Many people like to talk about Search Engine Optimization like it’s a magic bullet: one simple dose of keyword magic, and you’ll be burning up the Google search rankings. This is sadly not the case, especially if you’re trying to break into a competitive search term.

This is the problem we encountered when trying to move our clients at Polaris Property Management up the search list. They wanted to search competitively on the term “Indianapolis property management.” Unfortunately, a search for this term returns 5,160,000 results. To make matters even worse, there are only about 1,600 searches for the term each month. So you have a paradox: a competitive term that isn’t searched very often. What’s a company to do?

It all comes back to the 3 R’s:

Relevancy: Did we use appropriate keywords throughout the site? The client wanted to “own” that particular search term, but is that the best strategy? Would we be better off going after a more specific search term?

Recency: It’s important to add new content to your site at least every week in order to stay fresh in the minds of your readers–and to keep Google’s web crawlers coming back. Adding a blog would surely help in this department.

Related Links: This is where things get tricky. It’s not enough to have a well-optimized, frequently updated site. You have to have other reputable sites that link back to you. One great, though often time-consuming way to do this, is to “seed” blogs. That is, find blogs on similar topics and post insightful comments that link back to your own site. In this way, you’ll establish your online street cred, which will also give you a boost up the search rankings.

Simply put, SEO isn’t easy. Anyone who tells you that it is is lying. It’s an ongoing, constantly evolving process. So ask yourself: are you following the 3 R’s?