"I hate to compare Google to an IRS auditor, but, in some ways, it's true. Google is auditing your site, looking for things outside the norm," Ward says. That's why it's best to grow links naturally by developing and publicizing great content, instead of hiring someone to plant thousands of identical anchor text links to your site on low-quality websites within only a few days.
23. Make content easy to share over social media.
Whenever you post new content on your site, such as a white paper or video, Fasser says to be sure its easy to share across social media. Social media updates containing links are great for building traffic and awareness. You should also share the new content with a Tweet or social media update that includes a relevant keyword and a shortened link, such as from bit.ly, to the content.
24. Your site's ideal link builders will do the job for free.
"The person who is your best link builder is the one who visits your site, likes it, and wants to share it with others," Ward says. That's why it's important to ask yourself what can someone do with your content once they see it, he adds. "It's a mistake not to give people a way to share your content with a Google +1, Facebook Like, or Twitter button. Make it easy for them."
25. Don't put all your eggs in the Google basket.
Too many people put too much emphasis on getting traffic from search engines, Ward says. "The more of your traffic thats coming from Google, the more precarious your position is. Your rankings are fluid and subject to every Google algorithm update," he says. "I've had clients call me and say that, all of a sudden, they're no longer ranking well and it's costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars a month."
Instead, your goal should be to get traffic from a variety of sites, of which Google is simply one. Though achieving this takes time, Ward acknowledges, it gives you a solid, stable foundation that will serve you well in the long run.
James A. Martin is an SEO, social media and blogging consultant and author of CIO.com's Martin on Mobile Apps. Follow him on Twitter @james_a_martin. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.