Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a simple idea that covers a host of activities.
There are a lot of different actions an expert can take to improve your search ranking, but there is no silver bullet. In the unlikely circumstance a silver bullet was discovered, it would soon cease to exist as it would be antithetical to Google’s notion of page ranking and they would change their algorithm and thus your ranking gain. The takeaway – there is no quick fix for ranking.
On the right there are the Unique Visitors* to a typical client site of mine. With the SEO work put in (12 hours over 2 years) we see growth to 231% of their year one traffic – in absolute terms over 20,000 more people saw the site in year 3 compared to year 1.
In my opinion, rich content delivered in a well structured page is the way ahead. However, if you’ve spent any time Googling SEO services you will know people will offer you alternatives; back-linking services and all manner of subscription based voodoo that lacks any transparency.
I’d recommend avoiding any such shenanigans as even if you did see some short term gain; Google is always iterating and improving how they rank sites and they’ve made it pretty clear they don’t approve of these practices and are quite happy to blacklist your site.
*Unique Visitors is a standard metric. This measures individuals rather than ‘hits’ where website visitors are measured more than once.