Optimising a site, so that it places well for the chosen search terms takes considerable time. Personally, I always start with planning, with questions like: which google searches do you want to do well in? Locally or globally? What social platforms do you users use? These are a few questions for just about anybody wanting to optimise a site. First, decide which search phrases you want to target, and then ensure that your site does well for these phrases by writing good content around them.
Introduction: the state of SEO in 2012 Google is still one of the largest search engines for most sites, accounting for a large percentage of potential traffic; enough to make or break a business. Why is it that when this is the case, people out-source SEO in an unmanaged way? Throwing money at the problem saying just get me to #1! Why indeed, because a few years ago this strategy generally worked.
If you had some SEO work done a few years ago and did not really manage the process, so that you understood where all the links were coming from, and how the optimisation was done, it's quite possible that you have some lower quality links inbound to your site. If the above is the case for your site, I would recommend that you read Have your organic search rankings dropped immediately, as you need to know sooner rather than later where your links are coming from.
These days, you can have a great site, but unless you’ve connected all the dots, and integrated your site into a valid social media strategy, its unlikely to be enough. I learn’t this lesson the hard way nearly ten years ago when we first built the nutricherry site, we spent all our effort building a site that looked great, spending countless hours on user testing, to ensure the site worked properly.