SEO is about being relevant. Relevant to your customers and relevant to the search engines who point customers at your website. After all, the search engines are trying to deliver relevant search results and if they fail, their businesses fail. Today's search engine darling could be tomorrow's has-been. Don't agree? Look at what happened to Yahoo.
It's also worth noting that increasingly search engines know what converts. Tools like Google Analytics are becoming ubiquitous and all that data tells Google just how relevant their search results are thanks to the bounce metric. If people hit your site and immediately hit the back button that's like a slap in the face to Google. Think about it, Google's saying "Looking for blue widgets? Here you go.", that bounce is saying, "Google, that site sucked, you don't know what you are talking about."
So although in bound links are important you need to have something worth linking to if you are going to survive for the long haul. The problem is developing digital assets, downloads, articles, images etc is time consuming and the payback is often slow. You need patience. However, good things come to those who wait - or so the saying goes.
Every digital asset you create builds your profile in your business space. Taking this approach you can, one step at a time, build your business and your search engine exposure. There's also another truth, most of your competitors aren't doing this, you only have to look at their websites for the proof, you do look at their websites don't you...........?
OK, it's time for a reality check. Take a look at your site and ask yourself - DO WE HAVE ANYTHING WORTH LINKING TO? Be honest, the truth will out anyway.
Before you start bleating about not knowing how to create something worth linking to just stop, nobody is listening. If you've got nothing worth linking to your website is doomed because links mean credibility and without it you're wasting your time.
What about business intelligence? You must have a view on your business space, you must have something of value to give away? That's right give something valuable away, if you don't someone else will. Free and useful is a powerful combination in the internet age.
Still struggling? Well grab some caffeine and fire up a web browser. Search the net for blogs and forums where your potential customers hang out. Find out what problems they are having and give them solutions. The information is right under your nose and every solution you create is another digital asset for your website.
Search engines change. The software they use to deliver search results is evolving and becoming better, to be honest they haven't even got going yet. You could waste time buying links from link farms, spamming forums and blogs and generally looking for the next search engine scam. My bet is the smart site owners are building their digital assets and building up their online profiles. It's your call.......