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Good Things Come to Those Who Wait (and Other Analogies and Cliche's for SEO)

We've all heard that familiar expression, "Good things come to those who wait". Whether you're waiting for your Heinz ketchup to pour out onto your burger (remember those commercials?), waiting for Christmas day to open your gifts, waiting for summer vacation to be let out of school, or waiting in line at the DMV... well, maybe not the DMV, good things will come if you simply allow them to come in their own time.
Under normal circumstances that expression is simply not true. You'll still get your ketchup if you shove the butter knife into the bottle, dragging it out onto your plate; open all your gifts on Christmas Eve; skip that last few pointless days of the school year; or get into the express line at the DMV. The real lesson behind the cliche' is that patience is a virtue.
One instance where it's is true, that good things come to those that wait, is when you are performing search engine optimization. Unlike placing sponsored ads via Google AdWords or Yahoo! Search Marketing, where results are almost instantaneous, the long-term return on investment for SEO is considerably better than most other forms of on- or off-line advertising. Unfortunately, SEO does not produce instantaneous results. And yes, patience is still a virtue.
Optimizing your site for your targeted key phrases won't get you to #1 over night. You won't find all your keywords to rank in the top 10 on Google in just a few days, nor will you get significant traffic improvement at the snap of the fingers. To use a simple analogy, SEO is like boiling water: you don't get a hard boil the moment you turn on the burner, you have to wait for it.
The process of optimizing a site, or just specific pages in a site can take weeks, and that's just the initial optimization phase. In a previous article I wrote about the making of a perfect SEO firm, highlighting all the different jobs that an SEO firm must perform for the optimization process. That article outlined only the overall human resources needed but didn't go into the specific job functions that are required in the SEO process, when performed correctly. Here is where I let that particular cat out of the bag.
Can't Find Your Way Out of a Paper Bag
On the front end of the optimization process hours and hours of research must be performed for each account. Every

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