This article was originally published on the Spectrum blog. 

Here's the thing about creating a successful website:

There are many things you must do to make your website a success.

Assuming that your idea of online success is increased site traffic and sales, these aforementioned things almost exclusively revolve around SEO. Like the pistons of a Corvette, your site's link building strategycontent development approach, meta data and calls-to-action all have to perform in perfect harmony.

When your SEO is a well-oiled machine, it doesn't matter what industry you're in. As long as you follow the rules, your business can boost its online presence (and bottom line). Of course, while it's important to do what you gotta do, understanding the intangible concepts behind search marketing is just as crucial to your success. In other words, your execution can only go as far as your expectations permit.

So be realistic. Here's what you should know:

1. Search Engine Optimization is an Investment

If you can't wait at least several months to see the value of your SEO campaign, then you probably shouldn't start one in the first place.

Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy that requires diligence and dedication, because it's a process that builds momentum and gains upon itself as time flies by. Business owners and marketers need to understand that while you may not see the fruit of your labor immediately, your website will inevitably benefit from the hard work you put into it weeks, months and years down the line.

2. Visitors > Search Engines

Google's goals as a corporation are to 1) organize the world's information and 2) provide searchers with the most relevant results possible. Therefore, Google has absolutely no problem with humans producing content that is valuable and beneficial to other humans. In fact, Google's algorithm rewards that type of behavior because it goes hand-in-hand with one of their most important objectives.

Most people don't realize that when you focus your effort on creating high-quality links and content, you're simultaneously earning your keep with Google -- big time.

3. Link Building Requires Steadfast Consistency

When it comes to building out links on your website, there is no set amount of time you must do it for. Neither is there a finite number of links you must build out before you're done.

Link building never ends.

Creating useful, quality links for your visitors is fundamentally essential to increasing your position on SERPs. When your link production slows down, however, you create opportunities for your competition to beat you out. Think of search engines as a living entity, constantly in a state of change (because they are). Respect this fact and you'll be far more pleased with the SEO results you yield