There are many people who have just enough knowledge of the way the Internet and search engines work to know that search engine optimization is important, but not enough knowledge to know that it will not just solve all your problems. SEO is not something you can apply and then sit back and wait for people to visit your website. Yes, it is important and it is an extremely clever concept, but the incorrect application of SEO will no more increase your website traffic than handing out free balloons will make an ice cream shop’s profits go through the roof. Yes, it can help; no, it is not the whole deal.
It is no good setting up a website and paying lip service to the basics of SEO – throwing together some back links in other places, using keywords and submitting a sitemap – and then, when the doors are not battered down by enthralled readers, complaining “but it had SEO! Clearly SEO isn’t as good as I was told it was!”. Correctly applied, SEO will certainly boost your Google ranking. Whether it will get you to the first page of results, only time will tell – but it is useful.
The major mistake people make is in treating SEO as the silver bullet that will make all the difference – if that were the case, then Google ranking would be entirely meaningless because everyone would have SEO on their site. It needs to be remembered that good SEO and good content is the most potent combination for Google rankings.