day is worth nothing toward your end goal if there are no real people visiting your page. Those things are still worth nothing even if people do visit your page if they are not the right people.
If you are trying to sell then you need visitors who are looking to buy. If you are trying to make money from information then you need visitors who are at least prepared to consider the products you advertise. If you are giving away information then you need visitors from the group your information is directed toward. You get nowhere if your site is providing information to help people stop smoking if the only real visitors you get are people who have never smoked.
The goal of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is to get links that are toward the top of the search results for your selected keywords or phrases. Achieving this goal may help you to get closer to achieving your overall objective but by itself it is not going to give you as good results as you will achieve if you use that as just one part of your overall promotion strategy. One of the reasons why many web sites are not as successful as they could be is because people concentrate on one aspect of their promotion strategy (SEO) rather than looking at the whole process and taking the most appropriate action.
You need to ask yourself how the strategy you are following will get you closer to achieving your overall objective and what other things you will need to do to supplement (or even replace) those tasks in order to obtain the best possible results (and remember that getting to the top of page one for your selected keywords in a search engine isn't an end result, it is just a step in the process). Choose the right keywords and a top placement may be easy to achieve but if it isn't the right keyword then it will do nothing to help you to achieve your end goal.
A combination strategy will probably work the best in most situations, particularly one where you successfully manage to get others to help you out by providing people with additional ways that they can find your site.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.